Portage

5383 S. Westnedge Ave
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 552-9019

Kalamazoo

545 N Drake Rd
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 349-4999

Battle Creek

5285 Beckley Rd
Battle Creek, MI 49015
(269) 979-9799

Portage

5383 S. Westnedge Ave
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 552-9019

Kalamazoo

545 N Drake Rd
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 349-4999

Battle Creek

5285 Beckley Rd
Battle Creek, MI 49015
(269) 979-9799

One-sided vs. Two-sided

 

Two-Sided Mattresses: A Brief History

If you’ve been sleeping on mattresses long enough, you might remember when the vast majority of beds used to be two-sided. These mattresses were typically on the thinner side, between 6 to 8 inches, were typically on the firmer side, with a basic, but very strong spring, actual inner-tufting secured with buttons, and were complemented by a box that, at the end of its service life, was still heavy and strong enough to drag a driveway for many years.

Oh, how things have changed.

Two-Sided Beds Disappear: Contributing Factors

The 2000s were an interesting time for bedding manufacturers as many influences coincided to create the perfect storm for the propagation of today’s most popular sleeping surface.  A shortage of a material called TDI (toluene diisocyanate), a major chemical in the production of foam, including rising oil prices, was causing unprecedented rising costs in the manufacture of foam. Prices were going up in the range of 50-60% overnight.  Additionally, fueled by demand from emerging markets notwithstanding China’s immense demand for steel preceding the 2008 Olympics, steel prices continued to rise dramatically.

Yet, what happened in 2007 would overshadow the rest of the industry for years to come. On July 1st, 2007 CFR 1633 went into effect which, in general, stated: “The purpose of the standard is to reduce deaths and injuries associated with mattress fires by limiting the size of the fire generated by a mattress set during a thirty-minute test.
This standard led to the cost of mattresses going up drastically.  The materials they were using were rather expensive and companies decided that one cost-savings measure would be to use the material on just the top and side panels of the mattress resulting in significant cost savings.

Coinciding with rising foam costs, rising steel costs, and an expensive new fire-resistant material, made the 2000s a rough time for the mattress market.  Great products that were $399 in a queen set were now $599 and $699 for anything remotely comparable. We had a great example in the early 2000s with the “Generations” mattress from Therapedic.  This bed was a two-sided product using high-density foam, an adult support spring, and a heavy-duty semi-flex foundation.  We are STILL seeing them out in people’s homes today. Amazing beds.  That same bed today would be in the $699-799 range today.

Another important, yet not often mentioned reason for the one-sided switch over, was the introduction of one-sided models before the three major factors.  One of the major “S” brands introduced one-sided mattresses as a cost-savings measure.  They were spending between 30 to 40% less on these beds, leading much of the rest of the market to follow suit shortly thereafter.

One-Sided Beds: “Never Flip Your Bed Again!”

The first widely produced one-sided beds were, on the whole, junk. Lead by a marketing push of “You don’t have to flip these beds!”, they were initially were insanely popular.

However, foam densities (generally the higher the better) weren’t increased accordingly, leading to products that would develop body-impressions abnormally quickly.  This introduction of one-sided beds using poor materials would also help lead to the “all pillowtops are bad” thinking that is so pervasive today. (Read in an upcoming blog).

The initial push was marketing-driven vs economic. (Well, economic if you consider they were spending much less producing the beds with the market-driving effect of higher prices still a few years away). The pitch was to, “Never flip your mattress again!” when in all reality you couldn’t flip your bed. Most other manufacturers were still two-sided at the time, leading some vendors to re-market their tw0-sided lines with “Flip If You Want To” campaigns.  Ultimately the pressure of competing marketing and rising prices became too much and the vast majority of the industry went one-sided with just a few years.

One vs. Two: The Great Quality and Durability Argument

First and foremost, it isn’t necessarily whether a bed is one-sided or two that affects the durability.  The absolute most important aspect of a quality mattress is the ingredients. Period.

As a testament to the durability of a one-sided mattress, not to mention a pillowtop, is the Touch of Softness Pillowtop by Capitol Bedding in Grand Ledge, Michigan.  This one-sided, pillowtop mattress has been the choice of bedding by Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island since 1974.  The secret to the Touch of Softness’s durability lies with the construction: a LuraFlex (LFK) spring provides superb support while the 2536 foam (2.5lb 36ILD) along with 1.8lb foam leads the TOS Pillowtop to be one of the most durable mattresses made.

Tw0-sided mattresses could also be flipped and rotated. Two-sided beds from “back in the day” were also usually sold with “torsion” or “true-flex spring” foundations which acted as “shock absorbers” for the mattresses vs semi-flex or rigid wood foundations sold with most mattresses today. These “flexing” foundations absorbed some of the energy directed into the mattress into the foundation instead of being directed right back into the mattress, squishing the materials down even further.

Other solid examples of insanely durable one-sided mattresses include the Therapedic TheraLuxe and Medicoil HD mattresses.  These Heavy Duty (HD) lines are made with some of the strongest materials used in mattresses today.  Ultra-strong 2.5lb and 3lb density foams combined with a HingeFlex or QLX HD spring and a 50lb compression foam edge support and inner-tufting throughout the entire mattress lead to a mattress made specifically for larger individuals while still providing a 20-year warranty of 1″ of body impression or less, while the rest of the industry is at 10 years and 1.5″.  A testament to the durability of these particular one-sided beds.

Planned Obsolescence

A discussion one vs two-sided mattresses wouldn’t be complete without a quick mention of one the biggest banes to consumer products: planned obsolescence.  Why not make the product wear out just a bit quicker and make the consumer have to re-enter the market just that much sooner?

We have to admit it, but there’s also a goodly bit of this going on as well.  With ad campaigns out there such as “Replace Every 8”, the big retailers are trying to convince you that 1. beds don’t last as long (which is true in m and 2. you need to replace your bed sooner.  Well, it’s true that beds, in general, aren’t lasting as long as their older counterparts, but do you really need to replace it “Every 8?”

The short answer is No.

Our philosophy is that you should only replace a bed as-needed, which means you should only replace your bed when it is starting to affect the quality of your sleep.  If you’re waking up with some aches and pains, it might be time to re-evaluate your sleep surface. However, if you’re sleeping like a baby on a 20-year-old bed, why replace it?? There is no reason to replace something comfortable for something new, just because an advertisement from an overly-large retailer’s ad campaign tells you so.

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Mark Ackley

Delivery Specialist

Mark is one of our longest-term employees and definitely one of the guys you want along while bringing in your new mattress.  Even though he shares some traits with a gorilla, he’s really one of the gentle-giant types.

When Mark isn’t at Mattress Mart, he enjoys spending time at his campsite relaxing and fishing, and at home with the wife and kids.

Jack the Dog

Official Mascot

When not being cute, Jack spends his free carrying his food, piece-by-piece, across the house to eat, running through any and all sorts of muck he can find, chasing squirrels, and carrying his special bone. One of the great cuddlers of all time, Jack curls up to in a surprisingly small ball on the couch, where he’s technically not allowed. Jack also enjoys running away to the house next door to visit his best friend, Vince, a rottweiler/doberman mix.

Jack is spoiled beyond belief and spends his nights on a 100% latex dog mattress.

Matt Roemig

Delivery

Matt is our newest, and youngest, employee and we’re doing our best to teach him everything he needs to know, and Matt is picking it up very quickly.

When not at Mattress Mart, Matt enjoys football, basketball, lifting light weights, and spending time with his brother and mother.

Make sure to make a point of saying Hello to Matt when you see him bringing your new mattress!

Sean Anderson

Delivery

One of our newest employees, Sean has been with the Mattress Mart team for almost two years and has been a valuable addition to our second-to-none delivery crew.

Sean has a new child and when he’s not delivering your new bed, enjoys spending every moment he can with the new little one.

Sean is unique in that if it has wheels, Sean can either fix it or drive it.  Although not so great with antique car trivia, he’s great at diagnosing even the most odd engine problems.


Ryan Doremus

Senior Delivery Specialist

One of our most senior employees, Ryan has been with us for 20 years and there are very few people with more experience delivering your new mattress. Ryan will ensure your bed is brought in carefully, with consideration for your mattress and your home.


Ryan enjoys dividing his time between his wife, children, and the other baby in his life, his orange Jeep. If you drive by our Drake Rd. store, you can’t miss it!

Jeff Clements

Sales

We don’t get new employees very often, so we would like everyone to give a big hello to Jeff!  We have known Jeff for a number of years when he worked next to us at Sprint in Battle Creek. We are happy to have him aboard!

Jeff is a music lover and happens to be not in one, but two bands!  Come in and try to stump him at music trivia.

When not at work, Jeff loves spending time with his dog, Shiloh, cooking, and has a particular fondness for most things sci-fi, especially movies.

Stop by and welcome Jeff to the Mattress Mart family!

Chad McCullough

Sales

One of our newest employees, Chad has been with the Mattress Mart team for over three years and has a passion for customer service.

Chad enjoys coaching his son’s football team, lifting weights, gaming, and fantasy football.

When he isn’t spending time with his family, you’ll find him bowling and golfing, where I hear he is a passable golfer and an excellent bowler.  Stop by and say hi to our own personal Broach!

Zack Davis

Sales

Zack has been an invaluable member of Mattress Mart’s team since 2006. Zack is our resident expert on antique furniture and all things construction.
When not at Mattress Mart, Zack enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, finding new and interesting places to eat, and perusing antique shops around the Midwest.

Patrick Hope

Sales | Inventory Specialist

Patrick has been a member of the Mattress Mart family for 18 years and we couldn’t be happier to have him.
If you have a question, problem, or concern, Patrick is second to none in getting it done, which is why he is one of the most valued members of Mattress Mart.
If the weather is nice and he’s not at Mattress Mart, don’t bother trying to find Patrick anywhere there isn’t a lake. An avid fishermen, Patrick has entered, but unfortunately not won, the D&R’s big fish contest on numerous occasions.
Besides fishing, Patrick is a fan of snowmobiling and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Name a town and there’s a good chance Patrick will have a story about it. Stop in and chat with him sometime!

Kevin Fleckenstein

Warranty Specialist | Manager | Sales

Since 1997, Kevin has been a valued member of the Mattress Mart family. As the customer service and warranty specialist, chances are that if you have a unique problem, Kevin may be the one helping you.
When not at Mattress Mart, Kevin enjoys the fruits (or vegetables) of the labor from his garden, golfing, spending as much time in the woods as possible (don’t bother asking about his favorite mushroom hunting spots!) and is an avid ping pong-er.
During his travels, Kevin has covered much of SW Michigan in his search for the hidden gems such as shops and restaurants that would typically fly under the radar. If you’re looking for a great recommendation, there’s nobody better to ask!

Larrs Morey

IT | Marketing | Web Manager | Sales

Larrs has been with Mattress Mart since 2002, and in that time has become a valuable members of the Mattress Mart family.

Larrs is the resident IT guy, web guy, marketing guy, and on most occasions you’ll find him on the floor, ready to help with some of the trickier questions regarding mattress specs. 

 

While not at work, Larrs enjoys a variety of activities, including, but not limited to: spending time with his wife and two children, playing with Jack the Dog, spoiling his pet chickens, wood carving, and much, much more.  

Guss Morey

Sales

Guss has been providing exemplary customer service, and interesting conversation, since 1999. If you’ve purchased a bed from us over the years, there’s a good chance it was from Guss.

When not at Mattress Mart, Guss enjoys spending time with his children and spoiling his grandchildren.  Among the many, many activities Guss enjoys are: making beautiful and one-of-a-kind barn quilts, turning bowls on his wood lathe, carving walking sticks, and making brooms with actual broom corn.

A huge fan of Futurama and Marilyn Monroe, beware that you’ll probably be late to any event should you bring either up!

Our company is a collective of amazing people striving to build delightful products.

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