Sleep and I have had a tricky relationship for a number of years – I even wrote it a breakup letter back when I was awake ALL FREAKING NIGHT breastfeeding a 4-month-old Martha. So when I was invited to the Dreams factory by Mumsnet, to help develop two new mattresses tailored to parents, I had to get involved. I mean I may as well be comfortable when I’m laying in bed with a wriggly child or a brain that won’t shut down, right?
The Dreams Factory Tour
I got up at an ungodly hour, after a terrible night’s sleep (the irony) and drove for about 3 hours to look around the Dreams factory, chat to the marketing team and product development team, then work with other bloggers and Mumsnetters to build a couple of mattresses. I didn’t really know what to expect, I mean mattresses are either springs or foam with some heavy duty fabric to hold it all together, right? Some come rolled, some come – well – mattress shaped, you get them in different sizes for different beds. Sorted.
First of all, the Dreams factory still feels like a local cottage industry; the staff are so hands-on with the building of the mattresses and if you’re expecting a factory filled with machines doing everything from the filling to the stitching, then think again! What struck me was that it feels like a really happy community, and many of the staff there have been with Dreams for over a decade. I’ve never been happy enough in a company to stay even half of that time!
Dreams have 5 main types of mattress, but even then you can include variations for treatments and layers that can make your product allergen-free, breathable, stain-resistant. The list goes on.
Building a Mattress
I love a firm mattress, and when we blind tested several, I was always in the group preferring the hotel-grade super firm pocket spring varieties, so I was in the group developing the firmer of the two mattresses, while a second group developed the medium firmness one.
As a parent, I want to know that my children are safe to sleep in our bed, so I didn’t want any nasty chemicals that they could inhale, any allergens irritating Toby’s eczema, or any rolling in towards one another and risking suffocation.
The Dreams Mumsnet Kindred mattress ticks all of those boxes:
- Natural cotton & wool layers for breathability and moisture control
- Natural alpaca & bamboo layers with antibacterial properties
- 3000 individual pocket springs to provide superior support
- Anti-Allergy; Treated with Fresche® an environmentally friendly treatment
Mumsnet Kindred Mattress in Use
Honestly? It’s changed my life.
I know, I know, bold statement, but it’s true. I had a nasty car crash in 2009, two pregnancies which saw me suffer SPD/PGO, then two babies who I breastfed for a total of 21 months. Sleep and comfort have often eluded me, while neck and back pains have become a standard part of my life. No more.
A mattress can’t stop Toby’s 3am screams about needing a wee or losing his favourite teddy, nor can it stop Martha’s sudden fear of EVERYTHING and need for cuddles in the night for reassurance. What it can do though, is ensure that when I do have the chance to sleep I’m actually comfortable and in a good position, meaning that when I wake up again I am no longer in pain and feeling like I have the body of an 80-year-old.
Phil and I had thought that our 2-year-old cheap mattress was just fine, and that back and neck discomfort was just due to pillows, or being up a lot, or ‘one of those things’. We were so convinced in fact, that we turned down the Dreams offer of free mattress recycling and decided to keep hold of our previous one in case we didn’t like the Kindred. That was a pointless endeavour.
The Cost of Sleep
I had always considered an expensive mattress a luxury that would be worthwhile enough to indulge in, so for the sake of a few hundred quid I had punished myself to years of pain and poor sleep. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not wealthy people and a £899+ mattress (depending on size) is no drop in the ocean for our bank balance, but considering that you are meant to replace your mattress every 8 years, a round £1000 equates to roughly 34p per night/17p per person if you’re a couple.
34p per night for 8 years of comfort? Pop that into a piggy bank each day and you’ll have saved for the next one by the time it’s due.
This mattress is a bit of a beast, and very heavy, so make sure you’ve got someone to help you turn it and be thankful it doesn’t need flipping over! I think the repeated ‘Mumsnet’ all over it is a bit much, but that’s covered by a sheet anyway so doesn’t really matter.
The turrets in the top caused some differences of opinion when we were designing the Kindred mattress, however due to the layering we had chosen they were required, and again they’re not visible once your sheet is on anyway.
It does look like a luxury mattress, and most importantly, it feels like one too and that’s the most important part. Personally, I will never skimp on mattresses again, and have started putting my pennies to one side for when we all need new ones, by which point the children will be 12 and 10. That doesn’t make me want to cry even a bit, although maybe the little horrors will actually sleep through the night by then…
** I was provided with a Dreams Mumsnet Kindred mattress in exchange for my honest review. All words and opinions are my own. **