One year before we got our keys, we were already shopping for a new mattress. That was because hubby was having back pain every morning when he woke up. Hence we suspected it was the old mattress that was giving him the problem, also because it was too hard for his liking. Later a salesman told us that it could be because of the sitting posture rather than the mattress, and he was right!
Questions before shopping for mattress
1) What’s your budget range?
Is your budget range within a few hundreds or a few thousands? This will help you to narrow down the range of brands to look at. I have categorised a few brands into 3 different pricing tiers. Do note that for each brand there are various pricing points, so this is only a rough guide.
- Budget: Max Coil, Seahorse, Princebed, Magic Koil, Vono
- Mid-Range: King Koil, Slumberland
- High-End: Tempur, Serta, Simmons, Sealy (The latter three are the popular 3 ‘S’ mattress in US and Singapore.)
2) What’s your price ceiling?
What is the maximum price you are willing to spend on a mattress? Be prepared to exceed this price ceiling by a bit. You might find a more comfortable bed just slightly over your price ceiling.
3) Are you looking for soft, medium or firm mattresses?
The sales person will usually ask you this question first. We had been sleeping on the firm type, which is not suitable for my hubby’s body and preference. Our preference is towards the soft but firm feel–which is hard to find. We found one at Sealy and paid a deposit for it. But later we decided to back out because it is “Business Class” expensive and not within our budget. We made the initial mistake of not having a budget in mind while shopping.
4) Any particular material?
A mattress is usually made up of a mix of materials. Have a brief understanding of the materials to know what the salesperson is talking about.
- Foam is used in older mattress models and is cheap. There’s various types of foam, but it’s still foam. They tend to retain more heat than latex.
- Latex are recommended by salesmen and is a common material used in mattress models nowadays. It is more cooling, durable and comfortable than foam.
- Memory Foam is foam mixed with a chemical to form a material that molds to your body shape as you lie on it. But a salesman told us that it can actually be too warm for us in hot and humid Singapore. It’s more suitable for temperate countries.
Image Credit: juwos.us
Tips when shopping for mattress
1) Short-list a few brands first
There are many brands out there, and for each brand there are different models. Hence try to choose 1 to 3 brands to focus on. Also for the same brand, different outlets carry different models.
2) Lie on the beds to know which is the one
There are many jargon and information about the different type of spring, material, etc. At the end of the day, the best way to find the most comfortable mattress for you is to lie on different beds and try them! What works for someone might not work for you.
After you have short-listed a few models you like, lie on them a bit longer. You can do so while the sales person talks (if he/she is around you). Sometimes, after a few more minutes of lying on it, the bed will not be as comfortable.
Do try the mattresses with your partner. You must find a bed that you both can agree on. Sometimes both parties have to make a little compromise to find a bed suitable for both.
Remember to limit your scope. It can get confusing after trying on too many–they might all feel the same after a while.
3) Questions to ask sales person
- Warranty or Guarantee policy. I know Slumberland and King Koil offer 15 years warranty, Simmons 10 years warranty, and Sealy 10 years guarantee. Be sure to ask the salesperson about the difference between a guarantee and warranty. In any case, the return or exchange policies for the mattresses can be strict.
- Refund Policy. We made a hasty decision and placed a deposit at the first shop we went to. We regretted it the next day. It was a super expensive Sealy bed. Thankfully Harvey Norman has a 7 day refund policy. Phew!
4) Wait for promotions!
There are usually good mattress promotions going on throughout the year. Do check out Robinson’s Bedshop because they offer good deals, especially during Black Friday.
Image Credit: juwos.us
While shopping for a suitable mattress replacement, I only had two brands in mind — Sealy and Simmons. TV advertising works. But also because we have heard friends satisfied with their Sealy and Simmons purchases. There are also friends who recommended Serta mattresses.
The difference between Sealy and Simmons is the coil technology. I actually prefer Sealy’s “technology” more than Simmons’s. Simmons’s non-disturbance to partner didn’t matter much to us. So we were inclined to buy Sealy. However, for the models we like, the prices were all above S$3,000 and that was simply too high for us. And since we didn’t like Sealy’s lower range beds, we didn’t choose Sealy in the end.
We were on a staycation at RWS Hotel Michael and my hubby loved its bed. So we peeled the bed sheet to see the brand. It’s Simmons! The mattress is made exclusively for RWS, but upon some research, the closest model to match it is Sea Breeze Suite (a newer model of Sea Breeze).
And the only place that carries Sea Breeze Suite is at Robinsons! We tried the model at Orchard Heeren and it is soft and comfortable. But we decided to cool off first this time and not make another hasty decision to place deposit.
After a few days, we decided to try the Sea Breeze Suite again at JEM’s Robinsons. Mr Chuan was the salesman who attended to us.
Simmons: Sea Breeze Suite vs Sea Breeze
After hearing about B’s backache, Mr Chuan suggested we get the Sea Breeze instead of the more expensive Sea Breeze Suite (“Suite”). He suggested the cheaper model because Sea Breeze is firmer than the Suite and thus better for the back. And yes, the Suite may be comfortable now, but the soft pillow top will sag after a few years. On the other hand, Sea Breeze may be firmer now, but it will soften after some time and the comfort level will then be “just right” for us.
However Suite is more expensive because the material used is cooling, while Sea Breeze only has the cool max technology on its outer covering.
Purchasing at Robinsons
In any case, the prices at JEM’s Robinsons were cheaper than those at Heeren’s! At least that’s based on what was quoted to us. Mr Chuan even showed us his file of customer invoices to prove that he’s not bluffing us about the prices. One of the invoices he showed us was dated 2 years back and the full amount was only paid recently. Btw I read online that it’s good to start buying your mattress early to secure prices because prices increase over time.
At Robinsons, we simply need to put a S$200 deposit to secure the price first. If we regret our decision before full payment, we will get back the full deposit in Robinsons’s voucher. And if there’s further price reductions in future, we get to enjoy the LOWER price.
We didn’t need to monitor the prices ourselves because Mr Chuan kept us updated with the promotions via SMS. And if at any time, we are interested in the promotion Robinsons is having, such as giving away airfryer, we simply head down and make full payment to get the free gift!
Remember to apply for Robinsons credit card because there’s a 5% cash rebate on any purchase in Robinsons! Hence we wanted to wait for the card to come before purchasing and hence told Mr Chuan we would return next week. Mr Chuan’s face registered a brief moment of disappointment even though he tried to keep up his smile. He asked for our names and thanked us.
We went back the very next Sunday as promised, and he greeted my hubby by his name and then… he remembered my name as well! We were both shocked max! No wonder Robinson’s has some of the most loyal customers.
Anyway, we secured the prices of Simmons Beauty Sea Breeze and also Vivado Queen which is slightly more expensive but a bit firmer than Sea Breeze. We were thinking of getting an even firmer one in case it sagged too much. And yes, you can secure the price for 2 mattresses first and then decide later which one you want when you make the full payment.
At Robinsons, you will usually find the same sales person for the respective brands, unless it’s their off day. For Simmons, you’ll find Sheila at Heeren and Mr Chuan at JEM.
We waited for Robinsons’s Black Friday sales to pay the full price – it’s one of the best promotions they have in a year. We decided on Vivado Queen but the discontinued model was sold out and there’s no more stock. Hence we had to settle for our initial Sea Breeze choice. Mr Chuan didn’t inform us at all, leaving us disappointed. Hopefully we will love the Sea Breeze mattress!
Which brand of mattress are you looking at? Any other useful tips or experience you have in buying a mattress? We like to hear from you. Leave a comment below.