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Consumer Reports: Best & Worst Mattresses

9:54 PM, Jul 16, 2012   |    comments
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Think you need a new mattress? A just published Consumer Reports survey shows that about 75% of people who bought one are sleeping better. But do you have to spend thousands to get high-quality sleep?

The right mattress can let you sleep like a baby. But trying to buy one can give you nightmares. Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman with Consumer Reports says,

"You go into one store and the mattress has one name and one color fabric, and then you go to another store and they say this one is the same as that one. But it doesn't have the same name and it doesn't have, you know, some of the same characteristics."

Consumer Reports surveyed more than 12,000 subscribers about their mattresses. It turns out innerspring mattresses did not rate as well as others.

Lehrman says, "we found that people who bought memory-foam mattresses or air beds actually said they slept better than people who bought the traditional innerspring mattresses."

The survey also asked people about their shopping experience.

Consumer Reports found that the biggest stores didn't necessarily have the best selection or the best prices.

For example, Sleepy's claims to be the "mattress professionals" but was among the lowest-rated retailers. Macy's and Sears rated better than Sleepy's, but their ratings were still mostly so-so.

But some larger stores did very well in Consumer Reports' survey. Select Comfort, which sells adjustable-firmness mattresses, is one. But they're pricey. The median price for a queen is almost $2,000.

But don't worry. Consumer Reports says you can get a decent mattress for much less at Costco and Ikea. While customer service was lacking at both stores, the median price for a queen mattress is well under a thousand dollars.

Consumer Reports found that a memory-foam mattress also rated well in the survey. Tempur-Pedic was among the highest-rated brands, and those surveyed said they'd likely buy another one. But they are expensive - the median price for a queen mattress was almost $2,500.

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