need a new mattress, any advice?

vacuumfreakOctober 12, 2010

OK, I think the time has finally come for me to plunk down a few dollars on a decent mattress. I'm still sleeping on the thing that was given to me when I moved into my apartment 4 years ago.... I was grateful for it at the time, because I couldn't afford anything else and had been sleeping on an air mattress up until then... an air mattress that my cat had poked a hole in. Every night, I pumped the silly thing up, and every night, it leaked and I sank back down the floor. It was an adventure to be sure.

So anyway, I have a queen sized frame, but my mattress is just not comfortable, and it is sagging in the middle, it's just a mess! I'd like to stick with the same size I have now, but I really don't know what kind to even consider. I think I'd prefer something soft, but still supportive.... I was considering Tempurpedic, but I hear there are some cons to that memory foam stuff too.

So, since I've never shopped for a good/new mattress before, do you have any advice? What should I look for when I go the store to have a look? What should I stay away from? Should I expect the box springs to be included in the mattress price? Is removing the old mattress a standard practice when they deliver the new one? I don't know where to begin! I am, however, looking forward to better sleep when I get something new. What is an appropriate price range for something decent? I was thinking between 1000 and 1500 dollars, but I know some can cost twice that.... I don't want to go crazy, but I don't want to be a cheapskate either, I want something good this time!

Thanks for any advice you can offer, I plan to hit a few stores tomorrow and just see what's available.

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I cannot tell you how many bad things we have to say about Tempurpedic, particularly their customer service. I dislike that company so much I thought about setting up a website specifically for complaints. However, someone had already beaten me to it.

My DH has severe pain and sleep issues. We must have tried half-a-dozen different mattresses trying desperately to find something he could actually sleep on. We finally found that a Sleep Number bed worked best. Not 100% of the time; he still has many sleepless nights. But better than anything else.

The thing that strikes me after having gone through this marathon is that everyone is so unique in their sleep preferences and needs it's guaranteed that one person's ideal mattress is someone else's instrument of torture.

So perhaps what matters most is the warranty. Do you have a reasonable trial period during which you can use the mattress with return privileges if it doesn't work out? This is one of those purchases where you can't really know until you've slept on it a week or so.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 4:29AM
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I have a conventional mattress and box springs, they can be purchased separately so expect to pay for the box spring as well. Some places, like Costco, sell them only as sets so you don't have the option of purchasing just the mattress. If you purchase from a mattress store, you can purchase separately. Box springs are pretty inexpensive.

I purchased a floor demo from a bed and mattress chain and saved quite a lot of money by doing that. They delivered, set up, and took away the old stuff.

You can deal with the mattress store sales people, they want to move merchandise. Shop around. Lay down on a bunch of beds. Buy the best you can afford, it makes a difference. Often they will throw in a set of sheets and/or a mattress pad.

Back to type. Memory foam can be very warm to sleep on, great in a cold climate or if you are inclined to be cold all the time. I like the softness, though. I compromised and bought a 3 or 4 inch memory foam topper.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 8:17AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I have had Beautyrest mattresses for 15 years and will buy others. You can always add a memory foam topper to a mattress, btw.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 8:53AM
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Here is a website I found a while back. It also has a forum. IIRC they liked latex, not memory foam mattresses.

Here is a link that might be useful: Whats the best mattress

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 8:57AM
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I think mine is a Simmons. I'd have to strip it to find out! I didn't get the one with the pillow top. The foam topper solved that. And I can toss the topper and get a new one.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 9:15AM
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Thank you all... Carol, what happened with Tempurpedic, if you don't mind sharing? If you've told the story before, I must have missed it! I know there are several other brands that offer similar materials.

Thank you Barnmom for sharing your experience. I didn't realize that memory foam was warm to sleep on (I haven't read reviews yet, I'm about to visit stores, so I'll know what to read about) and I am very hot natured. I keep the a/c at 72 always (unless cleaning, then that's too warm and it goes lower) and sleep with two fans on me, both on high, all night!

My best friend said he has a Simmons Beauty Rest with the pillow top, and it's the best mattress he's ever had.

By the way, I do have the 3 inch memory foam topper and I really do like it! It's helped make the old jalopy I call a bed more tolerable!

Thanks again for the advice everyone. Shopping for a mattress is just one of those necessities in life, I guess... I'm not dreading it, but I know it's not going to be as fun as shopping for an appliance!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 11:04AM
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Go to the Consumer Reports page & find their article on mattresses. It will tellyou everything you want to know, including the fact that it isn't necessary to pay $1500+ for a mattress/box spring set.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 12:22PM
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I like the Sleep Number beds. They have an air pump and wireless control, you dial the firmness or softness to whatever you want. I don't think most people really end up changing their preferred firmness often (though, extremes of weather and/or back pain can make me temporarily prefer a firmer/softer bed), but if you have two people, each can set their ''side'' to the desired firmness. And you don't need to worry that your 10 minute test of various mattresses in the store was misleading, since you can essentially keep changing firmness after you get the mattress home until it is ''right''. Only disadvantages I've found are they are expensive (similar to the better memory foam mattresses) and if the two sides are set at drastically different firmnesses (like, 85 and 25) then the softer side is a bit lower than the firmer - might need a 1/2'' topper over that side to compensate.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 2:50PM
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By the law of physics, water is the one thing that can actually give you equal support for the entire body, as in hydrotherapy.

You do experience weightlessness when you are swimming, for instance.

I have been using a waterbed for years.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 3:15PM
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Waterbeds are great for sleeping alone, not so great for sleeping with someone. But maybe new waterbeds are made differently than the old bags of water in a frame from the 70s.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 3:55PM
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I spent a lot of time reading the linked forum when I bought a new set a few years back. After shopping around I ended up with the Heavenly Bed, made famous by Westin hotels, sold locally at Nordstrom. I'm sure I could have gotten equal quality for cheaper.

I found the biggest frustration is that the industry is purposely set up such that no one sells the same mattresses, so you simply cannot compare apples to apples. For example, Simmons custom makes lines specific for Sleepy's, 1-800-MATTRES, all the department stores and every other "big buyer" so you can't lie on a mattress, fall in love and then shop around for the best price on the same exact thing.

Anyway, Heavenly Bed, I could take it or leave it. Comfy, yes, not convinced it's the best for my back. Wife loves it, and I'd say it meets your requirement of firm but plush. But so do many others. The one thing I'd definitely recommend is to buy separates. From what I understand a box spring is a box spring, no need to splurge on a name brand. Spend the savings on the mattress you love.

Here is a link that might be useful: sdmattress

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 4:25PM
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Thank you all so much for your advice here. I guess the best thing to do when shopping for a mattress is to try them out for yourself, which is what I did today. I just came home, and I bought a mattress.... maybe I should have done more research, but I wanted to get this done and move on with my life. I didn't buy the first one I saw though, I went to three places. I was the ONLY customer in each of the three stores I went to, so I think the sales people were "hungry". I pocket dialed my a friend 3 times while trying out mattresses, I guess they make a keyboard lock for a reason!

First, Mattress Firm. Sales guy was an eager, young, skinny whipper snapper, named Craig. He made me lie down on a diagnostic bed. Then he looked at the print out and would only show me mattresses on the print out (which were the firmest ones in the store, and I stressed I wanted soft, not firm). I really liked the Simmons Beauty Rest with pillow top, AND the Tempurpedic, but I was not about to spend 3000 dollars (or even the sale price of 2600). I also liked the Sterns and Foster, but again, way high end.

The second place was one called Mattress One... a nice older guy named Humberto was the salesman there. He spent time showing me a lot of beds and listened. There was one that was called Therapepdic, which was a knock off of Tempurpedic. It was only 499... I liked it for the most part (super soft), but I sank way down into it, and could feel the box springs below. I told him I'd consider it, took his card, and went to Five Guys to have lunch. While inhaling my cheeseburger, I hopped online (on my phone) and did a bit of research on Therapedic. I discovered some bad reviews, they don't keep their shape after a few years!

In the next plaza over, there was a Mattress Giant. I walked up to find a big fat guy in a yellow shirt smoking right outside the door... upon seeing that, I almost got back in the car, but instead went inside since I was already there... His name was Sergio, and he really took the time to explain things to me, and after listening, directed me to a brand called King's Down. It's memory foam on the inside (no coils at all), but it looks like a traditional mattress, and doesn't sink down and envelope you like a Tempurpedic does. I picked the softest one in the line, and it was just like sleeping on a cloud. Very nice! Mattress and box springs was 799, delivery 69, and mattress protector was 89, so with tax, it came to just over 1000, and will be delivered on Thursday. 100 day comfort guarantee (exchange policy), and 10 year warranty. I feel really good about my choice, and can't wait to sleep on a mattress that isn't sunken in in the middle!

I called Humberto and told him that I decided on something else so he didn't count on me coming back... I had told him I'd be back if I didn't see something I liked elsewhere better. He was glad I let him know (I felt weird doing that, but he was nice, so I figured I owed him that), but I could hear the disappointment in his voice when he realized I wasn't going to buy from him.

Thanks again for your advice here! Oh yeah, I told a friend about it, and he told me he bought the same bed from the same store about a year ago and loves it (but he got free delivery and a free mattress protector, I guess I'm not much of a haggler).

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 7:31PM
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Congratulations on your new purchase. I'm wishing you the best of sleep.

To answer the original question, the Tempurpedic just did not work for us. My husband didn't find it comfortable to sleep on and it had a sharp nose-tingling chemical smell I thought was horrible. It never did subside to the point I was comfortable. Finally we gave the bed to the in-laws, who did like it very much. Maybe being elderly they were not sensitive to the odor.

Our Tempurpedic horror story is too long and complicated to get into in detail. It had to do with a leather recliner which had a remote massage and heat feature. Very expensive. My husband loved the chair so it was worth it until just after the warranty ran out and the electronic control module died. It was then we discovered (after many many phone calls all up the line) that Tempurpedic discontinued that model just after we bought it. They quit manufacturing the module, did not keep any in stock for repairs and had no help whatsoever to offer, not even a schematic.

While some company representatives were sympathetic, it became clear that as a corporation their interest ended at point-of-sale and that we had no options. What we ended up with was a pricy non-functional non-repairable chair. I have since heard other similar horror stories regarding shoddy service.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 4:02AM
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