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What Recommendations Can You Trust?
Sadly, Most Mattress Advice Is Wrong – for You

Last updated on August 19, 2020

Your friend or co-worker just loves their mattress and helpfully suggests that you buy the same one. But is your friend is the same size and weight as you? Do they sleep in the same position as you? Do they like the same amount of softness as you? How about memory feel? Bounce? Cushioning depth? Do they have the same needs as you in terms of temperature? What about motion isolation? Edge support? Adjustable base compatibility? And so on. The key here is that mattresses are highly personal. So if the answers to any of these questions is 'no,' then their recommendation – as well-meaning as it is – simply isn't relevant to you.

Advice from Other Consumers

There are two types of consumer recommendations that can be helpful to you:

  • Reviews from mattress owners whose size, shape, and assorted sleep preferences match up with you and your personal requirements
  • Experiences that mattress owners have had with a company's customer service and support

Evaluating Consumer Reviews

Owner-written reviews can be useful if they’re very specific. First, they should be reviewing the exact mattress model (including the firmness or softness level) you’re considering, and the reviewer should note their body size, predominant sleeping position, and comfort preferences. Without these critical details, that owner’s comments about a mattress (eg, “it was too soft”) are meaningless to you – and can even lead you to make a worse decision than you would have made without that information.

And because of the vast number of mattress models on the market, reading user reviews isn’t a good place to start your search. Rather, consumer reviews and family recommendations may be a helpful step once you have a short list of mattresses that are most likely to meet your personal needs. We recommend starting with the GoodBed Match Quiz, which matches your support needs and feature preferences to specific mattress models.

Unfortunately, there aren't any sources of mattress reviews that gather holistic information about each reviewer's body type, needs, etc…except for GoodBed. We understand that the vast majority of well-meaning user reviews simply don’t have enough detail to be relevant to someone that is choosing a mattress for themselves. So when we invite owners to review their beds on GoodBed, we ask those questions: Height and weight, sleep positions, comfort preferences, mattress model, purchase date and more. This way, you can filter the reviews to find the ones that are most relevant to your own needs. Explore GoodBed user reviews by brand and model.

That said, it should be noted that an owner’s comments about the brand’s customer service and warranty support can certainly be useful to you. Likewise, comments about factual things, like the quality of a mattress’ construction (are the handles sturdy? do the seams come apart?) or universal aspects of the ownership experience (is it easy to unpack and set up? how much did it off-gas?) can certainly be helpful. With such things, look for patterns of the same complaint (the fabric is scratchy, or smelly for example).

Considering Recommendations from Friends and Family

When it comes to recommendations from people you know, at least you can ask them questions about their sleep habits and needs (and if they’re a really good friend, they might let you sleep on their mattress). That can be helpful if there’s a specific mattress you’re curious about, but it won’t give you any idea whether there are mattress that could better suit your needs. Even so, the recommendation is still just one person’s opinion. But a friend’s comments about the store where they purchased it, or the how they were treated by customer service can be helpful.

Friends and family might also recommend a brand of mattress they may have purchased 10 years ago, or you may have heard that such-and-such brand mattresses are “good.” However, products often change, so today’s product from a brand may have little in common with more recent products.

Advice from Mattress "Experts"

These days, the internet is full of articles written by people who claim to have done the work for you in testing out mattresses. This sounds great, except that the vast majority of these articles are completely untrustworthy, either because the writer doesn't actually have expertise in matching people with the right mattress, or because the writer is actually a salesman that has cleverly disguised themselves as an unbiased reviewer (or both). Many of these sites are even owned by mattress brands.

Trustworthy mattress reviewers

Want to know whether a mattress information source is really reliable? Here are the dead giveaways to spot an untrustworthy mattress reviewer. In general, any kind of generic recommendations from magazines or websites – such as lists of the “Best Mattresses” – are the clearest sign to steer clear of that source.

In our opinion, a trustworthy mattress reviewer must have these two qualities:

  1. Expertise: A real mattress expert understands the various needs and preferences of many different types of sleepers and is able to assess how well a given mattress will meet a given person’s unique requirements relative to the universe of available options. Simply trying a bunch of mattresses does not make someone an expert in mattresses any more than trying on a bunch of clothes makes someone an expert in fashion. 
  2. Objectivity: Being truly objective means placing the core focus on considering and representing facts, rather than personal feelings or opinions. This doesn’t necessarily mean withholding opinions altogether, but an objective reviewer will always distinguish their opinions (eg, how “comfortable” it is) from the factual attributes of the mattress in order to avoid any possible confusion on the part of the reader.

We believe that a mattress reviewer should be able to clearly demonstrate through the way they present information that they are both expert and objective, and would suggest that you watch or read any of GoodBed's expert in-depth reviews to see what this looks like.

Find the Right Bed

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— Sara in Phoenix, AZ

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