CUSTOM comfort

The basics of good health are incredibly simple: eat well, move often, and get a good night’s sleep.

These can all be complex topics, but they can also
be boiled down to simple essentials. Fresh vegetables, healthy fruits and water. Stretching, weights and cardio. Organic cotton, pure wool, and natural latex.

Those last three ingredients are all that go into a mattress from Unique Sleep. No added flame retardants or chemical-based foams. Nothing artificial to interfere with getting an amazing night’s sleep.

“We all know that healthy eating, exercise, and sleep
are essential,” says Chris Whatley, president of Unique Sleep Solutions. “For decades the focus has been on the
first two. Only recently have people been paying closer attention to how well they sleep. And they’re finding that it makes an enormous amount of difference.”

“If you sleep well, everything just goes better: you’re happier and more effective at work, you can spend quality time with your family, you’re more alert when you’re driving... sleep affects everything.” 

First-hand experience

One of the key components to great sleep is a good mattress, something Chris and his wife Irene know first-hand. After a lifetime of suffering from back problems, Chris connected with a great chiropractor four years ago. In a matter of weeks his life changed forever. He went from walking with a cane to being able to touch

his toes for the first time in 15 years. And then he plateaued. “I was supposed to reduce chiropractic visits over time, but I couldn’t,” he says.

The couple realized their mattress was to blame. “I would go to bed feeling
good after a chiropractic adjustment, spend eight hours on a terrible mattress, and wake up feeling sore,” says Chris. “It wasn’t hard to figure out the problem.”

Shopping for a new mattress proved frustrating. “One with synthetic materials made from petrochemicals was not an option for us,” says Chris. “Polyurethane foams, including memory foam, are very common in mattresses. They are intensely flammable, requiring large amounts of added chemical flame retardants. We just wanted to sleep on a chemical- free mattress.” 

Natural alternatives were hard to find in Canada and outrageously expensive. Eventually they settled on a natural latex mattress shipped from America. “I thought ‘an affordable natural mattress should be available locally,’” says Chris. “I’m an industrial designer so it made sense

to design and build them ourselves.”

A truly custom mattress

In 2014, the couple opened a manufacturing plant and retail showroom in Barrie’s south end.

Their showroom provides
a comfortable, stress free setting to experience their unique custom mattresses. “You enter a typical mattress store, and it’s overwhelming,” says Irene. “We tell people we only have one type of mattress. We just customize it to suit their body. No complicated decisions to make.”

Clients are discreetly asked about their sleeping pattern, their height and their weight, and are directed to lay on a mattress that suits them. If the bed is for a couple, they will try different versions 

– that’s because the final mattress will be customized for both sleepers. No more compromises.

“You can have a 240 pound man who sleeps on his side and likes a firm mattress, and a
120 pound woman who sleeps on her back and prefers a soft mattress,” says Irene. “I can’t imagine finding a traditional mattress that will effectively suit both of them. But we can custom make one.”

In fact, they can make it quickly and for a surprisingly affordable cost. They can even make custom shapes and sizes, to fit anything from a crib to a boat’s cuddy cabin.

Made to fit your body

After measuring clients to determine the location of their lumbar, hips and shoulders, Chris constructs each mattress from cores of 100-per cent natural Talalay latex, using layers of different densities to suit the needs of each sleeper. The top layer can be cut into many different interchangeable pieces, creating unique “zones” in the mattress – firm in your lumbar region, softer at your shoulders and hips, medium at your head and feet, or however you prefer it.

“Even after your mattress is built and set up inside your home, we can easily adjust it to meet your comfort needs,” says Chris. That could be years down the road, in response to weight loss, surgery, pregnancy or health changes. It can even be adjusted as a child grows into an adult.

“We guarantee the latex in our mattresses for 20 years,” says Irene. “If your body changes in that time, you don’t need to buy a new mattress. Just adjust it.”

Fits through any doorway

Chris and Irene often deliver each mattress themselves, unloading a series of suitcase- sized boxes from their vehicle and carrying them into your home, condo or cottage. “Even a king-sized set comes to your home in a manageable stack of boxes,” says Chris. “Clients have never seen anything like it.”

It takes an hour or so to assemble the wood foundation, install the layers of luxurious latex, and wrap it all in a cozy cover of organic cotton and pure wool that serves as a natural flame retardant.

After that, they drive away knowing that you will enjoy a fantastic night’s sleep. The best you’ve ever had. DS

By Andrew Wagner-Chazalon, originally published in Dockside Magazine, Simcoe Edition, Spring 2015

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