Condo Blues: How to Buy a Mattress

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Buy a Mattress

Husband and I need to buy a mattress for our guest bedroom. I'd like a green mattress if possible. I also want the mattress to be comfortable.  Of course, as the saying goes not too comfortable, or my guests will never leave!

Mattress shopping is nothing short of stressful. Unlike a car, you can’t comparison shop when it comes to mattresses. There isn’t anything to stop a mattress manufacturer from making the same style of mattress and putting a different name on it for every store that sells it. In fact, it’s a common practice. The price points for the same brand of mattress sold under different names vary wildly from store to store too.

That’s why mattress stores can guarantee that you won’t find a cheaper mattress at another store and if you do, they’ll give it to you free! Because you may find the same mattress brand, you won’t find the same mattress model name in another store – the individual model names are proprietary to each store.

Mattress Shopping? Prepare to Be Screwed

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 gets worse. When Husband and I were shopping for a new mattress for our bed, we found that the prices were different for the same mattresses in two chain mattress stores in the same chain.

Coil counts, and other such indicators of mattress "quality" are actually bogus talking points. All coil mattresses start with enough coils to be considered good quality. The number of turns or coils in a mattress after that doesn't make much of a different in overall quality, just personal level of comfort. Besides there are only two companies that make mattress coils and if you’re buying a coil mattress, it’s going to be the same coil quality as another maker who buys coils from that manufacturer. Of course, you won't know that because they don't - and won't - tell you that.

When it comes to buying a mattress, name brands really don’t mean much either. Often the big name brands rename and sell their mattresses as no name or as private brands too. The best advice is to pick a price range, lie down on a bunch of them, decide what you like best, and hang onto your wallet.

If you notice, just like buying a car, as soon as you look at a mattress the salesperson will “lower” the sticker price than what is advertised so it looks like you are getting a deal. Some even do that “let me talk to my manager” thing too. My advice? Buy a mattress on the last day of the month when a saleperson is willing to deal and “talk with their manager” about lowering the price a little more so the mattress moves out the door and they make their commissioned sales goal for the month. The same advice goes for buying a car.

I absolutely hate being played. And that’s what happens when it comes to buying a mattress.

Mattress Shopping is Not for the Faint Hearted

how to save money on the best type of mattress for the way you sleep

Shopping for a green mattress wasn’t any better. In fact, it was a little worse because we only found one in a local brick and mortar store to try. If I’m going to spend up to a thousand dollars on something, I want to see it in person. Especially when I don’t know what kind of mattress we like or need. The mattress we were replacing at the time was very old and so worn out that it gave us back problems.

It turns out, that for our own bed, Husband and I thought we needed a soft mattress. Depending upon the store and the mattresses we tried, we sometimes liked one tagged firm, semi-firm, or soft pillowtop the best. ARGH!

Just like using baking soda as deodorant, my brain wanted a green option and my back said, “No thank you. I need a different one.” We opted for the correct firmness for us, at a price that made us comfortable, and put an allergy ban cover on it to keep flame retardants and such at bay.

Ready to go mattress shopping? Check out the following bedroom mattress options - and more! - below!

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Robj98168 said...

No one will let me buy a new mattress! Everytime I think about getting a replacement for the mogul mattress that I have someone (Crunchy) always starts one of their stoopid non-consumerists challenges- meaning no I don't get a good nights sleep because they are worried I might buy something new. Well. Eff them. I am getting a new mattress. Dammit.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Rob - I didn't realize how bad our old mattress was until we got the new one. The worn out mattress effected our sleep and our believe it or not our health because we weren't sleeping as deeply as we do now on a new supportive mattress.

Dmarie said...

we spent big bucks on a mattress only to have it sagging in no time. so last time, we went with a firmer, cheaper mattress (still a good brand). My pet peeve is that you can't flip these new mattresses over to extend their lives. argh!

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Dmarie - I hear you! I can't flip my bedroom mattress either. When we bought the guest room mattress (not at a thrift store) we made sure it wasn't a pillow top so we can flip it and make it last.

Lianne @ Lulabelle {a lifestyle blog} said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!! You make a great point about extra frills getting in the way and possibly scraping the lens. I'm glad I didn't add any of that stuff either!

Do you have a link to your camera strap so I can look at it? :-)

Carol said...

Lisa - I have now made 3 batches of gluten-free dog cookies and all my dogs are in love! I just shared your recipe (with credits to you, of course) on my blog. Thanks so much for the recipe!


Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Lianne - I scheduled a post and tutorial on how I made my camera strap cover to run Sunday January 23, 2011. Stop by!

Carol - Glad the pups like their treats. I have another dog treat recipe scheduled to post very soon!

Kathleen W. said...

We are in need of a new one, having had ours since our wedding 10 years ago.

Fortunately we have The Organic Mattress store, about 40 minutues away, though I'm not sure we can afford one right now.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Kathleen - Lucky you! I only found one store that carried an organic mattress. Sadly it wasn't for us. It was in the top of our price range. We were willing to spend the big bucks given the problems our old mattress gave us.

Lori Alper aka Groovy Green Livin said...

We are so due for a new mattress. Overdue. I am overwhelmed. There is one organic mattress store close by and I can't even bring myself to go. Your post is pushing me to go sooner rather than later.....I just know that we will be so happy once the new one arrives-since we LOVE to sleep.

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Lori - I was overwhelmed too because we couldn't comparison shop. I always comparison shop! The organic mattreses I saw on line and in person were around a thousand dollars which made it even more stressful that I couldn't comparison shop.

Anonymous said...

I purchased mine from Land and Sky. Latex with virgin wool and organic cotton cover. Very pricey but insurance paid for most of it. Our house had every ceiling collapse after a natural disaster hit, ruining all the mattresses and furniture.

The mattress parts can be replaced as they wear out and it is 100% biodegradable.

Had some comfort issues and Land and Sky happily shipped a softer layer of latex to me, free of charge, free of hassle.

Second mattress, also latex but not top-drawer price. Hubby says it's comfortable.

My choice was based on a back problem and severe dust allergies so the money I paid is worth it. No more coils digging into my trigger points and this mattress is designed for my height and weight.

Now, compared to the medical bills for the lung infection, the back pain and fibromyalgia, this mattress cost me 1% of all those medical bills and prevented a lot of problems.

April Stephens said...

I need to mattress shop. You couldn't have picked a more relevant-to-all-of-us topic. Mine is 17 years old. I've made it last a little longer with a topper, but now it must be done. Thank you for the tips. I didn't realize it was so much like car shopping. drat.

Teresa B said...

Thank you for the tips. We actually bought a new mattress this year.
And thank you for joining The Really Crafty Link Party this week too.

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