+ A hull mattress may not be for everyone!
Hi, Lynne -
Thanks for your help with this. Since it seems like you value user input, I wanted to report back to you that after we finally got our bed made (maybe a month or two after your last email), we have discovered that this bed has turned out to be a terrible fit for us. I am very disappointed by this, as I like the concept, and it was a fun DIY project for us (though very difficult to make the time and orchestrate logistics for, as we had a newborn at the time).
My husband gets allergic asthma attacks from the buckwheat "dust" that get stirred up by this bed--whenever the bed has to be manipulated (e.g., pods fluffed or sheets changed or bed moved), which is very frequent (more on that below), his chest tightens and he has trouble breathing, gets wheezy and sneezes and has a runny nose. This lasts for days. Because my husband was being made miserable by working with the buckwheat, I asked my sister for help. My sister, who has dust allergies, was similarly afflicted when I enlisted her to help me connect all of the pods. (This was an important fact for me, as I wasn't sure if my husband was possibly unconsciously psychosomatically reacting to negative feelings he had about this non-traditional bed). Both my husband and sister, who are not overly cautious or medically inclined and are generally healthy young adults, wear dust masks when having to be near this bed while it is being manipulated.
Adding to our troubles is the fact that the "fluffing" required is much more frequent than we anticipated. I think part of this is because my husband is 6'4" and a bit heavy. As a result, the pods "conform" to his body very quickly, to the point that within a few days of a new "pod fluffing," he is sleeping on the hard bed frame underneath, all of the pods having parted and been squished away under the weight of his body. Of course, this spreading of the pods warrants a new fluffing, so then we find time in the evening for him to clear out of the room so that I can do the fluffing without him having to experience the buckwheat particulate acutely. Even if I do the fluffing without him in the room, he suffers allergic symptoms once he enters the room and is miserable for several days.
We have tried a few things to fix these issues, including packing all of our pods, which are meant to be for a king-sized bed, into a queen-sized frame, in the hopes of reducing pod spreading, and making a wooden "box" around the bed frame to hold all of the pods in. We also put the pods on top of 1 fitted mattress and then put 2 fitted mattress sheets on top of the pod to contain the buckwheat particulate.
The rapid pod-spreading, more than twice-weekly "fluffing" requirements of the bed, and extra care required any time sheets need to be changed or the bed is going to be moved (due to the buckwheat particulate being an irritant) have made this bed a time-intensive, logistical bummer that in fact makes my husband acutely sick!
I hope our experience will help you advise others who are interested in this innovative idea. I would recommend that dust-allergic individuals; individuals who are unable/unwilling to devote time to frequent fluffing and vacuuming; and exceptionally tall and heavy individuals should avoid this bed.
An icebreaker activity at work the other day involved discussing our "worst purchases." Unfortunately, I'm sorry to report that it didn't take me long to think of this bed! The whole room got a good laugh from my story about it. Perhaps ultimately, the joke is on me. Oh well. If there is anything you can do or solutions you might have to offer, I am all ears.
I am so sorry to hear your husband was allergic to buckwheat hulls and it seems that the decision to give up the mattress is a good one for your family.
Even though allergies to buckwheat hulls are rare in the US (they are more common in areas where buckwheat has been eaten as the main grain) on our product description we do encourage ordering and testing a sample pod before purchasing an entire mattress. This way you can toss and see that there is just a minimal amount of dust created, but may be too much for a family that has sensitivities to buckwheat.
I do wish I could physically jump through my computer and help everyone troubleshoot their mattress one on one but that is a drawback of a DIY mattress kit. Spreading of the pods is usually due to the surface they are on or errors in construction. You had mentioned in an earlier message that your pods turned out to be the wrong size so I do still wonder if there was something still wrong with the assembly (?)
We have had many of our larger customers report back that a hull mattress is the only mattress they can find that can support their weight without quickly wearing out a well in their mattress as their pods can be redistributed every day back to their original shape.
One of the first things we state on our how to order page is that a hull mattress needs to be maintained underneath and fluffed daily (which should take less than a minute to do).
We also do warn parents with very young children that a hull mattress is an adjustment and may not be for them due to the fact that a hull mattress needs to be maintained.
Thank you for sharing your review and again I am truly sorry a hull mattress did not work out for you.