6 Golden Rules of Buying a Mattress

We spend one-third (1/3) of our lives asleep. Buying a mattress is a task that most people take for granted, a decision more often dictated by price and made after listening to a clever sales pitch. Statistically, you are more likely to hate your mattress than you are to fall in love with… that’s a lot of negativity to have to put up with (1/3rd of your life, in fact).

When you boil it down, two things contribute to a consumer’s dissatisfaction with their mattress – the lower back painsales process and then the mattress itself.

  • Sales Process – nobody likes to be upsold or sold something they do not need. If a shoppers feels they were cheated, they could spend $1 and feel they paid too much. To help buyers ensure they are purchasing the right mattress, we developed the 6 Golden Rules of Buying a Mattress as well as our Target Mattress Prices system that gives shoppers an idea of how much they should pay for a mattress.
  • Mattress Itself – when someone buys the wrong mattress, they have to live with their decision. With time, they will experience back aches, sore muscles, cramped neck and so forth. Indeed, there could be some serious health consequences to buying the wrong mattress, so our 12 Questions in our Mattress Buying Guide aim to help buyers understand more about their actual physical needs in a mattress.

The point? Buying the right mattress is pretty darn important if you value your quality of life (and who doesn’t value that, right?) So we came up with the following Six Golden Rules of Buying a Mattress. If you are looking to improve your shots at buying the best mattress, following these six rules will greatly improve your chances. Not only that, but when combined with our Mattress Buying Guide, you will quite likely score the right mattress and enjoy your purchase for years to come.

1. Never Buy A Used Mattress – Tight on cash? Buy cheap before you buy used. The reasons are numerous. Aside from the health risks including bed bugs, lice and so on, there is a high chance that the mattress has been “used” and is no longer in its optimal shape. Like shoes worn by another person, the mattress will adjust to the body of its owner(s) and this will reduce support for you and your partner, which can lead to soreness and other health-related consequences.

As well, a used mattress will have no warranty. All mattress warranties specify this, so even a product that has never been slept in will not have a warranty. Watch out for this.

It is much smarter to purchase a cheap new mattress than an inexpensive used one.

2. Never Pay The Full Retail Price For A Mattress – Although some higher end, luxury mattress will never go on sale or their sale price is minimal (Tempur-Pedic is one of them) the majority of mattresses will have regular sale prices that are at least 30% off listed retail price. Paying full price for a mattress is waste of money.

Some of the mattress brands that we cover which do not go on sale include the Tempur-Pedic, Serta iComfort (but we expect competition to lead to sales in the near future), Trump Home Mattresses and Simmons Beautyrest Black. If you are waiting for these mattresses to go on sale, you may be waiting an extremely long time…

3. Stay Away From Floor Models – Reputable mattress retailers like the Top Mattress Stores we have identified will never do this, but some of the smaller retailers might offer you a deal of a lifetime for a “floor model.” Not only is this against the terms of their relationship with the mattress manufacturer, but floor models are not covered by the mattress warranty, a very important component to your mattress purchase. Think about it; a floor model like any other demo that has been around for any length of time, will take a beating. If that mattress starts showing signs of defects, the warranty will not be there to back you up. Stay away from floor models and from retailers who advocate buying them!

4. Test The Mattress For Yourself – As part of the mattress buying process, testing the mattress forms an integral part of your purchase. Once you can answer the 12 Questions in our Mattress Buying Guide post, you should test the mattress to see whether you can live with it for the next five to twelve years.

5. Know The Basics – Mattresses are not a complicated product. Whether you do your research before you hit the stores or after a salesperson has pointed a few different mattress options out, you need to spend a bit of time familiarizing yourself with some basics. At the very least, understand the different mattress cores (Bonnell Coil, continuous coil, pocket coil, or memory foam, latex foam, gel-infused foam and gel beds) and what makes them good or bad for your needs. Often, the salesperson at the retailer can give a good demonstration and overview of these things, but you still want to mull over the basics before you spend your money.

6. Know The Retailer – In many ways, buying a mattress has never been easier; there are so many places and ways to buy these days. However, there are also several undesirable retailers in this space who will leave shoppers feeling cheated or misunderstood. Knowing the retailer you are dealing with is essential; whether they are referred to you by friends or family, you read about them online or in the paper or you know someone who works there – knowing who is selling you the mattress is just as important as knowing about the mattress company itself.

These six golden rules might seem like common sense. In many cases, everyone knows these common-sense rules, but most shoppers forget all about them when they enter the showroom of some sketchy retailer who sells them something they don’t need. So jot them down, print this page if you have to. Just remember them because if you want to leave with a mattress you feel you paid the right price for, these 6 Rules need to remain at the forefront of your mind.


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