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Bed Buying Tips

How You Can EASILY Find The Right Mattress For Your Needs

Shopping for a mattress can be a HEAD-ACHE to some people & my 33 years in the mattress business has given me some VALUABLE TIPS that I would like to shre with you.

The main piece of advice I offer to my clients is to buy what feels good & sounds reasonable to you.

After all it’s YOUR bed! (and your money!) With that said here are some pointers:

Before you decide on what mattress you need.

1)Realistically look at your budget. It sounds basic but it’s true. Spend as much as you can justify reasonably. Don’t go in hock just to buy the bed some celebrity says is great. If you’re staying awake worried about paying for it no mattress can feel good. On the other hand don’t go cheap here either. Your mother said that good shoes were a must, well so is a good mattress. Remember you spend a third of your life on it, no wonder they don’t last but 8 to 10 years at best.

2) That’s the next thing: how old is your present bed. 8 to 10 years is the expected (ideal) lifespan of a good mattress (a great one too!). Nothing lasts forever and I know; your Mom had a mattress that she kept for 20 years or more BUT should she have kept it that long. Most likely not. A mattress can lose its support and still look O.K. Some experts are starting to say 6 to 8 years.

3) Look for quality. Quality is not the same a cost. High cost does not always equal high quality. Quality is what the manufacturer says it is. In reality no one knows what’s really in there but them. If they are willing to put at least a 10 year FULL warranty on it then it should be fine for the life of the mattress (8 to 10 years). Coil count helps but is not the last word. You can have a very good mattress with a 312 coil count but you can have a poor one with a 660 coil count (granted a poor 660 is not that likely).

4) Read the fine print on warranties! No really I’m not joking! Specifically how much “body impression” (sagging) is allowed? Years ago 1 inch was all the industry allowed but today the “norm” is 2 inches. Some of our mattresses only allow 1 to ¾ of an inch. That’s a very small “dip” for a very good warranty. This time the fine print was good for you.

5) Pillow tops get their own listing. Just because a mattress has a pillow top on it (the extra padding that looks like it’s added as an after thought) does not make it good or bad. It just means the manufacturer wants to show off the extra padding. Like white wall tires. Pillow tops will compress and show “body imprisoning” (dips) with use. This is not a bad thing. It just means that your bed is conforming some to your body. It may look bad but it’s not a sign of a bad mattress. Just remember you are paying more for that mattress. It takes a skilled person to sew that extra padding on there.

6) Try it out. Lay down. Relax. Bring your own pillow even! Your first impressions are often your best. Take your time. It’s your bed.

7) Be wary of “trial periods” on a mattress and the companies that offer them. In the state of Virginia it is illegal to remove a mattress from a residence and sell it a new. All used mattresses should be sterilized and then they have a bright yellow tag that says it’s used and sterilized. If a company will take back your mattress then where does it go? Just be cautious someone’s “trial” mattress could end up in your house passed off as new.

8) Get as large of a bed as is comfortable in your room. If you feel crowded you can’t relax. For two people a queen is considered minimum, king is even better. Keep in mind that two people on a full size gives each one the width of a crib mattress.

9)See # 6 once more! Take your time. Then try it again. Your mood, hunger level, time of day and a million other things can affect your decision making process. Hey, you can even bring your favorite pillow!

Once you’ve decided you need a new mattress consider these things too…

1) Look under your bed! Beyond the dust bunnies and the boxes of stuff you forgot you had look at the bottom of your box springs or foundation. If it’s a Queen or King it needs some legs down there. One or two in the center will do but of course more is better! Are any of the supports sagging or bent or missing? This is the time to fix any questionable stuff.

2) How thick is your present mattress and box springs? Do you want to get a ladder to get into bed or would a step stool work? If the mattress you’re looking at is thicker than your old one is (and most are) you may want to consider a thinner box springs / foundation. Standard for today’s beds is around 9 inches but 5 and 2 inch thickness oar available.

3) That brings us to sheets. Thicker mattresses MAY need a “deep pocket’ or “high profile” sheet. But it may not. Look your sheets over.

4) How big are your halls and doorways? If your had a full mattress set that barely fit up the stairs or around that U-turn you may want to consider a “split” or two piece box springs / foundation for your queen (kings always come that way). It may be the only way to get it in the room.

Ernest Shaver



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