Hi everyone, I am delighted to present a first for Legs Down – our first ever guest blogger. Here, friend and fellow caravanner David takes a look at a custom mattress designed for him by My Mellow – the same company that made our toppers, a review of which you can read HERE:
So I thought I’d go about finding our caravan (@ElvisTheElddis) a new mattress for the fixed bed… Having had “Elvis II” for over a year now, and over 10 trips away in him, I thought it was time to invest in a new mattress. The existing one was very badly dipped at one side, where the previous owners had used it and I was finding it felt a bit odd to sleep on. ‘Elvis’ is a 2003 Elddis 534 ‘Knightsbridge SE’ – and so the 13 year old mattress has seen better days.
Now I think I seem to be a bit of a “princess and the pea” when it comes to mattresses, and mine has to totally flat with no dips, bumps or lumps. I’m equally ‘quirky’, shall we say, about how level the caravan is, and have been known, just before bed, to dash out and re-adjust the jockey wheel and steadies if something doesn’t feel right… The other half, however, doesn’t seem to care and has the ability to sleep on a dime as they say, whereas I’m really fussy, and the so the dip at my side was starting to do my head in.
Now being a ‘frugal’ Yorkshireman, I tried my best to rectify the dip with various methods, and had even managed to get hold of a lovely, expensive memory foam mattress topper from a fellow caravanner, who gave it to us free of charge (what a star!) after it no longer fitted his new van. I cannot dispute how much comfier the mattress was with the new topper, but the dip was still there, I could still feel the dip, the topper just made it a comfier dip…. To try and rectify things I’d even resorted to placing ‘awning foam mats’ under my side of the bed, of various depths and in strategic locations in a vain attempt to try minimise the dip. It sort of worked, but was far from ideal…
So, the hunt began for a new mattress.
I searched various forums for reviews, had a nosey through my various caravan magazines for adverts (I get FOUR through the post every month!) I also had a nosey around Facebook groups and Twitter. There seemed to be plenty of people with toppers, raving about them, but not a lot out there with people having replaced their entire mattress.
I then stumbled upon a mattress topper review on the Legs Down blog (where this blog post is now being very kindly hosted) by a company called “MyMellow”. Now knowing Richard and Trevor, and seeing their previous frank reviews, I knew if they said they liked something, it ought to be pretty good. They’ve been caravanning for a good few years now, and both working at a college get decent chunk of holiday leave, of which they spend as much of that leave as they can caravanning, so compared to most they’ve spend hundreds of nights caravanning. They said they’d got these new toppers and they transformed their beds, and suggested I take a look at MyMellow for my mattress, as they knew they also made custom shaped mattresses too.
So, I headed over to the MyMellow website to take a look around. The site allows you to choose the basic shape of the mattress you need (standard, curved, cut off etc.) and then you just need four measurements (for a cut off corner bed like mine) and your choice of mattress overall depth.
You then get to choose how firm you want the mattress to be (not seen this on many other sites). The best part is you can click calculate at this point, before having to enter a load of personal information - so you can get an idea of cost beforehand. Nice.
The site is really well designed and, key for me, it worked really well on my iPhone too. As a web designer for a living, I get really frustrated with websites that don’t load correctly on my phone!
Now my original mattress in Elvis had a seam that ran top to bottom, a sort of hinge, allowing the mattress to fold in to two halves, and fold up easily as the bed frame lifts up, giving easier access to the under bed storage area. Some may not see this as an issue, or may not need the split, but I have to dive head first under the bed on each trip like some gurning geriatric gymnast in order to; 1) flick the water drain switch on the water heater, and 2) get the Wastemaster out, as that’s where it lives.
The MyMellow website didn’t have a section where I could request this though, so I got in touch via Twitter to ask if it was possible for them to make a mattress in this layout. Thankfully I got a quick response to my questions from Martin, via a friendly Direct Message, saying yes it was possible to make the mattress in this way, with a zip and in two sections – and for a small extra fee of just £30!! A certain other manufacturer, who I’ll not mention, wanted an extra £100 more to put a split in their mattress! Martin then also said they have a section on their site where you can upload a drawing of your own mattress, so that they can quote based on very specific requirements. Good.
I like a company that’s quick to respond on social media, and as I tend to spend most of my waking hours on either Facebook or Twitter, and so a quick reply from MyMellow was another big tick for me!
So was this a decision made? The price was right, they could make the mattress in the shape I wanted, they’re quick to reply on social media, their toppers got good reviews…what else was there?
Do I click the green purchase button…!?
I’m one of these people that ends up searching and searching before committing to something, to ensure what I get is just right, and after much hunting, and various quotes from various manufacturers (varying WILDLY I have to say!) could I actually commit to buying from MyMellow?
My finger hovered over the button… I thought I’d best do some digging first.
I thought to myself “just who are MyMellow? They may not have the experience of one of the more established brands” and “why risk something from a company that seemed to me to be a relative newcomer in the caravan mattress industry…?”
Or so I thought…!
Well, that’s the thing, a quick delve into Google revealed that MyMellow are a new brand created by parent company ‘J and A Foam’, who have actually been making mattresses, toppers and truck mattresses for over 40 years! I’d say that’s enough experience for me… It seems the MyMellow brand is a new and exclusive brand of mattresses and toppers created especially for the leisure vehicle industry, but also available to buy for home too.
Right, that was it, the decision was made! A long running family company, based up north, made in England, many years’ experience, swift delivery, and a good warranty, the mattress order was placed, and in time for my next trip away to TwitterCamp
I sent over my mattress dimensions to MyMellow, showing exactly where the fold needed to be, the length/width and depth and the firmness I wanted. I just had to wait for it to be custom made and then sent out via tracked courier.
A few days later the mattress arrived, and all bundled in to a sort of huge body shaped cardboard tube! OK it was heavy, but I could just about lift it, and I even managed to get it in to my car (a convertible Audi!) to take it home from my parents’ house, where it had been delivered.
Knowing that mattresses such as this, when they’ve been compressed for transport, need time to expand, I thought it best I brought my caravan home so that the new mattress could be put in place, and exchanged for the old one, allowing it to fully form its final shape. I was itching to try it out, but thought it best I wait and allow it to expand properly. One thing I forgot to mention, was the two free pillows that also come with the mattress, these also popped up and started growing as I opened up the packaging.
Oh and one other added bonus, no odd smell, as I know some foam mattresses can whiff a bit when new.
So a day later, it was time. The low autumn sun was streaming in through the window, perfect mattress testing conditions! I grabbed one of the free pillows and sat on the edge of the bed… Ooo… I shuffled back, threw down the pillow and laid down. Oooooooooooooh comfy!!! If I’d have had the time I’d have happily taken a power nap there and then. But I couldn’t, I had to take Elvis back to storage again, but I couldn’t wait to spend the night on it.
Things were looking good, the mattress felt great – firm but not so much so that it was uncomfortable, I like a firm mattress, but this seemed to almost mould itself to my shape. I rolled over on to my front, and noticed that there’s an odd short time as the mattress seems to re-contour itself to your shape. I’m one of these odd people that most of the time sleeps on my front, don’t ask me why, but I tend to spend a good while shuffling about till I get to feel just right. Front, side, back, side, and back again to being on my front again. Arm under pillow, arms by my side, shuffle shuffle shuffle. Drives my other half potty! This sort of foam mattress reshaping is something new to me, as my mattress at home is a very expensive Dunlopillo latex one that doesn’t react in this same way. I’ll get used to it I’m sure…
So I took the caravan back to storage, taking note that there wasn’t much alteration in nose weight (something to bear in mind, as the replacement mattress could be heavier OR lighter than your previous one) ready for my first trip away and my first test of the new mattress. Exciting.
A few days later it was time to go away on my first trip with the new mattress. I headed from Leeds down to Birmingham and with Elvis safely locked up and secure in the car park, I spent the day pounding the halls of the NEC Motorhome and Caravan show. In and out of caravans, awnings, motorhomes for six hours! Once back to the car park I then had to drive for half an hour before I pitched up at Kingsbury Water Park Camping and Caravan Club site. A quick pizza was scoffed before settling down with a bottled beer and the telly IN BED of course.
The mattress seemed equally as comfortable for early evening lounging as it did in my previous short test. It wasn’t long before it was time to retire. And after walking miles and a long 3 hour drive to Birmingham, I was ready for bed. As I’ve said previously I’m normally a shuffler in bed, before I get comfy, but this time I settled fairly swiftly into position and drifted off. No doubt dreaming of all those shiny new caravans that I couldn’t afford…
Now it’s not unusual for me to wake during the night when I’m away in the caravan, most often to use the loo, and this night was no exception. I did wake to the rain hammering on the roof of the ‘van. I was nice and cosy though, didn’t need the loo, and wasn’t too warm either (a concern of some foam mattresses, but wasn’t the case thankfully). So I quickly drifted back off to sleep again.
The next few days I spent down with friends at TwitterCamp in Devizes, and spent four more nights on the new mattress. I have to say I’m really pleased with it. I can often experience lower back pain when caravanning, usually associated with stretching wrongly, or when tightening jockey wheel clamp, and this trip was no exception, but I have to admit the mattress did seem to help and the pain seemed to get better quicker than it normally would. Not sure of the mattresses orthopaedic qualities but it’s certainly very comfy, the outer quilting is designed to dissipate heat too while providing a removable washable layer of protection too.
All in all, I’d give the new mattress a good 7 out of 10. Why not 10? Well the memory foam sort of re-shaping itself to your contours takes some getting used to, and if you sleep in the same position you may never notice this, but being a shuffle-bum like me, I did. I guess this may improve over time as the mattress is still very new and may still be relaxing a bit.
One final passing comment;
If I were to order again, knowing what I know and having slept on the new mattress, I may reconsider having the split / fold design. The seam is hidden, and if you go away as a couple you may never notice that the seam is there as you’d tend to stay on your own ‘section’ of the bed, however, as I holiday solo at times, and tend to end up laying diagonally in the bed at some stage during the night, I did notice a slight difference in feel underneath me. Not so much as it was uncomfortable, but I could tell the seam was there (did you read the bit about me being a bit princess and the pea…). So unless you absolutely have to have the seam/fold, or could live without it, then I’d order it as a single piece. Just my tip.
SO, if you’re considering a new mattress, be it for home, or for your caravan, motorhome, barge, truck, whatever, you’d be daft not to consider the team at MyMellow. As a bonus, I’ve been given a 10% discount code for anyone wishing to buy, just order on their website and use “nut10” without the quote marks, and this will give you 10% off your order!