Best (and worst) mattresses

FRESNO, Calif.

But do you have to spend thousands to get high-quality shut-eye?

Consumer Reports surveyed more than 12,000 subscribers about their mattresses. People who bought memory-foam mattresses or air beds actually said they slept better than people who bought the traditional innerspring mattresses.

The survey also asked people about their shopping experience. The biggest stores didn't necessarily have the best selection or the best prices. For example, Sleepy's claims to be the "mattress professionals," but it was among the lowest-rated retailers.

Macy's and Sears rated better than Sleepy's, but their ratings were still mostly so-so.

But some larger stores did very well in Consumer Reports' survey. Select Comfort, which sells adjustable-firmness mattresses, is one. But they're pricey. The median price for a queen is almost $2,000.

But don't worry. Consumer Reports says you can get a decent mattress for much less at Costco and Ikea. Customer service was lacking at both stores, but the median price for a queen mattress is well under $1,000.

Another outlet worth checking is a regional company, the Original Mattress Factory. It earned high scores both for its stores and its mattresses.

Consumer Reports found that a memory-foam mattress also rated well in the survey. Tempur-Pedic was among the highest-rated brands, and those surveyed said they'd likely buy another one. But they are expensive: The median price for a queen mattress was almost $2,500.

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