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How to Choose a Mattress that You'll Love

Choose a comfortable store first.

Choose a comfortable store before you choose a comfortable mattress. Ask your friends or coworkers where they bought their mattress. Call the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau. Find a store that specializes in sleep products, rather than a furniture or department store. Generally, salespeople at furniture or department stores do not specialize in mattresses and usually know very little about all the different types of mattresses available to you.

Where should I go?

Now, you know I'm going to say The Sleep Shop, of course! If you are in Western NC, please visit one of our stores. Click for our store locations. You'll find our atmosphere is very relaxed, because we have an absolutely NO pressure sales philosophy. We do not accept mattress manufacturer "spiffs," nor do we work on commission, so we are able to offer the best prices on our mattress sets. Our consultants (sounds so much better than salespeople) are very knowledgeable about our mattresses, and we strive to educate rather than intimidate our customers. If you are not local to us, go to a mattress store, rather than a department or furniture store. Before you go, call the store up and ask what their sales philosophy is. If they use high pressure sales tactics, go somewhere else. The last thing you need is to feel hurried and pressured when you're trying to choose a mattress.

How do I choose the right mattress for me?

Don't shop for a mattress when you're in a hurry. Plan on spending a few hours to make the right choice. Try at least 2 or 3 different mattresses out. Lie down, turn over, sit on the edge, don't be shy. (And it is okay to lie down with your husband/wife/partner. We know you sleep with him/her at home!) Spend at least 10 - 15 minutes on your side, back, or stomach (however you normally sleep.) Do you feel any pressure points? Does your lower back feel supported? Do you feel your partner roll over or move?

What about body impressions?

20, 30, 50 years ago consumers had 3 choices of mattresses: firm, firmer, and firmest. Today, through scientific research and technology, consumers have an amazing variety of sleep surfaces from rock hard to cloudlike plushness. Mattress companies use different densities/types of foams, from visco foam to latex foam to polyurethane foam to create different firmnesses in mattresses. Despite marvelous accomplishments in terms of better comfort, support, and durability, modern science has NOT been able to create a type of foam that will not break down over time. Many mattress dealers (and mattress manufacturers) will tell you that you will not get body impressions (commonly called sags by customers, but doesn't body impressions sound better??) But you will. The tendency is very high that you will get body impressions of up to 1.25". This is especially true of very plush or pillow top mattresses. King size mattresses will nearly always develop a "W" shape with a slight to major hump in the middle. You can avoid this by snuggling with your partner in the center every now and then. But of course, that is none of our business. Generally, body impressions are absolutely normal and do not affect the overall comfort and support of the mattress, unless you try to keep it for 10 - 15 years. You have 2 choices: Opt for a very firm mattress with little foam, thus little comfort and little body impressions, or opt for a plush comfortable mattress that will inevitably get body impressions.

Should I lower my expectations?

Yes. If you have back trouble, pain, injury, etc., there is no mattress that will "cure" your back ache. If you have chronic insomnia, no mattress is going to completely alleviate that. You should seek medical attention. While a mattress may help you sleep better, you need to know that a healthy back and healthy sleep habits are the direct results of an overall healthy lifestyle. Stop smoking, exercise 30 minutes a day, and eat your vegetables. If you simply add 30 minutes of exercise per day, your whole life will change- you will begin to sleep better, your back will feel better, AND you'll lose weight which could be straining your back.

What about the warranty?

No other home product or appliance offers the type of warranty that mattress companies offer. And yet, no other piece of furniture or appliance in your home gets as much use and even abuse as your mattress. It is my humble opinion that in the not-so-distant future, mattress companies will decide that comfort and the health benefits of a good night's sleep are the best selling points of mattresses, not whether or not the mattress will last 10 or 20 years and stay flat as a fritter during all that time.

How about a disgusting fact? Keeping a mattress for over 10 years means you are also keeping all the dead skin cells, dust mites, and allergens that accumulate over ten years. Your mattress gains 1 pound per year of those ugly microscopic creatures and dead skin cells. YUCK! I like to think about it like this: If I kept a mattress for 10 years, that would mean not only would it weigh 10 pounds more than when I first got it, but also it would have the remnants of numerous cans of hairspray, a decade's worth of body sprays and potions that I used wildly in the 1990's, and it would have been moved and bent around the corners of hallways and staircases of about 5 different apartments and 1 house probably damaging it and making it less supportive. So what does this mean? Replace your mattress more often than 10 years.

What mattress should you choose?

We'll never choose a mattress for you. Every body is different. Some folks love to sink deep into a mattress, while others feel they are being smothered on an ultra-plush mattress. We can make suggestions and guide you somewhat, but ultimately, the decision is entirely up to you.

Why don't we ship our mattresses out of our local area?

We truly believe you should try out a mattress before you buy it. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine for certain if a mattress you tried in another store in another state is the same as the ones we offer. All mattress companies name their mattresses different names for different stores and in different parts of the country. In North Carolina, used mattresses and linens are not resalable, so they are not returnable. We do not offer a comfort guarantee in our stores, so we would not offer one online.

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