Mattress Shopping 101.
Ok. Buying a mattress is hard. We get that. There you are, lying on a naked bed underneath stark florescent lighting in a showroom that is as far away from your warm cozy bedroom as Antarctica. (Residents of Antarctica, please ignore this analogy.) Who could expect you to get a real feel for any mattress under those circumstances?
Since you truly cannot get comfortable while buying a mattress at any store—even in a store that almost feels like home—WJ Southard offers a number of tools to help take the guesswork out of buying your mattress.
Shop until you drop. (in your new bed)
Helical. ILD. Density. Coil Count. Mattress stores are notorious for using industry buzzwords and jargon. If you think it’s confusing, it’s because it is. Avoid experiencing a mattress-shopping nightmare. Follow our simple tips, and we promise, your mattress shopping experience will feel like a dream.
Know before you go. The Internet is your friend. Search for brands, styles and prices.
Shop around. There’s no harm in trying out different styles. Ask questions. A sales associate should be knowledgeable and helpful in telling you the benefits of each style.
Perfection is usually perfectly unattainable. Remember that there are SO many factors that affect your sleep. Your mattress is just a part of the puzzle. To learn more about how you can get a better night’s rest, visit The Sleep Foundation.
Ask for comparables. If you fall in love with a mattress from a big name brand in one store, and want to compare prices, ask for a comparable mattress from that same brand in a different store. Stores sell identical big-name mattresses under different model names. A good sales associate can and will help you find a comparable mattress.
Take a load off. Whether you sleep on your side, stomach, or both get into that position. A good sales person will give you the space and time to lay there alone.
Comfort is personal. No one can tell you which bed is right for you. Listen to your body.
Firm isn’t always best. If a bed is too firm, it won’t fill in the gaps of your body, placing your spine in an unnatural position, and putting pressure on your hips and shoulders.
The coil count myth. Coil counts are the mattress industry’s equivalent to Jedi-mind tricks. Higher coil counts are an easy way for a manufacturer to jack up the price of a mattress, and since you cannot see the coils in a mattress, it can be very confusing. Don’t judge a mattress on coil count alone—they can be misleading. Two mattresses of equal coil counts can have a completely different feel. Once again, go with your gut (or your back) and buy based on comfort.
Take your time. Some stores allow you to make a private appointment to come in and take a nap. Some stores may even let you “try” the mattress out at home. Just read the fine print so you know the terms. Mattress stores may try to charge you for these test drives by hiding fees under Redelivery and Restocking fees. You may also have to pay to ship the mattress back.
Ask about the store’s return policy. Most stores offer a money back guarantee***** Fine print usually follows an asterisk. Make sure you read the fine print—you may have to pay for shipping, or restocking fees—before you test drive the mattress.
Don’t mix and match. Mattresses and box springs that come as a set are sold that way for a reason—and they’re tested that way to comply with flammability standards. When you mix and match a mattress and a box spring, the flammability standards no longer apply, and you could be putting you or your family members in harms way.
Give it time. Just like a brand new pair of shoes, you’ll need time to get used to your mattress, and it will need a little time to adjust to you. Give it a little time, and sleep on it.
For sale or not for sale? Most major mattress stores offer sales. Some stores will even negotiate a price with you, just like used car dealerships. Others, like WJ Southard, have set prices, so you do not have to deal with the headaches that accompany haggling.