So your back is killing you and you've decided it's time to purchase a new mattress. For a white rectangular box they can be the most confusing item to purchase. Couple that with making the wrong choice leading to massive aches and pain and an even lighter wallet. Hopefully this will take some of the confusion out of your purchase.
It would be fair to say up front that I am a sales manager for a mattress retailer so bear that in mind. My interest is not to persuade someone to go one brand over another (in fact i will try not to mention brands at all) my real desire is to make it easier for the customer and in turn make my life easier.
Where to begin? Obviously online is a good place to start, manufacturers websites will contain a wealth of information just remember that they have a bias. Be careful of retailer websites, some will contain helpful info but the main purpose is to get you to buy a product from "THEM". So after you've armed yourself with a massive pile of printouts about everything from "bonnell coils" to "viscoelastics" and your ready to vent out on a wasted saturday of mattress shopping.
A couple of things to consider before leaving your house
# 1 Mattresses are more expensive than you think. You may have seen the "Queen Special $ 299" but like everything you get what you pay for. If all mattresses were designed with the same quality why would some cost $ 79 and other in the several thousands of dollers?
# 2 How much can I (we) afford? You should buy the most comfortable and supportive mattress in your budget. Many people will say "I have $ 1000 to spend on a queen size mattress set, but this one is only $ 300." Again all mattresses are not of the same quality. Promotional mattresses will not offer proper spin alignmnet and are made of cheaper upholstry layers that will fall apart faster (* we will get to this in warranties)
# 3 Coil count means nothing. The popular misconception is the number of coils in a mattress is directly related to how support the mattress is. This is wrong, Some manufactuers will us low coil counts will thicker steel to provide support, others will use thin gauge steel with more coils. Is one better than the other? The answer is no. Coil structure is of infinite more importance to support. Ask your salesperson to show you a "cutaway" of the mattress and to explain the structure of innerspring.
# 4 Warranties. Manufactuer Warrantys are designed to protect against defects ONLY. Normal wear and tear is not a warranty issue, nor are "minor" body impressions. Your mattress will gradually deteriorate over the course of 5-10 years. Just because you have a 20,30,100 year warranty does not mean your mattress will last that long.
So now we have some misconceptions out of the way I'll let you in on a few things relating mattress stores.
# 1 Shop at a reputable retailer. Ask your friends, family, neighbors where they bought their mattress. T seems obvious but the number of shady "used car dealer" mattress retailers out their that is testament that consumers think they no everything. I can feel confident in saying that as long as you do not live in the sticks there are at least a dozen stores in your area. Look for reviews of the stores, check the BBB, a little homework never hurt anyone. Remember your buying a "blind item" you have to believe that the salesperson is telling the truth. If you do not like the service, go somewhere else.
# 2 The competition for mattress customers is fierce. All competitors will shop their competition; So pricing is always around the same everywhere you go. Check to see if delivery and removal are included in set prices, or if there is a fee. One thing to be careful of the "This set was $ 6000 but it's on sale this weekend for $ 1999 but if you buy today i might be able to sell it for $ 1200" some retailers will work on this theory, but they are very con-artists Making it difficult for the respectable salesperson to do their job properly.
# 3 Your mattress has a DEFECT warranty for X number of years. Has your store been around that long? Will they be there in the future should you need to make a warranty claim? Will they handle the inspection and paperwork for you or just shuffle you off to the manufacturer? These are all important things to help make a decision on what store to buy from. They may be $ 10 higher but if they handle the warranty it's worth it.
# 4 Comfort Guarantees. Most stores will offer some kind of guarantee that will allow you to return a uncomfortable mattress. A few things on this; Firstly check your state regulations on reselling of mattresses, if they do not allow it (as most do not) then you know that you'll get a new mattress. Another thing is the amount of time the retailer gives you. It'll take about 3 weeks to get used to a new mattress. So make sure you get at least a month to try it out.