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Mattress Buying; . . . Making The Best Of A Difficult Yet Very Important Purchase

Updated on January 21, 2016

Mattress Sizing; Twin, Full, Queen, King, Cal. King

*Dimensions for these sizes can vary slightly from manufactuer to manufacturer, and even from mattress type to mattress type, but the sizes will generally be these listed.

Twin - 39" x 75" (The box spring / foundation will often be 38" x 75")

Twin XL - 39" x 78"

Full size - 54" x 75" (Full size is by far the least sold of the mattress sizes, as it is only 6" narrower and 3 - 4" shorter than queen size, and almost the same price, so you will generally see the least # of mattress options in full size.)

Queen size - 60" - 78" (There is usually a split queen box spring / foundation (30" x 78" (x 2) available for homes with difficult access to the bedroom.)

Standard King - 76" x 78" (The standard king uses 2 xl. long twin boxes / foundations.)

California King - 74" x 85"

Innerspring, Latex, Memory Foam, Or Hybrid; . . . It's Up Yo You

With advances in technology, mattress construction is advancing in leaps and bounds. Innerspring mattress, virtually the only option 30 yrs. ago, are now receiving serious challanges to their dominance by latex, memory foam, and hybrid models.

Latex, memory foam and hybrid models are all more adept at reducing pressure points as you sleep, thus allowing you to get a better nights sleep, with much less tossing and turning.

Hybrids allow you to enjoy the pressure point reducing aspects of the 2 foam types, while allowing you to roll and move in bed a little more easily than the foam models might. (They also allow someone who is used to sleeping on innerspring mattresses to transition to the benefits of a foam mattress more easily. (A direct change to memory foam or latex for someone who has slept on innerspring for years can be difficult, as it is an entirely different feel and experience than they are used to.)

Between latex and memory foam, the thing to remember is that you sleep in memory foam, and you sleep on latex. (Latex has been the most one of the most expensive mattress construction materials on the market for years, although technology is allowing them to become very price competitive these days.) (Also, with the advent of synthetic latex foam mattresses, those persons who are allergic to latex are now able to enjoy the benefits of sleeping on a latex mattress.)

Mattress Purchase Terms

Generally, when buying a new mattress, there are various terms and oppertunities that you can avail yourself of.

The most importanrt, by far, is the Mattress Reselect Policy. Be sure to inquire about a retailer's mattress reselect policy, inquire of friends as to how well the retailer adhere's to their reselect policy, and be sure that the salesperson is willing to put the reselect policy in writing, on the sales slip. (Most are for 1 reselect available for up to 90 days from the date the mattress was purchased.)

Warranty and reselection terms and provisions; Remember that every mattress manufacturer has a provision in their warranty that states that the mattress must be perfectly clean in order to be returned under the manufacturer's warranty, or even under the mattress reselect policy. (The slightest stain from a drop of coffee or tea, pet fluid stains, etc. will void the manufacturors warranty and the reselect, so be sure to us a mattress protector.)(Some mattress retailers might even stipulate that you buy a mattress protector from them in order to receive be able to do a reselect.) (The retailer will most likely charge a 2nd delivery charge on mattress reselects since they are a voluntary descision by the purcuaser. They will typically do deliveries of warranty replacements at no charge.)

Mattress Pricing; . . . Fact Or Fiction

There are many different "sales" run by mattress retailers, to draw customers into their stores. Some are legit, many are not.

When stores are running sales on their "premium" bedding, the same pricing should be available in other retailers, as premium bedding is typically "Priced Mapped" by the manufacturers to be sure that the pricing on their lines is not compromised. (If one store has Stearns and Foster mattresses on sale, for example, the final price for a particular model must end up the same as at all the other retailers in the district.) (There is one very large department store that offers its premium bedding at 50% off, but the discount is off a grossly inflated retail price, and still ends up at the same final price as every other retailer.)

How To Effectively Test Mattresses

There are several mistakes that people make when trying mattresses, resulting in them choosing the wrong mattress, and subsequently having to go through the Mattress Reselect process.

1) If you use a pillow when you sleep at home, use a similar one in the store to more closely simulate the way you sleep.

2) If you're wearing a coat or jacket, remove it before you start trying mattresses. (You probably don't sleep in a coat in your bed at home, and the extra bulk can influence the way the mattress feels.)

3) Lay on the mattress from head to toe, rather than across. (You can't tell anything by sitting on the mattress, or by pushing on it with your hand as you stand next to it.) (Most mattresses have zones designed to support your torso, (the heaviest part of your body), and its important that you feel the effects of this zoned construction.)

4) Try mattresses when you truly have time to test them, as quick mattress buying decisions usually aren't good mattress buying decisions. (This process should take a minimum of 30 min., and could certainly take as long as an hour, or more.)

5) If you're a side sleeper, be sure to try the mattress by lying on your side, and if you're a stomach or back sleeper, try it on your stomach or back. (It's worth investing the time.)

Mattress Warranties & Comfort Exchanges

Mattress warranties are a critical part of mattress buying. (Approx. 30% of mattresses will be exchanged under warranty during their life.)(Be sure to determine whether your mattress warranty will get you a new mattress that supersedes the on that you had purchased, or if you will be given a credit for what you paid for your mattress, to apply to the purchase of a new mattress.)

For both a Comfort Exchange and a warranty replacement, every manufacturer in the country demands that the mattress has no staining what-so-ever from a drop of tea, a pet, anything.(The smallest stain on the mattress will void both the Comfort Exchange, and the mattress warranty, so be sure to buy a mattress protector when buying your new mattress.)

Also, new mattresses that are put on anything but the manufacturer's recommended foundation or box springs, or a platform bed, will not be warrantied, so don't try to save money by using your old foundations or box springs.

Most stores will charge delivery for Comfort Exchange deliveries, but many will not charge delivery on mattress warranty exchanges, provided that you had delivery when you initially purchased the mattress.

Do not expect to receive new box springs / foundations on mattress warranty exchanges, as generally only the mattress will be exchanged.

How To Prevent The Dreaded "Roll Together" With Your Partner When Buying Selecting A Mattress

"Roll Together" is generally something that occurs on less expensive mattresses, which usually are not individually pocketed coil springs, or hybrids, or latex, or memory foam. (Try the mattress that you're seriously considering, with your partner, and look specifically for that rolling together sensation, which can quickly develop into body impressions, which are usually under the manufacturer's warranty, but still require going through a process to get a replacement.)

The Information That I've Provided Here Is Generally, But Not Always True.

Every furniture or bedding store has policies that are unique to that specific store or chain.

The information that I've provided here is what I've learned after 27 yrs. in the furniture business as a salesman, sales manager, buyer and store manager. It's given with the intent of demystifying furniture and mattress buying somewhat, but again, it can vary from situation to situation.


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