When you’re in the market for a mattress, there are plenty of guides online on how to pick out the right bed. Most of them are full of useful tips that are definitely worth a read! However, few of those guides address the common mistakes people make when they’re selecting a bed that can waste hours of their time, as well as lead them to buying the wrong thing. We sat down and talked with several people in the mattress industry and asked them to share their thoughts on what well-intentioned customers sometimes do to sabotage themselves while shopping. We’ve taken excerpts from those interviews and shared them below.
“One thing I see people do all the time is come into the store and press on the tops of the beds with their palms or knuckles, and then make a judgment on the mattress from how that feels. I have customers tell me beds are too soft before they ever lie down on them. This is a mistake. You can learn almost nothing about a mattress’ supportive properties by just feeling the top layer of pressure relieving foam. A person needs to actually lie down to appreciate the true feel of a particular bed”
“Closely related to ‘The Poker’ is ‘The Sitter’. This customer will sit down the edge of the mattress, and then make a snap judgment about the suitability of the bed. Because you are focusing all of your body weight on a very small portion of the mattress, you’re getting an incomplete picture of how that mattress feels. You’ll spend 99.9% of the time lying down on your mattress, so 99.9% of your decision should be based on how it feels in your sleeping position!”
“One type of customer that always worries me is the guy (and it’s almost always a guy, sorry gents) who won’t try any of the beds because he ‘can sleep on anything’. I had a gentleman tell me he could sleep on a pile of ball bearings. He let his wife pick out the mattress without ever even trying it, and sure enough he called me a month later telling me his back was hurting. Put your tough-guy façade on the shelf for a few minutes and make sure you like the bed you’ll be spending 6-8 hours on a day for the next ten years!”
“In my opinion, one of the biggest mistakes customers make is not trying the beds long enough. I’ll frequently see people lie down for literally two or three seconds, then pop up and try something else. While there are certainly going to be beds you know aren’t right for you, it’s generally a good idea to spend more time in your dominant sleep position to get the most helpful information. Once you’ve spent 3-5 minutes on the bed, your heart rate slows down, and you can focus on how your body feels, and really get an idea of how supported and aligned you are. Additionally, you’ll have a much better idea of how well the bed relieves your pressure points, especially side sleepers, who put a lot of pressure on the hip and shoulder. My best advice to all prospective shoppers is to relax, and slow down.”
“I recently worked with a couple who found the perfect mattress for their needs. To make a long story short, they both had some health issues to take into consideration, as well as very different ideas of what makes a mattress comfortable. However, they found a memory foam bed that they both absolutely loved. However, the ultimately decided to get a different mattress neither of them liked as much because they didn’t like the design of the first bed or the color of the matching foundation. I had a similar experience with a gentleman who purchased the first set he could find that was exactly 17.5 inches tall, as that was the height that would show off his headboard the best. There are a lot of ways you can manipulate the height of your set – low profile box springs, bunkie boards, frames and rails that sit lower to the ground, etc. I like my bedroom to look nice too, but I advise people to remember the most important thing is that your bed provides you with better sleep, so you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the next day.”
“I love working with well-informed customers. It shows they take their sleep seriously and are actively involved in the process. However, sometimes I find people do so much research that they confuse themselves and are paralyzed with information overload. If you spend enough time online, you’re going to read hundreds of pages of conflicting advice, reviews, and information. I also find that sometimes customers fixate on a certain idea they read online without really knowing why. Sometimes it’s coil count, sometimes it’s foam density. We get customers who want to know the makeup of every single layer of foam in the mattress, but they don’t really know what to do with that information. Coil count is definitely an important stat when you’re thinking about support, but it’s only part of the story. For example, the type of coil, how many turns are in each spring, and what gauge of steel is used can be even more important than the actual number. It’s frustrating to see people get hung up on certain things that aren’t actually helping them make a wise buying decision.”
“Too many customers get suckered in by artificial sales and look at the discounts and ‘freebies’ instead of looking at the total price. I was helping a couple who were looking at a king set I had $400 cheaper than the last place there were at. However, they kept pushing me for free delivery, because the other place had free delivery. To me, that’s such a short-sighted way of viewing things. After you add in the delivery, I was still saving them $350! Similarly, there was a guy who couldn’t get over the fact we didn’t have anything on sale. Many stores will raise their prices to silly amounts, put a big red X through them, and tell you it’s a 70% off sale. Come on people, you’re smarter than that! If somebody is offering you a crazy sale price, along with a bunch of free pillows and accessories you didn’t even ask for, it’s a good indicator you’re already paying for them in the price of the mattress. Look at the final price to get the best deal.