Mattress shopping......why all the BS?


Shopping for a new mattress and I want to shoot myself in the face.

The entire industry is nothing but BS, from the stores (prices marked are never actual prices, model numbers are exclusive to the store so you can’t comparison shop, delivery, “protection treatment is extra”), to the sales people (they’ll tell you that “you’ll be paralyzed if you don’t buy a fancy mattress”, they “only have ONE left on sale”), to the brands/marketing/models…every brand manufactures under 3-4 names…every brand has 100 different models with unclear names/ranges (how do I know if the “Recharge World Class Royal Troon Hi-Loft” is better than the “Crown Jewel Amarone Euro-Top” or the “Posturepedic® Proback Advance Wembley Euro” ? - real names BTW), and BS “features” (“HD foam”, “Cool double-twist gel”, “Micro-support”, “Pro-back”, “Cushion Cloud® Construction”)…

Any ideas aside from the usual “go to a store and check them out”?

I thought performance footwear was full of BS (“micro-bounce 2000 cushioning foam”), but this is on a whole different level!!!

Generally I get cheaper is worse, but it’s almost impossible to get any real comparison or technical info!



I feel the same way, I’m sleeping on an old stiff mattress and I’m not sure what to upgrade to. I was in Sears and can’t really tell what I like just from laying on it.

A friend of mine has an Ikea Hansbo and I’m considering that one, anyone recommend Ikea? One option is to buy something a little cheaper and you can always put the thick memory foam pad on it.

Unfortunately, no.

I happen to be “lucky” to live in an area where there are 4 mattress stores within a 1/4 mile. Upgraded to a king last year for a bed I made, see below for pic.

But in reality, it is truly a sensory experience and specifications are nearly worthless with that respect. Knowing it is a 2.5 pound 60 pores per inch open cell urethane won’t tell my back which is best.

IMO it’s worth investing in a good mattress. I know a lot of people who’ve tried finding the “Bob’s Memory foam” or some other cheap mattress and within a year or two they’ve had all kinds of dents/sags.

I ended up going with a latex based foam mattress about 5 years ago and it’s magic. A little bit of sagging since I sleep on my side but I spin it every few months and it’s not uncomfortable, just something you notice when you change the sheets.

I for sure agree it’s worth spending the money on a good mattress. I was looking at some “super pocket coil, mega euro top” thing, but I’m leaning now towards checking out a latex/memory foam one. Only thing I’ve heard negative is that they can be warm.

Just to avoid the mattress store BS, I’m looking at a few euro brands and ones at DWR.


PS. Another reason I’m looking at foam mattresses is that they are a lot slimmer. I have a nice modern bed frame (not the same but similar to below) and most coil/plush top mattresses are way too thick. Like 14" compared to a normal mattress being 9" and foam 7" or so. Looks ridiculous.

The foam is definitely warmer, which I don’t find a bad thing (it makes you not want to get out in the morning, so I usually keep my window open all year round and turn the heat way down in the evening even when it’s 15 degrees out). On the plus side it’ll reduce your heating bill!

Memory foam is the shiz. I’ll never go back, and I’m sleeping on IKEA memory foam at the moment. Tempurpedic must be amazing…

Ive been looking for a mattress for awhile now. Everyone has told me to wait as Labor Day/Memorial day weekends are best time to get mattresses. At least thats when all the sales happen

But strongly considering just getting something off Overstock. At $300, are you getting a similar product without all the brand name attached to it?

Another thing to consider too, and I found this out when I was buying a mattress. You need to bargain with the sales people on the price. I read that you should ask for 50% of what they are listed as (even if they are already having a 50% off sale). When I did that I ended up getting around 40% extra off the mattress I bought and the included free delivery and set up (Which was probly included anyway).

A lot of you probably know that already, but since this was my first time buying a mattress I never would have thought about that.

Also, I guess they don’t do bargaining at name brand stores like Tempurpedic.

Memory foam is nice. I just got my little kids twin size thin IKEA foam mattresses, hopefully they use them 'til they leave the house. The downside to foam is it collects mites, dust, etc. as it ages. They recommend that you change it every so many years. Not that I’m advocating spring mattresses.

I wonder if foam mattresses could be measured by durometer? The equivalent of the sleep number beds…

Or you could just get used to sleeping on a mat? Humans have done fine for a long time without them, its just that we’ve contrived these necessities for ourselves over the years. =)

From what I understand and my own knowledge working with foams, there is a big difference between cheapo closed cell PU foams like an Ikea or overstock mattress, vs. natural latex or viscose-elastic open cells foams like better mattresses use. Construction and cover materials also vary widely as some have air channels, use allergen proof wicking fabric, multiple density foams in different zones, etc.

There are different durometer and memory foam compression-set/bounce back specs but apparently no standard and most don’t even give specs.

I guess like anything else, you get what you pay for, up to a point…

There’s always these guys that I’m sure are awesome, but cost more than a small car (start at $25,000 for a twin or something crazy up to $50,000+)

I feel like next time I’m in China at an PU foam factory I should just make my own :slight_smile:

With the amount of use a mattress gets, I don’t mind spending some money. Probably better ass-time/$ ratio than some of the designer chairs I’ve purchased over the years.


switched from an el cheapo to a Tempur-Pedic memory foam job… such a big difference. Worth every penny.

It sounds like mattresses are a mature market, little innovation, no real differentiation between brands, apart from marketing spin.

Prime for some design led differentiation.

Once you have found one you like (slip off your shoes and have a two hour nap on one in the store, be grumpy at other shoppers for making too much noise) I’d go by the warranty they offer - really the only signal in that sort of market that you can trust.

That’s a whole different level of shadiness I’ve found out with only a bit of digging… Most have partially pro-rated warranties. So, if it says 25 years, it might have a 15 year pro-rated portion, so if there is a problem after 12 years, only a portion of the cost is covered.

Not to mention all the fine print and exclusions. Any kind of stain/surface wear, not covered. Using it on a slat type bed, instead of a box spring, not covered. Didn’t follow the instructions and have it flipped every 6 months and cleaned every year, not covered. Sagging, but less than the 2.5in minimum depth, not covered… can’t find the original bill 10 years later, not covered.

Even if it is covered, apparently you need to pay for pickup/shipping, which isn’t easy on a giant mattress…

…warranties are the red herring in a product like this. They know nobody ever claims a warranty, so it’s pretty useless. More marketing nonsense!


More and more the shady mattress industry looks prime for an smart operator to come in and make a killing.

A product that everyone needs, ripe for some differentiation and good customer experience.

I can see Google getting into this business. Now I need to set up a mattress company and sell it for a few billion.

Sleep Number, in addition to the “custom” firmness settings, is incorporating pressure sensitive mats and running Fitbit-like apps to “measure” the “restfulness” of your sleep. The user can determine which firmness setting is “best” for them.

But if they don’t publish with peer-review, I would consider it more marketing nonsense. Then again, what part of the consumer product industry isn’t the same as the mattress industry? Who wants to throw the first stone?

In full disclosure, I do not own a Sleep Number mattress.

This is a place where dealers entice car buyers with hot dogs and home buyers with free thanksgiving turkeys. Mattresses seem to be one of those things too. :smiley:

It’s done intentionally, it’s a classic confusopoly market, like cell phone plans. When your cost of goods is nearly fixed regardless of what you’re selling, you have to resort to games like this. It’s the same reason a handful of popcorn at the movies is $5 and an extra extra large is only $0.25 more. The labor cost for both products is the same, and the difference in cost of materials is about $0.02. No matter which one you buy it’s nearly all profit, but you feel like you’re getting a deal when you buy the large. Car makers do the same thing with options packages, options are almost pure profit.

Once you’ve decided which firmness you like, there is very little to differentiate one mattress from another apart from firmness. The cost to manufacture a “high end” mattress is only a few percent more than it is to make a cheap mattress: a couple extra springs, a little more foam, organic cotton, 5 minutes longer on the line. Assembly can’t be moved offshore because shipping costs would be too high, the process can’t be automated, so nobody can get a big cost advantage. So instead they baffle you with bullshit knowing that most people will just give up and choose the “mid range” model.

It doesn’t make much difference at our house. We’ve been sleeping on a plywood platform, with no box spring, since our college days. No sag, ever…

We’ve had a “swedish memory foam” mattress for the past fifteen years. I can’t remember what we paid for it but it wasn’t cheap. Suzanne loves it, but I find it a bit too warm, especially in the summer months. I can only sleep on my back, so I could probably get by sleeping on the floor…