Our First Time Shopping For A Mattress: What We Learned

Believe it or not, the mattress we just purchased for our guest bedroom is the first one either of us have ever really “shopped” for in the traditional sense. Everything before was a hand-me-down from family or purchased for cheap from Goodwill (that’s actually where we got the two daybed mattresses, which were bought pre-bed bugs days – although they did claim to sanitize them before reselling ’em). Oh and of course there’s our organic mattress, which we bought online (amazingly enough, they helped us find the perfect “fit” without having to be there to test things out). So admittedly the task of in-person bed-shopping was a bit daunting at first.

We wanted to do lots of research so we could make the “best” purchase, but time didn’t really allow for weeks of pavement pounding. So we decided to go easy on ourselves and do enough to feel like we were making a smart decision without going overboard (after all, it’s not like this will be anyone’s full-time mattress). Plus, a bunch of you had already weighed in when we mentioned our bed hunt on this post, so we already had some good starting points.

Ultimately we ended up buying the new guest bedroom bed at The Original Mattress Factory. They weren’t even on our radar until my mom sent me a Consumer Reports article that put them in 2nd place, right under Tempur-Pedic. We decided pretty quickly that we wanted an innerspring mattress instead of something from Tempur-Pedic since we read a bunch of articles about how memory foam can be polarizing (it’s too hot for some people, and only comfortable for around half of the people who try it- and since this bed should be a basic crowd pleasing model that hopefully appeals to the masses, we decided to keep things classic, which is how we landed on the whole innerspring mattress + boxspring configuration). So after eliminating Tempur-Predic and identifying The Original Mattress Factory as the first place we should check out, I remembered there was a store located just a couple of miles from us. Score.

Pretty much as soon as we walked into the door they won us over with how straightforward the process was. As Sherry (or Jerry McGuire) would say, they had us at hello. The three things that wowed us right off the bat were:

1. They only carry one brand, their own, and all mattresses are locally made right there at that precise location (which is actually a mattress factory, hence the name).

2. They display cross-sections of all of their mattresses (and several of their competitors) so you can see exactly what you’re dealing with and compare materials, wire strength, filler thicknesses, etc.

3. They never offer sales or promotions (making their own mattresses locally and then selling them directly to people means they’ve essentially cut out the middle man, so they don’t play pricing games and don’t need to add in any markups). It was nice to know that we didn’t have to wonder if a better deal was a day or two around the corner since their prices are always consistent. Which was refreshing since Sherry noticed that a bunch of fliers put out by other mattress companies were playing serious mind games and saying that things were available for a “limited-time-only” at “rock-bottom prices” when their mailers would come out every week saying the same thing (with big dramatic slashes through the numbers which seemed to just be puffed up to be marked down).

But although they wooed us to no end with their straightforward approach, we still didn’t purchase anything on the spot. Instead, we checked out a couple of other discount mattress stores (plus Ikea) and our other experiences were pretty much the polar opposite. Understanding the various brands & models while attempting to decipher which promotions/sales applied to which mattress sets was actually really confusing, so we left every other store before even laying down on anything (although we did sit on a few Ikea models but quickly learned they couldn’t be delivered in time and were actually more expensive than the one we liked at The Original Mattress Factory, which was ranked higher by a few independent sources). So after some less than stellar shopping experiences at other stores, and finding this article in favor of The Original Mattress Factory and their A+ Better Business Bureau rating, we were finally 100% sold.

The next night we went back to TOMF and bought a full-sized Classic Luxury Firm mattress set for $379 (this price included the box spring). It wasn’t the base model (we wanted something with a little extra cushion for our guests) but of course it wasn’t one of those top of the line amazing pillow topper mattresses either (because we’re not independently wealthy enough to hook our guests up like that- hah). Once the frame ($50), delivery($38), and tax ($21) were added into the mix, our grand total was $488 – coming in just under the $500 limit that we saved up for before embarking on our crazy mattress hunting journey. And thank goodness for quality control. Here’s Burger testing things out. Thankfully he seems pretty comfortable.

Oh, and we went for the full sized mattress because it fits best in that room and means we don’t have to rebuy all of the bedding that we already own (plus we already have a full sized headboard). And since the bulk of our friends and family members have full sized beds in their own guest bedrooms, we figure it’s what they’ll expect to see in ours. Maybe they’ll even be extra enamored by the brand-spankin-newness of this guy. That is, if we can toss the rest of the room together in two short days to make it feel less like a mattress party of one (and more like an actual bedroom).

Here’s hoping. Better get cracking…

Psst- We’re giving away our favorite video camera ever over on BabyCenter today. It’s a Flip Ultra HD valued at $199 (which is what we use to make all of our videos, like the super exciting cutting in vid from yesterday). Plus there’s a new Clara video over there to enjoy, and it involves a tambourine. I know, it’s exciting. Click here to enter.


  1. says

    Oh mattress buying, so fun yet such a pain! Different stores carry different “lines” by the same brand, so you can never really compare! We’re looking for a king (we keep putting it off) and I would LOVE to go the organic route but the price scares the bejesus out of me. 3 cats + husband + me in the bed= need for king!

    Question, I thought that your organic mattress is a material similiar to a tempur-pedic, or maybe I just assumed that because of the lack of springs, but does yours get hot? We looked into a tempur-pedic years ago and the sales guy said pretty much what you said, that so many people end up hating them. So many decisions!

    • says

      Our organic mattress is made of 100% natural tree rubber, but it’s aerated with a bunch of tiny holes so it doesn’t feel hot to us at all. I think it’s because natural rubber and those holes breathe a bit more than something manufactured (which tends to be denser)? Maybe? I dunno. Mattresses still confuse the heck outta us. Haha.


    • RC says

      I love our Tempurpedic bed! We’ve owned ours for 5 years and we still love it. I can’t stand bouncy and noisy innerspring mattresses where I feel my husband’s every movement – when we are sleeping on different beds on vacation we are so happy to come home to our Tempurpedic.

    • Tia says

      We bought the Costco version of tempurpedic, and we returned it after 2 weeks because we were both so sweaty. I’m NEVER hot when I sleep, so that tells you how warm it was! Costco has a great return policy though, so we were able to get a different one from them.

  2. says

    That place made me sad when it first opened – it always had an empty parking lot and I thought it would close tout de suite, but ever since they put up the sign saying ‘open to the public’ with the HUGE arrow to the building, looks like business has picked up.

    I assumed it was a factory, not a store, until that billboard. We’re almost in the market for a king-sized mattress, and this will be the first place we shop thanks to this post! Thanks YHL! :)

  3. says

    we have purchased twin mattresses at The Original Mattress Factory (TOMF), and were very impressed by the low-key sales approach and good quality product.

    When we were buying our first twin mattress for our preschooler, the salesman actually recommended a *less expensive mattress* than we had originally been considering, given the size and weight of the little guy we were buying it for! It was perfect–by the time he was bigger, our daughter got the first mattress, and we purchased a better mattress (also from TOMF) for our oldest. Now that she is older, she got another new mattress from TOMF, and the first mattress is on her second twin bed, perfect for sleepovers!

  4. says

    Sherry McGuire – I love it! It’s nice to know that other folks have felt semi-intimidated by the mattress purchasing racket. Although we aren’t in the market for a new one right now, I checked out their website and they have quite a few stores in our neighbor state. We’ll definitely have to check them out when the time comes. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the room comes together!

  5. says

    This was our first year of buying a new bed, too. We always had hand-me-down mattresses, which was good for the wallet but not so much for my back. A few months ago, we splurged and bought a Tempur-Pedic. I love it. I do sleep “hotter”, but I have adjusted by using less blankets and such. : )

    BTW, your paint color looks a-MAZ-ing!

  6. says

    I put a full size in my guest room, too. I don’t think a bigger one is needed. When I bought mine, I told them it wasn’t a sale unless the frame and delivery was free. After a quick, “Let me talk to my manager” (blah blah blah), the deal was made! Score!

    • Bethany says

      Did you buy a bed from TOMF or somewhere else? I was wondering if they could throw anything in since they don’t do sales…

    • says

      Not from TOMF. I just shopped around, compared prices, got what I like where I felt most comfortable. I didn’t pay for frame or delivery on my queen sized bed as well. Wasn’t advertised to be free or as part of their sales pitch, but they will do it if it helps make a sale!

      Always bargain!!

  7. Emily says

    I’m going to need to buy a new mattress soon. There are two things I hate buying, cars and mattresses. It seems like such a racket. There is way too much wheeling and dealing. I just want to be told the price! I looked – and sadly they don’t sell mattresses anywhere near MA. They look like a great company.

    • Laura says

      After researching the heck out of mattresses for months, I finally decided to order two mattresses from TOMF but then was disappointed there wasn’t a dealer in my area. Then I emailed the company and they hooked me up with the closest dealer (12 hours away), and they arranged to have the mattress shipped by a carrier (I had to pay that cost, but was worth it considering the low cost of the mattress). I only ordered mattresses w/o box springs (which saves on shipping but the main reason is that I’m going to put the mattresses on a metal platform bed frame (which is much taller than an regular bed frame giving me lots of room to store things under the bed.) Good luck!

  8. Kerri says

    perfect info for those in need of a mattress!

    we’re moving into a new home and i’ll FINALLY have a guest room to decorate… couldn’t be more excited!

  9. says

    Wow! That’s an awesome deal! We are long overdue for a new mattress, but my husband doesn’t want to buy a new one until we move. Definitely going to check to see if there’s a Mattress Factory in our area!

  10. says

    can i just tell you how thrilled i am that you chose this color? we just painted our guest bedroom the exact same color! it’s not decorated yet, so i’ll be eagerly looking forward to seeing how you two put the finishing touches on. awesome.

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