The Mattress Superstore

Category: Ask The Expert

What is Gel and why do I need it?

Stan G.

Gel has certainly taken the mattress industry by storm. Brands like Beautyrest, Sealy, Serta, Tempur-pedic, Novaform, Casper and Englander utilize gel in many of the models they produce. Even an old school design like the Stearns and Foster has jumped on board. One of the number one questions I am asked about gel mattresses and toppers is how do we as an industry know the benefits of gel with it being so new to the mattress world. While the gel material is new to mattresses it is not new to other products. The shoe insole business has used gel for years for many of the same reasons it is used in many of the top brands. I’ll break it down into the two main reasons the mattress industry has adopted the technology.

The first reason for using gel in mattresses is the cooling affect it has. Many people are concerned with some of the newer foams sleeping hot. It is true that early in the memory foam mattress design the foam could trap a lot of body heat. Today’s memory foam products have engineered out the heat issues. However, the test show that even on a temperature neutral mattress a person can still sleep hot. Studies show that the optimal temperature for your surroundings is approximately 68 degrees. Most people sleep hot with or without memory foam. The gel is put in the mattress to provide a cooling affect allowing the user to achieve an optimal sleeping temperature.

The second reason for gel is it has a pressure relieving benefit. This benefit is the main reason for its use in insoles of shoes. It performs so well with the arch of your foot and its pressure points the mattress industry believes that it can have a full body benefit.

The question remains to gel or not to gel. My advice is when purchasing a new mattress, the consumer should take advantage of the modern materials available to them. Do you have to have gel? The answer is no. My question is why not? It can turn a good mattress into a great mattress for a minimal increase in your investment. Everybody could use better pressure relief and studies show temperature can make a big difference in your quality of sleep.

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What is the difference in an Eastern (Standard) King and a California King?

Steve F.

There is some confusion with these two sizes. Some people believe that the California King is all together bigger than the Eastern (Standard) King. The square footage is actually the same between the two sizes. It is just proportioned differently. The California King is 72”x84” where as the Eastern is 76”x80”. Most brands like Sealy, Serta, Beautyrest, Jamison and Englander (to name a few) offer a choice in both sizes. Some brands have a slight up charge for the California but not all do.

How to choose which one is for you can be kind of tricky. The California King is more popular in, you guessed it, California and other areas on the West Coast. As for the rest of the country the Standard King is the most common. In areas where the California King is rarer it is harder to find bedding and furniture for that size. However, if you are taller than 6’3” a California King is beneficial no matter where you live. You just have to weigh the pros and cons of each size.

Mattress Size Chart:

Twin 38”x75”

Twin XL 38”x80”

Full 54”x75”

Full XL 54”x80”

Queen 60”x80”

King 76”x80”

Cal. King 72”x84”

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When is the best time to save money on a Mattress?

When is the best time to save money on a Mattress? Are there certain sale times that are better than others?

John B.

There are certain times of the year when you can get a better deal than other times. Before I go into that I want to say that if your mattress is not performing correctly you should invest in a new set as soon as possible. You do not want to jeopardize your health just to save a couple hundred dollars. However if you can wait there are defiantly times you can save a few bucks.

The major brands like Simmons Beautyrest, Sealy, Stearns and Foster, Serta, Tempu-pedic, Englader Resort / Hotel and Jamison all take part in sales throughout the year. There are different types of sales. I will walk you through the types of sales and time frames. At dfferant times of the year you will find discounts and rebates on current models and then there are better times for clearance mattresses.

Types of Sales:

– Clearance:

Clearance or Closeout sales happen usually once a year but can last longer than the typical holiday sale. In February most manufacturers release information on what models are going to be changed or discontinued. At this time many Mattress Gallery stores and furniture stores will start to clearance the models that are being changed. This is a great time to save because the dealer is eager to get rid of these models. Sometimes the only difference between a new model and the old is simply a change in fabrics or cosmetics of the line. Since the new models come out in May or July these sales can last a couple of months and will have steep discount. The down side is that it is limited to stock on hand so it is first come first served and sizes are limited. Another issue with this type of sale is that it is easy as a consumer to pick a model that does not suit you simply to save money. My best advice is to only take advantage of this type of sale if the mattress is the same one you would pay full price.

– Holiday Sales:

Most major manufacturers and dealers take part in Holiday Sales. These saving can be significant and usually include the whole line versus a few clearance items. These saving can come in the form of rebates, free box springs and money right off the top. You can also save on accessories like memory foam pillows, mattress protectors, mattress pads and frames. Some dealers will sometimes include these items for free with savings of up to $400.00. You will find holiday discounts on Memorial Day, Labor Day, Black Friday and bepending on what part of the country you are in Columbus Bay and Presidents Day can also be big times for discountes.

I hope this information helps. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but waiting for a sale period when you mattress needs to be replaced can put your health in jeopardy. If you need a new mattress and it is during one of the sale times then that is a bonus but don’t put the purchase off waiting for a sale. You can’t put a price on good health.

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What resources should I use to research what store in my area is the best place to purchase by new mattress?

Beautyrest

What resources should I use to research what store in my area is the best place to purchase by new mattress?

Andrew M.

There are many places online to research retailers in your area. With that said not all resources are created equally. Remember that on most sites anyone can write a review. It is hard to filter out the legit reviews from bogus reviews from competitors and dishonest customers. I recommend Google and the Better Business Bureau. Google has a vetting process that seems to filter out more of the bogus reviews than other sites like Yelp. I feel the better business bureau should be your first stop. This allows you to focus on stores specific to your area. When you look at massive chains overall reviews it can be misleading because not all locations perform the same.

You want to look for a Mattress Gallery or furniture store with an A+ rating. They are harder to come by than you would think. You may be surprised to find that most stores have low ratings like C’s, D’s and F’s. It is important to remember that the score does not usually reflect the experience during the time of purchase. Most buying experiences are pleasant. This score usually reflects the after purchase experience. A mattress last a long time and comes with warranties. Some brands like Englander and Jamison have guarantees as long as 20 years. Many stores underperform in the after service area. The Mattress Gallery and furniture stores with the best ratings excel at after service. Remember any one can sell you a product. You should go with the retailer that wants a long term relationship and is able to service you for many years to come. That is why I believe that family owned and locally owned businesses tent to have higher ratings than the big box stores.

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Furniture Store vs. Discount Club vs. Mattress Gallery: What is the best place to buy a new mattress?

Sterns and Foster

Furniture Store vs. Discount Club vs. Mattress Gallery: What is the best place to buy a new mattress?

Tom W.

That is a great question. It seems like you can purchase a mattress just about anywhere these days. I’ll try to break this complex question down into a simple pros vs. cons analysis.

For the purpose of this answer I will leave it to the three options in your question. I will address online sales of Tempur-pedic, Sleep Number, and many of the traditional brands like Simmons Beautyrest, Sealy, Stearns and Foster, and Serta on a special online mattress edition.

Furniture Store:

Pros:

  • One stop shopping. You can purchase a bed and a mattress set at the same store.
  • While the floor space dedicated to mattresses is limited you will find a selection of plush, firm, pillow top and euro top. There will usually be some all foam mattresses represented too.

Cons:

  • Furniture stores have to devote a massive amount of floor space to furniture groups. The mattress section is usually a small portion of the store. This limits the options 1/3 – 1/2 to that of a mattress gallery.
  • Furniture Sales associates have to learn so much about so many different types of products the mattress section is neglected because it carries lower commissions than furniture groups. This leads to less knowledgeable sales personnel. The new technologies and therapeutic benefits are often unknown.

Discount Clubs:

Pros:

  • Name brands at low prices.

Cons:

  • Many mattresses are designed specifically by the manufacturer to be cheaper therefore lacking in some material found in flagship lines.
  • Limited space to try the mattresses. Most are shown in smaller than normal sizes making it hard to really get an accurate feel especially if you are with your partner.
  • Zero knowledge from the associates. You are essentially on your own. They know nothing about the products or how to recommend certain models for certain issues. This leads to a high return volume which leads to resale of in home trial mattresses.

Mattress Gallery:

Pros:

  • The whole floor is dedicated to mattresses. The selection is much wider and many brands are represented. Simmons Beautyrest, Sealy, Serta, Englander and Tempur-pedic can all be in one space so you can compare them side by side.
  • Sales associates in a mattress store are generally more knowledgeable about the products and the health benefits.
  • Mattress Gallery stores often have a selection of luxury and exotic brands that are not represented in other types of stores. High end brands such as Kluft, Englander Resort and Hotel Collection, Airloom, Beautyrest Black and Stearns and Foster are not represented in most furniture stores or discount clubs.

Cons:

  • Just like other products there are good and bad retailers. I recommend visiting mattress galleries with a good reputation and BBB score. You can also ask your family and friends about their recommendations for dealers. Sometimes your doctor may have a go to store to recommend.
  • Mattress stores seem go in and out of business quickly. Choose a mattress gallery that has been in your community for a long time. Usually the businesses who do their customers right have been in business for many years,

I hope this helps. My best advice is to consider the brand secondary to the dealer. There are over 400 brands in the U.S. Some of the best brands are unknown do to lack of advertising. The better stores will have a large selection of multiple brands because they know there is not a one size fits prouct.

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How long should my mattress last?

Mattress

How long should my mattress last?

Al D.

There are many factors that will determine how long a mattress can last. It may surprise you to learn that it has little to do with whether the mattress is a plush, pillow top, euro top, firm or all foam. Brand also has little to do with it. Beautyrest, Serta, Sealy, Tempur-pedic and most brands make a range of products for low to high end.

Most people have heard the ad campaign urging consumers to replace their mattress every eight years. That is good advice but it doesn’t tell the whole story. The eight year rule is an average of all mattresses that are on the market. That means that some mattresses can last up to twenty years and some will last as few as two. It is really saying that eight years in you need to consider the condition of your mattress.

As the cliché goes, “you get what you pay for.” Higher quality mattresses tend to last longer but cost more. The lower the amount you budget the more often it will have to be replaced. The best way to determine if your current mattress should be replaced is to evaluate the quality of your sleep. The odds are if you are asking this question it is about time to replace your mattress no matter how old it is.

Signs your mattress is past its prime:

  • Tossing and Turning
  • Pain upon wakening
  • Trouble falling asleep do to lack of comfort
  • Visible dips or wear that is changing how the mattress interacts with your body
  • Drowsiness during the day
  • Relying on stimulants to stay awake or focused during the day

Things to consider when purchasing a new mattress:

  • Technology

The industry has made many improvements over the last ten years. Modern mattressess are                 designed to target very specific problems uch as sleeping hot, back pain, neck pain, hip pain, and              even medical conditions like sleep apnea, snoring and acid reflux.

  • Don’t be afraid of brands you are not familiar with. Some of the best brands do not do traditional forms of advertising.
  • Make sure you shop at a well respected mattress gallery in your area.
  • Most importantly “you get what you pay for.” Buy the best mattress your budget can afford. To put this in perspective consider the fact that you will spend approximately $24,000.00 on cable T.V. during the life of your next mattress. Your mattress is the most used piece of furniture in your home.
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Why do I sleep so hot?

Why do I sleep so hot?
Bethany G.

Great question Bethany. There are so many reasons why people have issues sleeping hot. I’ll discuss a few common causes here. These of course will not cover the full scope of why people sleep hot. Some people sleep hot because of medical conditions. What I will be addressing are the simple quick fix things that can make a huge difference providing there is not some underlying health concern involved.

Get a Breathable Mattress.
Believe it or not the style of mattress you sleep on can make a big difference in how warm or cool you sleep. Mattresses use different types of foams and fabrics that can either make or break you as far as sleeping hot is concerned. The best recommendation I can make is to get a mattress with cotton and wool coverings. Most mattresses have an abundance of poly fiber knit covers. Poly fiber will trap the heat of your body and cause the sleeping surface to stay at a less than optimal temp. Cotton, wool and Bamboo are the heavy hitters if you want a more breathable cover to let your body heat flow through. Foams are also made of poly material and will trap heat. Using soy based foam and airflow memory foam, you can increase the breathability of your mattress considerably. This might be all you need to fix your problem. I will list some brands that use the type of materials I have suggested. MagniFlex, Hastens, Vi Spring, Engalnder Resort Collection, Jamison Bedding, Schiffman, Stearns and Foster to name a few.

Upgrade your Bedding
Sheets, Mattress pads and Protectors can also be a major factor in how cool or hot your mattress is. When shopping for any bedding you should pay close attention to thread count and what threads and fibers are being used. Don’t go cheap! If you invest in high quality bedding you will reap the benefits for sure. 100% cotton is always a safe bet. You don’t have to get crazy with the thread count but a good range between 400TC and 800TC should do the trick. Stay away from poly fiber sheets. They tent to hold heat.

Try an Adjustable base
You are probably wondering why an adjustable base for your mattress has anything to do with sleeping temperature right? Well studies have shown that when your body is in an elevated position you are more likely to slow your heart rate which will cool your body down. I have seen several people improve their sleeping situation tremendously by adding an adjustable base system to the equation.
I really hope that this blog has given you some food for thought. Thanks again for submitting to my blog. Sleep cool 😊

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Why can’t I sleep?!

Can't Sleep

Ginger H.

Thanks Ginger for the great question on an extremely important topic. While I don’t have all of the answers, I can help by listing the top 5 sleep inhibitors that rob you of your right to getting the restorative sleep you deserve. To make this easy I will list below the top 5 inhibitors and you can see if any of these pertain to your current situation.

Caffeine

While caffeine in moderation is not terrible, it can cause issues with you sleep cycle if consumed too close to bed time. Consider having your fix several hours before bed so you can decrease the likely hood of it having negative effects on your R.E.M sleep.

Sleep APNEA

More and more people these days are having personal sleep studies done because of lack of healthy sleep. What many Americans have found is that they suffer from a condition that blocks the airways while sleeping called Sleep APNEA. This will in fact disrupt your sleep and may cause other severe health problems. If you think that you could have this condition you may want to visit a sleep specialist ASAP.

Alcohol

If you are accustomed to having a little night cap before you retire, you might reconsider. Studies have shown that while alcohol can aid in helping you fall asleep, it has very negative effects on staying asleep. It can interrupt your whole REM sleep cycle. Just like the coffee, you should consider refraining from alcohol use too close too bed time.

Too Much Smart Phone & T.V

Believe it or not, your very own smart phone might be disrupting your sleep. T.V also has the same effect. Too much stimulation before bed may cause you to have a hard time winding down which is vital in getting comfortable enough to fall asleep. Do yourself a big favor and put the smartphone and T.V to bed. Pun intended. You will do much better to just relax and let your mind quiet itself in the natural process of going into REM sleep.

Old Worn Out Mattress

You knew it was coming. Lol. How could we discuss sleep inhibitors without mentioning a key component in getting the best sleep of your life? Your worn out crusty old mattress could be the only thing standing between you and that heavenly bed situation you are after. Working in this industry for many years has been an interesting experience. I have seen the simple act of purchasing a new quality sleep system change thousands of lives. That is the type of thing that will get you excited to get up in the morning and start the day. I have found that when a person realizes that a mattress is not a want but rather a Need Indeed, they start to take the process of selecting the right one seriously. If you have no idea where to even start, I will list below what I have found to be the absolute best quality mattress companies.

Tempur-Pedic, Sealy Posturepedic, Stearns and Foster, Englander Resort and Hotel Collection, Jamison Marriott Mattress, Wellsville Malouf, Hastens mattress, Vi Spring, E.S. Kluft, Duxianna, Easman, and Magniflex. (Some of these are not available in the U.S)

The best way to stat is to find a local Mattress Gallery and speak with a sleep consultant. If you are in the Nashville area I suggest Mattress Gallery Direct. They service Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Antioch, Manchester, Woodbury, Franklin, Brentwood, Coolsprings, Greenhills, Thompson Station, Spring Hill, Columbia and several others in Middle Tennessee. I hope this was of great help to you. Thank you Ginger for participation if my blog. Good day and hopefully good night.

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Tempur-pedic or Memory Foam?

Memory Foam

Heather R.

That is a great question Heather. I appreciate you taking the time to submit to my blog.

I have slept on Tempur-pedic mattresses and other brand memory foam mattresses. The initial comfort, though comparable at first, is vastly different when sleeping for 8-10 hours.

The Tempur-pedic mattress is made of a proprietary Tempur foam and poly core that is unique to the TempurSealy brand. Using a high density Tempur foam allows for millions of micro cells, that are called Adapt technology, to adjust to the shape of your body. Because of the high concentration micro adapt cells, Tempeur-pedic will have the most accurate body contour effect presently on the market. Tempur-pedic currently offers 3 diverse categories made up of the Cloud, Countour and Flex models. The price is a bit higher than other memory foam brands however the extra comfort and durability is worth it.

Other memory foam brands have come a long way in making a similar product however none have cracked the magic code that Tempur-pedic has to offer. Support, comfort and durability in one package.

If you are interested in brands that offer the closest feel you could try a European memory foam design. It is the closest and they have the same benefits as far as natural materials are concerned. A lot of people are interested in more Natural and Organic options. Malouf’s Wellsville line has some great options in that category.

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When is the best time to buy a new mattress?

Dog On Mattress

Tammy J.

Ah, the age old question that has intrigued consumers for years. Mattresses are not cheap and it stands to reason that purchasing at the right time can be beneficial on a budget.

My recommendation is to buy right when the need arises. You might think to yourself “but what if I overpay?” I believe it is impossible to overpay for a great mattress. If you are in need of a new mattress it is obvious that your sleep is suffering every night that you are not getting that ideal comfort and support. Waiting for a great sale might save you a few hundred bucks. However you will be paying for those savings with lost sleep and compromised support.

With that said if you have found the best place to buy a mattress and you happen to be close to a holiday, you can generally save some money. Below is a list of holiday mattress sales to look for.

Memorial Day Sale, Labor Day Sale, 4th of July Sale, Presidents Day Sale, End of the Year Colseout Mattress specials and Black Friday Mattress Sales.

Here are some companies that usually offer good savings around holidays.

Sealy, Posturpedic, Beautyrest, Simmons Beautysleep, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns and Foster, Jamison, Leggett and Platt, Serta Perfect Sleeper, I Comfort and I Series.

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