What Is A Good Night Of Sleep Worth?

The National Institutes of Health estimates that 33% of Americans get fewer than 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Their sleep research also suggests that as many as 5,000 car accidents a year may be related to drowsy drivers. Research has shown that good sleep is important for healthy brain function and emotional well-being, the former influencing one’s ability to make decisions or solve problems, and the latter leading to mood swings, and lack of motivation.

With so much riding on good sleep, why are people so focused on price when shopping for a mattress? Why is the value of sleep not considered for 3, or even 5 years?

“What is your cheapest queen set?”

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this from a guest, I would have retired a long time ago. Other than a mattress, is there ANY product where somone would shop exclusively for the cheapest? Even in my most desperate times, I still looked for value. Maybe it was the influence of my parents, who were both raised on farms during the depression. They taught me that every penny had value, and to save and spend them wisely. Buying the cheapest of anything often meant replacing it much more frequently. This is especially true if you consider durable goods like appliances, clothing, furniture, cars, and especially mattresses.  I learned this lesson several times the hard way in my youth.

So what should you pay for a quality mattress?

Well first, you are shopping for SLEEP, not a mattress. When you think in these terms, you are far more likely to make the right choice. Let’s consider the cost of various things you spend money for over the span of 5 years.

Coffee  – per day $2.10, per year $766.10, 5 years $3831

Mobile Phone – $3.00, $1080, 5 years $5400

TV/Internet/phone – $4.43, $1596, 5 years $7980

Fast food breakfast – $4.33, $1580, 5 years $7900

Average night in hotel – $120, 15 nights per year $1,800, 5 years $9,000

Chiropractor visit – $75, once per week for a year $3900, 5 years $19,500

Before I start getting nasty comments, I am not suggesting you spend $20,000 for a new mattress. However, there are people visiting multiple mattress stores who believe that they can get a quality queen mattress set for less than $200. These same people will not think twice about dropping $2 on a cup of coffee every day. In fact, I once watched a guest walk from a Starbucks, latte in hand, and ask that very same question!

Let’s take a look at how an average mattress compares to the above numbers.

Average queen mattress set @ $1500 – per night for 5 years – $0.83

The comfort life of a high quality mattress may be closer to 8 years. A Tempur-Pedic mattress may extend the comfort life more than 10 years. An average Tempur-Pedic at $4000 is only $1.04 a night over 10 years. What would be the value of not tossing and turning, being aligned correctly without pressure or pain for 7-8 hours every night be worth to you? Even adding an adjustable base, which will make every mattress and sleep experience better, only raises it to just under $2 per night over ten years! That is the same cost as your daily Starbucks run.

Woman Asleep With Book

What Is A Good Night Of Sleep Worth To You?

A mattress is not a commodity purchase, where you shop for the cheapest. The primary mission should never be the find the cheapest of anything. You could shop for the best VALUE, if brands are truly comparable, but even that is a rare thing.

Nothing is more important to your health, your mental, spiritual, and physical well-being, than 7-8 hours of quality sleep. Diet and hydration are critical, but healthy sleep will improve your life in multiple ways.

Before shopping for sleep, set a realistic budget. Going out on a mission to spend less than $500 on a king mattress set will leave you frustrated at worst, and with many sleepless nights on a mattress ill-fitted to your needs at best. A $1 per night is very reasonable number for quality sleep. Even if the comfort life is just 5 years, that equals $1825. A higher quality mattress, say a properly fitted Tempur-Pedic, may offer a comfort life well past that 5 year window. And you can certainly find plenty of options for a lot less.

Make sure a salesperson fits you properly – checking your alignment and pressure in your sleeping position. Also, and this is critical, make sure you have the option to exchange after a short trial. The mattress may feel wonderful after 15 minutes. And it may also be a nightmare after 8 hours a night for 30 nights.

Two adults, with an average combined weight of 250 lbs, need adequate support. This is not possible at the lower price points. They also need sufficient pressure relieving materials, especially if they sleep on their side. And if either sleeps hot, is prone to restless nights, their needs may alter the available options. Less expensive products will of course have lower quality materials, and obviously less of everything. That $500 mattress may seem like a great “deal” today, but not so much when you have to replace it every other year, or visit the chiropractor more frequently.

If you cannot sleep comfortably on a mattress, whether you paid $500 or $5000, you wasted your money.

Thanks for visiting!

Image: nenetus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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