In the past, my mattress-buying experience has involved taking a trip down to the Centennial Ikea, lying down on a squishy memory-foam mattress, and immediately proclaiming, “This is the one.” I used my family card to get a decent discount, had the thing shipped to my Curtis Park duplex, and found it was as comfortable as the one I’d tested in the store. It was one of the few mundane tasks in my adult life that actually turned out to be easy.
So I didn’t expect the process to be that cumbersome when my boyfriend and I decided to move in together and upgrade to a luxurious king. Ikea, here we come. We’d be in and out in an hour or two and move on to more difficult conversations, like whether I was allowed to get decorative pillows for said bed. (Side note: Based on unscientific polls that I’ve taken from various couple friends, this has proven to be a contentious discussion, with partners almost always divided—and not necessarily along the expected gender lines.)
Boy, was I wrong. Turns out Ikea—or at least my trusty location south of Denver—doesn’t have many king options. Given the premium on space in the Mile High City, not many rooms can accommodate such a large mattress, so queens are more common. And, despite my man’s and my similar taste in everything from area rugs to art, we discovered we’ve got drastically different opinions on what we’d like to lie on as we drift off to dreamland. I’m a soft, sink-into-the-cloud kind of gal while he prefers a firmer base with more support. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t matter when you spend only a few nights a week on each other’s beds—but really does when you’re suddenly facing daily endurance of each other’s annoying adorable quirks.
We turned, then, as millennials do, to the internet. As expected, every online retailer claimed superiority, with their own proprietary blends designed to create “the best night’s sleep you’ve ever had.” But forums decimated virtually every one, claiming the quality was, unsurprisingly, lacking. No source, even Wirecutter—the New York Times‘ excellent product review site—seemed to have a definitive opinion on where to buy a damn mattress. I was flummoxed. How, in 2018, could the world not have optimized an experience that literally everyone has to go through?
That’s when we heard about AmeriSleep. Founders Joey Holy and brothers Firas and Moe Kittaneh recognized the same frustrations and wanted to create an easier, premium mattress-shopping experience. They started the company in 2007 as an online retailer but within the last year, have started moving into the brick-and-mortar space with locations in Arizona, Texas, and, as of June 23, Colorado, with a store in Lone Tree’s Park Meadows mall.
Forbes has dubbed AmeriSleep “the Apple Store for sleep,” and it’s not wrong. The Park Meadows location feels minimalist and streamlined—the company has just five models, and only three were on display so you’re not overwhelmed by choices. They, too, have a proprietary blend, but it’s easier to commit to since you can actually lie down on it. The sales folk move you gradually from the least expensive to the priciest, which you know is a practiced routine, but it’s easy to buy into because the beds are so comfortable. Lying down on the last one, the AS5, feels like you’re descending slowly into one of those foam ball pits, if the balls were all connected together in one rippling sea of comfort. We were told that customers’ smiles tend to get bigger as they go down the line.
Obviously, so does the price tag. The AS4, the second-fanciest option and the one my boyfriend and I actually agreed on, cost $1,699 for a king—and that was with a $200 discount offered during the opening weekend. That’s far more expensive than the online retailers, although less so than Sleep Number beds, which can easily cost double that. AmeriSleep tries to sweeten the deal with a 20-year warranty, two free memory-foam pillows, and sheets made out of tencel, a synthetic material that’s supposed to be softer and more temperature-regulating than cotton. It was lovely, although I’m fairly sure they chose the scratchiest cotton sheets they could find to compare their sheets to.
We didn’t feel comfortable impulse-buying the AS4 that day, but we couldn’t resist trying out the store’s nap pods: glass-walled rooms with made-up beds that lull you to sleep with mesmerizing ceiling displays of windmills under starry night skies—and, of course, AmeriSleep promos. As we lay there yawning in the split king, each of us on a different mattress that could feasibly fit our preferred comfort levels, I burrowed deeper under the blankets and considered what it would be like to nod off in this blissful atmosphere. It might truly be the stuff of dreams.