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5 things to consider when shopping for a new mattress

SPONSORED — There aren’t many things you’d be willing to spend one-third of your life doing, but sleeping is one of them. And with the average adult requiring 7-9 hours of sleep per day (according to the National Sleep Foundation), you’d better like what you’re sleeping on. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, there are a few things you should know before you brave the mattress showroom — and likely a pushy salesperson.

The mattress industry is tricky

Blake Garfield of Bedrooms & More doesn’t mince words about his industry:

“The mattress industry sucks,” he said. “It sucks for consumers because the companies making the mattresses suck.”

In Garfield’s view, most mattress companies are using half-truths and trickery to sell their products to consumers. Most mattress companies sell mediocre (at best) products at a steep markup, providing consumers with a product that won’t last long. Unfortunately, most people will simply assume that all mattresses (and mattress companies) are created equal, continuing the cycle.

Your ‘old’ mattress is probably quite new

According to Consumer Reports, a new mattress should last up to 10 years. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people are actually marking a decade with their beds. This, according to Garfield, is simply because mattresses are failing long before they’re actually worn out.

“The average age of a one-sided takeaway mattress is less than five years,” he said. “When they were all two-sided it used to be much more than 10. People are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars for disposable crap. I wanted to know why customers were choosing to buy again, what they were settling on, and why so soon. The reason for ‘so soon’ was that their mattresses were no longer flat.”

You can blame the foam

Those “new” mattresses feel old simply because the foam in them is failing. According to Garfield, most mattress companies use inferior foam in their mattresses because it’s cheaper to manufacture and cheaper to ship. The result is a bed that becomes lumpy and uncomfortable long before that golden 10-year mark.

Garfield knows this firsthand. At Bedrooms & More, they recycle takeaway mattresses and Garfield has seen the inside of many of these beds — both the cheap and the expensive.
“Many of these are products costing literally thousands of dollars. But when I tear them apart, it is a cheap component that has worn out. So someone is buying a whole new bed every few years because these big brands are selling poorly designed, low-cost materials at a high mark up.”

Everything is marked up

Speaking of markup, the mattress industry is infamous for it.

“For the online mattress companies, they win no matter what,” said Garfield. “Here’s the math: It costs roughly $150 to make one of these online mattresses (if I’m not exact, I’m close). It costs $50 to ship it to you ($80 tops including the cost of the box). They charge about $950.”

Not only are these mattresses marked up, but many will only last a couple of years at best. Sagging up to 1″ after a year or two is common, and the worst part? Sagging is not covered under warranty.

Your old bed is harming the environment

If you’re unconcerned with the cost of your new mattress, you might be concerned about the cost — to the environment — of your old one. Unfortunately, most mattress companies that offer haul-away of old beds simply take these to the dump to end up in a landfill. Garfield offers some advice to those looking to save the environment, their wallets and their sleep quality:

“Simply by purchasing a more durable product you can do something better for the environment; not to mention saving money in the long and possibly short term. Buy a flippable mattress. If you don’t want great detail, know that the coils won’t likely ever be a problem and the thicker the mattress, the faster it will fail. All foam beds (with the exception of latex mattresses) will sag the fastest, and memory foam is no exception. If you like really plush, get a topper. Then you’re only replacing a saggy topper and not a saggy mattress.”

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