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The Case for Upgrading Your Mattress Right Now

Why waking up atop this handcrafted memory-foam bed will change your quarantine (and post-quarantine) life.

stearns  foster hepburn reserve mattress
Laurel J. Benedum

It goes without saying that life in the age of COVID-19 has made us notably “nest-focused.” And while I’ve always been a firm believer in the importance of being intentional with your surroundings, the notion has become amplified in my new, closed-in world. When you’re hunkered down at home, it’s only natural to rethink the spaces you’re confined to for all of your everyday activities. Whether it’s a wholesale revamping or a simple decluttering, making the most of your happy space is key for staying sane amid the anxiety right now.

So I’ve been taking on a multitude of therapeutic home tasks—such as making the bed religiously each morning and keeping my coffee table styled—but a feeling of unease still followed my every move in my 900-square-foot world. And I couldn’t help but wonder if part of that lockdown stress stemmed from mediocre sleep. It was, of course, never my intent to still be settling in every night with the mattress I had bought during senior year of college, and yet this particular upgrade unfailingly ended up on the back burner time and again. Eventually the creaky, worn-out bed I was tossing and turning on became unbearable—it was time for a new mattress, and this one would be an investment. A luxury mattress is often considered a bragging right, as more and more people focus on wellness at home. I was ready to be one of those people.

stearns  foster mattress making
Master craftsmen add each layer by hand in the Stearns & Foster manufacturing plant.
Jared Leeds

With many stores in Manhattan still closed for the foreseeable future, testing mattresses in person wasn’t going to be in the cards—but neither was shaking my fixation. So I took a trusted friend’s recommendation and inquired with Stearns & Foster to see if I could have a mattress made and shipped to my apartment. Much to my surprise—and sleep-deprived delight!—this was a breeze. Each mattress is handmade, layer by layer, in one of the company’s U.S. plants, so I was told that the lead time would be longer than usual, and that they could only deliver curbside, but my dreams of restful sleep were at least on their way to coming true.

stearns  foster mattress making
Each label is hand-signed by the expert who made it and includes the state of origin.
Jared Leeds

After going through all of the options with one of their brand experts, I opted for the top-of-the-line Hepburn series. (I’m a self-confessed Audrey aficionado, so the name was definitely a selling point!) But with cooling vents, HD gel memory foam, and Intercoil technology, this one fit the bill of everything both my boyfriend and I could want in a mattress. Of course, the regal blue hand-tufted upholstery and copper accents also made my design-obsessed heart skip a beat. About a month after my first call, I got the call to schedule a delivery window for that week, and I could hardly contain my excitement. It turned out that mine had been crafted in my home state of North Carolina, so it felt like happy fate.

stearns  foster mattress review
The author’s puppy, Teddy, tests out the new mattress.
Laurel J. Benedum

To my amateur eye, this pillow-top is vastly different from what I had before—but in the best way. The gel memory foam seemed to counterbalance the cushiness, and I no longer felt as if I was sinking into my bed. I had never experienced the feeling of softness and support simultaneously. My puppy was clearly sold as well, and he instantly fell asleep, belly-up, before I could even put the sheets on. And there is hardly any transfer of movement, which is great for sleeping with said puppy, who likes to alternate cuddling sides throughout the night.

Fast-forward to several weeks in with this magical mattress and—though I may still take an occasional dose of melatonin—I’ve never slept better. And that’s been a quarantine game changer for me.

Stearns & Foster
The Reserve Collection Mattress
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