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What to Watch Out For
Watch Out for These Common Tricks and Mistakes

Last updated on August 19, 2020

Many mattress shoppers know they should be wary, but few know all the pitfalls to avoid. Arm yourself against shady salespeople and marketing tricks, and recognize that the way you shop for other products can often lead you astray when shopping for a mattress.

When mattress shopping, you're at an inherent disadvantage: The many options all look basically the same from the outside, with little logic or transparency behind construction, materials, and pricing. Salespeople hit you with jargon, and because people buy mattresses infrequently, there's little incentive for them in retaining your business beyond this one sale.

Sadly, there are pitfalls at almost every stage of mattress shopping, from your initial research to the actual purchase, to warranty claims. But GoodBed has the information you need to avoid all of it.

Ways that Mattress Companies Can Mislead You

Mattress Name Game. To keep you from comparison shopping, mattress companies will throw a different cover on a mattress and give it a different name. Then these are sold as "exclusive" to a particular store. Here's how the name game works and how to beat it.

Bypass the Jargon. Marketing materials and advertisements use buzzwords and puffery to describe very simple things like foam, springs, and fabric. Here are the most insidious, and what they really mean.

Secrets of Mattress Pricing. One day a given mattress costs $3,000, and the next day it's 'half price.' Get the skinny on mattress markups, negotiation tactics, and how to score the best price.

Warranty Gotchas. A 25-year or lifetime warranty sounds amazing, right? Unfortunately, mattress warranties don't correlate to how long your mattress will last, and you might be surprised by what's covered under the warranty (and especially, what's not).


Ways that Your Own Shopping Tendencies Can Mislead You

Need a new washing machine or a TV? You're first step is probably to ask friends or hit up the reviews at Amazon. And while friends-and-family recommendations or user reviews are a great way to buy reliable appliances, they're a pretty bad way to choose a bed. That's because buying a mattress is more like shopping for jeans than buying a toaster; they're primarily dependent on personal fit and comfort.

Mattresses are inherently personal. A bed that's supportive and pressure-relieving for your 250-lb. friend might not work at all for 150-lb. you. And his priorities and preferences are likely very different than yours. That's why user reviews can be so misleading unless you know a lot about the person writing it. One person's "too soft" is another person's "perfect."

User reviews on GoodBed are deeper than those you'll see on other sites because we ask each reviewer about their sleep preferences, weight, and health issues, letting you find mattress owners more like you. In a mattress store, a good salesperson should ask you about all these things.

Where comments in user reviews ARE helpful is around customer service, something that should be more universal from person to person.

You might think that the best place to start your search for reviews is Google. Unfortunately, a huge number of fake review websites are in the results. These unscrupulous sites are owned or operated by mattress manufacturers, set up to drive you towards a specific brand or brands, or are managed by non-experts merely looking to sell you whatever brand pays them the highest sales commission.

Here's how to spot and avoid these Fake Mattress Review Sites.

You might also think about checking Consumer Reports magazine, which does a great job covering toasters and washing machines, but in our opinion, they aren't the best source for mattress reviews. Here's why we think so.


Ways that You Can Get Smarter Before Buying

Learning the lingo and getting a general idea of which mattresses should be on shortlist -- that's the first step in your decision. GoodBed helps you shortcut that with our Mattress Match Quiz. But you'll also want to spend some time in our Mattress 101 section, where you can compare mattress types and decide which mattress properties and features are most important to you.

Hands down, knowing a bit about how mattresses are made, and how that translates to your personal needs and preferences is the BEST way to avoid making a mattress mistake or feeling like you've been ripped off.

Common Mattress Myths. It's amazing how many assumptions about mattresses are stuck in our heads, including "more springs is better" and "firm beds are better for back pain." Here's our list of mattress myths, debunked.

Find the Right Bed

Not sure which type of bed to buy? Answer a few questions to see good matches for you with GoodBed's unbiased, personalized results.

Let's start… Select your preferred sleeping position:
This is awesome. Now I feel equipped to walk in somewhere and say with certainty, "This is exactly what I'm looking for."
— Sara in Phoenix, AZ

What size of bed are you looking for?

Not sure? Go to Mattress Size Guide