Ok, we’ll let you in on a small semi-gross secret. Our master bedroom mattress was way way old. Hugh Hefner old. And it was a hand-me-down. In fact, John’s sister graciously donated it to us when we moved to Richmond three years ago (after decades of use with it herself). They say mattresses get stiffer with age and we can definitely vouch for that fact. Ours was as tough as a brick and about as comfortable as one too. But it certainly did the job over the past three years and we weren’t in any place to purchase a new one off the bat as we embarked on our extreme home makeover one room at a time. Paint, primer, other furnishings and accessories- even a kitchen remodel- came first. And every night we retreated to bed sore and tired and woke up more achy than the night before. Here are John and Burger demonstrating how not fun our old mattress was. Look at those sad faces.
But three glorious years later, the time finally came for us to bid a sweet we-won’t-miss-you-at-all farewell to our ancient mattress and welcome a new sleeping companion into our lives. Now we won’t go to bed with just anything these days, my obsession with all things eco made me yearn for a pure and organic mattress free of fireproofing chemicals and made from 100% natural materials that are just as good for the planet as they are for people.
After hours of googling I found a great little organic mattress comparison site, which led me straight to the arms of our new bedroom companion: the Organic Serenity Natural Dunlop Latex Mattress By Savvy Rest. It was the top ranked mattress and it was actually the most affordable one as well (other than the much lower rated and thinner one at the bottom of the page).
At $1999 for a queen mattress, it’s hardly a drop in the bucket. In fact it’s pricier than every piece of furniture in the entire house. But when you think about how much time you spend on a mattress, and how this baby is warrantied for a full 20 years, it really breaks down to pennies a day and the added fact that it’s so good for the planet and our bodies really was a selling point for us- even if it upped the price a bit. So after a few months of saving (we literally had a “mattress fund” in our savings account) our new bedmate arrived in three different boxes. And yes I did that squealing and clapping thing that I do when I’m excited.
Possibly one of the most amazing features of the Organic Serenity Mattress is that you get to customize the firmness. It’s made up of three three-inch layers of natural latex encased in a certified organic cotton & wool cover so each layer came in its own box (another added bonus is that it shipped from nearby Chrlottesvile, Virginia so it didn’t have to travel many miles to our door- hooray for buying “local”). Here’s one of the layers along with the organic cotton and wool cover:
The fun began about a week earlier when we got to personally select each layer’s density online during the ordering process (choosing between soft, medium, or firm) so we could create the perfect customized mattress just for us. You can even split each layer up the middle so if John liked a soft mattress and I liked a hard one, we could have chosen different latex densities on either side of the mattress for an individualized result. Since we both like a moderately firm mattress (not brick-firm like our former one, just not too soft since we’re back and belly sleepers) we chatted with one of the phone consultants and ended up going with one layer of “medium” followed by a second layer of “medium” and a layer of “soft.” And needless to say when those three layers arrived in their own boxes we couldn’t wait to put everything together. You know we like DIY projects around here! First we cleared out our old mattress (which we Freecycled by the way):
Then we followed the so-simple-Burger-could-do-it directions that came in one of the boxes. First we laid out the bottom part of the organic cotton & wool cover:
Then we took out the layer of natural latex marked “bottom, medium” and stuck it into the cover, wiggling it around like we were shaking out a rug until it was centered and even across the bottom of the cover. Even with just one 3″ layer of hole-riddled latex our bed was eons more comfortable than our old inner spring antique.
Then we placed the “middle, medium” layer of latex on top of the “bottom, medium” one and followed that with the “top, soft” layer, which you can see John adjusting below:
Once each layer was stacked evenly and aligned in the cover, it was time to bring in the top of the cover and zip it around all three pieces of latex to hold them in place for the long haul (20+ years according to the warranty).
John worked his way around the whole mattress, zipping as he went, and before we knew it we had a fully functioning new mattress to call home. And since each layer is 3″ thick plus there’s the quilted organic wool & cotton cover, our new mattress is a decadent 11″ thick (as opposed to our crochety old 6″ inner spring variety). Words can’t express how much we love our 2 year anniversary present to each other (cotton’s supposed to be the 2-year anniversary theme, and by golly the cover is actually pure organic cotton!). Look how good life is when you have a new mattress. You start posing like they do in those commercials with the wine glass on the bed:
So that’s the story of aching backs, researching, ordering, and assembling which resulted in sleeping like babies ever since (no more pinned featherbed required). Our actual anniversary isn’t until July 7th but we sure are glad we saved our pennies for something that we’ll appreciate for years (and years) to come. And speaking of the passage of time, look who was still hanging out on our new mattress hours after we assembled it and retreated to the den to watch some tube. Yup, Burger was sold from day one.
How about you guys. Are any of you in need of a new mattress or another household staple like a couch? Any wedding anniversaries coming up with cotton (or something else) on the agenda? Do tell.
Psst- Looking for an update on how we like our mattress? Check out this follow-up post where we detail how we feel about our big mattress switcheroo after a good amount of use.
SOOO excited for you! It looks marvelous darling – as do you in your model pose…Em would be proud :)
LOL!!! That first picture of Burger with John is hilarious – he looks so distraught and ashamed of the mattress. LOL. I’ve been checking out this exact same mattress to replace our current Sleep Number bed (which I despise!), so you’ll have to give us a status update after you’ve slept on it a few weeks.
I love it. The hubby and I are in the market for a new mattress too and with all the options available nowadays it can be daunting. I will certainly be looking into organic.
It’s actually our 2 year anniversary on Monday. We don’t go crazy for presents but sticking with the cotton theme I got him a sweatshirt from our alma mater. For our 1 year anniversay (paper) the deed to our house was our present to each other.
Sounds yummy! I just went through a similar deal a month ago. I had an old hand-me-down full size mattress that was ROCK.HARD. and sucked it up and dropped the $700 (not nearly as much as you guys, but you know) on a new Sealy Pillow-top queen size mattress. It is the definition of Heaven. Atleast to me. Before I didn’t want to get out of bed because I hadn’t gotten a good nights sleep, now I want to stay in it because it’s so comfortable!
Congrats on the new bed and the upcoming anniversary!! :)
Ohhhhh, I’m so jealous! My husband and I bought a new mattress just over two years ago, and we already need a new one! It’s awful! We can’t flip it, so we have indents on both sides of the bed where we lay… No good. I’m a belly sleeper, so I sleep with this super awkward arch in my back every night.
I love the idea of an organic mattress. I never would have thought about this had I not seen it here! So THANKS!! I can’t wait for him to get home to show him! two questions, though- How supportive is it and is it comparable to, say, a Temperpedic bed?
Thanks a bunch!
So glad you’re curious about our new bed. We can’t wait to do a follow up post about it after sleeping on it for a month or so. We’ve actually already been using it for over a week (it takes us a while to upload pics and write posts) and we’ve loved it so far. As for Jess’s question about how supportive it is, it’s completely customizable so while ours is pretty firm (due to the layer of “firm” and “medium” that we selected for two of the three layers) someone who wants something softer can do three layers of “soft” for a more sink-in effect. Plus you can even switch out layers if you want to customize the bed further when it arrives (there’s a shipping fee for that, but it would be well worth the perfect mattress that lasts 20 years and is eco friendly and organic to boot. Best sleep we’ve ever had!!!
Hooray for a new mattress!
My husband and I used to have an old couch with a smurf blue slip cover that never stayed in place. The couch was actually pretty comfy, but you couldn’t sit on it without messing up the slip cover, so it always looked like a huge sloppy mess. I think I tucked that thing in about 6 times a day. We finally upgraded to a new leather couch, which we both love. No more slip cover!
Love it! If we hadn’t just gotten a new mattress last year, we’d be all over it.
I’m pining for new sofas. Our couch and loveseat are my Value City Furniture/college furniture pieces. I got them in light beige, but one husband and two dogs later, it looks awful. I want to get a new one in a slightly darker tan to hide messes. Now, I just have to convince the hubs that we NEED a new set.
heather s. says
I have a pillow topped mattress that I love but when it is time to replace it I want to get something organic. I hope you do a follow-up post after sleeping on it for a few months to see how it holds up.
Funny! I posted about our 2nd (dating, not married YET) anniversary a couple days ago. And showed a picture of us laying on our bedroom floor!
That mattress looks great. We got a viscolastic mattress from Eric’s parents when we moved in together. They bought it for the guest bedroom at their beach house and then decided it was just too big (after literally one night of use) so… free (very expensive) mattress for us. Now. I hate it. I LOVE super hard brick-like beds. And this one is, I guess, medium-soft. But I think I’ll have to live with it, since it was free, new and great quality… right?
When I married my husband I also married his temperpedic matress. We are both athletes so they are supposed to be good for us, but the matress is so hard you cant even jump on the thing. It also wieghs a thousand and half pounds so I cant move it by myself or barely lift a corner up. I added a feather bed to the top to make it feel a little better. But with all that complaining aside, its a new couch we need. I wont go into much detail there except even a slip cover cant help this thing!
Delightful Dwelling says
I hope your mattress works out for you. It’s amazing the difference a new mattress can make. We had a hand me down mattress too that looked very similar to your old one when we got married. We bought a new one soon after, but it had to be replaced just 4 years later because it was sinking in the areas we slept. Now we have a Sleep Number, I looooove it, hubby not so much, but it works for now.
We considered a latex one, but the ones we found around us didn’t get very good reviews as far as holding up and avoiding “canoeing” where the bed leaves indentations where you sleep. I hadn’t seen the one you got though, it looks nicer. That’s neat that you could customize the firmness. Sweet Dreams!
my husband and I just celebrated two years in may and the in-laws gift to us was a new mattress! are you guys disappointed you missed the awkwardness of testing out mattresses in a store? ha! laying down on a bare mattress while talking to a sales guy is a bit weird.
love that you went organic though- we might consider it when we (hopefully!) upgrade to a king in the next house.
melissa @ blog.den-designstudio says
How appropriate that you do a bedroom related post today when your bedroom is also on ikeahacker.
I’ve owned the SULTAN ERFJORD from IKEA for about 2 years now and love, love, love it. It’s their top of the line latex mattress with a queen running $999. The best part is that it is 85% natural latex and the rest of the materials are also pretty darn eco-friendly (silk, eco-cotton and wool).
Oooh, how nice. G and I really need to get a new mattress at some point, but are waiting until we buy a new bed.
Our 2 year anniversary was in May, and for anniversaries we buy things for us rather than buying gifts for each other. This year we have plans to buy some new sheets and towels (I know, how exciting, but we want some more decadent ones) once we move to the coast.
Happy (almost) anniversary! We celebrated our 2nd on Tuesday. My parents bought us a beautiful vintage tablecloth to go with the cotton theme. It looks too cute! Like everyone else, I can’t wait to hear how your new mattress holds up. I’m very allergic to dust mites, and I’ve heard that a wool mattress cover really helps keep them away.
Ooh, the new mattress sounds awesome!! We just had our two-year anniversary about 2 weeks ago – congrats to you guys! We used a bunch of reward points to stay at a fancy, boutique hotel downtown that would have been WAY out of our price range otherwise – and you’ve got to check out the pool at this place – it’s crazy! http://itsgreattobehome.net/2009/06/09/the-joule-hotel-dallas/
Happy anniversary! Our 2nd is June 30. We’ve use my husband’s 12-year-old queen mattres and we’d love to upgrade to the Westin Heavenly Bed… I’ve even got two friends who work for Starwood, so we could get a 30% discount. But if we’re going to spend all that $$$, we’re waiting until we have a bigger place and can splurge on a king-size bed.
Did you train Burger to pull his ears back with embarrassment — that’s hysterical!
It’s crazy that a mattress can arrive in boxes! We need a new mattress too and we will be looking into this organic option, although the king size is a bit $$$. Did you have to purchase the foundation too?
Since we have a platform bed with wood slats we just needed the mattress, no foundation. Oh happy day. And as for Burger’s embarrassed expression, there are certain words that make his little ears go back (when we sweetly coo he gets all submissive and cute). Gotta love our little actor.
Hubby and I used to do the anniversary gifts but after kids it just wasn’t in the budget. For the past 4 years, we have chronicled our marriage in separate ‘anniversary journals’. We each write (hubby types) about the previous year: milestones, projects undertaken, kids, funny things said/done, trips, how much we appreciate the other, ANYTHING! Then we exchange them on our anniversary. It’s always fun to see who remembers what and look back through older entries. It makes us realize what marriage is really about for us. And it’s FREE!
Dana- Such a cute idea! We love it.
Jeannine- So good to hear that you’ve loved latex mattresses for years. We also love the zip off cover feature!
Jeannine in Cville says
When I first moved here and started seeing TV ads for The Savvy Sleeper, I thought “of course Charlottesville has its own organic mattress store.” I didn’t realize they had a wider audience.
I bought my first natural, latex core mattress years ago from Bloomingdale’s and was completely sold. One of the best features is being able to zip off the cover for cleaning.
Enjoy it, Youngsters!
FWIW, I’m trying to unload the custom sofa I had made a few years back so I can “upgrade” to a more casual look (probably Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams’ Alexa sofa…distributed in VA by two stores, one of which is in Cville). How ironic that in my 20s, I had something made that was too formal for my 30s!
Congrats on the new bed! Can’t wait to hear how it holds up.
Out of curiosity, did you have to get new bed linens in order to fit the new 11″ thickness?
Luckily our organic sheets from Target fit right over our newer & thicker mattress. They’re actually a better fit so they stay in place more now. Hope it helps!
Gorgeous! I wish there had been better/more organic options when we bought our bed 5 years ago, but I can’t complain about the comfort (we have a high density foam mattress and love it!). We were thinking about upgrading our smurf-blue couch, but after realizing it was still highly functional and comfortable (despite being only $400 to start with!), we found a beautiful slipcover that fixed the smurf problem for a fraction of the cost of a new couch. Yay!
I’m so happy for you guys! I remember a post you wrote and you mentioned you were saving up for a new organic mattress. I know how it is! We slept on a horrible spring mattress that was handed down to my husband even before we got married and we slept in it for two years before we replaced it. We saved up for ours for a long while as well and bought ourselves a Tempur-Pedic Rhapsody. Even our 2 cats loved the new bed. Frankly, it’s the most comfortable room at our place! When we vacation we miss our bed so much. We’re now saving for a new washer and that will probably be our one year anniversary present to each other.
I think I see a tiny-tiny smiley face at the bottom of your page.
looks wonderfully comfy! give us a little ‘user report’ in a coupe months, i’d love to know what you youngsters think!
Wow, what I great gift for each other. It looks super comfy and I love that its green! Burger is such a ham…way too cute :)
Hey J & S! Greetings from the Philly burbs. Love, love, love the new bed! Happy Anniversary! Our 5-year anniversary was May 29th. We have stuck with the traditional anniversary gifts since year one, and this year was no exception. We bought brand new bedroom furniture to signify the wood anniversary – and we love it! Do you guys plan to follow the traditional anniversary gifts by year?
PS – I am super excited for next year, year six is Candy!! Maybe a trip to Hershey Park is in our future?
We’re totally planning to loosely follow the traditional yearly anniversary gift materials as they’re suggested. For our first anniversary we actually got Young House Love business cards with cute little house photos and our website address on ’em (since the material was paper). They’ve certainly come in handy and it’s so easy to remember each anniversary that we celebrate based on the gift. They’re like a cheat sheet, so we’ll always remember which year we did what!
What a great find! Love that! Our mattress is pretty old too, and I didn’t want to splurge for a new one, so I just bought a mattress topper on eBay last week for a little over $100 that has 5 inches of topper, so I’m hoping it helps give us a couple more years on the bed and lots more comfort! I love the way your new bed is constructed. Looks like I need to start my own mattress savings fund as well!
I had no idea they even made matresses like this – how cool! Hope you guys are enjoying your new, up to date, comfy bed. :)
Hey great post! I love that you bought the mattress for your anniversary gift. My husband and I are coming up on two years in September, and our mattress (my old college bed) is coming up on 10 years (and it feels like it too). I think we might follow your idea and treat each other to a new mattress!
Looking forward to the update once you’ve had the bed for a while. And happy early anniversary!
Kristi W. says
Like Melissa (above), I was going to suggest the Ikea mattresses. They are really nice quality with natural ingredients and are really affordable (in case anyone else is shopping for a mattress right now). We have one and really like it.
ashley morgan says
Yay! I’m so glad you guys went eco! And thanks for the resource to those mattresses.
You paid $2k for a mattress that you didn’t test out first (or even see in person), you have to assemble yourself, and doesn’t have springs or a boxspring set? I don’t see the logic behind selecting the firmness of your layers either… how are you supposed to know what it feels like if you’re buying online?
The mattress industry is an evil and particularly tricky one, but I’m surprised you guys went this route with such an important purchase. There is always, always, always room for negotiation with mattresses, so you can get a good deal. We negotiated the cost of our Simmons king size from $1900 to $800, including box springs, shipping, 10 year warranty, and setup. We laid on it for a half hour in the store before we decided to buy. The downside is that it’s not organic, but we did our homework and are happy knowing we got a good quality mattress that will last at a great price.
Choosing a mattress is a really personal thing. While some people might value being able to roll around on it in a showroom, others might feel comfortable enough to use other means to find a mattress that works for them (especially if they’re looking for something specific like an organic mattress which can’t be found locally). In our case there were specialists we could call to talk about what we wanted from our mattress and how we slept (on our backs, bellies, etc) and they helped us to select the right layers for us. And thanks to the customizable nature of the natural latex, we knew going into it that if the layers we selected weren’t firm or soft enough we could change them out for 90 days, so we were confident that we’d end up with something amazingly comfortable for us (and we were right- we love our new mattress!).
We also mentioned that we knew going with something organic would put our anniversary purchase into a different price point, but that was something that really mattered to us so we totally believe that it was worth it! Just like we’re happy that you’re enjoying your Simmons king sized mattress (which has all the features that matter to you), we hope you can see why we’re happy to be enjoying our organic, chemical free, customizable new sleeping arrangement (which is better than we even imagined it would be)!
We celebrated our 3rd anniversary yesterday and while we don’t follow the year/materials guide, we did buy something for the house we can both enjoy: a gas grill! It has really reinvigorated our passion for cooking and the steak we had last night was AMAZING! I think we will definitely be going out to eat less which will make both of us happy!
the mattress looks awesome. I was a bit skeptical when I saw it arrived in 3 boxes (ikea has forever made me fear assembling furniture) but it looks seamless once you get it together!
I can’t wait until we can get a new mattress! Maybe next year…
As a sidenote…I was curious as to how you guys prioritize spending on purchases for your home. I’m sure some things (like the mattress!) automatically jump to the top of the list, but otherwise, do you have any tips on prioritizing? If you have an entire house that needs decorating help ;-), do you just pick any room or project as a starting point and then move on once you’re through with it?
Good question! The funny thing is that the mattress came waaay after most of our other purchases (sofas, paint, even a kitchen renovation). I think it’s pretty common for people to decorate and polish rooms that are used to entertain or even the kitchen (its the heart of the home) and time after time we’ve heard that the bedroom (since it’s so private and rarely seen when you entertain) is always the last thing to get done. Our advice would just be to rank the importance of the things that you need (since it’s so subjective). To John and I, fixing up & furnishing a bunch of rooms before upgrading the mattress seemed like it would give us more visual reward (which it did) but the physical reward of a new mattress is super nice too (no more aching backs!).
Sweet! What a perfect posting for today–the Hubs and I are anxiously awaiting the arrival of OUR new mattress today!
Similar to you and John, I have been sleeping on a hand-me-down for a loooong time (too long to admit, actually).
The Hubs slept on a futon, as a lot of single boys do.
So, hen we got married last November, we both voted for a real mattress, over the futon. Unfortunately that “real mattress” was mine. Oh, and did I mention it’s a CA King–so it’s way too HUGE for our cute little room?
And, when we moved into the house, we didn’t have a big enough moving vehicle, so we folded the mattress in half.
So, we’ve been enjoying a rock hard, taco-like mattress for the last 7 months.
Thank goodness we’d been saving for a bed for a long time, and FINALLY picked one out! WOO!!
We also tried your lovely Organic Latex mattress–unfortunately it was out of our savings range.
We settled on a fabulous Queen Sized Simmons, and are SO excited for the soft down-size.
Anyway, just wanted to share my excitement, and revel in yours with you!!
Here’s to a dreamy night’s sleep… jordan
Your new matress will make such a big difference! You will have to keep us updated on the amazing nights of sleep you get.
We actually ordered a Tempurpedic mattress on Overstock, and we have been really impressed with quality that we got.
Enjoy your new digs!
This is a great timely post as I’m also looking for a new mattress, and would prefer to go natural. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to latex(lame!)… so obviously this wouldn’t be a good choice. Did you find any good resources for organic cotton/wool mattresses in your initial research?
The same company that sells the mattress we snagged also sells wool ones that are chemical free and all-natural (and are also naturally dust-mite repellent thanks to the wool). Definitely worth checking out! Hope it helps.
I have to mention that memory foam mattress pads can rejuvenate mattresses that have lost their restful qualities. I had the need for a new mattress (but not the money for a new one), and many websites including eBay sells the Tempurpedic-clones in varying thicknesses and densities. These go right on top of a mattress, and with a traditional quilted mattress pad on top of that, I was good to go. Yes, they increase the thickness of the mattress so fitted sheets may be a problem. I got around that by putting a fitted sheet over the mattress, putting the memory foam mattress pad and quilted mattress pad on top of that and then covering the memory foam pad et. al with another fitted sheet. Didn’t have to buy new sheets.
I have no idea as to the contents of, nor environmental impact of memory foam. But I have never gotten such a comfy, restful sleep as with a memory foam mattress pad.
June 30th is our anniversary – 2 years!
We are going to FL and relaxing at the beach for a couple of days…
We want to upgrade to a king size bed but with a new home there are so many things to get before the bed. Next big purchase is a deck. We want to have it ready before the summer ends. We live in GA so that will probably be until the end of September!
A year ago we splurged on a Tempurpedic. Best money ever spent. We sleep like babies!
we are SO in need of a new mattress. i’m sending the url for your post to my hubby! thanks so much for the post!
Definitely needed this! I can’t wait to read the follow up post.
As our wedding gift to each other (we were married late last year) we set aside a chunk of change to buy ourselves our very first never-before-owned mattress. It was like ten Christmases in one the day we unrolled that sucker onto our bed frame. We actually found an amazing deal on memory foam (in firm) from Overstock. Gotta love that site!
I’m wondering, where are you finding your information regarding gifts on anniversaries? Paper for year one? Cotton for year two? I’ve never heard of that before!
John is actually the one who tells me the theme each year, but they’re ago-old traditions… like 20 years is gold or diamonds or something. But it starts slow with paper and cotton, etc.
I bet if you google “anniversary gifts by year” you’ll find a big list somewhere. Hope it helps!
Happy (almost!) Two Year Anniversary!! We follow the traditional gifts too. For our two year anniversary, we bought a Dutalier glider (gorgeous!!) for our baby’s nursery–slipcovered in cotton, of course. I still love that glider and we made sure to choose a glider that can transition out of the nursery and into the rest of the house when needed.
We celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary next week and the traditional gift is pottery. We went for the liberal definition of pottery and I chose a rug from Pottery Barn to go in our newly expanded family room. :)
Hi Sherry! I love that your new mattress is eco friendly. I hadn’t even thought of that being available, although it makes complete sense. Thanks for sharing!
My husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on 06/07 and since paper is the theme, we planted a tree in our backyard. It’s a smaller variety so we actually have the option to take it with us and replant it at a future home. Maybe next year we will upgrade our mattress to an eco friendly one as you did.
Congrats on your 2nd wedding anniversary!
There are also two types of anniversary lists – “traditional” and “modern”. . . if you don’t like the option for your anniversary year on one list, check out the other!
Check this out. . .
How exciting! My husband and I will be celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary in November. We currently have a full mattress. Mind you my husband is 6’3″ and his size 15 feet hang off the end of the bed! It is so very comfortable though…for me at least. ;0)
Great story!! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the new bed and Happy Anniversary :)
Thanks youngsters, we are in the market for a new mattress and now after this post I plan to look into this one.
daily decorator says
How brave to purchase a bed without a road test! I’m not sure I could do it. I have been known to make a big fool of myself and get into my sleeping position on various mattresses at the local bed store before I can make a decision. What I do love about yours is that it looks like you can easily take it apart and pack it if necessary.~Tracy