Thursday, May 10, 2012

Out of My Element

I'm not saying these two made our mattress
but they might have.
BF and I have been sleeping on the same mattress for three years now.  It's a mattress that he had in his old room at his parents house, and I don't even want to know how old it is.  It has reached the point where it is losing all structural integrity and sags in the middle which means that we slide together in the night and wake up all warm.  Add to that the fact that the bed frame fell apart a while ago, and now it's just mattress and box spring sitting on the floor (classy), and we're reached the conclusion that it's time for a new bed.

The problem is, I've never bought a bed before, and the sleuthing I did a few months ago left me very downtrodden.

  1. Factor one when mattress shopping--you can't really buy used.  I know, I know, buying a used mattress is kind of gross, which is why you can't do it.  It's illegal to sell a mattress on craigslist or really anywhere else, so unless you have a clean co-worker who happens to be upgrading to a new mattress and wants to unload a gently used one, it seems like you're out of luck.  Which brings me to me second point.
  2. Mattresses are expensive!  Holy crap are they ever!  I did a little bit of poking around on line to try to figure out where a person even goes to buy a mattress, and I found that a store called Sleepy's was having a Columbus Day sale (this was a while ago), it seemed reasonable, so we went.  What we found out though, is Sleepy's is crazy expensive and has a mattress showroom where you discuss your mattress needs with a sleep specialist.  Umm, no thank you.
  3. There's no happy medium.  We went from Sleepy's to a place called Building 19, which is just as sinister as it sounds.  Sure they had mattresses, but they also had a giant collection of slightly irregular crocs, dented cans, etc.  It was that kind of place, and the mattresses were covered in plastic so filthy, I didn't want to even lie down on them to test them out.  I love warehouse-type stores, but this was just too depressing.  And the mattresses there were still expensive!
So where do poor people buy beds?  Do poor people just not get to have beds/a good night's sleep?  I don't think I can buy a bed at Ikea, I know I can't buy one at Target, so I'm at a loss.

My brother, who is not poor, recently bought a new bed and he raved about the marvelous night's sleep he's been getting by using words like "I had no idea" and "new man."  He also went to some custom mattress factory where he spent hours taking actual naps on floor models until the built him a bed specific to his needs and tastes.  So he's no help.

I turn to you, blogosphere--help!  Any and all advice is appreciated, even if that advice is either that we continue to sleep poorly, or prepare to get a bank loan.


  1. It's expensive, but I will say this. I spent a night at a friend's house when she was out of town--she had this bed you have to climb up into.

    Best. Mattress. Ever.

    I mean EVER. To the point where I somewhere have a note on exactly what brand and style this mattress is, and I am so totally buying it when I replace my current mattress. The one I def. did not spend enough money on.

    Save up and take the plunge. This is no time to be frugal (although this: maybe to extend the life of a mattress, get one of those memory foam mattress toppers???)

  2. First of all, get rid of the box spring and put the mattress directly on the floor. It will still be somewhat soft, and it won't sag as much. Second... why can't you buy a used bed? Look on Craig's list. Sometimes things happen... someone buys a new mattress and then gets transferred out of town, or dies (hopefully not on the mattress).

  3. Interesting...our mattress was from a going-out-of-business hotel sale. And yes, many people think we are totally disgusting, but since my in-laws bought it for us, it was a free king-sized mattress. Why turn that down!? AND my father in-law had a good point: if people pay $75 bucks a night to sleep in the same bed, why not pay the same price to own it? We have a memory foam topper on it too, which basically made it feel like a new bed.

    I realize this was probably no help. :D Mattresses are super expensive, but it's probably a quality over cost situation.

  4. Our mattress was a television show extra. They filmed K-Ville here in New Orleans and when it was was cancelled they held a huge liquidation sale for all of their props. We scored a pillowtop mattress and box spring along with some knick-knacks for the grand total of $50.

    So, it seems like there can be some deals out there, but in some unusual places. Good luck!

  5. @Kathryn I was told that it's illegal to sell a mattress on craigslist. A co-worker was telling me that he had a hell of a time selling one a while back that was still in good condition, but that he didn't need anymore.

    @Melissa--I'm going to keep my eyes open for hotel sales!

  6. I know my mom just bought one at Jordan's this week...and I believe that B.j>'s sells them too...? I can ask her where she looked around and what did ended up paying.

  7. I stalked sales for a while and ended up at (what appears to be a regional store) Bedzzz Express (not joking with the name). I paid $350 or $400 and got a brand new, not name brand, not pillow top queen-sized mattress, box springs, and bed frame. I got it delivered because they take the old mattress with them and get rid of it.

    I'm completely obsessed with my mattress, even more than the pillow top I slept on when I lived with my parents. I say try out a few to see what kind of mattress you like, then shop the sales. A mattress should last 10+ years so if you think about it as an investment, it's not really a terribly expensive thing.

    My thoughts on used mattresses: bedbugs. Enough said.

  8. When I moved during my divorce, I was offered a king sized matress and box spring by an awesome co-worker. It had come from their third guest room, and they were turning it into a home office. My thoughts were a) it's better than the air mattress that I'd been sleeping on for two weeks, and b) would I have felt comfortable sleeping in their guest room? Since I know my co-worker is a clean freak (with a housekeeper), I said yes, and I do not regret it. If it had been anyone else, or a matress that had gotten more regular use, I doubt I'd have accepted the offer.

  9. As a young married (with no money) a mattress on the floor did just fine. (I won't mention what we did for furniture.) I would not buy used bedding in this day of bedbugs, as Elizabeth points out. Yes, we have them in upstate New York where we live. You don't want them.

  10. Oddly enough, I was in the same exact sitch when I started my new job 5 years ago. My mattress I had since high school suddenly didn't want to be a mattress anymore. As loathe as I am to shopping, I went to two stores and the prices made me feel ishy. I mitigated the cost by going with a nice mattress on clearance. Mattresses are big and take up lots of space in inventory, so when new models arrive, they have to get rid of the old ones. It was still $700, but that was half off. It's been serving me well for five years now, so that's about 140 a year. Got a friend (KC) to help with his truck so no delivery. Got a cheap ass frame for 40 bucks.

    And yes, when you first start sleeping on the new mattress after living with the old one, it's like a whole new world.

  11. Hence the futon. Although that's probably no help.

  12. Yes, you can get beds at Ikea! I know because I helped my daughter buy hers (and lug it all up the stairs to the apartment). Mix and match - frame (with or without headboard), slat-support system, mattress.

    Another possibility is the "mismatched" sales that furniture stores sometimes have, where the covering fabric isn't identical on mattress & boxspring.

    After years on a soft-side waterbed, we got a comfort-foam topped mattress w. boxspring at national chain furniture store after much comparison shopping at specialty mattress stores, etc. It was "last year's" model, but who cares? Got our bedframe from Big-Mart type store (same style, lots cheaper) and a water-resistant (but not plastic) mattress cover to make it last longer.

    Good luck! A recent consumer magazine report said that it was really nearly impossible to compare "quality ratings" from company to company, and that bigger $$ wasn't always indicative of better quality overall.
    **Katy M
    Recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers at
    Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove

  13. I don't like memory foam toppers. I feel like I sink into it like quicksand, and don't move for the rest of the night, and wake up very sore in spots in the morning.
    Why can't you buy a bed at IKEA? They even have a mattress guide.
    And I think of a bed frame as extra storage space (underneath) so that's worth it too.

  14. Have you found a mattress already? Well, in your situation, I think it is high time to do some mattress research. You would surely find one for you that is right for you – from prices that fit your budget to the model and style that would help you sleep better at night. And one more thing, don’t be afraid to check at online stores. Some of them do offer quality mattress in a fraction of a cost.

    @Twana Culver

  15. It wasn't so bad that it interfered with my life, so I just sort of ignored it and went along with life.

  16. Cool story about mattress, you shared your family story among us, so thank you. keep it up.

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  17. It was great to see the old printshop and everyone who works there again. I am excited to see a printing business still operating and growing, great job guys
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