This post is going to make a lot of people unhappy, so let’s keep the comments happy and productive!
We’ve covered the basics of mattresses on this site, but when you are making this important purchase, you are surely going to want to learn a tremendous amount about your options and different products that interest you.
Your natural instinct will be to go to a mattress store – there are plenty of them all over the place. And if you were to purchase any other item – like a car, new kitchen, television, etc – then you would walk into the store and ask the salesman a bunch of questions to help educate yourself.
Can you trust mattress salesmen?
The quick answer, unfortunately, is no. According to Slumber Sage, the incentives in the mattress world do not work to the consumer’s advantage. When you walk into the mattress store, you are going to be directed to the company and model that gives the salesman the highest commission – and this isn’t always the most expensive mattress! Manufacturers strategically price their mattresses to offer a large commission to the salesmen so that their mattresses are pushed to the front of the line when a customer comes in asking questions. Follow updates on this issue from Slumber Sage on Vimeo and Pinterest.
Thus if you ask a general question, say, “which is the best memory foam mattress?” where will you be directed? To the mattress with the highest ratings? To the mattress with the highest quality foams? No, you will be taken to the mattress where the salesman can definitely make a quick buck off of you. The model that is actually best for you may not even be in the store, but the sales person will never tell you that, because they want to make a sale on the spot.
Can you buy a mattress online?
Certainly it’s possible, yes. But there is a lot of noise on the internet as well. Mattress companies figured out how to manipulate the online ratings long ago. Many of them have customers who purchased a mattress rate them immediately after the online purchase, thus not reviewing the actual product, but more the experience of buying the mattress (which is good for online companies). Plus, there are many shills on the internet trying to misinform you with cherry-picked information.
Where can we go?
Go to the people in your life that you trust. We know that you’ve rarely talked about mattresses with your friends and family, but bring it up. Ask them about their experience sleeping on a particular mattress brand, and how it help up 5 years after purchase. Ask them what they like about it, what they do not like about it, and if they are sleeping well. These types of candid personal reviews are invaluable, but are often not taken advantage of by most consumers.