I currently sleep on a Sealy Posturepedic that my late wife bought for us back in 2001. It has worked fine for me and I still sleep well on it; however, I just bought new bedroom furniture and the old furniture is going into a guest bedroom and I need a new mattress. I’m not allergeic to anything and don’t have any back problems…when I sleep at hotels or in a strange bed I don’t seem to have many problems sleeping despite being a light sleeper…but like a firmer mattress. I don’t really love shopping, but am not an impulse buyer and tend to research something fairly well before I buy…usually at consumer reports or by customer reviews at places like Amazon or Costco. A couple of years ago I bought a queen Handy Living 9" plush mattress from BJ’s to go into a guest bedroom, it got good reviews but was only $250 and I’ve slept on it a couple of times and wasn’t that impressed.
My girlfriend had some $4000 monster thing that was only two years old that she and I both hated (it was like sleeping in a bowl of marshmellows), she just gave it to a friend and bought a Newfield King firm from Costco that got good reviews, while we both think it’s OK neither of us like it as much as my 10 plus year old Sealy and she is thinking about returning it (one thing about Costco is that they have a great return policy) and it’s a single sided mattress and I worry about it wearing out. I’m 6 feet and a little over 200lbs and she is 5 foot nothing and 105lbs and what I would like to find is something we both like that we can buy two of, one for her house and one for mine.
Now that I am doing some more detailed research on what will be my new full time bed I am just getting more confused the more I research. Consumer reports doesn’t seem to be as helpful as it is in some other situations. Customer reviews at Costco or BJs seem to be to few or cover too short a time period to be reliable, reviews at Amazon just seem to cover lower end bed. I’m not looking to build something myself the way a lot of you guys have done, I just want to make a smart purchase, get the best bang for my buck, and not get ripped off or make a mistake. One tip I seem to agree with from Consumerreports is that I shouldn’t spend more than $1000. I’m clawing my way through the FAQs and post here and have made some headway but it seems daunting. I think I want to stay away from memory foam and stick with a innerspring double sided mattress that I can flip made with natural fibers, get the firmest I can and then soften with custom toppers to make it what we want most…but those seem to be hard to find…this is harder than buying a car. Can someone recommend a manufacturer or resource in the DC area (I am in southern MD and GF is in northern VA) where i could get such a beast?
I’m guessing you’ve read this but just in case I would start with the mattress shopping tutorial which has the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choices all in one place. Make sure you read it like you would a good book and not “study” it like you would a school textbook. You need “just enough” information to be able to recognize a knowledgeable, experienced, and transparent retailer or manufacturer who already knows what you would otherwise need to learn. Too much information and too little information can both lead to poor choices.
Once you get to step 3 … then the better options and possibilities I’m aware of in the Washington, DC area are listed in post #2 here.
I wouldn’t put very much stock in anything that Consumer reports has to say about mattresses and it’s clear that they don’t know a great deal about either the industry or mattresses and I think their reports do more harm than good. Quite frankly … their suggestions are a joke in the more knowledgeable parts of the industry (you can see a video here that is still being “kind”). While you can certainly buy a good quality/value mattress for under $1000 … their suggested budget also puts you outside the range of many of the better quality specialty mattresses and materials such as good quality memory foam and latex.
If you are looking at innerspring/natural fiber mattresses (such as wool, cotton, horsehair etc) then most of these would be in significantly higher budget ranges as well (and in some cases in 5 figure price ranges).
If you are looking for a two sided innerspring with polyfoam comfort layers (which are the ones you will see most often) then it may be worth talking with a Winndom retailer. Therapedic and Eclipse also make some two sided mattresses but I would call the retailers on the list to see which ones have two sided mattresses available.
ADDED: In their latest report that was released in 2014 they “tested” only 25 mattresses that included some of the worst quality/value and least transparent manufacturers in the industry and for the most part ignored the many thousands of mattresses that are better quality/value made by dozens of smaller independent manufacturers across the country that are completely transparent and will tell you everything you need to know about the quality of the materials in their mattresses. They also didn’t seem to realize or understand that a mattress that is suitable for one person may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on so their “recommendations” do much more harm than good by encouraging consumers to believe that their recommendation is all that they need to find a suitable and good quality/value mattress. They don’t provide any specific information about how to assess the quality of the materials inside a mattress, much of the information in their buying guide is incomplete and misleading at best and harmful at worst, and in essence they do more to perpetuate the “status quo” of the industry than anything else. Strangely enough … they even consider latex to be a variation of memory foam …
Basically polyurethane with additional ingredients, memory foam has been a favorite of respondents to our surveys who suffer from pain. A variation is latex foam, claimed to be hypoallergenic.[/quote]
I think that their intentions were good … but their knowledge of mattresses and mattress materials and their execution was awful.
Very well said Phoenix! Have you shared your insight with Consumer Reports? You really should consider it because it would help them gain a healthy perspective that would in the end serve the potential consumers better.
I haven’t up till this point no and for now I have so many competing time constraints and additions to this site that I’m currently working on and my hours are so long that I’m not sure when or if that may happen. I normally don’t do any consulting for other private businesses, even if they are not for profit (although I do exchange thoughts and ideas on some extended conversations on a fairly frequent basis with some of the mattress manufacturers or others in the industry that I have come to know), but at some point I may try to find out who to talk to there and offer some suggestions about how to make their mattress suggestions and recommendations a little more useful and relevant.
Given some of the changes that they are working on to try and say relevant in the digital age (see here) they may find a different perspective useful
I would certainly say so, and to think I was admittedly considering what they had to say in the early stages of this process in buying a new bed sleep system and now I’ve done a complete about face thanks to you.