The Mattress Industry is One Big Scam

The last time I bought a mattress for myself was about 11 years ago. I bought a fairly new full-sized one off a coworker. Four moves and a decade later, we’ve decided it’s time to replace it with an adult (and sometimes an extra toddler)-sized bed.

Shopping Blind

When we started looking, I was shocked at the prices. $3000 for a mattress? What the heck are these things made of? Knowing very little, we went shopping for a mattress and other things on a Saturday morning. The first place, we stopped, Sleepy’s, seemed nice enough. We laid on a few and honed in on the one that we both felt most comfortable in. Meanwhile, Audrey discovered the fun of letting herself fall backwards onto mattresses and did it all over the store. She was giggling and the whole store couldn’t help but look and smile at her. Unfortunately, we soon stopped smiling.

When we found something we liked, the seemingly helpful salesman started to get more aggressive. He asked how much we were looking at paying and I made up a number on the spot, something way below the listed price on the bed. The said he would “talk with his manager” and see if he could get us that price. Then he started asking us if we could commit and have it delivered tomorrow. Anne had walked outside to give Audrey a break by that point, so I said I had to go out and talk with her about it. We talked about it for a bit, then decided we didn’t like the high-pressure sales pitch, so we got ready to leave.

I had the car started up when the salesman came out and approached the car window. He then said that he had “talked to his manager” and he could give us the price we wanted AND a free “platinum package”. I said we would talk about it and let him know. We again decided this was sketchy, but to make good on my promise, I went in and gave him my phone number and left.

Later that day we went to Jordan’s Furniture, generally known to be a reputable place with reasonable places. The salespeople there were nice and NOT high-pressure. Prices were generally lower, but strangely, we couldn’t find the mattress we found at Sleepy’s. They had Sertas, but not the one we liked.

Being indecisive, we left with a couple new names of ones we liked. Later, we went to Mattress Discounters. The woman there was not pushy and told us about the BBB complaints that Sleepy’s (a 700-store chain) had gotten. We decided to think some more and head home.

At home, I did some research online and I found something strange – I couldn’t find much of anything on the mattresses we saw that we liked. I found some mattresses, many of the same brand, but not the same models.

One Big Scam

I later came to find out that this was completely intentional. The mattress industry is one big scam. There is no way to make an objective decision on a mattress using actual facts.

Here’s a few things that the mattress industry does to get you:

1. They mark up their prices 100% to 200%!! No wonder the first guy was able to get his “manager” to give me such a steep discount. They were probably still going to make hundreds of dollars of profits on it.

2. They give the same mattresses different names in different stores or they set up exclusivity agreements by mattress line in certain stores. This makes it impossible to comparison shop because…

3. They make it really had to get actual facts about the mattresses. Stuff like coil counts, materials, overall construction are shrouded in secrecy. But that doesn’t really matter because…

4. There’s no objective measure of mattress quality. Consumer Reports won’t rate them because they can’t get the data and there’s no testing that actually says higher coil counts are better or the number of wires in the coils makes a difference in any way. You’re left to deciding how much you believe the marketing. Is a pillow top made of alpaca hair any better than one made of cotton? Your guess is as good as mine.

5. There’s very little online reviews of mattresses, probably because the model names are so fractured. The ones I did find looked more like content-free sites designed to attract referral credits.

Cracking the Code

With some more research, I found out that it was somewhat possible to compare mattresses models from different places. It turns out that they really only make one hardness variation in each line. So you can assume that a Plush Firm mattress in the “Classic” line, is the same as another Plush Firm in the Classic line, even if they have different names.

US-mattress.com was very helpful in figuring this out. We were able to understand which mattresses we saw and how they related to each other. For example, the mattress we liked at Jordan’s was a product line better than the one we saw at Mattress Discounters, even though they came out to the same price! Clearly Jordan’s had the better deal, but US-Mattress had an even better deal.

So I did something I never thought I could do, buy a mattress over the internet. I’m pretty sure it’s the same one we saw in the store and the free delivery and frame were a good deal. I’m sure that even if I’m getting it at half the price I saw it listed at elsewhere, they’re still making a decent profit on it.

Anne and I agree that buying a mattress is worse than buying a car. While both have sketchy salespeople, when you buy a car, you can compare them on MPG, size, features, etc. Multiple dealers have the same models so you can compare prices and make an informed decision based on their invoice prices. There’s none of that when buying a mattress.

Our mattress should arrive in a few weeks. Hopefully we’ll just find it comfortable enough to have to avoid going through buying a mattress again for at least another 11 years.

UPDATE: The mattress arrived quickly and in good condition. We’ve been sleeping on it for several nights and while it feels comfy, I’ve had some upper back soreness which seems to be related to the new mattress. I’m going to keep trying it for a few more weeks and see if my body adjusts as the US-mattress.com website suggests. Hopefully it will go away. Otherwise, we’ll have to find another one and do a $100 exchange I guess.

195 Comments

  1. This is a great blog, and with many good info. I have bought mattresses for the past 40 years. Most of what is mentioned here is real good feedback.

    Keep in mind, most mattresses have a 5 or a 10 year warranty. The most important thing when you shop for a mattress is to pick the right retailer to buy from.

    That said, I discovered that buying a mattress from a big retailer such as Sam’s Club is the best way to ensure you can return your mattress if you are not happy with it.

    I bought a mattress 9 years ago from Sam’s Club. The mattress has a 10 years warranty. The mattress developed a sag on one side.

    I took the mattress back without my receipt. The associate at Sam’s Club was very friendly. They made sure the mattress was one I bought from there. Within 20 minutes of walking in. I walked out with a brand new mattress.

    I don’t know where else you can get such great customer service. I would recommend you shop at this retailer for you next mattress. No pushy sales people. Don’t have to have my recent.

    Need I say more…

    Thanks

    • If Sam’s gave you a new mattress at no charge the know less about the warranty then you did which was a lucky thing for you. There is no such thing as a full warranty on a mattress for ten years and the mattress industry allows for sag in the mattress warranty. No bedding company should be asked or expected to replace a mattress after ten years at no cost to the consumer. One word, pro-rated!

      • Many manufacturers DO Offer non-prorated warranties, in fact all the major brands do. Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Tempurpedic, Stearns and Foster, and many private labels as well offer 10 or more years of non-prorated warranty coverage at no additional cost.

        • I contacted Bocov’s to complain about the Sealy Posturepedic mattress and springs I purchased from them on 5/25/2012. After patiently expecting the mattress to conform only to my body, I found a deep indentation in the middle as well as brick-hard sides making it uncomfortable to come anywhere near either side. On March 20, 2013, after waiting weeks, an inspector came to my house. I stripped the bed as requested, he took photos of the indent in mattress and springs, measured the indent and informed me Boscov’s would contact me. He said it won’t get better, only worse. Boscov’s denied my claim, #10592. Sealy never responded to my letter. I had hip surgery and thought a new mattress may help in the recovery. I wish I had my old (but good) mattress back again. I also purchased the expensive mattress cover to insure the warranty would be honored. The mattress is as clean as the day it was delivered. I do not have the money to go out and purchase a replacement, nor would I know who to trust. I am a senior citizen and live alone so this has not been subject to any abuse. Sealy Warranty 10/10 SN 340528081080

          • i am over 60 years sold and the same thing happened to me at sleepys. i filed a complaint with the attorney generals office and then spoke on the phone with them. They contacted Sleepy’s and today i received a call from Sleepys that my rejection was reviewed with the manufacturer and my claim was approved. Do not let let them get away with stealing your money , file your complaint immediately .

        • we are having HUGE problems with our mattress and Macy’s refuses to honor the warranty…they want at least a 2 inch SAG…we are now at 1 inch. I have had back surgery and cannot tolerate the dip in the mattress…and I am 120#, so we are not talking fat city damage here…but if it is sagging after less than 8 months old, what will it look like in 2 years? we are at wits end… you sound knowledgable, so tell me what you really know about the warranty situation bc there are hundreds of complaints about voided warranties for no reason whatsoever. Plus, Macy’s wants a $400 restocking fee!!

      • Ken – Great blog. Same box, same guts. Only really a couple of manufacturers I believe. 2 words for you Matt – Car Battery – 2 US automotive battery manufacturers – that’s it!

  2. I’m about to shop for a new bed so as usual, I do extensive research before ANY purchase, esp since the advent of Google. Thankfully, I ran across this blog. Its been very helpful in pointing out the pitfalls I am up against and prepared me for what appears to be a long and unpleasant journey. Thanks again!!

  3. It’s a shame that the industry has this image, but unfortunately you are onto something… most vendors are not very ethical. However, I can assure you that there are good people and companies out there in this business who are looking to change that image. Hopefully over time, we will!

  4. These people trying to defend mattress companies are a joke. I am shopping for a mattress as well as some other furniture. The first thing I did was go to consumer report, which told me exactly what this article said. Here is an example of what is going on: sealy makes a mattress that is plush memory foam and cool gel and they call it radiance when they sell it at a few stores. Then they call it heaven when they sell it at another store. I do not know that the radiance is being done that way, but I used it as an example because that is the mattress I am looking to buy. Rooms To Go and JC Penny’s currently have the best deal from what I have found. Check out what I just realized. I went to Sears.com and looked up the radiance. It was listed twice on sear’s site, once for $1499 and once for $2900 and some change. I compared them and seen no difference. Then I called sears and the lady said that when they don’t have a product, they use a third party and those are two different 3rd parties. So one is selling for double the other. Do not tell me that people are not marking up mattresses 100% and 200%. If you go to the sears sight right now on 2/18/13 and look up sealy radiance, you will find the exact same thing I just did. The title was worded slightly different but just pull up the 2 on the first page that are listed as queen and then compare (and heck even call if you want). This blog writer was not saying that every single mattress company in the World was profiting 100% or scamming but many many definitely are. I am sorry if this hurts you out there who are not. I am sorry if you chose a shady business to work in, but we must get the word out to save honest hard working people from being ripped off. I do not support any technique that goes against supply and demand which comparison shopping is a foundation for. How dare a company make a product and call it 10 different things for 10 different companies. I am going to boycott any company I find doing this if I can find it out. Thanks for your input everyone!

    • If you’re going to boycott any company that makes the same mattress with different names be prepared to boycott ALL mattress manufacturers. They all do it.

      It also has nothing to do with supply and demand. It has to do with mattress salespeople with little to no training to explain the different features and benefits of different mattresses.

        • I bought a Nature’s Sleep memory foam mattress about 14 months ago. I have been sleeping on my couch for the last 8 months because it was so painful to sleep on.

          Needless to say, I’m looking for a new mattress. I’m tired of the couch, even though it’s immeasurably more comfortable to sleep on than the latex memory foam.

          • If you haven’t purchased a mattress yet, check out my mattress buying guide at mattressnerd.com/how-to-select-and-purchase-a-new-mattress-the-basics/

            While I don’t agree with Jeff that the mattress industry is “one big scam,” it certainly is a bit confusing and difficult to comparison shop. The key is just trying the mattresses out, and spending several minutes on the mattress in the store to make sure you’re supported and comfortable.

            Hopefully this is of some help.

    • I agree there is alot of confusion in buying and comparing mattresses. As far as the Seal Radiance they are price controlled by Sealy. If you find a different price from a dealer it is a knock-off a second or a returned mattress. All of the manufacturers–not the dealers are making a huge profit. In finding the best deal–do not just look at price but in getting a salesperson that will ask you the questions intended to find the correct one to fit your personal needs. AND listen when they ask about your support system. If it is not supported correctly you DONOT have any warranty at all which is from manufacturer and not the dealer. Any retailer that gives you a 365 night or some out of the ordinary time frame is a scam. Where do you think those returned mattresses go–in the trash–right. They re-bag them and sell them as new a lot of the time. Would you know the difference.

  5. Yeah I agree. Name changes to confuse.

    Yesterday I bought a mattress from Amazon.com. after comparing 2 that I PRINTED, I decided on one because it weighed 10lbs more. A confusing number of mattresses were reduced to 2 finalists. I bought and then returned online to compare only to find the 2 finalists were both 80lbs! How could this be since my print out says 1=70lbs and 1=80lbs? Answer the names are slightly changed on FOUR different mattresses which I suspect are really the very same mattress just with 4 different names, 2 different weights and 2 different prices! CONFUSION to say the least. I emailed as such but have no response yet

    #1) DynastyMattress Therapeutic Luxury 12-Inch Memory Foam Mattress – 80lbs and $399 (full size) ASIN: B009JKKWT6
    #2) DynastyMattress 12″ Therapeutic Memory Foam Mattress with 5″ 5LB Viscoelastic Memory Foam – 80lbs and $399 ASIN: B009PIT6HQ

    #3) DynastyMattress-Luxury 12-Inch Memory Foam Mattress – 80LBS AND $389 ASIN: B009PFHJMS
    #4) DynastyMattress Luxury 12-Inch w/5″ 5LB Density Memory Foam Mattress – 70lbs and $389 ASIN: B008049PCM

    TO BUY #1 I COMPARED #1 AND #4 = 10 POUNDS DIFFERENCE

    AFTER PURCHASE I AGAIN REVIEWED #1 AND #3 THE CHANGE WAS name AND WEIGHT, NUMBER oTHER WISE THEY APPEAR TO BE EXACTLY THE SAME MATTRESS!

    FROM THE SPECS THEY ALL APPEAR TO BE THE SAME MATTRESS Same weight foam from the company details link. So how can they weigh 10lbs different? It is the same write up except for name, number and price.

    As far as I can tell from the specs the first 2 have only changed the name. weight and price are the same.

    The second pair as far as I can tell from the written specs are exactly the same as the first two except for a name/title change and the 4th one shows 10lbs lighter and $10.00 cheaper

    SO????

    Will they say:

    the 70lb is a misprint and so is the $10.00 cheaper a misprint?

    OR will they say they are all 70lbs and the 80lb is wrong?

    Which price is wrong?

    OR WILL THEY SAY ONE OF THE ASSEMBLER SPITS DIFFERENT AMOUNTS ON EACH MATTRESS AND THEREFORE THEY WARRANT DIFFERENT NAMES AND NUMBERS ALONG WITH DIFFERENT WEIGHTS AND PRICE?

    • Bought a Walmart Contura 5000-in business for 35 yrs states the Walmart site, picked up a Boyd Flex 933 from Walmart who stated it is the same! Different deminsions, different wts, 120# vs 89#. Sent a Dynasty back- deminsions were off W and L by 2 inches–Lots of luck dealing with a box retailer on line.

      Fighting with Walmart, the layer description are not the same as the one on the mattress. 2+4 layers of latex, 6 inch foundation-in reality-2 latex, 4 low density foam, 6 foundation foam. Not bad only paid too much for one layer. Got CK cut it down to make a super Queen that is how I found out the layers were not as advertised!

  6. Folks – the only way this industry will change is if you go on line and file a written complaint with your state attorney general’s office or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice. This whole way of doing business is a convenient and clever way for mattress manufacturers and mattress retailers to avoid competing with one another. I find it hard to believe that this system could be maintained without companies illegally agreeing with each other to maintain it and punish transgressors. One would think these practices would have been challenged by now in a class action as a treble damage Section 2 Sherman Act violation (i.e., a contract, combination or conspiracy in restraint of trade) or by the FTC as an unfair trade practice under Section 5 of the FTC Act. My guess is that the manufacturers will argue that this is one of the few remaining US manufactured consumer products and if you make it easy to comparison shop they will be ruined by cheaper imports from places like China.

    • It’s a mattress!! If you don’t like the business or their business practices don’t buy from them. The reason they are still open is because a bunch of people still do business with the company(supply & demand). If they mark it up 500% does it matter? What you are concerned with is did you get a good deal. Your local burrito shop probably marks up that bean and cheese burrito 200% to 300% but it’s under $7 so that is okay. Is a 30% tax bracket okay? or $4 a gallon for gas okay? Probably most everyone who spoke up works for a company that truth be told if we could see your companies P & L statement the general populace would be “outraged” at your excessive mark up on your product or services.

      • Spoken like a true used car salesman. Act like a customer is crazy for comparison shopping or wanting to get a good deal. How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

      • HEY, TRP! I give you a “high five”, Buddy, because you are exactly right! Another good example is buying jewellery, the mark up on necklaces, earrings, etc., inlaid with any kind of precious stones, metals, and so on, is between 50 & 70%!!! You can pay a good chunk of cash for jewellery, far higher than what you pay for a mattress, so who really knows or cares about the profit margins, you’d cry like a baby if you knew how much profit exists on almost everything a consumer purchases!

    • I am really glad to see your post and was wondering the same thing. I have been scammed in buying a very expensive bed and have been treated like trash after when trying to deal with the problem as they Soooo nicely before claimed in their warranty. My bed went bad after 1 and half years. Customer Service was nightmare to deal with. The ones that treated me like trash. And try to not have to deal with me at all. I did buy online and they must stick MUCH money on the website caused it looked flawless and their claims ended in being amazing lies.
      I want the bed they PROMISED to sale me for the cost I paid. Although as of now, they ended up getting $500 more they I paid for the bed. And I still don’t have the bed they so cunningly advertised.

  7. You can get a real education if you read The Mattress Underground, the premise is that the industry is horrid, the smaller companies make a better product than the big S names. I learned a LOT. I had a foam mattress and my son moved to Europe and gave me a firm new Sterns and Foster that is killing me, hip pain, because I am a side sleeper.
    Does anyone know about the Boyd 940 or 950, special natural latex….which US BEDS says is not all natural at all, but a great bed. ?????

    • lmao @ Ann italiano, gee I wonder why your hip hurts? you have pressure points in your hips and shoulders and your sleeping on a firm mattress. Your on the wrong mattress. If you were on a plush or at very minuimum a firm mattress with a plush or Pillow top on it, you wouldn’t be complaining about your hip hurting. As far as the latex mattress you are referring to, it all depends on how many layers are actually latex. Most all foam mattresses use a 6″ core of polyurathane foam in a high density, to keep you from sinking all the way through. If the bed is latex all the way through it will be very pricey. Than theres a difference in Latex quality, the two most common are Talalay and Dunlop process.

      @JRS if your debating mattresses over there weight thats rediculous and $10 difference, really?

      Mattresses have different names because they aren’t exactly the same thats hogwash if you believe that. There are different names to go along with different ingrediants, the manufactures make them to the specifications of the retailer. This creates exclusivity yea thats a good thing retailers need a competitive advantage just like the consumer. The retailer wants you to like their mattress better than the competition. Retailers take a risk by openning up a business. Your paying for the accessability. If you think you got a good deal than you also need to remember that if something is too good to be true. An honest retailer should get fair market value for goods sold. A consumer desearves to be treated fairly. Best advice I can give you is read the fine print. Theres a reason its more expensive to buy milk at 7-11 and there is a reason prices are higher at Nordstroms. What type of consumer are you? a flea market shopper or Saks Fith Avenue. I will take an expensive restaurant over a hole in the wall every day of the week. Its about other things than burning your gas to go around city to city to find the best deal on a product. Do you shop for milk like that. Could you imagine how much money you would save over the life of the mattress if you shopped for the best price for milk all that time.

  8. I just want to say its not only mattress companies that use different names on the same product. Most bikes and manufactured standard frame merchandise is usually from the same factory. They just paint them differently, put different names on them. My suggestion is lay on it, if it feels good and supports you correctly(which the sales staff should help you with) and you feel that it is within your budget than purchase it. I do agree…stay away from big name brands, they are a scam and many smaller manufacturers are out there putting out great products. Seally, Simmons, Stearns & Foster are just big machines and you are not part of the equation.

  9. In actuality, mattress companies don’t get much say on what their products are labeled. It’s really the manufacturers that give similar products to different retailers under different names. Still the same evil, just different sources.

    I went to Mattress Firm and their price-match strategy is a cut above the rest that I noticed. They don’t require that the match be on the same name or even the same style mattress; just something similar – so that’s cool.

  10. i am a side/stomache sleeper. I have purchased 3 mattresses in the last 3 years. all of them made my lower back hurt and are causing me to have hip pain now. I also toss and turn all night long because the mattresses hold heat. Can anyone offer any good suggestions on a good mattress ?

    • Kim, the best mattress I’ve found is an air chamber-type mattress from Natural Form. Check out the details at http://www.naturalform.com/ It IS rather pricey, but it is worth the money. I had been looking a long time at getting a Sleep Number bed, but then after seeing all the not so good reviews on that one, I found the Natural Form one. I have not regretted spending the money (and I’m a tightwad!)

    • It’s not the mattress. It’s your lower back. Stomach sleeping is the worst way to sleep. It is really bad for your lower lumbar. It sounds like if your mattress is holding heat you have some type of memory foam mattress or a very soft mattress. #1 If you insist on sleeping on your belly, buy a very, very firm innerspring mattress. Not a pillowtop, memory foam or latex. Stomach sleepers should sleep on a flat firm surface not a conforming one. #2 Always use a membrane lined mattress protector…the membrane that makes it water proof keeps any generated heat from your body. #3 Always use a high quality preferably cotton mattress pad. If you are a hot sleeper by nature…use 100% cotton sheets., No satin, flannel, 50/50 poly cotton blend or micro fiber sheets….They sleep warm.

    • Beautyrest … firm … pillowtop or plush (soft cloud beds that you sink into are terrible for back/neck!!!!!) Don’t be fooled by the fancy bs talk, plush is just pillowtop sewn down.

    • Don’t buy a hard one! I’m a side sleeper ONLY, and I like a mattress a bit softer….my hubby, side sleeper too, likes a hard mattress, but those dudes don’t have our curves (and I’m of average weight for my height!)…..mattress that curves with my body works great, but a hard one not only hurts my hips, it hurts under my ribs as well! As to lower back, this is kinda off topic, and I can only advocate for my experience, having no ‘long term’ back issues, but having pulled out lower back…..I learned this through chiropractic service……..lie flat on floor, pretend there’s a round green pea directly under the small of your back, without lifting legs or moving your butt, use small of your back to try and crush the pea, do for a count of 3-5, relax, pull left leg up to chest, hold for 5, then right leg, then both legs………..repeat 2 or 3 times….do this once or twice a day, and you’ll strengthen lower back muscles…….just an idea!

  11. After spending a few days looking for a long size mattress and about to spend $2G on one I like the other post decided to go with Sam’s club. No delivery or disposal of old mattress but after laying on the mattress it felt just as good for barely over $500. If it doesn’t work down the road I can return or exchange it.

  12. This has been informative…Thank you all for sharing….I am wondering if anyone here could share guidance on what steps to take when one of the large companies denies a warranty claim for a sagging mattress because there is a stain on the mattress?
    Is there any hope to get them to stand behind their warranty when there is a stain on the mattress?
    I am trying to understand how a stain (on the area of a mattress that is NOT sagging) can be the reason not to stand behind the warranty.

    • Like it or not all of the mattress companies have a policy that if it is stained in any way –no warranty. They look at it as not properly taking care of it. As a salesperson we get a lot of flack from customers not wanting to buy a water proof matt protector and I explain it this way–I could care less if you protect it but if you want a warranty then that isw what you have to do along with putting the correct support system under that mattress. A queen needs 9 legs that touch the floor and 12 for a king. The salesperson takes the heat for adding on to your ticket but you have to do these things. Would it make sense to buy a new house and not have home owners on it.

    • No. I’m in the industry and it is a standard. Legally they do not have to touch a mattress with any stain. The warranty states that a mattress that is stained has a voided warranty. The reasons? Several…Some stains are body fluid such as blood…or fece’s for health reasons of the employees they just aren’t going to touch it. Another more technical reason is simply this. If a mattress has been exposed to moisture or saturation once or several times it can affect the materials and or coils and their performance and life span. Moisture over time will break down the integrity of the foams and fibers and can even create mold. Also saturation can get down to the steel coil and cause rust…rust will cause breaking coils and squeaking. Therefore the warranty is not valid. Warranty’s are to protect the consumer from manufacturers defects that could happen with normal wear. Not abuse and such or excessive storage. It is very frustrating I know. Next time you buy a new mattress make sure that you buy a membrane lined mattress protector (water proof) to protect your investment.

      • There is one major reason that a stain would void the warranty. It could not be resold as a NEW mattress.
        NOT in the industry, but have seen/felt it several times.

        Those in that industry are like doctors and lawyers, NEVER bad mouth a fellow.

    • by now you have probably figured out that NOT purchasing the suggested mattress pad cover actually makes the warranty null and void bc any teeny weeny spot will disqualify you. We were told this up front by Macy’s …if we did not purchase the $150 mattress pad (same one I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond for under $50), then we would forfeit any right to warranty. We bought their pad..but in less than one year, the Simmons Beautyrest Black for over $2000 now has a 1 inch sag…Macy’s and Simmons refuse to honor the warranty saying it needs at least a 2 inch sag. What?? Neither of us is large, we have taken great care of this mattress…Macy’s even wants a $400 restocking fee if we insist they replace the mattress…plus a $175 pick up fee and they will NOT accept the mattress if WE bring it in there. If you think we are outraged, you are sorely underestimating the degree of rage we feel at having been lied to about the warranty, the mattress pad, etc. We did considerable research but failed to find the hundreds upon hundreds of complaints against Macy’s. I am looking for a class action lawsuit and currently talking to lawyers. Any suggestions are welcomed…I for one, am disgusted that everyone has voiced complaints but no body has stepped up to make a change in the industry!! Get off your butts and DO something! It looks like years of complacent complaining have become the norm but no one is taking the initiative to take steps to remedy the situation. I for one, am taking some steps to figure out how to stop the victimization. How can you spend this amount of money on an item that affects your HEALTH and then just move on without holding anyone accountable?

  13. In 2007 some well meaning attorney filed suit to demand that mattresses meet fire retardant code. So now it’s nationwide. Would seem like a good thing at first but it’s not. In order to “save” the 400 idiots a year who die in bed smoking every mattress must be treated with chemical retardants. Those retardants outgass and make you sick.

    In order to avoid these toxic mattresses you have to find a manufacture who makes mattresses with out them and you’ll need a Doctors Prescription to buy. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

    Coil Spring Mattresses will wear out in 5 to 10 years and are full of all kinds of toxic chemicals. Manufactures are not required to disclose the toxic chemicals they use.

    If you want a mattress to last buy Latex Foam… Real Latex not Dunlop.

    The whole industry is in fact a scam because the same mattress is one offed with a different cover for each retailer that orders and then they add their markup. So it may be $400 at the Discounter and $2,000 at the Name Brand Store… same exact mattress as you pointed out.

    Find the Manufacturer of Natural Talay Latex (Some People are allergic to latex) and ask them to locate a dealer of their products for you. There is one in Arizona that has good prices but I will not link to it here because I am not spamming your post.

    • I agree with you very much on your post. If there is an allergic reaction to latex it is from the protiens in it. All of the better brands I know of they remove all the proteins before producing a mattress out of natural latex.. I.E Dr. bruyce and Justice mattresses.

  14. I remember vividly the day my family moved from Cedar Rapids, Iowa to Chicago. I was all of ten years old and like any child would be, excited to see the city. My father had received a promotion at the bank he had worked at since well before I was born and we were now leaving the relative comfort of our home for an apartment on Michigan Avenue. Driving into the city was almost surreal, and although sullen over leaving my friends behind, I was enthralled with the possibility of great opportunities that lay ahead. All the wonder and amazement I was experiencing after having traveled through the concrete canyons of the Windy City was soon overshadowed by the news that my father decided to impart to me the moment we entered our new domicile. I would be sharing a room with my younger brother.,

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  15. I’m really inspired along with your writing abilities and also with the structure to your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it is uncommon to see a great weblog like this one nowadays..

  16. I purchased an Aireloom Hybrid February 2013. My jaw dropped when I changed the sheets after the first week. The entire middle is sagging. It looks like a hammock and sleeps like one too! My back is killing me. I weigh 127 lbs. and sleep on one side. I filed a claim and currently waiting to hear from the warranty company. After reading so many blogs I feel I am screwed out of a lot of money. If the company refuses my claim I won’t give up without a fight. I will file a complaint with FTC, BBB and any other suggested. I urge others to do the same. The mattress industry will only change if consumers take a stand. I will post an update when I hear back from the warranty company and give any other useful information. As for now, I am taking the advise of a previous post, Sal, and will purchase from Costco or Sam’s Club. At least they have an impeccable return policy.

    • The first week? I sell mattresses and I have thrown certain brand names out of my store for that stuff. Especially when they wouldn’t except the responsibility and tried to lay it at the feet of my customer. No way. I have dealt with Aireloom in the past and they are a reputable company. I hope they still have integrity and will handle this for you. Honestly…the store you purchased it from should allow you to just trade it for something else or get you another one. It’s probably just a fluke. The mattress store should deal with Aireloom at this point. It is way too soon for you to have to go around in circles with a mattress company.

      • Charles, I would love to hear more from you. We have been shopping for weeks and I just today found your comment. We had all but purchased our final choice of a Stearns and Foster. Please tell me more.

  17. I bought a mattress two years ago from sleepys. $1499 total with delivery tax and box spring. Two years in, it’s sagging and they say it’s covered by warranty BUT the model is no longer available. So I’m offered a credit for $1009. $1009 will cover a mattress of lesser quality or I need to pay $370 more for a mattress of the same quality. I paid the $370, but am regretting it. What a racket they clearly sell a shitty product, then change the name so you need to go in and pay for an “upgrade” within a few years. I’m furious and would love to see a class action suit.

    • I’ve come to the conclusion that all the mattresses made today are junk. They sag after about 2 years no matter how much you pay. And the inability to flip them over anymore just proves they are crap. They used to actually have stuffing in them. Now they are cheap foam put on top of a pile of springs nailed to a wood frame. I went out and bought a latex topper to put over my crappy 2 year old mattress so now I’m sleeping much better and didn’t have to fork out a ton of money on a new junky mattress.

      • Did that topper help the sagging mattress? Everything I’ve read seems to recommend them for too-firm mattresses. I have a new mattress that is sagging. Mattresses are just terrible today.

  18. Leave it up to crafty marketing campaigns and made up science to convince people they “need” mattresses that cost a fortune. I finally learned my lesson after forking out almost $2k on a big name brand’s extra firm mattress thinking it would last a long long time. 3 years into it and it had major body impressions, and the warranty was worthless, apparently indentations are”part of the normal wear and tear in the life of a mattress” according to the manufacturer.
    Then I realized how ridiculous this whole concept was. I got rid of the mattress and bought some plywood to put on my box spring. Bought a 4 inch thick 5 pound density memory foam mattress topper for $200 from amazon. Have been sleeping like a baby for a month now and will never again fork out a fortune for a mattress.

  19. There are some mattress people, either salesmen or manufacturing reps sending in comments or links to ‘their’ mattress. Read carefully.
    Below are some facts I gathered over a year. I have still not decided on what mattress to buy.
    —————
    Mattress Construction

    Modern mattresses usually contain either an inner spring core or materials such as latex, visco-elastic or other flexible polyurethane foams. Other fill components include insulator pads over the coils that prevent the bed’s upholstery layers from cupping down into the innerspring, as well as polyester fiberfill in the bed’s top upholstery layers.

    Visit Mcroskey mattress construction here:
    http://www.mcroskey.com/how_our_beds_are_made.shtml

    The variety of innerspring mattresses on the market seems endless. They are the most popular mattress on the market and are the most affordable. In 2010, prices ranged from $300 to several thousand; a decent innerspring mattress will cost anywhere from $800 to $2000.

    The basic construction of all innerspring mattresses is the same. There are two elements: coils and upholstery. The coils determine how firm and stable the mattress is, while the upholstery will determine how comfortable it is. Despite the construction, they tend to wear out more quickly and should be replaced every 10 years.

    Spring coils – The quality of the inner spring mattress depends on a number of factors. First, the gauge, or thickness, of the innerspring coils will determine how firm and stable the mattress will be, thus affecting longevity. The thicker the coil, the SMALLER the number. A 12.5-gauge innerspring coil is the thickest available in a mattress and will provide the firmest bed. Coils should be at least 13 gauge or lower. The lower the gauge, the thicker and more supportive the coils of the innerspring will be. A thin 14-gauge coil provides a softer-feeling mattress with more give. This thin gauge coil is ironically, most often used in high end mattresses. Regardless of the coil gauge, they should have been tempered using either electricity or heat, which improves the quality significantly. Look for coils that have been coated with plastic or enamel. This feature makes them resistant to both general wear and tear, and corrosion.
    Pay attention to the range of turns in the coil design of the innerspring. This number will range from about five to eight turns. The higher the number, the more support and durability the mattress will offer. Find out how many coils make up the innerspring of the mattress. For the best quality, make sure it has a minimum of 300 coils for a full mattress, 400 for a queen and 480 for a king.

    Coil interlacing- A mattress consists of two wire frames connected by a series of wire tied coiled springs. By tying these springs together, the weight of the person lying down is distributed to multiple coils. There are four basic types of coil construction in innerspring mattresses.

    1. Bonnell coils are regularly used in inexpensive mattresses and are shaped like an hourglass.
    2. Wrapped coils, also called “encased coils” and “Marshall coils,” are quieter because each coil is wrapped in fabric. This type is often pre-compressed to add firmness to the mattress.
    3. Offset coils are hooked together with hinges, which makes the mattress very stable and supportive while allowing it to conform to the shape of your body.
    4. Continuous coils are offset coils that are strung together in rows from the head of the mattress to the foot. They create a very firm mattress but they tend to be noisy.

    Upholstery – There are usually four layers of upholstery encasing the springs of an innerspring mattress. The layer closest to the springs is the insulation layer in which the springs are wrapped in a layer of mesh or woven fabric. This prevents the casing from wedging between the coils and creating “pockets” as the mattress wears.
    Next is the cushioning layer, which is designed to improve the comfort of the mattress. The way it is constructed will also add to the cost of the mattress. The materials used are memory foam, cotton, wool, felt, polyester, and in very expensive innerspring mattresses, silk and cashmere. The thickness and type of materials used in this layer will determine the level of comfort, not the level of firmness.
    Now comes a layer of quilted fabric attached to the outer most layer. Thick quilting materials are used in pillow tops and add to the comfort of the mattress. Be aware, however, that pillow tops will compress with time and cannot be replaced because they are attached to the bed.
    The outermost layer is a fabric called “ticking.” It protects the mattress and makes it more attractive. Polyester and cotton/polyester blends are used most often; silk and linen are used in high-end mattresses. The type of fabric used will influence the overall cost of the mattress.

    Sizes of mattresses
    Twin 39 in × 75 in Full 54 in × 75 in Queen 60 in × 80 in King 76 in × 80 in

  20. Hey Jeff, thank you for this. My wife and just bought a new home and needed a new bed (ours also 11+ years old). We went into the sleepy’s across the street. My wife is particular about our sleep gear and found a serta mattress that we both liked (I realized after I had been steered towards it). Full set, out the door $3,500. It was way more than either of us wanted to spend, but we justified it was something we would have for a long time. I mean- how can you put a price on good sleep? We came within an inch of buying it. While my wife was talking to the guy about writing it up- I was looking online to be sure someone else wasn’t offering it for a lower price (I live in Manhattan and we routinely get gouged on retail). The weird thing was, I couldn’t find one on my phone. I assumed it was my slow connection and not being able to move quickly enough throughout the web (store was underground). Still I wasn’t comfortable plunking down that kinda of money without at least doing some research even though we were going to be bed-less in 10 days (we’re in a hotel waiting for new apartment, threw old mattress out). The guy offered us a $500 “memorial day discount” which he had to go into the back to see if he could still give us (June 17th)- voila he could! I’m still not doing it, but told him I would go home, poke around and call him with our credit card number. Once home and online my wife immediately figure it out. They’re renaming the same product to eliminate comparison shopping online. I haven’t come across any other content but your blog stating what it actually is- a scam. We’re going to use an air mattress until I can actually figure out what I’m buying. Thanks much.

    Damien,
    NY, NY

    • The mattress store didn’t change the names of the mattresses. The manufacturers did. It is called “dealer protection” it is to protect the dealer from price shoppers so that they can make a profit and stay in business. It is actually a hinderance to us as well. I have no idea what lies my customers have been fed before they come in to my store trying to compare my product with joe blows mattress bargain warehouse. I do my own buying and make my own deals with the factory’s. Being that we are not a huge chain I don’t have the buying power of some of these companies. I also follow a true pricing code (that my boss gets mad at me for) He want’s me to mark up more. I won’t because I feel it’s dishonest. Problem is, my customers minds have been poisoned by crap like this blog before they even come in. They already think I’m a crook and a liar. So everybody that comes in think its like a village market place and they want to haggle. Well…with the honest pricing I got no where to go. But because they have been over to joe blows who went in the back and got them $500 off!!! Why can’t I do the same. Here’s a tip. Ask the sales person to show an invoice where they EVER sold that mattress for the marked price. They can’t produce it because it’s not real. I have been doing this for 24 years. I’m tired. Maybe it’s time to move on to something else. I’m tired of being labeled a liar. I’m just a woman who drives a friggin camry. Maybe I should have been a liar sale person so I could have a home (not a rental) and maybe a nicer car then a 4 cylinder. Some times being honest just dosen’t pay and in this business it dosen’t.

      • You’re in the wrong business to be “honest” the proverbial poop rolls downhill my friend and it starts at the top. If the mattress manufacturers call the shots I can understand your predicament. However, I don’t believe this person’s blog is crap at all and what I also believe is this situation is just an example of a bigger picture of how goods in general, in this day in age are manufactured to fail, not last long and are deceivingly hyped. We live in a world of deliberately planned product obsolesnce. Cheaply made items, with questionable materials are then sensationalized by all these “systems” and “technologies” touted by manufacturers that dazzle you with all these claims about the science of sleep, cooling gels, memory foams, sleep numbers, plushes and firms, and coils! Oh my! (But they do tend to downplay that some of these mattresses smell like a Dow chemical plant meltdown from the 70s from all the “test tube two step primordial ooze” that make up these “miracle” sleep substances) You wonder if the actual “miracle” will be bearing children that don’t have multiple digits or a major organ not falling out of a personal orifice down the road from sleeping on these chemistry sets..

        Quality products from back in the day lasted a very long time (My parents bought a refridgerator the year I was born in 1967 and it’s still running today albeit with a few minor repairs, oh and by the way they slept on the same mattress for far more than ten years and wow! they were not transformed into invalids or on the chiropractor’s Christmas card list) Goods are not made to last any more because there’s no money in that my friend. It’s all about get it now, get it fast, get all these bells and whistles pay a crazy mark up in many cases, then get a new one again before you know it, because the quality is no where near as good and honest as it used to be.

        Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I see a pattern here. GENUINE “quality” is hard to come by today. We do see plenty of fabricated and perceived quality from all these businesses that produce all these products. They are not really meant to last however, but they are really hyped up to be “quality” and be the best thing since the wheel. Just ask them though, and they will tell you all about “quality” or what they put out there for what the average consumer to “perceive” as quality. For many today in this fast paced world barraged from all angles with life, work, stress, etc, perception can be reality. We take lots of these claims from these brands and the exuberant premiums they demand as assumptions of quality. From house construction to appliances, electronics, mattresses, you name it. We are “consumers” in the literal sense of the word in today’s world. The snake oil salesman from the 1800s is alive and well now in the form of these corporations and manufacturers. A not so very noble part of our humanity that is still manipulating and profiting off of the noble and innocent part of human nature that tends to trust and perceive things as genuine and “quality”. This trust is gained even easier when these claims are railroaded to the consumer and backed up by fast talkers, fancy words, bright lights, bells, gongs, and multimedia “independent studies.” Oh and then there’s those sales and rebates and nice managers that drop the price for you making you think he’s going to be in line at the soup kitchen next week for doing so..

        They have us all believing that “Quality is always in the balance of the check book register”

        These blogs exist as well as consumer sites so that folks can see what other users have REALLY experienced that’s where the rubber meets the road. Not the reviews on the store or manufactures sites. Can people embellish a bit or be not 100% in the know about a particular industry? Of course! However when a large group of people have the same issues with a certain product like feeling like they were beaten about about the head, neck, back and shoulders with a rubber hose after a nights sleep on a “quality” mattress, “the clue phone seems to be ringing”… People read this stuff so it “doesn’t get sent to the answering machine” and they don’t end up spending 2K on a glorified giant throw pillow with Kung-Fu Grip or whatever special Jedi power this mattress allegedly possesses.

        Am I embellishing a bit? Being a bit dramatic? Perhaps, but then read one of the flyers on these things that tout that the “Binford 9000 Superfragilistic Snooze Digit Lemon Jello Supreme Luxury Plus Adjustable Slumber Climax “GUARANTEES” you a good nights sleep or your money back …(don’t forget to read that fine print) :)

        • fabulous synopsis Steve. the way of the world. After reading all of these posts, I think I will continue to pursue the formal complaints but in the meantime, just go ahead and get that Nikken topper for our piss poor 8 month old sagging Simmons Beautyrest and be a happy camper like the others who have found a similar solution!

  21. It’s amazing all the ‘experts’ here giving their opinion on whats good and what bad. True, coils don’t last…and YES they are overpriced..and YES there IS a game on pricing, but its the same with almost ANY product. (For example check out a laptop or a tv) However, when it comes to latex mattresses, well the are (for the most part) all the same. What I mean is they are mostly all manufactured from the same place…..Latex International. With that said, the ‘best value’ would be the most direct source. Their ‘direct brand’ Latex Bliss.

    Now, with foam beds (memory foam)…the same rule somewhat applies. MOST of the memory foam out there today is made from the same factory and sold to other companies to put in their beds. However, the ONLY manufacturer in the US that starts with RAW material on one side of the plant then ‘spits out’ a completed product on the other is Tempur-Pedic. The ORIGINAL not the copy.

    Well that’s my ’2 cents’. Enjoy!

    • Hi, I’m not certain but I think you posted on this blog as an authority (while discrediting everyone else) and at the same time grossly plugged your own mattress store multiple times that carries these very same brands?. Irony! this is the exact reason the blog was created. I suspect The Back Store in St Louis is the very type of store we mean to stay away from. Noted.

    • I have to say that Tempur-Pedic is the best way to go when buying a bed. I just bought one a month ago, its not even completely broken in yet, and I have not slept better in my life! My husband’s and my own back pain are gone. My sister was the one who convinced me to get one- she’s had hers for 7 years with no plans on getting anything different any time soon. We got exactly the one we wanted- no salesman pressure- and got a better than expected price because we bought the one right off the sales floor. It was in perfect condition and only 10 days old. 2G’s and a 25 year warranty that covers EVERYTHING from stains to 1/2 in. sag or indents. Win.

  22. I appreciate the validation that Mattress Companies are unethical,dishonest, and untrustworthy.
    What amazes me is how they can advertise delivery next day, satisfaction guaranteed, get endorsement from google and continue with such sloppy, shipshod, and lousy service. Are there no
    monitors for these companies. Another peeve of mine is their “customer service” advertised to solve your problem. Maybe. AS long as your willing to hang on the phone for 30 minutes to speak to someone who is”so sorry they can’t help you”. There is no recourse.

  23. Barbara
    I do not know where you got your information on tempur-pedic but I have been working for foam mattress companies for several years. Tempur-pedic is not the only company that makes their own complete mattresses in one plant, in fact they buy foam from other companies and assemble them as well as most other large companies. My company Elite Foam makes the foam on one side of our plant, cuts and assembles mattresses on the other side. We use a firm wooden base for our mattresses and no springs.Gel foam on top makes it cooler. The best II have ever slept on without the cost for the name.

  24. This blog is old. Also lots of false info. It is very easy to find info on products. These small companies don’t really make better mattress and a reg shopper. Do that. shop. A lot of you people must be old and cant figure things out on your own lol. Quick searches on the internet can find info and bbb ratings of stores around the world.

    • This blog may be “old” but most of the comments are still accurate. I am an educated person who buys most things online (after research). Most recently I purchased 2 cars, however, I have never been more frustrated when trying to research product differences or pricing. I am very frustrated over this product search… Mattress buying is like used cars shopping of the 70′s or supplemental insurance!

  25. This is all completely true but there is another fact that makes it even worse: quality of materials has dropped so that at the same time prices have soared, mattresses do not last like they used to. Our first Beautyrest developed ruts after 10 years and we got all our money refunded. We were so happy with how we were treated, we bought another one. Well, the second one lasted only 7 years before it was shot (neither my husband or I are overweight, btw). This time we were informed that the ruts had to be 1 1/2″ in order to qualify, so we were just S.O.L. I personally believe they use materials that will loft back up so the ruts do not look so deep but the material has broken down and the support is gone- when you lie down, your back falls painfully out of alignment. Our third try with Simmons: we bought a firm bed, no pillowtop or frills, figuring we’d add our own topper for padding and replace that when it wore out. We really love the feel of the pocketed coils. Unfortunately, less than 4 years later, our topper is still fine, but our mattress is unbearable. The springs under the pressure areas are shot. That’s why I’m sitting up reading about mattresses instead of sleeping right now. I am through with the major manufacturers. If you try to look up specs on their mattresses, they are all “trade secrets.” There are no specifics about exact materials, weights or pressure ratings. They give them silly names with gimmicky trademarks that are meaningless to the consumer. Eggcrate foam becomes something like “our exclusive sculpted air-channel dynamic restorative techologyTM.” Feels great in the showroom, 6 months later you have a bed with divots where it has bottomed out for good. A bed which you paid a *lot* of money for.

    • I do not now, nor ever did work for a mattress company, or any firm connected with the manufacture or sales of mattresses.
      But I did purchase a Tempur-Pedic Cloud mattress. Three months later, and MRI showed serious back conditions that were not there 12 months previous. I returned it and was told that the best mattress for my condition was a Stearns and Foster. I was foolish enough to believe. It lasted less than four months. Any padding it might have had was displaced, and you could feel the springs poking through. $1,500 figure to be almost $500 a month to sleep in discomfort.
      The old WII army cot was much better, and it was FREE.

  26. So this may be old but here is a new story. We shopped for a bed last Thursday, found the one we wanted and it was delivered Tuesday. Great. However, before the delivery guy left I laid on the bed. It was definately not the one I tested in the store, eventhough it had the same cover, the same name, the same ID. I sent it right back and went to the store. I thought the sales person wrote up the wrong thing, ’cause the bed we tested was soft and fluffy, and the one they delivered was hard. Got to the store, checked out the bed, yep, she wrote up theright one but the floor model and the delivered mattress WERE NOT THE SAME QUALITY. We told them so. So we said we’d spring for the plush but they did not charge us anything extra. Great customer service, I thought. So it comes today and what do you know? It’s not right either. I sent it back and asked for a refund. They gave me a lame story about floor models and lots of people have laid on them and how it’s worn because of that. Logically, a worn mattress would pack down, not get fluffier! My thoughts: (A) it’s time to change out the floor model if it is deteriorated (B) it’s a bait and switch scam. I think the floor models are made to be cushier, cause that one was very nice. The one they delivered was hard as a rock. How many people are going to send the mattress back like we did? But, dang, now I have to shop for a mattress again!

  27. I want to sympathize with everyone who has had a frustrating experience with the junk that passes for mattresses today. I have just gone through it myself. A piece of plywood now sits between the box and my mattress (the second in two months).

    I believe that one day during the past decade, the mattress manufacturers got together around a big table in some secret place and agreed on the following statement.

    “We have been making a product that lasted for 20 years and have been selling it for a reasonable price. What is wrong with us? Let’s double, triple, and quadruple the price for a start. Then let’s make the box spring no more than a box and fill the mattress with some material that even a genius does not know about. Also, let’s make them unflippable so these pieces of junk wear out even faster. Get out your shovels, guys, because we’re about to see a storm of money.”

    After these guys came up with their scheme, they invested in so-called “topper companies” so they could really rake it in.

  28. God I can’t believe how clueless everyone is with regard to today’s mattresses…it has nothing to do with how long it lasts or if it “sags”…you can’t get any sleep on them!

    They don’t make mattresses correctly like they used to. Today’s one-siders are too FIRM from all the springing–to make them last longer, and so u dont have to flip–and they’ve tried to offset this with layers of foam on top. Even sewing MORE foam on the outside (pillowtops). Doesn’t work! So you have throngs of people buying these “toppers” trying to soften up their new mattresses that they can’t get any sleep on. It’s fruitless. So now everyone has a mattress with a 10-20 yr warranty, and that you don’t have to flip….that you can’t a decent nights sleep on! 99% of the sleeping public is totally in the dark about whats going on here and it is a travesty..Corporate america has screwed everything up again. Bring back the flippable mattresses–last made in 1998– with their softer springing and cotton padding! The body needs to SINK IN to be able to relax so u can get some sleep–THAT SOFTNESS MUST COME FROM THE SPRINGS THEMSELVES! And it doesn’t with these one-siders .(believe me I required the firmest of the old schoolers and it was perfect) Go hit an estate sale and find an old-school flipper for 50 bucks.* All of today’s springboard one-siders hold all your weight on top. They are totally overdamped. Even if they are labeled “plush” or “pillowtop” they are garbage. In fact I explained this “theory” to a sales manager at a Sleepy’s and he said that I was the first person to figure this out.

    * and do this for furniture too if you don’t have the coin for good new stuff.. All the stuff at Raymour and Flanagan, Rooms to Go, Restoration Hardware, etc is garbage. Cheap, nasty hard foam.

  29. I have been building quality foam mattress for over 20 years. I have been telling my customers about these issues, and the wise shopper already knows about the scams, especially in coil spring mattresses. A Queen size coil cost about 20$ from China, once upholstered here in North America, the cost of the mattress is below 100$, yet they still sell these at a 50% discount for 600$, and will even give you free TV, which they buy in bulk at discounted prices. The market wants to sell you a mattress every 4-5 years, no matter what you want. The only solution is to buy from small hand crafted shops, and buy high density foam made in North America, your mattress will last at least 15 years, and you will smile when you get up in the morning. You can visit our website for more information http://en.memoryfoamcomfort.ca

  30. Having loved the Cloud 9 at Hampton Inns, we went shopping and found one from Serta–James Anthony model with a ten year warranty. Five years down the road, we have a high center and two troughs on the sides. Warranty is based on 1.5 inch sag; we have 1.25 on one side and nearly that on the other side. Also, you really roll out of bed with this one! So. It was pricy, but thought it would last awhile, but here we are needing a new mattress. Guess what? Not buying that brand again, and maybe not one with a plush top that you can’t fully rotate.

  31. We found a local manufacturer in Tucson who makes 2-sided, fully flippable pillow tops. Our cal king mattress cost us $459. Sleep America’s warranty is very much on a measureable sag, and you have to wait another 90 days for another measurement. Not sure what to do with our saggy mattress, but…

  32. I bought a queen size waterbed 30 years ago. I replaced the heater a few years back and add conditioner every 2 years and pay electric to keep it warm. Other than that the thing has been wonderful. I love to go to sleep in my old waterbed. I’m 50 and my back feels great.
    So I have ZERO experience mattress shopping. Stopped at the local Sealy Serta whatever dealer looking for a new mattress for my semi truck. It would be a long twin. I said “I want the best one” thinking “what’s the most it could be, $500?” Lady says she’ll check the warehouse, clicks a bit on her keyboard and says she can take $1000 off for me. Full price is $3500.
    Well right then I knew I was dealing with a crooked industry with huge markups and realized this was going to turn into a time consuming chore to get a good mattress for as little money as possible.
    I dicked around in the store a bit longer and had her going for a while. Now I need to research foam and mattress construction.

  33. There is only two things to know:

    1. If it is a “no-flip” it is junk. You will be sleeping in valleys and troughs and have back pain. Flipping the mattress smooths out the dents by compressing the mattress when the top goes on the bottom and gravity does its job. A no-flip never gets ironed out, it just gets deeper and deeper ruts.

    2. You will need to buy from a small local maker to get a quality flippable mattress. The big names have been bought and sold several times, and are no longer the same as the good old days. The 10 and 25 year warranties have conditions that make it hard to make a claim.

    If you do decide to buy a one sided junker, get one with a tight top, as there is less foam to compress and make you miserable. I have one of the earlier versions of the one sided half-mattress money makers, and the only reason I am still using the abomination is that it is a firm tight-top, and so has lasted longer than the usual 2-5 yrs. My flippable mattresses are far superior.

    • @Ken regarding no-flip mattresses. What Ken doesn’t tell you is that boxsprings are no longer boxsprings. Today they manufacture foundations instead. These are non-yielding which mean no flex and no coils. If you put a flippable mattress on this the padding on the bottom will be smashed and become uncomfortable to sleep on.

      Many consumers which had flippable mattresses complained of ridge in the middle of the mattress. This occurs when a couple sleeps on a mattress and the middle of the mattress is barely used. The coils in the “Boxspring” would soften in the area you sleep and stay stiff in the middle. Also the padding where you sleep will also compress. Unless you want to sleep on the floor or use wood or metal as a comfort layer you are going to get compression. This is innevitable.

      Ken’s cure is to purchase a tight top firm mattress, these are made in all levels of price and quality so again you will have padding in a tight top, the firmness is attributed to the density and quality of the foam. Ken’s idea works great if you or Ken are a back sleeper. But side sleepers will wake throughout the night tossing and turning from side to side. Thats because pressure to the hips and shoulders. Last I checked women have more pronounced figures and this hurts them worse than guys.

      My recommendation is to try three different beds. Mattresses typically come in what the industry calls a triple choice. A firm which is a tight top like Ken mentioned, a plush and a Pillow top. All three usually offer the same exact support underneith than add more padding for comfort in the plush and pillow top. Also good to know is that the longer you spend on a mattress the firmer it will feel regardless of the type of mattress you are on. You should try all three of these beds. If one is clearly uncomfortable you can eliminate it. Try the other two, if they are comfortable try the one you like best for 10 minutes. If you don’t feel the need to move and can stay there for 10 minutes completely comfortable, you have found your feel.

      Trying beds is like going to the optomertrist for an eye exam. Try beds in your comfort range and go back and forth till you find the one that you like the best. There are different types of consumers, some are cheap, some are even keel and some are lavished. The cheap customer doesn’t care is typically the biggest problem, they are negative and never satisfied. The even keel usually get the best deal because they don’t complain and therefore the salesperson will work with this customer because they don’t feel as much pressure. The even keel customer usually presents the least amount of problems. The lavish customer can be a mixture of both cheap and even keel.

      If a salesperson shows they care about your needs no matter what price point you want to be in than you have found the right place to buy if they have a bed that meets your needs. There are beds in all price points always has been. Unfortunately you get people with caviar dreams on a candy bar budget and when you show them whats available they typically want what they cannot afford. But, hey this is the same for everything. Have you ever watched those house hunter shows, they show the buyer three houses that come close to meeting all the shoppers needs and there is always one that is well over the budget. Thats the one they all want but cannot afford. I know when they advertise a price for a new car on the radio or tv if I go to the lot the one I want will always be more expensive.

      The bottom line is yes there is mark up in products, there is also risk, does a politician not take risk when they run for office? They spend a fortune on campaign ads hoping that it will convince voters to vote for them and with no guarantee. Same thing is true in business. Have you ever watched the show Shark Tank? The stars of the show are investors if they like the idea and the business model they will make an offer to buy into the company. They are taking a risk that they will make there money back. If there is no profit how could you pay back investors. Did you know it only costs about 30 cents to manufacture a can of soda? What do they sell it for? average price for a soda is $1 thats over 3 times the amount of the cost to make the soda.

      Ken states mattresses last 2 – 5 years. Well our needs change too. For health reasons alone you should change out your mattress every 5-7 years. Not to mention our sleep changes as we age. Adolescents should get between 12 – 16 hours of sleep, mostly for brain development. As adults 8 to 10 hours, by our 40′s 6 – 8, and in our sixtys we get 4 – 7 hours. As we age we don’t get the same quality sleep, I have no idea how old Ken is or how he sleeps I just hope he isn’t sleeping on his side on that firm mattress. :)

  34. Thanks for this article. This echoes the frustrations I had a few months back. We decided to look for a futon frame at a mattress store, and wandered toward adjustable tempurpedic beds. The guy was way to pushy/slimy.

    We decided later we didn’t need the fancy bed… I’d definitely like it, but I really wish there was a better place to get beds.

  35. I have read the entire blog and all the comments here. I actually own an independent furniture store; I often scour the internet reading about consumer complaints. I find it gives me insight about my competition and helps me better serve my customer’s needs.

    Many of the comments make it sound like all furniture retailers are liars, cheats and in business to swindle the consumer for personal profit at the expense of integrity. It really is sad that many major manufacturers and several retailers have created such distrust and dissatisfaction with the consumer. I think there are some manufacturers and retailers you can still trust but you the consumer have to take responsibility in finding who you can trust and boycott all who have not met your expectations. The consumer really does still have control of how they are treated and can only do it with research and where you spend your dollar.

    First and most important is educate yourself before your purchase! The internet is your best defense against being ripped off! Read actual consumer reviews of manufacturers and stores. Type in “Brand Name” complaints, “Store Name” complaints, if there are pages of complaints do not give that supplier/store your business! Go to >> http://www.complaintsboard.com or http://www.consumeraffairs.com or http://www.ripoffreport.com There are many others on the net to research before you buy. It is what I do before I bring in any new supplier to my store. I would also recommend staying away from Sealy, Stearns & Foster, Serta and Simmons. Research those names for complaints, thousands on the internet. Find a smaller manufacturer with a good reputation, there are hundreds of them out there and most don’t play the name game. Many still make flippable mattresses and all the other mattress configurations out there. Many offer much better quality; you just have to find a reputable store that offers alternatives, is knowledgeable and has your best interest in mind. Brand names these days don’t always mean quality anymore, you are quite often just paying a lot more for a name.

    Personally I would recommend supporting retailers that have you the consumers’ best interests in mind. How to choose? Stay away from multi chain commissioned sales stores, the bigger the chain the more important the bottom line becomes. Most commissioned sales staff has one interest in mind and that is to make the biggest percentage commission on whatever the store offers the largest percentage on any particular item. Not necessarily what would be the best choice for you. I think many would be better served supporting smaller independent retailers with a reputable name, knowledgeable non-commissioned sales staff and through word of mouth recommendations.

    Stay away from any store that offers mattress sales. 30, 40, 50% and higher sales, really? How can a store offer those types of percentages off when the average net profit in furniture retail is 2 to 3%. Don’t believe me, google it – “Net Profit for furniture stores”. Can you really trust a retailer that offers inflated phony sale pricing? They are being dishonest to you right off the bat, how can you trust them to give you reliable information and realistic fair pricing. Find a store that has everyday pricing and doesn’t haggle with the price. They are out there.

    Bottom line – your dollar spent wisely will change the way the industry deals with the consumer.

    • Speaking of word of mouth recommendations, what kind of mattress is on your bed, John T?
      I don’t want 100% foam/latex and have run into the reviews you’ve mentioned on “The Big 4″ manufacturers, but I’m having trouble finding anything else in our area.
      Around here, our smaller retailers just sell the same brands at a higher mark-up. (Probably because they have less buying power.)

  36. I agree that using different names at different stores is troublesome. Many stores say they guarantee their price is lowest for the same item. Well, nobody else’s item has the same name so there is no lower price elsewhere. I found this out years ago when shopping for a washer. The sales guy actually pointed this out. He said that each washer and dryer from a manufacturer was just slightly different for this purpose.

    I just bought a Novosbed and I love it. Everything I found in my research on line supported my decision to buy from them. The wood foundation had one wrong part and when I called to get the right one they were very pleasant and said they would ship the correct part out right away. I like this company.

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