Retail mattresses

If having to buy from a retail mattress store. What brand innerspring mattress would you suggest? Just not sure about not being able to test a mattress beofre buying it.

Hi burly,

I don’t recommend brand shopping at all because a mattress is only as good as its construction and the quality of the materials that are inside it. In most cases … the support system (such as the innerspring or any type of support system) isn’t the “weak link” of a mattress and the type and quality of the foam above the innerspring is much more important. With heavier weights though where deep support ismore important I would focus on stronger innersprings that contain more steel. Unfortunately the weight of the steel in an innerspring isn’t a spec that is disclosed so I would focus on innersprings that use lower gauge (thicker) wire in the range of 13 gauge or less but again … it’s the foam above the innerspring that will make the biggest difference in terms of durability. Innersprings that use higher gauge (thinner) wire will tend to be less supportive than lower gauge (thicker) wire but your own personal testing for PPP will tell you more about how well a mattress keeps your husband in alignment than any innerspring specs.

You can read a little more about the different types of innersprings and the pros and cons of each in this article and in post #10 here but I would particularly avoid coil counting because it’s not a meaningful way to compare innersprings unless the two mattresses you are comparing have the same type of innerspring, the same number of turns in each spring, and the same gauge wire.

When you are choosing a mattress in more difficult circumstances (such as higher weights or back issues), then the knowledge and experience of the retailer or manufacturer you are buying from and their willingness and ability to tell you the specifics of what is in the mattress and “translate” the information into something that makes sense to you is one of the most important parts of a successful mattress purchase. Of course the forum can also act as a useful “fact check” so you can validate any of the information you receive if you need a “second opinion”.

This thread may also be worthwhile reading and helpful.

If you have read the testing guidelines and still don’t “trust” your ability to test a mattress for PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences) or are purchasing it online … then your longer term experience over the first few weeks will be your “testing” and in this case the return/refund policy for the mattress would become one of the most important factors in your personal value equation. Of course I would still make sure that all the components in the mattress are high quality because “comfort and support” and how a mattress “feels” is not connected to the quality of the materials which is more about how long a mattress will maintain the comfort and support that is the reason you bought it in the first place (and the loss of comfort and support because of the softening or breakdown of the material is not covered by warranty).