View Full Version : How do I pick a mattress?

Greg Sampson
December 14th, 2004, 04:25 PM
So, I'm in the market for a mattress and, unlike performance cars, I have no idea how to go about selecting what I want. Firm, Plush, Pillow Top... I know that a firm mattress "offers more support" because that's what the website says but how in the heck do I decide what I'm looking for? Here's how I imagien the conversation:
Them- "Ok, what features do you want?"
Me- "****, I don't know."
Them- *blank stare*
Me- *blank stare*

See, I have no idea if I need spinal support or a plush, comfy feeling... like, how in the hell am I supposed to know what I want? Especially after a 3 minutes test sleep at the store... ANyone done this recently and does anyone have some insightful wisdom they can throw my way because I'm getting nowhere.

Oh crap, another thing... how in the hell can a mattress cost $4,000? And is it really that much better than a mattress that only cost $600? I can talk tires and coil overs all day long but box springs and comfor-pedic is a total loss on me.

Hood Ornament
December 14th, 2004, 04:36 PM
Hey man, there's this new thing called teh internet. You can look stuff up and all that on it. It's pretty cool, you should give it a try. tongue.gif :D

You might start at epinions.com.

December 14th, 2004, 04:36 PM
Look for one without stains. Other than that you're on your own.

Greg Sampson
December 14th, 2004, 04:43 PM
I AM looking on the internet but the problem is I don't know what I want, nor what I need enable to make any kind of decision about features. With a motorcycle its easy. I want to go, stop and turn with a certain amount of precision. Therefore, I do not buy a Harley product. However, with a mattress, I don't even understand what my options are, less even about the benefits. More coils? Firm or soft? Thicker or thinner? I mean, where does it end?

Epinions has been good but only from a quality stand point. Someone might think that X mattress is the be-all end-all but I don't know what his preferences are... You know, maybe he wants to be able to put quarters in it and has a lot of friends that are call girls... I don't know such things.

December 14th, 2004, 04:46 PM
If your current mattress is almost 10 years old, anything new will feel better. ;)

You might try to lie down on some of the mattresses and see how it feels. You can also to see if you can bring your cats to the store to see if they'll like it too. ;)

December 14th, 2004, 05:03 PM
I thought this was going to be joke...

How does Greg choose a mattress"
Does he test how it flips over?
Does he jump on it face first to test its crash ability?
Shall I go on? ;)

Here's my $.02

Goldilocks and the three bears! "That ones just right"

Ever slept on a real hard bed? Makes my back ache and my arms fall asleep and tingle if I try to lay on them. Ever slept on a real soft bed? Neck and a back ache. Kinda firm with a pillow top? OH YEAH! But thats just me... everyone is different hence the many different types. Your going to have sleep on it so you better figure out what works best for you.

Whats your sleep number? :D

December 14th, 2004, 05:36 PM
One tip I can give you, is that you can bargain with the matress places. Don't take the first price you're given. The pillow top with a firm mattress is a good choice. Don't forget that queen sized sheets are much more reasonably priced than king size. Hope it helps.


December 14th, 2004, 05:52 PM
As a person who has lived years on an airmattress in University.. and years on a $4500 mattress...

Personally I've found an expensive mattress is worth EVERY PENNY.

You spend upto 1/3 of EVERY day on the thing.. buy the best you can afford.

Once you find the model/make you want, you can shop around for a good price on it - but IMHO, leave price out of the model choice decision process.

Personally, I can't stand sleeping on anything smaller than a king. I like to lay diagnolly and hate apendages hanging off. Throw in a girl.. and the dogs sneaking onto the bed in the middle of the night.. the bigger the better :D

That said I'll go sleep on my hand-me-down-rock-hard-piece of **** again tonight :(

[ December 14, 2004, 17:56: Message edited by: Geek ]

December 14th, 2004, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by Greg Sampson:
...With a motorcycle its easy. I want to go, stop and turn with a certain amount of precision...Hmmmm, is that go like Hallett, stop like Oak Hill, and turn like TWS? :eek:

FWIW I emailed some info to yahoo. Tippytoes is right about queensize, reclaim some floorspace too. Don't you already have a regular room at the hospital with a bed?

Yep, this is a good thread to poke fun. tongue.gif

December 14th, 2004, 05:55 PM
I have to agree with Jen 100% -- pillowtop on a firm mattress, queen is a good size.

Since you're not quite sure what you want/need, I also recommend that you go with a big name-brand, like Sealy or Serta. You may pay a little more than the no-names, but they are built very well and will last more than a couple of years (it'll pay off in the long-run).

Our Sealy is almost 10 years old and is still in excellent shape. My in-laws bought us a king-size bed as a housewarming gift, so the older (queen-sized) bed is now in the guest bedroom.

The "shape-memory" foam (or whatever they call it this week) is a whole lotta hype and not necessarily good for you, in my humble opinion.

December 14th, 2004, 06:31 PM
Really, I'm not following you around...I too have been roadster shopping and mattress hunting -

For the mattress, I have learned you need to consider both the support system and the comfort layer of a mattress or sleep system and it it based on the type of sleep category you fall into:

Side Sleepers- People that sleep on their side need a very conforming support system that will evenly distribute their support along the entire length of their body. Too firm of a mattress for a side sleeper will create pressure points in your hip and shoulder. These pressure points will make a person toss and turn during their slumber. Eventually you will fall asleep but will awaken with circulatory issues like their arm falling asleep or their hip bothering them. Most of the time these circulatory issues are followed by lower back pain. The lower back pain is usually because the pressure in your hip will force you to twist your body slightly to relieve the pressure. This twisted sleep position creates the lower back pain.

Stomach sleepers- Stomach sleepers need a very firm support. Too soft of a support system will allow a stomach sleeper’s back to sway down into the sleep system. This sway will kink the lower back and create lower back pain. Normally neck pain follows as your neck starts to get effected by the same downward sway. To prevent this sway you will need an extra firm support.

Back Sleepers- Back sleepers can sleep on almost anything level. Most back sleepers enjoy a firm support and prefer a softer more luxurious surface.

After learning this info, I'm leaning toward the memory foam over latex, verses the conventional spring set choices. Tempur-pedic is the one most people of heard of, but there are many others. The hype says they last about twice as long as a spring set, the average is about 10 years. For anyone suffering with arthritis, Fybromyalgia or back problems this is proving a winner. There are also the issues of anti-microbial and dust mite free concerns which the spring sets don't address because of their basic design. You can get some memory foam systems with adustable and interchangeable memory foam so as to build one side of the bed with different specifications than the other should you want to. Then there is the consideration of how warm you like your bed...the older generation of foam mattresses tended to get warmer than a conventional mattress based on how much body heat you produce. The newer types not only have a smoother, more gradual shift in firmness that allows sleepers to change position without hitting an uncomfortable barrier of hard, non-responsive foam, but, because of the the finer cells doesn't get as hot.

Regarding preference...Isn't this where size really does matter? Definitely a matter of personal preference and sleep style. I have to agree w/Geek and will eventually buy the standard King 76 x 80, the Eastern King 78 x 80 or go back with the Cal-King 72 x 84 compared to the queen at 60 x 80. Hope this helps.

[ December 14, 2004, 19:05: Message edited by: Blue Goose CARLA ]

December 14th, 2004, 07:06 PM
Ask about the return policy. I went through this two years ago and I must say I honestly spent more time shopping for ONE mattress than I did while shopping for my last three cars and three motorcycles put together. I bought a Sealy set from "The Mattress Firm" and they had a 30 day return policy. I always feel guilty about returning something that works as it should, but in this case I slept on it the first night and did not like it. I called the store the next day and talked with the sales guy and he said he would give a 100% refund (less $40 delivery) that day, but he wanted me to try it for two more weeks. Two weeks went by and I still did not like it. They refunded everything - no questions asked and they were aware I had already purchased another set from a competitor.

December 14th, 2004, 07:41 PM
hey, is this a bed shopping forum now or what? TSBA - Texas Sport Bedding Association!! :D

jj - I've got a good friend and neighbor who works for Simmons. He's sold us + friends/family a number of beds, factory direct. He'll shoot you straight on how to buy right....and may even have a killer deal for you too! -Tom Pryzlucki 281-773-9180. use my name to break the ice, I'm Brian Stephenson.

December 14th, 2004, 10:35 PM
A -10° mummy bag and a poncho is all you need. I'll even make it easy and throw in the foam sleeping pad.

To me, I loved my king size "heated / massaging" waterbed. Heike's...hard as a rock, speaking of which I think I'll keep what I listed above - it's more comfortable than that slab of granite we sleep on.

December 14th, 2004, 11:14 PM
Sealy firm with pillowtop. The pillowtop rules.

King is the way to go. You don't wanna be throwing her off the side of the bed when you flip her over. Doesn't earn you any brownie points.

December 15th, 2004, 12:03 AM
Having shopped around for mattresses this year, here are my .02:

I tried the Tempurpedic (sp?) Mattress. It feels good at first, but after a while, you feel like you have to crawl out of a hole in the mornings. After the trial period, the guys who picked it up commented that its a common complaint for their returns.

I tried the Select Comfort bed and have stuck with it. Its a Calif King pillow top. You adjust how firm you want the bed, depending on the position you sleep in. It has an air pump that only turns on when you adjust the firmness...so no unexpected noises in the middle of the night. The internal parts are replaceable if they were to ever get damaged...can't do that with springs. They offer a whole set (mattress & base) for over $2k, but I just installed some plywood for the required flat surface to save money and only bought the mattress.

Another way to save money is to get a prescription from your doc (if you're getting a posturpedic bed) and you'll save yourself from paying taxes. I did this for both the tempurpedic & select comfort.

I agree with geek, don't let the cost of a good bed keep you from buying it. If it saves you back pain, its worth it. I've had water beds (surfable ones and waveless ones) and spring mattresses and memory foam ones and none compare to Select Comfort.

If you're gonna test tempurpedic vs select comfort, do the tempurpedic first (longer trial period and you may keep the foam pillow..if they're still doing that)

Good luck...

December 15th, 2004, 03:22 AM
Stay away from the California King size. Finding sheets and stuff for it is a pain.

Same deal with the super thick mattresses with pillow top, I love the mattress but finding the special sheets can be a pain. Other sizes may be easier but getting sheets deeper then 18" is difficult at best. Finding them in the California King even on the internet is near impossible in any color other then white.

Also consider the bed you want to put it in. The farther away from 'standard' sizes and thicknesses the more painful it is finding a bed. This can be fixed with deep pockets if you wish to go that direction.

In the end I love my set-up but it was a pain to find everything, and if I had it to do over I would have saved some money and bought something in a more common arrangement.

Good luck

[ December 15, 2004, 03:24: Message edited by: Michael Freeman ]

December 15th, 2004, 10:58 AM
Swedish matresses like the www.tempurpedic.com (http://www.tempurpedic.com) sold in the US are without peer in my opinion. It takes from several days to a couple of weeks to get used to it but once you do it's hard to use anything else. Give their trial period a go but keep it at least 2wks.

December 15th, 2004, 11:25 AM
I went from a full to a king about 5 years ago and will NEVER go back. I love to sprawl out on it when I am studying or cozying up with the laptop to do research.

Only disadvantage is that I end up throwing clothes and papers and stuff on the side I don't use as much! It does take up a lot of room....but that is nothing to complain about. What else do you really use your "BEDroom" for, anyways? The majority of time is spend in the bed.

Plus, girls think it is really cool when they see that you have a king bed. Beleive me....their minds will wander and try to figure out exactly what a single guy needs that much bed space for!! :D ;)

December 15th, 2004, 11:35 AM
Originally posted by AmbeR1:
Plus, girls think it is really cool when they see that you have a king bed. Beleive me....their minds will wander and try to figure out exactly what a single guy needs that much bed space for!! :D ;) Jeepers :eek: Amber's really a guy? :D

December 15th, 2004, 12:29 PM
OK I have had several Sealy's and I am very happy. I would also recommend Select Comfort Sleep # beds to look at.

December 15th, 2004, 01:21 PM
Memory Foam mattress is the way to go. I lived with back pain all my life and have not had any since getting the memory foam!!! I did not get tempurpedic. I got another brand that was a little harder, so once the break in period was up the bed had perfect support. Plus it is hypoallergenic for those that care.