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Consumer Reports: Best Mattresses

March 25, 2013|By Consumer Reports

We all love a good night’s sleep, and a good mattress can help. But a mattress can
be one of the hardest things to buy, and a new survey by Consumer Reports found
that about one in five people wished they’d bought a different mattress. So Consumer
Reports tested a dozen queen-size foam and innerspring mattresses, ranging in price
from less than $500 to almost $2,000.

Body support is Consumer Reports’ most important test. Technicians map the natural
curve of the spine for a range of people. Then they record how well each mattress
maintains that curve when sleeping on your back. Testers also check how well your
body is supported when sleeping on your side.

In another test, technicians check for firmness by applying increasing amount of weight
to each mattress. Many of the mattresses tested aren’t as firm as they claim. And
because you want the mattress to last, there is also a test for durability. A heavy roller
passes over each mattress 30,000 times.


Consumer Reports also cuts open the mattresses to inspect the construction. It turns
out that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great mattress. Higher-priced frills
such as additional coils or fancier fabrics really don’t guarantee a better mattress.

Consumer Reports named three queen-size mattresses that cost under a $1,000 Best
Buys. For innersprings: the Simmons Glover Park Firm Pillowtop from Sears, for $780,
and the Serta Perfect Sleeper Elite Pastel Firm Pillowtop from Macy’s, for $835. And for
foam mattresses, the Novaform Serafina from Costco that comes in a box. You just roll
it out, and it’s ready for you to get a good night’s sleep. It costs $900.

Consumer Reports says its ratings are a place to start, but if at all possible, try any
mattress in the store before you buy. If you can’t do that, check the return policy
carefully and make sure there are no restocking fees. While you can’t try the Costco
mattress, you can return its mattresses for free if you don’t like it, and there is no charge
for pickup.

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