Mattress Satisfaction

Consumer Watch A good night's sleep on a comfortable mattress ... nothing better! But ...

Consumer Reports Tod Marks said, "A mattress is one of the most difficult consumer products to buy, for a couple of reasons. One: Mattress names differ from store to store. Second: Mattress prices are really all over the place."

But a survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center of more than 17-thousand subscribers asks: "would you buy that mattress again?" the answer could help you narrow down your choices.

"Two of the biggest names that came out low in our ratings were Stearns and Foster and Spring Air," said Marks.

But more than 60 percent of those who had trouble sleeping said a Tempur-Pedic or Select Comfort mattress improved their sleep, and they'd buy one again. The key to getting a mattress that's right for you is an in-store tryout. Seventy-two percent of those polled who spent at least 10 minutes trying out a mattress were very happy with their choice.

Marks said, "Lie down on it. Don't be embarrassed. The retailers expect people to do this. You lie on your stomach, lie on your side, lie on your back for about five minutes each."

Some people think the older you are, the firmer the mattress, but Consumer Reports says that's just one of many mattress myths. The fact is the best bed is one that feels comfortable to you.

Now for the cost, get ready to negotiate.

"Haggling is a great thing to do when you're buying a mattress, just as it is when buying a car. Some 72 percent of those who tried to get a better deal secured a lower price," said Marks.

In case you don't like the mattress once you get it home, always check the return policy, including shipping fees, before you buy.

If you don't need to buy a mattress in a hurry, shop for one you like, and then watch for it to go on sale. Mattress sales are frequent and can be big money savers.

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