Because we spend a third of our lives in bed, you’d think we’d know a little more about the mattresses we sleep on, right? Wrong. Micro fibers, pocketed coils, open-cell technology, coil count. The mattress industry has made it confusing for a reason. Follow my simple shopping guide, and you’ll sleep better at night just knowing that you made an educated decision.
Know before you go. If you’re Internet savvy, start there. Get a feel for pricing and styles before you head to the stores. If you hear the word “hard drive” and think of your commute to work, avoid the Internet, and check out a magazine such as Consumer Reports.
Shop around. There’s no harm in trying out different styles. Ask questions. A sales associate should be knowledgeable and helpful in telling you the benefits of each style.
Ask for comparables. If you fall in love with a mattress from a big name brand in one store, and want to compare prices, ask for a comparable mattress from that same brand in a different store. Stores sell identical big-name mattresses under different model names. A good sales associate can and will help you find a comparable mattress.
Get Comfortable. Lay down on the mattress as if you were going to take a nap. If you sleep with a partner, make sure that person is on the other side. Remember to dress comfortably. And take your coat off before you lie down on the mattress so you can truly get a real feel of the mattress.
Go with your Gut. Mattress sales people are notorious for pushing people into a mattress. Usually, industry people work on commissions—and are paid added bonuses for selling specific styles. Bottom line: no one can tell you which mattress is right for you. Comfort is a personal choice. Listen to what your body is telling you.
Firm isn’t always best. If a bed is too firm, it won’t fill in the gaps of your body, placing your spine in an unnatural position, and putting pressure on your hips and shoulders.
The coil count myth. Coil counts are the mattress industry’s equivalent to Jedi-mind tricks. Higher coil counts are an easy way for a manufacturer to jack up the price of a mattress, and since you cannot see the coils in a mattress, it can be very confusing. Don’t judge a mattress on coil count alone—they can be misleading. Two mattresses of equal coil counts can have a completely different feel. Once again, go with your gut (or your back) and buy based on comfort.
Take your time. Some stores allow you to make a private appointment to come in and take a nap. Some stores may even let you “try” the mattress out at home. Just read the fine print so you know the terms. Mattress stores may try to charge you for these test drives by hiding fees under Redelivery and Restocking fees. You may also have to pay to ship the mattress back.
Ask about a Store’s Return Policy. Most stores offer a money back guarantee***** Fine print usually follows an asterisk. Make sure you read the fine print—you may have to pay for shipping, or restocking fees—before you test drive the mattress.
For sale or not for sale? Most major mattress stores offer sales. Some stores will even negotiate a price with you.
Perfection is usually perfectly unattainable. Remember that there are SO many factors that affect your sleep. Your mattress is just a part of the puzzle.
Give it time. Just like a brand new pair of shoes, you’ll need time to get used to your mattress, and it will need a little time to adjust to you. Give it a little time, and sleep on it.