Planned Obsolescence?

chisueAugust 28, 2008

OK, I'm stretching to make this post fit the "Finances" forum. We need a new mattress. I'm sick of mattresses made with foam that always breaks down after a few years, no longer providing support.

Last go-round when DH and I tried mattresses in a retail store we literally bounced off them. They were like trampolines! DH weighs 185 and I'm 120. The salesman said they were building mattresses for a population of heavy people -- that we'd need to add pillowtops. Fine, now we have foam-based beds that are breaking down and pillowtops that are H-O-T.

Anybody have a solution to get off this merry-go-round of buying mattresses that are too hot and that break down in only a few years? How about the air beds? Wool pillowtops? (And just how are the air mattresses -- at $2K -- different from those blow-ups for camping?)

Who has had a mattress for several years that doesn't display a 'fanny imprint' and is comfortable and cool?

Maybe I should add that we like a pair of X-Long Twins used together as a European King. (Easier to flip.)

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We bought a Stearns & Foster pillowtop and I regret buying that particular model. I like the S&F brand a great deal - it's local so you may not have it in the Midwest - a good innerspring.

However, it wasn't until after we bought the pillowtop model that I learned they eventually compress in most-used spots, which is what has happened to ours after three years. It isn't terrible, but you can feel the difference if you lie in the middle, LOL. And like you, I find them quite hot.

I can recommend buying a separate sheepskin mattress topper. I like mine a great deal and it really helps with those menopausal late-night episodes. They add 1" in height, however, so you need to be sure to measure the total height of mattress and top when purchasing sheets.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 11:07AM
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Thanks, jkom51! We've had Stearns & Foster too and liked them. I guess the mattress business is so competitive that most stuff eventually sinks to a bottom line. (No pun intended.)

I thin I will take a look at the air beds. Two nice people replied to my mattress post on the "Home Decorating" forum, endorsing those. Maybe I could be happy with those, plus your idea of the sheepskin topper?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 11:32AM
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I hate mattresses. It's impossible to compariosn-shop. Every store has a different model name. And, they don't last.

The ones we had in our Canadian trip were nice. They were more solid than the usual American ones. No idea what they were made of, but it didn't seem like foam/springs.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 12:46PM
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One review I read said people think they want 'hotel' mattresses because hotels replace their mattresses every two to three years. The reviewer said you could end up ahead buying a hotel grade mattress (usually inexpensive) and replacing it regularly.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 3:10PM
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I adore my Temperpedic mattress. I'd never sleep on anything else. You don't have to flip it. I have the 'real' Temperpedic brand. With all the fanciness of regular mattresses these days, Temperpedic doesn't really cost a whole lot more. I have had my mattress for > 5 years and it is like new. I do rotate it occasionally (I have a queen and sleep only on the right side) although it really doesn't seem to make a difference. I weigh 133 pounds and my dog weighs 45 pounds (she sleeps on the left). A great investment.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 3:18PM
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(From Chicago, by chance?)

If you are interested in the air mattress type of beds, go spend the $100 to stay at a Radisson for a night - they feature the Sleep Number beds. It's a cheap test run, right? Get a king for best results for your needs - I have heard complaints about the doubles that you can feel your partner's every move because it is basically an air mattress. If you plan to get two twins, the king has two channels so that will most mimic what your set up will be like.

We bought a Stearns & Foster 1.5 years ago and we just love it! It was pricey - $2200 - but it comes with a 10 year warranty against sagging and other defects. I think it has to sag 1 inch or more for you to get a replacement under the warranty. Our has a pillowtop and at times we do feel it is warm, but we often wonder if that isn't from the waterproof mattress pad the store talked us into - if the mattress has any signs of liquid damage, the warranty is void. This mattress pad is breathable, but still less so than cotton. We haven't tried a night without it yet, so it hasn't bothered us *that* much.

I truly think it is very difficult to pick out a mattress on a showroom floor considering if you are buying quality, it is a decent investment that deserves more than a few minutes to decide.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 3:19PM
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christine -- Yes, I'm Sue and I live 30 miles north of the city. We've always lived in some northern or NW suburb. I once tried to pry DH away, but he loves the Cubs and the Bears too much. I tell him he can see them on TV just as well somewhere ELSE, but oh, no!

Thanks for the Radisson tip!

rileysmom -- A friend loved the Tempurpedic for a few years, then it started to break down. She said it was hot, too. Not your experience?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 5:12PM
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I'm in the far west suburbs. : )

I am not sure all Radissons are 100% Sleep Number beds so just make sure before you reserve.

On a fluke while cleaning today I found our mattress receipt - it was $2300 for the mattress and $89 for the waterproof mattress pad.

Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 7:31PM
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We have a Simmons Beautyrest queen size that I think was about $1,000 for the set. We've had it for 6 or 7 years, and it's still fine. It's just the basic mattress (not a pillowtop), it's not hot, and it's kept its shape. Our total weight is a bit south of 400 pounds (how's that for not saying how much I weigh on the Internet?). We turn it every once in a while.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 9:10PM
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We've had a Sealy (Renola Freedom) for several years & love it. We like a really firm mattress (no pillowtop) and this ones held true. We're a combined 370# and it's held up well.

Our prior mattress, a pillowtop king size that I paid way too much for (can't remember brand) we used about 6 months and then hubby said that was enough. We moved it to our 15 year old sons room and he loved it. But, now at age 18 he's trying to get used to a twin size mattress in a dorm room (not extra-long either).

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 10:30PM
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I think I agree with the review that said you could either get a super expensive (maybe latex) mattress that will last 20 years or buy a series of inexpensive 'hotel grade' mattresses, replacing them every few years as the 'indents' appear. (That apparently happens as coils compress and foam breaks down.)

I tried a featherbed on top of our 'hottie' but it didn't help. Our mattress is so hot that even if I don't get back to make the bed for three hours, when I pull back the covers...the bed is still noticeably warm.

OT: Someone could make an interesting study of male body temps 'at rest'. I thought it was just *my* DH.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 11:17AM
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OT back: my DH is a night-sweater. I finally made him put a towel on his pillow every night to save the pillow from disintegration. (And no, he's not sick -- he just runs hot, especially when he sleeps, apparently.)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 5:20PM
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One of my friends tried the sleep number (air) bed and was dissatisfied with it. He had a king-size, although he sleeps alone, and found that sleeping in the middle didn't work at all! You probably wouldn't have that problem [grin]. A more serious problem was that the air pressure kept varying between the two sides erratically during the night. He said the company was no help at all when he called twice to complain and ask for help in figuring out why the pressure would not hold where he wanted it to. So he returned it for the full refund.

So far he's the only person I know personally that has tried it. He has serious back problems and was very disappointed he couldn't get the sleep number mattress to work for him.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2008 at 11:37PM
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Have you looked into mattresses from IKEA? European countries use the latex foam mattresses, which hold up much better than the visco-foam mattresses. Plus, they are REALLY inexpensive, so if you replaced it after a few years, it wouldn't be a big hit.

We have the Simmons Beautyrest king. Cost a small fortune when we got it and within three years or so, we have "wells" and back aches. Even though it can't be flipped, we have been turning it until we have our budget built up and then we are buying mattresses from IKEA.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:39AM
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What, you characters don't like sleeping with a "hot number"?

How about a water bed?

The single that I used before coming here had been in service for at least 35 years, I think .. without appreciable holes, "imprints", "memory foam" ... or whatever.

I slept in wife's bed when I stayed with uncle for a while after her death, and still do - have no idea how old that mattress is. She had a sheepskin on top, and I added a shallow "egg crate" kind of foam cover - about 10 years old, for I got it when daughter was married.

Stuart, who had a lot of back, hip and leg pain (but not in chair or bed), after three hip replacements, felt that he had a depression in his bed that accomodated his hip. I've slept in it a few times, and didn't notice a depression.

Maybe I'm just too insensitive to notice.

I hope that you're happy with what you choose, chisue.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 11:00AM
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We have the air bed.

The canvas air chambers are the same thing used for life rafts. Very sturdy. There are foam bolsters between the chambers, at the sides, top, and foot of the bed. There is an egg-crate type of covering over the whole arrangement, and a cover that zips on and off over that.

benefits: Queen size bed weighs next-to nothing. If you have to move it to vacuum, change the bed, etc., it's great. Breaks down easily to move. Parts can be carried by a mere mortal woman of average size/strength at middle age. Takes about 45 minutes to set up alone, a little more if your spouse (who thinks he knows better, but doesn't) helps.

The big company whose ads are on the radio all the time stand behind their product. When some mold developed on one chamber and foam, replacements were sent. Included was a UPS shipping label for the old parts to be returned. I hadn't actually asked for a replacement, asked how to stop the mold on the egg crate foam. I have a buddy who purchased the cheap imitation, and when he had problems, he was just out of luck. the manufacturer wouldn't help him, and the store where he purchased it said it was a problem with the product, contact the company.

Disadvantages: this does require periodic airing and drying if you sweat at night. A certain amount of disassembling is necessary, and carrying the chambers and foam outside to air. However, you can just purchase a new egg crate foam topper if you want, (we just did). A full size egg crate just fit the queen size bed. Once you have two, you can rotate them. I did take the original and tried to soak it with bleach solution and air it out. It was still damp in spots days later.

I would guess, and it's only a guess, that there would be fewer dust mites in the air bed, because there is less upholstery.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 10:33AM
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We purchased the Sleep by number mattress earlier this year. It is a very comfortable bed, but the instability of pressure drives me insane. My wife loves it which is the most important thing. I just never imagined I would have to adjust the "Number" every night before I went to bed. I believe it is affected by the barometric pressure so anytime the weather/humidity changes you can count on the bed changing. My wife has the pattern down, she always checks the pressure before she goes to sleep. Problem is I usually go to bed later than she does, so I don't want to wake her up with the sound of a air pump turning on under the bed which means I sleep on a really soft mattress most of the time. We are building a new house right now, and I am thinking about creating a sound proof box under the floor to put the pump in. That might be doable. Who would have thought going to bed would be so complicated :)

I have always wanted a memory foam bed. Those are soooo comfortable, but way too soft for my wife. Definitely pay a premium for those.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 12:07PM
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Hotel mattresses are actually not as sturdy as mattresses built for the home. The hotel mattress has a different person sleeping in it every night or so, and thus the points of pressure change from person to person. As a result, a hotel mattress wears better and does not lose its shape as quickly as a mattress that is used by the same body configuration which prefers the same spot in bed every night in a home.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 12:46PM
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sheilajoyce -- Ah-hah! Good point. That may be why the mattresses at our Maui condo have lasted longer than our much more expensive home bed. (Although someone has suggested that the resort mattressess may have experienced more 'bouncy, bouncy', as he put it.)

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 4:32PM
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Reading thru the initial posts, I, too was wondering about waterbeds, as joyfulguy mentioned.

WOW, we've come a long way baby! LOL

The one and only bed I've ever bot was when hubby & I divorced. I bot a full (double) for $200.00 in the late 70's. (He took the waterbed - I kept the kid!)

We were given a twin bed in the early 80's, which my kid slept on for many years - 'til he went away to College.

Met my 'now hubby' who had a king-sized bed...from the 70's!
Used that forEVER! (up 'til about 5 yrs ago) Was bad to point of SHARP springs literally popping up thru mattress to poke you in mid of night! hahaha

DUMPED that old thing when we moved.

BOUGHT the whole 'bedroom suite' from the seller of house we now are in - including the bed - for $400.00! (Headboard, 2 nightstands, tall dresser, low dresser w/lg mirror, bed frame + mattresses).

I know you are all thinking...OH GROSS!

Her's was like new - and oh so comfy!

Fact is, we KNEW we would need to buy a new bed (we trashed the old one), & her's was SO comfy and clean (and NO indents!)

We were facing the pillow-top "FAD", (which I thought was a silly idea anyway), and the thought that we would have to spend anywhere from $800-$1200 for a couple mattresses!

We JUMPED on the offer to buy the "bedroom" for $400.00! And altho the quality of the 'wood' furniture is...well, BAD, the bed is SO comfy! We could DUMP the whole bedroom 'suite' and still have made out for the bed alone!

I've always tended to 'overheat' while asleep (so I've been told). My Mother bot us a mattress pad (with plastic on bottom), and sheet set for 'housewarming'. Geez, I thot it was the sheets made me feeling hot. (Maybe WAS the sheets?)

MAYBE, I finally have some 'support' under me (no dead matress w/ holes & springs coming thru!)

(Of course, hot flashes and such...How does one measure? LOL)

Well, I absolutely LOVE the comfort of our bed. Not any of those fancy things advertised.

And, my double (full) that I bot in late 70's + the garage still to this day! I'm FINALLY ready to dump those next time our city has bulk pick-up day! (Stray cats are loving them tho...LOL!)

LONG POST, I know...but, REALLY - How SPOILED have we become?

Try sleeping on the bare ground for awhile. ANYTHING will feel comfy after that!

MORAL OF STORY: Don't fall for the "FAD". That's all.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 6:36AM
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