Consumer spending in the UK actually went online last month, thanks to the onset of heavy storms and worsening weather conditions. The gathering clouds have done little to dampen the typical consumers enthusiasm, however, as they appear to be increasingly keen to spend more on essential household items.
A quality mattress set is often an expensive purchase, for example, but the average home-owner will spend far more hours on their mattress than any other piece of furniture they own within their home. Because there are so many styles and names available, however, here are some top tips that will help you make sure you get a mattress that meets both your needs and your financial budget:
1. Prioritize the Mattress Rather than the Bed: The typical bed has very little effect on your comfort when you sleep. All the bed actually amounts to is a decoration for the rails that support your mattress and foundation. So buying a very expensive headboard and frame and going cheap on the actual mattress that you will be sleeping on is a poor idea.
2. Warranty is Not Everything: The actual warranties on mattresses, while varying from manufacturer, are not overly helpful. Suppliers typically offer pro-rated warranties which essentially cover all manufacturer defects. Pro-rated means that insurers deduct the value of the time you have had it from any refund you might receive in the event of a fault or defect. The term manufacturer defect means that suppliers must determine their exact fault if they are to be liable at all. Any soil or stains, or normal wear and tear (1 Â½ -2 inches of sag is considered normal) invalidates the warranty so there is little point in investing in extended protection.
3. Consider your Choice of Mattress Carefully: If your Doctor recommends a particular change of sleeping surface it may be worth considering, but in numerous large studies there is no agreement among doctors as to what is best. In fact, all universally recommend that you select the mattress that provides you with the best level of comfort and the most satisfying sleep. Salespeople recommend far more often than Doctors in the mattress retail business.
4. The Return Policy: The vast majority (well over 80%) of people are able to determine in 15 minutes if a mattress is comfortable. The initial impression gained after a few minutes of testing in the showroom holds true for most. If you happen to be one of the exceptions to that, or if you purchased online and could not try it out, the return policy is critical. Return policies range form no returns accepted to one year exchanges with various restocking fees from zero to 25% and some pay shipping while others do not. With all other things being equal, go with the better return policy, but paying $1000 more for a good return policy likely will not pay off.
5. Online or in store?: While there are far fewer complaints that originate from in store purchasers where consumers had the opportunity to test the mattress first, there can be substantial savings found online where they have lower overhead costs. If you can find the identical mattress online as you tested than it will not be a concern but most manufactures make specific lines and claims of "comparable to" should be looked on with skepticism. If shopping online, there are now a number of places where free shipping is included as a standard feature. Always remember to add the cost of delivery to online or in store purchases and weigh the value of set up and removal of old mattresses as commonly offered by local stores.
Laura is a home and design blogger based in the UK. She has previously worked alongside numerous retailers including David Phillips.