To the Mattresses

“We are having a four-day sale. Everything is on sale,” says the mattress man. Why is that mattresses are always on sale? Could it be because they are always overpriced? He went into his speech about foam mattresses

Who wants to buy a new mattress, especially when you have a perfectly good mattress, only 20 years old. Well, maybe it is not perfectly good. How long is a mattress supposed to last anyhow?

The thing is, I’ve been waking up with a terrible backache every morning. I tried the old put-a-board-under-the-mattress trick. It didn’t help. I know I’m getting older, but I prefer to blame my aching back on something else.

I looked up “buying a mattress” on the Internet. Honey wants a “Sleep Number” bed, so I read up on them. I’m not sure I really understand the concept, but it seems the mattress is filled with air and the user can adjust it to be harder or softer, according to preference.

I skip over the advertisements and go to the customer reviews: “Hard to put together, high price, leaks air, don’t last long.” The fact is, I don’t want a bed that does tricks. I don’t want an air bed, a water bed, a foam bed, a latex bed or a bed that becomes a chaise lounge. I want a plain, regular bed, the kind with springs and padding, a bed inspired by the innerspring in car seats, according to what I read.

There are so many different mattresses on the market that it is confusing. Mattress manufacturers want it that way: Perfect Sleeper, Memory Foam, Posturepedic, TempurPedic, Beautyrest. They even call the same mattress by a different model number to prevent comparison shopping.

It seems that once you decide on the type of bed, the rest would be easy. No, there are all sorts of innerspring mattresses. The mattresses basically consist of two things, springs and padding. There can be more coils to give support or fewer coils that are made with heavier wire. Number of coils doesn’t really mean much.

As far as padding, there is cotton, acrylic, memory foam and combinations. The best way to decide is to lie down on the mattresses and see which feels better. Just like Goldilocks and The Three Bears, “This one is too hard, this one too soft,” until you find one that is just right.

The store looked like trampoline heaven. I resisted the urge. “I want a mattress with coils.”

“Well, if you are sure …” He went into the speech about numbers of coils. I didn’t tell him I had been reading Consumer Guide.

“Do you like firm or soft,” he asked. Why spoil the fun? “Both,” I said.

Finally, he said, “Well it really is up to what feels comfortable to you.” Eureka! I thought he would get to that sooner or later.

This mattress was too soft, that mattress, still too soft. It seems I am a firm mattress sleeper. We finally found the mattress of our dreams — literally — a hard mattress with enough memory foam padding to make it bearable.

“We can deliver it today,” said the salesman, not wanting to take any chances. So, I signed on the dotted line, handed over the plastic card and the new mattress was mine.

It felt pretty hard the first night. “I hope I’ve not made a terrible mistake,” I thought. But, I slept through the night without waking up for the first time in ages. After about a week, my back is starting to feel better too.

It is hard to replace something that you already have. I’ve decided that I deserve to be comfortable, and if it makes my back feel better, it’s worth whatever it costs.

All this mattress talk is making me feel very tired. If you will excuse me, I think I’ll turn in.

Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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7 Responses to To the Mattresses

  1. Sheila Moss says:

    Is it another Sleep Number or something else?


  2. We’ve had a sleep number bed for over 10 years now and we still like it. We have to check the pressure and top her off once in a while but not often. As the years have gone by, my husband has to sleep slightly elevated so he put a wedge on his side. On top is a goofy looking pillow that he likes. There is no hope of my bed looking like something out of House Beautiful as the pillows are all crookedy but I’m beyond the point of caring. Just give me a good night’s sleep and I’m good.


  3. haoyando says:

    Yes, I am wondering that probably a tatami bed will suit you better. It means a flat surface with a layer of memory foam on it.


    • Sheila Moss says:

      Is that a combination type, traditional interspring but with memory foam on top? I thought I would like that, but it has a very low percentage of buyers who like it. It is all very confusing.


  4. I got a new mattress this year also and believe me, I love it!


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