how to buy a good mattress for less

What size do you need? Standard mattress dimensions in the U.S. are: twin, 39 inches by 75 inches; double or full, 54 inches by 75 inches; queen, 60 inches by 80 inches; standard king, 76 inches by 80 inches; and California king, 72 inches by 84 inches.
Look at details like the coil size and density of an innerspring mattress, and the foam density and size of ventilation holes on a foam mattress.
Will you share the mattress? If your partner is a restless sleeper, you may prefer a foam mattress or an innerspring with pocketed coils, since these are generally better at isolating motion.
If you strongly prefer a firm mattress while your partner prefers a soft one or vice versa, your best option may be a dual-chambered air mattress, which can be adjusted to a different level of firmness on each side.
Even so, among mattress owners surveyed by, those who bought mattresses online, sight unseen, were just as satisfied with their purchases as those who tried them in a showroom.
On the other hand, the bounciness of an innerspring may make it more suitable for sex than a foam mattress that conforms to the body.
Editors of say customers who buy a mattress online are more likely to return it than those who buy from a store.

Several major mattress manufacturers and retailers offer different models at different price points, so trying to comparison shop one store to another is just about impossible.
The difference in an $800 dollar mattress and a $2,000 one may not be that great, but salespeople will inundate you with “facts” about foam, coil count, and the quality of the mattress ticking.
Once you’ve settled on a mattress and a price, make sure to ask about the frame and box spring.
Mattress retailers often tout their “beat our price” guarantee, but it’s an offer they can easily fulfill.
So what makes one mattress worth hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars more than another? Sometimes it’s nothing at all.
(It’d be a shame to put your brand-new mattress on the floor.) Also check to see if the maker or retailer charges for delivery and if they will remove your old mattress and box spring.
When you’re mattress shopping, make sure you wear comfortable clothes, and leave your inhibitions at home.
"Seventy-two percent of those who invested at least 10 minutes (for instance, lying down on each side, back, and stomach) were highly satisfied with their mattress purchase compared with 62 percent who didn’t."2. Guarantees, Trials and Fees: Find out what the return policy is, can you return the mattress after a 28 day trial or is it only a 10 day try out? What is the restocking fee or pickup fee if you do return it? One suggestion if you do send it back is to take a picture of it when they pick it up, that way you have proof it is in good condition as they are carting it out if the company gives you flack.
A company will void a warranty if you remove the "do not remove" tag, if the mattress is soiled, or if it has uneven support from a box spring or frame–a common reason for sagging, says Stan Steinreich, a Simmons spokesman."5. Read Reviews: Once I have things narrowed down to one or two types of beds I like to read the reviews of them.
Serta is the No. 1 brand of mattresses, and its slogan is “We Make the World’s Best Mattress.” For the Serta Perfect Sleeper, Serta relies on the very recognizable “counting sheep” ads to convey its comfort message to consumers.
Companies often pair the same box spring, or foundation, with mattresses in various price ranges, so you may save by buying a higher-priced mattress with a lower-priced foundation.
Sealy makes models at a wide range of prices, from $500 for a queen to more than $4,000 for a foam mattress.
We checked the policies of three of the largest mattress makers, Sealy, Serta, and Simmons, and all agreed that you must have the tag in order to have your claim processed.
You should think about buying a new mattress if you wake up tired or achy, you tend to sleep better at hotels than at home, your mattress looks saggy or lumpy, you’re over 40, or your mattress is at least five to seven years old.
Mattress makers offer some lines nationally, but when those brands are sold through major chains such as Macy’s, Sears, and Sleepy’s, they’re for lines exclusive to those chains.
On the whole, their opinions were the same as those of our in-store testers, about 75 percent of whom told us, in a recent subscriber survey, that trying out the mattress beforehand helped them sleep better.
Some manufacturers beef up the edges of the mattress with more closely spaced coils, slabs of stiff foam, or thicker wire.
A company will void a warranty if you remove the "do not remove" tag, if the mattress is soiled, or if it has uneven support from a box spring or frame–a common reason for sagging, says a Simmons spokesman.
It’s claimed to help a mattress breathe better and feel cooler, especially for memory foam.
Within each of these “line up” models is where you find the dozens of ‘exclusive’ names tacked on to the end – different names for every retail store but as discussed earlier, rarely any major physical variations (within similar price ranges).
Think about it: they are saying that you will pay the 100% of the price of the mattress, and if you don’t like it, you’ll pay 150% of the price for a different one (since you already bought the first one).
Different sales associates for the same chain had different explanations on a policy that you had to keep the mattress for 30 days first.
As stated before, everyone is different and there is no use in listening to someone’s claims or reading a review on how these mattresses perform, you need to just try them out and decide if they’re worth considering for your next mattress.
You probably know what a traditional mattress feels like but many people have never tested out one of the specialty mattresses such as Tempur Pedic memory foam or Select Comfort’s Sleep Number bed.
Most likely at this point your warranty information should be the same since you’ve narrowed your search to a price range, a single brand, and a line-up model within that brand.
Determining and sticking to your budget is a the very first step to winning the war with the mattress sales shark.
“Names that don’t change are line up names ex: Beautyrest, Posturepedic, Perfect Sleeper… this is what makes real comparisons doable…” – mattress salesman ‘Budgy’ via internet.
You want to be able to call “your guy.” Your mattress, on the other hand, isn’t going in for any tune-ups.
So at this point you have a budget and depending on that budget and your feelings for the specialties, you know whether you’re going just traditional coil spring or keeping the specialty option open as well.
There is little mystery at this point and you just need to keep your newly gained sales pitch knowledge and your budget in tact, and you should see that the “you get what you pay for” adage holds mostly true in this arena.
Overall, a mattress should last you about eight to 10 years, and "all but the cheapest mattresses are apt to last about that long," Marks says.
And because good mattresses can be found at both the low and high end of the price spectrum, it makes sense to start with the cheaper models in stores and work your way up in price, Marks says.
In a study, Consumer Reports found that 72% of shoppers were successful in haggling down the price of a mattress, Marks says.
Doctors tend to recommend Tempur-Pedic mattresses for people with back problems, but some consumers have reported that memory-foam mattresses can be hot to sleep in, Marks says.
Also, negotiate the cost of delivery: Ask if some delivery dates or times are less expensive, if there’s a discount for local delivery or if you can get a discount for picking up the mattress yourself, Frietchen says.
Finally, look for retailers that offer "comfort guarantees," which give you the option to return a mattress if you take it home and discover that it’s uncomfortable, Mahoney says.
It may have a name on it but dont be fooled mattress company make cheaper mattresses for the discount stores.
Mattress manufactures contractually set minimum prices that they allow retailers to sell their mattresses at, so they either have to price them at that minimum or overprice them and negotiate.
Have a mattress shopping tip of your own? Scoff at this "coil count" business because you rock it out on a foam mattress? Let’s hear about it in the comments.
They have advice directly from a guy who has been part of his family’s mattress business his whole life.
Always ask if the innerspring mattress you’re looking at has edge support to keep the edges firm and keep it comfy for you getting in and out of bed.
If a store is willing to negotiate mattress prices, then they are overpriced, so make sure you get them down a considerable amount.
Consumer Reports tested 12 models from Ikea, Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Stearns & Foster and Tempur-Pedic, plus Costco’s Novaform brand.  Simmons’ performance varied the most in this test.  The manufacturer’s Beautyrest Glover Park Firm Pillowtop (sold at Sears), a CR Best Buy at $780, topped the Ratings of conventional, innerspring mattresses while its ComforPedic Loft Crestwood Luxury Plush, $1,920, earned the lowest scores among foam models and overall.
Don’t rely on softness or firmness claims – nearly half the mattresses Consumer Reports tested were softer than promised.  Gauge comfort by lying on any mattress in consideration.  Spend at least ten minutes on each side, back, and stomach – depending on typical sleep position.
Mattress makers offer some lines nationally.  Those available at major retailers like Macy’s, Sears, and Sleepy’s are typically exclusive to those chains.  And because retailers often change model names, it’s hard to compare models store to store so use Consumer Reports performance Ratings as a guide.
Keep an old box spring if possible.  Replacing the box spring that goes beneath a mattress can cost anywhere from $150 to more than $300.  For those swapping out an innerspring mattress for a new one, keep the box spring if it is not sagging or damaged.  If switching to memory foam, a solid platform may be necessary to provide enough support.  However, for both foam and innerspring mattresses, some brands require consumers to purchase their box spring purchase to receive the full warranty.
Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.  Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.
“And most likely, you won’t find good materials that can withstand daily uses for under $1,000.” That said, you should never pay full price for a mattress — always shop the sales, and don’t be afraid to negotiate with the salesperson either for a discount or for extras (a bed frame, pillows, sheets) to be thrown in.
Consider an innerspring mattress with pocketed coils, or memory foam, latex, or a dual-chamber air-filled mattress.
Some savvy manufacturers make a hybrid style mattress that combines the buoyancy of an innerspring core with the motion isolation of memory foam.
Cushy memory foam or a mattress with a fluffy topper will have the most pressure relief, while a very firm mattress will offer the least.
Following that heat-map analogy, the last thing a stomach-sleeper probably wants is an enveloping memory foam — it would feel smothering! Instead, a firm top surface will provide the best support.
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Shop Sealy Simmons Beautyrest Simmons Beautyrest mattress have been produced with a pocketed coil since 1925.
Even with fewer coils, the Stearns & Foster coil unit has more working steel in it than any other mattress we sell.
This means that customers who have purchased from our store have rated us as "excellent!" Our mattress experts receive training several times a year from the nation’s top mattress brands, and they’re ready to help you select the right mattress.
Through research, the mattress manufacturers have found that adding a greater quantity of high quality comfort materials provides a more comfortable sleeping surface and contributes to a longer comfort life.
Mattress shopping can be confusing and stressful, so let us help you find the perfect mattress! If you’d like more information, you can always call us at 1-800-455-1052 and speak to one of our friendly mattress experts who will be happy to assist you.
Sealy, Serta, and Simmons Beautyrest offer three or four different grades of innerspring coil units in their lines, usually providing more coils in higher priced mattresses.
Low-quality, uncomfortable mattresses have been linked to sleep discomfort and pain, and chronic pain can prevent quality sleep [1] [2].
Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain.
Quality sleep on a good mattress may also help decrease stress [10].
Effectiveness of a selected bedding system on quality of sleep, low back pain, shoulder pain, and spine stiffness.
Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems.
Nine in 10 respondents in a sleep survey cited their mattress as an important factor in getting that coveted good night’s rest.
The long and short of it? A bad mattress can contribute to poor sleep quality, while a good mattress can improve it.
If you find yourself in the market for a new mattress, follow these guidelines for a better shot at getting that elusive good night’s sleep.
Better “bedding systems” (a fancy way of saying “things you sleep on”) have been linked to decreased pain and discomfort, especially in women [8] [9].
Sleep disturbance in patients with chronic low back pain.
Traditional mattress manufacturers like Sealy, Simmons, and Serta have their own lines of memory foam beds, and also offer combo memory foam and inner-springs mattresses.
The leading memory foam and air-filled mattress providers rarely, if ever, discount their products; but the inner-spring mattress market is extremely competitive and full price is a price no one should every pay.
If you opt for a memory foam mattress, be sure to comparison shop new products from traditional mattress makers like Sealy, Simmons, and Serta.
As Consumer Reports found, much of the mattress industry intentionally works to prevent consumers from comparison shopping by making different-but-similar lines of mattresses for a variety of distributors.
I paid about one third of that for a comparable quality memory foam mattress from Costco around the same time that he bought his mattress.
For example, the Ikea Sultan Hansbo Memory Foam Pillowtop Mattress from IKEA is only $399, but shipping can cost up to $299, depending on location.
Most mattresses are made with an inner-spring construction; that is, the core of the mattress is devised from a set of steel springs that support the structure.
Mattress-only stores like The Original Mattress Factory offer competitive prices and may, according to Consumer Reports, provide more knowledgeable, attentive salespeople.
Tempur-Pedic competitors such as the Novaform Serafina Gel Queen Memory Foam Mattress ($979.49 with free shipping, a low by $1) may not be dense enough to provide proper support, especially for the above-average sized American.
However, more dense memory foam does not necessarily result in greater customer satisfaction: around 80% of memory foam bed users are satisfied with their product, whether sleeping on a high-end mattress like Tempur-Pedic or a cheaper knockoff.
Although Tempur-Pedic mattresses have a reputation for being among the priciest solutions to a good night’s sleep, over 7 million people have made that choice and are resting easy, content with their memory foam beds.
Speaking of heat, a number of Tempur-Pedic users found their mattress to be more firm than expected upon first use, though the foam softened and became comfortable as it absorbed body heat.
Given that customer satisfaction is fairly evenly distributed among memory foam sleepers regardless of brand, it’s hard to substantiate the claim that Tempur-Pedic provides a better night’s sleep than some of its less expensive competitors.
Thankfully there are other memory foam mattress brands that are not expensive and have the added benefit if being cooler than a Tempurpedic that runs hot.
In light of price point, it seems reasonable to suggest testing out a less expensive memory foam mattress from Ikea or Costco to start.
Also inquire as to how the reaction time is [ too slow= potential to get stuck in hole, too fast= is it even memory foam, look for something in the middle.] Mattress cover tickings should be breathable, and a PCM [PHase Change Material] is ideal.
After a few minutes you find yourself sinking into a hole! I ended up sending back a memory foam mattress at the end of the trial period in favor of a conventional innerspring mattress.
The Signature Sleep Memoir 8" Memory Foam Mattress in Full ($199 with free shipping, a low by $100) has a 9 ILD.
Do your research before buying a memory foam mattress! I’m now shopping for an organic mattress and hope to get my health back.
Unlike conventional innerspring mattresses, Tempur-Pedic mattresses are made of memory foam.
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When you lie down on a memory foam mattress, the weight and heat of your body helps shape a custom-contoured sleeping surface, so you won’t have pressure points that can cause you to wake up with aches and pains in the morning.
Mattress thickness: Memory foam mattresses generally vary in thickness from less than 8 inches to more than 13 inches.
If you enjoy sleeping on a plush surface or if you are a side sleeper, look for a memory foam mattress that is about 3 or 4 pounds.
While any thickness of memory foam mattress is going to provide the benefits of a pressure-sensitive sleep system, think about your preferences with your current mattress.
Memory foam density: Even more than thickness, the density of the mattress will determine how firm the surface will be.
Type of foam: Traditional memory foam is very popular, and you’ll see many of these mattresses available.
When you’re shopping for a memory foam mattress, you’ll enjoy the process more if you know what to look for before you start.
Memory foam mattresses will work with all types of bed frames, but platform beds are especially suited for them.
Overall, a bed with a memory foam mattress will be lower than a traditional bed.
Your bed frame: Memory foam mattresses do not require a box spring and they aren’t usually sold with them the way innerspring mattresses are.
About memory foam: Memory foam mattresses are one of the most innovative mattresses available.
Some people get warm when they sleep on traditional memory foam, however, so gel memory foam was invented.
Memory foam is a temperature- and pressure-sensitive viscoelastic material that conforms to your body shape.
Most hard-sided water beds have mattresses without chambers, so the water inside is free flowing and won’t feel much different than you do when you lie down on a conventional mattress.
Soft-sided water beds have many chambers and are wave-less; most people can’t feel any significant difference between a wave-less water mattress and a conventional mattress.
Because a water bed mattress is filled with water, your body weight is evenly distributed, and the water bed mattress conforms to your body.
Choosing the right water bed for you involves considering a different set of factors than you would use to buy a traditional mattress.
Go to Sleepy’s or whatever mattress store you like, find a bed you like, then sit and wait out the grueling back-and-forth negotiation that has to take place and if the price doesn’t come down by 50% off the tag then go to the next closes Sleepy’s (or whatever) and tell them you want X bed for X dollars.
Since we were moving from a futon to a real bed in our first apartment, the frame and delivery were musts, and even with some additional shopping around during those 30-days, (looking for other furniture), our deal on the actual mattress price didn’t suffer for the free stuff.
They’re also going to try selling you a “mattress protector” or “mattress pad.” If it is a cushioned pad, then don’t bother; you are getting a new bed so why in the world would you need a pad for it, right? But, if it is a waterproof style that comes with a stain warranty for the bed, then it is worth thinking about.
Go to Sleepy’s or whatever mattress store you like, find a bed you like, then sit and wait out the grueling back-and-forth negotiation that has to take place and if the price doesn’t come down by 50% off the tag then go to the next closes Sleepy’s (or whatever) and tell them you want X bed for X dollars.
We bought our mattress, a sealy I think, from a local independent Mattress store because we liked how it felt and the price was very reasonable.
If you are looking at an innerspring mattress, ask whether the bed has any kind of “edge support.” The edge where you get out of bed is the first place that will break down, so the mattress should either have some type of heavier steel gauge for the coils or some sort of heavier foam around the edge.
“This article reads like it is – a sales pitch from a guy whose family has been in the mattress business for X years.
Learned several years ago while shopping for a mattress that different stores will have the exact same mattress as another store, but with a different name on it (same brand).
If you’re dying for a Temperpedic mattress, but don’t want to shell out an insane amount of money, you can get comparable memory foam matresses at Costco or for much less.
The mattress I’m currently sleeping on I’m disappointed by, having not known anything about mattresses when I made the purchase.
One thing you will not find at your local mattress store is a wide selection of Air Mattresses.
A salesperson actually told me to buy a cheaper/less comfortable mattress because “children don’t really need the extra comfort”.
That’s $400 per year! (the mattress I own now cost that much) Who can afford that, for one thing? And for another, I have heard way too many people like Beth and Mark above say that mattresses are grossly overpriced and there are ways to get them for less.
We found stores would price match if we found the same brand mattress with the same coil count (indicating the same exact mattress).
We just bought a new Stearns & Foster king size bed from Sealy’s Mattress and More stores.
Heck, after reading all the mattress articles I’m not even sure what the words “firm” and “soft” mean anymore.
This article reads like it is – a sales pitch from a guy whose family has been in the mattress business for X years.
I remember it saying how it is hard to compare prices because one company gives the same mattress different names depending on what store it will be sold in.
My wife and I just bought a mattress (Seriously JD, why is it that we’re always doing the same thing at the same time…) We found Sleepy’s too salesy.
“Mattress salespeople are pretty good at finding the best fit for customers” – I had to chuckle at this item.
We paid about $1200 for the lower-end queen size mattress and “foundation” (basically the box spring that supports the mattress).
I’ve never paid more than half price for a mattress.
The salesperson there adviced me to buy the waterproof mattress protector, in case there were any “accidents”, and that was good advice.
I eventually bought a very nice pillow top mattress at another store.
Not sure if this will be helpful, but some other bloggers just bought a new mattress that they heavily researched and decided to go with an environmentally friendly version.
If you are looking for an Air Mattress – check out to see all of the available options and reviews of the top mattresses.
We knew some of these when we bought the mattress I have now and I think we made a good buy.
I do not notice any difference in the feel of the mattress and 2 years later it’s still looks and feels like it’s brand new.
You might not want to sleep on an Air Mattress every night, but they sure are useful for when you have guests in town.
Once you know the general layering and style of mattresses that tend to work well for your weight, body profile, and sleeping positions (thickness and softness of the comfort layers and firmness and makeup of the support layers), you can use this knowledge as a guideline to find an appropriate mattress in any budget range.
Never buy a mattress with more than around an inch or so of lower density polyfoam (less than 1.8 lbs or so in one sided or 1.5 lbs in two sided) or memory foam (less than 4.0 lbs or so) or unknown foam in the comfort layers (upper pressure relieving layers) and the quilting combined as this could become the weak link in your mattress and could be subject to early softening and body impressions.
I’ve had so many questions on the forum asking about major brand mattresses or mass market mattress retailers that I thought it would be helpful to put together a set of guidelines to help consumers bypass most of the traps and pitfalls of mattress shopping and to help cut through the confusion and frustration of finding your perfect mattress.
This includes the density of any polyfoam or memory foam, the type and blend of any latex, the type of fabrics or quilting materials or fibers that are used in the mattress cover (ticking), and any other materials in the mattress.
These fake sale prices are meant to encourage you to buy based on a false perception of value or based on a sense of urgency when in fact they are often still very much overpriced based on the materials in the mattress.

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