How to buy the perfect mattress.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_lrgeggs, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. B_lrgeggs

    B_lrgeggs New Member

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    I have been having troubles with my lower back and I don't think my mattress has been helping any. So it's time to buy a new one. I am thinking about getting a bed from IKEA..they have those foam matresses.
    Does anyone who also has issues with their back can give some advise on this. Of course budget is a concern. So, I am looking to get the biggest bang for my buck. Anyone have good information about How to buy the perfect mattress? Thanks
     
  2. nudeyorker

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    I don't know what to say except that a mattress is no place to cut corners. You spend about a third of your life on it. I have been buying Sealy Posturpedic for years. A friend of mine has the Tempur-Pedic and loves it.
    My best suggestion is to go to a mattress store and lay down on a few and talk to the sales person about your back problems and what you are looking for.
     
  3. Riven650

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    A new mattress might help, but is there really anything wrong with your existing bed/mattress? If it's saggy/hammocky it's no good. A foam one is fine but only if it's on a flat and level bed base. So, if the Ikea one fits the budget go for it. However, I think the very best way to sort out your back problem is by walking. Humans evolved to walk many miles per day, and most of us don't do a fraction of that. My wife and I have both had lower back problems in the past and since we took up regular walking we haven't had any back trouble.
     
  4. SilverTrain

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    I have back issues, and recently replaced a beloved (but old) very firm but very comfortable mattress. I looked into all the foams, and ultimately went with a "regular" (i.e., coil spring) mattress with a narrow layer of foam on the top. It is quite firm, but I also have a featherbed on top, and it is now my comfy sleep haven.

    I have had good luck with Simmons Beautyrest products. They have the independent coil system that reduces bed shaking/bouncing. A variety of core firmness gradients and "top layer softness" gradients (i.e., "pillowtop") are available.

    As far as the foams, my understanding is that foam gets much hotter as you sleep on it than traditional mattresses. Also "memory foam" is apparently much less durable (and less firm) than latex foam, the latter being much more expensive.

    Do go try them out in stores. And then you might try shopping online. I got a great bargain that way. But beware the final pitfall of mattress shopping: there are a gazillion different names for each type of mattress (i.e., one type of mattress by Sealy will have 12 different names-- no lie!). They do this to confuse you into submission, so that you will surrender your will to the mattress salesman, who will then sell you a mattress that is expensive. It's sort of like buying a car. But if you can do (lots) of research, and figure out what all the different names mean, you can find bargains on very nice mattresses.

    Good luck.
     
  5. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    My back has been fucked for years (and just for Riven - it's stayed the same through all kinds of fitness levels, amounts of walking, and weight changes).

    Sleeping causes me particular problems. It takes 1-3 hours for my back to 'normalise' in the morning and get to a point where I can move around like a normal person. I'd love to invest in a decent quality mattress (one of the ones I like the look of is around $3500), but it's just not practical. It's not that I'm worried about the money. I think it would be a good investment, if it was a comfortable mattress and reduced my back pain. But I need to sleep on a new mattress for at least a week before I know what effect it's going to have on my back. And I don't think they're going to give me a refund if I take it back a week later and say 'Sorry, my back doesn't like it'.

    Apologies for the unhelpful post. Just letting you know I feel your pain.
     
  6. Riven650

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    I didn't know you suffered with your back subgirrl. You poor girl. I do hope you can get it sorted some time soon.
     
  7. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    Aww, thanks. I don't think it'll be getting sorted out any time soon though. In fact, I suspect I'm stuck with it. My doctor thinks my boobs are causing it and thinks a reduction will fix it. I think there are other issues going on, but my doctor won't send me for any more diagnostic investigations, because she's convinced it's the boobs. I've had x rays and a CT scan, but neither showed anything strange.
     
  8. Bbucko

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    I sold furniture (including bedding) for about 25 years, and even though I'm no longer active in my career, I don't think much of anything's changed dramatically in the last ~6 years. SilverTrain's advice was pretty spot on, but let me just give you the sort of overview (and verbiage) I'd give my customers:

    1) The word "firm" is so relative as to be functionally meaningless, even if both the industry and the genpop seem to love using it. What you're looking for is the right balance of support and comfort for you.

    2) In innerspring mattresses, support is supplied by the interior coils, which are measured in counts (in a standard queen); the higher the coil count, the more support you'll get, and the heavier the gauge of wire, the longer the coils will last.

    3) Comfort is provided through padding over the coils; the more the padding, the "plusher" the feel. Some folks prefer a very plush mattress, some don't, but there's no correlation between "plush" and support.

    4) The padding is usually a combination of layers of foam (of mixed density) and a Poly-Dacron batting. Though there are still some high-end specialty mattresses that use cotton, it's discouraged because of issues around allergies and flammability. Also bear in mind that natural fibers are food to all manner of tiny critters, whereas artificial fibers are not.

    5) A good mattress retailing professional should know the various coil counts and padding materials of each of the mattresses s/he sells by heart, or at least have material on hand to reference it. The better (and more expensive) the mattress is, the higher the coil count and the heavier the gauge of wire. Likewise, the higher-end mattresses tend to be plusher and use more costly ingredients, like latex instead of polyurethane foam (which breaks down faster). Again, the retailer should be able to show you a dummy/mini cut away of the actual mattress showing precisely what it's made of and how it's constructed.

    6) Although manufacturers name the same product differently so as to give "exclusives" to their retailers, you can compare apples-to-apples directly by comparing coil counts, gauge of wire and padding formulas. You can also get a good idea of the quality by comparing warranties: the longer the written warranty, the longer the actual life of the mattress. The best mattresses available when I was working in the industry offered a 20-year, non-prorated warranty, though frankly I think people should get a new mattress every 5-7 years (for hygiene issues if nothing else).

    7) Foam mattresses have been part of the American bedding industry since I started in the very early 80s, though until recently their share has been very small. Tempur-Pedic and other versions of "memory foam" mattresses are a significant part of the business now. They feel very different from innerspring mattresses, have very little "give" (bounce) and tend to retain heat (though Tempur-Pedic disputes that, it was a concern for about 10% of my customers when I sold the brand). Obviously they make a very successful product, though it does require some adjustment on the part of the customer, and all foam mattresses (whether latex or "memory foam) at or above a certain price level will provide superior support.

    8) One excellent way to save money is on the box-spring: there is very little if any difference between a $150 box-spring and an $800 one except for the upholstery fabric: seriously. Platform beds don't take box-springs at all. Most retailers will scare you into buying the "matching" box-spring by saying that any other product voids the warranty. This is false: contact any manufacturer directly and they'll say so.

    9) One way I would never try and save money is on those one-sided, no-flip mattresses that were popular a few years back. All good bedding (except Tempur-Pedic) should be rotated at least two or three times per year to ensure even wear and maximum support.

    10) Shop around and try everything out for about 5-10 minutes at a time; pressing on a mattress with your palm is no indication of support or comfort. Though the selection may be greater, you're not likely to get a better deal at a mattress store than at a furniture store generally. The key to offering the lowest price is in terms of volume of units sold, and large furniture stores sell more mattresses than mattress stores do. Also beware of "sales", as the price you'll pay is almost always the targeted price anyway, and contrary to popular opinion, the margins on bedding aren't so hot, so real "bargains" are very rare in bedding.

    Also, Subgirrl: I don't know about Australia, but in the US Tempur-Pedic has a 30-day in-home trial period. If you're dissatisfied with it in any way the retailer will take it back and refund everything but delivery fees.
     
  9. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    Wow!!!! Thanks Bbucko! That's so exciting! 30 days would be more than enough time to do the back test. I will check it out! Thanks again!
    :smile::smile::smile::smile::smile::smile: You rock!
     
  10. B_subgirrl

    B_subgirrl New Member

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    Okay, apparently 'some' stockists do the trial period. Will do more research. Thanks again!
     
  11. Bbucko

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    Check the fine print and make sure that you'll get a real, full refund and not a store credit with no "restocking fees". Also make sure that you have it in writing on your receipt before you leave the store.

    Tempur-Pedic mattresses are insanely heavy and cumbersome: the delivery/pick up fees are essentially mandatory, unfortunately, unless you have access to a truck and two very burly movers.
     
  12. Daisy

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    I just bought a new one. I tried to bargain shop but ultimately paid a lot for the one I got because like Nudeyorker said, you spend a third of your life in it. It's too important for your well being to buy a cheaply made mattress (esp with back problems). Buy the very best you can afford.
     
  13. rob_just_rob

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    Don't get a bed from IKEA. They're shit.

    My advice is to go to a good quality retailer and lie down on a bunch of their beds. Try as many as you can, see what feels right. Sleep Country (in Canada) is good that way - plus, if you find you chose wrong, they have a 60 day guarantee allowing you to exchange an uncomfortable bed for a different one.
     
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