We got a new mattress!


Once Chancelot made her way to NYC, one of the first things we did was get a new mattress. Partially because the idea of sleeping on someone else’s bed grosses me out, and partly because because the unsealed dinghy davits poured water into the aft cabin each time it rained, soaking the mattress. We went back and forth on what we wanted to do for a while. Do we spend the money on a custom mattress made for the space or just get foam and cut it ourselves?

Once we decided on the foam route, the next question was what kind? All my research was pointing to a latex mattress. Still recovering from the initial expense of buying the boat, I was hesitant to shell out a lot of money for something that I wasn’t sure we’d like. So we gave it a try by getting an Ikea Latex Foam mattress. I am really glad we didn’t go the expensive route because we hated it. It was way too soft for us and we would wake up terribly sore every morning. Despite this, it took us a year and a half to do anything about it.

Maybe it was the fact that my pregnant self couldn’t handle the pain any longer, but I was determined to find a better solution. That is when I discovered The Foam Factory. They sell every type of foam you could imagine at very reasonable prices. When I initially reached out they sent me a few different samples, but it is so difficult to tell what a mattress is going to feel like from a 2″ x 2″ sample. Jason and I prefer a really firm mattress, so we took a gamble and went with the Lux High Quality Foam at a 5 inch thickness. The woman I was emailing with couldn’t really give me any recommendations or real feedback except that the Lux HQ would be “really firm at 5 inches.” Not exactly helpful. My thought was I’d rather have it too firm and have to put some sort of topper on it over having something too soft.

After my initial quote, I was set to have them cut the mattress for me so all the edges would be smooth cuts. I templated out the top of the mattress and the bottom, and then sent it over to them. Once they received it they revised their quote – quite significantly. A $250 quote had turned into $750. Despite talking to them multiple times, they didn’t quite understand what I needed. They thought I needed two different mattresses instead of angled cuts on a single mattress to match my hull. They also insisted that I pay by check as it was a custom order. This really pissed me off as I was initially told I could just call in my card once they received my templates. In today’s digital age, sending a check is very inconvenient and would have delayed me getting my mattress by at least 2 weeks. In the end I just had them send me a rectangular piece of foam that I would cut into the proper shape along with my templates as I was not confident they would cut the mattress properly.

The foam arrived from The Foam Factory folded up and plastic wrapped.
The foam arrived folded up and plastic wrapped.

The foam arrived shrink wrapped, without any shipping notification. I only knew it arrived after calling them to ask when it would ship as my last communication with them said they would follow up with my shipping information. It also arrived with a big spot of dirt on the foam. The idea of dealing with their terrible customer service was not appealing to me so I just sucked it up and began cutting the foam into shape.

The foam unwrapped, complete with dirt mark.

I used an electric carving knife to cut into shape and it worked relatively well. I didn’t get a super smooth edge, but once it was covered you couldn’t even tell. To keep the foam protected I bought a waterproof 5-inch sofa bed cover to cover the entire piece of foam – top, bottom and sides. I had intended to adjust the fit to better hug my custom shaped mattress, but the zipper goes all the way around the foam that I can’t really alter it without major adjustments. I just decided to tuck in the loose bits and it has worked just fine.

The first night testing out the new mattress, both Jason and I had slept better than we had in a very long time. Its definitely very firm, and likely too firm for a lot of people. I ended up buying a mattress topper to soften it up just a bit and it is working perfectly. When we replace the mattress in our v-berth, we’ll likely go with the foam one level softer for a more crowd pleasing option.

Overall, we’re really happy with the product we purchased (great quality), but their customer service could really use improvement and a step into the modern age.


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  1. Congratulations on finally solving your mattress problem! We did something very similar – very firm foam with a waterproof cover and a soft topper which we’ll probably replace yearly, as it gets sort of gross. PS – A check? Gimme a break. 🙄

  2. I stepped into your blog post (House Hunters: The NYC Marina Edition) looking for a leave-in Marina in NYC.
    As that post was fairly old, I am under the impression that you are still leaving on board, aren’t you? If so, which marina have you chosen then?