Limited choices in Hawaii

Hello all,
Like many people here I’ve been living with a bed that just isn’t working for me. A little about myself, I’m 6’2" 215lbs. and sleep mostly on my back but occasionally on my side. I found this website about a month ago and have been reading and educating myself on beds…who knew there was so much info about mattresses…I had no idea. I read Phoenix’s tutorials and guidelines on choosing a mattress and it really does make sense.

My problem is that I have chronic lower back pain and I also prefer an innerspring mattress…I just don’t feel comfortable on a foam mattress. I also prefer a medium to firm feel mostly due to support. Unfortunately, one of the bad things about living in Hawaii is that there are very limited options for stores that sell mattresses. Most stores all carry the same brands…being the bigger names Sealy, Simmons, and Serta…for innerspring beds.

My question is if there are any higher quality brands that are available here that I haven’t found. There aren’t really any small mattress dealers that I’ve found. Also, due to our location, many of the online sellers won’t honor their return policy because it just costs too much to ship back on their dime…which is understandable. But that also leaves us here in Hawaii with limited options. After reading many of the posts here i’m thinking durability is at the top of my list as far as what i’m looking for. So I guess i’m just looking for suggestions for particular brands and not really an actual mattress model.

If anyone here lives in Hawaii and has had good experiences with any of these online companies I’d like to hear about that too…good or bad.

***One thing I forgot to mention…I recently stayed in a Marriott in San Diego and had the best sleep I’ve had in months. When I checked the mattress it was a Sealy Posturepedic Artesia HD Cusion Firm mattress. Unfortunately I can’t really find any info about that online.


Hi needsleep9,

You’re right that your options in your area are more limited than many other areas of the country but subject to first confirming that any retailer or manufacturer on the list that you wish to visit is completely transparent (see this article) and to making sure that any mattress you are considering meets the quality/value guidelines here … the better options or possibilities I’m aware of in the Hawaiian islands are listed in post #269 here. There are also some topics that include some discussions and feedback with various forum members in Hawaii here and here and here and here and here and here that may also be helpful.

I would also be very cautious about brand shopping in general because you are buying a specific mattress not the brand and most manufacturers have access to the same or similar components and materials. Many manufacturers make a wide range of mattresses that can vary from lower quality and less durable materials to higher quality and more durable materials in a wide range of prices. The name of the manufacturer on the label or the price of the mattress won’t tell you anything about whether a specific mattress is suitable for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP or whether there are any lower quality materials or weak links in the design that would affect the durability and useful life of the mattress. There is more about the risks of brand shopping in post #5 here and post #12 here. Having said that … the list for the Hawaiian islands does include some of the manufacturers they carry where your chances of being able to find out the specifics of the materials and components in their mattresses are higher.

If you are also considering online choices then the mattress shopping tutorial includes several links to lists of many of the better online options I’m aware of (in the optional online step) that include many different types and categories of mattresses that use different materials and components in a wide range of designs, budgets, firmness levels, and with different return/exchange policies that may be well worth considering a well.

Unfortunately it’s true that in many cases free shipping or normal return or exchange options only apply to the continental US and off the top of my head I don’t know which if any of them are exceptions so you will need to take some extra time to check their websites, email them, use their chat function, or call them on the phone to find out what your options are and the costs involved for those that live in Hawaii. It may be unavoidable that there are some extra costs involved with an online purchase for a mattress that you would be interested in purchasing and that may be one of the few “negative tradeoffs” that come with all the benefits of living in such a beautiful place :slight_smile:

Spending time trying to track down the information about the materials and components in the mattress would probably be a waste of time anyway. All the major brands such as Sealy/Stearns & Foster, Simmons, and Serta all tend to use lower quality and less durable materials in their mattresses than most of their smaller competitors that will tend to soften or break down prematurely relative to the price you pay which is why I would generally suggest avoiding all of them completely (along with most of the retailers that focus on them as well) regardless of how they may feel in a showroom along with any mattress where you aren’t able to find out the type and quality/durability of the materials inside it (see the guidelines here along with post #3 here and post #12 here and post #404 here).

I would also avoid buying any hotel mattress that is made by a major manufacturer as well as any “similar” mattress … particularly if they don’t provide the specs about the quality and durability of the materials (which would probably be the case for all of them). They are generally significantly overpriced compared to similar consumer mattresses made by the same manufacturer (which I also wouldn’t purchase) because hotel mattresses don’t need to be as durable as a consumer mattress that is used every night and that is generally used for longer periods of time than a hotel mattress before it’s replaced. They are one of the most common sources of buyers remorse because lower quality and less durable materials can lead to premature softening and the loss of comfort and support and the need to replace the mattress much too quickly after a purchase (and foam softening and the loss of comfort and support isn’t covered by mattress warranties). You can read more about hotel mattresses in general in post #3 here and the posts it links to.

I know you’ve read the tutorial but two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you’ve read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort” and PPP that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase 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 all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

In its simplest form choosing the “best possible” mattress for any particular person really comes down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in that are in a budget range you are comfortable with and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses and then …

  1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP … and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or “fine tune” the mattress and any costs involved if you can’t test a mattress in person or aren’t confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

  2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering relative to your weight range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress.

  3. Comparing your finalists for “value” based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.