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Can you buy a good night’s sleep?

Consumer Reports News: November 04, 2011 02:08 PM

New York is known as the city that never sleeps but there are four cities whose residents are even more sleep-deprived, according to a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control. This weekend is a good time to start making up that sleep deficit by taking advantage of the extra hour we’ll get when daylight saving time ends early Sunday. You should also explore what’s keeping you up at night—your mattress or something more serious.

The 10 most sleep-deprived cities, most of which are east of the Mississippi, according to the study that was conducted for Sleepy’s, the mattress retailer. They are: Detroit, Birmingham, AL, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, New York, Cincinnati, Louisville, Raleigh, NC, Columbus, OH and Boston. The most well-rested folks live in San Diego, Dallas, Richmond, VA, San Jose and San Francisco. The findings were part of a larger survey on health behaviors compiled by the CDC.

When Consumer Reports asked 17,444 online subscribers about their mattress buying experiences, we found real differences. Forty-one percent said they'd definitely buy the mattress brand they currently own if they had to do it over. Forty-three percent said they'd probably buy it again. An unhappy 16 percent said they'd probably or definitely pick something else.

Respondents who bought Tempur-Pedic, Original Mattress Factory brand, and Select Comfort mattresses were much more satisfied than those who bought Spring Air and Stearns & Foster models. They were significantly more likely to say they would definitely buy those brands again. When it came to retailers, the top-ranked seller, the Original Mattress Factory, was a standout for both service and selection. Costco was also highly rated, even though it (and Sam's Club) earned the lowest scores for service and selection.

Consumer Reports does not test mattresses because different stores might sell similar beds under different names, making comparisons difficult. Then there is the matter of personal preference. Here are some tips to find the mattress that suits you best.

  • Buy mattresses only when they're on sale since retailers mark up mattresses significantly.
  • Avoid buying a mattress over the phone or online. We strongly recommend that you don a set of loose, comfortable clothes and slip-on shoes and try out each mattress in the store for at least 15 minutes.
  • Start with lower-priced mattresses and work your way up to the point were you feel comfortable, than look at other mattresses in that price range. And don't shy away from haggling.

Unless you’re running the New York Marathon this Sunday, it’s a good time to hit the snooze button and enjoy that extra hour of sleep.

Mary H.J. Farrell

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