Monday, September 7, 2009

Mattress hopping

Or one couple's search to find the perfect bed.

After now having tossed and turned on more than a dozen mattresses in less than 24 hours, here is what the spouse and I have concluded about buying a mattress: There is no perfect bed, at least in queen size. But there is some amazing mattress marketing out there. And really, being a marketing consultant and writer, I should know better. But I've been a bit sleep deprived.

A little background: I weigh around 90 pounds (no, that isn't a typo -- and no, I do not have an eating disorder, I am just... petite) and tend to sleep in one position and am a light sleeper. The spouse, who is about eight inches taller than I am, and weighs around 175, tosses and turns, a lot, especially when he is worried about work, which is pretty much all the time these days. So, I haven't been getting a whole lot of sleep the past few months.

So, rather than shop for a new spouse, I figured let's get a new mattress, a decision reinforced by the arrival of the new issue of Consumer Reports, which has a great little article all about mattresses and customer satisfaction, which says that a new mattress (any new mattress) improves the quality of one's sleep -- except, perhaps, during the period one is shopping for a new mattress.

"Buying a mattress is no bed of roses," said Tod Marks, senior project editor for Consumer Reports. (Yeah, tell me about it, Tod.) "In fact, there are plenty of thorns. Comparison shopping is almost impossible and you're apt to make that expensive decisions after trying out a bed for just a few minutes in the store. And if you're unhappy with your selection, you could be out hundreds of dollars if you want to make an exchange."


After reading the Consumer Reports article and doing some research online, the spouse and I felt the Tempur-Pedic, with its "authentic Swedish TEMPUR® material," (it's Swedish, ya? So it has to be good, right? WRONG) would be just what we were looking for. And we were happy to discover that our local Sleepy's ("Trust Sleepy's, for the rest of your life!") carried the full line of Tempur-Pedics, along with many other brands, so we could comparison shop right on the spot! No driving around!

When we arrived at the store, the two salespeople were busy helping other couples, but told us to feel free to try out the different mattresses, which we did. Repeatedly. For, like, an hour. Seriously, by the time someone could help us, I don't think there was a mattress in the store we hadn't tossed and turned on several times, much to the amusement of the salespeople and our fellow mattress hoppers. (The next morning, the spouse informed me that he had a dream where I was barking "Toss, turn!" at him the entire night.)

Oh, and the Tempur-Pedic and it's authentic Swedish TEMPUR material? It's all fine and good if your partner sleeps like a log (literally), but the second he moves, it's more like a Swedish earthquake, which is pretty much what we found with all the other mattresses in the store (minus the Swedish part). Until we found the Sleep to Live system. (Btw, the term mattress? So passé. What you need, my friend, is a sleep system.)

Yes, my friends, "only Sleep to Live offers you the latest science and technology that'll help you get the nourishment your body needs out of every hour of sleep." Compared to the Sleep to Live system, all other sleep systems are just... mattresses (I speet on the word), which rob your body of the support and caressing it so badly needs.

After having our sleeping postures analyzed by a machine and trying several different Sleep to Live systems, we were ready to buy a 400 Series Green Queen, and, after some hemming and hawing, did. Until a slip of the tongue led us to realize that all the mattresses -- I mean, sleep systems -- we had been bouncing around on were KINGS, which the salespeople somehow forgot to mention. And when we tried a queen, it was no better, nay worse, than our current mattress, a 10-year-old Select Comfort. So, we asked to void the sale, which they did, but only after an excruciating 10 minutes of the saleswoman frantically trying to convince us otherwise.

That led us to Select Comfort, which happened to have a store in a nearby mall, where we went this morning and spent (read wasted) another hour tossing and turning on mattresses. Apparently Labor Day Weekend is the Christmas of the mattress industry, so once again we had to wait -- and mattress hop -- for over half an hour.

And, of course, we wound up falling for the Sleep Number Innovation Series i8 Bed, where "Elegance Meets Technology"... and apparently a $2800 price tag. Which, sleep deprived as we were (are), we were almost willing to pay. Until, after chatting with the nice saleswoman, she happened to ask if we knew whether we still had the foam strip inside our existing 5000 Series (now known as the p5, because people kept thinking the mattress cost $5000), because that -- or the lack of it -- might be the reason, she explained, that the spouse kept rolling into me and I felt the bed shaking every time he tossed and turned. She was even obliging enough to take apart one of the mattresses on display in the showroom to show us what she was talking about.

The spouse and I could have pinched ourselves. A little foam strip? That could be what our problem was? No way could that cost $2800! We practically ran out of the store. Though when we got home, I was too tired to check.

However, after having a hearty lunch and getting a little fresh air, I couldn't wait to tear the bed apart and inspect what lay beneath our pillowtop. Sure that the real problem was that that little pesky strip of foam, I gaily threw off the duvet, the sheets, the 10 pillows, and searched frantically for the zipper, and... the foam was fine. Sigh.

Maybe Rob and Laura Petrie had the right idea. : (

Note: If any of you have a (PG or G-rated) mattress suggestion, lemme know.


Another David S. said...

Fun post, J. You guys are seriously insane. I went through mattress hell 2-3 years ago, so I can (sort of) relate. As a tosser (not in the British sense) myself, I've been very satisfied with the firm Queen I picked up at Macy's for under $800, and during the year I shared it it performed admirably. Also, Macy's gives great service. They took back my box spring when I realized I didn't need it, and they would have replaced the mattress, too. I can't find anything to identify what brand it is, though, so you're on your own once you get there.

Good luck on the Big Bed Hunt. Keep us (ahem) posted--


P.S. I can't believe you made a typo of the word..."typo". Surely that was intentional? ;-)

J. said...

Fixed! See what mattress hopping does to a person?! Thanks for the tip. (The Sleep Comfort store is actually right across from Macy's. Had we only known... ; )

AlyssaGoodman said...

Went through SAME!! In the end, the spouse bought a $200 mattress-topper at Costco & bliss was achieved!! Ask him...

Dave S. said...

Have you checked for stray legumes?

J. said...

@Dave S., if there was a stray pea (or other legume), I would have found it when I literally tore the bed apart Monday. Sadly, all I have come across is a straying husband (as in straying across my side of the bed).

John Barker said...

Okay, I'm biased, Without a doubt, the absolutely best bed in the world. And a client of course too. But I beleived enough to mortage my second home to buy the top of the line. The prices will make you pass out --good right?-- but you spend a third of your life in bed. Much more than in a fancy car. Truly an amazing investmenet that lasts 25 years or more (longer than most marriages!) Best, John

zinni said...

I visited a website which is related to all natural latex
and pillows. It is a fantastic site with sufficient stuff. Try it and enjoy the experience.

rocky said...

It is very important for everyone to sleep comfortably and after checked lots of websites on internet i got green memory foam. It is a nice website.

Beverly said...

Loved your story! Been there done that...After an exhaustive search and research I found my latex mattress at Sleep Ez. I can't say enough about them and their help so that I got it just right. Wished I'd discovered this bed years ago!

Latex Mattress said...

Hahah, this made me remember shopping for our last mattress! What a pain. We ended up going with a latex mattress, which will hopefully last much longer than a traditional cotton one. I don't want to do any more bed shopping any time soon!