Don’t Ever Buy A Mattress In A Store Again

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Costington's The Simpsons Store Bed MattressBuying a bed is like buying a used car. The beds seem to cost exactly as much as someone can be coerced into paying for them. And when you walk into a bed store uninformed, you can end up leaving with a very costly purchase. But you won’t even know if you’ve bought a lemon until you get your new mattress home and sleep on it for a month.

This is the reason that I have been sleeping on a lumpy, crappy mattress for the last four years. But two weeks ago I received a free mattress from the internet, rolled up in a box in the mail that I had never touched or laid down on. And I couldn’t be happier.

Before I got married, I owned a beautifully soft and comfortable mattress. But it was a full-size. And my 6’2″ husband did not like squeezing into it. He had a queen-size, so when he moved into my apartment, why wouldn’t we sleep on that? We had a two bedroom apartment at the time and soon we had abandoned my adorably furnished bedroom for his “man cave” — AKA the room filled with boxes and crap and stuff we never got around to organizing.

Flash forward six months to the end of our lease and my growing shoulder problems. My husband’s bed was hard as a rock and sleep was becoming harder to find every night.

When we started looking for a new apartment, it seemed increasingly likely that we’d be downsizing into a one bedroom. And when that inevitably happened, it was a no brainer that we’d toss my bed and keep my husband’s — temporarily. Or at least I thought.

Bed Stores Are A Scam

Buying a new mattress was harder than anticipated. First there’s the fact that lying on a mattress for five minutes in no way predicts whether it will be comfortable to sleep on. And then there’s the issue that we wanted two completely separate things in a bed.

My husband likes a hard mattress. I do not. We stumbled into a Sleepy’s one afternoon and spent 30 minutes being schooled by a floor saleswoman about the kind of bed we should purchase.

My husband, who is overly susceptible to advertising and sales pitches, almost convinced me to buy a $2500 bed, exclusively for having “wasted this woman’s time.”

Within minutes of entering the store we learned that we had luckily stumbled upon a “huge” mattress sale that was set to end at 6P that night. We were then warned that if we stepped out of the store, we would never get such a good deal again. So we stepped out of that store.

I felt no guilt, but I did learn that my husband cannot be trusted in front of a salesperson of any kind.

Seriously, offer him a product and he will try to purchase it from you. He is the perfect audience for advertisers using shiny graphics and cartoon animals to sell sugar laden cereals.

I had to DRAG him out of that store and basically learned that the next time I brought him to a bed shop we’d be leaving with one. So I decided that I’d need to do a lot of online research and figure out what bed I wanted BEFORE I did that.

But that is easier said than done. Many bed shops offer similar mattress models, but change the names so that consumers can’t price shop. (Great!) I also learned that many companies say they have great returns policies, but if you send your mattress back, you only get a credit that you still have to spend in their shop.

It all started to become too much for me. When I got pregnant, the bed became impossible. Soon I was sleeping with a duvet cover underneath me and a pregnancy pillow and a fort of other pillows around me. Everything hurt when I slept, so I decided to hold off until after the baby came to get a new bed.

Don’t Buy Brand Names

After I had the baby, I stumbled on a mattress shopping message board that warned me off of purchasing the only brands that I knew.The first two items on Mattress Underground’s list of shopping guidelines are very specific on that:

1. Avoid buying a mattress made by any of the major national brands such as Sealy, Simmons, Serta, Tempurpedic.
2. Buy a mattress based on the quality of materials that are in it and how it is constructed … never by the brand.

Great. Basically the only things I knew about mattresses were the names Sleepy, Serta and Tempurpedic. Until I got an email from asking if I wanted to try out one of their mattresses. Novosbed offered to send me a bed free of charge if I’d write an article about the process.

I was soon on their website and reading all of their reviews. I got nervous that they had paid for them, because I only saw positive reviews. But when I looked them up on Mattress Underground, it seemed like a real company. And their mattresses looked startlingly like the $2500 bed I almost purchased at Sleepy’s.

Look For A Good Return Policy
Then I noticed their 120 day returns policy: No catches. I was sold. If I didn’t like the mattress, it would go back, no harm no foul. Within a few days, a mattress box was sitting outside my apartment door. My husband could not have been more skeptical about my bed acquisition shenanigans. Especially when the box arrived and was almost absurdly tiny.

NOvosbed Compressed Mattress(Photo: AkronOhioMoms)

But we unwrapped and unrolled the bed and I was immediately impressed. It felt like a Tempurpedic, but can be purchased for $699 (for a twin. $999 for the queen Aria mattress we received).

I couldn’t be happier with the entire process. We’ve been sleeping on the bed for almost a month now. And if something goes wrong, we can still SEND IT BACK. Even my husband has been won over. At first he thought it looked way too soft. But the first night he had a great sleep. And after a week he confusedly asked me if I was sleeping better because he wasn’t woken up all night be my tossing and turning. One night he asked me when I got to bed because he didn’t wake up at all.

Other companies are also selling beds online exclusively. Casper offers a $500 bed in a box that ships in 1-5 days:

My Luxury Mattress and Nature’s Sleep also sell foam and latex beds online.

And all of these companies have caught on to a simple fact about the bed purchasing process. Mattress companies RIP YOU OFF. Why? Because how else are people going to get a new mattress?

They’ll happily tell you that you spend years of your life sleeping. Of course something like that is WORTH an investment if necessary. But why pay $3000 for a bed if you don’t have to? Normally brand shopping is an easy way to purchase a product you don’t know much about. But in this case, the brands know that their names are the most important tool they possess. And if ignoring the well-known brand name gets you a quality mattress for a fraction of the cost, why wouldn’t you do that?

Better yet. You can avoid ever being accosted by a mattress salesperson again. That alone is worth changing the way you buy a bed.

Homer Simpson Big Toasty Cinnamon Bun


(Photos: The Simpsons)