Consumer Reports’ analysis delivers mixed bag
In its annual review of mattresses, the March issue of Consumer Reports provides a four-page package of mattress scores, retail store ratings, purchasing advice, mattress myths and insights into better sleep.
The magazine evaluates 12 innerspring and 12 memory foam models through a series of comprehensive testing, yielding its 10 top choices for a good night’s sleep. According to CR, months of testing using dozens of electronic sensors went into its determinations on how well each mattress supports the spine. Serta’s Perfect Day iSeries Applause earns the magazine’s Best Buy in the innerspring category, while Costco’s Novaform Foam Collection Serafina 14-inch Memory takes honors for memory foam.
The publication also rates the top 15 places to shop for mattresses, based on a subscriber survey of 6,105 shopping experiences between 2011 and June 2013. Taking the top five spots are Original Mattress Factory, Costco, Ikea, Denver Mattress Co. and the Tempur-Pedic store.
In addition, the survey shares shopping experiences, suggestions on selecting the best retailer and tactics to avoid common shopping nightmares. Interestingly, 11% of subscribers said they were sorry they didn’t spend more on a mattress. Dubious “Gotchas to avoid” include added-cost extras such as mattress protectors, returns with strings attached and “come-on prices.”
The “How to choose” section provides mixed advice. On the plus side, there are sound words to consumers, such as looking for a label and not buying solely by brand. Disturbing information and advice include encouraging shoppers to save money by not purchasing a new foundation and haggling over price.
The section on ways to sabotage sleep, however, offers consumers viable suggestions on improving their sleep habits. Tips include not varying bedtime as well as not exercising, drinking or eating in the hours before hitting the sack.