If you've gone shopping for a new bed, you know that it can be as frustrating as buying a new car. There's never any “apples-to-apples” comparison, and everyone will tell you that their mattress is “the very best you can buy at this price”.
Consumer Reports is your friend in all of this. They are a magazine that accepts no advertising, and works only for the consumer in separating the facts out of the spin in the marketplace. What they found, in a recent expose about the mattress world, will both surprise you and save you a lot of money!
First, retailers know about the market confusion and they capitalize on it. They know that there are no industry standard terms, so descriptors like “super comfort” or “extra cushion” are meaningless. The differences between a $1000 mattress and a $2000 mattress are mostly cosmetic.
There is no one mattress type that is better for you. Try them all – traditional spring, memory foam and air (sleep number) mattresses. The only way to know if it's comfortable for you is to lay on it for an extended period of time. Lay on your back, on your side, and on your stomach. Do this for fifteen minutes or half an hour. You are spending a lot of money, so don't be rushed. To do it right, it could take you all day to find the “right” mattress for you.
The markups on mattresses are gigantic! Never, ever pay full price. It's very common for mattresses to go on sale – so wait for a sale, and then negotiate from that lower price. Do not be afraid to bargain, even at a sale price. Consumer Reports recommends you never pay more than 50 percent of the original list price.
Know how the sale people you're dealing with are compensated. Almost all of them will be on commission, and they may have some special incentive to point you toward a particular brand or type of mattress. Don't let them – this is your purchase, so you're the boss.
Don't make a choice of retailer until you know what their return policy is. Sometimes, it's 25 percent of the retail price! A reasonable return fee is acceptable if you don't like the mattress when you get home, but an unreasonable return fee is reason enough to walk!
When the mattress is finally delivered to your home, inspect it! Don't sign for anything if there's damage. Ask for further compensation or return the mattress altogether.
These are some very simple guidelines to buying your next bed. Make sure you read and understand them before you go shopping, and end up with the right mattress for the right price...