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What Recommendations Can You Trust?

Last updated on September 12, 2019

User Reviews: Which Can You Trust?

Your friend or co-worker just loves his new mattress and thinks you should buy it too. But unless your friend is the same size and weight as you, sleeps in the same predominant position as you, likes the exact same degree of softness and memory feel as you, and has the same edge support, motion isolation, and temperature needs as you, then his recommendation – well meaning though it is – simply won’t be relevant to your needs.

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

  • Reviews from owners that specify the owner’s weight, sleep preferences, and other needs
  • Owners’ opinions on a brand’s customer support or warranty service

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, an owner’s anecdotal comments about comfort won’t be relevant to you.

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, hardly any websites, including Amazon, ask owners consistently for details about their body type, support 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 in choosing a mattress for yourself. 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 find the reviews that are most relevant to your own needs. Explore GoodBed user reviews by brand and model.

Comments about factual things, like the quality of a mattress’s construction (are the handles sturdy? Do the seams come apart?), and the mattress height and weight (is it easy to unpack and set up?) can certainly be helpful. Likewise, an owner’s comments about the brand’s customer service and warranty service can also be useful to you. And owner reviews can be helpful if you notice a pattern of the same complaint (the fabric is scratchy, or smelly for example). But without those key details about an owners size/weight, and sleep preferences, comments like “this mattress was too soft” are meaningless.

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.

Can You Trust Mattress Review Websites?

Similar to most user reviews, generic recommendations in magazines and websites – such as “Top Mattresses of 2019?” lists – also aren’t going to be relevant to your personal support needs and preferences, and some of those sites are even owned my mattress companies.

Trustworthy mattress reviewers

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. This is the entire mission of GoodBed.

It's not hard to spot untrustworthy and unethical 'mattress reviewers.' Here are some dead giveaways that these sites don't have your best interest at heart.

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