Michael Hughes founded PlushBeds in 2007 in California. It was incorporated in 2015. It is one of the senior companies when it comes to making and selling boxed mattresses online. The corporation address is in Wilmington, Delaware, as it is with so many companies, but the management and manufacturing are in Santa Barbara, California.
In an interview with Joe Auer of review site Mattress Clarity, Hughes said he and his wife had trouble finding an environmentally friendly mattress in local stores, so they looked up mattresses online. Very few websites, like those of Tempur-Pedic and other established brands, were well done with good information (but high-priced). Lesser-known brands were inconsistent, unreliable, and not original.
They did find a latex mattress online. The company owner took the order on his cell phone. They liked the mattress. Considering the need for good online mattress sales, they worked with the manufacturer and started PlushBeds.
Besides mattresses, they also make pillows and sell other bedding: sheets, protectors, gel pads and wool comforters. They also sell adjustable beds, one model by Reverie (5D) and three by Leggett & Platt (S-Cape, Prodigy 2.0, Premier 2.0 Furniture Style).
First Latex, then Memory Foam
At first they used contract manufacturing. But the latex supply led to varying quality, so they decided to start making mattresses themselves with only one source for the latex. All of PlushBeds’ latex foam is supplied by ARPICO, a Sri Lankan corporation which has its own rubber plantations with over 5½ million trees. Their latex is also certified by GOLS as having no fillers, chemicals, etc.
The first mattresses by PlushBeds were latex mattresses. Today, those are the majority of their mattresses, with ten models in three collections plus a coil hybrid in the Natural Latex Mattresses category. Now they also have memory foam mattresses in their Memory Foam Mattresses category. There are two other categories, Sofa Bed Mattresses and RV Mattresses, with two memory foam models and one latex for sofas, and one polyurethane, two memory foam and one latex for RVs, still leaving latex in the majority.
PlushBeds has several certifications for their products: GreenGuard Gold, USDA Organic, Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Eco-Wool, Eco Institute (eco-INSTITUT), Control Union, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Rainforest Alliance, CertiPUR-US, Certified Organic Cotton, Arpico Certified Organic Latex, 100% Natural Joma Wool. Two of the last three are redundant certifications already covered by GOTS, GOLS.
Hughes stated that the most significant of PlushBeds’ certifications is the GreenGuard Gold, which he called, “the Mercedes of certifications when it comes to volatile organic compounds (VOCs).” PlushBeds lists several substances which are not in their mattresses:
All PlushBeds Mattresses Contain Zero:
PBDE Flame Retardants
And 10,000 other harmful chemicals
Materials used in PlushBeds mattresses include organic cotton, wool, and latex, polyurethane foam, memory foam, gel, spruce wood, and spring steel.
In the Latex Mattresses category, the comfort layers are Talalay latex. The three models in the Botanical Bliss Collection and the three in the Natural Bliss Collection have support cores of Dunlop latex. The support cores of the three Eco Bliss Collection “latex hybrid” models are high density polyurethane foam (PU) trade-named PlushFoam. The one Luxury Bliss model has encased pocket coils.
All latex in PlushBeds mattresses is vertically ventilated, whether Talalay or Dunlop, which increases airflow for cooling. There is no indication in descriptions or illustrations of vertical ventilation in their memory foam, nor in the PU support cores, nor in other PlushFoam layers, though this does not rule it out.
Three of the PlushBeds memory foam mattresses have an interior latex layer. This provides some bounce under the memory foam. A similar configuration is used in other mattress brands, such as Selectabed’s Fibro-Pedic and Soft-Pedic. The sleeper still experiences the pressure relief of the memory foam, but with better underlying support. This arrangement is better for persons with chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia.
The polyurethane foam and memory foam used by PlushBeds is made in the USA, avoiding the quality concerns of foams originating in Asia. They are certified by CertiPUR-US as well as GreenGuard as free from VOCs and harmful ingredients (see the list above).
All five models in the Memory Foam Mattresses category have polyurethane foam support cores. The density of PlushBeds’ PU support cores is 2½ lbs/ft3, which is notably heavier than the standard 1.8 lbs. in most other foam mattresses. This means much firmer mattresses overall, except as moderated by interior layers.
All but one of the memory foam mattresses have transition layers. Some are PlushFoam, some are latex. In each of these four models, one of the transition layers is an Air Flow Layer, which is convoluted on the bottom surface to let air flow to the side. It is not identical to the cut air channels in mattresses with the Airflow Transfer System by Selectabed, an option for Tri-Pedic models and a standard feature for TempFlow models and the Snuggle-Pedic Mattress, but it has the same purpose. This works best when side channeling is coupled with vertical ventilation, which is many times more efficient than relying on open-cell foams alone, which is demonstrated in this video.
The memory foam used in PlushBeds mattresses has a 4-lb. density. This is the same as in the Tri-Pedic by Selectabed and the Tempur-Cloud mattresses by Tempur-Pedic. This is heavier than much of the foam used in many mattresses made by recent start-up firms, which makes it more supportive and more durable. It is more pressure sensitive than the original memory foam (5-lbs.), which means faster response, both for initial give and for changing positions. It is also less heat sensitive, which means less heat accumulation.
Five of the PlushBeds memory foam mattresses, including one Sofa Beds Mattresses and one RV Mattresses, have infused gel in the top memory foam layer. The company cites both cooling and support as benefits of the gel.
Gel does cool initially by quickly absorbing heat, as you can tell by touching a gel pack which has sat out all day, but it does have its limits. At some point it cannot absorb more heat, unless there is an avenue for it to dissipate heat, such as effective airflow through the foam. The capacity for absorbing heat also depends on the initial temperature of the gel.
Gel itself provides semi-fluid support. At question is how much of this support is added by gel infused into foam, whether polyurethane, memory foam, or latex. This may be expected to be more effective with swirled liquid gel than with beads. Cooling may also be more effective with liquid gel infusion, since there is a path to conduct heat away from the sleeper.
There is also a question of how infused gel affects the durability of memory foam, especially with beads. According to Dr. Swartzburg, these may separate from the foam, causing it to break down sooner.
While the latex used by PlushBeds is imported from Sri Lanka, other biological materials originate in North America, including cotton. The cotton is organic, as certified by GOTS. This means no pesticide or herbicide residue, as well as no toxic dyes or bleaches in processing.
Cotton is used in cover fabrics, which are knit on PlushBeds mattresses. As can be seen in photos, this is a jacquard knit, which has a high 3-dimensional pattern. This makes it more breathable as well as more cushioning and more conformable.
Like the organic cotton, the wool in PlushBeds mattresses is organic. This means no chemicals in sheep dip or in processing. This is Eco-Wool from sheep raised on small farms meeting the same standards and certified wool from larger establishments. These small farms cannot afford the cost of the major certifications.
This is Joma wool, which is used as the fire barrier in the mattresses. It also controls temperature and moisture, since it wicks and holds a great volume of water for evaporation. This kind of wool is also a cushioning materials.
One mattress model by PlushBeds, the 12” Luxury Bliss Latex Mattress, has steel springs. These are individually wrapped pocket coils, used for their conformity. Coils have the advantages of being lighter and more breathable than foam. But they are springs, constantly pushing up, which means that this limits their pressure relief.
PlushBeds has an Orthopedic Foundation, available in 8” regular height or 5” low profile. This is a wooden slatted box frame made of spruce from North American forests and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council for responsible forestry.
Each of the Latex Mattresses models comes with a choice of firmness from four levels: Soft (19-21 ILD), Medium (24-26 ILD), Med-Firm (29-31 ILD), Extra Firm (34-36 ILD). In the other categories, each model has its own comfort/firmness level. However, these should not be confused. Two mattresses can have the same overall firmness, but have a different feel, depending on the composition and arrangement of the layers as well as the size, weight and body temperature of the sleepers. For instance, memory foam becomes softer as it warms up.
PlushBeds mattresses can be ordered directly from the company on their website. They are also available on Amazon. RV Mattresses are available through a number of RV dealerships.
Shipping and Warranties
All PlushBeds mattresses are roll packed for shipping. Michael Hughes claimed that their roll pack machinery was probably the second set in the United States. Mattresses are shipped by UPS to addresses in the 48 contiguous states and D.C.
PlushBeds mattresses come with a 100-night sleep trial and a 25-year warranty. The main catch is that for returns the owner has to find a box big enough for the mattress and take it out to the doorstep or curb for pickup by a contracted service.