McRoskey Airflex Mattresses
I'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.
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 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").
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.
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