How to Mattress Shop | Tips to Buy Mattresses in Seattle

Mattress Showroom

Mattress Showroom

Mattress Shopping can be a very confusing process. However, with a few tips, some helpful information, and a little planning, the whole endeavor can become much easier and even a little fun. You can probably image that almost all the beds that you will test out in the stores will tend to feel better than what you are

sleeping on now. After attending our class, you will know the questions to ask and the characteristics to look for to help make sure that the "good mattress" feeling lasts long after your purchase. At Bedrooms & More we think that buying a mattress should be a relaxing, stress free, and enjoyable experience.

How to Shop for a Mattress - by Jeff Garfield


Join us every Saturday morning at Bedrooms & More for a free informative class where we will provide you with the tools you need to navigate the confusing process of shopping for a new mattress and we promise not to give you a sales pitch.

How to shop for a Mattress 9:30 am - 10:15 am


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300 NE 45th St.
2 blocks west of I-5, with free parking
Seattle, WA 98105
206 633 4494

Mattress Shopping Tips

Tip #1 Make a plan

Most of the time consumers head out into the market and try and figure things out when they start to visit stores. It is best to make a plan that suits your needs. To help you formulate that plan here a few questions to get you started. How long does the mattress need to last? What is your budget? Do you know what support system is best for you? Also, keep in mind that bigger and thicker is not necessarily better and doesn’t always translate to longer durability. Finally, and maybe most importantly, a high price tag does not always translate to greater longevity.

Tip #2 Budget time to make an educated decision

Be sure to allow enough time for the shopping process. If you are in a hurry or feel rushed by a sales person you are at risk of making a bad decision.

Tip #3 Be prepared to test out mattresses

First off, come prepared by wear clothes that will allow you to get a feel for the mattress you are testing. Also, taking off a thick coat or sweater helps as does taking off your shoes. Once you have narrowed the options to 2, at most 3, mattresses you will want to then give each mattress a 10-15 minute test rest. Be sure to remember to test the mattress on your side if you are a side sleeper or back if you are a back sleeper. While this is no substitute for a month of sleeping you should be able to get a sense of whether you are free of pressure points and are getting the proper support.

Tip #4 Expect an adjustment period

In spite of your best efforts and thoroughness in the mattress selection process the transition to your new sleep set may not be seamless. Don’t panic, your body may just need time to adjust. Studies have shown that it may take up to 28 consecutive nights sleep on a new mattress to decide whether or not it is the right sleep system for you. With that in mind, make sure that the mattress you choose comes with a minimum 60-day comfort exchange. Anything less and you are not giving your body a chance to make the proper adjustment to what may, in fact, be the best mattress for you.

Tip #5 Be aware of Chemical Sensitivities

The odors resulting from chemical off-gassing of some new mattresses can be, at the least, unpleasant. Furthermore, research has shown that the chemical off-gassing can actually be harmful. If you are typically sensitive to this issue you may consider avoiding any mattress with vinyl, air or water bladders, poly foams, soy foams, and visco-elastic memory foam. Non off-gassing mattress options will contain components like all natural latex, wool, or cotton, and have coil or latex support systems.

Tip #6 Verify Delivery Costs

Ask if delivery is included in the price? Some stores will build this into the price as a courtesy to their customers. Others will add it on at the time the sale is being written. Either way is common, but in order to compare prices from store to store, find out what service you will be receiving at the provided price (will they take away your old mattress at no charge? ).There may be a discount for picking the mattress up yourself. It costs a retailer money to deliver a mattress, so it should be discounted if they would have included delivery.

Tip #7 Get Warranty Specifics

Mattress warranties vary as much as the beds that they cover. Some are full warranties that cover workmanship and material defects which cover stitching and sewing problems along with body impressions caused by foam defects. Those warranties can range from 10 to 20 years. However, warranties can also be prorated. This type of warranty means that the mattress is only fully covered for a finite period of time, typically ranging from 1 to 10 years. After the full coverage time period is over, the replacement value decreases every year. For instance if you have a mattress with a 10 warranty with 5 prorated years your mattress is only fully covered for the first 5 years. However after year 5 and before year 6 you would only get an 80% replacement value, and between year 6 and 7 you would only receive a 60% replacement value. Before making your purchase, be sure to have your salesperson clarify the period of the warranty and, if applicable, explain how the proration will work? Furthermore, have them be specific as to the details of what is considered a manufacturer defect. For instance, how deep does a body impression need to be for it to be considered a material defect?

Tip #8 Be wary of polyurethane foams

Polyurethane Foams, including "soy based" polyurethane foams, will compress and fail to bounce back at a rate of up to 25% every five years. This means, that if the bed has only one sleep surface (one sided), you will develop a hammocking or sagging effect that is 25% of the depth of poly foam built into the mattress (4" leads to a 1"sag ). The thicker the bed, the more likely you are to have problems down the road.

Tip #9 Coil Count is only half the story

If you are interesting in selecting a coil mattress you can use coil count as a general guide to whether or not the bed is built for the body weight of an adult. However, it is really only part of the equation. In addition to coil count, you need to ask about the thickness, or gauge, of the coils. As a general rule, a mattress can have a relatively low coil count if each coil is relatively thick. In contrast, if a mattress uses a lot of coils, each coil can be relatively thin. In mattress construction a 15.5 gauge wire is generally considered thin and would have an associated coil count of about 800 (queen size). In contrast, a mattress featuring a thick, 12.75 gauge, coil could have a coil count as low as 425 (queen size). So when you are shopping for a mattress and they quote you a coil count of 550 (in a queen) that may be okay if the gauge of wire is in the range of 14 - 15. For the most part, mattresses with coil counts of 450 - 800 (queen size) can lead to a comfort life of 10 years or more depending on the coil gauge so be sure to ask. Also, you want to be sure your salesperson clarifies what size they are providing you coil counts on. Lastly, select a support system appropriate for your body size. For example, if you are a larger person look for a combination of thicker gauge coils and higher coil count.

Tip #10 Choosing a Mattress for Durability

The most common place for a mattress to have a problem is in the comfort layer. Most manufacturer’s fill the comfort layers of their mattresses primarily with polyurethane foam and supplement that with a tiny bit of memory foam and, if you are lucky, some latex. For maximum durability in the comfort layers of mattresses look for latex and wool content and minimize the dreaded polyurethane foams. Problems that manifest in the comfort layers are generally body impressions or a lack of support. On the other hand, the support portion of the mattress (coil unit, latex core, air or water bladder) will have little or no failure over time. When selecting a mattress with durability in mind, a good rule of thumb is to select the mattress that is the most comfortable and support for you, but has the least amount of comfort layer materials. When you do this, the majority of the comfort you are experiencing is coming from the support system of the mattress which is the portion of the mattress that is the most durable and changes the least over time. When you are shopping you can get a feel for the thickness of the comfort layer by first finding the top of the support layer. You can then see what percentage of the complete mattress is comfort versus support layer. Try and keep the comfort layers to less than 50% of the overall height of the mattress, the less the better.

Tip #11 Look for a Two-Sided Mattress

Two-sided mattresses last longer. The comfort life of a mattress that is finished on only one side is roughly one third that of a two-sided bed, and warranty is not indicative of comfort life. Even with 10, 15 or 20 year warranty, does not guarantee the bed won’t sag in that time. If you only need the bed for 1 - 3 years a one sided product might be satisfactory. An exception is a one-sided mattress that has zipper access to the inside of the mattress to allow fluffing or refreshing.