May 1, 2005

McRoskey Airflex Mattresses

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McCroskey Airflex MattressI'll preface our coverage of McRoskey Airflex mattresses and the McRoskey company by being the first to admit that we've shopped for a lot of mattresses in our time. We started out with a double mattress of indeterminate age on a platform; we remember it as very comfortable but just a bit small for two. Even the young and newly married.

ADDED May 25, 2017 I hadn't checked in years, but it appears that McRoskey has improved its product line — and is getting rave reviews at Yelp. Prices are up there.

ADDED 09/15/10: From the McRoskey website, it appears that McRoskey is is no longer making its mattresses the same way. The mattresses now have coil springs and fiber filling. 'Tis sad for those of us who loved the original mattresses. See customer discussions at Yelp.

I don't know about anyone else, but I find it difficult to judge the comfort of a mattress simply by laying on it for a few minutes, particularly in a store lined with gazillions of beds, each puffier, more glamorous and more dizzyingly expensive than the next. It seemed that our judgment in those early days of what was "expensive" had to be adjusted as we purchased a new king-size mattress. Surprisingly, months later, we realized it was not so comfortable. (Years later, we were told that many mattress stores offer the same mattresses under different brands; apparently there are only so many mattress manufacturers and models.) At any rate, since then, we've had:

  • a mattress with lumbar support that seemed less comfortable only months later (and interesting if you care to sleep on your stomach).
  • an answer-to-everything mattress built with the coils tied together lengthwise only; the floating-on-air sensation disappeared once the coils spread a bit too wide, leaving us with a lack of reasonable support.
  • I then opined that motels seemed always to have very hard mattresses — and yet afforded a great dead-to-the-world sleep — and so I instructed my husband to buy "the hardest mattress you can find". It was hard, alright. While we finally had the support we were lacking, a very hard mattress can be like breaking in new, stiff shoes. So much for that.

With no real answer but wishing to see an end to the endless "breaking in the bed" cycle, I asked for "just any bed you can find" — hoping that the local membership store would chance somehow to pre-select the perfect bed for us. This one was definitely better than the earlier hard-as-bricks mattress but, after that initial relief, we again found ourselves in a discussion about feeling not so great; after trying to sort out what was "wrong" with us, we finally realized that neither of us were getting decent sleep and that it just might be the mattress. As it turns out, it was true.

And so, having been through at least six beds in twenty years (I might have missed one or two), we searched late-night infomercials and the Web for a good bed. Almost opted for a NASA-foam type of mattress, but just as I was researching the possible toxicity of the foam (please do your own research, and note that I was later told that foam mattresses are just plain hot in warm weather), we came across McRoskey Airflex mattresses.

McRoskey Mattresses

McRoskey does not fool around. Contact them for information and they mail you not only an extremely high-quality beautifully printed brochure but a videotape illuminating McRoskey's manufacturing procedure, materials, 100+ year history, etc. The company is still run by the family. (Who knew that sleeping on synthetic outer-mattress coverings wasn't so great for you?) These people know beds. It sounded like "beds made properly the old fashioned way" without cutting corners, and so we were delighted to find that San Francisco-based McRoskey had a store on Los Angeles' Robertson Boulevard (what I call "Designer Row").

McCrosky's Los Angeles showroom Off we went to what turned out to be a gorgeous showroom (see the thumbnail image from the McRoskey website). We were greeted not by a slick super-salesman eager to sell us anything, but rather by a smartly professional, suitably fashionable — and, above all, courteous and knowledgeable — salesman who queried what we knew about the Airflex mattress, filled in from there, and invited us simply to try the beds.

To be honest, the first thing I noticed was the excellent feather pillow. It's been some years since my last feather pillow experience, but it was precisely this: feathers parting like the seas, taking any padding effect with them, and the random feather or few sticking into my face. Not much better, regular foam pillows give only so much and can leave one's head propped in some uncomfortable position all night long. (Let's not forget to mention that foam also may be petrochemical-based; there's a healthful sleep for you!) Contrast this white goose down pillow: sink into it and it "gives" gently, then holds, giving a wonderfully soft, cushioning effect that yet provides support. Sleep on your side? It holds. Don't want part of the pillow next to your face? Just poke it; it moves and stays put. So my first reaction to the mattress was to declare aloud: "This is my pillow." (Yes, the salesman did make it happen, albeit graciously with a new pillow.)

Then the beds. Interestingly, instead of the zillions of beds one finds in most mattress stores, McRoskey has only a few. As I recall, there are four mattresses (extra gentle through hard) and three box springs … and these are real box springs, not the spring-less wooden boxes one normally encounters as "box springs" nowadays (which, if you think about it, essentially give you a mattress on a platform). As we were opting for the extra gentle mattress, we tried it on two different box springs, only to be surprised at the huge difference in feel. Apparently this is how it's supposed to be. I should point out that McRoskey also manufactures the box springs, including the coils.

At any rate, we chose our mattress and were told it would be delivered in two weeks — only to be telephoned by the warehouse unit, who wanted to deliver it in a week. The result? After all these years and all those mattresses, I have to say that this one gives a very deep and restful sleep, probably the best we've encountered. In fact, for the first several weeks, we felt as if the various "kinks" we may have built up — especially from sitting at computers for long hours — simply unkink on their own. That has to be good. As well, I think the lack of rubberized or petrochemical materials in the mattress covering and pillows have allowed us to breathe better. In short, the mattress is even better than we thought it would be.

Price? McRoskey Airflex mattresses are not cheap; be prepared to pay. (Be also prepared to be treated nicely.) You'll also find that, in contrast with today's usual decorated-cake look, McRoskey mattresses look like, well, mattresses.

As to the McRoskey store, they've done us the favor of collecting beautiful items to go with the mattress sets. Personally, I love a set of sheets that has been marked down to $465.00 U.S. Dollars. Those, and the cashmere throws, are too elegant for words.

[One last thing: if you visit the McRoskey website using the Opera browser instead of Internet Explorer, the menus don't appear in the blue menu bar. Use this link instead.]

ADDED 09/15/10: From the McRoskey website, it appears that McRoskey is is no longer making its mattresses the same way. The mattresses now have coil springs and fiber filling. 'Tis sad for those of us who loved the original mattresses. See customer discussions at Yelp.

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66 Comments for "McRoskey Airflex Mattresses"

  1. Allise says:

    We are about ready to lay on the McRoskey beds this weekend.
    — We will make the trip from Reno.
    Last weekend we were in Folsom trying out the European Sleep Design (Berkeley Ergonomics) beds. We found these beds to be sketchily made (like something we could make ourselves in the garage \'shop\'). They all seemed comfortable enough. And I\'ve never met a bed I didn\'t like except for a few motel 6\'s…

    We were alarmed –at how the special fabric they use for the sack-like \"cover\" that contains the innards was fraying apart– !! from the holes made stitching over the edge binding tapes. Sad.
    — We mentioned it and the owners told us no one had ever complained about it. I said, in my unique smartarsey way, that they couldn\'t be saying that anymore \'cause they were hearing about it now!

    In spite of our misgivings, we placed an order totalling over 7,000 dollars. We got home, thought the better of it, and cancelled. When we got home we delved into the complaints about the post-purchase disconnect in their customer service. We noted a pattern of this, not just the rare one. We began to be fearful they wouldn\'t let us cancel (less than 24 hrs later, but on a sunday) given the horror stories, and they did keep us hanging for hours and hours before giving us the courtesy of a call regarding our desire to cancel. The fine print of the contract stated clearly that there could be no replacement of the mattress cover (a sack with zipper). What \'sold\' us? We also decided on an Adjustable base slat system from Europe –to go with this calking (two really, for the split calking twins). It was so cool. But we could see that our bedframe would look terrible with all that contraption under it. Our bedframe: It\'s a delicate metal floating barge of a sleigh bed. A bedskirt would ruin the effect. So that helped us cancel too, even though we are So Tired of bed shopping…
    And so, in doing the research we are clear we are not buying from the big S. mattress manufacturers, and we have been looking for weeks at the spouting natural bed choices out of Canada and the US and even from the EU, which are largely unavailable here anyway. But we saw the lovely things they sleep on, in say, Germany.

    Enter McRoskey:
    We had been contemplating the Royal Pedic and the Hasten beds. We will try a Hasten next month on a trip to Seattle. It was great to read the comment above about Hasten customer service. We have read that kind of thing about them on other websites.
    So far, the Royal Pedic people seem top notch, and we have tried the \'all latex 7 zone\'Royal Pedic in a Scandia Down shop here in Reno. It\'s nice.
    — But like I said, I\'ve never met a bed I didn\'t like.
    We sleep in a full size, and now, with the chihuahua, we need the calking. Since beginning this hunt I\'m coming to the conclusion that my insomnia may have something to do with our mattress (we have had only 2 in 25 years of marriage, the first one we found outside a small mattress co. in Seattle when we were students !!
    That old thing
    is now at the family cabin.
    Our full is now in the guest room, while our metal floating sleigh beds awaits the new mattress….
    And waits.
    And waits.
    Like I was saying: ENTER MCROSKEY
    — In talking by telephone with Jason, a sales guy at McRoskey SanFran sunday/yesterday…
    Jason mentioned that if you don\'t need an adjustable bed for medical reasons, don\'t get one. Sleeping flat is the way to go.
    — My husband snores a bit and I have a light problem with the gastro-reflux if I eat too late and have wine. So we thought, if we get the adjustable bed, that\'d be good. We\'re not getting any younger.
    I MUST SAY IT WAS/IS REFRESHING to have a salesperson steer us away from an expensive mistake. I have tried a wedge before, and my back pain was extreme from sleeping on that incline.
    Jason mentioned the McRoskey beds, for the most part, are a \'softer\' product than the Royal Pedic. And that sounded good. Because we did like the conforming nature of all the beds in the European Sleep Design line.

    There are a few other reasons we didn\'t buy the European Sleep Design (after doing all the paper work and essentially having the order placed). It was so hard to MAKE the bed. The foundation is slats for all the beds. And so you have to \'tuck\' the sheets into this miniscule lip where your finger tips meet the horrible slats where rubber bits hold the slats fast to the frame (poorly padded, by the way, below the slats, where it mimics the traditional type of boxspring. Now, you won\'t believe this, but I love making my bed up. It\'s like an expression of love and an artistic adventure for me. I would\'ve HATED making up this bed. In the middle of the night, Saturday to Sunday, after \'buying\' this ESDesign product, I lamented that fact aloud. I couldn\'t sleep a wink thinking of the mistake we had made.
    I WANT A \"REAL\" BED. With a boxsring that is beautifully upholstered and the mattress \'divan\' that is also well made and lovely in every way. I was delighted to read the McRoskey website where it says that they check all the stitching over and over again. That about sold me. Plus, WE LOVE OLD THINGS like a company that\'s been around for ever. We\'re archaeologists. Probably why we are so anal to boot.

    So, off to SanFran.
    Can\'t wait.
    Can\'t wait.
    Can\'t wait.

    Comment posted on 2/23/2009 @ 8:37 pm
  2. Diane Vigil says:

    Excellent research. Do let us know how it goes!

    Comment posted on 2/23/2009 @ 8:50 pm
  3. Allise says:

    Oh, and a note to P.Benzler, Our mattress is a Kingsdown mattress, made some 6 years ago. Purchased at the Ethan Alan store here in Reno.
    We did in fact recently get on the new models at Ethan, and tried the duet. We preferred another model, but we were not too impressed with the change to the no-flip mattress. — We keep hearing that this change is a way to save money and have you re-purchasing mattresses sooner –. Even the Macys people admitted that they believed this to be the case.
    Kingsdown has a good reputation, and Ethan Alan has very good customer service, and I'm glad you found a great bed for yourself! Of all the beds we have been checking out, we did like one of these beds and considered it our back-up choice for quite a while.

    Comment posted on 2/24/2009 @ 8:45 am
  4. Allise says:

    I was just reading the Yelp reviews of McRoskey beds.
    I note that they are resistant to change.
    No latex.
    No organic cotton.
    Poly fibers, which I\'m neutral on.

    I don\'t even require these things, but they are behind the times. Mattresses for the 21st century? I may be an archaeologist, and love old things, BUT, I can\'t do archaeology w/out DNA and Radiocarbon.

    Let\'s get w/it??

    The Royal Pedic makes these options possible. Organic Cotton (cost tons more). Latex from Belgium (affordable!).

    I\'m leaning Royal Pedic. Just \'cause they are\'nt living in the past. I may well go for the regular line (non-organic), But Heck, they ARE forward thinking.

    Comment posted on 2/25/2009 @ 5:13 pm
  5. Diane Vigil says:

    Just a note: you don't need to add backslashes before apostrophes.

    Comment posted on 2/25/2009 @ 5:34 pm
  6. Allise says:

    Hi Diane
    I guess the software is doing this. I'm not. The /backslash /thing is just happening after I post what looks fine to me. Oh well, I'm sorry.

    I got an email from Berkeley Ergonomics complaining about me complaining. In spite of my directly contacting them –I didn't hear back from them about the maufacturing issues regarding the sewn cover of this mattress and other issues. Until I Yelped. Uneasy about this missive from them, I have softened my review on Yelp Sacramento/

    I questioned Berkeley Ergonomics by email instantly about the adjustable slat system we ordered. The website of the German manufacturer of this adjustable bed states clearly that the Legra slat system does not work well with a coil core bed. The bed we ordered was in fact a coil core bed. –We lost faith in our retail store (ESDesign) at this point too.
    –The German company, Rowa, makes a different slat system for the coil core bed, wider slats that sit flatter. I have still heard nothing from Berkeley Ergomomic regarding this matter. The German company did repond! Right away! Rowa told me by email that the other (more appropriate for us) slat system was not available in the United States.

    Comment posted on 2/26/2009 @ 8:19 am
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  8. Wayne says:


    Could you provide the website for Rowa that says that ESD coil core mattresses cannot go on their slat frame. I have considered their beds and they really push the slat foundation so I don't want to make a mistake. Thanks!

    Comment posted on 4/6/2010 @ 6:01 pm
  9. sim says:

    This has been a helpful discussion on the Airflex, but i don't see amny recent comments. Has the Airflex quality/materials changed since? How are the buyer experiences about confort and relaibility today?

    Comment posted on 8/28/2010 @ 8:31 pm
  10. Diane Vigil says:

    ADDED 09/15/10: From the McRoskey website, it appears that McRoskey is is no longer making its mattresses the same way. The mattresses now have coil springs and fiber filling. 'Tis sad for those of us who loved the original mattresses. See customer discussions at Yelp.

    Comment posted on 9/16/2010 @ 5:45 am
  11. Dee E says:

    Hello Folks,

    I am suffering from one of those new-fangled "mattresses" made of wonder foams, with restful bamboo images monochromed onto its marshmallow puff top.

    Slept on a futon for decades with no problems. Shifted to the least expensive ultra firm commercial mattress in the late 90s with no problems. In '09, I thought I was treating myself to a mattress that I thought would outlast me, and it may, but for different reasons. I'm shy of 60 but I'm too young to feel this bad after a night's sleep.

    While I was heartened to read through your comments and was ready to make a rest of my life (take that both ways) investment, I was disappointed to read that they are no longer making the mattress the winning way. Does anyone know if they returned to their senses? Has anyone had one of those newer model mattresses for a couple of years and wish to comment?

    Saw yelp comments on the link that you furnished but that's just not enough info for me.

    I no longer live on the west coast and I hope the news will be good.

    Thank you.

    Comment posted on 3/16/2013 @ 7:14 am
  12. Mimi says:

    Been saving for a while to buy the famous McRosKEY AIRFLEX MATTRESS, just like my mom's did, to learn sadly they do not make it anymore…. so very disappointing!!! But here's the good news, since my dad is stationed in Germany, he got me the great ROWA firm mattress and we are soooooooooooooooooooooo very pleased!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment posted on 1/28/2015 @ 7:05 pm
  13. Kaytea P. says:

    Hi Diane, thank you for your glowing review of McRoskey mattresses. We are passionate about life-changing sleep, and use materials and techniques that will ensure our customers' long-term comfort.

    I would love to invite you and your readers to come take a tour of the McRoskey Mattress factory in San Francisco. On the tour, you can learn about all the unique craftsmanship and materials that make a McRoskey a McRoskey.

    Again, thank you for the kudos!
    Kaytea Petro, Marketing Manager

    Comment posted on 6/9/2017 @ 4:16 pm
  14. Diane Vigil says:

    Hi Kaytea — thank you so much for the invitation. We are in the Reno area now, but hope others take advantage of your kind offer.

    Comment posted on 6/9/2017 @ 9:44 pm
  15. Belinda says:

    I'm interested in the comments about Berkeley Ergonomics mattresses.

    In comment #6 by Allise she writes about the slatted base:

    "I questioned Berkeley Ergonomics about the adjustable slat system. The website of the German manufacturer of this adjustable bed states clearly that the Legra slat system does not work well with a coil core bed".

    Am I understanding correctly that the Berkeley Ergonomics coil mattresses are not compatible with the slatted bases they sell? Is the system Berkeley Ergonomics sells by Legra? If someone could clarify it would be much appreciated.

    Not sure if everyone knows, but the Berkeley Ergonomics coil mattresses are NOT "all natural", nor are they "organic mattresses". Apparently the material that covers all the coils is synthetic Polypropylene, the latex they use is not organic, and the cover/shell of the mattress is not an "organic cover" either.

    Comment posted on 7/21/2017 @ 12:03 pm
  16. Diane Vigil says:

    Hi Belinda,

    To be honest, I have no idea. We don't work for McRoskey (we bought a bed from them years ago). I think contacting McRoskey and possibly the German company. Thanks for the information, though.

    Comment posted on 7/21/2017 @ 12:14 pm

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