Tag Archives: materials

Two-Sided Mattresses: The Legend, The Myth.

13 Nov

Two-Sided Shifman Mattress

Having been through the wrath of Superstorm Sandy, I found myself waiting in a 45 minute gas-line one unreasonably cold and dark Friday night. As I finally inched up to the pump, I was met with a police officer directing traffic. We made small talk and he asked where I worked. I told him “Shifman Mattress Company in Newark”.

He smiled and responded, “Ha! I was just talking to somebody about mattresses!” Then stopped and said “Ugh, I can’t remember what it was about… something about why mattresses aren’t made…”

“…with two sides?” I quickly replied.

“EXACTLY!” he exclaimed smiling and pointing at me. At this point, I swiftly took the opportunity to tell him that our mattresses were in fact, two-sided.

“Shifman. S-H-I-F-M-A-N… two-sided and handmade!” He thanked me and I pulled up to the pump.

I loved this experience for three reasons:

  1. The police officer was really friendly which made the long line not a huge waste of time.
  2. I was able to glorify the company I work for (hey, where’s my bonus?!?!).
  3. I realized this man was one out of millions who truly believed that two-sided mattresses were extinct!


Once upon a time, manufacturers built products to be better than their competitors. Sure, profit margins and retail price points were given their rightful attention, but competition to create a better product was first and foremost.

The same manufacturing principles went into mattresses as well.

But throughout the last forty years, most manufacturers changed their procedures: new machines replaced hands, solid wood-foundations succeeded boxsprings, and low density polyurethane foam dethroned all-natural cotton. And to top it off, mattresses became one-sided.

So how did manufacturers get away with gutting their mattresses of all the good stuff? Well, great marketing like this: “A MATTRESS YOU DON’T HAVE TO FLIP” suggesting that their one-sided mattress is so skillfully constructed that it outsmarts gravity.


But really, cheapening a mattress does great things for the corporation and terrible things for the customer. Corporations increase their profit per mattress (by charging more money for less quality) and inevitably sell more mattresses (selling a cheaper mattress with a shorter life-span requires more mattress replacements per consumer). Clearly, these types of corporations are more concerned with manufacturing mattresses for their shareholders rather than their customers.

Are all of these extinct?


They don’t make a two-sided mattress anymore. I’ve heard this a lot and it is simply false! The big brand names might not be making a flippable mattress, but there are several smaller companies that have maintained their commitment to manufacturing two-sided mattresses. Shifman’s two-sided mattresses, for instance, boast a firmness level and comfort life that lasts at least twice as long as its one-sided counterparts.

Why are two-sides better than one? Well, frankly, two is always better than one. Am I right? I mean, put that into context and it makes a lot of sense.

In the mattress industry,  many customers report experiencing minor sagging and body impressions after they’ve been sleeping on a new mattress for the first few weeks. This is a result of the mattress layers adjusting to the weight and shape of the customer’s body. Shifman recommends flipping the mattress every month side-to-side the first time and head-to-foot the next time for the first six months (and twice a year thereafter) so that the layers normalize as the mattress conforms to the individual’s body contours. A one-sided mattress completely restricts a customer from properly rotating their mattress which usually results in a saggy, worn-out mattress.

The truth of the matter is that too many manufacturers have cheapened their mattresses to make a better profit. You, as the consumer, need to decide what is ultimately better for you and your wallet. Our recommendation is that you invest in a two-sided mattress for the ultimate in comfort and long-lasting durability.


COTTON: The Superior Upholstery Material

27 Jun

In our modern society, we are often inundated with a series of national fads which seem to be less of a necessity and more of a trendy antic. Just recently, I stumbled upon a new product that helps keep people cool while they sleep. It’s a fan that literally clips to the foot of your bed and tucks in between your sheets to blow air onto your body.

Now aside from this techno-fad being a complete eye sore, there’s something about this product that gives me cold feet (no, not literally… wait, yes literally). This fan is merely a solution to a problem that could be entirely avoided if the mattress was made from breathable materials.

Enter Cotton: our knight in shining armor.

Cotton’s first introduction into mattress production was back in the early 18th century. Since then, cotton has been a staple of quality, resiliency and most importantly, comfort. What makes cotton a truly remarkable fill material is its breathability. The molecular structure of cotton allows air to permeate through it more efficiently than other upholstery materials. Because cotton is a natural fiber, there are small spaces between each fiber. In addition, cotton has a better absorption capacity than its synthetic counterparts which also helps with its breathability. Again, this is due to cotton’s biological makeup. According to chemists, cotton is a hydrophilic, meaning cotton naturally attracts water.

If you’re confused by all the bio-talk… think of it like this: there is a reason why your bath towels are made of cotton.

At any rate, in the same way that cotton’s molecular structure makes it breathable, other bedding materials can make you overheat at night. Memory foam, which is a type of polyurethane foam, has a closed cell structure which reduces airflow. The tighter the cell structure, the less air flows through the foam and the more you overheat.

The use of cotton has been traced as far back as 5000 BC. Natural cotton is not only versatile, it’s long lasting. Cotton is breathable and draws moisture away from you. Additionlly, it’s biodegradable and therefore good for the environment.

From gel to latex, from polyfoam to air, bedding manufacturers are always looking for the next best thing. But sacrificing old world techniques for new and seemingly improved technology does not always produce the best results. Endeavors like this lead to unhappy consumers. Unhappy consumers look for a quick fix. And that is why new fad products like mattress fans are created.

How To Choose The Right Mattress

8 Jun

No single type of mattress is right for everyone. Similar to the clothes we wear, a mattress fits everyone differently. In order to get the best night’s sleep, a variety of factors come into play such as the temperature of the room, your level of stress, the food you ate and what you did during the day. Yet, the mattress is certainly the first building block to getting a great night’s sleep.

So what’s the first step in choosing a mattress that’s right for you? RESEARCH! Thanks to our convenient 21st century lifestyle, research isn’t too taxing. Make a list of what you liked and didn’t like about your last mattress and start writing some mattress brands off. Boxspring vs. foundation, cotton vs. latex, king vs. queen: it always helps to know what you want before you shop. Also, read customer reviews. Not sure where to look? Check out some forums and visit the mattress brand’s facebook page. Customers are sometimes quite frank about their product reviews (especially if they had a bad experience). But that’s what you want, right? Honesty. While we’re on the subject of conducting internet research, I’d like to transition to my next step:

NO IMPULSE BUYS!: It’s so easy, right? There’s a seemingly perfect mattress staring you straight in the face and all you have to do is click a button and it’s yours. I’m here to tell you, to not click that button! It’s absolutely necessary to try the mattress out first before you buy it. Don’t fall victim to good marketing. Additionally, if you share a bed with a spouse, make sure to bring him/her along.  A mattress that might seem plush to you, might be firm to them. Save yourself the headache. Try out the mattress!

DON’T BE SHY!: For a lot of people, a mattress is a pretty big purchase (and it should be, you spend 1/3 of your life on it). Don’t be afraid to try out your favorite sleep positions on the floor sample. Not all of us sleep like little angels on our backs. Curl up, switch positions and make sure that shifting is comfortable. Sometimes a plush mattress can feel like a dream, until you decide to turn over and find that it’s not so easy to switch sides. Find something that supports your body and be happy about your purchase.

Ultimately, the best mattress for you is the one that feels most comfortable. Don’t let sales associates tell you what is best for you. Do the research, try out the mattress and be confident about your purchase. Afterall, an informed shopper is a happy buyer.

Recycle That Mattress!

8 May

We see it far too often – in our neighborhoods, sometimes on the sides of highways, and even in the woods… abandoned mattresses! Too big to bag, old mattresses often become a burden to people everywhere. And depending on their condition, discarded mattresses can be quite the eye sore. Sometimes mattresses are curbed for weeks before proper removal takes place and who knows what can become of those mattresses in the meantime: my immediate thought is a shelter for creepy crawlers.

But when you think more about it, the improper disposal of a mattress can also be dangerous to the environment and its local inhabitants. Small animals and children could be seriously injured by the innerspring or boxspring, and additionally, the mattress could become unsanitary fast.

According to Consumer Reports, the average mattress lasts about 8 years, but did you know that the average time for a mattress to decompose is anywhere from 80 to 100 years if not recycled? Scary, right? The good news is that recycling your mattress not only saves energy, but also reduces greenhouse gases, the use of natural resources and reduces waste.

Think ahead! When you’re shopping for your next mattress, pay attention to its ingredients. A mattress made with natural materials is far better for the environment than those made with synthetics (i.e. polyurethane foam). Look for mattresses made with real cotton, natural latex foam, wool and cashmere. Your mattress will not only last longer, but it will be eco-friendly, more supportive and most importantly, it will reduce land-fill waste!

Don’t despair! Below is a list of ideas/resources for proper mattress disposal!

  1. Call Your Township: Your township might have a list of resources already outlined regarding the disposal of an old mattress set. If they do, try to find out where they dispose the mattress. Ask some questions! Does the mattress get recyled, or does it end up in a landfill? See what your options are.
  2. Local Recycling Organizations: Do a quick search on the internet and research if there are local recycling organizations in your area. You might even be able to make some money! Check out this website http://www.freecycle.org/ which will support your search in finding the right organization for you.
  3.  Donate To Charity: Depending on the condition of your mattress, you might be able to donate it to charity or a nonprofit organization. If still in good condition, the organization might even come pick it up for free. Explore some of your options here: www.mattressdonation.com.
  4. Get Crafty: Do it yourself recycling never hurt anyone. By taking your old mattress apart, you can recycle each component. The steel innersprings and boxsprings could be recycled and therefore remelted and poured to create new steel parts. The wood in the foundation could be shredded into wood-chips. For a complete list of how mattress parts can be recyled and reused click here: http://www.sleepproducts.org/ispa-earth/uses-for-old-mattress-components/
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