Common Pitfalls of Mattress Shopping

Due to the variety of brands, models, features and prices available, shopping for a new mattress set can be confusing. What complicates matters even more is that most mattresses are sold simply by merchandising gimmicks. A few of the more common pitfalls of mattress shopping are outlined below. The better you understand these pitfalls of mattress shopping, the better prepared you'll be when looking for a mattress!


Puffery is a common problem in advertising and selling. It occurs when a sales person or advertiser exaggerates the benefits of a certain product just to close a sale. Since anyone can say their product is better than someone else's, puffery is just one more reason why you need to shop smart. So be sure to ask questions and learn what makes one mattress or box spring different from another. Only then can you make a confident and informed buying decision.

Comparison Shopping:

Most mattress manufacturers rely on retail stores to sell their products. As a result, they make minor modifications to their mattresses for each retailer. These modifications typically consist of changing the cover on the mattress and giving it a different name. This results in very similar mattresses being sold by different retailers under different names at different prices. There is no way to easily compare models, which causes confusion and frustration. So, in order to get the most for your money, compare mattress sets based on their level of comfort, support and quality components... not just their name on the label.

"No-Flip" / One-Sided Mattresses:

Most manufacturers have realized significant material cost savings by eliminating the upholstery on one side of the mattress. These one-sided mattresses are cleverly explained away with claims about "advanced technology" and "improved materials." In reality, a "no flip" mattress is a "can't flip" mattress that utilizes significantly less material than a two-sided mattress. It will not last as long as a two-sided mattress, which can be flipped and turned to even out wear and tear over time. This is a similar concept to that of rotating the tires on your car to extend the life of the tires and help them wear more evenly.

Features, But Are They Benefits?:

Mattress manufacturers are continually adding features such as edge supports, thin layers of memory foam, and wool, silk and cashmere fibers to their mattresses. These features increase the price of the product, sometimes by a substantial amount. Do they actually provide any real benefits that make them worth the money, or are they simply bells and whistles? For more information, please visit "Lesson Five: Special Mattress Features" and decide what makes sense for you.

The Word "Firm":

Manufacturers describe almost all mattresses as some variation of "firm". It's a carry-over from the days when people thought mattresses had to be as hard as a board to be good for you. Even though the trend has been toward softer mattresses, you'll still encounter descriptions such as firm, extra firm, gentle firm, super firm, etc. Descriptions are not consistent, so one manufacturer's "firm" may be another's "extra firm". Try the mattress and decide for yourself what is most comfortable to you.

Low Price Mattress Ads:

Advertisements commonly feature a low-end, starting price mattress set. When customers want to see this mattress, however, some retailers try to persuade them to buy a higher priced set. In addition, some low price ads are simply used to bring you into a particular store. In many cases, the product represented in these ads is difficult, if not impossible, to obtain.

Big Sale Mattress Ads:

Some stores have big sales that happen only once or twice a year and advertise savings of 50% or more. Unfortunately, these are usually not sales at all, but promotions created to meet the consumer's desire for a "deal." Hype is created and a feeling of pressure is created as the customer believes they have to purchase before the President's Day or Anniversary or Grand Opening sale is over. Be wary of these "sales," for if a store can sell for less on certain days, why not all the time?

The Original Mattress Factory is dedicated to helping you purchase the best mattress for you and your budget. We hope that this Pitfalls of Mattress Shopping outline has provided you with the tips you need to become an informed mattress shopper.