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He Said, She Said - Why We Rate Our Kingsdown Ultimate Pillowtop Mattress Three Stars
Written: May 1, 2004 (Updated Nov 5, 2011)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:well-designed and well-constructed
Cons:added expense of new bedding, poor workmanship, "pillow" perhaps too soft
The Bottom Line: After eighteen months, one of us likes this mattress and one doesn't. It's proving to be a very expensive experiment in bedding, an experiment that failed.
To tell the truth, we're of two minds about our Kingsdown Ultimate Pillowtop mattress around my house - it's one of those "He said - she said" situations. So we decided to get a neutral third party to interview us about the mattress, and who's better qualified than the critter who shares the mattress with us on cold nights? The following is a transcript of the interview conducted by our chocolate Lab (we've translated his woofs and whines into English for those of you who don't speak fluent canine)...
Mr. Dog: To tell the truth, I don't have any concept of time. How long have has this thing been around the house, anyway?
She said: Ummm, a year and a half, maybe?
He said: Yeah, that's about right. We bought it in November of 2002 when our last softsides waterbed finally bit the dust. Ahhh, the end of an era!
Mr. Dog: And what made you choose a - ta-da! - Kingsdown Ultimate Pillowtop, anyway?
She said: I was waking up every morning with an achy back, and I thought it might well be the waterbed - even if we had spent almost $400 on a top-quality mattress. I wanted a new mattress, and I wanted a good new mattress. Firm was one thing I was definitely looking for.
He said: We looked at all the top brands - Sealy, Simmons, Stearns and Foster - but this salesman convinced us that Kingsdown's technology was the best on the market. The shop had these videos showing how the mattress is designed to adjust to different sleep styles and different body shapes. He talked a good talk, about how it provides support whether you sleep on your back, your stomach, or on your side. And, of course, we "tried" it out in the store. Didn't take a nap on it, but compared it side-by-side with lots of others. It felt... well, it felt good.
She said: Yeah, and the mattress was "on sale," too. Little did we know that they're on sale about as often as some Oriental rug stores have "going-out-of-business" sales!
Mr. D: If you don't mind my asking, how much did you pay?
He: The Queen-size set - mattress and box springs - cost us more than $1170, delivered.
She: Too much, if you ask me.
Mr. D: You say you paid, "Too much." Why do you think so?
She: I don't care how much it cost, I still woke up with an achy back almost every morning. We figured it was just that I couldn't get used to a new mattress, but after several weeks, nothing had changed. As a matter of fact, I had to have back surgery after only six months of sleeping on that mattress.
He: Yep, that she did - I've got the medical bills to prove it.
She: The procedure stopped the back pain, but it's started to come back again. That's why I'm campaigning to move the pillowtop into the guest room and buy a new conventional mattress for the master.
Mr. D: Do you have back pain too, Daddy?
He: Nope, but I think I'm just lucky that way. To be truthful, I rather like this mattress, in spite of all the faults that it seems to have. It's comfortable - for me, at least - and that's pretty much what counts, right?
Mr. D: OK, so let me get this straight: You're going to take a mattress that you paid more than a grand for only a year and a half ago and stick it in the guest room?
She: You betcha, Red Ryder!
He: Hey, we spent a lot more than just $1200 on that bed! Since it's twice as thick as a conventional mattress, we had to buy all new linens and a new mattress pad, too - that was an extra couple of hundred bucks on top of the cost of the bed itself.
Mr. D: You had to buy all new bedding?
She: Yep. Everything but pillows.
He: Yeah, and since there's no standard thickness for a pillowtop, those "one size fits all" deep-pocket sheets don't ever fit quite right. Apparently, you have to special-order them. And worse, since the mattress is kind of "squishy," the sheets and pad keep slipping off. It drives me nuts to wake up in the middle of the night with the corner of a fitted sheet snugged over my head like a ski mask!
Mr. D: So, why'd you buy it in the first place?
She: It's very comfortable, especially when you first lie down on it. The pillowtop makes it both soft and firm, kind of the opposite of those Hostess Cupcakes: it's soft on the outside, but firm in the middle. And I really liked it in the store.
He: Sleeping with a pillowtop takes some getting used to, but I don't have any problems with it now. I remember the first few times I had one in a hotel - they're a little disconcerting at first, since you feel like you're sleeping in a sort of semi-cocoon. The mattress itself is very well-constructed, so you usually can't feel each other move at all unless there's a lot of thrashing.
She: Yeah, Mr. Dog, kind of like when you start chasing rabbits in your sleep!
Mr. D: Uh, sorry. Can't be helped. But back to the mattress - so it's well made?
She: It oughta be well-made, it weighs about a million pounds.
He: I should have known that the salesman was full of crap when he told us that the mattress never needed to be turned. It says right on the label to turn it once a month! And she's right, too - it weighs a ton. At least it has handles sewn into the sides.
She: It's not so much that it's heavy, but it's even more awkward than a "normal" mattress, so it takes two of us to turn it. I have no idea what it would be like to have to toss around a king-size!
He: But you asked if it was well made? One thing that really frosted me was that within about two weeks of getting the mattress home, the stitching was pulling out of some of the quilting on the pillowtop. Kinda makes you wonder if it's really all that well made. Well designed, yes, but well made? I'm not so certain.
Mr. D: OK, we're almost out of time, so let's sum up. What "bottom" line would each of you write for this mattress?
She: I don't like it. The pillowtop makes it too soft and squishy. Part of me is on the firm mattress and part of me is on the soft pillowtop. I'd rather have a mattress that was the same everywhere - supportive. I give it two stars.
He: I'm OK with it, but I can sleep on a board. What I don't like about it is the added expense of the new bedding and the sneaking suspicion that this mattress really isn't all that well made. I give it four stars
Mr. D: So there you have it - an average of three stars for the Kingsdown Ultimate Pillowtop. Any closing words from you two?
She: Hi, Mom!
We now return you to normal programming, where Labrador Retrievers don't talk...
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