Plank Mattress Review: Detailed Report On A Flippable And Firmer Mattress Option
Our Plank Mattress review takes a closeup look at a mattress designed for both heavier people, as well as those accustomed to a very firm sleep surface.
Because most mattresses use much lower density foam materials for the average consumer, I’ve heard a lot of complaints from people who are tired of getting stuck in the middle of their mattresses.
Couples with bigger bodies, people with back pain, or simply those accustomed to far firmer mattress options have difficulty find a brand that is firm- I mean really firm.
As a 25 year veteran mattress designer and manufacturer, I often get emails and calls from desperate customers begging us to recommend a supplier who makes a super-firm mattress.
The plank mattress is a reversible option, offering two degrees of firmness
The Plank Mattress is an all foam mattress option made in Arizona by a company called Brooklyn Bedding (I’ve reviewed many of their products through the years-respectable and trustworthy) that sells for $932.40 in queen size and $1,072.40 in king size. One side is considerably firmer and has a thinner quilted outer fabric, putting your body immediately next to a foam layer that is far more dense and less yielding that softer options. It is 11.75″ tall.
The Plank Mattress offers a solution for obese couples or individuals that often find themselves digging their way out of the middle of their mattress.
Flip it over and you’ll find a more traditional firm feel because the quilting is a bit thicker, and right underneath is a 2″ layer of supportive, pressure relieving memory foam. On either side, the maximum combined weight that The Plank Mattress can support is 900lbs.
If you are looking for an exceptionally firm mattress, here are some features and benefits you’ll get by purchasing a Plank Firm Mattress:
- Can be flipped so you’re getting two mattresses in one: Ultra-Firm (10 out of 10) or Traditional Firm,(8 out of 10). Much firmer than typical all foam mattresses.
- Either side is designed to provide straight and level spine alignment with no dipping or bowing
- An optional cooling cover that reduces body het and night sweat available for $100-150 extra, depending upon size you order.
- 10 Year Factory Warranty, 120 Night No Questions Asked Trial.
- Designed to accommodate a combined weight of 900 lbs.
- Made with technical high density foams that have extreme capacity to perform without failure, including foams with up to 50ILD density.
- Engineered to offer excellent edge support with no sliding off. Ideal for bed confined individuals, morbidly obese persons, or disabled people who want a firmer mattress with easy transfer.
One of the issues with finding a firmer mattress is testing them to determine the precise degree of firmness that is perceived as comfortable. The Plank Mattress offers a flippable design to solve that problem, eliminating uncomfortable trips to a retail mattress showroom that can be time consuming and intrusive.
The Plank Mattress is shipped by FedEx or UPS in a manageable sized box that is delivered directly to your door.
Depending upon the size you order, the box with the mattress will weigh between 65-100 lbs, and is easily managed by one able person, or two people who might need a little help.
You can place it on any solid, continuously smooth surface that will not bow or bend. We recommend a metal reinforced base, platform bed or foundations specifically designed for sleepers up to 400 lbs on each side of the mattress.
For the most part, if you shop online, you will typically find a firmness scale image that illustrates a degree of firmness where 10 is considered extremely firm, so much so in fact, that the only firmer surface for sleeping or lying down is a carpeted floor.
Many brands that target the mainstream mattress shopper will max out at 5-7, which for a typical body type will be firm, won’t sink in the middle, and will be fine, but for a couple weighing over 350 lbs, or those who are accustomed extremely firm mattresses– we’re really talking to 10 on our firmness scale to do the job.
Not everyone with a larger body wants to sleep on something that is very firm, which is why The Plank Mattress has a slightly softer side than the Ultra-Firm side.
Flip it over and you have a softer, yet still supportive Traditional Firm side that has 3/4″ added quilting to the outer encasement, and a 2″ layer of something called TitanFlex™ foam that has the pressure relieving and contouring feel of memory but without the bottoming out sensation often found in poorly designed memory foam mattresses.
Lets’ take a layer by layer look at The Plank Mattress, remembering that there are specific layers on either side that correspond to the firm and very firm options inside.
My image which shows The Plank Mattress layers is easy to interpret if you remember that either side option has the same firm, high density core layer which is always in the middle. Your choice of “up side” has different layers that offer the more traditional but less “hard” feel, or the ultra-firm side which is essentially the outer fabric directly in contact with the 50ILD high density foam core layer.
To design a really firm mattress, you need to understand why someone would be totally comfortable sleeping on a carpeted floor, or a very firm innerspring mattress, and that we’ve even known customers who place a sheet of plywood on top of their mattress, cover it with a sheet, and get a great night’s sleep.
There are specialized foam materials that are almost as hard as drywall, with only a minimal amount of flexibility, and literally, zero compression. This means that you could literally stand on the mattress and there would be so sinking in, no footprints, and no impressions. Often, the consumer looking for this kind of mattress has specific medical issues that make sleeping on conventional mattresses impossible.
A really firm mattress is actually wonderful for your back, and maintains perfect spine alignment. On a firm mattress, your spine becomes the axis upon which your body turns, without any curvature or misalignment, and often this calms the spinal column, nerves, muscles, and connective tissue by preventing any cantilevering or effort by the body to suspend itself in the wallows and depressions of a soft mattress.
With many customers complaining that most “bed in a box” options are simply too soft, and collapse easily under the weight of a typical sized person, the market for firmer mattresses has never been hotter. Often it’s larger people, too that suffer on mattresses that are simply not supportive enough, even when they purchase what are described as medium firm to firm mattresses.
Often, folks over 200 lbs. have to deal with mattresses designed for humans weighing 120 lbs, and find themselves buried in a gulley, while their smaller spouses are nesting comfortably. This is a typical problem with couples in different weight classes, and most mattresses are not split into two sides offering firmer and softer options across the surface of the bed.
Many popular hybrid mattresses that are made both with a coil section as well as foam do tend to be firmer, but often the coils are lumpy feeling and do not offer a uniform, uplifting sensation. Super stiff coil systems also do not cradle and embrace the body as effectively as foam. The trick is, though, to use a foam that has much higher density that typical polyurethane foams used in mattress design and engineering.
Just How Hard Can You Make A “Firm” Mattress?
Let’s take a look at some comparisons of the density and firmness of some of the materials used in “so-called” firm mattresses as compared with a mattress we recommend call The Plank Mattress by Brooklyn Bedding.
Almost all firmer “bed in a box” mattress options have one characteristic in common, and that they are built around a single layer of 6-7” support foam, typically used near the bottom, and this foam is usually 32-40 ILD. To understand what ILD means, which is the “secret code” of the mattress building world, image a cubic block of wood, one foot in all dimensions.
If you wanted to measure the ILD of one material as compared to another, you’d need a thick piece of the foam your are evaluating. Imagine there are many blocks of the wood weight, weighing 3-60 pounds each, sitting on shelves in a lab.
So, we pick a block and place it on the subject foam and determine what weighted block would cause the foam to indent exactly one inch. That value is the ILD of the foam material, ILD standing for Indentation Load Deflection.
A typical, medium density mattress will have a layer of support foam built into it with an ILD of say, 28-34. This means the mattress, with all of its comfort layers stacked on top (usually 2-3, and they might be memory foam or latex, or gel foam, or even a quilted piece of tufted fabric) will impart a medium level of cushiness with a moderate amount of depression and immersion. Comfortable and cushy enough for the average person.
Finally, A Mattress That Offers A Truly Firm And Resilient Feel- And It’s Flippable, Offering Two Options Of Comfort And Support
For the sleeper for whom the typical firm is never firm enough, a company called Brooklyn Bedding created The Plank Mattress. Designed to deliver an ultra-firmer, flatter, and more resilient feel, it offers a flippable surface, creating a neutral spine position that’s better for your back and posture overall.
Inspired by the minimalist approach to sleep in countries such as Japan, where Tatami mats one inch thick are the standard bedding, and chronic back problems are virtually non-existent, the design is the first of its kind for consumers desperate for a mattress that won’t sink, melt, collapse, or cave in.
The mattress was created to offer a “dual comfort design”, offering two variations: the top side of the mattress is standard firm; the bottom side is ultra-firm, allowing for a highly customizable sleep. Engineered to reduce pressure on your circulatory system, the Plank provides for better blood flow and better lower back support- compelling you to inhale more oxygen while you sleep.
The secret ingredient of the Plank Mattress is the 50 ILD interior foam support layer used in the construction of the mattress. The firmness extends all the way to the edge of the mattress as well, making transfer and sitting on the edge of your bed to put on shoes, for example, easier and safer.
Consider that a typical so-called “firm” mattress uses a support foam that is 25% less dense that the Plank Mattress interior support just goes to show you that most manufacturers can’t deliver on the promise of a truly resilient and supportive mattress option.
I’ve built several super firm mattresses, including a latex mattress called the Titan, designed for obese people and performance athletes and used a 44 ILD foam that worked pretty well, but I think stepping up to the 50ILD foam option was a solid move to design and deliver a solid mattress option.
What’s most impressive about the Plank Mattress is the number of outstanding reviews by customers. Brooklyn Bedding used Potvo, a respected third party review platform for all of their bedding products, and the Plank has garnished a pretty stellar 4.9 out of 5 star rating, with 611 reviews catalogued. Pretty impressive.