A Surprise Finding (at least to me) was that if someone had an old bed that was making them uncomfortable, almost any new mattress would give them relief. Which makes the case for shopping for bargains even better.
There have been two recent Consumer Reports Best Rated Mattress articles. The first was the October 2009 survey. It was based on online collected responses from over 13,000 people who purchased mattresses between January 2005 and June 2009.
The second was printed in the May 2010 issue and showed the results of a blind test by 54 of their employees.
#1 The Tempur-Pedic (sometimes written as Tempurpedic) memory foam brand was the best rated bed in the first survey and was mentioned postively in the second. They're a bit pricey (expect to pay $2,400 or more) but those that purchased them gave Tempurpedic the highest rating.The RhapsodyBed is the most popular Tempurpedic models. The reason is that it's one of the lowest priced Tempur Pedic beds. Besides, its an incredibly comfortable bed!
60% of buyers in the 2009 Consumer Reports mattress survey said that they would definitely buy the Tempurpedic memory foam again.
People with health and sleep problems, were particularly happy with them. 78% said that their sleep problems were noticeably reduced.
#2 Select Comfort brand of adjustable air mattresses was also mentioned positively in both reports. Problem sleepers also found these beds very helpful for improving the quality of their sleep. The median price paid for these mattresses was close to $2,200.
#3 The Original Factory brand was the second most popular according to the October 2009 article. It was not mentioned in the May 2010 article. They sell a very good inner spring mattress at a median price of about $900.
#4 A Sealy Posturepedic model sold at Sears, the Reserve Spring Blossom Cushion Firm was judged to be a bit more comfortable than other beds tested in the May 2010 report.
The most important lesson is that you shouldn't do your initial shopping online. You might shop online for absolutely everything, but the Consumer Reports best rated mattress report gives you two very compelling reasons why you should get off your couch and out to the stores.
First, the major mattress manufacturers sell the same mattress to many different stores. But they put a different name on the mattress or change the look of the mattress (like the color or pattern). Suddenly that very same mattress will sell for a lot more at some stores than at others. It is nearly impossible to comparison shop.
Second, you need to give them the 15 minute test. Or spend 5 minutes on your back, sides and belly. Forget the belly if you aren't a stomach sleeper. Once you find the mattress you like, then go online to buy it if you can find an equivalent one.
Price is definitely a concern when making any major purchase like a mattress. One of the surprising findings in the report was that the most expensive luxury mattresses aren't always the best. And often just getting a new mattress of any kind is enough to make many people happy.
The report said that most people surveyed didn't even try to haggle on the price of their new mattress. But of those who did, more than 70% were able to get a lower price. Here's a guide to buying a mattress for less money.
There's a lot more useful information in both of the Consumer Reports best rated mattress articles. Go online and get copies before you purchase your next bed.