When Did Bed Shopping Get So Complex?

(image courtesy Sleepy’s)

Sarah and I just bought a new mattress. This would not normally be news, but it was quite the shocker to discover just how complex buying a mattress has become. The last time I had to shop for a bed, I called 1-800-Mattress and bought the cheapest one they could quickly deliver. It was quick and it was simple. No longer.

Now there are mattresses in every possible firmness, material, and price — except cheap. Honestly, I wanted to avoid the whole thing as long as possible, but Friday night our old bed struck back. I rolled over, and then suddenly I was on the floor. Our mattress was so worn on the sides that it sloped down, guiding me not so gently onto the cold, hard floor. So despite my reluctance for entering furniture stores, we had to bite the bullet and buy a new mattress.


What really struck me is how tech-y mattress shopping is. We tried a Sleep Number ┬ádemo (we had time to kill before a movie, and the store was near the theater);while we weren’t sold on the concept, they did some fun analysis on where the pressure points were in our bodies and from there what our “Sleep Number” would be. We each spent a lot of time lying on a high-end bed watching the monitor showing our weight distribution. It was neat, but we couldn’t justify spending so much money on a gimmicky bed.

Even Sleepy’s has gotten into the analysis act. We headed to them yesterday, and the nice salesman had us each lay on a special bed, where a bouncing green cartoon showed us on a monitor where we needed support. This was a far cry from “Hey, this bed seems comfy and isn’t too expensive.” Now it is memory foam versus wrapped coils, pillow top, firm, soft, breathable foam, soy foam, Eco-materials…honestly, the entire thing gave me a headache.

In the end, we did use Sleepy’s suggestions (and the very patient salesman) to buy a mattress. But it did get me thinking, why isn’t there an app for this? We could have used a checklist, or an app to help narrow down our options. Instead we were at the mercy of salespeople, printouts, and good old-fashioned bed hopping. It amazed me at first how much mattress stores were trying to embrace technology and computer analysis, but I think they aren’t taking it far enough. The entire process could be even easier, and they could have a better way to reach out to customers, if there were a tie-in Android or iPhone app to assist your shopping experience.

Have you recently shopped for a new bed? Did you know they come in dual core triple density foam coil pillow top versions? And did you get a fancy computer analysis for your shopping experience? Let us know in the comments!



Categories: Gear Bits

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2 replies

  1. I am a loyal Simmons Beautyrest mattress “sleeper.” The pricing varies so much from store to store and even from places like Sleepy’s and department stores like Macy’s. You hear about companies renaming mattresses or “telemarketer only” specials. WTF? We just bought a new mattress on Tuesday and can’t wait for it to arrive. BTW, watch out for those warranties. Unless you have a mattress cover, the warranty is null and void if you have even a drivel of saliva on your mattress. Buying a mattress is easy if you know what you want. If you’re ambivalent, you’re either a salesman’s best customer or worst nightmare!

    • I think we did buy a cover. To be honest, at that point I let Sarah handle everything and started thinking of where we could get lunch.
      I agree about your advice about salesmen! Honestly I was surprised at how unhelpful furniture store salesmen were…Macy’s and Raymour and Flanagan basically ignored us, and the Sleepys guy was the only one who took the time to explain mattresses AND didn’t try to immediately sell us the most expensive one in the store. Hopefully this mattress will last us a while and we won’t have to do this again soon!