Mattresses: Fact vs. Fiction

Trying to sort out fact from fiction in the retail mattress world these days is like trying to figure out which NBA Basketball star is playing for which team and why. The rules keep changing and only prove to be more confusing as time goes by.

{via Serta}
{via Serta}

What we really want in a mattress is a good night’s sleep with enough support to enable us to get up and face the world without feeling like we just went to bed. Here are 10 misconceptions, statements, and facts to guide you through the mattress purchasing process, plus a bit of advice to help you make an informed decision.

  1. There is no free TV inside your mattress. TV’s cost the same amount of money whether you buy them separately or in a package deal with a mattress.
  2. The highest price does not necessarily buy the best mattress – it might just mean you paid too much. Some of today’s beds have layers upon layers of comfort added on top of a one thousand count spring unit. They look pretty, but soon you’ll have your very own hole to crawl in (and out of) each night when all those layers of padding go flat.
  3. Not all mattresses are created equal – remember “pretty is as pretty does!”
  4. Not every state requires bedding to meet health or sanitation standards. A rebuilt mattress is your neighbor’s mattress that has been taken apart and re-filled, and some states don’t even require a sanitation process for this!
  5. MEMORY FOAM – What the heck is it? It is a petroleum-based polyurethane foam with unique properties including heat sensitivity, pressure sensitivity, and some smoke and mirrors to make you feel like you’re unique. Memory foam is not magic foam and, I don’t care what they tell you, our astronauts do not sleep on it!
  6. LATEX – There are two types: 100% natural and synthetic (petroleum based). Natural is better (it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature). Also, how much is actually in the mattress? Some makers use a full core of latex, while others add a 1/2″ layer and brag that they can play in the big leagues.
  7. PILLOW TOP – is it European or American? What’s the difference? A pillow top, in simple terms, is an added layer of padding on top of the padding and spring unit in a mattress. It is encased in a covering and then attached to the mattress. The pillow top that looks like a boxed pad sewn on to the mattress is called “European.” If the edges of the pad are flat, it’s just called a pillow top. Neither will add years to your life or increase your virility, but they will cradle you more than an average mattress and afford you a cushion to nestle into at night.
  8. “My mattress has 1,000 springs – it must be better than yours.” Oh, don’t get me started on this! If two queen mattresses are the same size (60″ x 80″), how can one company use 1,000 springs and another only 460? The obvious answer is “smaller springs.” How many small springs does it take to equal the same amount of support as the bigger spring? About three times as many. If you weighed a mattress with 1,000 springs and then one with 460, you would find that the springs weigh pretty much the same. No magic here, just smaller springs made from thinner wire.
  9. I’ll just find the lowest priced mattress I can for my child. After all, they’re young and they’ll grow out of it. Sure, do the same for their soccer shoes, or their phone. See if they notice!
  10. My mattress is still ok, it’s only 15 years old. WHAT? You spend 1/3 of your life in bed, which means you have laid on that very mattress for 5 of the last 15 years! Give yourself a treat and visit us soon. You’ll be amazed at the advancements the bedding industry has made in the last 15 years.

A few minutes is all it takes to learn mattress basics and what makes you most comfortable. Please contact us and we’ll guide you through the process. We can sort fact from fiction, the hype from the best information. “Test drive” a few mattresses to determine your likes and dislikes. We’ll help you sleepwalk through the process and leave knowing you made an informed decision and received a real value for your hard-earned dollars.

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5 Responses

  1. I’ve looked at Tempurpedic mattresseses and wonder if they are as good as everyone says…..sleep better, etc. Jerry Dunne

  2. What I did not learn is what to look for when purchasing a mattress. I live in Illinois I just cant come over. I really would like some pointers. Maybe I can see the mattress you suggest here in Chicago and still purchase it from you when I am ready.

  3. I’ve looked at Tempurpedic mattresseses and wonder if they are as good as everyone says…..sleep better, etc. Jerry Dunne

    Hi Jerry,
    Comfort is subjective of course. The feel and look of a memory foam type mattress is dramatically different than that of a conventional innerspring (nearly 90% of beds are innerspring) With a memory foam surface I have heard comments such as “the bed sleeps a lot warmer than my old bed” or “when I try to roll over or move I feel like I am in a hole”. Others rave about the experience. I suggest you commit to some real research which includes actually spending more than a couple of minutes laying on different types of beds. When testing a mattress allow your body time to “settle in” to the sleep surface. Assume your typical sleep position and stay there, and I mean stay there for 15-30 minutes. Worried about what people will think? You’re spending potentially thousands of dollars, you have the right, and the obligation, to determine what works for you, and if the sales staff keeps you busy with a sales pitch simply ask them for some time to make an honest evaluation. You’re not rejecting them, you’re just asking for a little space.

  4. What I did not learn is what to look for when purchasing a mattress. I live in Illinois I just cant come over. I really would like some pointers.

    Hi Laura,
    Some quick shopping tips include the following:
    (Reputable name brand mattress makers all subscribe to a set of standards. Unfortunately consumers cannot simply open a manual and determine what is good, better, or best.)
    1) Is the company you’re buying from a reputable company? Check them out as well as you can. There is no standard of quality that is required to sell a mattress. The Better Business Bureau is a great place to start. From there, ask your friends and family. Here at FLS we pride ourselves on generating referral trade and that only happens when a client is satisfied.
    2) Determine your budget, then stick to it or go up, never go down. Beds are made up of several components. Those components can be reduced in quality or eliminated to lower price. The mantra “you get what you pay for” holds true once you have a budget and then deal with a reputable firm. If the retailer is giving you a TV to go with your bed you’re probably paying too much. If the retailer is willing to drop the price dranatically to “close the deal today” RUN! That same mattress will be available tomorrow. These are not works of art, they’re mattresses.
    3) Take your time, do not cave to pressure from a sales person trying to make their quota for the day. Try out several beds from reputable manufacturers (see my comment to Jerry)
    4) Understand what benefit each component gets you. Extra thick padding may look great but when it packs down and leaves you sleeping in a crater it won’t be so pleasant.
    5) Does the mattress offer edge support? Try rolling to the edge of the bed and see if you can sleep on the edge. better quality beds afford you a total sleep surface, not just the 2/3 in the middle.
    Lastly, understand that who you purchase from and what you buy are decisions you can’t change once you finalize the sale. Be certain you have a full understanding of what you want and the budget you have. Then put your trust in someone you feel has your best interest in mind. You rarely go wrong when the emotion is removed from the purchase.

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