10 Mattress Care Tips from Serta

Thank you Serta for providing us with these 10 Mattress Care Tips!  To see the original list, visit Serta’s website.  And please, don’t hold Serta responsible for the somewhat ridiculous explanations and commentary, while they made the list, the comments are my own.

  1. Serta SheepIt’s normal to have an adjustment period when you purchase a new mattress.  This can be anywhere from 1-4 weeks, until your body gets used to the new (and better) support system.  Just give it time, and you’ll most likely love it!
  2. Mattress foams and fibers wear over time, so make sure that you rotate your mattress.  Also along these lines, body impressions (slight depressions in the padding of the mattress) are totally normal, and do not make the bed defective.  This will happen regardless of the price that you pay for the mattress.  Just like your couch may have a rear end shaped depression where you always sit, or your shoes have compressed where your heel is, mattresses are not designed to be perfectly flat and fluffy forever.
  3. Serta recommends purchasing a matching foundation (box spring) or adjustable base when you purchase your mattress.  99% of the time, I agree with them.  If you just purchased a new foundation, that is the proper support for the mattress, then I don’t see why you’d need to buy a new one.  But don’t tell them I said so.
  4. Make sure that you have a supportive bed frame.  With a center support.  That’s the correct size for your bed.  Buy a good frame, it can be the difference between having a mattress for 5 years or 15 years.
  5. Uh, don’t bend your mattress.  Don’t roll it, don’t fold it, don’t be stupid.  Enough said.
  6. Let it breathe when new.  This one makes sense to me, and I had really never thought about it before.  The materials are new, and have been sealed in the mattress bag plastic for at least a few days, maybe a few months.  Let it air out before putting on your mattress protector and sheets.  Thanks Serta, for reminding me that I really don’t know it all!
  7. Serta SheepProtect your mattress.  Serta recommends vacuuming it once a year, but if you have a dust mite proof mattress pad, you don’t really need to.  Do make sure that your protector is adequate, and that you’re not spilling things on the mattress.
  8. Launch yourself into this century and stop putting a board between your mattress and foundation.  They are unnecessary and can do more harm than good for both your mattress and your back.
  9. Make sure your sheets fit your mattress well.  Don’t smash a pillow top into regular pocket sheets, and don’t put a thinner mattress into a 22″ fitted sheet.  There’s nothing better than a clean, crisp, well fitting sheet.
  10. Don’t tear off the law tag.  If you ever have a warranty issue with the mattress, you MUST have the info on that tag.

Thanks Serta for all the great tips, and for letting me put my two cents in!

If you’re looking for an awesome Serta mattress, remember that iComfort, iSeries, and Perfect Sleeper are all made by them, you’re sure to find your perfect bed.  They “Make The World’s Best Mattress”!

Your RV Mattress CAN Be Comfortable!

For those of you who like to travel and have an RV, this one is for you.  Whether you’re living in your RV for half the year, or you’re just taking two week mini vacations a couple of times a year, chances are that you’re unhappy with your current RV mattress.

Why?

Because, even though you probably paid big bucks for your ride, the mattress that came with it is on par with the one that you slept on in summer camp when you were ten.  Basically, there’s not enough coils, padding, support, or comfort to keep your body pain free.

RV Mattress

Source: SteelMaster Buildings

How do you replace your RV mattress?

Herein lies the issue: where do you get the next RV mattress?  Sure, you could go back to the RV dealership, and pay a bunch for another marginal mattress.  You could also go buy a topper for the one that you have, trim it to fit, and sleep more comfortably for a month or two.  Unfortunately, as I’ve said before, toppers do a great job of changing the feel of the mattress, as well as increasing the pressure relief of the bed, but they don’t change the support.  This means that your hip and shoulder might feel ok, but your back is still going to be sore.

You could go to a mattress store, but RV mattresses have different dimensions than traditional mattresses, and they can be hard to find.  Most RVs use a “short queen” size, which is 60″ wide by 75″ long.

Don’t be discouraged, there is a light at the end of this blog’s tunnel…

You CAN buy a good quality RV mattress!

King Koil RV Mattress

Imagine this as your RV mattress!

All of our King Koil mattresses can be made into a short queen.  Want even better news?  The price for the short queen is the SAME price as the regular queen!  Just make sure that you account for any height restrictions that you may have (cupboards, ridges, etc.)  More of a do-it-yourselfer?  You can always purchase a memory foam mattress, and modify it to fit into your space.  Keep in mind that you will be voiding your warranty, but you can basically custom fit the mattress into your RV.  I don’t necessarily recommend going this route, but I’ve heard that an electric carver (like you use on Thanksgiving) does a decent job of cutting foam without a lot of effort.

Just remember that your body needs adequate support ALL THE TIME, not just when you’re at home and in your own bed.  In fact, with all that driving, sight-seeing, and grandkid kissing, you may need more support and rest than you do at home.  Check out our selection of short queen RV mattresses by King Koil, and think about upgrading your home on the road!

Sleep Apnea Info YOU Should Read

Hey everyone – this is a great article by John Redfern on sleep apnea.  This is a very dangerous and common condition, and deserves more attention than it gets.  Check it out:

Sleep Apnea and its Prevalence in Europe and the USA

There are three known forms of sleep apnea: central (CSA), obstructive (OSA), and complex or mixed sleep apnea that is a combination of both central and obstructive and these constitute 1%, 84% and 15% of cases respectively. In CSA, breathing is interrupted by a lack of respiratory effort. With OSA, a physical block to airflow, despite respiratory effort, interrupts the breathing and snoring is common. Overall 99% of all cases are OSA based.

 If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – also known as sleep apnea, and by far the most common type, you’ll know that this form of sleep-disordered breathing can seriously affect your quality of life and impact your health if left untreated. It is estimated that sleep apnea affects between 2% to 4% of the adult population in the UK, yet this debilitating condition often goes undiagnosed so we are far from sure.

 At 4% there would be approximately 2.5 million sufferers in the UK but very few people are actually being treated currently for the problem.

 OSA is a worldwide phenomenon. Studies suggest that in Western European countries from 3-7% of middle-aged men and 2-5% of middle-aged women suffer from OSA, but figures vary widely due to low diagnosis levels.

Living with a Sleep Apnea Sufferer

Despite the increasing recognition that obstructive sleep apnea is a relatively common condition, population data used to estimate disease prevalence in the United States and abroad did not exist accurately until about 15 years ago. Since the 1990s much has happened to quantify the levels of obstructive sleep apnea in various populations. A number of studies using large samples representative of the general population are now available and provide prevalence estimates for obstructive sleep apnea in countries such as the United States, Australia, Spain, China, Korea, and India.

 According to figures issued by the World Health Organization approximately only 100 million people worldwide have OSA. In the USA, OSA is estimated to affect 1 in 4 men and 1 in 9 women; and affects a total of 23 million working adults. Untreated moderate or severe OSA is associated with a six-fold increased risk of death from all causes, independent of any other illnesses.

 Other published figures state much a higher total figure based on detailed analysis of registered sufferers and some of these figures are shown below. If one accepts that the addition of the undiagnosed sufferers would at least double these numbers then the figures are quite alarming.

 Country                      % with OSA       Actual Number

United Kingdom          4.0%                    2.5 million

United States              4.1%                    18.5 million

Australia                      3.1%                    0.8 million

India                            7.5%                    85 million

China                           4.2%                    57 million

Korea                          4.5%                    2.3 million

 There is evidence that regular snoring and OSA are both independently associated with alterations in glucose metabolism and OSA might be a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. The prevalence of OSA is also found more often in those patients with cardiac or metabolic disorders than it is in the general population.

 The prevalence of sleep apnea is higher in different population subgroups, including overweight or obese people, those of some ethnic groups such as African-American, and in older individuals. The fact that prevalence estimates of obstructive sleep apnea from North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia are not too substantially different suggests that this disease is very common not only in developed but also in developing countries. Moreover, given the widespread under-recognition of this disorder by the medical and lay communities, the public and personal health care costs globally are likely to be absolutely enormous.

Source: World Health Organisation

It is estimated in the USA that although there is a known figure of 18.5 million residents* with sleep apnea, there are over twice that many with some form of major sleep disorder – 40 million in total. If these figures are to be believed, the difference is mostly attributed to undiagnosed OSA, and the problem is even more enormous than we believe and constantly worsening.

It is important for us to recognise that obstructive sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. Doctors usually can’t detect the condition during routine surgery visits and no blood test can help diagnose the condition. Most people who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it because it only occurs during sleep so a family member or bed partner might be the first to notice the distinctive signs of sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea can:

     Increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes and cancer

     Increase the risk of, or worsen heart failure

     Make arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, much more likely

     Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents

 Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that requires long-term management. Lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery, and breathing devices can successfully treat sleep apnea in many people, and it is critical to get professional help and support if you suspect that you are suffering from the condition described.

John Redfern

Sources for US Statistics: 27.02.2012 – National Sleep Foundation and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 *US statistics – see the detail for these Sleep Disorders.

Bed Bug Tips

With all the bed bugs in the news, it’s only a matter of time before you come in contact with one (or one thousand).  I’ve done some research about bed bug removal, and have compiled a list of what you can do to avoid an outbreak, as well as to treat an existing problem.  Remember that bed bugs aren’t the only pests that can plague your home, and many of these tips can be used for a variety of other insects too.

Avoiding Bed Bugs

Unlike other pests, bed bugs don’t live in your yard and invade your home without warning.  Most infestations are due to the bugs hitching a ride on a guest or clothing.

  1. When you travel, inspect the hotel room before bringing in your belongings. Bed bugs like to hide in crevices, like behind the bed, in picture frames, in the seams of the mattress.  They are large enough to be seen, and just a little checking can save you a lot of heartache down the road.
  2. If you didn’t find any bed bugs but still came out of your hotel stay with bites, take care not to bring them into your home.  Instead of bringing your luggage home, take it directly to a laundrymat, and wash all of your clothing in hot water (including what you’re wearing!)  Throw out the suitcase, and bring everything back in plastic bags.
  3. If you see someone scratching, stay away!  These bugs can transfer from human to human quite easily.  Treat them like they’re a virus…avoid them at all costs!
  4. If possible, ask guests that come into your home if they’ve had any issues with bed bugs or unexplained bites.

Bed Bug Treatment

If they are already in your home, there are a few ways to get rid of them, depending on the severity of the infestation.

  1. If you’ve caught the problem before it has become unmanageable, there are a few lesser known options to consider.  There is a product called bed bug spray that can treat a small area, or that can be used in conjunction with other remedies.  Bed bug spray is non-toxic, and can be used around children and pets.  It not only treats the problem, but also can be used as a repellant.
  2. Another way to treat a small infestation is with diatomaceous earth.  A fine powder of fossilized shells, it’s a completely natural way to rid yourself of bugs.  Just sprinkle it where the bugs are (or where they need to walk through), and wait for a few days.  When bugs walk through the powder, the tiny sharp edges perforate their legs, and their moisture escapes.  Kind of gross, but effective.  Diatomaceous earth is also great for fleas, roaches, and other walking insects.  It’s safe to use around kids and pets, it can even be applied to your pet’s fur to kill fleas already biting!
  3. Many pest control companies have a bed bug service using pesticides to kill bed bugs.  However, some strains of the pest have become resistant to the chemicals used, and so they are less effective now.  Not to mention, they are VERY EXPENSIVE.
  4. You can always just throw everything out, and set fire to your home.  Just kidding…or am I?

Bed bugs can be hard to get rid of, but it is possible.  The best option is to pay attention to your surroundings and avoid them at all costs.  Also, if you’ve been getting bitten, or find spots of blood on your sheets, treat for the bugs regardless if you see them or not.  It’s better to be safe than sorry!

 

Sleep and Mattress Recommendations

Call me a sleep geek, but I not only write my own sleep blogs, but I read everyone else’s too.  I think that blogs and articles about sleep and mattresses are really interesting, as long as they are done right.  That being said, here’s my gripe:

It’s ridiculous to write in to a blog and ask the writer to recommend a specific mattress that will solve all your sleep problems.  It’s even more ridiculous for the “sleep expert” blogger to actually recommend such a bed.

Why?  Because everyone has a different body with different support needs, different weight distributions, etc.  Telling me that you’re 5’9 and 180 lbs. in a letter doesn’t tell me if you carry your weight in your belly, or if you have really broad shoulders, or if you have chicken legs.  Telling me that you sleep on your side doesn’t tell me if your legs are stretched out or pulled up to your chest, or if your arm is under your pillow.  Telling me that you have occasional lower back pain doesn’t tell me if it hurts after you go golfing, if you have a physical job, if you medicate daily with aspirin, etc.  Telling me that you have a herniated disc in your back doesn’t tell me what position is the most comfortable for you to sleep in, or if your doctor has recommended a specific type of mattress or way of sleeping.  You get the drift?

And really, you’re going to trust this guy?

So, as self-centric as I am, I tell you what brands I like, and which brands have the broadest appeal.  I also tell you which comfort levels are usually better for which types of sleeper, to be used as a loose guideline.  You will never find a post in my blog which has a specific mattress recommendation for a specific problem. 

If you’re set on having someone else choose your bed, feel free to write to those other sleep bloggers, and ask for their advice.  However, if you don’t like their recommendation, be prepared to foot the bill for exchanging your mattress, with no assistance from the blogger.  Just sayin’.

What’s a customer to do?  Talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about, and who asks you a million questions about your body and sleep habits.  It might be calling Customer Service at 855-377-6669, or going into a local store to find an expert that can help you.  Lie on some mattresses; see what general feel is the most comfortable to you.  Try out a few different brands, and see which ones feel better than others.  THEN, go online and find the best prices that you can (preferably on DrSnooze.com – you know that was coming). 

So good luck with your search, and take your mattress buying experience into your own hands.

Need a Special Size Mattress?

I get some strange requests from customers – an odd size for an RV, a mattress with a notch out of it for one reason or another, even round mattress sets.  What is possible, and what’s not?

With all of the mattress manufacturers out there, really anything is possible.  Many companies will custom make a special size mattress for you, but they will definitely charge you accordingly.

Special Size Mattresses from National Manufacturers

You’re pretty much out of luck if you want a recognizable name on your special size mattress.  Most of the major brands (Sealy, Simmons, Serta, etc.) do not make custom sizes.  A lot of it has to do with the coil systems, since most companies buy their coil systems from a third party.  If you’re in the market for an odd size, you are limited to smaller manufacturers that can fabricate their own coil systems.

Special Mattress Sizes

The most frequently requested size is a Short Queen.  These mattresses are 60″ x 75″, and are common in RVs and campers.  All of our King Koil mattresses come in a short queen size, for only $100 more than the regular queen size.  These mattresses are special order, and may take an extra week for shipment, but are a great option if you need a Short Queen.

If you have an older hi riser that used 30″ x 75″ mattresses, they are now pretty much obsolete.  Some models from King Koil can be made into 30″ wide beds, give us a call to find out which ones.  These are special order, and are usually priced about $50 more than a twin size.

Desire a round mattress?  Before I ask why, let’s talk about availability.  I know that Ikea makes one, but other than that, you’d better start looking around at local small manufacturers.  And forget about an innerspring bed, it’s going to have to be foam.  And before you go crazy looking for your dream round bed, remember that your feet will probably hang off the end at some point, and you’re going to have to basically make your own sheets.  That’s just crazy talk.

How to get a special size mattress for less?

The simplest way is to make it yourself – or really, change an existing size to the size and shape that you want.  You can do this with any foam mattress.  Just take the cover off, and use an electric knife, electric saw, or other cutting implement to shape it into your ideal mattress size.  Do we really recommend this?  Only if you have no other choice, and don’t mind not having a warranty on your bed, and basically doing irreparable damage to it.  But it is an option…

There are some sizes that are considered “odd”, that are readily available: Twin XL, Full XL, and California King.  If it’s a space issue, think about going one size smaller (such as a full xl instead of a short queen).  All of our brands come in most of these other sizes.

So good luck with your special size mattress search, and remember that you can always call us to see if we can work a miracle for you at 855-377-6669.

 

Alternate Mattress Names: A Comprehensive Guide to Beautyrest and Comforpedic

If you’re a savvy comparison shopper, you’ve probably noticed that the same mattress can have alternative names, depending on the region and store that you’re in.  If you’ve tried shopping on the internet, you’ve seen a whole different set of names there, too.

Many customers have asked me why this is done, and to be perfectly honest, like you, I wish that it was cut and dry, that everyone had the same name.  It would be so much easier for retailers to compete and show that they really had the best price!  Unfortunately, this is not the case, and there will always be different names for the same mattress.  It’s partly to protect the small Mom & Pop local dealers from having to go up against the big retailers and internet resellers, it’s partly to uphold the price integrity of the brand.  Either way, I’m about to blow up everyone’s spot.

Comforpedic Mattress Names

We have compiled a pretty good list of different names for our Simmons beds.  Comforpedic mattresses only go by two names: an in-store name, and an online name.  They are, specification-wise, the SAME mattress.  The only difference is the name on the tag.

 

Beautyrest Mattress Names

Beautyrest Recharge mattresses have many more name variations than Comforpedics.  The chart below contains all of the different names of Beautyrest mattresses that we have compiled.  It is not, however, an exhaustive list.

The easiest way to see if one mattress is the same as another is to compare the specifications.  Many sites (including this one) have the individual layers of the bed listed, in as much detail as possible.  Mattresses that are the same will have the exact same layers, in the same order, in the same amounts.

Don’t be discouraged by the fact that there are many different names for the same product out there.  Once you decipher the different names, you can often use this to your advantage, and get the best deal possible.

Great Mattress Expectations

I’m a firm believer of people doing what they say that they are going to do.  There is nothing worse than not meeting expectations.  I was thinking about this today, and believe that this idea extends to mattresses.  What expectations should you have from your mattress, and what is just wishful thinking?

Once you go out and survive the selection process, you really want to believe that you’ve purchased the perfect mattress, and that it will solve all of your sleeping problems.  Here are some tips so that you won’t be let down after that first night:

  • Chances are, you’re not going to fall in love with your new mattress the first night.  In fact, you might not sleep really well.  Your body is used to the certain feel and support level that your old mattress was giving (or not!), and adjusting to a new mattress may take a little time.  We recommend that you sleep on the bed for at least fourteen days before deciding if it’s the one for you or not.
  • A mattress is not a miracle worker.  It’s not going to fix your slipped disc, or make your fifty year old body feel like it’s twenty again.  You’re not going to wake up feeling great after a day of yard work outside, no matter how expensive your mattress is.  Your fibromyalgia will not miraculously disappear, and it’s probably not going to make your spouse stop snoring.  It will, however, help you stay comfortable and supported, for long term well-being.
  • When you sit on the side of a mattress, it’s going to depress.  Period.  If you purchased a soft mattress, the edge support is going to match the feel of the bed.  If the edge was super hard, and the rest of the mattress was soft, you’d be sleeping uphill.  Edge support is meant to be durable, not necessarily firm.  Some hard mattresses may have very firm edge support, but most beds do not.  It’s all about durability, not feel, when it comes to edge support.
  • Mattresses with a significant amount of padding, such as pillow tops, euro tops, and box tops are going to develop body impressions.  They are completely normal.  They don’t change the support or the feel, they don’t mean that the bed is failing, and they don’t denote a defect.  Foam is soft and porous.  If you put 150lbs of anything on a piece of foam for eight hours a night, every night, for ten years, it would probably leave an imprint.  Beds are no different.  Only when the coil system sags is there a difference in the feel and support of the bed (which of course is covered by your manufacturer’s warranty).
  • Buy what is the most comfortable for YOU.  Don’t buy a particular model because your sister has one and likes it, and don’t let the salesperson steer you to a different bed than the one that you really like the feel of.  No one is sleeping on this bed but you, and you know your body the best.
  • Finally, my pet peeve – don’t expect a cheap mattress to perform the same way as an expensive mattress will,  There are HUGE differences between price ranges.  Don’t expect a cheap bed to last for ten years, and always feel great.  If you want to get a lot out of your bed, you’ve got to put at least something into it.

Bottom line, a new mattress isn’t going to solve all of your problems.  It can, however, ease some pain, help you sleep better, keep you cooler at night, even keep you from tossing and turning.  Keeping your expectations realistic can really help you have a positive bedding experience, and be satisfied with your purchase.

Why a Mattress Set Isn’t As Expensive As You Think: Part 2

I know, the last blog was a little dry, not everyone gets as excited about mattress components as I do.  However, this blog will knock your socks off.  For all of you that think that mattresses are overpriced, read on.

What I did was to compare a few different products that almost all of us have: a car (I Car or Mattress Set?evaluated both new and used), a cell phone, and a TV.  I didn’t go for the most expensive, I tried to find the average costs online (or I estimated), and then broke down the cost of the actual item over the expected life.  Please note that I did NOT include extras like gas, car insurance or registration, cell phone plans, or cable.  I also did not include any finance charges (which we all know can really get ya on the back end, especially for the cars).  Check it out:

New Car

Average Price: $30,748 (according to TrueCar.com for 2012)

Average Time Kept: 6 years (according to latimes.com)

Average Trade-In Value after 6 years: $10,000 (according to me, estimating, with my not so vast knowledge about cars)

Average Time Spent in the Car Per Day: 2.5 hours (according to  WikiAnswers.com)

Cost PER HOUR for that car, according to the figures above: $3.79

Used Car (up to 8 years old)

Average Price: $14,375 (according to National Automobile Dealers Association for 2013)

Average Time Kept: 6 years (according to latimes.com)

Average Trade-In Value after 6 years: $0 (I’m assuming that you’re driving it to death)

Average Time Spent in the Car Per Day: 2.5 hours (according to WikiAnswers.com)

Cost PER HOUR for that car, according to the figures above: $2.63

Cell Phone

Average Price: $200 (I’m assuming that you’re going for the new agreement discount price)

Average Time Kept: 2 years

Average Time Spent on Phone Per Day: 1.5 hours (according to cnet.com, including gaming, texting, etc.)

Cost PER HOUR for that phone: $0.19

TV

Average Price: $749 (for a 42”, at Best Buy)

Average Time Kept: 7 years (both LCD and LED last from 4-10 years, depending on quality.  Since I’m factoring in a middle of the road model, I figure it will last in the middle of the road for lifespan.)

Average Time Spent Watching TV per Day: 4 hours (that is ridiculous)

Average Price Per Hour: $0.07

 Mattress Set

Average Price: $899 (this depends on where you are, and what sales you find.  I’d say that you can get a decent bed pretty much anywhere for $899-$1000)

Average Time Kept: 10 years (this is according to me, and how long the mattress is really supposed to last)

Average Time Spent in Bed per Day: 8 hours (perfect world, and all)

Average Price Per Hour: $0.03

 three cents for a mattress set

What?  Three cents an hour?  What else can you get for three cents an hour?  Even if you DOUBLED the price of the bed to $1799 (which is a pretty snazzy bed), you’d still be at $0.06 per hour, which is less than your TV, cell phone, and car.

I’ll give you my ideas on why we’re so cheap when it comes to our mattress set, and not with other items in our life:

  • Who sees your mattress set?  Um, no one.  Who sees your car, your TV, or your cell phone?  Everyone that matters.  It’s a status thing, and that’s ok.  I’ll admit that my car is less than 8 years old, I have a smartphone, and we have a pretty nice TV.  However, I also have a great bed to sleep on.  No one wants to be ridiculed for driving a ’72 Datsun, or for using a flip phone from 6 years ago.
  • We only go out to buy these things a few times in our lifetimes.  You’re used to the price that you paid for your mattress set ten years ago, and haven’t monitored prices since then.  You go into a store, and see that the price has DOUBLED.  Wow.  But think, what did you pay for a gallon of gas ten years ago?  I paid $1.25, and now it’s almost $4.00, which is more than triple.  We don’t notice because it’s only a few pennies per time we go to the pump, not all at one time.
  • In our society, sleep is an afterthought.  It’s not exciting.  It’s something to put off when there’s something better going on.  We’ll spend a ton of money for memory-making experiences, or for luxurious rest and rejuvenation, but we ignore what our body needs most: restful sleep.  It’s become kind of a badge of honor to tell how little sleep we got last night, or how much work we got done in a small amount of time because we didn’t sleep.  Aren’t energy drinks a billion dollar industry now?

old mattress setThat all being said, this is why you need to rethink your ideas about the price of a new mattress set:

  • Of all the stuff that I analyzed, a mattress is the ONLY THING THAT AFFECTS YOUR HEALTH.  It affects how you feel each day, your energy level, your body repairing itself, your immune system, even your weight.
  • If you buy something better now, you will get paid back with two benefits: you won’t have to worry about replacing it for quite a few years, and you’ll be more comfortable and supported on a daily basis.
  • You can live longer without food and water than you can without sleep.  Think about that.

So, before you buy the latest technology or upgrade that car that’s still running great, but has a few dings, think about your mattress set.  Your money might be spent more wisely in your bedroom.

Disagree?  Feel free to rant at me in the comments, I welcome the challenge!!

 

Why You Can’t Get a Discount Mattress For What You Paid in 2000

Trying to shop for a discount mattress?  Having a little sticker shock?  I hear it all the time: “Why are mattresses so expensive?”  The short answer is: they’re not.  I’m splitting the long answer over two posts, since it really is such a long answer.  This post is going to be about what it actually in mattresses, and the costs that are associated with making and shipping them.  The next post will cover why, in the overall scheme of things, it’s one of the cheapest things that you will every buy.  Really.

Let’s start with the components of a regular innerspring mattress: there’s the coil system, and then the padding.  The coil system is made out of steel, and the padding is a petroleum based product, and petroleum is made from oil.  Two of the most expensive and volatile things on the planet.  Check out this extremely hi tech chart I made of the prices over the past thirteen years:

CostRidiculous?  I think so.  Steel prices increased by two and a half times from 2000 to 2013, and oil rose about 3.8 times in the same time period.  So, just taking these two components into consideration, if you paid $700 for your good quality bed back in 2000 (which is what mid range beds cost back then), it would make sense that the same quality would cost you roughly $2100 today.  Even if you bought an all foam bed, you may escape the high steel prices, but memory foam is a petroleum product, and latex, while not a petroleum product, is natural (from trees), and is not a cheap commodity either.

Discount MattressManufacturing also costs more today than it did 13 years ago.  Most of the workers in mattress plants are skilled and unionized, but since I don’t know how much they make, we’ll compare minimum wages.  In 2000, the federal minimum wage was $5.15.  In 2013, the federal minimum wage is $7.25.  Not a huge change, but someone has to pay for it.

All mattresses are still put together by people, not machines.  They are sewn together by hand (with a sewing gun, not a needle and thread).  They are inspected by humans, loaded onto trucks by humans, and driven to retailers (and eventually customers) by humans (in large trucks that cost a lot and burn a ton of fuel).  It is a labor intensive process that costs money.  All of this has to be factored into the price of the bed.

Discount MattressAdd this to the price of actually running a plant, from the land to the permits to the insurance, as well as the non-manufacturing workers, such as marketing, customer service, and accounts receivables, and you’re adding a lot more to the price of each mattress.  Furthermore, many of these manufacturers are constantly trying to make their product better, to innovate beyond what is the norm.  These R&D departments cost money too, but you can thank them for breathable materials, memory foam, non-allergenic latex, gel, and the awesome back support systems that help you sleep better at night.

Ok, now that you’re almost asleep with all of this technical info, here’s the real part: you don’t have to spend $2100 to get an average quality mattress.  Sure, some corners have been cut, but you can still get a good quality bed for much less than you think, and much less than you’ve seen at the furniture stores and national retailers.  Beautyrest has a great line-up of Recharge beds that are at great price points, like the Americas or the Bernardsville Plush Pillow Top.  If memory foam is more your cup of tea, the Comforpedic Advanced Rest is reasonable, and the Spirit Sleep Serenity is downright inexpensive.

Sure, I’d love to sell everyone a $2000 mattress, and we have mattresses that are in that price range, that are worth every penny.  But you can get a great deal on a discount mattress, without sacrificing quality.  Just remember, it’s the components and the labor involved, not the mark-up, that are making quality beds more expensive.

Stay tuned to find out why a mattress is the cheapest thing in your home.  Really.