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Shifman vs. Stearns and Foster Mattress.

Mike writes:

Hi Pete,

Thanks for taking the time to write and answer so many questions.  
I agree with your commentary on the mattress retail industry–it seems like you are one of the only honest brokers out there.  
My wife and I have spent dozens of hours reading online and in stores, and I’m still not sure of “the facts”.  
From research we know we want a very firm mattress without a pillowtop.  
I’ve liked the Stearns and Foster. 
We’ve also looked at Shifman, as a family member owns and has liked this brand.  
Can you comment on the comparison between a high end Shifman and  S&F?  
I have gotten the Shifman pitch on quality, materials, craftsmanship, durability.
What is your assessment of this?  
I have also read quite a few negative user reviews on S&F, as a brand (not per model) a low rating on
Consumer Reports–based on your experience, is there a concern here?  
I did notice that S&F offers a longer warranty than Shifman.
Maybe this says something by itself, not sure.  
Any comments appreciated, we are having a very hard time making a decision.
Thanks, Mike
Hi Mike,
The Stearns & Foster had been one of the best one the market….considered the Cadillac of the industry for a very long time, until recently…when they were purchased by Tempurpedic. Now, each of their models are loaded with memory foam and are not worth buying.
Shifman Is well made, but tends to be over priced.
It’s important to point out that all mattresses are hand made…a selling point in the Shifman story.
Consumer Reports is a publication we all turn to when making a big purchase.
Normally, you find a grid, comparing the performance of individual models of whatever it is you’re buying…showing features and benefits of those items.
However, their mattress edition is a joke.
In a  previous CR mattress issue, they said that they found the mattress industry to be much to complex for them to understand. As a consequence, they offered no recommendations.
They must have encountered some flack over it, because 6 months later, they published another report, in which they made recommendations based on interviews they conducted with 100 people in Denver.
Since then, they’ve been testing mattresses using out-dated machinery that is designed to test resistance to pressure….which you will find in their current reports.
However, memory foam is a temperature sensitive product, which is being used extensively….especially in name brand mattresses.
Without applying the equivalent of body heat to their testing, their conclusions have been and continue to be,
All Wrong.
When you go shopping, salespeople are pushing comfort and softness. This accounts for the great majority of sales…because they are easy to sell.
Americans are easily talked into indulging their sense of luxury.
Luxurious feeling mattresses lose their shape quickly, hence all the negative reviews.
The firmer models tend to hold up better. And models not using memory foam, hold up even better.
DO NOT buy by warranty. Those, too, are a joke.
Over the last decade, mattresses have been made more and more cheaply, by and large.
The best way to compensate for the ever increasing lack of real quality, is to create the illusion of quality…which they’ve done by extending the length of the warranty.
You see a 25 year warranty and you naturally assume it will last that long. It won’t.

I have an alternative choice for you, Mike

If you plan on spending good money on a bad or questionable quality mattress, you might consider spending that same money on a high quality mattress, like the one my wife and I sleep on, at home.
That mattress is The Natura of Canada Greenspring Ultra Plush.
The individually pocketed coils are made of double tempered steel.
The upholstery is Natural Talalay Latex…and contains NO Memory Foam.
It provides the firm support you need and the comfortable sleeping surface your wife wants.
Ours is now more than 4.5 years old and still, in like new condition…and we’re large people.
Despite a having myriad of back problems, I sleep and wake with no back pain.
Here is a link to that mattress:


This mattress comes with white glove delivery, which includes removal of your old mattress.
Delivery is free and there’s no sales tax.
Keeping your mattress clean and dry will increase longevity.
Use our Organic Cotton Waterproof Mattress Protector. 

Thanks, Pete

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