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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Eleven Ways To Avoid Losing Sleep When Buy A Mattress

Mattresses should be replaced every 10 years. And except for certain kinds of specialty mattresses, it is very difficult to compare mattress prices from store to store. That's because retailers use product names and numbers you won't find anywhere else. 

1. Take Notes. When you find a mattress that feel comfortable, jot down every detail about the mattress. Your notes should include the coil count, the coil wire gauge, the dimensions plus the height, the length of   the warranty, the materials used, how the sleep surface is described, and the list price compared to other mattress stores. Then you will able to compare apples to apples when comparing prices. 

2. Determine Firmness.  Then note the firmness based on your judgement where if falls on a scale from 1 to 10.  To determine this, lie on the mattress for at least 10 minutes to make sure it feels comfortable and it properly supports your spine. Then ask the sales person where each mattress falls on a firmness scale from 1 to 10 so you can discover what firmness scale you like best. 

3. Warranty Terms. Keep in mind that manufacturers warranties only cover major defects. They don't let you return because you found the mattress uncomfortable. The exception would be high priced mattresses like Tempur-Pedic which offer a 90 day in home trial period.  After you find your best price, compare stores that offer free delivery, free removal of old bedding and the longest free home trial period and free re-delivery and removal of the mattress if you're not happy.  Also make sure that you read the store mattress return polices carefully as stated on their respective websites. Normally, extended warranty plans sold by stores aren't worth the paper their printed on. For instance, one major retailer requires you to purchase it if you want a 45 day return period on a mattress. And you can only do it one time.

4.Watch Out For High Coil Count.  A high coil count doesn't always mean higher quality. It's true that having more coils is better than having fewer coils but the coils might be made from different materials in different ways. For example, a mattress made with independent coils made from  separate pieces of wire will give you a better sleep since they isolate movement better  than coils made from continuous strands of wire.
So make sure you include this point when comparing mattresses. You want a high independent coil count made from separate wires.

5. Watch Out For The Pillow Top Trap. Pillow top mattresses feel great when you lay on them because they have thick soft layers of foam . The trouble is that these thick layers soon develop deep, annoying body indentations. So if you love the pillow top feel, opt for a plush top instead. These have just 2 or 3 inches of foam instead of the 4 to 6 inches of foam on a pillow top.    

6. New Box Springs May Be A Waste Of Money. When you buy a new mattress, expect the salesperson to recommend a new box spring or "foundation". You might be told that it will extend the life of your mattress or it will void the mattress warranty. None of this is usually true. But if the store says that not buying a new foundation will void the mattress warranty, demand to see a copy of the manufacturers warranty before you commit to buying it. If it's  just at store policy, then you should shop elsewhere. 

7.High Priced Mattress Drawbacks. Memory foam mattresses do a great job conforming to the contours of the body but they also make some sleepers feel too hot. Dual zone air filled mattresses have a tendency to let humidity and perspiration build up around the the internal air bladders. So mold and mildew can spread in the bladders if not cleaned by using a liquid detergent. Also these mattresses can be opened for cleaning and ventilation but they must be completely dry before closing them up.

8. High Prices Don't Guarantee Comfort.  Some people equate high prices with quality. However, a leading consumer magazine reported that 40% of mattress buyers have buyers remorse. They also discovered that a $500 Ikea mattress fared just as well satisfaction surveys  as a $3,000 Tempur-Pedic.

9. Check Out The BBB. Before you even waste your time shopping a store, make sure you go to the
Better Business Bureau website and check out the store's reputation. One major furniture retailer who has the biggest national advertising budget, has an "F" rating -- the lowest for customer satisfaction. So go to www.BBB.org and check them out. Also , check out the store's reputation on www.Yelp.com. Look for at least 50 reviews to get unbiased  feedback. Or do a Google search like "consumer complaints about "XYZ  Mattress Store". 

10.Compare Prices.  When you have made a mattress choice, go back or call the store you like the most and try to negotiate additional discounts of 20%, 30% or 40% more off of the quoted price. When you negotiate the price, say this: " You know , I really like this mattress and I like your store. But I don't have $1,000 to spend on it right now. All I have in my budget is $700." ( which is 30%v off ) ."Would you consider taking $700 for the mattress if I bought it right now?"   Most retailer's  list prices double or triple their costs on mattresses, so you have nothing to lose by asking for a discount in this manner. If you like the mattress and the store, and they won't budge on the price, try getting them to throw in new pillows and sheets with the purchase.  Also, some stores have price match guarantees so make sure you  make several stores compete for your business when all the other factors like reputation and return  policies are equal. Keep in mind department stores usually won't negotiate but they may honor price match guarantees if you can show that the mattress is the same despite different names.  Also, some department stores may offer better options on returns and delivery if you're not happy.

11. Avoid In Store Financing. When you opt in for furniture in store financing, you may give up some of your rights to dispute any complaints. Although  no money down, and  no interest for 3 years is quite attractive, make sure you read the financing agreement carefully BEFORE you buy. Don't buy on impulse and take your time. Feel free to take any financing agreements, warranties and brochures home to read them carefully before your buy.  Ideally, you'd be better off using a major credit card for any mattress purchase. Then if there is a problem with the product or the store, you'll have 60 days of recourse protection. All  American Express cards and most platinum Mastercard and Visa cards also extend the warranty of almost any retail purchase you make and give you other protections.  If you really want financing, you can always pay off your credit card balance in full with one of those credit card checks that give you 0 interest for one year. Then when the year is up, you can just pay off the balance with another 0 interest credit card check. Just make sure that the check has no balance transfer fees.    

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