what's the best mattress?

I was wavering between GQ and IMHO, and IMHO won, in part because I want send a post to our newest moderator name, Czarcasm, and see if he’ll be czarcastic.

My sad story: for many many years I have slept on a futon. Now, I am blessed with a significant other, aka the wife, who does me the honour of sharing my bed. I’m sure many posters can already guess the rest - she hates the futon, and says her back hurts in the morning. All my stories about how when I moved to California, I slept on the floor for three months, and during World War II, russian soldiers in Stalingrad slept on bare cement in below 0°F weather, etc… have failed to convince her that a futon is actually the acme of comfort.

Last week, on her day off (winter vacation for teachers) she wandered into one of those yuppie stores, Brookstone to be exact, and saw a mattress she would dearly love to have, a tempurpedic mattress. When she told me the price, I did some swift mental arithmetic and figured that for the price of the mattress I could augment my DVD film library by approximately 50 or 60 masterpieces of the cinematic art form, which IMHO would be a much better investment.

So here are my questions:[list=A][li]What is the best mattress in general? Isn’t sleeping on something hard better for your back?[/li][li]Is the tempurpedic mattress a scam?[/li][li]Any recommendations of a cheaper solution (besides getting rid of my wife? I think I want to keep her.)[/li][li]What mattress do you use? Do you recommend it?[/list][/li]I did a search for recent threads and only found this:
Is a box spring required for a mattress?
(The answer in that thread was “no, a box spring is not required.”)

obviously the best mattress is the one with the inviting, semi-naked individual on it. :wink:

i got a new mattress last year and bought it from a guy who had a “deal” with the mattress factory. found out about it in the classifieds and got a great bargan (it was new). now, i trusted this guy and everything worked out for me. don’t know how often something like that comes along though.

Choosing a Mattress

*Originally posted by Arnold Winkelried *
So here are my questions:[list=A][li]What is the best mattress in general? Isn’t sleeping on something hard better for your back?[/li][/quote]

I Am Not A Doctor.
That said: I think the whole hard matress=good thing is a scam thought up by masochists to explain their fetish. Besides, if you want to sleep on something hard, why not try the garage floor, with a blanket on it? :smiley:

[li]Any recommendations of a cheaper solution (besides getting rid of my wife? I think I want to keep her.)**[/li][/quote]

There’s some sort of air/water bed that has twin settings for firmness. You can make your side feel like a bench in Grand Central Station, she can make hers all soft and comfortable and relaxing (no bias here, none at all! :wink: ) I’ll see if I can find the name of the thing.

I use a old-style waterbed “mattress” (not these newfangled ones with tubes and baffles and suchlike). It’s basically a bag, with a small amount of plastic-thread-like stuff inside to cut down on the sloshing and wave action. It’s still pretty slosh-y and wavey though. Sad part is these are getting pretty hard to find. I love it: it conforms to my body. I really recommend it, but if you’re a futon-lover, I doubt you’d like it. I’ve had hard-bed loving friends sleep over and claim that they thought it was like trying to sleep in quicksand.

Looking back on this post, I don’t mean to be hostile. I’m trying to kid around a bit and I think the “tone” may off.


A. Supposedly, but I’ll bet the only Russian soldiers who stayed with the cement floor were the ones who had no choice beacuse they were later sent to the gulag
B. No comment, but I’ve always wished that they’d put debating salesmen on daytime tv for issues like this and washing machines, etc., instead of arguing transvestites or angry dog owners.
C. Buy a matress soft enough for her and then put a sheet of plywood under your side to make it firmer.
D. Slithy Tove sleeps on a feather mattress, which he must fluff like a giant pillow each morning so it doesn’t leave an imprint like in Norman Bates’ mother’s featherbed.

A. Might it be something different from person to person depending on, well, a lot of things?
Like your wife, I also cannot sleep on hard surfaces, and when I do I cannot get comfortable and wake up with backaches from hell - OTOH, when I sleep on soft ones, I’m back problem free. Futons are some sort of evil torture device.

D. Recently bought a Select Comfort mattress. I love it. Slightly cheaper than the tempurpedic thing, but very, very, very worth it. (shopped for mattresses for a long time - nothing else was even vaguely satisfactory) Each side can be set for different amounts of firmness so you could continue to sleep on something resembling plywood if you so chose. I highly recommend it.

You people are soft and weak. :stuck_out_tongue: I need to find some slogans from the Bushido warrior code that will demonstrate clearly why the futon is the superior choice.

amarinth, thank you for the hint on the Select Comfort mattress. We’ll consider that possibility.

Fenris, I don’t know about waterbeds. I’ve never had one, but I always have the fear that they’ll burst and flood the house. And what if some absent-minded husband forgets to pay the electric bill and the power is cut off? The bed must become awfully cold. In any case, I don’t think my wife particularly likes them either so we probably won’t be looking at those.

Duck Duck Goose, your advice, is always, is sage and pertinent. :smiley:

racerx, does your guy still have some mattresses in the back of his van that he’s willing to sell for cheap? I’m assuming this is a “cash only” kind of deal, and I would have to meet him in an abandoned parking lot on the outskirts of town.

So, Slithy Tove, you agree that hard mattresses are “supposedly” better for your back? I still think that’s true, and it’s what the futon salesman told me.

In any case, what I can’t figure out is if the futon is so uncomfortable, why does my wife sleep in so late on the week-ends and complain when she has to get up in the morning? She should be happy to jump out of bed and start with the chores. :confused:

Good afternoon,

My Too Blave and I are in pretty much the same boat as you are. For the past two years we’ve been sharing a 20 year old twin mattress. (I’d ask her about sharing 20 year old twins, but I want to keep all of my teeth in the correct location). We’ve found that most mattress store / department store salespeople work on commission, so be prepared to deal with dropouts from the used car business. Bargain like a banshee. Don’t be afraid to spend a LOT of time testing them out. Wear comfortable clothes, bring your pillow if you are up to it. I don’t know what your budget is, but from what I’ve gathered (across the net - YMMV) over a certain price range quality is generally uniform.

I subscribe to Consumer’s Reports website and downloaded a fairly lengthy article from '97. I know it would be wrong to post it on these boards, but if you are ok with me e-mailing it to you, let me know. In the meantime, sleep well!


Rhythmdvl, your kind offer is much appreciated. My e-mail address can be found in my profile. (sharing twenty-year-old twins? :o You’re a braver man than I.)

FTR, i did once buy a mattress set from an actual store, and they do haggle quite a bit. i didn’t even try too much and they knocked off 10 or 15% and threw in some pillows. just keep mentioning that you are really poor. that’s what i did.

I’m going to bump this dusty old thread because Mrs. H wants to ditch the old waterbed and buy a tempurpedic. Has anyone out there used one of these very expensive mattresses and is it worth it? ABED makes a competing mattress that is a few hundred bucks cheaper but the foam is not as dense. Should I go that one perhaps?


OK, I can’t testify to the comfort of a temperpedic, but I might note that the American hq for the company is here in Lexington, Kentucky. They made news last month because each presenter received a Tempurpedic mattress as part of the gift “basket” they get. (they didn’t actually just have some guy show up at their house with a mattress, they had to call and tell the distribution center what size they needed.)

Anyhow, with that said, I might note that my boyfriend testifies that my bed is the most comfortable in the world. It’s a big wooden base built by my father (and a pain in the butt to move), and the mattress sits atop that (it’s some sort of Sealy… nothing too fancy, but pillow topped.) I also put an eggcrate mattress overtop of that, and then my sheets and such.

(on a sidenote, that bed has been a regular bed, then a waterbed, and now back to a regular bed. My father was a pioneer in the realm of the single waterbeds! Well, he thought he was.)

Consider a natural latex mattress. They are expensive but last about 20 years. We have had ours for about 13 years now. A box spring helps support the mattress. Natural latex, unlike “foam”, allows your body to breath and not get clammy during the night. Great on backs too. I grew up on latex mattresses. Significantly superior to the usual Serta contraption.

I should check to see what we have, but we rotated the matress a while ago, and I’d have to both stip the bed AND flip it over to check…my SO claims its a Sealy Backsaver something-or-other, queen size. It’s the most comfortable matress we have ever slept on! And we got a decent price, though we didn’t bargain as much as we probably should have - for the sale price, it was still less than we’d expected (we thought for that price we’d be hard pressed to find a double), and bigger than we were looking for. We also bought a desk at the same time, and the guy accidentally (honestly) forgot that it was a 199$ desk, and not a 99$ one, so that made up for the lack of bargaining, IMHO. We pretty much chose it right away, once we’d tried it out. The guy was trying to sell us a more expensive one, but we went with comfort. This one wasn’t too hard, and it wasn’t too soft…it was JUUUSSST right! :slight_smile:

There are futons and futons! Go to the futon store, the big thick fancy ones are still cheaper than a mattress. Ask Mrs Wife to check it out the various futonal variations. I sleep on a Crummy Poopy Hateful Cheap Futon Bought Due To Extreme Poverty but my best friend has one that I really love, firm, soft on the surface, but hips aren’t hitting the wood. It was wool and eggcrate foam in center with cotton wrapped around it. Fancy.

Because Crummy Poopy HCF was killing me (my futon frame is a metal bunkbed), and I’m moving to UK shortly, I got a Sevylor Inflatable Matress with channels and pad and rich reek of Barbie-brain vinyl. It was $89 altogether, and darned if it isn’t very comfortable. No bubbly rafty feeling. But yes it’s sweaty, I have mega padding between me an it. It will be reserved for visitors, I’ll be shipping it over. My UK bed is an ordinary mattress with a nakey man on one side of it, just for looks you understand. For now the inflatable works.

When I was googling the Barbie Brain Bed, I ran across many ads for airbeds where it’s an air chamber swaddled in regular mattress padding. Adjustable, and expensive!!!

I’ll repeat the best advice, go try em all out. Also, if you have the room, two twin beds pushed together are a king-size. One superfirm and one softy, pull up the quilt and no one’s the wiser.

I just spent a whole heap of $$$ on a Simmons Beautyrest. Yes, the one with the bowling ball. It’s an Olympic queen size- between queen and king, but it fits on a queen size box spring.

This mattress was possibly the best purchase of my entire life. no more back pain, and now I sleep the whole night through.

One caveat- get the reduced height box spring. Otherwise, this thing will be taller than your headboard.

Just be careful who you deal with when buying it. My GF bought one a few weeks ago, and she really got screwed on it.

[sub]well, somebody had to do it[/sub]