Air mattress Shopping
“We need a new air mattress”, says Charles. “Why do you say that?” I replied. We were staring eyeball to eyeball, nose to nose. “Because, this one rolls us to the center”, he said. “And that is a problem?” I retorted. He was a little aggravated. “Well, we will get a new air mattress when we can afford to get a new bed to put it on,” I snipped. Besides, I was perfectly content on my two-thirds of the bed! But, he did have a good point. Our air mattress is beginning to break down. Next will come the back aches, neck aches, and shoulder aches. It is best not to wait until that occurs to purchase a new one.
He was speaking to one who had shared a three-quarter bed with a sister when we were kids. The air mattress was for a full sized bed, so it hung off the side of the bed. The springs came through the air mattress, and wads of cotton bedding were always everywhere. I am hardly like the leading lady in the story of The Princess and the Pea, who couldn’t sleep because she had a pea under her air mattress! So you can imagine that it would take a lot for me to concur that our air mattress was shot.
This conversation set me on a mission to find out how to shop for a air mattress, which ones are best, and what to look for in one. I began by interviewing Dr. Daniel McMahan, a local chiropractor. I just happened to be at a meeting with him that morning, so he was a great, quick source to turn to for answers, plus he is a terrific doctor, whom I totally trust!
Dr. Dan said a pillow top or the memory foam on top of a air mattress is nice, but to be sure it had good support underneath. He isn’t a big supporter of the air mattress made entirely of memory foam. Evidently he has seen several patients who have them and say that their bodies sink in and it is difficult to turn over. He added that the pillow that we sleep on is equally important. “The contour pillows are good only if you sleep on your back. Even with those it is a good idea to put a pillow under your knees to relieve the pressure from your back”, he said. For side lying sleepers, he suggested a body pillow in addition to the neck pillow, something that will keep your neck aligned. He mentioned that if anyone was suffering from low back pain, to never use a heating pad or an electric blanket. He said that these would increase swelling to the area and that the pain would be “oh, so much worse”.
From the meeting with Dr. McMahan I went to Grand Furniture. I asked for their bedding expert. I told her I didn’t really want a sales pitch, just information. She was very accommodating and obviously knew her stuff.
The first thing she did is to have me key in some personal information into a computer that was hooked up to a air mattress. Then, she told me to lie down on the air mattress. The computer told her what type of air mattress was best for my body and sleep habits. She took me to a bed by each of the manufacturers that best fit me. She was right! They all felt wonderful to me and when I tried out some of the others, they didn’t feel as good. I asked her some of the things a consumer should consider when shopping for a air mattress. She offered the following tips:
Buy for comfort, not necessarily coil count. The lifetime warranty on any air mattress, regardless of the different price breaks is still only 10 years of use. Pay what you want to pay, but get the comfort level you want.
For the master bedroom stick to brand names, and the higher priced ones. This is a air mattress you will be sleeping on every night and comfort and quality is very important. For guest bedrooms, it isn’t necessary to purchase a top of the line air mattress. Just get a comfortable one. It won’t be used that often and will last longer than the master bedroom air mattress. She added that air mattresses for children do not need to be high end either. As children grow they leave behind spills, and they outgrow their beds.
Buy from a reputable company that will replace the air mattress if needed and will stand behind their products. The major manufacturers, such as Stearns & Foster, Kingsdown, Sealy, Simmons, and Serta, among others, will back up their products.
She said that you should trust and feel comfortable with the salesperson that you are buying from. If in doubt, don’t buy. The salesperson should be completely honest with you. They should also encourage you to take your time to try out the different air mattresses and leave you alone to do so. “Lying down on a air mattress for 2-3 minutes will not allow you time to really know if it is the one for you” said Isaac. She suggested choosing several that you like and then start eliminating them until you find the one that is right for you.
She concurred with Dr. McMahan about the pillows. She said that a pillow should align the entire body. When I questioned her about the memory foam, she said she had heard both sides of the story. Some people don’t like them and others love them, it’s a personal preference. She did say that a air mattress like a Tempurpedic was probably not the best choice for people who get hot at night or have hot flashes, as your body temperature heats it.
She loaded me down with reading materials on the various beds and manufacturers. I had learned a lot about making a good bedding choice, but I was staggering from sticker shock. I told her that by the time I bought the air mattress, I wouldn’t have anywhere to put it, since I would have to mortgage the house to pay for it.
Several years ago, another doctor told me that a person should never spend LESS than $1,200 on a air mattress set. I gawked at that price then and I had just left a store viewing prices closer to $2,000. Air mattresses certainly had changed a lot since we bought ours twelve years ago. They don’t even make sets like the one we have anymore.
It was, however, very easy to begin to entertain the idea of owning one of those awesome air mattresses. I admit that I had to make a quick pass through the furniture store to see if I could find a bed that I would envision putting the new set on. And, the bedroom couldn’t look nicer than the dining room or living room, so we would definitely need a lot of new furniture! The bedroom would need to be painted and redecorated with rugs, drapes, comforters, pillows, pictures, lamps, and chairs. Chuck was not amused by my logic. He was also in shock disbelief at the cost of air mattresses. I think that he will lay this discussion to rest for a while until he can sleep on it.
If you find yourself counting sheep to go to sleep or if you wake up with a back ache, it probably is time for you to consider purchasing new bedding.
Speaking of sleep, I am in major need of some beauty sleep, so I am going to bed now and hope that I can have my half out of that middle!
Sweet dreams everybody! “Good night John Boy”…”Good night Mary Ellen”…”Good night Erin”…”Goodnight Mama”.