Mattress Brand Comparisons, Shopping and Pricing — Why It’s So Hard to Compare Mattresses

Mattress brand comparisons are important in making a good purchase. With most large-ticket items, like refrigerators and computers, you can rely on being able to find the exact brand and model you want at several different retail and online stores.

But wouldn’t you know — mattress companies and retailers decided not to let that happen with their product.
What does this mean? Well, even if you find what seems like the perfect mattress online, and you diligently write down the brand name AND model name… you might not find that exact product in any retail store when you go out to test the mattress of your choice.

Mattress Brand Comparisons Example — Let the Frustration Begin

Let’s say after drooling over the pictures and text on the Sealy website, I decide I want a model in the Posturepedic Preferred Series. Now it’s time for mattress comparisons on price and terms.

I go over to, the website of the massive 1800Mattress store. I put in my zip code and I see…

Several Sealy “Special Purchase” mattresses in firm, plush and pillow top, at price ranges of $600 to $800 for a queen. I don’t know what “Special Purchase” means. All I can really be sure of is, yes, this mattress is made by Sealy because it says so in the headline.

And then I see a Sealy “Posture Premier” with a price of about $800. The Posture Premier is an entry-level Sealy Mattress that is NOT featured on their website. Without knowing this, I wouldn’t know that $800 is a bit high-priced for that line.

And next, several Sealy “Posturepedic” mattresses with NO model name, just the firmness level of Plush, Firm, Level 2, and so on. The price range is $950 to $1250. Now we’re getting somewhere, but it’s still very unspecific. I have already learned from the Sealy website that Posturepedic mattresses include an entire product line with several versions, not just a single model.

But there is a picture, and by comparing the photo with the one on the Sealy site, I can just take a wild guess that I’m looking at the Posturepedic Preferred Series, the lowest cost line, the one I want. But what’s the model?
Then I go up to the “Posturepedic Comfort Series” — which according to the website is the lowest-cost product line of all-foam mattress — and I see a price range of $1550 to $1750. Just one little discrepancy — the Sealy website does not describe the “Comfort Series” as part of the Posturepedic line.

So what does this tell me? It’s the same old story. You can go to the company websites, pick out a number of models you like best, then head over to your nearest discount mattress outlet to do some mattress comparisons… and… good luck!

It’s very likely that the names will NOT be the same. Nor will the mattresses look the same — most likely the fabrics and quilting will be different as well, just to make sure you can’t identify them by appearance.
On top of that confusion, it’s quite likely that any price I get quoted will be different from a price you’ll get on the same mattress. Mattress retailers often change pricing structure whenever and however they please. It also changes by location or zip code. Sad, but true.

What to Do?

Obviously, it’s hard to do mattress brand comparisons online when you don’t know what specific model you are looking at.

Sealy makes some excellent product lines of mattresses, but finding exactly what you want at the price you’re hoping for is a bit, well, tricky.

This has been a major cause of frustration encountered by mattress buyers who finally find what they like in one store, or online, and then wish to comparison shop to see if there’s a better price somewhere. This is certainly a buyer’s right, one that keeps competition healthy and prices reasonable. It works fine for other products.

Mattress Brand Comparisons — Solution?

The only real solution (and it’s not an ideal one but will have to suffice) is to shop by FEATURES rather than model names.

In other words, find out what’s inside of your desired mattress — including coil count, type of padding, level of firmness, fabrics used, thickness, and type of foundation — and compare mattresses along those same lines. You’ll want to make a list so you won’t forget these features.

So the next step is to go down to the mattress store wearing your comfortable clothes and slip-on shoes, ask for the mattress that comes closest to your list of desired features… then lie down on the bed for at least 15 to 20 minutes, ignoring all the sales talk and listening instead to your body!

Then, and only then, is it time to talk about a purchase.

So yes, making mattress brand comparisons while shopping can be quite a chore. Because of the willful disinterest among mattress manufacturers and retailers in making the process easy and fail-proof for the consumer, you will have more work to do, especially more homework. You will have to rely less on sales talk and more on your own research and legwork.

But it can be done… and the results of a blissful night’s sleep on the mattress of your choice at the best price you can get… is certainly worth the trouble.

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