Let’s not talk about the news. I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to think about it. Instead, let’s talk about mattresses. Because we just got a new one.
I’m a born researcher, so when I’m buying anything, I feel I need to learn everything about whatever it is. I’m still in a mental huddle about possibly buying a new rack for the dishes in the kitchen so you can imagine the intensity of my search for a mattress to fix my spinal problems.
In the course of buying a mattress, I made a bunch of useful discoveries. First, I’m getting out of bed in the morning in less pain than I was. This is probably due to the new mattress, but also to not sleeping on my side. My left hip thanks me hourly.
Mostly though, I had to recognize that nothing was going to make it all better. It’s way past that point now. A good mattress helps, but changing the position in which I sleep counts too.
Money: A Good Mattress Doesn’t Cost $100
If you are spending in the “moderate” range, a decent quality mattress, queen-size, will cost you $1000, give or take a couple of hundred dollars. Smaller mattresses of the same type will cost a bit less and bigger ones will cost a bit more.
You can save several hundred dollars by buying your mattress online. However, unless you don’t have a bed at all, you will have to figure out how to get rid of your old mattress. You can’t just stick it on the street and hope someone will pick it up. Your trash company will not take it away.
Unless you live in a town that has a dump of its own (and you pay to use it), someone is going to have to take your mattress away. Because they are so big, nobody wants old mattresses.
Here, where there’s no town dump and all nearby dumps are full, it will cost anywhere from $150 – $400 to get rid of a mattress. If you need to hire someone to take it away, as opposed to stuffing it in the back of your truck and driving it to the dump, you’ll have to pay more.
You have a truck, right?
In our case, being older and with arthritis in all the right places, we couldn’t haul an old mattress outside, much less to the truck we don’t own. I finally realized we could solve the problem by buying the mattress at an actual store. We went to Bob’s Discount Furniture. They advertise on every television station in New England and have a local store. They would take away the old mattress and install a new one.
Regardless, online or not, it’s probably going to wind up costing you about $1000 between the mattress itself, taxes, a cover, and unless you are getting it from Amazon Prime, delivery.
Our delivery was just $70 and included free removal of the old mattress, which was all told less than it would have cost us just to get rid of the old mattress on our own.
$799 for the mattress, $54 taxes, $70 delivery. I also bought a topper for it, bringing the whole thing to $1002.
What’s the Right Style?
If you are arthritic or have other back, hip, shoulder, or leg issues, you’ll be happier on memory foam or gel than on an innerspring mattress. If you have an adjustable bed, you can’t use a hybrid or innerspring mattress. Our last mattress was a 10-inch pure (real, from the tree) latex mattress. We couldn’t afford that today.
We have an adjustable bed, so it was going to be memory foam or gel-infused memory foam.
Most foam mattresses last about seven years. An expensive latex mattress can last twice that. The one we had to get rid of was unbelievably comfortable for 15 years. We had a 20-year warranty, except the company that made the mattress was no longer in business as of five years ago.
Regardless, after 18 years of daily use, it wasn’t hard to figure out we needed a new mattress. Nothing lasts forever. This time, having bought a pretty good foam-gel-infused 12-inch mattress, seven or eight years is pretty much what we can expect from it.
We have a 20-year warranty on the mattress, so if Bob’s Discount Furniture is still in business when we need a new mattress, I’ll be curious to see how that works out.
How Hard? How Soft? Springs? Foam? Latex?
How soft? As soft as possible if you are a side-sleeper. I am, but I am teaching myself to sleep on my back because my hip can’t take the pressure anymore. Medium to medium-plush is about right for the vast majority of people, even those of us with back problems. Harder mattresses are not better for you. Most of us, as we get older, need less hardness.
Innerspring and hybrid coil/foam mattresses are better for sex. Everyone says so and I will have to take their word for it. It has been a very long time since I slept on anything that wasn’t latex.
What’s the Scale for Measuring Mattress “Hardness”?
Most places use a gauge of 1 to 10. Almost every mattress will be between 4 (plush) and 8 (medium-hard). Six is the most popular number and when the talk about “the comfort spot,” six is usually “it.”
Bob’s offers several mattresses where you can get firm on one side and plush on the other, but Garry and I wanted plush times two. We have arthritis, bad backs, problem shoulders, and difficult hips. Not to mention sciatica and disc herniation.
I would have like a mattress just like the one we had, but I’m not even sure where to get one like it now. Full genuine natural latex mattresses are expensive. Most people can’t afford them and I just got lucky on the first one.
If you are not short of funds and can “go for the gold,” as it were, a pure real from-the-tree latex mattress is as good as it gets. Theoretically, the imitation foam is identical to the stuff from the trees, but every report indicates people who buy real natural latex are happier with their mattresses.
We believed we had the most comfortable bed in the world. It was, for about 16 years.
I think the new one is going to work out. After five days, it’s softening up and getting comfortable. But we can still trade it for 90 days.
Not bad, right?
A Short Summary
If you have the money, buy a natural latex mattress, the best you can afford. Not only will your bed be your most comfortable place, it will outlast any other mattress you can buy. I wish I could have afforded another one, but we couldn’t come up with the money.
If you are a stomach or side sleeper, consider making an effort to sleep on your back.
If you don’t have an adjustable bed, consider getting one. If you have back problems or asthma? Raising the bed makes it better. I originally got ours because of asthma, but it turned out to have many other values too.
Also, get a great pillow or two. Yes, they also matter.