I personally, at 47, have never bought a new bed except a Ikea, from which I've bought several, all for much less than $2k.
Here's more fuel for that fire.
If you look at Sears in the last 10 years, the number of shoppers seemed to dwindle and getting smaller and smaller. Except for a spots in each store, there wouldn't be many shoppers at all. So the economics don't make sense...and then bam they're going bankrupt.
Now look at rug stores; there are a few of them where I live (Toronto, Canada) and every single one, without fail, has very few customers and has a sale on. Usually it's "inventory clearance" or "going out of business" or whatever. But they just continue to sit there.
There are a lot of industries and niches in industries where the economics do not make sense on the surface but I suspect there's some perverse set of incentives that make it possible. Maybe some weird tax loophole, or some kind of government loan or grant, or some weird combination of laws (or lack of laws and regulation) that make it possible.
Embrace the weirdness?
I'd been sleeping on whatever crap was cheapest for most of my life. Never bad enough to complain about but was never truly comfortable either.
Sounds expensive at first, but totally worth it for the amount of time you'll spend on it. I went to a few mattress stores and found just the one I want. So comfortable now.
I had put it off for years because I didn't want to be harassed by salesmen but actually the whole process ended up being very painless.
A good mattress will change your life.
Tangentially, someone once told me that vending machine companies are havens for money laundering. It's a plausible source for tons of cash, which makes it ideal for getting illegally obtained cash into the legal banking system. No idea how true it is, but that's how it was explained to me.
Edit: a summary of the spat I mentioned: https://www.reddit.com/r/shittykickstarters/comments/69zqcx/...
If Ford tells me my GM leaks gas, and they’re right, that’s fine with me.
> Kenny Kline and Dan Scalco swore that Casper wouldn’t touch the site. Casper’s Philip Krim told me the same: “We exert no influence and have no influence over the site, other than that we lent them money.”
I smiled at that part, and then read on to the next paragraph:
> The new owners of Sleepopolis did disclose on the site: “Until the loan is satisfied, Casper has the contractual right to repossess the assets and forgive the remaining value of the loan…yes, that was written by our lawyers ;).” Repossess the assets: in other words, take over Sleepopolis, if it came to that. But Krim said this was just “lawyer language protecting our loan, so we get paid back.”
There's all this stuff advertised in podcasts (mattresses, clothes, underwear, meal prep, snacks) which seems to be aimed at young professionals who hate the idea of having to go into a physical store and talk to a physical person. When the podcast man reads a script saying "Casper mattresses are WAY cheaper than what you'd get in a store!", I guess you're not supposed to comparison-shop and see that the Casper is $950 for a queen... which is pretty much exactly what we paid for a perfectly nice Serta memory foam mattress at a store 1 mile from our house, which included delivery and installation.
I mean, even if salespeople weren't... salespeople, it's still often a good several hours of time during business hours to drive to the store that has the thing you want, and I personally have a really hard time telling you how much I will like a mattress without sleeping on it for a week, anyhow, so I don't feel like I'm getting any value out of shopping in person.
For a company that is essentially the manufacturer and retailer, there should be quite a bit of overhead removed for them. I'm really disliking this trend where ecommerce-based manu-tailers are seen as premium brands and can increase their margins more than the other guys and make hand over fist. To me, it's even worse than slimy car dealers or furniture stores.
Indeed. I really hate talking to salespeople, and tend to avoid going to stores where that's mandatory.
The best thing to happen to mattresses, was that someone figured out you can roll them up and ship them direct.
The fallout from that discovery of Purple vs Casper vs Avacado (my pick, love it) vs whatever... don’t care so long as I never need to go into a mattress store again.
It's suspicious, to be sure.
I never thought that being a matress salesman was so profitable. One has offered me discounts if I buy from him, but I haven't taken him up on the offer.
I was trying to do research after the fact (cause why would you do it BEFORE you bought something) and found that I couldn't find any sites that screamed "objective" to me - it all seemed like a bunch of sites that were advertising far more than reviewing.
Even this is tricky, because they'll sell the same matress as "super deluxe" in one store and "premium super" in another store.
It would be a lot of work to organize this mess of information.
Wirecutter is owned by the NY Times and does very good reviews. You can also spend a few bucks to buy a Consumer Reports subscription for a month and access their huge testing database and years of experience.
When we purchased our mattress ( a Vi-Spring ) the store only accepted our order after we had lain on a matching configuration in-store for 20 mins. Or was it 30?
If felt odd lying in the middle of a shop but apparently it was the only way to enable the softness-exchange warranty. We could switch up or down one softness grade but had to find the starting grade like that.
Seriously though, thank you, I'll keep that in mind for my next major purchase.
Online mattress sales became popular precisely because of those scummy tactics, as well as very generous return policies, where you can actually use your bed for a significant amount of time before you make a decision on it.
My current plan is to have either a spring or dunlop latex base, with then 3 inches of firm dunlop and 2 inches of medium dunlop latex on top. Side sleeper (mostly)
FWIW I really like purple.
I avoid it by buying refurbished mattresses from local charitable organizations.
I've never bought a mattress online, but I see little reason to think those guys are any better.
It's essentially no different than newly built. I've been buying these for decades and have never had an issue with bedbugs or any other nastiness.
They are less expensive, but not dramatically so. But I get a quality bed, don't have to deal with mattress shops, and get a little bit of feel-good from helping to employ people who otherwise have difficulty finding work.
And they deliver.
Definitely better for the environment though, and good for society if it means they're able to employ the less abled to help do the work.
When I first investigated these things, I had asked them how, since they're only keeping the wood and wire, they can sell them at a discount. What they told me was that first, the beds they're refurbushing were originally donated to them, so cost them nothing. Also, since they employ people who are otherwise unemployable, they pay minimum wage, which keeps labor costs down. And thirdly, the government considers them a nonprofit work creation program and provides a certain amount of subsidy for the wages.
If true, that's absolutely insane---spending ~40% of your revenue on marketing.
You have to be a strong marketer to be in the mattress industry, because they’re really selling identical, rectangular slabs.
I bought a cotton-filled Japanese futon mattress and slept on it for 6 months. In the end, I was still waking up with hurt joints, almost like bruising, and I bought a $1,000 mattress instead.
So I think it's due to individual nerve differences or something...
Mattresses are oversized sanitary napkins but people keep them around far longer than they should because they pay so much for them.
I appreciate the plusher mattresses hotels have, but at no point have I thought to spend anything close to what these mattress places usually charge.
I just spent a week at a 5-star Hawaiian resort where they (I saw and asked them) change out the mattresses monthly ... My mattress at home that I ordered online was far nicer.