questionswhere is a good place to get a deal on a mattress?

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Good luck with this.

Have one mattress that I really like, bought at a mattress chain. Name brand. Been hanging tough for ~10 yrs.

Had another mattress that I ordered after staying in a hotel and sleeping on it for a few days. Wound up being too soft, had it for several years.

Got an inexpensive one for the kids, and wound up swapping it into the master bedroom, as it was more comfortable than the hotel mattress.

All in all, I really don't know. Most pillow tops become concave, but warranties usually don't kick in until they are 1-1/2" down or more.

Extra huge pain trying to comparison shop because each major mfg. makes a different line for each chain of stores, making comparison impossible.

I'd say stick with major mfg, middle end mattresses. Maybe look for someone that has a 90 day return policy?

Sorry I can't be more help. I figure all of the national and regional chains are pretty much interchangeable. Does Consumer Reports rate mattresses?

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When my wife and I got married 6 years ago, we needed to find a relatively inexpensive queen mattress. We dedicated an entire day to it. Thankfully, almost every store had older demo mattresses that were already sagging in the middle. So when it came time to buy, we only had to choose between 2 or 3 mattresses that actually were nice in the store. And the mattress that we actually bought was at the first store we went to that day.

Today, the mattress is still holding up well except for one spot on the frame that we broke that had nothing to do with the quality of the mattress.

That mattress was a Spring Air. We were going for something firmer, so that may have had something to do with it holding up so well. Looking at Wikipedia, it seems that their entire business has restructured - no idea if the quality is still where it was then.

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I'm sure you read the answers to the other mattress-related questions before asking, but just in case:
http://deals.woot.com/questions/search?q=mattress&sort=bestmatch

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If you have an Original Mattress Factory anywhere close to nearby GO THERE! We just bought an upper level Queen mattress and boxspring (~$1100) and we love it. It is a dual pillow top (pillow top on both sides) which is very hard to find. The sales people don't work on commission and will not stand right beside you while you try them out. I told the manager I really appreciated that and he said it was company policy because you are in a very vulnerable position while lying down and someone standing over you makes you nervous and you have no idea how the mattress really feels. They have all levels of firmness as well as gel and memory foam. The costs are reasonable and everyone can find a comfortable lasting mattress in their price range. I currently have three of their mattresses in my home ranging from 9 years to 1 month old. none of them have sank like a bowl and none of them need to be replaced. :-) When they do I'll go the The Original Matress Factory again.

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oh yeah http://www.originalmattress.com/ The site has some great tips and information also.

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First, go to a big mattress specialty chain store with great selection and figure out what kind of mattress construction, style, and size you like. Don't make any decisions. Make a list of mattresses you like and the attributes that matter to you the most. Now go onto 1800MATTRESS.com and look at what things really cost. They also have online chat, which is useful. Now go around to some smaller, hungrier, mattress stores with your top 5 list and prices and ask them if they'll do an internet price match. If they won't, walk out. Then you get the best of both worlds - you get to try it locally, delivered fast, and at a great price. This is what we did last time we bought a mattress - top of the line Vera Wang, and got it for over half off.

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@75grandville: You said "Most pillow tops become concave, but warranties usually don't kick in until they are 1-1/2" down or more."

Exactly! And do you know how they measure that 1-1/2"? They make you take it back to their warehouse where they place it on the floor and measure the sinkage. Guess what? Put a saggy mattress down on the concrete floor and it's like magic - no longer saggy!

I'd like to thank everyone for their input so far; looking forward to more advice later this evening.

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@narquespamley: This doesn't always work as mattress manufacturers constantly make the same mattress and ship it all over under a different name or model for different prices.

http://www.originalmattress.com/common-pitfalls-of-buying-a-mattress

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@hot72chev: Do you have more than one cross support under your boxspring? if not you should ad a few. It might help your mattresses last a bit longer.

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@nmchapma: I have exactly zero cross supports! I had some old "slats" in the garage that I tried. The box spring basically floated on top of them, as they were so thick they were above the edge of the frame, so I gave up on that idea. Maybe I need a new bed frame, too.

I used a thick piece of plywood between the mattress and box spring on my last bed. Made it slightly firmer, but was still a bowl.

I like the idea of ditching the pillow top, using my own memory foam topper, and getting a firmer mattress to begin with. I had also looked at an ad for Spring Air; glad to hear from @omnichad that he had good experience with one.

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Check out http://www.mattresshero.com my wife and I have bought 2 mattresses from them and are very pleased with their service, quality, and price. They gave us free shipping and a 90 day sleep trial.

I would also suggest you look for something either with a quilted top or non pillow top as you may see issues with the mattress bulging in the middle with a pillow-top.

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There is a great site called Sleeplikethedead.com . There, you'll find tons of reviews on all types of mattresses in all different price ranges. I highly recommend checking it out.

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@curli76: That is a fantastic website, I have a lot of reading to do!