Advice for a family resort owner

Hello! I own a small family resort in Canada and am at my wits end with finding mattresses that don’t cost a fortune. As we renovate our cabins, comfortable, cost effective mattresses are at the top of our list:
1.) Is there a ‘formula’ to replacing a mattress, or should we just rely on customer complains – say after 10 complaints we know it’s the mattress and not grumpy Aunt Sally who doesn’t like anything.

2.) Should we be purchasing medium or firm mattresses? Do firm mattresses last longer?

3.) Is there a difference between mattresses for hotels and mattresses for the home? I just don’t have the budget that a big hotel chain has. I’m just a small business owner who has to find the happy medium between increasing overhead costs vs. tight-budget conscious guests.

4.) How do we find an appropriate mattress that ‘fits’ sleepers of different sizes and needs? We do offer mattress toppers when guests ask for them, but it’s a shame that they have to have 1 night of lousy sleep to discover that they require one.

Any suggestions would gratefully accepted. And our guests would probably agree!! Thank you!

Happy New Year!

Hi wlr,

The first “rule” of mattress shopping is to always remember that each person is the only one that can feel what they feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best “match” for any specific person in terms of “comfort” or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your Personal preferences) or how a mattress will “feel” or compare to another mattress based on specs (either theirs or a mattress), sleeping positions, or “theory at a distance” that can possibly be more accurate than their own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or their own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).

There is more information about the 3 most important parts of “value” of a mattress purchase in post #13 here which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on suitability, durability, and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price of course and the options you have available after a purchase if your choice doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for).

While I can’t speak to how any mattress will “feel” for someone else in terms of firmness, “comfort”, or PPP because this is too subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences, sensitivities, and circumstances … outside of PPP (which is all about how well you will sleep on a mattress) the most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is it’s durability and in terms of durability a mattress is only as good as its construction and the type, quality, and durability of the materials inside it (which is all about how long you will sleep well) regardless of the name of the manufacturer or the name of the mattress on the label. In other words I would always make sure that you are able to find out the information listed here so you can compare the materials and components in a mattress to the quality/durability guidelines here and confirm there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would compromise the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any mattress purchase. I would also only deal with retailers or manufacturers that are completely transparent and are both willing and able to provide you with all the information you need about the quality and durability of the materials in their mattress to make an informed choice.

There are also no “standard” definitions or consensus of opinions for firmness ratings and different manufacturers can rate their mattresses very differently than others so a mattress that one manufacturer rates as being a specific firmness could be rated very differently by another manufacturer. Different people can also have very different perceptions of firmness and softness compared to others as well and a mattress that feels firm for one person can feel like “medium” for someone else or even “soft” for someone else (or vice versa) depending on their body type, sleeping style, physiology, their frame of reference based on what they are used to, and their individual sensitivity and perceptions. There are also different types of firmness and softness that different people may be sensitive to that can affect how they “rate” a mattress as well (see post #15 here) so different people can also have very different opinions on how two mattresses compare in terms of firmness and some people may rate one mattress as being firmer than another and someone else may rate them the other way around. This is all relative and very subjective and is as much an art as a science.

In other words … in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP … each person is unique and a mattress that would be a perfect choice for one person or even a larger group of people may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on (even if they are in a similar weight range).

There are some suggestions in this topic that may be helpful in choosing mattresses that would have the best chance of success. Medium would be a more “average” choice that would fit the largest part of the bell curve that would be suitable for the largest percentage of people.

Firmness is one factor that can affect the durability of a mattress but the quality and durability of the materials inside the mattress will play a larger role than firmness. There would also be little point in choosing a mattress that lasts for a little longer if someone doesn’t sleep well on it because it’s too firm. There is also more about the many variables that can affect the durability and useful life of a mattress relative to different people in post #4 here and the posts it links to.

Not in any meaningful terms no although hotel mattresses are often lower quality than an equivalent consumer mattress because they are used less often and are generally replaced more quickly (see post #3 here for more about hotel mattresses). A good quality/value consumer mattress will generally be your best and most cost effective choice.

I would follow the steps in the tutorial one at a time (except for testing the mattress in person because it would be for your guests … not for you).

If you let me know your city or zip code I’d be happy to let you know about the better options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area.

It may also be worthwhile considering online choices as well (since it doesn’t matter that you can’t test the mattress in person before a purchase) and some of the better online options I’m aware of that ship across Canada are listed in post #21 here.