How to Buy a Mattress

I’ve written blogs on how to buy a mattress before, and I’m going to do it again.  Choosing a new mattress is not a light decision, you’re going to spend eight hours in it a night (hopefully), for about the next ten years.  That’s 29,200 hours in this mattress.  It’s longer than you spend in any other place, or with any other home furnishing.  It had better be comfortable.

ShowroomThings have changed a lot since you last bought a mattress.  Here are a few changes that you should be aware of before you go out shopping:

  • Surprise…they are one-sided now.  That’s right, no flipping.  No, they didn’t just cut the bottom half off, the support of these new one-sided mattresses is actually better than the old two-sided ones, and they last just as long, if not longer.  Just less effort for you.  Really.
  • Manufacturers are now putting memory foam, latex, and gel into mattresses.  This is GREAT, because they offer more pressure relief, durability, and comfort.  Mattresses with gel can also keep you cooler throughout the night.
  • Prepare yourself, you’re not going to pay the same amount that you paid ten years ago.  If you compare the inflation of gas, you paid $2.01 for a gallon then, and about $3.39 a gallon today.  By this same increase, if you paid $800 for your bed ten years ago, the same quality bed will be $1349.

It’s really easy to get confused with all of the new technology out there, as well as all the different brands and models.  Some tips:

  • Don’t try out all of the beds in the showroom.  That’s why there is a salesperson who is (hopefully) versed in all sorts of useful information about the beds that they carry.  They should be able to skillfully navigate you through the store and eliminate beds in groups depending on your comfort preferences, body type, and medical/pain issues.  If the salesperson isn’t helpful, go to a different store.  You’re going to need help on this one.
  • Make sure that you try out all of the different types of mattresses: memory foam, latex, air, and innerspring.  Just because your neighbor bought a memory foam bed and hated it doesn’t mean that you will too.  Don’t limit yourself.
  • Different brands have different features, some of which may be important to you, some which may not be.  Don’t get hung up on a certain brand or manufacturer.  Remember that every manufacturer makes a great top of the line mattress, and every manufacturer also makes a not so good bargain mattress.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • If you’re trying to compare two different brands, don’t concern yourself about the coil counts.  There are so many different types of coil systems, different thicknesses of wire, and different support profiles that you can’t compare this way.  You CAN compare foam density, edge support, warranty, and height.
  • Feel free to go to more than one store, but don’t expect to price shop that much.  Each store will have a different variety of manufacturers and models, you won’t find much the same from store to store.
  • Don’t put too much stock in customer reviews.  The problem with beds is that everyone’s body is different and need different types of support.  The same way that not everyone fits into or looks good in a size small purple shirt, different bodies need different feels and comfort levels. Most reviews are because someone made the wrong decision with their purchase, not because the mattress is not fit for anyone to sleep on.

The biggest piece of advice that I have?  Don’t overthink your selection, it will make you crazy.  Purchase the mattress that feels the best to you after laying on it for about thirty minutes in your normal sleep position.  Buy the most expensive bed that you can afford, there really is a difference.  Stores will usually negotiate, so try for a great deal.  After you purchase, give your body at least two to three weeks to adjust to the new mattress before you decide if you like it or not.

Remember, the purpose is to go mattress shopping to find the most comfortable bed that you can that will offer you the best support.  Don’t worry about all the bells and whistles, the coil counts, the foam layers, the reviews, or what your mom says.  Get what you feel is the best fit for your body, at the best price possible.

Discount Mattress — End of the Year Sales

Discount MattressOk, I know that I’ve been MIA for a few months…having a baby during the holidays will do that to you.  But anyhow, I’m back, and ready to go.  My first order of business?  To let you know how to save money and sleep better.

Mattresses are expensive.  Worth it, but expensive.  Here are a few deals at Dr Snooze right now, if you’re in the market for feeling better when you wake up, and being more comfortable when you lay down:

  1. It’s the end of the year, which means that new models are coming out soon.  This is GREAT for you, because retailers will be winding down their inventory, getting rid of items that are taking up valuable space, and will be selling off floor samples of old models.  You can get AWESOME deals on brand new products with warranties, and you can also get SPECTACULAR deals on floor models.  While these are sold without warranties, they are often 60-70% off.  Obviously, floor models need to be purchased at the store, while clearance items are available both in-store and online.
  2. For Cadence Bank customers, Dr Snooze is part of the BuzzPoints program.  We are offering 3x points, as well as 20% off now through December 31, 2013.  This deal is valid in store and online, as long as you use your Cadence Bank Checkcard.  3x points is huge, considering that most mattress purchases are around $500-$800, which translates into 1500-2400 points.  Think of what you can get with those…
  3. 0% No Credit Check Financing is always available at Dr Snooze, but now is the best time to use it.  Why?  Because you can pay it off when you get your tax refund back!  If you file your taxes at the end of January, you’ll have your refund by mid-February, and your 0% financing period won’t be over until mid March!  Sleep well now, pay discount mattresswith your refund later!
  4. As always, we have the best prices online for Beautyrest, BeautySleep, and Comforpedic beds.  Guaranteed.  Just add the product to your cart to check out the final savings price.  It can’t be beat, believe me.

Make it your New Year’s Resolution to sleep better, and feel better.  Save some money and treat yourself to a great new discount mattress from Dr Snooze!

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.