Are you grumpy? Achy? Itchy? It might be your mattress. Apart from a couch, shopping for a mattress can take a large chunk out of your home furniture budget but it's a smart investment in your life. To learn how to get the most out of our money, we went mattress shopping with Danny Seo a few weeks ago to check out Natural Care, his new mattress line, and to learn some tips about getting a good mattress at a good price. And we also learned some things we wish we hadn't. Be prepared to be grossed out!
- DO lie down on the bed you're thinking about and curl up for a few minutes in the position you like to sleep in. Get yourself comfortable with a few pillows. Hey, you'd better like it; returning a mattress is nearly impossible.
- DON'T buy a mattress on Craig's List. When you buy a new mattress, you put your old one out on the street to have it picked up, right? Well, it may not be picked up by the trash man but by folks who take those old mattresses, slap on some new fabric, wrap 'em in plastic and sell them to you on Craig's List or at close outs.
- DO consider the fabric the mattress is covered in. While you'll likely cover it with a mattress protector of some kind, it's possible you'll feel the texture through your sheets. Danny's new line is covered in a plush super soft fabric; you almost don't need a sheet!
- DON'T waste your time trying to find the same mattress at another store, thinking you can beat the price or get a price match (as some places advertise). You'll never find that same mattress at another store. Turns out that every store orders unique names for their mattresses.
- DO bargain with your salesman. You may be able to get a few dollars off.
- DON'T buy the floor model. C'mon, think of how many people have laid down on it. With their shoes on.
- DO consider buying your mattress at a store like Dream at HD Buttercup in Culver City. The sales people don't work on commission. They're genuinely interested in selling you a great bed.
- DON'T believe that firmer is always better. What you want is a mattress that cradles your body.
- DO put a piece of plywood under your mattress if you'd like it firmer. This is a good compromise for couples who often have different idea on how firm they want their mattress to be. Put a piece of plywood just under one half of the bed.
- DON'T be talked into believing that you need to buy a mattress and the matching box spring. A box spring is not always necessary, especially with modern platform bed.
- DO consider a new mattress if you have allergies. At least consider a mattress protector.
- DON'T assume all latex mattresses are created alike. Danny's new Natural Care line from Simmons is made from a thick core of natural rubber tree-based latex and soy-enhanced base foam. The holes make it breathable so it doesn't get hot, a complaint with many other latex mattresses.
More tips from Danny Seo
[images by Laure Joliet]