How To Be A Good Mattress Customer

Before You Go Mattress Shopping – Read This List

1. Don’t Be Afraid Of A GOOD Salesperson. – Do you wave off the salesperson the minute you walk in a store? Remember, if you only shop for a mattress once every 10 years, a GOOD salesperson will provide you knowledge and guide you through the selection process. Customers usually add a “just shopping” as a preemptive attack on the salesperson. Remember, a GOOD salesperson will not trick you or force you to buy something. They are experts at what makes each mattress different and finding the correct one for you. If you plan on just walking around the store and looking at prices you are wasting your and their time. Prices are meaningless if you don’t know what’s inside or how they feel compared to each other. Don’t be afraid to let the salesperson help you. If they are a GOOD salesperson, the help will be well worth it.

2. Do not talk on your mobile phone in the store. – It is a place of business and that is extremely rude. Turn off your phone and focus on trying mattresses. If you must take the call, step outside if it will be a lengthy conversation. BTW – Nobody is that important anyway.

Always lie on a mattress the way you sleep.

3. Don’t show up at closing time unless you are ready to purchase that night. – Many salespeople will put in 11-12 hours straight at their store. By closing time they are ready to leave. They have lives and families too. A GOOD salesperson will stay if you are ready to buy and help you find the right solution. Some people think that at closing time you will get a better deal. More times than not its the opposite. Treat the salesperson with respect if you want respect. Again, the store is open all day, don’t wait until closing time to show up. Allocate enough time – at least 30-45 minutes to try out mattresses.

4. Don’t make lunch plans or movie plans around a mattress purchase. – The last thing you want to do is make a hasty decision. Allocate plenty of time to test mattresses and try different brands. If you feel rushed, you will make a poor decision. It can be a quick process, but probably shouldn’t be too quick.

5. Leave the kids at home. – Kids can be quite a distraction. Unless you are shopping for the kids, if possible, find someone to watch them. If you are constantly chasing kids or breaking up fights, you will not be focused on the most important, life-changing decision that can improve your health and quality of life. Also, kids going wild in a mattress shop is a recipe for an accident. Although its a relatively safe environment, there are sharp edges and long drops to the floor if children start jumping on or between mattresses. This also places the salesperson in a very awkward position of having to look out for the safety of the kids and potential liability of the store.

6. Bring Everyone Who Will Sleep On The Mattress. – I have seen this happen thousands of times. One spouse comes in and tries mattresses claiming that the other spouse does not care. When their partner arrives, strangely they do care about something – comfort, price, brand etc. It is so much easier for a GOOD salesperson to find the right solution when both partners are together. There are critical questions that need to be answered and confirmed about sleep position and quality of sleep. These are best answered and resolved when partners are in the store together.

7. Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen. – Do not bring your entire extended family, friends and neighbors. It doesn’t matter anyway what Cousin Eddie or Aunt Selma or your neighbors’ best friend sleeps on. What is important is what works for your body type, weight, preference and sleep position. Having too many people can be distracting for both you and the salesperson. Both the salesperson and you need to focus all attention on finding the right mattress FOR YOU.

8. Resident Experts – It is perfectly fine for you to do some homework online. A good salesperson will appreciate your knowledge. But keep in mind a GOOD salesperson does this every day, whereas you do it maybe once every 10 years. Take advantage of the expertise, knowledge and experience a GOOD salesperson brings to the table.

Keep in mind there is a lot of very bad information online and manufacturer sales copy is basically useless. You must be careful about online opinions as well because these are generally posted by the angriest of people. Most people who are happy with their mattress purchase don’t create websites or post opinions to let everyone know how wonderful they sleep at night.

9. Don’t “Punch” Mattresses – The first time I saw this I started laughing. Customers come in and press their fist into the mattress. This tells you NOTHING about a mattress. And let’s face it, nobody sleeps on their fists. You need to lie down on the mattress the way you sleep at home.

Also, sitting on a mattress and/or lying horizontally across the mattress is not the way to test either. First, that is most likely not the way you sleep. Second, many mattresses have zoned areas that run across the mattress. If you are lying in the zoned area, you will get a false sense of how that mattress will feel when you lie on it correctly.

Once you have narrowed down your comfort choices to one or two, lie on each mattress in your natural sleep position at least 10 minutes. You will get a pretty good idea if it is the right combination of comfort and support for your body shape, weight and sleep position after 10 minutes.

10. Dress Appropriately – If you feel uncomfortable lying down in front of a stranger in a skirt, by all means wear pants or shorts. Most GOOD salespeople will position themselves in a way that will avoid making you feel uncomfortable. But it is absolutely imperative that you lie on a mattress the way you sleep. Dress in such a way that you can comfortably try a mattresses without feeling awkward or self-conscious.

11. Bring Your Pillow – If you have a favorite pillow and cannot sleep without it, bring it with you. The key is finding the right mattress based on comfort. The way your neck is supported plays a big part in your sleep comfort.

12. Know Your Budget – If you have a limited budget, don’t be afraid to share that with a GOOD salesperson. A GOOD salesperson will do their best to meet your needs within your budget constraints. Factor in things like delivery, tax, frame, pillows, mattress protectors etc into your budget. These are usually add-ons. Your budget should be realistic. If you only have $100 to spend on a queen set, you are wasting your time. If that is truly the limit, you might be better off buying an inexpensive air mattress, or shopping for a used mattress and saving up until you can afford a better quality mattress set.

13. If You Want Honesty And Respect, Give It. – I have been amazed how much arrogance and dishonesty I have received while in a store. Just because someone works in a mattress store does not mean they are some ignorant person to be treated with contempt. There are many reasons why someone chooses to work at a mattress store. Maybe they were laid off, 2nd career, divorce, or just liked having the time to read. Many GOOD salespeople I have met have college degrees and are very intelligent and professional. Treat them the way you like to be treated and you will be amazed at how pleasant the buying experience will be.

But if you are patronizing, or even worse lying to salespeople, you will most likely see much of the same in return. Salespeople talk to each other via email and phone constantly. If you are visiting multiple stores, especially of the same chain, more than likely your shenanigans will be familiar to everyone and you will be less likely to get the level of expertise, patience and service you require.

Remember the Golden Rule: Treat them the way you want to be treated.

14. Reward A GOOD Salesperson. – If you do find a GOOD salesperson that has educated you and found the right the solution for you, don’t go purchase at another location. The vast majority of mattress salespeople are paid by commission. Even if you buy from the same chain or even the same store, if a different salesperson is there, they may make the commission and the original GOOD salesperson makes nothing. If you must shop around, find out when/where the GOOD salesperson will work again.

If you find a comparable bed for less, by all means bring that information back to your original store and a GOOD mattress salesperson will match or beat it every time depending on policy and circumstances.

If you enjoyed the buying experience, tell your friends and neighbors about the GOOD salesperson and refer them back to them. That is the best way you can reward a GOOD salesperson.

15. Know the facts. – Know what size you need and also the depth of your current mattress set. If you have an old set, there is a good chance that the new set will be much thicker. There are ways (thinner boxes) to adjust height, but if you must use Grandma’s dust ruffle she knitted during the war, you may be locked into certain size unless you alter it – which is not usually desirable. If you plan on using the same bed, here are the measurements I would encourage you to bring:

A. Starting height – Measure from floor to the bottom of the box spring/platform box
B. Existing set depth – Measure from bottom of box to top (crown) of mattress

I would also estimate what would be the maximum and minimum height that would be aesthetically pleasing for the new set (mattress & box). With those measurements, a GOOD salesperson can come up with a solution that will work best.

If you don’t have a mattress set yet, measure from the floor to where the box would sit, the height of footboard and headboard (floor to top) and the desired or maximum height you would want.

If you have bought the bed, but don’t have it, measure it at the store or get the specs and a GOOD salesperson can probably help you estimate the correct height for your new set.

And finally, if you have not bought a bed, but intend to in the near future, try and decide what style (sleigh, platform, poster etc.) that you might purchase. That will help in planning for the future.

Image: djcodrin /

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