Shopping for a new mattress; need a good retail outlet

I am shopping for a new mattress, ($2000-$2500 range) and was considering a Diamond brand – The Generations Duchess Luxury Plush Cal-King, which has Talalay Latex, 14.5 coil gauge, Foam encased nested wrapped coil system, high density Eco-Flex design and CoolTEK fabric – but have read some negatives about Diamond customer service and products that have put me off a bit on them. Also, the retail salesperson I dealt with did not seem very knowledgeable about the mattresses other than to try them out in the store – and though she did suggest I was better off going with a non-name brand like Diamond, her store offered NO exchange policy if it turned out not to be comfortable. So my first question is – should I limit my shopping to a store that has a return policy? After discovering your site, I am on information overload and realize I need to find a really knowledgeable salesperson who can help me select a mattress that will satisfy both me and my husband. I am 5’6" and he is 6’6". Neither of us is overweight. The mattress we have (a Simmons) is only 8 years old, but the top foam is now lumpy and I hate it. I think it is the source of my backaches. (We both have occasional lower back problems). I would prefer a slightly firmer mattress, but am afraid that will cause problems with pressure points, and also my husband like the softer feel. I personally think we should avoid pillowtops because of the foam breakdown. Do you have any recommendations for either a good retail or factory direct outlet near us that isn’t one of the big box stores, where I am more likely to find a knowledgeable salesperson who is willing to answer a lot of questions? I’m OK with traveling a bit. My zip code is 92506 (Riverside, CA). Also, has anyone ever heard of Custom Comfort mattresses? They are pricey, but sound like they are a cut above the rest.

Hi estelle,

Diamond is a wholesale manufacturer that only sells to stores and doesn’t deal with customers directly so the customer service part of your purchase would depend more on which store you are dealing with than on Diamond. Having said that … you can read some of my thoughts about Diamond in post #2 here and in post #2 here. If a manufacturer doesn’t provide their retailers with the information you need about what is inside a mattress you are considering (see this article) … then the retailer won’t be able to provide it to you either and I would pass the mattress by (see the guidelines here).

While this is generally good advice because In general you will usually find better quality/value mattresses if you buy from smaller manufacturers that tend to use higher quality materials in their mattresses at every price point … this would only be worthwhile advice to follow if you are able to find out what is inside any mattress you are considering.

The “value” of an exchange policy depends on how carefully and objectively you test the mattress for PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and Personal preferences), on how confident you are that a mattress you are considering is a suitable choice, and where you are in the “Princess and the pea” to “I can sleep on anything” range. If you have tested a mattress and you still aren’t confident that it would be a suitable choice for you then an exchange policy may become a more important part of your personal value equation but it will also add to the cost of a mattress because exchange policies are built in to the cost of a mattress and people who don’t exchange a mattress end up paying for the ones that do. There is more about exchange policies in post #2 here and the posts it links to.

I would make sure you’ve read the mattress shopping tutorial here which has all the most important information, steps, and guidelines you will need all in one place. I also completely agree that the knowledge, experience, and transparency of the manufacturer or retailer you deal with can be one of the most important parts of a successful mattress purchase. When you are dealing with a good manufacturer or retailer that has your best interests at heart then they will already know what you would otherwise need to learn and it’s much easier to find an expert than to try and become one yourself. Having “just enough” information to recognize when you are dealing with a knowledgeable retailer/manufacturer can help keep things much simpler.

The better options or possibilities I’m aware of in the Riverside area are listed in post #7 here for the Hesperia/Rancho Cucamonga/San Bernardino areas and the larger list for the Greater Los Angeles area in post #2 here.

They are included in the Los Angeles list and you can see a few thoughts about them in this topic and in post #2 here. They make some good quality mattresses but they may not be in the best “value” range compared to other mattresses that use similar materials so I would make some very careful “value comparisons” based on the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you. A forum search on customcomfort (you can just click the link) will also bring up more information and feedback about them as well.