Any tips on mattress shopping? I have found it difficult to comparison shop.
Martin from Owensboro, KY
Hi! Every customer is different, but here's what worked for us. First we went to a giant-sized mattress store (Mattress Warehouse & Mattress Discounters are big ones in our area). We didn't plan to buy one yet, but we tried out lots of mattresses to see what features we wanted. Nearby was a smaller store that carried mainly "Symbol" brand mattresses. We found what we wanted in a Symbol mattress, and it cost about 35% less than what appeared to be comparable at the big box store. We tested it for 5-10 minutes before we decided to buy it, though! We've had the mattress for 12 years and it's still great!
Symbol's site is symbolmattress.com. You can email in to find a retailer near you.
A couple other things:
1. Good Housekeeping had an article on mattresses in April, 2005. They mentioned that pillow top mattresses may be a bad buy because the pillow top usually wears out before the mattress does. Another concern with thick mattresses is whether your current bottom sheets still fit.
They also said that comparing the number of coils is not a good way to comparison shop.
2. I agree that comparison shopping is tough. The sales people admitted that Sealy, Serta, and the other big manufacturers label basically the same mattress with different names when it is sold at different retailers.
This advice may not help if one of you has recently had back surgery, etc., but I hope you find it useful!
Try Consumer Reports, they are awesome when it comes to comparison shopping. Figure out what you are looking for first, hard, soft etc.
And I echo the pillow top advice, my husband had to have one, well we've never been able to find sheets that fit since then! I found 4 sets for $19.99 at Target about 5 years back, and they plus one other set have been our sheets for years. Since our pillow top is on both sides, it's really fat and HARD to find bottom sheets to stay on, I would NOT go for that! I just saw an Oprah show where she was sitting on a mattress that looked really good, I would check her website. I know you are supposed to lay on a mattress in the store for at least 15 minutes and most people say to bring your own pillow. But if I did that, they have me in La La land in less than 5!!!!
Hubby and I bought the simmons beautyrest that has latex top on it.
We both have bad backs, and this mattress is great!
I also am quite large and it is great still
We waited years to replace our king size....after much research..we chose the Tempurpedic and have never been sorry. It was a little more expensive but the guarantee and the comfort were well worth it. I got on their mailing list which entitles you to learn about their specials. In our case, we got free delivery, no sales tax, removal of the old set & two queen size pillows! Since you dont buy one that often, I would choose the best one I could afford..your back will thank you.
Ask clerk to show you mattresses for people with bad backs. This will save a lot of time. Both spouses lie down on mattress and see if it slopes. Then one plops down onto the mattress and then turns over. See if mattress becomes too jiggly.
Know that you will have to invest in 200 or greater thread count sheets because these have the deep pockets that can accomodate plush and pillow tops.
Over 250 count and the sheets tend to wrinkle. Buy the best mattresses you can afford, they'll last longer and you'll be happy.
Get a waterproof mattress cover because if there is one tiny stain on the mattress, the warranty becomes void. Unfortunately.
We had a great Serta orthopedic pillow top which lasted 16 years. Spent $2,000.
A few years ago we bought another one on sale that was originally $1800 and it didn't last. It was supposed to be one that never needs turning and it developed dents (which I suspected would happen). Buy a mattress that needs regular turning and then do it. Mark reminders on your calendar.
Used the warranty plus more $ to upgrade to a $3,000 one which we like. Good beds are not cheap.
I guess if you take the purchase price and amortise it over the life of the bed, it works out to something reasonable.
Since you are not going to be able to compare the beds between different stores, I'd like to suggest that you write down any info available on a paper and make up a chart. For instance, you might be able to discover how many layers are in the pillow top and what they are made of. Or the fabric in the top of the padding.
Know that a pillow top is heavier than a regular bed and the frame has to be heavy duty. If you do not have an appropriate frame (and many stores offer them free with mattress purchase), and the bed breaks, the warranty is void.
At the very least, go to 2 different stores and compare prices, delivery fees, old bed removal... everything and anything. Pretty soon, you will begin to see a pattern.
Wait for a sale!
The foam mattresses that are so expensive run warm, so if you are sensitive to the heat, or have a partner that is, do not buy! The clerk told me that they are supposed to try to talk people out of buying this style because it's most frequently returned and represents a loss for the store.
I noticed that all stores proclaim they are 'discount'. Even the expensive ones. That's why you have to shop around. Don't be fooled by sale signs.
I hope this helped.
we once paid lots for simmons but it was too firm and never got company or store owner to
switch it out as advertised within 2 mos. we realized
how uncomfortable it was.
we then went to denver mattress store and found we
liked and tried it at store several diff times and now
happy and comfy with it.
I hear the memory foam ones are GREAT.
We looked a LOT of places before we finally bought a new mattress. We actually ended up buying our new queen set from of all places BIG LOTS! if you have one in your area that sells furniture, they sell serta perfect sleeper mattresses. We bought their top of the line model, the Danford Perfect Sleeper. It has a very thick pillowtop and is a great mattress! We've been sleeping on it over a month now, and my husband's back problems have really subsided!! This mattress was around $550 for the set. This was the cheapest price we could find, and honestly I was skeptical about a mattress from big lots, but so far, we LOVE it and are really happy with it! Good luck!
Consider a Sleep Number bed! :o)
I LOVE our Tempurpedic. We went through 2 mattresses in about 4 years, including a double pillow top. Used to wake up stiff and achy. We've had the Tempurpedic for about 3 years now and really love it!
Have a look at the US mattress website. http://www.us-mattress.com/ I recently purchased a plush euro pillowtop king size Sealy set there, and I am extremely pleased with the entire process. These are not seconds, used or anything but new mattresses and the website owner has actual storefronts located in Michigan. The website gives a "comfort scale" that helps you to find the right bed for your needs and it was right on the money to the bed I received. The delivery is included in the web price, but be warned this is not an instant gratification shopping experience. It takes about 3 to 4 weeks to take delivery from the time you order, but the money saved is worth it. It is difficult to comparision shop even locally between stores, because stores sell the same mattresses under different names and do not generally publish the specifications (types and layers in the quilt and padding, number of coils, etc.) - you'll have to ask for them. I pulled specs from the mattress I had selected at US Mattress and matched those specs identically on the same bed (with a different model name on it) at a local store. I was able to lay on it and confirm that it was the perfect match for me, so the comfort scale worked. I asked the store owner if they were willing to come down on the in-store price but he would only come off $100 and tried to convince me that it was not the same mattress set, even though the specifications matched identically. In the end, I walked away and bought online at US Mattress, saving $700 off the store's price, PLUS the local store would have also charged me for the frame, for delivery and added sales tax, none of which I had to pay at US Mattress! All told we saved tons of money. I never thought that I would buy a bed off the internet, but it is such a comfortable bed, a great shopping experience and loads cheaper!!! Just remember it does take awhile to get the mattress but it is well worth it to check into it.
Carrie, Thank you! Thank you! We bought the exact same mattress with 20% off coupon. Best deal in town ever!
I bought my Serta mattress from Sam's club coinciding with purchasing my one year membership for about 40% less than most furniture stores (including the cost of the membership). An additional benefit to this is that you can then use the membership the rest of the year for other good buys. I'm guessing you could probably also do this at Costco or BJ's. If you're curious of their prices and selection, you can view them on the internet. Good Luck. :)
When mattress shopping the best tip is to try, try, try! Go somewhere locally that has a large selection and just start laying on mattresses. What works for one person probably will not work for someone else. That goes for brand and feel. There are many different brands out there, my best suggestion is to go with a name brand, most likely something you have heard of, Sealy, Simmons, Stearns and Foster, Serta TempurPedic. With in all of these companies your going to have different brands, with different levels in those brands (confused yet?). Find somewhere with a sales person you trust! And have them explain all these to you. See if there is anyone in your area that is not commission based, and also ask if they get SPIFFs. These are dollars paid not from the company they work for but from the mattress companies, this can sway them and not give you honest answers.
Consumer Reports does not compare mattresses because it is so individual, so don't waste your time there.
Comparison shopping is almost impossible. Get the company name, the brand name, the level name, and the actual name of the bed in total it should be something like "Simmons, Beautyrest, World Class, Alexandria Firm Pillowtop" I know that's a lot but its what your going to need. Secondly get as much of the specs as you can. How many coils, any specialty foam, how much foam anything! If you provide somewhere else that sells the same brand this info they should be able to tell you what one they have that is the same thing, just by a different name or at least what they have that is comparable. From there let the price war begin.
Good rule of thumb, plan on spending no less than $500-$600 for a good starter queen mattress and $900-$1000 for king. Yes cheaper is out there but for an adult couple if you spend less now, you will probably have to replace that set in 4-5 years instead of 9-10 years, even if it has a 10 year warranty. Warranties don't cover how it feels or how long its going to last, it only protects you from manufacturers defects. One is excessive sagging but depending on the type of bed most need to measure down more than 1 1/2". That's a lot and rarely happens.
Hope this was helpful and happy shopping.
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