“We’ve all heard stories about the devious car salesman with the comb-over. You know, the one who’s as honest about his baldness as he is about how the clunker of a car he’s trying to sell you? Well, trying to find a decent mattress salesman is worse, though the guy who sold me my mattress at least wore his baldness well.
Here’s what I’ve learned about the art of buying a mattress:
1.) The corruption within this nation’s mattress industry stems largely from an imposed consumer ignorance. Each chain has bed names that are chain specific, making it impossible to comparison shop. It will be a Sealy or Serta or Simmons or ___ but you will have to trust your gut, or your salesman, in terms of comparison pricing, and I’d highly encourage the former.
2.) Beware of pseudo-warranties: those one year price guarantees that state that if within one year, you find your mattress anywhere else for less, you will get money back. Well, that’s nice and all in theory, but you probably won’t ever see a dime. Invariably, proving that the other store’s mattress is the exact match to yours will be incredibly difficult as the mattress will have a completely different moniker.
3.) I started my mattress search by asking friends where they’d gone and how much they’d paid. I received a host of answers, the most surprising being the realization that a huge part of the buying process is the negotiation. While you can’t do this at department stores, if you resolutely approach a smaller chain with what you can spend, and are prepared to walk if you don’t get what you want, you’ll be surprised at how far the prices will fall. The Price of my Sealy Posturepedic Maybank, listed at $799 and on sale for $699, dropped to $500 when I was ready to walk out.
4.) Generally, be prepared to spend between $500-600 for a decent bed. I wish it weren’t so, but mostly everything under $500 is plain crappy—wobbly, bouncy, and often filled with recycled materials—so unless your bank account deems it so, shell out the extra $50-100. Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish.
5.) Additionally, while websites will tell you to ask about coils and padding, doing a “sleep” test on each bed works much better and tells you oh so much more.
6.) Finally, unless your have a very flexible work situation, make sure the store can arrange the delivery to fit your schedule. After a no-show on a scheduled delivery day (when I had taken off a half day from work!), I had to actually go to the store and personally confront the manager before I got my bed.”