Mattress Help Please =)

My husband and I have been looking at Mattress Mart for a new mattress and I’m wondering if you can give me insight on the best mattress they sell would be? We were looking into the icomfort but with it being so new the reviews aren’t very subjective. So our next option would be the serta iseries perfect day jubilance. Do you have any thoughts on this mattress? Any advise would be helpful, we just want to get a mattress that will last! Our current mattress we bought a big lots, because we didn’t have a lot of money at the time, and after three years, my lower back aches when I wake up in the morning and my husband is always complaining of lower back pain as well from our mattress. Thanks!

Hi mrsloveless,

My first suggestion would be to read the guidelines here which will help you avoid most of the traps and pitfalls of mattress shopping and avoid most of the lower value mattresses that you might otherwise be tempted to buy.

The first of these guidelines says …

1. Avoid buying a mattress made by any of the major national brands such as Sealy, Simmons, Serta, Tempurpedic. While they are not all “bad” mattresses and some may even be good quality, … none of them have good value when compared to similar mattresses made by smaller independent manufacturers. NONE

and I would also include brands like Stearns and Foster, Tempurpedic and Comfort Solutions (King Koil) in the list. These mattresses dominate the market but all have poor value and it is just too frustrating and mostly impossible to get any meaningful information about the quality of materials they use in their mattresses. In most cases they include way to much lower density or lower quality foams and sell for much higher prices than the materials would justify. The few exceptions (and there would be very very few) do not justify the time and effort to find out the information you would need to make an informed buying decision (in most cases the salespeople don’t even know or won’t tell you).

As an analogy … if you were buying a piece of furniture … most people would want to know if it was made of wood, MDF, or cheap particle board or which parts of the furniture was made of each. They would want to know if the furniture they were buying used materials that justified the cost. They would not be happy just looking at a veneer which looks like wood without knowing what was underneath it. They would also want to know if it was stapled together, nailed, screwed, or dovetailed and would also want to know what type of wood was used, how strong it was, how suitable it is for a particular use, how likely it was to warp or bend with stress and much more.

Mattress covers are like the veneer and without knowing the details of all the layers in a mattress and knowing how to tell the difference between good and poor quality materials there is no way to know the quality or durability of the mattress. Manufacturers who don’t provide this information or try to hide it with stories (like how good a veneer looks) don’t deserve the business of educated consumers. There are too many higher quality mattress manufacturers who provide this information and use higher quality materials and sell them for lower prices to spend any time looking at brands which are sold primarily by marketing stories rather than meaningful information about what is in the mattress.

There are also too many knowledgeable people selling mattresses who actually want their customers to know this type of information and who are experts at “fitting” their customers to the most suitable mattress in their budget range to spend any time at the typical chain stores who tend to sell mattresses based on vague or highly subjective ideas about comfort alone in the highly managed environment of a mattress showroom (where they are trained to “help” you feel exactly what they want you to feel so they can sell you what they want you to buy).

There are also several “Mattress Marts” so it would help to know which one you are referring to.

If you mean this one … then I would probably avoid them completely and if I was forced to shop there then I would probably look at the Spring Air or the Therapedic but I would still need to know the details of all the layers and materials in any of these that I was considering (including the density of any polyfoam or memory foam) before I even considered it and it’s quite likely that they will not provide this information.

If you let me know your city or zip code … I’d be happy to let you know of any local factory direct manufacturers or better outlets I may know about in your area where you have better odds of buying better quality and value.


We were looking at we live in Columbus, Ohio. We are only going with them because we know someone who can get us a really good deal if you know what I mean. So we narrowed it down to the icomfort or the iseries perfect day. Just not sure if we should go with the half coil, half memory foam (iseries) or all memory foam (icomfort).

Hi mrsloveless,

I personally wouldn’t recommend any of the iComfort mattresses but of course if you receive a substantial discount then it may be more in line with reasonable value or a more attractive option. My thoughts about some of the all foam line are in post #11 here. If you are committed to the iSeries or the iComfort I would make my choice based on your own personal experience and which provided the best PPP (Pressure relief, Posture and alignment, and your Personal Preferences of overall feel, motion isolation etc).

The choice between an innerspring and a foam core is really about personal preference and I would choose the comfort layer based on the quality of materials in it and on how well they performed for your specific body type and sleeping positions. Part of the problem with Serta (and the other major manufacturers) is that they don’t release meaningful information about the materials in their mattress so it’s difficult and sometimes impossible to really know the quality of the mattress you are buying compared to other choices you may have.

I would take a careful look at the specs of the materials in the mattress that you were most attracted to and as much as possible avoid the use of polyfoam (or what they call comfort foam or support foam) in the upper layers of the mattress unless they can tell you the density and you know the difference between better quality and lower quality polyfoam. I would look for the best quality foam materials possible. I would also tend to avoid the models with the thickest softest comfort layers unless you have tested and know for certain that you are in good alignment in all your sleeping positions and that when the foam softens you will still be OK.

An good analogy would be buying furniture that uses different materials and where you can’t find out whether it uses cheap particle board, MDF, or real wood and the type and quality of the wood or whether various parts were glued, stapled, nailed, screwed or dovetailed together. All of them may look similar but the veneer on the particle board is only the cover and you know it will likely fall apart much sooner than higher quality materials and construction methods even though they may look and even perform similarly … for a while. Better materials and construction methods means better durability and the original performance wll be maintained for much longer.

Mattressmartohio was recently sold and I have talked with the new owner Ken Hoffman who impressed me with his desire to make some positive changes there. The improvements in their website have certainly been noticeable.

I would suggest that you take a look at some of the mattresses that they manufacture at their factory in Plains city which you can see here. Normally a local brand will have better value than a national brand and use higher quality materials in a similar budget range. While I don’t know the details of their mattresses other than what is on the website, it would surprise me if their own mattresses didn’t have better quality and value than any of the Serta’s that they carry. UPDATE: has an outlet in Reynoldsburg which is the closest one to you.

They were also making a line of latex mattresses that were sold only at their Tuttle Crossing outlet but when I last talked with Frank there (on May 12th) they were in the process of “redefining” this line after the sale so I’m not sure what the current status of this line is. It was a very high quality line of latex and latex hybrid mattresses and a substantial discount on these would make them very good value (if they are still making them).

UPDATE: They used to make their own mattresses but unfortunately they no longer do and the they now only carry major brands (which I would avoid) along with Restonic and Solstice which are the only two manufacturers I would consider here but make sure that they can provide you with the foam specs before you make a purchase here.

Just as a reference point … some of the better outlets or possibilities in the Columbus area are in post #2 here. It may be worthwhile looking at some of your alternatives at either OMF or Design Sleep just to see how they compare.


So it looks like the deal we had set up might have fell through. So now we are at square one. We are open to any mattress store but would like to find a reasonable priced king size mattress that either has the memory foam or latex with or without springs. What do you recommend. Sorry for being a pain with all the questions.

Hi mrsloveless,

The post I linked to in the last paragraph of my last post includes the better outlets or possibilities that I’m aware of in your area.


Hi mrsloveless,

I did a little more research in the Columbus area and added a couple of options to the list I linked to previously. They include some latex, latex hybrid, and memory foam options.