A Bit of History…
Many years ago, near the dawn of time, I was a much younger me. I had a bunk bed (the top of which was rarely used for anything other than play) which I slept on until I was in 8th grade or so. For various reasons, I then moved all my stuff into our guest bedroom and began sleeping on my mother’s antique twin bed. The frame was nice, but nothing special (and the same could be said of the mattress). For the next 15 years or so, I had that same bed. It was tiny, and I beat the heck out of it. It somehow survived several moves, time at UT, and all the abuse inherent in said activities.
Finally, I decided, it was time for a change. Around 2005, I decided the time had come to upgrade. I started looking around and found a queen frame and mattress for less than $1k. At the time I was working in a restaurant at night and going to school during the day so $1k was a lot of money to me. I called the number in the paper (yes, back in the day we looked at the classified ads in the paper!) and set up a time to go look at beds. Looking back, what followed was a bit surreal (and possibly shady). I showed up at a warehouse off Broadway, just past Fountain City. I was told to come alone and at a specific time – I would only have half an hour to decide and pay. Once allowed into the warehouse, I was shown the frame in the ad (Queen, Cherry, Sleigh) as well as the mattress it came with. I could, however, upgrade both the frame and the mattress from the LARGE selection in the warehouse for more money. As I didn’t have a lot of money to work with, this was a bit of a useless option. Next did take a look at several other mattress options (one of which I did go with) before briefly looking at the other furniture on offer. Then I got to negotiate a bit and had them to deliver my mattress and frame to my apartment as part of the final asking price. I felt like I had just made the deal of a lifetime. On my way out, I saw someone else pulling up (alone) and waiting in their car for their allotted time to shop (I bet they didn’t get the deal I did!).
That bed and frame served me (and eventually my wife Anna) well for the next thirteen years.
Times change. You get older (and bigger) and things wear out. This happens with beds. You would think that people would spend a bit more time, money, and thought on their mattresses than we do – a third of your life is likely spent sleeping on one – and yet for 13 years I gave it little consideration. In the last year or so though, I’ve noticed my old mattress just was not cutting it anymore. Neither Anna or myself was sleeping comfortably at night anymore and we would awaken with back or neck pain. Also, Anna moves around a good bit at night so I would wake up groggy and feel like I hadn’t slept as much as I had. An added point, with two young children quality of sleep, really becomes important.
So we began checking out new mattresses. Being the connected individuals we are, we had seen the online ads for companies like Purple, Casper, Bear, DreamCloud, etc… Purple sounded neat, and the ads were funny. We discussed it endlessly, and also decided to upgrade the bed size as well. Many days, one of our two children ends up with us in bed during the early hours of the day. A little extra space is a good thing methinks.*^*
Amidst our bed research, we were also doing some home improvement. We had taken up the carpet and restored the hardwood floors in our living and dining rooms just before Christmas. Our plan was to our guest room next, followed by our spare bedroom. Both rooms had hideous carpets in them (one a 70’s shag, the other in Barney purple) and we wanted them gone. Also, we were planning a four-day vacation in Portland for our Anniversary.
Being the geniuses we are, we decided to pull the trigger on the new bed in the midst of all this. I had been keeping an eye on Craigslist for bed frames. I rarely buy anything off of Craigslist, but furniture can sometimes be found for an excellent deal. I happened to luck out in this case and find a king size solid wood bed frame for $100. The gentleman selling it was downsizing in a divorce and wanted the frame gone. It was an incredible deal and we jumped on it. As things worked out, he later gave us the matching dresser and mirror at no additional cost just to get it out of his house. This gave us a frame.*^*
And a bit of a problem.
We had to make a decision regarding whether we would go with a traditional mattress or one of the new mail order ones we were interested in. If we went traditional we would get a box spring and mattress and pay a good bit more. If we went online, we would either need to get a box spring or convert our new frame over to a platform. Somehow we decided we were carpenters and made a plan to build a platform. We took measurements out the wazoo and headed off to Lowe’s to buy a truckload of wood. A few days later, fun with power tools, and voila, we had built an overengineered platform for our new bed.*^*
We had also completely refinished the floors in our two bedrooms and had about two weeks to go before our vacation. It was now time to order the mattress.
Purple was the brand I favored, and my relentless pursuit of research and info had persuaded Anna this was the mattress for us. So once I had her talked into it I of course found a different mattress I liked better.
Our Dream Cloud Experience
I found DreamCloud while surfing through Facebook one day and clicking an ad. After reading through their site and reading reviews I headed to Youtube. Youtube has a lot of in-depth mattress reviews. I did some searching, and watching, and started working on convincing Anna this was now the way to go. Reluctantly, she finally agreed and on February 28, 2018, we placed the order for our new mattress. On March 14th my mother would arrive to watch our kids and on the 15th we would leave for Portland. No mention of any ongoing delays was made at the time fo purchase, but when the order was placed the update page said the mattress would ship on or by the 7th. No biggie, they ship via FedEx ground and still plenty of time involved. The plan was to move our old queen size bed into our guest bedroom for my mother to sleep on and we would be sleeping on our new hybrid mattress before we left for Portland.
Things did not work out as planned.
We moved our old frame into the guest room and set up our new frame in our bedroom. We put the old Queen mattress on top of our platform and figured we would manage for a week or so while we waited for our mattress to come.
March 7th rolls around and the mattress has not shipped. The update page though, shows a notice saying shipment has been delayed due to high volume (whatever that means). At this point, I got a bit concerned but hey, shipping delays happen.
A week goes by, and it’s time to go to Portland. We move the mattress back to the bed frame and off we go. While on vacation, I decide to get ahold of Dreamcloud and ask whats up. I’m told that the mattress should ship out by the end of the week. Anna and I are upset, but again, we are on vacation anyway so the delay doesn’t really affect us directly.
Another week goes by, and no mattress. Also, no communication from DreamCloud about why these delays keep coming up. Again, I get online and get a representative into a chat. I am told the mattress will ship on or by the 21st of March. On the 21st, I check my update page and see no delivery information. Chat room again, and this time I am told it will not ship until at least the 28th. At this point, I try to cancel the order, but the agent tells me they will give me a $100 rebate if I wait one more week – the mattress is coming but DreamCloud somehow lost a shipment. I agreed and wait another week.*^*
Again, no updates and no change after a week so I again get into a chat with DreamCloud. Shipping is still delayed, and it should be another week, The representative agreed to keep me in the loop via email. Anna and I discussed the situation, and the next day I cancelled our order. Full refund for the remaining amount cleared my account two days later. *^*
Throughout the experience with DreamCloud, I was thankful for the kind customer service representatives. They were nice throughout, and refunds came quickly and with no argument. That being said, I always had to be the one to initiate any communications – at no point did DreamCloud ever tell me there would be a delay directly. If DC had let us know upfront delivery would be a month plus out we would have been fine. Unfortunately, we were led to believe it would be quick shipping with little to no delay. As I write this (a month and a half after initial order placement), I have been reading Facebook comments for DC and see there are many others facing the same issues. Delivery delays continue to be an issue – people who ordered mattresses around the same time as us *still* have not gotten their mattresses. Plus, throughout all of this, we’ve been sleeping even more uncomfortable than when we started out.
Part of me is sad I did not get that mattress, but enough was enough.
The Purple Experience
Option number one having fallen apart, we went for option number two – Purple. Since our initial research, Purple had released a new lineup – their own hybrid mattresses. Hybrids combine individual pocketed coils with memory foam and in Purple‘s case their reactive gel. This makes for a cooler mattress combined with low motion transfer and more comfort. After a bit of debate, we decided to go with the Purple 2 over their original. It cost a bit more, but the benefits for us seemed worth it. I placed the order on April 3rd and crossed my fingers.
The afternoon of the next day I received the shipping confirmation and an approximate delivery range depending on delivery options. All of the new Purple mattresses come with, “White Glove,” delivery included – they weigh a lot, have no handles, and don’t come in a roll like their original mattress does – which included delivery as well as set up in your home by two guys. I don’t know about you, but I am always happy to have someone else do the heavy lifting without having to pay for it.
Within two days of ordering, I knew the exact date my mattress would arrive and could watch it’s progress via web updates – yay! Throughout the whole process, Purple kept me up to date on the status of my mattress as well as the shipping and progress of the pillow I got as part of the deal. Yay!
At this point, everything was left in the hands of Purple‘s shipping folks – PurpleManna.
Our mattress shipped from Kenner, Louisiana to Knoxville, TN via truck. On Wednesday about 3 pm, I called the local delivery agent for PurpleManna, Pinnacle Direct. Previous emails from Purple had made me aware that I should get a call by 5 pm the day before delivery to confirm my delivery time. Since I was working that day and I knew I would be unable to take the call when it came I decided to be proactive. The guy on the phone informed me he did the delivery schedules in the afternoon and didn’t know my delivery time yet (keep in mind, I called at 3 pm – in the afternoon). I let him know I worked in the restaurant business and would not be available when he called later, but that I would be around the house all day on the delivery date and just to leave me a message letting me know the expected time.
Five hours later, I get off work and see a voicemail left at 7 pm with a callback request. I obliged and found out my delivery would be between 10 and 2 – no biggie. I did have to laugh at getting contacted by five with a delivery time, but again, no biggie.
Thursday morning, April 12th, Anna and I hustled our way through the morning routine of getting the kids off to daycare and a few quick errands completed. I worked on some online work, and Anna did a bit of housework. At 11, I get a call from the delivery guy letting us know they are on their way. Happy times!
I got a bit nervous when they drove up the hill. The driver tried to back into our driveway (a precarious bit of driving as we live on a hill and our driveway angles up steeply where it enters the road which is itself steep) – and nearly took out our mailbox. I do not mean bump, tap, or nudge. I thought he was going to take the post and the mailbox entire out with the back end of his truck. Then he killed the engine. Twice. And at one point, I thought he was going to just leave the truck in the middle of the road (blocking it diagonally) and just unload there. He finally got it running and just parked next to my driveway. Two young guys hopped out, one looking like he just hit the gym and the other looking like a good ole boy. I got a bit nervous, but it’s just a mattress delivery, right? (Also, pondering whether either of them has a commercial driver’s license). I showed the guys where they were going to be taking the bed (upstairs, bedroom) and got to listen to them grumble about the low overhang on our stairs (its a bitch, but doable – keep in mind, I got the ginormous solid bed frame up there). At this point, I goofed. I should have followed them out to the truck to observe and handle the unpackaging and unloading. I did not (perhaps that white glove thing misled me?). A few minutes later, the two guys came in with my new mattress folded in half with two bungees and took it upstairs. I could hear them worrying about stepping on the platform and possibly breaking things. At this point, one of them asked me if he could use the bathroom so he could wash his hands and not leave handprints on the new mattress.
White glove indeed.
Anna and I shared a grin or two at the humor of the situation.
A minute or two later the guys hurried down and handed us paperwork to sign off on. We went up to check things out first. Anna immediately noticed an issue. There was a tear in the top of the mattress cover. Looked to me like someone had cut it with a knife opening the packaging… And there was a nice black handprint on the side of the mattress… *^*
We pointed these things out and were given two options – refuse delivery and they would take the mattress back with them. Option 2, keep the mattress and contact Purple for a replacement. We went with option two since we were done with sleeping on the old mattress. Also, when the tear was pointed out one of the delivery guys mentioned he hadn’t seen it because of his poor eyesight – this from the driver.
The guys left (not sure if they destroyed any of the neighborhood on the way) and I contacted Purple via phone. I spoke with a lovely lady named Ginni who got my information, apologized, and asked for pictures of the damage. I obliged (as well as mentioned my mattress also was delivered with leaves and foliage stuck to it from having been set on the ground outside at some point. Again, she was awesome and apologized. Photos sent, my claim went off to their warranty department.
I was warned it could be a few days before I got a response. In the interim, I headed off to pick up my eldest from day-care and take him over to visit his grandparents. Before I got there, my phone chimed with a response from Purple. Further explanations of what had happened and the damage incurred, and I had a new mattress cover headed my way. No pain involved. Notes made about the shipping company.
We love the new bed. It’s firm but comfortable. Super supportive. Much bigger, and fairly heavy though. Getting the mattress protector on was not fun. That said, we won’t be taking it off anytime soon. We will hold on to the new mattress cover that is coming in event of future for a later use. Overall Purple was awesome throughout (I even ordered a second pillow since Anna loved and stole the first one) although I do take issue with the local delivery service PurpleManna contracted out to do the final delivery. It was definitely not what I expected from the term, “White Glove Delivery.”
Anyways, I hope that helps if anyone is interested in either bed. Please follow the links above if you are interested in a Purple bed, you will get a free mattress protector with your purchase and I think I get pixie dust or something.
On a side note, their pillow is pretty awesome too. Flatter and heavier (10lbs) than I would expect, but when paired with another pillow it basically cured Anna’s neck pain!