Tips on Buying a Mattress

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An Insider Look: Buying a Mattress

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We Need a New Mattress

I would like to hear from other subscribers about their purchase and satisfaction in buying a mattress. The ones I've looked at range from $300 to $3000. I know I need a mattress, but I want to make the most judicious use of my money.
Alice C.


We purchased a set from a local store for $89 for a twin set or $160 for a double set. These were mismatched sets. The covers on them were different but that was all that was wrong with them. It doesn't matter to me if the mattress covers are different because who is gonna see them? Ask around by calling furniture stores if they can get mis-matched sets. Might save you a lot of money.

Find the Factory

My husband and I recently purchased our bed and mattress. This was really important to us because we love to sleep and my husband is 6'3 and weighs 280 pounds. We had been searching for a good quality firm, queen mattress for a while, but we found ads that had "Great Deals" to be misleading. We did not want to spend more than $200 for a great mattress and found that the ones in the ads were flimsy and badly made.

We both had noticed that across from my husband's work was a mattress factory. Although they had no fancy showroom or annoying salesmen, they happily custom-made an extra firm mattress for us and even delivered it to our home for a flat $200! We live in California and found this factory in Van Nuys.

We were also lucky because we purchased a beautiful cherry oak sleigh bed from Costco for only $199! It is very hip and we are more than happy with our purchases!
Cristina P.
Northridge, California

"Patchwork" Mattresses

My folks bought us a king-size bed (mattress, two section box spring, metal frame) for only around $300 (probably less) when my husband and I were married. Contact your local furniture/bedding/mattress stores and see if they have any "patchwork" mattress available. Our mattress and boxspring were brand new and first quality, but since they were made out of remnants, the top, bottom, and side fabric doesn't match. But no one sees the mattress itself, and the price (including delivery!) was right!
Bethany B.

Last Year's Models

Every two years, mattress companies update/change the covers on their mattresses and box springs. So in December every two years, beds go on sale to clear out the old covers. There is a large department store here in town that has a warehouse outlet (Foley's) and they mark their beds down every two years as well. We bought our king-size bed for $400. It retailed for $1500 by watching for the sale and then shopping at the department store warehouse.
Camellia M.

Construction Is Important

All I can tell you is, watch out what you are getting for the price. Yes, the mattress with the bowling pin commercial really is great for not allowing the movement of one person bother the other. That much is true, and we paid $1000 for that one in the firmness we preferred. But to our dismay, it holds onto the depression your bodies make. So you have these two troughs in the bed. You have to keep turning it and turning it, but even that doesn't do any good since they reappear almost immediately after turning. We thought since we were paying more than we ever have for a mattress, we were getting a really good one. Every product has its problems, and there are no perfect ones, no matter the price. Our dentist complained of the same problem, Very expensive mattress, no better than the less costly ones. Happy shopping!

Is It the Same Mattress?

We just bought a mattress and box spring set last month, and we put a lot of footwork into it before we purchased. I went to all of the sleep stores, furniture stores and factory outlets to test and price. The Simmons BeautyRest was the best we found, but we found this one mattress ranging in price from $549 on sale at a factory outlet to $1199 on sale at Levitz, with all sorts of prices in between. I was puzzled at the discrepancy. I went back and forth between the two stores.

I was tempted to ask, "What gives?," but as the sales staff at both stores were on commission, I didn't really want to hear the answers they would give. I pulled the mattress and box springs up at both stores and checked every aspect of construction. Both stores offered identical warranties.

I called the manfacturer and assured that the factory outlet was allowed to carry these sets and that everything was on the up and up. The representative at Simmons said they were, so we bought the authentic thing for more than half than we would have paid at a furniture store. I had a Simmons last for twelve years before it needed to be replaced. There is very little difference between the construction on most mid-range mattresses by major companies, if the foam pad spring stuff they show you means anything.

Avoid those hotel mattresses. I would have saved myself hours of driving and weird glances from sales staff and customers if I had done just that.
Anita in Austin

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Buy 'Air' Instead

Instead of buying a coil mattress, I chose to buy an "air" mattress. I used to have a waterbed, which I found very uncomfortable, so I got rid of my waterbed mattress and purchased an air mattress to fit into my waterbed frame. It fits to my body and is still firm enough to support me. The mattresses are pretty durable. I've had mine for 5 years now with no problems and I love it. I ordered mine through American Waterbed Wholesalers at 1-800-923-3795. They ship anywhere. The cost is $89 plus applicable tax.

Do Your Legwork First

I wanted to tell about my recent mattress purchase. It actually took about 2-3 months. First I had to get my husband to agree that we really did need a new mattress. Then I carefully, slowly looked around at all the stores, department, furniture, mattress.

I kept good notes on where I looked and what the exact brand name and mattress name I got the price quote on; this included coil count, wire size, cover type, filling. I learned that mattress manufacturers make "special" name mattresses for all the different department, furniture and mattress stores. So, a Sealy "XX" at the dept. store, is the same Sealy "YY" at the mattress store. Finally after several frustrating and confusing weekends of looking, I finally went into a local mattress store and said to the salesman, "I'm ready to buy a mattress if you are ready to deal." I flopped down on several mattresses and rolled around to make sure it was a mattress I could sleep on for the next 10 years.

Although I was in the market for a mattress in the $500 to $700 range, being the cheapskate I am, I asked if there were any clearance or closeout mattresses, and I was able to buy a closeout, previous year's model $800 set for $300. I also asked for the bed frame for free (which I got), and I asked for an additional discount for picking it up myself. Also, make sure to ask if they will match competitor's prices. I was surprised how much a salesperson was willing to bend to make the sale.

Most of today's mattresses are very thick, and your old sheets don't always fit on the new mattress. I learned that the hard way.

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