Background: We have been sleeping on Tempurpedic for 5 years and have been generally unhappy the entire time. Lately, I cannot sleep on it at all due to lower back pain. My wife and I both travel a lot and while, we occasionally find bad mattresses in a hotel room, we generally sleep very well on hotel mattresses which are typically more or less “no frills” innerspring mattresses. So we would like to switch to one.
I recently bought a Saatva mattress because of their return policy but we didn’t like it and it is going back. I am now leery of on-line purchases because I want to be able to try a mattress before I buy it. You say to stay away from the big name manufacturers and chain stores. Can you recommend stores in my area which carry local, regional or specialty brands which you think are worthy of consideration.
Thank you, Phoenix. On your list is a store near me, the Good Bed Guys in Costa Mesa. You said you were impressed with what they had to say and the quality of the materials they used. I have read over all your guidelines and pointers but there is a lot for a lay person to digest. You know this business inside out and I trust your knowledge and judgment more than the degree to which I could hope to educate myself in a limited amount of time. So my question is, if I look at name brands in a store and I find, say, a Simmons Beautyrest mattress which I like a lot, am I correct in understanding that you are saying a comparably priced mattress from a store like the Good Bed Guys will be better made, longer lasting and, ultimately, of greater value than the Simmons?
The post I linked in my last reply has more about the three most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase but it comes down to (in this order or priorities) …
Making sure that the mattress you choose is a good match for you in terms of PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal Preferences) … hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial post.
Making sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering so you have a reasonable expectation that the mattress won’t develop soft spots or impressions prematurely and that it will maintain its comfort and support for a reasonable length of time relative to the price you paid for it.
Comparing your finalists for “value” based on #1 and #2 along with all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price of course and any return or exchange options that may be available to you and the costs involved if that’s also an important consideration for you).
While I can’t speak to whether any mattress will be a good “match” for you in terms of PPP because your own personal testing and experience is the only way to know this … outside of PPP a mattress is only as good as its construction and the quality and durability of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label so I would focus more on the materials in a mattress than on the name of the manufacturer that makes it.
While I can also say that the odds of a major brand mattress containing lower quality materials than most of their smaller competitors is very high and it would be much “safer” to avoid all the major brands than try and find any potential exceptions (see the guidelines here) … the only way for me to make any meaningful comments about any specific mattress is by knowing the type and quality/density of the materials and components that are inside it (see this article).
If you can list the specs of any mattress that you are considering and post them on the forum (and a good manufacturer or retailer will be able to provide them to you) I’d certainly be happy to make some comments about the materials inside it and the mattress as a whole and help you identify whether there are any lower quality materials or weak links in the mattress that would be a reason to avoid it.
Without this information it’s just not possible for me to make any meaningful comments about a mattress and I personally wouldn’t suggest buying any mattress where you don’t know the type and quality/durability of all the materials and components inside it.