Buying a bed: who loves what they have?

So I’m closing on my first house on September 28 (yay!), and the wife and I will be replacing the 15-year-old double bed we sleep on in honor of the occasion. I know fuck all about the latest in sleeping technology and have never actually bought a bed before, so help me out here, QT3: what kinds of beds are awesome? Or, alternatively, what is a good process to go through to find one that works for oneself and one’s spouse?

I pretty much love my Simmons Beautyrest. I wouldn’t say it’s the latest in sleep tech, but it’s a good bed, especially if you like a firmer matress. I’m somewhat sensitive to mattresses, too. I have a hard time sleeping in hotels, although that’s also the result of the crappy thread counts and excessive starch.

First of all, DUX beds are the best. They’re horribly expensive, but since they last much much longer than other beds (and by “last” I don’t mean don’t fall apart, I mean retain their proper elasticity) the cost per night (fnar fnar) is not excessive.

If the dealer is OK with it, the best thing you can do is borrow the bed for a couple of nights. Just beware that any store that lets you borrow a bed may sell you a bed that has already been used.

If that’s not possible, there are a few things to look for: Try out the bed in the store. Make sure to take off any jackets or thick sweaters (and probably your shoes as well) before trying it. When you lie on your back, you should be able to slide your flat hand under the small of your back without much resistance, indicating that the bed isn’t too hard. On the other hand, you don’t want an actual gap between the bed and the small of your back, as that means it’s not supported (and supporting and resting the small of your back is one of the most important functions of a bed).

Try lying on your side, in your usual sleeping position (i.e. often with your legs bent). Then have someone check back: Your spine should be in a more or less straight line, indicating optimum support.

A top pad is a really good idea too, if for no other reason than as it gets dirty and sweaty over the years, replacing the top pad is rather cheaper than replacing the whole bed. Foam top pads are cheaper and have better ventilation, but less support and they don’t last very long (the foam goes flat). Latex top pads lasts much longer, but do not ventilate as well: Avoid them if you sweat a lot during sleep.

Elevation beds should be chosen only if you read or watch TV a lot in your bed. The elevation system doesn’t pay for itself (and more moving parts means more stuff that can break), and for the same price of an elevation bed, you can get a better quality non-elevation bed.

Hope this helps.

I just bought a bed three days ago. Sort of overwhelming looking at all these different ones, lying in them for 10/15 minutes, and then committing for the next however many years. Several of the places I went had 30 day exchange or return policies, which made it less scary. Also, it turns out that you should negotiate; the internet told me that when I was looking, and I got almost 15% taken off the price without much hassle. I bought a International Bedding Co. Europa something or other. So far I really like it.

I have a Sleep Number bed. It’s awesome. When the bf and I move in together, we will get another, better model and demote mine to guest bed. The only bed I like better is a nice medium firmness Tempurpedic but those retain quite a bit of heat.

The wife and I just bought a new one a couple months ago, and truthfully I hated the whole process. I tried to research online, but mattress comfort is so subjective, it pretty much useless. We were in the “< $2k” market, so looking at the 3 S’s (Simmons, Serta, Sealy). They all have similar tiers of products and price ranges, so…just figure out your firmness level, and then try to get one on sale. They are all no-flip now, unless you go to a place that makes them special. I know lots of people love their $5k foam/air/liqidnitrogen/water/whatever bed, but I just can’t spend that much on a matress, its a mental block I think.

Oh, and we ended up with a really firm Simmons for like $1700 from Slumberland. No complaints so far.

One word: Pillowtop.

That’s assuming you like the feeling of sleeping on a cloud of awesome. If you like a firm mattress, well, have fun with that.

Watch out for Death Bed: The Bed That Eats.

I splurged on an expensive Serta maybe 10 years ago now — I lay repeatedly on every mattress in that store before selecting — and it’s still going strong. Many a bed-guest has declared it the most comfortable bed she’s ever slept in.

Recently I experimented with pillows made of latex foam, and I really like 'em — they’re like familiar foam rubber but incredibly springy and supportive, with many holes running all the way through to let air circulate. No more squished ear or shoulder, and the king-sized one I keep between my knees is now a necessity of living. I see you can now get a mattress made of layers of the stuff, but I’d really have to try that out to see if I liked it…

Pillow tops are like sleeping on a dog bed.

It’s a little strange, but it works for us as well. I even got used to the slight gap in the middle of the bed, because having the bed never collapse or sag underneath me is worth a lot. I sleep like a corpse, and I tend to wear me-shaped holes in conventional mattresses pretty quickly.

In retrospect, I would have splurged for the quiet pump. But it’s fine with the basic model. The ten year warranty is great, as are the pillows they sell in store. And for anyone who likes moving shit around, I’d much rather deflate and disassemble than lug around a large mattress.

DUX beds are indeed awesome, but they’re incredibly expensive in the US, with only a few dealers that I know of. :(

Be careful on the foam beds. Seems like you will either love the foam or cannot stand it. Air circulation is no longer an issue (they were made with a plastic lining inside that cause nearly everyone to sweat badly), but the real issue is they do not “spring”. Biggest things I can think of to do/look for:

  1. Lay on the bed as if you were going to sleep. If you sleep with someone, take them with you.

  2. Any good store will have some sort of 30-60 day trial where you must keep it for a minimum of 30 days, but after that will take a return or give you a credit.

Very few stores (will vary on state law) will have a loaner to give. Several states make it illegal to resell a used mattress. If they do, make sure you do NOT get a used one. I have resold some stuff that would make anyones stomach turn (It is legal in TN just in case).

Your sales person is going to push a bed liner on you. If you do not have kids, pets, or do anything crazy in bed it is a waste of your cash. If you have/do any of the listed, then spend the extra cash. You can go buy a bed liner for a few bucks at Walmart if you really want one.

Remember, there’s no such thing as having a bed that’s too large, but there is nothing worse than a bed that’s too small.

They’re incredibly expensive everywhere. They’re still worth every penny though.

IKEA. Seriously.

Excellent quality, complete customisation and a ton of models to pick from so you can get a bed that feels exactly like you want it, at very low prices.

My parents apparently shared a single bed while my dad was in grad school. My father was 6’4", and grad school was in unairconditioned graduate student housing in Columbia, Missouri. I have no idea how they made it through the summers, though my older sister was conceived during this time frame.

Beds these days don’t come with the kinds of warranties that they came with back in the days. My mother tells me that beds used to come with 25 year warranties. Go figure. You’re lucky these days if your bed comes with a 10 year warranty. And thus it is that my husband and I need a new bed. Ours is 11 years old, and beginning to show its age. I am going to try to bite the bullet this year for it, preferably tomorrow, unless I chicken out and try for another year.

I like a really firm mattress. I don’t like pillow tops. Know what it feels like to sleep on a Thermarest camp mattress? That’s my idea of mattress comfort.

When you buy your mattress, look at aspects of the mattress technology. When your grandparents bought their mattresses, the internal construction was uniform throughout. Savvy mattress owners would rotate their mattresses and flip them on a regular schedule. This helped spread the mattress wear around, keeping those dreaded holes from forming. Nowadays, some mattresses have internal supports that are supposed to keep those depressions from forming. Some have lumbar supports. These are mattresses you can neither flip nor rotate. If you’re in the habit of doing either, then you’ll need to adjust your habits. Better mattresses will also have some extra support on the walls. Your grandmother probably told you never to sit on the edge of the mattress, and this makes sense if your mattress doesn’t have any kind of extra reinforcement around the walls. It’s worth springing out the extra money for a better quality mattress that has better wall construction.

I’ll also agree that a mattress pad is worth it. People sweat, even if they’re not sweating a lot. That sweat goes somewhere, and you probably don’t want it to collect in your mattress!

Best of luck!

The lifespan of a spring mattress is 10 years max, after which the springs begin to slack. The one exception is the DUX beds which use a special spring system (long story, but basically the springs are interconnected so that when the most strained springs start to slack they are supported by the surrounding springs).

The lifespan of padding is even less, maybe five years for foam, much less for cotton. Latex lasts much longer but, as mentioned earlier does have a lot of heat and moist retention. Top pads is one thing but the padding inside the mattress itself (i.e. between the springs and the cover also has to be factored in.

TempurPedic 4 Life. Seriously, when we had to replace our ancient king size, we looked at both high-end coil spring designs (with and without a memory foam layer on top) and the TempurPedic mattresses, and after lying on them it was no contest. After a year of owning this thing, we will never have another type of bed. It’s that good–for us, at least. It’s comfortably firm, but pleasantly soft, in all the right ways, it’s cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and it makes sitting up and reading or playing the DS a joy. Also, it moves a lot less when one person shifts around, etc.

Caveats: It’s essentially an aircraft-carrier sized block of foam rubber (for the king size at least), and when you take it out of the wrapper the first week it smells to high heaven. It was almost unbearable, even with the windows open and fans going, for about a week. After that, no problem. And like all sleep stuff it’s a personal thing. I know folks who swear by coil springs, and others like us who won’t ever have anything but this stuff again if we can help it.

I’m pretty sure our current mattress dates to ~1995-6, and it’s fine. It’s a spring mattress with a pillowtop. Good quality when we bought it but not outrageously expensive - probably from one of the 3 S’s - I don’t remember for sure.

I like it and have detected no signs of aging in the springs or pillowtop or whatnot. That doesn’t mean it’s exactly like new, but to the extent that it isn’t I don’t notice. It’s probably got some minor cosmetic issues after all these years, but I can’t really point to any specifically, and besides, you don’t see the mattress 99%+ of the time.

Speaking of fun, a degree of firmness is not a bad thing. Some soft beds are great for sleeping in, but not much else.