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The joys of mattress shopping

Something happened to my husband and I a couple of months ago that has haunted our dreams. … We watched the “Dirty Jobs” episode where host Mike Rowe took a dirty job collecting used mattresses.

What always amuses me about this particular episode is that Mike Rowe barely flinches in the face of animal poo, but something about the thought of what is lurking in used mattresses turns totally grosses him out and gives him the heeby-jeebies. Incidentally, ever since watching that episode, my husband has been fantasizing about a new mattress because our bed? Yeah – my folks bought it for us at a garage sale three years ago and it looks like a relic from the 1980s. It’s old, it’s origins may be dubious and it’s getting to the point where it has ripped holes in some of our sheets because the springs are coming up from the depths. All in all, it was time to get a new mattress.

Dear readers – I planned to do my research. Nothing scared me more than the thought of buying a new mattress because despite the elderly state of our mattress, it is what I am used to. I’m that person who has a hard time sleeping in strange beds – hotels, friends’ houses, etc. So the thought of switching from the old and losing about two weeks worth of sleep is not appealing to me.

But as it so happened, husband and I went ahead and made a knee jerk purchase tonight after work. Here were the circumstances: A local chain store was advertising a queen size mattress set for under $400. That planted the kernel of mattress buying in my head a couple days ago. We tried that mattress, it sucked and we tried one that would have cost around $600 and liked that one much more. However, as much as I hate pushy salespeople, we had to drag the sales associate from his desk where he was (likely) surfing the Internet and his customer service sucked. This is the conclusion I came to even after he jumped on the beds to prove how awesome the springs were in the superior mattress set.

So we went to our regular store – and even though I don’t usually name drop, I have never been anything but impressed with their customer service – we went to HOM Furniture, which my husband and I have decided is like the Kohls of furniture stores. They almost always have a sale going on and on this particular evening, mattresses were 30% off of their lowest marked price. To our dismay, the particular sale that they had going on was set to end that evening and we were faced with a decision that I wasn’t to happy to be in. We could get along without a new mattress, but it was one of the purchases we intended to make this summer. And although we were not getting the time we really wanted to research what we were about to do, my husband could sleep on a forest floor and the sales lady knocked another 5% off, which basically covered the cost of the frame that we needed to buy (our current one is being held up by concrete blocks). And we have the money in the bank to pay cash, although my husband used his credit card on the purchase. (Note: Husband is much better than I was … he does have credit cards but pays off the balance every month.)

Instead of the $600 we would have paid at the competition’s store, I am OK that we spent $750 on our new mattress, the frame, the shipping, tax, etc. And although I didn’t get to do as much research as I thought I would do (who am I fooling – I’m not going to know if I made a grievous error until night two when I wake up with a backache), it boiled down to the customer service aspect for me. This is the third purchase we’ve made at HOM and we’ve always been blessed with great salespeople and just an overall good experience.

So yes … my wallet is $375 lighter this evening (we don’t have a shared bank account – with my credit card debt paid off, we’re trying to go halvsies on major purchases), but this was a planned expense that just took place sooner than I thought it would.

The next time I’m in this situation, I’m going to consult someone like The Better Sleep Council, a non-profit organization that is supported by the mattress industry, but not schilling for any particular manufacturer.

And as for whether or not this is a good mattress, I’ll let you know in a few weeks …

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