sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 28, 2010

posted by soe 4:02 am

Rudi and I have declared 2010 to be The Year of the Bed.

When we graduated from college, Rudi and I each bought a futon for our two apartments. Rudi’s frame was poorly assembled by the delivery men and the slats cracked within a year or two. (Actually, it was probably just over a year, since that would have been the warranty period, I suspect.)

Mine, which I bought from a small, independent Middletown shop the night I signed the lease on my first apartment, was called the Cheapy Sleepy. It cost me all of $200 and was the most I’d ever spent on an item at that time. (Frankly, it still ranks up there.)

Fourteen years later, we’re still sleeping on my Cheapy Sleepy. Sure, we eventually had to shift Rudi’s thin mattress under my slightly more substantial one, but, overall, it’s probably well outlasted the manufacturer’s expected lifetime. The frame has held up remarkably well, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it walks off from the corner quite quickly after we put it out for the scavengers.

Rudi and I regularly wake up feeling achy these days since you can now feel the slats through both layers of cushion, so the futon’s days with us are finally numbered. Our goal this year is to buy a replacement, and we’re thinking an actual bed with a mattress and box spring is in our future. Plus, frankly, it would be nice to actually have an under-the-bed space in which to store things.

However, we don’t really know anything about buying a bed. Does Consumer Reports rank them? Or is it really a matter of walking into a showroom and lying down on each floor sample we can afford to see which one we both agree on? Is there something else we should keep in mind?

Leave us tips in the comments, please. Rudi and I would love to benefit from your advice. Our backs and hips thank you in advance.

Category: life -- uncategorized. There is/are 6 Comments.

We did the go to the showroom and try out each mattress that was in our price range. DH wouldn’t let me go in my pjs, though, w/ a blanket. I think that would have really helped.

But the trying out method seems to have worked – we’ve had ours for 2 years and we love it!

Comment by Jenn 01.28.10 @ 6:18 am

Buying a mattress is in many ways like buying a car, but don’t expect too much help from Consumer Reports. They probably do have some good advice on buying, but probably don’t have any ratings. Unless things have changed drastically within the last few years, all of the big brands (Serta, Simmons, etc.) are capable of making good mattresses, but their mattresses have different names depending on where you buy them. So Joe’s Mattress Store might have a mattress called the “Royal Plush” while Fred’s Mattress Store might have one made by the same brand called the “Nile Dream,” but you won’t be able to tell how similar they are. This is done so that you can’t compare prices from store to store. It also prevents CR from making comparisons.

My advice: More money does not always equal a better mattress. Firm mattresses may be less likely to sag badly right away (the salespeople call it a “body imprint,” but that doesn’t make it good). If you’re thinking about buying a pillow top, consider instead buying a less expensive, firmer mattress and getting a cushiony pad to go on top. It’s easier to replace the pad (when it inevitably gets matted down) than the whole mattress.

Comment by Karen 01.28.10 @ 9:45 am

George and I got a new mattress last year around this time- and that was basically when I moved in, because it was SO MUCH BETTER than any bed I had single. We chose a fairly firm one, with a layer of cushiony-ness on top. We lay on a bunch of them at various stores (definitely only lie on the ones you can afford… we had to up our budget after experiencing the nicer ones). We were able to tell surprisingly quickly which one was the best for us. Make sure to lie on it like you would sleep- on your side, on your back, on your tummy, and/or all of the above. I was able to tell immediately which mattresses were too cushy or too firm. A year later, we’re still pleased with it and love to come home to it after vacations!

Comment by Mikaiya 01.28.10 @ 9:56 am

Of equal importance to you in the burrow is making sure that whatever box spring you choose will fit around the corner and through the door. Take a measurement. I concur with the others about taking a test drive, but it’s not a guarantee. Also be aware that all of these mattress stores sell up.

Comment by DOD 01.28.10 @ 11:05 am

And cheap mattresses are just that! You won’t get another any time soon, so keep that in mind as you price them out.

Comment by Mum 01.28.10 @ 11:29 am

We have a Simmons Beauty Rest that David bought because it was advertised as never having to be turned – and so far it has not in 10 years. It is still very comfortable and doesn’t sag.

David points out that human beings spend 1/3 of our lives asleep, so you want to make sure that you’re investing well on the product you’ll be spending so much time using. Watch the fliers for sales to get a good deal, but don’t go cheap. Getting good sleep improves your health and happiness, and so it’s worth taking your time and buying the best quality mattress you can afford.

Comment by Grey Kitten 01.29.10 @ 3:39 am