17,000+ Consumer Reports subscribers rate best mattress brands and retailers

Consumer Reports News: September 02, 2009 05:34 PM

The October 2009 issue of Consumer Reports features a mattress-buying survey in which 17,444 Consumer Reports and Consumer Reports.org who purchased a new mattress within the past five years have shared their feedback. Retailer ratings were based on purchases in the past two years.

The results show you don't have to pay big bucks for a good night's sleep. Sixty-six percent of respondents who paid under $1,000 for their mattresses were happy with their purchase, as were 75 percent of those who paid over $3,000. Seventy-eight percent of those who spent more than $4,000 were highly satisfied.

That's heartening news, since mattress shopping is an often confusing task. Consumer Reports receives more inquiries about mattresses than about any other product except cars and washing machines, and our Mattress forum is among our busiest forums.

Our past tests have shown mattresses to be expensive ( some models we tested have cost up to $4,150), difficult to distinguish (many manufacturers sell the same models under different names), and hard to effectively test before buying (we recommend a 15-minute sleep test).

It's not until you cut them open that meaningful differences emerge. One test showed how a $700 Sealy Posturepedic Sapphire LX Firm and a $1,400 Sealy Posturepedic Ruby LX Cushion Firm mattress can differ in padding, quilting, and springs (see our anatomy of a mattress interactive for more details).

In our October 2009 report, readers rated pricey Tempu-Pedic mattresses as among the best mattress brands, followed by much less expensive models from The Original Mattress Factory. Costco was also highly rated, even though it earned the low scores for service and selection. The appeal of Costco, as well as Sams's Club lay in their low prices. (Full ratings of both brands and retailers are available to subscribers).

Our mattress-buying video above includes our findings that furniture stores tend to beat bedding specialists on price. And speaking of price, our October 2009 report showed only 36 percent of respondents tried haggling—but 72 percent of those who went to the mat this way got a lower price on their mattresses.— Gian Trotta | | Twitter | Forums | Facebook

Essential Information: Even if you're not buying a mattress, you can improve your repose with these healthy sleep tips. And don't miss our earlier reports on mattress toppers, bed linens and ways to make your current mattress last longer.

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