Mattress Brands Comparison
When it's time to buy a mattress, most people rush off to do a mattress brands comparison. They quickly become confused, because a mattress brands comparison soon reveals that it's very hard to compare mattress brands.
A mattress brands comparison is difficult to truly do because of the lack of solid information available on different brands. Shopping by price might be part of the solution, but manufacturer reputation, store experience and personal preferences make a difference in your selection too.
Even the experts at Consumer Reports magazine have difficulty conducting a mattress brands comparison. The reason, they say, is that mattresses are basically a "black box" to consumers. You can't see inside of a mattress so it's very difficult to make a mattress brands comparison. Also, the same manufacturer's model names may differ from one store to another, making price comparisons almost impossible.
However, it is possible to make a mattress brands comparison within broad price ranges. According to securities filings made by Sealy Inc., the mattress industry divides up the market into four price categories: under $500 (promotional); $500 to $999 (premium); $1,000 to $1,999 (luxury); and $2,000 or more (ultraluxury). Since the mattress industry builds mattresses to fit these price points, the price ranges give consumers a rough benchmark for mattress brands comparison. That is, one $1,000 Sealy mattress should be roughly equivalent to another in terms of quality and construction technique.
Interestingly, Consumer Reports found that all but the cheapest mattresses are just fine for most people. Their mattress brands comparison also found that any coil count over 390 (in coil spring mattresses) is adequate, although some ultraluxury mattresses coil counts ranged as high as 1,728.
In short, you won't find much real difference in a mattress brands comparison between mattresses within one of the four price ranges mentioned above. It's best to steer clear of the under-$500 if you budget permits, for those bottom-rung mattresses won't last as long and may be thinly covered on top, allowing springs to poke the sleeper. But mattresses within a couple of hundred dollars of each other are pretty much equivalent.
Still, everyone has their opinions of mattresses based upon their personal experiences. Often, these opinion-based mattress brands comparisons include opinions of the seller, the store in which the mattress was purchased, and experiences with customer service after the sale. It may seem odd, but such aspects of a transaction can actually affect how well someone sleeps on a given mattress and how they rate the mattress itself in a mattress brands comparison.
ePinions.com is a great source for this sort of individual consumer opinion. It can help you conduct a mattress brands comparison. You'll find hundreds of reviews on each of major brands Sealy, Serta, Simmons, etc., as well as articles written by mattress industry figures explaining what to look for in a mattress, what firmness is best for different body types, and other topics of interest.
ConsumerSearch.com creates its own mattress brands comparison by summarizing the research and findings published on other sites, including Consumer Reports, ePinions.com, and Amazon.com customer reviews. It pulls together very different sources of mattress brands comparisons and information, ranging from suburban newspapers to British medical journals. For variety and conciseness, it's hard to beat ConsumerSearch.com.
Your mattress brands comparison should focus on the price range you can afford. Within that range, look at the various types of mattresses: coil spring, memory foam, inflatable, etc. Try each type until you find one that is comfortable for you. Then go with the seller who offers the best price and terms.