The Deal Is Always Better At The Last Mattress Store

What I love the most about the big Summer holiday sales season is the people that swear that the grass is greaner at the last mattress shop.

I was at a store during Memorial Day weekend and heard variations of this theme numerous times. Sometimes it was simply confusion. There are thousands of mattresses on the market and product confusion is rampant among consumers who only shop once every decade. Bad information from the previous mattress salesperson, that does not know their product, was another culprit.

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Memorial Day Mattress Shopping

This is the big one – Memorial Day!

If you are heading out to find the bed of your dreams, here are a few things to keep in mind:

HYPE: EVERYONE is having a “BIG” sale. Don’t fall for the hype. Buying  the correct mattress is more important than “getting this last one for 75% off.” Or, that gift card or TV – remember if you are getting freebies, you are paying for it somewhere.

COMFORT: The way the mattress conforms to your body is probably the most important factor in getting the right mattress. Only alignment rivals in importance. Make sure you spend greater amounts of time in your natural sleeping position on your final selections.

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Tempur-Pedic Mattress Sale

If you are tired of waking up with a sore back, or tossing and turning all night, now is your chance to change all that. Tempur-Pedic® is currently offering up to $200 off all flat sets. Their entire line is available at these lower prices at any authorized Tempur-Pedic dealer. They are also discontinuing the Classic and Deluxe models which will save you a few more dollars while they last.

Tempur-Pedic minimum pricing is set by the manufacturer and they rarely offer discounts like these. If you have ever considered getting one, now is the time to act.

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Mattress Financing

Mattress retailers have for many years offered a variety of ways to pay for your new mattress set. But it seems in bad economic times, we see retailers pushing financing even harder than usual. Now there is nothing necessarily wrong with borrowing if you have the money to service the loan. In an ideal world, we would all pay cash for everything and never borrow. Unfortunately, that is unlikely in the age of exorbitant taxes and trillion dollar deficits.

The most common forms of financing are no interest plans. Based on your purchase price, you could finance very large amounts sometimes as much as 60 months. The key is making your payments every month and on time. If you don’t, you will be hit with some pretty ugly interest rates that are retroactive.

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Memorial Day Mattress Sale

Yep, its that time again. The start of the summer buying season. From Memorial Day through Labor Day is when the majority of income is made in the mattress industry. There are many reasons for this including graduations, weddings, divorces, new home purchases and the start of the school year. All of these seem to trigger mattress purchases and are more frequent in the Summer months. Also, advertising expenditures go significantly up during the big three holidays – Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day.

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Let Your Body Do The Shopping

Mattress shoppers tend to spend far too much time on issues that really don’t matter. They shop with their eyes (appearance or price). Or they focus on their hands (touch or the feel of the surface material). Or sometimes they focus on emotion (deal, sale or hype). And sadly, they will often rely on history (personal experience) or brand (reputation or recommendation).

None of these are necessarily bad. But if you want to get the very BEST mattress for you, let your body do the shopping. What I mean by that is you must put your body on the mattress in your natural sleeping position. Have your salesperson or shopping partner examine your alignment. Make sure your spine is relatively straight in your natural sleep position, as well as other common ones like back, side and stomach.

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Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme Mattress

For the first time in a long time I spent my own money on a mattress. It took several years and many hours of testing, but I selected a Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme mattress. Its only been a week, but I am loving it. The support and comformance is excellent. I’m still adjusting to it and I expect that to continue for about 30 days.

I will post updates every so often to let you know how it goes.

PLEASE NOTE: The Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme may not be the right mattress for you. I do believe that Tempurpedic makes some of the best products on the market today. But please do not buy a mattress based on someone else’s experience. You need to try each mattress and determine which one will be the best support and comfort for YOUR BODY.

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Simmons 2011 Mattresses

Well that didn’t take long. Sealy greatly improved their line and now Simmons is releasing their new mattresses for 2011. In a similar fashion, I thought Simmons got lazy with their mattresses. You had two supports – hard and soft. There were no handles and no edge support until you were at the World Class level. As a salesperson, and even a customer, you got the feeling that they really didn’t care.

Whether it was a reaction to Sealy, or just a long overdue wake up call, Simmons is back with a vengeance. Foam encasemnt starting at the Beautyrest Classic level and even handles on several models. Why is this so important? If you have ever tried to move or reposition a Simmons mattress, those buggers are heavy.

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Antique Bed Mattress

If you have an antique bed, and I’m not talking about something grandma bought at Sears, but an old bed that was built back when hand craftsmanship reigned supreme, there is a chance that it may need a customized mattress size.

Long ago there was a size called Three Quarter Bed (3/4 mattress). It was wider than a twin, but not quite as wide as a full. I did not run into this often. But if someone mentioned antique or anything else along those lines, just to be safe, I would ask them to confirm the size.

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Mattress Freebies

Its that time again – Here come the mattress freebies!

Free Gift Card!
Free Stuffed Animal!
Free Sheets!
Free Memory Foam Pillow!
Free Box Springs!

For regular readers of this blog, you know my position – Don’t fall for the hype. There is nothing free in this world. If you are getting something for nothing, you are paying for it somewhere.

Forget the trinkets and trash and focus on finding the right mattress for your body. Once you do, locate comparable mattress sets and compare prices for the complete package, including all add-ons (delivery, frame, mattress protector and even gifts with purchase – GWP). If the store offering the free stuff is actually less, fantastic. But more times than not, the store that does not have the freebies will be less. Take the money you saved and go out and buy yourself that cuddly stuffed animal.

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Sealy 2011

If you have visited this blog much, you know I don’t give out praise unless it is truly warranted. I must say the 2011 Sealy Posturepedic line of innerspring mattresses is one of the best lines I have seen in over a decade.

Sealy has long been the leader in mattress sales, but I, like many others, have believed that the product just wasn’t living up to the name in recent years. The complaints that had plagued so many mattress companies had finally caught up to Sealy. Excessive body impressions, motion transfer, squeaky boxes, creaky edge support and noisy coil systems, were among the feedback I received from consumers over the years. On the floor, I could see firsthand the results by customer preference. The Sealy mattresses of the past were simply losing the battle and no matter how many cosmetic “red lights” were added, they needed a major change.

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Celebrity Endorsements And Mattress Licensing

Since the dawn of time manufacturers have used the powerful and famous to help sell their products and services. It really should be no surprise that the mattress industry does the exact thing. Through either licensing arrangements or celebrity endorsements, an otherwise unknown brand can piggyback on a famous name.

Without giving specific examples, let me give you a fictitious example. Imagine the Purple Hippo Mattress Company is losing market share and has a bad reputation among consumers. They sign a licensing deal with a famous celebrity and re-brand their mattresses as Big Celebrity Mattresses!

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What the Heck Is Coil Density?

You visit your local mattress store and start trying mattresses. You find one you like and start asking a few questions so you can compare it to other similar models. Hank, your friendly mattress salesperson, proudly tells you it has 1,000 coils!

Of course being the bright person you are, you realize something doesn’t sound right about that number. Your instinct is correct. Hank just quoted you the Coil Density, not the actual coil count.

I’m not sure who first started this practice, but coil density refers to the number of coils the mattress WOULD have, were it not foam encased. It truly is a worthless number in my opinion and causes more confusion than necessary. And I have found in my travels that most salespeople don’t necessarily explain or fully disclose the difference. I will let you decide whether or not they are being deceitful in this practice.

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The End of Offset Coils?

I have noticed that many manufacturers are gravitating towards the Marshall coil system – or a variation of it. A Marshall coil is a unit with individual coils that operate independently. The benefit to you is that it is a much more conforming feel, and far less motion transfer – you will not feel your partner move.

I think this is a wise move. The old offset and Bonnell systems, that had the coils “laced” together, did not conform well at all. In order to get the most conformance, you had to pile on comfort layers. This only made the body impression issue worse for consumers.

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Dust Mites

If you experience asthma, runny nose, itchy eyes or congestion when you are in bed, there is a good chance that you are having an allergic reaction to dust mites. These little bugs are too small to see with the naked eye, but they live and thrive in your mattress and throughout your home. The combination of fibers, heat, moisture and an abundant food source – skin cells you shed throughout night, make mattresses the ideal home for these little critters.

A traditional mattress pad may help, but if it is quilted and not waterproof, it may just provide an additional breeding ground. But frequently washing the pad in very hot water may help. Unfortunately, if the mattress pad is not waterproof/dust mite proof, the dust mites are still thriving within your mattress.

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The Germaphobe Mattress Shopper

I like to provide real life examples of both good and bad customers and sales people. Yesterday, I had the chance to visit a store and witness a doozy.

A couple came in supposedly shopping for a mattress. This particular chain has a pretty good system for matching customers with the correct sleep solution. The husband was agreeable, but the wife refused, saying she would not lie on any mattress because she was a germaphobe and scared of bed bugs.

The salesperson was flummoxed at first, but recovered quickly. He turned his attention to the husband and began the process of finding the right bed. Meanwhile, the wife, with arms tightly crossed in a defensive posture, wandered around the store looking at prices.

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Tempurpedic Mattress

I slept on a Tempur-Pedic® mattress once and I hated it!

I sold Tempurpedic mattresses for many years and heard many objections. So, I would like to take this opportunity to tell you, from the salesperson’s perspective, why Tempurpedic mattresses are so good and answer some common misconceptions.

 

Common Tempurpedic Misconceptions

Tempurpedics Sleep Hot– Tempurpedic was consistently my top selling brand, and most importantly, my least returned brand. In almost a decade of selling Tempurpedic, never once did I get one back because of heat. There is nothing about the mattress itself that generates heat. In fact, the Tempur® material actually supports you so well, you are less likely to sink into the mattress, unlike many lower density knockoffs and traditional soft innerspring mattresses. As long as you allow your body to adjust and rethink your covers and environment, you will actually experience better air flow while sleeping on top of a Tempurpedic, and not sunk deep inside some super pillowtop. But if you are a very hot natured person, that will not change no matter what mattress you purchase. But the benefits of proper alignment, no pressure points and durability may outweigh any heat issues.

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Firm Pillow Top Mattress

I want a firm pillow top mattress!

Unfortunately, the combination of those four words cause way too much confusion in mattress stores. The reason for this is that the mattress customer and salesperson are not talking the same language. Most likely when a customer comes in asking for a “firm pillow top mattress,” they are reacting to a bad experience, either poor alignment or excessive body impressions in their current mattress.

When the average salesperson hears “firm pillow top mattress,” they probably don’t even hear the word “firm.” Instead, they immediately begin showing the customer pillow top mattresses that they claim are firm, but will cause the very same issues that brought the customer in there in the first place.

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How Not To Shop For A Mattress

A gentleman walks into a mattress store and is immediately greeted by the salesperson. This particular retailer has a number of ways to make the buying process simple, but the man is not interested. He has no brand or comfort preference and is unwilling to share any information on his sleeping habits or any problems with his existing mattress. After several minutes, the salesperson leaves him alone to “shop.”

As I am watching this play out, another customer comes in and the salesperson finds them the correct sleep solution. But the original man wanders around the store “punching” mattresses and staring at the prices. He never leaves the front of the store that features queen mattress sets in the $2800+ range. The prices go down the further back you go into this particular mattress retailer.

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In Search of the $200 Queen Mattress

True Story – I’m visiting a store and a lady comes in for her college age daughter. She is driving a luxury vehicle that would easily retail over $50k. Not that we should ever make judgements based on cars, clothing or jewelry, but I found it interesting.

She doesn’t want to spend over $300 for a queen set, delivery and frame – tax inclusive. Adding delivery, frame and tax to the equation, means the mattress set needs to be in the $200 range. The delivery will go to a remote college campus that is not regularly served by any retail chain, so the delivery cost will be greater.

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Free Delivery

Does that mattress price include delivery?

Free Delivery/Free Frame – There are exceptions, but most of the time if these services are being advertised as free, the cost of delivery or the frame is buried in the mattress price. You might be overpaying, especially if you are picking up the mattress set yourself or already own a frame.

Also, always read the fine print. Free delivery may mean just to your door. There may be an additional charge for set up or removal of the old mattress or a fuel surcharge. Don’t get stuck with an old mattress that you can’t dispose. See accessories and services for more information.

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Should You Replace A Mattress After 8 Years?

If my mattress has a 10 year warranty, why should I replace it after 8 years?

I know there is at least one mattress chain that is pushing the change every 8 year meme with their customers. The concept has been used successfully before, most notably by the oil change industry,where they have greatly reduced the times between oil changes. The 8 year campaign is designed to reduce the time between mattress purchases.

They use scare tactics including the threat of dust mites and bacteria to make you run out and replace your “old” and “dirty” and “bug-infested” mattress. The reality is that dust mites are everywhere in your home. If you are using a water proof protector to keep your mattress clean. And washing your linens as needed, you could sleep on the mattress 20 years without incident.

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Mattress Toppers

Mattress Toppers – Good or Bad?

Can’t I Just Get A Mattress Topper? – Lots of people think that if they just put a topper on their bad mattress it will magically improve their sleep. The reality is that it all depends on what the problem is with your current mattress. For mattresses that are sagging or have significant body impressions, toppers will merely take on the shape of the defective mattress, offering little relief for a support issue.

If you have a super hard mattress or you are experiencing pressure points, a topper may provide relief. I would always encourage you to do your best to purchase the correct mattress and not try and “retrofit” a bad one. But if money is tight, a topper may be a temporary solution.

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10 Things I Would Change About The Mattress Industry

Improving the Mattress Shopping Experience

1. Get rid of the Discounters – For some reason it seems that everyone who once sold used cars suddenly decided to enter the mattress industry years ago. Nothing is more frustrating to consumers than having to “haggle” over mattress prices. Thankfully the Internet, and more competition is slowly making this antiquated selling process go the way of the dodo. A trained monkey could discount. There are much more important things to helping someone get a good night’s sleep than “taking another $100 off that set, if you buy right now.” Consumers are getting smarter and realizing that if the retailer can suddenly cut the price in half, then just maybe they were already priced too high. And most likely, you will never, ever get a good value in a place that only emphasizes discounting an inflated price.

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Stupid Mattress Sales Gimmicks

My Four Favorite Stupid Sales Promotions

Mix & Match – This is the most bogus promotion ever. First off, unless you are a company made up of morons, you will never have a bunch of leftover boxes to sell. Second, Federal Law now prevents retailers from selling mixed sets because they are tested as matched sets for fire safety. When I worked the floor during one of these promotions I refused to mix. I simply gave customers a matched set for the advertised mix & match sales price. That is always the right and ethical thing to do. When a mix & match promotion is on, usually you are getting a lower quality box. It may be nearly as good, but the cost savings (if any at all) has to come from somewhere. Even if it is structurally comparable to the matching box, why would you want something that looks different? That is just stupid, especially if you can go to the next store and get a comparable or better MATCHED SET for the same or less!

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