Tips for Buying a New Bed

Sleep is critical for optimal health, and depends on choosing a good bed

Credit: Flickr/James Yu

Test the mattress when buying a new bed

Buying a good bed will make it easier to get good, regular sleep

Late last year my wife and I decided to buy a new bed. Our old one was sagging so badly we felt as if we were sleeping in a taco. But little did we know just how complicated and time consuming finding a good bed would be. Mattress shopping made used car shopping seem like a trip to the corner store.

Sleep is definitely an important part of a healthy lifestyle, so having a good bed will make it easier to get a good night’s rest.

To save you some time and hassle I’m going to share the lessons we learned and how to get the best bed you can for the best price.

Bed Buying Tips

1. Don’t pay full price! Wait for a sale because the stores have them quite regularly and you’ll often be able to save up to 40% off the sticker price.

2. Shop around and negotiate. We read a number of articles online confirming that you shouldn’t pay the full retail price for a bed. Bed stores are willing to negotiate and match each other’s prices. My wife made multiple trips to three stores and we ended up saving a bunch of money. Do the legwork; we paid $500 less by being informed and negotiating hard.

3. Be careful when comparison shopping. The stores sometimes make it a bit difficult to compare exact models. A mattress from one manufacturer may have one name at one store but be called something else at another store. Or if they don’t carry that brand you’ll have to ask questions and read the features to locate comparable models.

4. Try it out. Would you buy a car without test driving it? Well don’t buy a bed without test lying on it. Find out if you like a firmer or softer mattress. Same goes for the pillow-top option. Wear slip-on shoes to speed up getting on and off beds. And ask if the pillow-top material is hot. Believe it or not, some fabrics are actually warmer than others. Our new bed is hotter than our old one and I’m not referring to extracurricular activities.

5. Coil count. This refers to how many spring coils there are in the mattress. Sometimes in life more is not always better and this is the case with the coil count. Our mattress has 850 coils; to upgrade to 1,000, the next level up, it would have cost at least $500 more. But we had a good sales guy who told us that 850 coils is more than enough as it will support 2,000 pounds. Even with two kids jumping into bed in the morning we’ll be well below the weight limit.

Sweet Dreams

Remember the commercial where they drop a bowling ball onto the bed? That’s what we bought – a Simmons Beauty Rest bed from the Simmons store on West Broadway in Vancouver. But we were also close to buying another brand from another store nearby. There are plenty of good beds, so take the time to find the one that’s right for you. And then negotiate like the Donald to get the best deal you can.

For more information you can also check out the Consumer Reports Mattress Buying Guide.