Finding the Perfect Mattress, An Easy Choice? Dream On
How to Find the Best Mattress in the Maze of Choices At Elite Mattress we make mattress shopping easy.
If this sounds all too familiar you are not alone! Mrs. Jones went shopping to replace her 25-year-old, increasingly lumpy spring-coil mattress and fell down a consumer rabbit hole. “I went looking for a basic mattress like the one I had and was shocked to find that world is gone,” said Mrs. Jones. “The mattress industry took something simple and made it incredibly complicated. And not for the better.”
Is there any home purchase more confusing and fraught with anxiety than buying a mattress? Study after study points to sleep being vitally important to our health and happiness, and it stands to reason that a mattress is a foundational component of a good night’s rest. And yet to choose the right one, shoppers must navigate a mattress maze.
For starters, most major brand names inexplicably seem to begin with the letter “s” (Simmons, Sealy, Serta and so on), creating a blurring sameness. Is Simmons a step up in quality from Serta? Does Stearns & Foster sell the Posturepedic, or is that Sealy? Is Sleep Number the name of the company on those infomercials and Select Comfort the bed it sells, or vice versa?
And even if you can figure out the differences among the various brands, it’s difficult to comparison shop because many manufacturers sell exclusive lines to retailers. So the mattress you like at Costco may not be carried at Mattress Firm — or if it is, it’s called something else. After she found a mattress she liked in one store, Mrs. Jones said: “I’d go into store B and say, ‘Do you have the Serta blah, blah, blah?’ And the salesperson would say: ‘I don’t know. We may. But ours have different names.’ ”
Then there is the incomprehensible tech-speak: advanced pocketed coil technology mattress; PrimaCool gel mattress; viscoelastic memory foam mattress. It’s as if mattress manufacturers are selling not what is basically a large stationary cushion but a spaceship. A shopper visiting the Macy’s in Downtown SLC on a recent afternoon could find among the dozens of mattresses for sale the Vitagenic Streamline Cushion Firm by Simmons mattress, priced at $3,349 for a queen set and boasting “plush talalay latex support.” The Hästens Marquis Mattress starts at $5,400 for a queen-size mattress. Talalay latex? C’mon, mattress people. Now it sounds as if you’re just making stuff up.
David Perry, an editor at Furniture Today, an industry trade publication, has been writing about the bedding industry for almost 30 years. “It’s tough to get your hands around,” Mr. Perry said. “One of the key points is that comfort of a mattress is subjective. If comfort was objective, this would be simple.” Because a mattress is something we all must buy at some point, a demystifying seemed in order.
A Sea of White
It would help if mattresses were like couches or dining tables and came in easily distinguishable styles, shapes and colors. But as Brett Swygman, a vice president for sales and development at Simmons mattress, admitted, the products his company and its competitors sell have a baffling visual uniformity. People walk into a mattress store, Mr. Swygman said, “and see a sea of white rectangles.”
Not only do most mattresses look alike, but their essence — the components that distinguish well-made mattress models from lesser mattresses — is hidden. Perhaps that’s why bed names can reach a baroque absurdity in their effort to convey opulence, comfort and engineering superiority: Edenton Luxury Firm (Simmons Mattress), Warrington Luxury Plush (Stearns & Foster Mattress), Vitagenic Gel Ultra Firm (Aireloom Mattress), Hybrid Utopian Retreat (Serta Mattress).
If you cut through the marketing-speak, though, identities emerge among the major manufacturers. Simmons Mattress trademarked the pocketed coil, a barrel-shaped, independently moving encased spring.
The Stearns & Foster Lux Estate Luxury Plush Mattress ranges from $2,100 to $3,299 for a queen. Tempur-Pedic Mattress is known for memory foam (more later on both of these technologies), and its sibling brands are Stearns & Foster Mattress and Sealy Mattress, which both make spring and foam mattresses. All are owned by Tempur Sealy International. Serta Mattress is the No. 1 mattress brand by wholesale sales. Select Comfort Mattress is the main producer of air beds, which it markets under the name Sleep Number Mattress. And many of these brands have several lines, to hit a range of price points.
“One advantage of the proliferation of products is that you have many choices,” Mr. Perry said. Of course, that can prove overwhelming. So Mr. Perry suggested that mattress shoppers focus less on the marketing and hardware and more on what he calls the “software.” As he put it: “How does it feel to you?”
Mr. Swygman suggested a self-limiting strategy. “I’d make sure the sales associate doesn’t show me more than three beds,” he said. “You’ll be able to find a bed that is the right feel, will help solve sleep problems you’re having.”
Still, that isn’t always necessary, depending on where you shop. While the selling floors of department stores and bedding chains like Mattress Firm and Sit ’n Sleep are a fluorescent-lit sea of white, most high-end mattress stores tend to resemble a gentle pond. The more you’re willing or able to spend, it seems, the less you’re overwhelmed with options.
At Elite Mattress Store in Bountiful Utah, A authorized intelliBED mattress retailer “high performance sleep systems,” as it refers to its mattresses, provides only eight models to test. On a recent afternoon there, comfortable soft music played in the small, tranquil space, while salesman take 20 minutes to explain the differences in construction and feel between the beds. Brandishing a pillow napkin for the customer and peppering his pitch with references to research performed in “Sleep Labs,” he came across like a sleep expert than someone trying to close a deal.
You Are Feeling Sleepy...
All those studies about the importance of sleep have made the mattress a high-anxiety purchase, but a Mattress is just one part of a good night’s rest. Don’t view a mattress as a sleeping pill, and don’t stress too much over its purchase. Below is a quick cheat sheet of things to keep in mind when out shopping. At Elite Mattress we want to make your shopping experience simple, fun, and relaxing.
Take your time and ask questions
You spend one third of your life on your mattress, by the time you hit 60 years old 20 years have been spent in bed. Wear comfortable clothes when you shop for a mattress, and take your time as you lay on them. Make sure you lay in each sleeping position so you get a good feel. If you want take a nap…
If you don’t like the one that might save a few hundred doallars spend a little more, mattresses are an ivenstment, make sure you will love it. Most mattresses will last a long time, intelliBED has a 30 Year industry leading warranty.
Comfort Is King
Ultimately, the manufacturer, the number of coils or layers of memory foam, and the price of a mattress don’t matter as much as how it feels to you. If you lie on it for 15 minutes in the store and it feels good, it’s a reasonable indication that the mattress will be right for you.
Don’t let Mattress shopping stress you out, come into Elite Mattress store in Bountiful, talk to our sleep experts and get the rest you deserve.