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.

443 Comments

  1. Yeah, 60 minutes had an episode on the great mattress scam a few years back. Product names are basically invented for each retailer, so the “find this model cheaper somewhere else” can’t be done.

  2. 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.

  3. When I went mattress shopping last year I ran into this same issue. I should note I’m in Australia. 🙂

    One bed shop openly admitted that I would not find the same mattress at other shops because although they both carry the same brands, each retail shop opts to carry a different range of mattresses at each price point to make it hard to compare.

    I ended up deciding my budget then buying the first comfortable mattress at that price, given that the shops were all offering roughly similar discounts.

  4. yeah…. I did a bunch of similar research a few years back and came to similar conclusions.

    The furniture industry is similar but I’ve only researched the top of the iceberg.

    I ended up buying the frame from the store and a used mattress off craigslist.

    I think I ended up spending $700 total but 90% of this was spent on the frame which was solid wood.

    Kevin

  5. I discovered the same problem when I called up our local “mattress warehouse” to ask about coil counts. I basically told them that if they can’t provide coil counts I’ll take my business to someone who will because I’m not spending that much money and that much time sleeping on a mattress without knowing what I’m buying.

    Incidentally, I made a spreadsheet including all the information from every vendor I can find. Then I can sort by Coil Count, firmness, etc, and at least I can compare items with similar features.

    I think the Mattress industry is a sham. I can’t believe it’s legal! Oh, and the kicker…the local mattress warehouse place claims to beat competitor’s prices! An easy claim to make when you have no way of finding any comparable products in the first place!

    Michelle

  6. Jeff I hope you read this I need some info. did you receive your mattress and did you like it. I am in the process of purchasing one right now fr Mattress.com Help? SHould I?

  7. Hi Jeff!

    I ran across your blog post while I was surfing the web and I wanted to stop in and make sure everything went okay with your purchase. I know buying a mattress online can be a little intimidating. I’m glad to hear that our information was able to help you find the mattress you were looking for. I’m even happier to know we were the best price for you!

    If you need anything or have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to call our customer service people (1-800-455-1052) or drop us an email (help@us-mattress.net).

    Hope you’re getting a good night’s sleep now!

  8. Hey Jeff, hope you and the family are doing great back east. As for mattresses, we discovered this “scam” a few years ago when we were looking to purchase our first bed. We figured out which mattresses were similar (prices were similar), then went with the nicest salesman (at JCPenney of all places).

    Just remember to flip and rotate your mattress just like your car tires. We do this about every other time we change our sheets.

  9. I reached the same conclusion that you did that it is a crooked business. We bought a Serta soon after we married 10 yrs. ago and it was like the slab at the morgue. We listened to all that coil count etc. and still hated it. We donated it to a home for battered women. We then thought “Tempur-pedic!” Boy, they are just so expensive. We bought ours on the internet (a no-name brand) and it is fine. It was half the price and has it flaws, but it didn’t make our backs hurt and didn’t break the bank.

  10. we’ve been ikea bed and mattress owners for the past 25 years. we recently bought a new bed and mattress again from ikea – total price for under $1000. we’ve always slept soundly, and have ever rarely experienced any backaches or bad sleeps.

  11. Great post. I only wish that I had this information about six months ago when my wife and I were looking for a new mattress. We ended up spending nearly $3000 for our mattress but that was after the $2000 one destroyed our backs. Good luck with the new mattress. I hope that your back adjusts better than mine did.

  12. Thanks for the info. We just purchased a mattress from Big Lots for use in a second bedroom(cheaper than anywhere else). But in looking around on line to compare Serta’s, I ran into the same thing – never the same style name. This is done with appliances and TV’s and almost anything else you can think of. Any store that offers to beat the competition’s price on a certain thing knows that no one else carries that model name, number or whatever they use for identifier.

  13. Everybody has a different preference, so I don’t think the coil count etc. really matter. I bought a thin foam mattress from Ikea along with the bent wooden slats that come with the bed. I haven’t slept so well in years.

    Also, I work in sales and I think a 100-200% markup is pretty standard across most industries. Once you factor in the sales commission, the salaries of non-commission employees, shipping, and everything else that comes with running a business, the actual profit isn’t as much as you would think.

  14. I bought a queen mattress from a store front in Phoenix for $200. Best mattress that I’ve had in years, and since I put it in a mountain cabin, every relative that has stayed there has commented on it.

    Thus, my comment is that you should go to smaller shops and lay on them, but the one that you want, price means nothing.

  15. Live by the advice I got from my uncle who worked in the mattress shop for years. Buy the heaviest mattress in your price point that is comfortable. It will last the longest, because the coils are the only thing that weigh anything. And never buy a pillow top. Not being able to flip your bed will make uneven wear. And getting a feather bed to put on top of your mattress amount to the same thing, except the feather bed is replaceable and let the mattress be flipped.

  16. Don’t buy the costco memory foam. It is made by Novafoam. 100% petroleum foam and harmful chemical fire barrier. Buy the Keetsa memory foam. 12% plant oil, no VOC. Keetsa.com

  17. Mattress buying is the most frustrating experience. I’m one of those super consumers who researches and compares everything about a product I’m thinking of buying and I’ve never seen anything so confusing as a mattress purchase. I don’t know how they can get away with this!

  18. I confess I work in the mattress biz.

    The inability to comparison shop “models,” it’s a tradition. Retailers everywhere demand their own unique sku’s. The goofy half-off sales, that’s a tradition too. Some retailers, though, are avoiding that behavior now.

    But you must admit, this is the only consumer product that no matter what brand it all seems the same–white rectangles.

    So they jazz things up–foams, coil counts, stretch knits, hypoallergenic yada yada.

    My advice: find a furniture or mattress store you like w/good sales help or cs, and a wide selection. And buy there. Good-sized stores cover all the price points.

    My new latex mattress is fabulous. The old bed gave me a backache. A new mattress is worth its weight in feeligs of well-being.

  19. Issues with Simmons & Sleepys
    From: Alan Prefer

    Date: Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 2:10 PM
    Subject: Listening to the voice of reason

    To: dacker@sleepys.com, tom.freet@sleepys.com, ablank@sleepys.com, tfreet@sleepys.com, sacker@sleepys.com, amarder@sleepys.com

    – Show quoted text –
    Why wont you attempt to work with a consumer to resolve an issue and be logical:
    mattress set wasnt what was represented…list 2799, i went to my max budget which was 1400 and said, if you cant do the deal, then we will understand…YOU DID the deal
    the set which wasnt in that store The Bianca…which is truly what the set should have been is 3999, so at 50% it would be 2000…
    manny offered to switch out originally for 478 then for 620 then everything changed
    we dont have the money but to clear everything and move on we would find the money
    doesnt it make more sense to do the right thing and be done, rather than this disaster the way that it is?
    alan

    On Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 6:26 PM, Alan Prefer wrote:

    This is an email which was sent to the president of Simmons.

    Your customer service has an attitude issue and they dont get it. Have you ever tried to call in and see how your “customers” get manhandled and treated. I am sure that if you got treated the way that they treat customers, you wouldn’t stand for it.

    You took a satisfied return customer and alienated them and in this economy, thats not good for business.

    I was hiumiliated, made to feel like an idiot and told that the mistake was my fault…read this letter

    I will also be sending an email to all the news channels and telling them my story.

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Alan Prefer
    Date: Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 5:44 PM
    Subject: Simmons Issues & Why American Companies Lose in the Market
    To: ceitel@simmons.com, charles.eitel@simmons.com, charles_eitel@simmons.com

    I hope this email gets to you.
    I left you a message on your voice mail as well

    I just got off the phone with Sleepys and Sleepys Customer Service.

    Let me start at the beginning:
    We currently own a Simmons Dalton mattress-great mattress queen sized, puchased 3 years ago approx from Sleepys
    We decided to upgrade to a king…but the same format
    We went into Sleepys on 2/16, my wife’s birthday to get a king on Route 4 W in NJ
    We were undecided between a SpringAir and your Balthazar mattress
    My wife decided to stay with the Simmons and go through Sleepys
    We went back to Sleepys and placed the order taking our budget as far as we could-which we explained to our sales person
    The mattress came in and was very late on Friday evening…about 10:30…I had to bribe our building to get it in
    They set it up and we sat on it…wasnt the same feel as in the store…no padding like sleeping on a rock
    We contacted the store and went there on Sat
    They acknowledged that other people had had the same complaint and they upcharged them to switch
    They said that the bed in the window might have been sat on too much (yeah right) , they had had other complaints on this bed and misrepresentations, told to us by Manny
    After going back and forth, Marcy the Simmons regional rep (908-875-6891) indicated that the mattress had been in the sun too much (????) and that it had been there for a long time and its too bad, not her responsibility.
    Isnt it a mfg rep responsibility to ensure that the places selling her product have good product
    Product which properly respresents what someone will get if they purchase
    Then she said to go look at a different model…that wasnt the same feature set as the Balthazar
    Then we finally cornered her (she REFUSED to come to our home and see the mattress to understand our issues) NO ONE WOULD COME OUT AND SEE THE BED..its hard as a rock and no padding
    Sleepys then said, its too bad, we will do nothing for you…the bed we wanted which we saw subsequently was more money and they decided that they were considering ours a switch out, not a bad mattres and considered it an exchange and were charging more than we could afford. Hugo is a nasty human being.
    We went to 6 stores in 6 nights, ended up fighting between ourselves over what should have been a fun experience
    This isnt the way to run a business or build especially in this economy. The mattress that was represented was not the mattress which we had delivered. The bed and its sitting here and Simmons lost a client and Sleepys lost a sale and a reference.

    Doesn’t any one care any more…..

    At the end of the day, after we found an acceptable mattress and called Manny, he first said it would be 478 more, then called back and said 620 more…THEN said that the company wouldnt stand behind him and it had to be considered a replace and was 1070 more. NOT NICE

  20. I am shopping for a new mattress after 13 years with the same bed. It does seem like a scam and the sales pressure is amazing. They want to make their buck that day. Anyway, I am confused about coil count and coil gauge. After much looking in stores, I found a sealy posturepedic online that has the PostureTech coil system. The coil gauge is 14 and the coil count in 986. I have not seen it in the showrooms. It sounds great, but what does the coil gauge mean? Does the higher coil count matter? I do like a firm bed, but there are now so many firm options. One place is really pushing the Natural Allure that is firm, but a little fluffy on top. It has some kind of bamboo in it and is considered a green bed. I am suspicious! Can anyone help direct the search?

  21. Looking for a new king, esp. since my wife will soon be undergoing back surgery and it’s time to put our 20-y.o. mattress out of its misery. CostCo is offering a Posturepedic [“West Wind Plush”] for $1,300. I like CostCo [no superslick sales person trying to push a particular brand or model because of the greater commission it will bring him] and I think Sealy PostPed has a good performance record…yes? no? Any advice, comments? Thanks.

  22. I shopped at Back-to-Bed and allowed myself to be sold a Tempur-pedic Deluxe bed by a condescending salesperson for too much money when afterwards I realized my cheaper Serta in the guest room with a memory foam,eggshell foam pad on top from HomeGoods worked better for much less money.

    The one scam I did not fall for though was the $3,600 top-of-the-line Temper-pedic bed with a pillowtop. If the whole basis for how the temper-pedic beds work is your body’s heat melds into the memory foam of the bed, then how can it possibly do that if you have pillowtop material present between your body and the memory foam? Your body heat cannot possibly carry through all the way through the pillowtop material and your sheets to get through to the memory foam and then sink in to make an impression of your body to provide you that comfort fit. So you are paying for about a foot thick of memory foam for nothing.

    If I had it to do over, I would have gone with my first instinct and bought the Westin Heavenly Bed off their website. I have always slept incredibly well when sleeping on those beds.

  23. I agree with you about almost everything in this article. The mattress industry is in dire need of a make-over. It’s confusing that they change all of the names, but normally you can just ask for specifications from a salesman, and he can provide you charts, etc.

    The one point that is incorrect however is the mark-up.

    The mark-up for MSRP is about 75%.

    The mark-up of sales prices is about 50%.

    That is very standard through most retail markets.

    @Kate – Tempurpedic beds aren’t for everyone. Most people either love them or they hate them. That’s why there is a 90 day trial for exchange.

  24. All the blame on the mattress industry? Ridiculous as all of you indicate that’s it’s the manufacturers. I work for a manufacturer and the worse thing for a manufacturer is multiple names, covers, and specifications. That trend is totally retail driven by big chains and department stores. They come in with the promise of high sales if they have their own covers and names. It’s purely retail driven because they will keep going to manufacturers with big promises until they find one who will do what they demand.

    Since all of the big “S” brands are publicly owned or owned by financial firms it does not take long for a retailer such as Macy’s to find a company wanting more sales.

    As far as the markups at retail, the wish is for a 45% gross margin which in almost every market is barely profitable after consumers demand negotiation on pricing and delivery and a free frame. It’s ridiculous that the furniture industry has been tainted by the car industry but that’s the result of retailer driving consumers nuts with multiple product lines.

    For the record, manufacturers work on a much lower gross margin where a matter of a few dollars can make or break profits on a product.

  25. When you shop for mattress, you should lay on the mattress for at least 10 mins and you should tell the sales person to go away. Also, make sure you tell the sales person whether you sleep on side or on your back, this will determine what type of mattress is best for you.

  26. Good advice for the most part. Some people will need a “caring” salesperson to stay, others will need to send them away. You should spend at least 10 minutes on the mattress you feel is right and you should lay in all sleeping positions for at least two minutes to see how your body will respond to that particular product.

    There are good and bad people in the mattress business, just like any other business. The real key is finding people you feel comfortable doing business with and then not “over analyzing” it. Trust your instincts and relax. Goldilocks did it under much more pressure and found one that was “just right.”

  27. This is so true. I’m currently needing a mattress and after a weekend of frustration I’ve concluded exactly what you have. Different names so you can’t compare, huge markups, phony sales.

    This industry needs its version of the Knapp Commission, or Nap Commission as it were.

  28. We’ve been looking for a mattress for the past week, and it has been one of the hardest and somewhat confusing ordeals we’ve ever been in. But with all my research, by now, I almost feel like a mattress expert, ha!

    It’s true that the Manufacturers give different ‘personal names’ to different models for every store. You will not find the same model with the same name at any store. This is done to avoid price cuts and that ‘price matching’ gimmick (because it’ll be impossible to find a perfect match). Once you figure that out, just forget about the darn name. All you need to comparison shop (for real!) is make, model, series name, firmness, top, and price. For example:

    Make: Sealy
    Model: Posturepedic
    Series name: Reserve
    Firmness: Cushion Firm
    Top: regular

    After been ‘jumped’ by all those pushy sales people at different stores, I decided to look online and see what prices/deals I could find there. Now before I tell you more about that, I’d like to voice out my complaint and aggravation for all those sales people out there who know mostly NOTHING about the models at their stores (or mattresses in general for that matter). I found that so angering. They talked like they knew about the stuff, when really I knew a thousand times more than they did just by the research I’d done in a few days. I mean, they must really think everyone’s an idiot. I even had to correct many of them in the stupid and WRONG things they said about the mattresses. It was just beyond me that a store would have sales people who didn’t know anything about what they sold. Arghh… That said, my search online yielded awesome results. I found several websites with he mattress I’m interested in and their different prices, deals, etc. Hands down the best one I found was http://www.us-mattress.com. The prices are unbeatable. Period. I mean seriously $300 and more BELOW retailers prices AND FREE SHIPPING AND WHITE GLOVE SERVICE. Their website only posts prices for mattress sets, but if you call their 800 customer service # you can order mattress only (which of course costs less). We’re ordering ours tomorrow via phone, and I can’t wait! What a deal! Good luck to all you mattress seekers! 🙂

  29. You know what, I’m not interested in mattresses and have no intention of buying another one any time soon yet I just read that entire post without realizing it. It was actually interesting and I don’t know why. Nice writing and a great story.

  30. This blog post is about my personal experiences buying a mattress and for others to share their experiences and tips.

    If you’re looking to use this page to try to get free advertising, go elsewhere.

  31. My hubby and I are going thru a similiar nightmare. We bought a bed from sleep train and in two years the left side is collapsing. There is a tiny water stain on the mattress barely visible to the naked eye, and they want to renig on the warranty using that loop hole! We just purchased our boys two new mattresses for their bunk beds a twin and a full and if they don’t guarentee their warranty, I am getting my money back with their 90 day no questions asked, return policy. Then I will take it to Costco or someone else! Any suggestions??

  32. We are sizing down from our king (which has been so comfortable for 10 years now) to a double and after reading this article I feel no matter what I pay or reviews I read I might not be happy.
    My brother lives in Costa Rica and they all use Euro beds over there. I had the best nights sleep there, still not sure what a Euro mattress is? I’ve seen a few in the US for sale but they are really pricey!
    Thanks for the article, now I know what to do when I go shopping this weekend.

  33. I feel your pain people. For the Upset Sleep Train customer I am surprised by this. That is a very good group of people that typically takes great care of their customers. I work in the industry and know their CEO and he is really a stand up guy. If you have any further issues, you might want to reach out to him directly. You can reach me at @joplinquinn on twitter if you need more help I can try for you.

  34. I work in the mattress industry and I completely understand your problems with the names changing from store-to-store.

    I also get your complaint about the “pushy” salespeople. However, customers need to understand that salespeople are people first and their professions second. They do their jobs to support their lives.

    Many times salespeople will become “pushy” when you give the buying signal that you like the mattress.

    The reason for this is that if you’ve just had the salesperson cater to your beckon call for 45 minutes to an hour just to leave and “think about it” when really you’re leaving to price shop other stores means that you as a customer didn’t appreciate the salesperson’s efforts in helping you find the mattress you liked and you as a customer don’t feel that the salesperson should be paid for their time and service.

    What then happens is the customers go to several other stores and then “give-up” and buy a bed from someone that probably didn’t spend much time with them and gave them a deal that will probably result in them getting fired for discounting entirely too much.

    I sell mattresses, and work on commission. You know how much commission I make off of a full retail non-discounted $3,000 dollar mattress–only $97.43.

    You know how often people buy mattresses at that price–about 4 times a month in my market. So that’s less than $400 in a month on high priced mattresses.

    You know how much work goes into selling a $3,000 mattress–a lot. Because many times customers who are “just looking” or “just started” refuse to listen to salespeople when they explain to them that model names are different from store to store.

    So the best advice is buy from the salesperson that is nice and spent the time with you to find the mattress you liked … not to go to 10 different stores and frustrate yourself. Once you find a bed you liked in your price point just save yourself the trouble and go for it.

  35. I own a mattress store.

    WAIT! Don’t shoot me yet!

    Pretty much everything I’ve read on this blog is painfully true. But don’t hold it against all vendors…there ARE some good guys out there.

    In Southern California almost EVERYONE says that they’ll beat EVERYONE’S price…How is that possible? Bottom line is that it isn’t possible…Unless…

    Everyone carries a line of mattresses that are private labeled especially for them. Go to a big store…say Sears Or Jc Pennys….write down the name of every single bed in the store…now go to ANY other store and try to find the same bed. You CAN’T. So in other words Sears says “We’ll have the lowest price guaranteed or double the difference +10% on the Shiloh PT.” They are the ONLY store that HAS the Shiloh PT.

    Does that whole thing suck? YES IT DOES! Is it legal…YES IT IS! Do I do it? NO I DON’T!

    It’s legal…but it’s CRAP. It is the most disingenuous bit of business I’ve ever seen.

    The original poster was right….with many name brands you can simply look for the line of bed and then the feel. For example The Simmons Beautyrest Classic Hanson Bay Firm is the same bed as the Simmons Beautyrest Classic Lorena Firm. You can find the line (Classic) and the feel (Firm) and that will go along way. You must remember though that there are several firms in the Classic line…there are a couple different levels even within the line so be a bit careful.

    If you ever have a question about mattresses…buying…brands….scams… or anything else don’t hesitate to ask me…I’ll give you my HONEST OPINION!

    Bruce Burnett
    Owner
    Dreamland Discount Mattress
    1007 N. Azusa Ave. Covina CA 91722
    dreamlanddiscountmattress@gmail.com

  36. And by the way…as to the post from Amber…I am HAPPY to spend as much time as you need to buy a mattress. I am an owner and NOT on commission. My sales guys are on SALARY and NOT commission. They’ll spend as much time speaking to a customer about the least expensive mattress we carry as when talking about the most expensive….

    Bruce Burnett
    Owner
    Dreamland Discount Mattress
    1007 N. Azusa Ave. Covina CA 91722
    dreamlanddiscountmattress@gmail.com

  37. These posts read exactly like my experiences, Ditto on the mattress industry being a giant scam. It seems that it will only get worse, here is what I found from newspaper articles and Wikipedia. Serta is only a brand name, the beds are actually made by 8 independent companies. (neatly explains why some Serta’s suck and others get rave reviews). The Serta “brand” is owned by Ares and The Teachers Pension Plan(TPP) under the name National Bedding Company, (the largest licensee)and who manages the Serta brand . Here is the funny part, On Sept 25 2009 Simmons filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Ares and Teachers pension bought them. Yes, Serta and Simmons are owned by the same company. The public is being told they will remain competitive companies but anyone with half a brain would realize this is impossible.

    Two good links for further info on buying a mattress are http://www.mattressscam.com/ and http://www.sleeplikethedead.com

  38. Consumers Report recently suggested spending 10-15 minutes on the mattresses of your choice cuts down comfort exchanges by 80%. That’s huge and well worth the time.

    I, too, own a mattress store in Canada and feel your frustration. Is it the industry or is it the consumer?? BOTH! When I advertise a sale, no matter how good the price is (and I KNOW it’s a good price because I shop my competition on COMPARABLE beds) I am ALWAYS asked “what was the original price?”

    As for Euro beds. Yes, they are pricey, but you definitely get what you pay for. Imagine buying a bed today and having it for life!! That means never having to go through the mattress buying nightmare you’re all hating! I suggest Carpe Diem, a handmade, natural bed from Sweden. It has beat out Hastens in Sweden for the past few years but priced considerably lower! It has 3 different layers of coils and is a engineering feat, conforming beautifully to the body.

    Good luck in your quest for a good night’s sleep.

  39. Buyers beware of Sleepy’s. Their salespersons will say whatever you want to hear to make a sale. Their Prices are inflated so that they can then lower them to make you think you’re getting a good bargain. Look at their Prices and you can rest assured they will come down by about 20% by the time you’re ready to walk out the door. I wish I had walked.
    What they fail to tell you is this: If you have a problem with your Mattress, you can forget about dealing with your salesperson. Your salesperson will have nothing to do with you! Instead you’re given a 1-800 number to call where you will deal with a faceless person who doesn’t know you from a hole in the wall. They’re quick to recite the company policy to you and if you have a problem you’re just out of luck. Even if you want to upgrade to a more expensive mattress, you’ll still have to pay a fee of $149 for a twin, $249 for a queen, and $399 for a king in order to exchange.
    I recently bought a mattress advertised as a plush, (after the salesperson said that the one I was thinking of buying was not as well made as the one convined me to buy) but it turned out hard as a rock. My last mattress was a $1200 Sealy Plush and was never rock hard, even when it was brand new, so I know what I’m talking about. This mattress had “no give” whatsoever and I am convinced it was a mislabeled Firm. I asked to upgrade it to a more expensive plush version, one that would have cost me an additional $500 and I could still keep the same box spring, since it would match the upgrade. I asked if I kept the same boxspring and just exchanged the mattress would they still charge me the $249? and they said “Yes, it’s a flat Fee”. Needless to say, I cancelled two other mattress sets I had on deposit with Sleepy’s and sold my new mattress online. I lost $150 + taxes, but would have lost $250 plus pay another $500 for the upgrade with them. Now I can go buy my mattress sets elsewhere. They lost me as a customer and lost the sale of two other mattress sets in the process.
    I understand the fees, but if you’re exchanging only one piece, why would you have to pay the full $249? Another thing I don’t like, is how they change foams and rename mattresses so that customers cannot comparison shop. This is how they can “Guarantee” lowest prices…they know you won’t find “their” mattress anywhere else! I am currently looking for a new mattress, but will make sure I deal with a store that won’t charge such a high exchange fee and where you will deal directly with a live human being.

  40. One major element of the mattress scam which is overlooked by a lot of people is that A GOOD MATTRESS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THAT THICK!!!

    One of the reasons these cheats are able to get away charging such outrageous amounts for mattresses is that the manufacturers make mattresses sometimes approaching 2 feet thick… this gives the impression that you’ll get greater comfort! NOT SO. This is an integral part of the scam.

  41. MATTRESS WAREHOUSE GIVE THE BEST DEALS…if you buy one online I hope that you can test it out with telepathy..

    The best way to shop a mattress is to go to a store that sells each line from the best to the cheapest of the big brand names. If you buy an off brand, basically it is going to be a piece of dung even if it is at Sleepy’s. One thing I found out is that all generic brands are made cheaply in China…or most of the components are ( I have a friend that is an importer).

    so..buy brand names, look at a store that has all off the lines from best to worst…and most importantly

    DONT BE AN IDIOT…at least you can shop mattresses…and qualities….

    not like the Cell phone oligopoly. do you want owen wilson or the hear me now guy who both have PRICE FIXES

  42. Hello,

    I have worked in the mattress industry for 4 years now. We tell every single person that comes in how to compare products and guarentee the lowest price on any “comparable” product, meaning that it does not need to be the exact same model. We even have a competitor reference system that has any pricematch ran in the past 100 days listed so that we can ensure the lowest prices.

    When shopping the internet, always go to the About Us section. 90% of these sites are selling you a refurbished mattress that was likely obtained illegally and will not be covered under a Manufacturer’s Warranty. They can get away with this by selling a few new ones and hiding the small print in this section.

    The internet site may say that they will give the warranty on the product, but who is to say they will be around when you need it.

    All you have to do to make mattress shopping easy, even enjoyable, is to go into a store with a nice salesperson, try the mattresses out, find your favorite and tell the salesperson what you will buy it for. Nine times out of 10 you will get what you want and save yourself time and energy.

    -Happy Sleeping

  43. Nothing really new about this tactic. Walmart does the exact same thing… They offer to match local competitors prices for the same products… Turns out that Walmart gets most of it stuff from manufacturers with exclusive “model numbers”. It’s the exact same product but with a Walmart-only model number, so they don’t have to honor most of the price matching claims while still advertising. But it’s not just Walmart, many places do the same thing.

  44. Mattress warranties are about as worthless as shingle warranties.

    I was told the bed has to have an 8″ dip seen when a flat board is placed over the top of it. Even our 20 year old bed that had no support left did not have an 8″ dip when no one was on it.

    And imo, the biggest struggle with buying beds is, the bed that feels nice and soft is not the bed that will make you wake up feeling the most refreshed. Our bed felt very firm when we got it, but I knew that firmness would translate to a good night sleep. We went with the stearns and foster firm pillowtop with memory foam. It was about 1200 bucks for mattress and box spring.

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