Comfort Ingredients: A Primer

Innerspring unit - the "heart" of the mattress.
Innerspring unit – the “heart” of the mattress.

We take great pride in the materials that we choose to craft our amazingly comfortable mattresses. Fiber, wire and wood are our ingredients for comfort.

The McRoskey steel innerspring unit is the heart of our mattresses. We form our own responsive coils, then lace, reinforce, and heat-treat them so they respond and contour to your body for unparalleled support.

In our Classic Tufted mattresses, we use generous amounts of organic cotton and polyester fiber filling. Both sides of the innerspring unit are upholstered with layer upon layer of this heavenly batting. In our Natural Tufted mattresses we use an abundance of wool and two layers of 100% Natural talalay latex for an extra comfort layer.

A cart full of cotton batts at our Minnesota St. factory.
A cart full of cotton batts at our Minnesota St. factory.

We still make a true box spring to relieve pressure. The McRoskey box spring contains steel coils, links, cross ties and framing wire surrounded by wood from spruce, pine or fir trees.

Our pinstripe ticking is a 100% woven cotton for optimal breathability.

Edward L. McRoskey and the History of Tufting

McRoskey & Co's Harrison St. building. The building is still there.
McRoskey & Co’s Harrison St. building around the time of the 1906 earthquake. The building is still there.

In the late 1800’s, the McRoskey brothers, Edward and Leonard, moved from St. Louis to San Francisco to sell mattress manufacturing equipment to mattress makers on the West Coast. They arrived in the middle of a nationwide economic shock and discovered that there weren’t many mattress manufacturers in the area, and decided to set up shop making mattresses themselves.


McRoskey Mattress Company Opens in 1899

Edward L. McRoskey, inventor and visionary.

They established McRoskey Mattress Company in 1899, with a small factory in a rented space on Sutter Street. They moved to a showroom and factory on Harrison Street sometime before the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. Because the neighborhood was spared the inferno’s flames, the disaster ended up being good for business, as many San Franciscans needed to replace their incinerated beds. According to family lore, the lines were around the corner for several months after the earthquake at the Harrison Street location.

In the 1920s the two brothers became competitors: Leonard continued to operate McRoskey & Co. while Edward opened his store at 1506 Market Street under the name of Edward L. McRoskey Mattress Company. In 1925, Edward built a new factory and showroom at 1687 Market Street where the company continues to operate today. He was very forward-thinking with the building’s construction and design, it was built out of reinforced concrete to help it withstand future earthquakes. In 1929, Edward’s brother Leonard passed away and his business was closed.


Edward L. McRoskey's patented tufting system.
Edward L. McRoskey’s patented tufting system.

Edward L. McRoskey and his Tufting Machines

Edward L. McRoskey was a passionate inventor and loved to create new machines and processes to increase quality and efficiency. One of the major problems when constructing a mattress is how to align all the padding and get it to stay in place over time.

Traditionally mattresses would be tufted, a process where a long needle with heavy thread would be drawn through the many layers of mattress material and then tied taught, making a small divot – or tuft – on each side of the mattress, a process similar to quilting.  Tufted mattresses look a bit like upholstered couch cushions. The problem was – and is – that mattress materials are very fluffy, and so getting the tufts taught and evenly spaced can be a fabrication challenge.

Edward decided that the solution lay with creating a machine that would compress the mattresses all at once, to simplify adding taught even tufts. On May 1,1931 he filed for his first patent (U.S. Patent No. 1,977,856) for a machine that was known as the time as the McRoskey Tufting Machine, it was a predecessor to what is now known as a gate compressor. A few months later, he received a patent (U.S. Patent No. 1,931,202) for a new tufting process enabled by his innovative machine. These tufts were stronger and required much less needle work from the mattress makers.

A few years later, Edward decided to refine the process even further, so he invented a button threading machine (U.S. Patent No. 2,088,865) to add buttons to mattress tufts. He later refined tufting even further by inventing a hand tool to tuft with, eliminating the need for a long upholstery needle (U.S. Patent No. 2,176,141), and increasing the resiliency and springiness of the mattresses constructed using it.


Edward L. McRoskey’s patent application for a mattress tufting device.

Tufting Today

In the past 40 years, many mattress manufacturers have abandoned the traditional tufting process, replacing it with less expensive (and sometimes toxic) glues that inhibit airflow through the mattress. Through all this, McRoskey Mattress Company has stayed true to our heritage as tufting innovators. Our mattresses are held together the natural way – with tufts – meaning that our product allows for airflow for maximal sleeping comfort, lasts a long time and is repairable for durability. You won’t find any glue in a McRoskey mattress, because we do things the traditional, and we think the better way.


Rebirth of a Classic

We are pleased to announce that we have recently upgraded our tufting equipment to closely resemble the machines invented by Edward in the 1930’s, (although these tufting machines use computers to line up the tufts, and automatically tie them off instead of the process happening entirely by hand). These new machines mean a better product for our end users as well as a safer manufacturing process for our workers. We are proud to be part of the heritage of quality mattress manufacturing, as well as the history of American Makers.

Our new mattresses have a pinstriped ticking, as a nod to the traditional mattress manufacturing; processes which we continue to celebrate at our factory today.


An open letter to manufacturers who were trying to steal McRoskey Tufting around the mid 20th century.
An open letter to manufacturers who were trying infringe upon patented McRoskey Tufting around the mid 20th century.

McRoskey Named to “America’s Best Small Companies” List

Forbes Magazine Honors San Francisco Mattress Company

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – February 23, 2016) – McRoskey Mattress Company today announced Forbes Magazine has named it to its 2016 “America’s Best Small Companies” list. The 117-year-old San Francisco firm was selected for its products’ excellence, and the company’s management and contributions to its community and to

Forbes refers to the companies on its list as “25 Small Giants that have chosen to be great instead of big”. Founded in San Francisco in 1899,McRoskey continues to use proprietary construction techniques and materials to make its mattresses and box springs, and is truly a “maker” — a manufacturer that crafts a premium product. McRoskey advises and sells directly to loyal customers at its retail showrooms in Palo Alto and San Francisco, ensuring their purchase pays for quality craftsmanship and materials — not a middleman. Not only are customers loyal; employees are, too. Of the current 30 employees, 15 have been there for 15 years, 2 for 20 years and one for 36 years.

“I value all our customers, but among my favorites are those who choose our mattress because they value quality and trust McRoskey — even though the price is an investment,” said Robin McRoskey Azevedo, CEO.

McRoskey is a third generation family-owned business led by CEO Robin McRoskey Azevedo, the granddaughter of one of the founders. She has worked at the firm since 1980, learning the company values from her father and uncle, as well as how to build the business and manufacture a premium product. Emblematic of McRoskey’s company values, Ms.
Azevedo is a founding board member of SF Made, an organization that supports companies that manufacture locally-made products. McRoskey CEOs have also been members of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club for over 50 years.

Forbes selected companies for its list based on several criteria, including that the company is/has: acknowledged as outstanding by industry experts; recognized for its contributions to society; maintained its financial health for at least ten years; and frontline employees that have real interaction with top leaders.

About McRoskey Mattress Company

McRoskey Mattress Company has handcrafted premium mattresses and box springs in San Francisco since its founding in 1899. For more information, visit or call the San Francisco (415-861-4532) and Palo Alto (650-327-1966), California showrooms. Factory tours available upon request.

Embedded Video Available

Why Should I Buy Quality Bed Linen

Your Mattress Matters … and so does your bed linen.

Quality bed linen pleases the eye and pleases the body!

A nicely made bed is comforting. Imagine looking forward to getting into bed at the end of your very busy day.

quality bed linen

For the best of sheet sensations we recommend linens made from Egyptian cotton woven and finished in Italy. Our favorite weave is a percale weave: it’s crisp and it’s cool. You’ll be investing in divine comfort that is heavenly!

About Egyptian cotton:

Impacted by perfect conditions of humidity and rich soil along the Nile River, Egyptian cotton grows into long fibers that result in properties of softness, strength, durability and breathability.

About Italian linen:

Quality bed linen making has been part of the Italian culture for centuries. These artisans sew, cut and finish sheets better than anyone else in the world. The resulting product is of the highest quality, best value and a most luxurious feel.

Linen Care Instructions:

  • Wash separately in warm water on a gentle cycle with a cool rinse.
  • Use a non chlorine bleach detergent and use only half the recommended amount.
  • Do not use chlorine bleach; when necessary use an oxygen based bleach.
  • If possible, line dry. Otherwise shake out damp linens before placing in dryer; tumble dry on low heat until slightly damp.
  • Remove promptly, smooth, fold and press if desired.

A tip: Iron your pillow cases and iron the top 18″ of the flat sheet.  Your made bed will look fit for royalty. That would be you!

Where to Buy:

As a service to our customers, McRoskey Mattress provides the highest quality bed linen. We source only the best and have chosen linen products from Malouf and Anichini. In addition to Italian linens we sell other premium bedding including down pillows, duvets and featherbeds from Northern Feather Canada and The Pillow Bar; blankets and toppers made in France by Brun de Vian-Tiran. All are available at our Palo Alto and San Francisco showroom and online as noted on our website.

BESPOKE in RED – A Red Cross Event 10-1-2015

Block off your calendar!

Join us on October 1, 2015 for BESPOKE in RED, an event benefitting the Northern California chapter of American Red Cross.

McRoskey is one of the sponsors of this stylish event taking place at the Bespoke Event Center in the Westfield Shopping Mall in downtown San Francisco, and hosted by JAKE, our second floor tenant formerly known as the Artful Gentleman.

Bedroom Dream

Don’t miss this opportunity to win your very own McRoskey mattress—we’ll be raffling off a Natural California King mattress, one of our most popular styles.

You can purchase raffle tickets and view the mattress displayed on a Designer Series Leggett & Platt adjustable bed base, during the event.

BESPOKE_In_RED-300x153Details and advance tickets for the Red Cross Event are available here.  RED attire encouraged.

The event will feature the debut of JAKE’s Fall/Winter 2015 BESPOKE Collection, libations from ORO San Francisco, music from DJ Carol C, and the world premiere of JAKE’s original fashion film. Finally, look for Jake Wall of JAKE on this season’s Project Runway!

In Search of the Perfect Pillow

Getting a good night’s sleep is much easier when you have the right pillow. In fact, the “perfect” pillow can greatly enhance the quality of sleep by maintaining your spine’s alignment and providing the best positioning for your head and neck.
Child with many Pillows

Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of your pillow — and your sleep. And when you buy a new McRoskey mattress, always buy new McRoskey pillows.
Read more

McRoskey on CBS Sunday Morning

In this CBS Sunday Morning segment, contributor Nancy Giles embarks on a  mattress testing journey with a stop at the McRoskey Mattress factory and the McRoskey Mattress Showroom in San Francisco. With today’s complicated process of buying a mattress this was a learning experience for Nancy. Our McRoskey craftspersons enjoyed showing her our unique mattress building process. Here’s the story.

How much sleep do I need?

How much sleep is enough sleep? Six hours? Nine hours? Does age matter when it comes to sleep duration?

To answer these questions accurately, sleep experts from the National Sleep Foundation and medical experts from organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Geriatrics Society, the American Psychiatric Association and the Society for Research in Human Development, recently conducted a rigorous review of the most up-to-date research on the topic.


Read more