Reginald has been a sleep specialist for the past 20 years, training new and veteran associates in the retail mattress industry.
Top 12 Tips: Buying a New Mattress - Mattress Buying Guide
Mattress Buying Guide - Wouldn’t it be great if you could order a new mattress over the phone, have a delivered and have a great night sleep for the next 10 years? Just like ordering a pizza! Unfortunately, it is not that easy and sometimes a very confusing and frustrating task, to say the least.
On the other hand, wouldn’t it be great if you could eliminate most of the frustration connected with purchasing a new mattress set. I want to get around the bombardment of advertisement. Not having to think about the best sales or buyers out there. Not having to listen to friends and relatives giving you the wrong information about what they don’t know in the mattress world.
By following these Top 12 Tips for Buying a New Mattress you will achieve your goal and more.
I. Do Your Homework First!
More times than not, people venture out to a retail store in hopes of purchasing that perfect mattress. Unfortunately, they are at the mercy of that “sales person” that meets you at the door. “Is this person going to give me all of the right information?“or “Is this sales person going to sell me something that I will not like?”
An educated consumer is a smart consumer. Following these Top 12 Tips for Buying a New Mattress will allow you to be in control of your purchase from the outset.
You will be able to:
- Ask the right questions.
- Determine if your sales person knows his or her “stuff”.
- Eliminate all of the frustration connected with purchasing a mattress.
- Choose the best mattress!
II. Why Are You Buying a New Set?
There are many different scenarios connected with wanting to purchase a new mattress. Are you replacing a child’s mattress? Are you replacing your mattress?
On an average, the average life span of a mattress set is between 8 and 10 years. Subsequently, our comfort level changes during this same period of time.
One of the most common scenarios for replacing a mattress is age. We have a tendency to let the years roll by as we sleep on a very uncomfortable mattress and tell ourselves that we will replace it tomorrow. This is called accommodating a mattress instead of having the mattress accommodate us. In any event, determine the reason or reasons for a new purchase.
III. What Size Do You Need?
This tip can save you a lot of time and frustration. Make sure that you know the correct size of the bed that you wish to purchase. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a mattress set re-delivered because you ordered the wrong size. Below, is a chart with the mattress sizes and dimensions.
Mattress Sizes and Dimensions
39" x 75"
39" x 80"
54" x 75"
54" x 80"
60" x 80"
76" x 80"
72" X 84"
IV. What is Your Budget?
Usually, every family plans their bedding purchases on a staggered basis. This is determined by the growth of the family. Unfortunately, the parents are the ones that get to get their dream set. Never the less, we need to budget because the surface you sleep on is one of the most expensive items in your home.
For the purpose of logic, I put this 'budget' at number four because of its importance. It is not going to be number one and certainly not number twelve.
You may have an idea of what you would like to budget for, but as you read on you may change your numbers a bit.
V. Determine What Type Mattress You Want.
One of the most confusing aspects about buying a new mattress today is that there are so many different types. Below is a list of different types to choose from.
For a more informative explanation into the various types of mattresses click here
- Memory Foam
- Latex Foam
- Air Bed
Innerspring Mattress Types
VI. Brand Names
As mentioned earlier, there are several mattress manufactures to choose from. So which one is best? Sealy? Serta? Spring Air? Simmons? Tempur-pedic? These five brands are national brand names. We recognize these brands because of the advertising they do. Are they better than some of the non-– national brands? The answer is – No!
Many of the smaller or more local manufacturers are as good if not better than the national brands. So, if you see a brand that you're not familiar with, ask about it.
The key to this concept is - Advertising! The national brands have to advertise like crazy to get you to buy their brand. And if you do buy their brand, you are paying for the advertising.
VII. Where To Shop?
On a separate piece of paper make a list of the retailers who sell mattresses in your area. This next part is important and will save you time and money.
I am a firm believer in shopping for a mattress at a mattress store and not a furniture store, department store, an appliance store or a big box store. The reasons for this are very simple. First, the sales people in a bedding store are better trained in this area and will be more helpful to you.
Second, the selection and the quality of bedding is better. And finally, the prices are usually lower. A local bedding store may just be the place for your next purchase.
These smaller companies are usually family owned and tend to be more customer oriented. You will also save money in the family owned company because you're not paying for that heavy advertising that the large companies have to do to stay big.
When you enter a store looking for a mattress, unless you have purchased from them before you are not going to be too familiar with the store set up, models and don't know the sales staff but will need their help to guide you. Their reputation is on the line every day so, they must get it right the first time.
Understand that if you are in a furniture store, big box store, or department store the sales staff will be much less equipped to answer any of your concerns and questions about your mattress purchase.
Best tip to prove my point!
1. Make a list of questions you might have have about a potential purchase.
2. Call a local bedding store and ask to speak to the manager.
Have a conversation with this manager and I almost guarantee that this person will be impress you with his or her information. This is probably the person you will end up talking to live when you visit the store.
All Sizes and Models
VIII. Do The "Goldilocks" Test
We all remember the story about Goldilocks and The Three Bears! Right? This next step is all about that. You are now in the bedding store to try out a few models.
- Never purchase a mattress set without testing 2–3 different models to compare comfort levels.
- When trying the mattress, lay on it the way you sleep at home. On your back, on your side, or on your stomach.
- Your body will tell you almost instantly whether it excepts the mattress or not. If it doesn't move onto the next.
- Remember, by now you have determined what type of mattress you are looking for. Soft or firm. Innerspring or Foam
- Again, a good salesperson will be sensitive to your needs and will steer you in the right direction. If you feel that they are not, then this might be a short visit and you are onto the next store.
- Do not try to many mattresses – you will only confuse yourself and want to go home and take a nap!
- You will know when you have found the right comfort level because you will not want to get off of this mattress and your body will say - Ahhh!!!. When you get to this part you have completed the Goldilocks test. Congratulations!
IX. Delivery snd Setup
Most people will have their new mattress set delivered by that company. If you are purchasing a twin or full and even a Queen set asked the associate if they have that in stock for you to take home yourself. You can save yourself anywhere from $100-$150 if you have a pick up truck and can take this new set home with you.
Some stores advertise that they have free delivery. This may be an indication that they have already included the delivery charge in the price of the set. Not good! Other places will have a delivery charge displayed on the tag on the bed. It doesn't hurt to ask or negotiate with the sales person about waving the delivery fee. If they know that this could The difference between you leaving and buying somewhere else I'm pretty sure that they would waive the fee.
Is your mattress set in stock or will you have to wait for it to be ordered? Will they take your old bedding? Some places offer this service at no charge. This is a plus! Other places charge you to take away your old set.
X. Ask About The Trial and Return Policy
What if I get it home and find out that it is too soft or too hard?
Relax! Every store has a comfort guarantee for you – "the customer". What this means is that for some reason after you get the mattress set delivered and you sleep on it for a few nights and then discover that it may be too hard or too soft, the next thing you need to do is to call the store or visit the store and have your salesperson work with you to re select and get the right comfort level or in your case – the "perfect mattress"!
At the point of sale – ask your salesperson about the "comfort guarantee" and or "return policy" before you make the purchase. You need to know if there are any hidden restocking fees or charges for this. Again this is an area to be negotiated with the store and they need to be upfront with you on everything.
Many people don't think that the warranty on the mattresses are important, but they are. A warranty is based on the workmanship of that product and the average warranty on a mattress today is 10 years.
The warranty on a mattress covers any manufacturer defect during the time specified which basically covers the innerspring and or the memory foam – latex recovery. There will be a warranty card that accompanies the mattress and box spring which will explain what is actually covered and what is not.
Ask early and often when you are in the store about the mattress warranty. This could be a real deal breaker if the sales associate does not know about them. As with any product with a warranty, save your receipt. I recommend that you put your receipt along with your warranty card in an envelope and place it between the mattress and the box spring. You will never lose it!
XII. Mattress Prices!
Mattress prices vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Much of what you will find in a retail store will be on the higher spectrum of the pricing scale. So, with that in mind, much of the information you learned about in the previous Top 12 Tips Buying a New Mattress will be helpful to you when deciphering the various prices you encounter in a store.
As a reliable guide, a consumer can purchase a good queen mattress set between $800. and $1000. Please remember that if this is a national brand, the local brand will definitely be around $100 less. Especially if it is a two-sided mattress!
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I hope you found this article Top 12 Tips Buying a New Mattress was helpful. I can assure you that your shopping experience will be more enjoyable and satisfying because you now have great information at hand. I would appreciate a comment back or a like. Also, please share with a friend or relative through social media.
© 2015 Reginald Thomas
bedandwood on June 01, 2018:
Very well written post, Reginald. Goldilocks test for sure is the best way to know which surface is the best.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 22, 2015:
After jumping onto different beds, we stillend up with the hard bed