You enter the store and start some small talk with the sales associate. He goes over some basic questions such as whether you prefer firm or soft, what size you had in mind, etc. Later on when he’s trying to lock you down on his high margin mattress choice, he may go into coil count. While pitching the overall value of the mattress he will likely mention the high coil count as a great feature.
He takes you to another mattress, which happens to have a lower coil count and also happens to not be a firm, but a soft style. This has nothing to do with the coil count, but he will have you sit on it and only mention the fact that there are less coils. He knows you prefer firm, he knows you will not like the mattress he is comparing, and he knows that you will make an association between the “special” high coil count on the one he’s trying to sell you and the idea that lower coil counts are not comfortable to you. At the end of the day, there is likely more profit baked into the coil materials.
He may take it one step further and show you a much more expensive mattress, maybe way out of your budget, which has the same coil count as the one he is trying to sell you and say “see, typical mattresses with this high coil count cost much more than the deal I’m about to give you!” The high price of the comparison mattress in this scenario also has nothing to do with the coil count.
It is important to give the salesman as little information about your preferences up front. Ask where certain types are, “show me firm mattresses, show me pillowtops” but don’t outright convey any strong preferences you have. Providing too much information up front is like showing your cards in poker!
Ticking - This is the materials and thread patterns covering the mattress and again should have little to no impact on your decision.
Luxury Material –“well this model has silk and cashmere” – that is all nice and dandy but should make absolutely no difference to the consumer. First, the amount used is usually too little to make a difference. Second, you should be concerned about what your sheets are made of, you’re body will actually be touching them!
Color - I hope that this does not have to be pointed out to too many folks, but the color should mean absolutely nothing to you. If the sales associate tells you anything about a relationship between quality and color, it is most likely not true. Mattress companies buy materials in large quantities – whatever is available for a good price – the textile industry fluctuates. When they are out of the blue they got a good deal on, it’s on to the pink or white.
Padding(Loft, Foam, etc.) – Padding can and will vary from model to model. For the most part, padding within one manufacture’s “line-up” model and a similar “level” or price range from another manufacturer should have about the same padding. When you follow our 5 Steps to buying a mattress, this issue is virtually eliminated. The salesman may show you a cheap off brand that has less padding and conclude that there is more value in the mattress he is trying to sell you. This should not be a relevant issue if you’re following our comparison and shopping steps outlined later, since you will be looking in a tightly defined range of mattresses at different stores. These mattresses may have small amounts of more or less padding, loft, foam, etc. Your comfort is the ultimate decision, and that may be best on slightly more or slightly less padding. Don’t let the salesman lock your mind in that more padding is more value.
Edging – A common feature these days among “exclusive” brands is some sort of special edging. This edging is meant to tell the customer that there is additional support so that the edges don’t break down. A consumer on the spot may think oh that’s great, there is value there, ok lets keep going.
Lets think about this: If there is some sort of extra support holding up the outer rim of a mattress, that is going to more likely cause a concave effect as time goes on. The mattress will naturally compound over time. You want this to happen evenly from one side to the other. What you don’t want are the edges propped up so you end up with what appears to be a display for the latest in-ground swimming pool.
Take the extra edging support with a grain of salt. For years mattresses have never had such a thing. It’s just the latest in “special features” to help these retailers differentiate models and thoroughly confuse the customer.
The Second Major Problem....Read On!