In Marketplace Commentary

Actual "spooning" not included with mattress purchase.

I slept on a "bed-in-a-box" for 45 nights

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At first, the concept of buying a mattress online and having it shipped to my door – compressed in a box – seemed strange even though the "bed in a box" has become quite trendy in the past few years. I was accustomed to going to the bed store and laying on a dozen mattresses before picking one that felt the most comfortable.

The last time that I bought a mattress, however, I was disappointed with the bed after it was delivered to my house. I wasn't even sure it was the same bed I had lounged on in the showroom – it felt firmer – so I called and talked to the person who sold it to me. She told me that sometimes the beds on the floor are slightly softer than a mattress straight from the factory because so many customers "try them out."

That had never occurred to me, but it made sense, so I got a pillow top for the bed and moved on. But I also think this is why I was open to the concept of not going to a store to shop for a bed and when Spoon, a new bed-in-a-box mattress company headquartered in Milwaukee, offered to ship one to my house for a 100-night trial run I agreed.

A couple of days later, a 70-pound package of bed was left on my doorstep. I had to ask my son to help me carry the heavy, long box into the house. Then, with the help of my partner, we got the bed up the stairs and into our room. My first impression of the bed was that I thought the polka-dots were cute, but obviously that's superfluous to the sleeping experience.

We immediately laid down on the bed and thought it felt comfortable. A little on the firm side, but comfortable. We knew we had to sleep on it for a while before forming an opinion, and so we did. After about a week, we determined it was a really nice bed but still, it was a little too firm. Thus, I contacted the company and they offered to send me a pillow top for the bed, also made by Spoon.

"It's important to get a bed that's not too soft or too firm," says Spoon's CEO and founder, Herman Fisher. "It's a sweet spot."

Spoon – named after the practice of two people "spooning" in bed – includes CFO Brent Adam who was born and raised in Brew City and moved back a year ago. Fisher designed the mattress after working as an engineer for Sealy Mattresses.

The main concept behind Spoon mattresses is Fisher's "pillar technology." The pillars inside the mattress are made from a foam that's similar to the foam under railroad rails that softens vibrations for passengers. Fischer discovered this foam while working on another project and thought it would make a great product for a bed.

"Our strategically-placed pillars keep your spine in alignment and provide better sleep," says Adam. "The bed you sleep on the first night will feel like the same bed three years from now."

We've slept on the bed with the pillow-top for about 45 nights and I now think we've nestled into the "sweet spot" that Fisher spoke of. Both my partner and I have back issues, and neither of us have had any flair-ups and, after the adjustment and the pillow top, we find it as comfortable if not more comfortable than our former store-bought bed.

"Sleep is extremely important, but Spoon beds are more than just a place for sleeping," says Fisher.


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