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Real Bed Mattress Review (2020)

Last updated on April 7, 2020

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The Real Bed is an option if you want a highly natural mattress. How did it perform in our testing?

Short on time? Click here to jump down to the review summary

Note: The Real Bed is a 'bed in a box' made by 160-year-old mattress company Charles P. Rogers.

If you’d prefer to watch rather than read, check out our full Real Bed mattress video review.

Table of Contents

Nobody does more in-depth mattress reviews than GoodBed — which means there's a lot of information here! Use the links in this table of contents to quickly jump to the sections of this review that interest you most.

Summary Overview of GoodBed's findings and conclusions about this product
Materials & Construction Mattress Type, Layers, Cover
Comfort & Feel Ratings Softness, Cushioning Depth, Memory Feel, Bounce
Back Support + Pressure Relief Ratings By sleeper weight and sleep position
Feature Ratings Motion Isolation, Temperature, Edge Support, Ease of Repositioning, Natural vs Chemicals, Adjustable Base Compatibility
Price, Value & Longevity Cost, Discounts, Durability, Overall Value
Other Factors to Consider Delivery, Returns, Warranty
Bottom Line Who is the best/worst match for this mattress?

Summary: The Real Bed Mattress

Charles P. Rogers is the traditional mattress company behind this bed-in-a-box mattress. Making mattresses since 1855, this company has a long and respected reputation and history in the industry, and with the Real Bed, aims to bring high-quality materials and manufacturing to a shipped-straight-to-you product. In our opinion, they have largely succeeded.

If the use of natural materials and minimizing harmful chemicals/odors is a priority for you, the Real Bed certainly excelled in our tests. It's made with a combination of 100% natural latex from real rubber trees; natural Australian wool, organic cotton, and a steel-spring support core. The mattress is held together by functional tufting (threads that travel through the mattress) rather than with chemical glues. Most mattresses, when initially unpacked, emit some level of 'new mattress smell' but with the Real Bed, we noticed next to none of that. Real Bed has a nice page on its site with info about its materials and sourcing.

The Real Bed measures about 12" tall. An available option is a 3" add-on, called the Real Bed Topper, which can sit on top of the mattress, adding some additional softness and cushioning. In this review, we'll be taking a look at the Real Bed mattress on its own, but also with the added topper, which in our view does change up its comfort level and support characteristics depending on the type of sleeper.

In our "Fit" evaluations, which evaluate a mattress's suitability in terms of back support and pressure relief for different types of sleepers and sleeping positions, the Real Bed proved a good match for most back and stomach sleepers in a wide range of weights. With the added topper, we felt it would suit most side sleepers well. So your choice of topper or no topper will partly depend, in our opinion, on your predominant sleeping position, as well as your preferences around how much softness and cushioning you prefer -- whether you like to feel hugged or cradled by a mattress as opposed to more of a floating-on-top feeling.

We also evaluated the mattress and its optional topper for edge support, motion isolation and other features, and both performed well, with a notable exception: If you plan to use the Real Bed with its topper on a adjustable base, the topper just isn't well suited; it shifts and bunched up in our tests (see images further below). Note that the Real Bed on its own, without the topper, performed extremely well in this respect.

Our one area of potential concern is maneuverability. The queen size version of the Real Bed tips the scales at 140 pounds. While delivery is free, that will only get the mattress to your door. Hauling it up stairs and down hallways is going to be a two-person job. While probably not a deal-breaker, it's something you'll want to be prepared for if the Real Bed meets your other fit, feel, and feature needs.

Read on for our detailed report and be sure to check out the video to see this mattress in action as we put it through our tests.

GoodBed's Take – Who is the Best Match for a Real Bed Mattress?

BEST if you:

  • Are primarily a back or stomach sleeper
  • Don't want to feel a partner's movements
  • Value natural materials and low chemicals
  • Prefer a mattress with some bounce

NOT IDEAL if you:

  • Are a side sleeper (get the optional topper)
  • Have acute pressure-relief needs
  • Prefer a slow, melting into the bed feeling


Comfort & Feel

These are the "preference-based characteristics" of a mattress. No classification here is better or worse – they are strictly a matter of your personal preference.

Softness Level - Real Bed
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
4 Medium Firm
Softness Level - with Topper
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
6 Medium Soft
Cushioning Depth - Real Bed
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
2 Shallow cushioning
Cushioning Depth - With Topper
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
4 Slightly shallower than average cushioning
Memory Feel
(1=None, 9=most)
1 No memory feel
Bounce
(1=None, 9=Most)
8 Lots of bounce

 

Back Support (by Sleeper Type)

No mattress will provide equally good spinal alignment (a.k.a., back support) for every sleeper. Here's what to expect in terms of spinal alignment on this mattress – by sleeper weight and sleep position.

Real Bed

Weight Range Back Sleepers Side Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Lighter <150 lb 8 7 10
Average 150 to 200 lb 10 7 10
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 10 8 9
Heavier >250 lb 9 9 8


 Real Bed with Topper

Weight Range Back Sleepers Side Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Lighter <150 lb 9 9 7
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 9 6
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 8 9 6
Heavier >250 lb 8 9 5

 

Pressure Relief (by Sleeper Type)

The pressure relief offered by a mattress – especially important for side sleepers – will vary based on a sleeper's weight and body shape. Here's how we size up the pressure relief capabilities of this mattress.

Real Bed

Weight Range Typical Curves Extra Curvy
Lighter <150 lb 6 5
Average 150 to 200 lb 7 6
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 7 6
Heavier >250 lb 7 6


Real Bed with Topper

Weight Range Typical Curves Extra Curvy
Lighter <150 lb 9 9
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 8
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 8 7
Heavier >250 lb 7 6

 

Other Features

These are the "priority-based characteristics" of a mattress. Ratings here indicate where this mattress has strengths or weaknesses – however the importance of these features will depend entirely on your personal priorities.

Motion Isolation

8  - Real Bed

9 - with Topper

Very good

Stays 'Cool'

8 Very good
Edge Support

9 - Real Bed

8 - with Topper

Excellent and very good
Ease of Repositioning

10 - Real Bed

9 - with Topper

Excellent
Green Features 9 Excellent
Adjustable Base Compatibility

9- Real Bed

7 - with Topper

Better without the topper
Overall Value 9 Excellent

 

Key Facts

Mattress Type

All-Natural Latex over Pocketed Coils

Price

Check today's prices

Delivery

Free delivery

Return Policy

100-day trial, full refund

Warranty

10-years prorated. Indentation coverage: 1.5"+

Country of Manufacture

United States

Thickness

12 inches

Weight (Queen)

140 pounds


Materials & Construction

Overall we classify the Real Bed as an "All-Natural Latex over Pocketed Coil" construction type. It is about 12″ thick and comprised of 3 layers (listed below from top to bottom) plus the cover:
  •  3" 100% natural latex
  •  8" Pocketed coil support unit
  •  1" 100% natural latex
The Real Bed mattress is constructed with a high degree of natural material. The all-natural latex is derived from real rubber trees, and is certified to the Okeo-Tex standard, which ensures it is made without the use of harmful chemicals.
The steel coils, while not a natural material, are recyclable and will not off-gas or emit chemical odors. Each coils is individual wrapped. The coil unit is also zoned, meaning it has stronger coils in the central part of the bed which supports the heaviest part of your body, as well as firmer coils at the head and foot. It also has three rows of firmer edge-support coils. Altogether, there are 1200 total coils in a queen size unit.
While not thick enough to call a 'layer,' the Real Bed also has a layer of Austalian wool on top and on the bottom of the bed. Wool is a natural regulator of heat and moisture.
Real Bed has good page on its website about its materials, construction, and the sourcing of those materials.

Cover

The cover of the Real Bed is made of organic cotton that's been certified to the GOTS standard. It also has what we call a "tape edge" which you can see in the photo above -- a sturdy cord that gives the mattress a well-defined edge.

Into the side panels are sewn four padded handles, which you'll need as the queen size mattress weighs 140 pounds.

Lastly, the entire mattress is held together not by chemical glues but with functional tufting. These are cords that travel through the mattress at intervals, anchored by a yarn 'button' as seen below. These keep the mattress's materials from shifting, and works to effectively "pre-compress" the mattress, cinching the layers tightly together. We think this type of construction also offers good insurance against lasting body impressions.

Real Bed Topper

The optional mattress topper also impressed us with its quality materials and construction. It starts with a 1" layer of all natural latex atop a layer of individually pocketed micro-coils, and finally an inch of eucalyptus-based padding that our tester found to be incredibly soft -- "like a rabbit." The topper is wrapped in an organic cotton, zip-off cover. The underside of the cover had a micro-fiber type of texture, which helps it 'stick' to the top of the mattress to keep it from shifting.

Comfort & Feel

There are three aspects that make up our assessment of comfort and feel. We call these "preference-based characteristics" because no rating here is better or worse – rather, the attributes that are most desirable to you will be determined solely by your personal preferences. We apply the same classification standards to each mattress so you can more easily compare apples to apples.

Softness ( what’s this )

Keep in mind that what mattress companies call “firm” or “soft” is a purely a preference. All mattresses should be supportive and promote healthy spinal alignment. Whether a mattress is fluffy and squishy (what mattress companies call soft or plush), or less so (what companies call firm), is purely down to your personal needs and preferences.

We classify the Real Bed mattress on its own as a Medium Firm in terms of softness overall. With the optional Real Bed Topper, quite a bit of softness is added, changing the profile to more of a Medium Soft.

Not sure what softness is best for you? Take our Mattress Match Quiz and find out.

Softness Level - Real Bed
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
4 Medium Firm
Softness Level - with Topper
(1=Least Soft, 9=Most Soft)
6 Medium Soft

Cushioning Depth ( what’s this )

This refers to how deeply you sink into the mattress or feel cradled or hugged, versus a feeling of floating on top of the bed. The Real Bed on its own definitely has more or a floating on top feel.  As you can see, our tester is on the mattress in the image below, and his whole 200-pound weight is not sinking that much into the bed.

When we add the topper, however, more 'sink' is gained, and we did get more of that hugged sensation.

Bottom line, if you like to sink more into your bed, you'll probably prefer adding the topper.

Cushioning Depth - Real Bed
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
2 Shallow cushioning
Cushioning Depth - With Topper
(1=Shallowest, 9=Deepest)
4 Slightly shallower than average cushioning

 

Memory Feel ( what’s this )

Memory feel -- what we call responsiveness -- refers to how quickly a mattress recovers its shape after being compressed. When you press your hand into the mattress, for instance, then remove it, does it take several seconds for the mattress to return to flat (as it would with memory foam, generally), or does it recover immediately?

The Real Bed contains no memory foam, so there's none of that slow, melting into the bed sensation.

Memory Feel
(1=None, 9=most)
1 No memory feel

Bounce

This is another aspect of "feel" that some people like, and some don't -- it's purely a preference characteristic of a mattress.

Since the Real Bed has a support core of pocketed coils, we would expect it to have a good deal of bounce, and it does. There isn't much on the surface, since the top layer of latex isn't very bouncy, but once you apply some body weight, you feel the bed push you back up.

Even with the topper, there's plenty of bounce, as the topper also has some micro-coils. So both with and without the Topper, we found the Real Bed to have some healthy bounce.

Bounce
(1=None, 9=Most)
8 Lots of bounce

Back Support & Pressure Relief

The two things that you should always be sure to get from your mattress are spinal alignment (commonly thought of as "back support") and pressure relief. Unfortunately, no mattress will deliver these two things equally well for all sleepers. In particular, spinal alignment and pressure relief capabilities will vary across sleepers with different weights, body shapes, and sleep positions. To help you determine how this mattress will perform for you, we break down our spinal alignment and pressure relief assessments by sleeper type.

Here again, we looked at the Real Bed both on its own, and with the optional Topper, which does change its characteristics and who we feel will be best suited for this mattress from both a spinal alignment perspective and a pressure-relief angle.


Spinal Alignment

The key to good back support is maintaining proper spinal alignment while you sleep. This means that the mattress should hold your spine in roughly the same position it's in when you're standing. The ability of a given mattress to do this will generally depend on your weight, sleep position, and body shape.

Here is how we break down the spinal alignment of the Real Bed mattress, with and without the Topper.

Real Bed

Weight Range Back Sleepers Side Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Lighter <150 lb 8 7 10
Average 150 to 200 lb 10 7 10
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 10 8 9
Heavier >250 lb 9 9 8

 Real Bed with Topper

Weight Range Back Sleepers Side Sleepers Stomach Sleepers
Lighter <150 lb 9 9 7
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 9 6
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 8 9 6
Heavier >250 lb 8 9 5

 

Back Sleepers:

While our tester was on his back, he found both the mattress and the mattress plus topper to support him very well. And we thought this would be true for a back sleepers in a wide range of weights, even those significantly heavier or lighter than our tester. The softness of the latex comfort layer reaches up into the lumbar area, while the zoned coils below prevent hips from sinking too much.

It's worth noting here that there are stronger coils in the hip area to enhance support for the heaviest part of your body.

Side Sleepers:

For side sleeping, we found there was a significant and noticeable difference between the mattress alone and the mattress with topper, especially for those lighter in weight than our tester. Purely for spinal alignment -- keeping the spine in a neutral position -- either version would work well for heavier people, but we think lighter people would be better served with the topper. Alone, for those under about 200 pounds, there might not be enough body weight for hips to sink in too much. This was entirely solved by adding the topper.

Stomach Sleepers:

For stomach sleepers, it's the opposite story. Lighter and heavier people should both achieve very good spinal alignment on the mattress alone. But with the topper, hips sink too much creating a hammocking effect for stomach sleepers, and that can lead to back pain down the road. So for stomach sleepers, we found the mattress on its own to be a better fit.

 

Pressure Relief

When a mattress pushes back against your body with too much force in a concentrated area, the result can be pain, soreness, loss of circulation, excessive tossing, and other problems. In general, such "pressure points" are of greatest concern for side sleepers, since that's the position in which your body's weight is distributed over the smallest surface area. To find the right mattress for your needs, keep in mind that the pressure-relieving capabilities of any given mattress will vary depending on the sleeper. Factors like your weight and body shape (e.g., broader shoulders and/or hips) will determine how far you sink into the mattress, and the pressure relief offered by that mattress will vary widely at different depths.

Here's how we sized up the pressure relief of the Real Bed mattress, as well as the Real Bed with Topper:

Real Bed

Weight Range Typical Curves Extra Curvy
Lighter <150 lb 6 5
Average 150 to 200 lb 7 6
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 7 6
Heavier >250 lb 7 6

Real Bed with Topper

Weight Range Typical Curves Extra Curvy
Lighter <150 lb 9 9
Average 150 to 200 lb 9 8
Above Average 200 to 250 lb 8 7
Heavier >250 lb 7 6

 

Overall, we found the pressure relief offered by the Real Bed to be lacking on its own, with not enough conformance and cushioning for hips and especially shoulders while side sleeping -- and that can lead to pressure pain and hot spots. However, when we added the Topper it was a completely different story. Shoulders and hips sunk nicely into the bed, and our tester could feel pressure relief in the shoulders particularly. So overall, if you are a side sleeper or someone that experiences joint pain, the topper version is the better option.

Other Features

Beyond the preference-based characteristics of comfort and feel, and the body matching for spinal alignment and pressure relief, a mattress will have a number of other attributes that can make it a better or worse choice for you. We call these "priority-based characteristics" because they are areas in which a mattress can be better or worse, but that will have differing amounts of importance to each sleeper. So, determining how much importance to give to these features will be entirely a matter of your own personal priorities. As always, we apply the same ratings standards to each mattress so you can more easily compare apples to apples.

 

Motion Isolation (what’s this)

With a bowling pin standing upright on the Real Bed, we tested motion isolation by dropping a 16-lb. bowling ball on it, as well as the whole weight of our 200-lb. tester.

In both tests, both with and without the additional topper, the Real Bed provided excellent motion isolation, making it a good option for couples who don't want to feel their partner's movements, or for those with kids and pets who might be easily disturbed. Performance was a bit better with the topper, but both were well above average for hybrid mattresses.

Motion Isolation

8  - Real Bed

9 - with Topper

Very good

 

Temperature ( what’s this )

For hose concerned with sleeping hot, or for those with medical and hormonal conditions (like menopause hot flashes) that can lead to feeling overheated in bed, we offer our assessment of whether we think a mattress will effect sleepers.

The Real Bed has several aspects that lead us to feel that sleeping hot will not be an issue for most.

First, its pocketed coil support unit allows for a lot of airflow, from edge to edge of the bed, allowing warm air to flow out, and cooler air to flow in. Next, its top layer of natural latex has pin core holes. These are holes, about the size of a drinking straw, that piece through the latex and are a result of the manufacturing process. These also allow for air flow.

And lastly, even with the mattress topper, you don't sink in very deeply on the Real Bed, so more of your body is exposed to air. We do not think overheating is likely to be an issue on the Real Bed.

Stays 'Cool'

8 Very good

 

Edge Support ( what’s this )

If you like to sit on the edge of your mattress, or if you tend to sleep right on the edge (or get pushed there by kids or pets), then edge support may be a priority for you.

While sitting on the Real Bed, our tested noted the very stable edge, both when sitting and laying. The mattress on its own was a little better, (note in the image that the topper squishes and creates more 'dip') but both were excellent.

Edge Support

9 - Real Bed

8 - with Topper

Excellent and very good

Ease of Repositioning ( what’s this )

If you tend to move and change positions a lot over the course of a night, ease of repositioning will be a priority for you. Our tester did not experience any issues at all on the Real Bed. Adding the topper might make it just slightly more of an effort to change positions, but overall, we encountered no problems with either.

Ease of Repositioning

10 - Real Bed

9 - with Topper

Excellent

 

Green Features ( what’s this )

For mattress shoppers concerned with the use of natural materials, sustainable manufacturing practices or the like, we offer our subjective evaluation of any efforts taken by the company to make the mattress more green, healthy, or safe. 

The Real Bed, while not 100% organic or entirely made of natural materials, contains a very high degree of plant- and animal-based materials. First, the latex is 100% natural, made from the sap of rubber trees. There's a 1/2" layer of wool at both the top and the bottom of the mattress, and the cover is made of certified organic cotton. The mattress is held together by tufting, not by glue, further avoiding chemicals.

Steel isn't a natural material, but it doesn't emit odors or dangerous off-gassing, and it's recyclable down the road.

As for the topper, you're getting more 100% latex, more steel coils, plus a layer of eucalyptus-based padding, all covered in that same GOTS-certified organic cotton.

While you can sometimes find mattress that are 100% certified organic, they would cost thousands more.

Green Features 9 Excellent

 

Adjustable Base Compatibility ( what’s this )

We always test mattresses on our adjustable base, as this type of foundation is becoming more popular among people of all ages. We especially look at how the mattress performs when the bed is fully articulated (bent).

The Real Bed is certainly designed to be used on an adjustable base, and doing so will not damage the bed. In its fully articulated position, it conformed very well to our base.
We did have some issues, however, with the topper, which as you can see in the photos, bunches and folds on itself, and isn't comfortable in the articulated position. If you plan to use the Read Bed on an adjustable base, you might want to skip the Topper version.
Adjustable Base Compatibility

9- Real Bed

7 - with Topper

Better without the topper

 

Price, Value & Longevity

What Does the Real Bed Cost?

Prices shown are list prices. Remember that GoodBed keeps our site current with the best available discounts on all online mattresses, many of which are exclusive discounts for our readers.

The Real Bed is available on its own, or with a companion Real Bed Topper.

 

What Are You Getting?

The Real Bed is a bed-in-a-box from a mattress maker with a 160-year history of making high quality beds. It's characterized by a high degree of natural materials and quality construction in a 12-inch hybrid mattress. Also available is a unique mattress topper that uses the same quality materials and construction.

 

How Long Will the Real Bed Mattress Last?

When it comes to estimating the comfort lifespan of a mattress, we look to the quality of materials, and to the quality of construction, and in both aspects, we see no weak links in either aspect when it comes to the Real Bed and the Real Bed Topper. We would expect this mattress to certainly last as long -- if not longer-- than the average of eight to ten years.

 

Overall Value

All-natural latex mattresses, including hybrid mattresses, are not terribly unique. But in our estimation, the Real Bed is a triple-threat of high quality materials, high construction quality, and competitive pricing. The queen size mattress currently sells for about $1,000 -- a price that matches other mattresses that don't come anywhere near it in terms of natural materials, certifications, and features. It's a price that's a lot of lower than what you'd find on a similar mattress-store model, and even lower than most if not all of the competition among similar all-natural latex over pocketed coil beds.
The mattress topper is also a compelling value. You can find natural latex toppers that cost the same or a little less, but the Real Bed Topper also includes a layer of micro-coils, and a plant-based layer of super-soft padding all in an organic cotton cover. We simply have not seen that combo of features at this price point.
Value Rating
9/10 Excellent value


Other Factors to Consider

Delivery

  • Free delivery to door

Real Bed includes free delivery, which is not particularly unusual among its competitors. Be aware that a queen size Real Bed weighs 140 pounds, so getting in your home and unpacked will be a two-person job.

 

Returns

  • 100-day trial period
  • Full refund, including free pickup within trial period


Real Bed offers buyers a 100-night trial period, and asked that owners give the mattress at least 30 days before requesting a return. If you do return the mattress, the company will arrange pickup. Note that the Real Bed Topper is non-returnable unless purchased with a Real Bed. See: Real Bed trial policy

 

Warranty

  • Warranty Length: 10 years, prorated
  • Indentation Coverage: 1.5” and above

One of the biggest, if not THE biggest complaints about any mattress from consumers regards body impressions—the inability of a mattress to spring back, eventually creating a low spot/sinkhole in the mattress. As such, mattress warranties all contain a term defining how big a sag or ‘body impression’ (measured when no one is on the mattress) is considered a defect, and thus covered under the warranty. The industry standard for innerspring mattresses is generally 1.5”, and that's what's specified in the Real Bed warranty. Practically speaking, that means any softening or sagging would need to be at least that deep before the warranty would offer you protection.

If there's a negative mark against the Real Bed, it's the warranty, which in our view does not match the quality of the mattress. While the warranty technically covers you for 10 years, it's pro-rated after the first year of ownership. That means if you have an issue within years 2 through 10, you're going to be on the hook for a percentage of the replacement cost. This simply isn't competitive with the warranties offered by other companies.

Furthermore, if you do need warranty service, you'll be on the hook for shipping a 140-pound mattress both ways, not an insignificant cost. While we would never recommend buying a mattress based on its warranty, the Real Bed warranty, in our view, could be improved. Here's the full Warranty policy from Real Bed.

Bottom Line: Is the Real Bed Mattress Right for You?

The Real Bed is an excellent value in a mattress with a high degree of natural materials and high-quality construction. Here’s who we think the mattress is best for, based on our tests.

BEST if you:

  • Are primarily a back or stomach sleeper
  • Don't want to feel a partner's movements
  • Value natural materials and low chemicals
  • Prefer a mattress with some bounce

NOT IDEAL if you:

  • Are a side sleeper (get the optional topper)
  • Have acute pressure-relief needs
  • Prefer a slow, melting into the bed feeling

Is the Real Bed right for you? Take our Mattress Match Quiz to find mattresses that fit your needs, based on your preferences and price range.

Looking for more on the Real Bed mattress? Visit RealBed.com.

 

Final Note

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