Mattresses have come a very long way in the last few years and with the advent of the internet direct sales and the disintermediation of various industries, it was only a matter of time before it happened. Now consumers can get amazingly well-built mattresses without the need to feel like you are going to a used car lot and the number of choices is staggering. Within this category, yet another arose, mattresses targeted to the needs of athletes. We looked at a few examples which we will detail at the end of the article, but we chose one brand that stood out and put it to the test. So we handed it to one of our testers and our thirty plus days with Propel by Brooklyn Bedding and the review starts now.
A Little Background About Propel
Propel mattress line is from Brooklyn Bedding which knows a thing or two about mattresses. This distinct line is made specifically for athletes, but in reality, you know you have the backing of a much larger brand behind their warrantees and their guarantees. They are all made in the USA and were one of the first bed-in-a-box retailers on the market having started over 12 years ago. This should give you peace of mind that you aren’t just dealing with the latest fad.
Delivery and Unboxing the Mattress
Receiving the majority of these new mattresses is very simple because they all lack springs for the most part. This means they can be rolled and compressed to much smaller sizes which makes shipping simpler and honestly moving around your place all the easier.
Our Propel arrived and the external packaging was a little damaged, but the interior was fully sound. Once the external packaging is removed, you will find your mattress shrink-wrapped into plastic and highly compressed. At this point, it is best to move it to your final resting location, because it’s about to UNcompress and from there it’s going to be a little unwieldy.
Your next step is to cut the plastic (taking care not to hit your mattress) and the thing instantly jumps to life. At that point, you roll it out and let it sit and it will expand to its final size. Propel says it takes 24 hours, but we could easily sleep on it after 6 hours and it felt great.
All in all this process took us about 5 to 10 minutes maximum, super simple. Also, no smell whatsoever.
Mattress Material, Fit, and Finish
The mattress is composed of numerous materials sandwiched together to form the final product. Your most important initial interaction will be with the cover which is made of European performance fabric and utilizes what they call Upcycle which is super soft and designed to wick moisture. In our findings, it does this really well, but you will want to stop using any existing mattress cover or pad to take full advantage of the cover.
The first layer is what they call CopperFlex paired with their TitanCool technology. It is a phase changing surface that should draw heat away from the body and regulate temperature to help with the recovery. We can say that it 100% helps you stay cool and you can see this by just placing your hand on it. Some folks run very hot and this definitely feels like something new for them, but it also helps avoid any possibility of overheating.
The next layer they call Energex, which is an elastic foam that is supposed to conform to your body. Think of this as that feeling when you hop on what we all call “memory foam” where you can kind of settle in and it envelops you. The nice part we found here is that it continually adapts as you move so you don’t feel trapped in, also working well for back, side, and stomach sleepers.
Next, you hit a gel-based elastic memory foam which is a transition between soft and hard and offers deeper compression with additional cooling from the gel.
Then comes their layer of ascension coils, these 952 6” tall individually encased coils race independently to provide better reactivity and movement control. This keeps each side of the bed entirely independent.
Lastly, you hit the base support foam which provides that ultra-firm durable base. In the end, this all adds up to 11.5” of total height.
What Does It Feel Like to Sleep on It
The Propel mattress is a mix between firm and supportive but also features just a touch of sink. When you first lay down, it feels very hard but then you slowly sink as much as the first few layers allow. From here, the support kicks in and you get very little additional softness. The mattress kind of wraps itself around you, but doesn’t keep sinking after a certain level. This is definitely going to appeal to firm/support fans more than soft/plush.
Next up is sleeping with a partner and we have to say it is very successful in this regard. The person next to you almost hardly ever notices too much movement and each side seems to encapsulate fairly well, so you don’t need to worry about your partner rolling around and waking you up.
Is It Really Made for Athletes
I think after all our testing this is debatable and to ask if Propel is any better than a Casper, Purple, Bear or other for athletes is a tough call as they each have their plus and minuses. We do really like the cooling technology they have introduced with their copper-infused gel layers as it is really noticeable. We were not huge fans of their sheets however as we found they ran a bit warm and were too heavy, also very pricey. We did see a noticeable reduction in leg cramping, leg crossing, ankle pain, back pain, etc after using the bed. It doesn’t necessarily feel as heavy and robust premium as mattresses used to, but I would say this is the new norm as that isn’t necessary anymore. Don’t let it get to you.
This is a simple one and goes for all the alternatives as well, we would say just give them a shot. All of these brands offer 100 day plus guarantees, most offer free shipping to boot, and they are really willing to work with you to make sure it’s a good fit. If you are in the market, then most of them fall right around ~$900 for a queen so they hit that mid-market really well. They are also better than any Ikea bed you might be debating… and we know… from experience. There isn’t much to lose here and every little bit helps.
You can read more and buy directly from Propel on their website.
Other Mattress Alternatives
- PerformaSleep – https://www.performasleep.com/
- Zoma Sleep – https://zomasleep.com/
- Bear Mattress – https://www.bearmattress.com/
- Level Sleep – https://www.levelsleep.com/
- Spartan – http://www.brooklynbedding.com/products/mattresses/spartan
- ReST Performance – https://restperformance.com/
- Casper – https://casper.com/
- Purple – https://purple.com/