Shining a light on the murky world of mattress buying

I recently found myself stumbling around a large, out-of-town homewares store, looking for somewhere to sleep. It wasn’t just because the store wore me out, but because I had entered the mindboggling world of mattress shopping!

When I read that we spend 25 years of our lives sleeping, I thought we’d better make those years as comfy as possible, and started to consider buying a new mattress. I hadn’t realised just how complicated this was going to be. Faced with multiple material options, pushy salespeople and surprisingly frequent ‘sale of the century’ offers, I left the shop feeling more confused than when I walked in, minus a mattress.

So I did what I always do when I’m looking for a really good deal, but don’t want to brave the sales, I settled down in the lounge with my laptop, and here’s what I learnt:

Don’t believe the sale sign

Just because a big red sign makes you think you’re getting a once-in-a-lifetime bargain, think twice. Often mattress retailers will run almost permanent ‘sales’ on stock, and although you feel like you’re getting a good deal, in fact they’ve just reduced their mark-up from 200% to 100%!

It seems that the only way to really get a transparently priced mattress is by cutting out these middle men (meaning the mattress shops and salespeople) entirely, and buying your mattress online.

For example, mattress retailer Bruno doesn’t even sell in shops, simply because they want to offer their mattresses for the fairest price possible. They design and produce the mattresses, sell them through their website and deliver them directly to customers, which means they can keep their prices 30 – 40% lower than high street retailers.

Know your materials in advance

If you do some basic preparation before you start shopping you can save yourself time and money. There are so many choices when it comes to mattress materials, so consider how you actually like your bed to feel before you begin to browse.

Do you really like the feeling of sinking into memory foam (which can be an expensive option) or does it just sound like a trendy choice? Perhaps you prefer the springy, fresh feeling of natural latex.

Are you happiest in a firm, supportive bed or do you like to sleep on a softer, squidgy surface? If you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you won’t risk falling into a trap of false promises and end up paying the price.

Convenience pays off

Don’t feel like you need to spend hours slogging around shops because you think you need to lie on 10 mattresses before you find the perfect one.

Online brands like Bruno understand that you can’t choose a bed based on a 5 minute lie down, and will give you a 101-night home trial, so you can test the mattress in the comfort of your own bedroom.

Add to that free delivery, a free returns policy if you decide to return the mattress within the trial period and a 10 year guarantee, and all the potential risk-factors of making an expensive online purchase are erased.

Also, forget trying to squeeze a 6ft mattress up a spiral staircase and keep an eye open for brands that deliver their mattress rolled up an in box – you can’t get much more convenient than that!

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