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.

Spending more may or may not actually get you a better mattress. Many of the better-known mattress companies no longer make the best mattresses, but they still charge higher prices.

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.

It’s one of the problems with long warranties. You need to assume the company will be around as long as your warranty lasts. Often, they aren’t.

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.

Make your bed really comfortable! These are Beegod pillows and I love them. Who knew pillows could make such a difference?

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.

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22 replies

  1. Thanks for this. I need a new mattress. I’ll revisit this when I go to buy one 🙂


    • I did a lot of looking around and checking before I bought, so I figured I might as well use all the information I gathered. I hope it helps. This is most of what I was looking for 😀


      • Thank you. I need a new mat. but I don’t know which to get. I don’t think soft, I can’t turn over, but I don’t want hard because my bones ache. It’s somewhere in the middle, but dang. I hate memory foam, it conforms to your body and then you can’t sleep any other direction. so your post was indeed helpful.


  2. I found that if I drink two pints of gin I can sleep anywhere.


  3. Good advice.


  4. Bob’s is obviously still in their growth phase, because they just came to my area earlier this year… judging by their sudden appearance on radio ads anyway….

    That said… there is a local furniture store in town (Probably not coincidentally located near a railyard) that offers suspect furniture for an absolute steal (And cash only… making them even shadier). I got my mattress (queen, since full and queen were the same price), box springs, and a metal frame all for about $300 nine years ago. One corner of the frame has already collapsed, but that’s what books are for. Other than that… it sleeps just as good as any other bed I’ve ever been in. And with back problems of my own since my mid 20’s, no bed I’ve ever been in… even at fancy hotels… has been any better or worse than my $300 bed that probably fell off a box car.


    • Bob’s is less expensive than the other furniture stores — a LOT less expensive than the very good one in town. And has what are said to be very durable warranties. But this also presupposes he would be around in ten years when something happens. Except that in ten years, we’ll need a new one, warranty or not.

      I would never pay cash for furniture. I’ve been burned too many times by too many shysters. I can’t afford any more people stealing what little money I’ve got.


  5. A comfortable bed and a good nights sleep are sooooooo important to well being. The older I get, the more I appreciate it. Memory foam works well in our house.


  6. I am a side sleeper. My mattress, which I’ve had for about 8 years, has a memory foam top over innerspring coils. It’s actually quite comfy, but it’s a California King and cost me a bit more than a grand. But I wasn’t retired when I bought it and now I am, so I’m hoping I won’t outlive this mattress.


    • Coil mattresses sometimes live a bit longer than any kind of foam (except real latex). The problem is that the coils will probably last a long time, but the foam on top won’t. It just disintegrates over time, no matter what you do. It’s the nature of foam.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have always heard that latex was truly one of the more comfortable surfaces to sleep on, but that after a few years the latex disintegrates and turns into latex powder or dust, and loses its advantage. So, is this mattress, you’re touting, made of some other form of latex? I sleep on a “Sleep Number” myself which is guaranteed for 20 years. Mine still works but I did have to replace a couple of bladders. The failures were my fault as I built my own bed but did not provide a good stable surface for the mattress. It only took me 25 years to discover my mistake…. 🙂


    • Real latex, made from trees that grow in the ground is what I’m talking about. Most latex is chemically reproduced and doesn’t hold up as well. But even FAKE latex doesn’t disintegrate and turn to powder. Ours was incredibly comfortable for 15 years and not bad for another year after that. I added a “topper” at that point and got two more years out of it and there was NO disintegration, but it started getting uneven. Both of us are side-sleepers. Hard on your body and equally hard on the mattress.

      But real latex does NOT disintegrate. I suspect people say that because they can’t afford it. But you do have to be sure you are actually getting real latex. Stores sell foam and call it latex and that will last between six and eight years and then disintegrate because that’s what foam does — gel infused or not. Latex — the real thing — is not the same product, not made the same way. It is chemically entirely different. There is “manufactured” latex which technically is the same as natural latex (and is certainly much cheaper), but it is NOT the same. If it doesn’t come from tree sap, it isn’t real latex.


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