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.






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