Last month, I started having some pretty serious back pain – to the point where I actually worked from home for a good portion of one week (before getting so stir-crazy that I dragged myself into the office just to have human interaction). Things had started looking up for a little bit – I was able to get some good sleep for about a week and wasn’t in too much pain – but I’ve been hurting for the past week and half or so. Discussions with my chiropractor (who continues to give me book recommendations, by the way) steered me towards the possibility that I might be up for a new mattress.
I got my current one about 15 years ago, so…yeah, probably.
(It makes me sad, though, as it was my first piece of new, just-for-me furniture, and I really love the mattress pad Robert got for me two years ago.)
Last Saturday I began my first foray into the jungle that is mattress research. That first leg of the journey took us to Macy’s, Sleep Number, and JC Penney’s. Monday night, we also hit up a Mattress Warehouse down the street from Robert’s work.
First of all, I want to take a moment to mention that mattress shopping seems to have come a long way in the years since I last went out to find one. Before, you just went to the store and bounced around on a lot of different beds until you found one that felt good (to be honest, this is still a large part of the process, which is a good thing because it’s fun). Added to the mix nowadays is technology! which asks you questions about sleep habits and then requires you to lay down on a weird mattress which then scans you and determines the best types of mattress for you using specific metrics.
That’s right, folks…this is a science and tech field trip now. With the added bonus of jumping on beds!
According to the measurement systems at both Sleep Number and Mattress Warehouse (Macy’s and JC Penney’s didn’t have the swanky bed-measuring tech), Robert requires a mattress on the softer side, and I require firmer support (while still requiring some softness on the top, to allow for my decidedly curvier frame – aka I have a butt).
Now, we both know a little about the different kinds of mattresses out there…in as far as we know about memory foam, and pocketed coils, and adjustable air bladders…
Let me tell you, though…there is a LOT we didn’t know about what is out there, and how different aspects of a mattress work, and how you should be picking a mattress, etc. It’s been rather fun to talk to the specialized salespeople at Sleep Number and Mattress Warehouse about the science of sleep and choosing a mattress.
At Sleep Number, we got specific numbers for our sides of the beds. Those numbers can (and do) change throughout your life, depending on a number of different variables. While the customization of the Sleep Number beds is nice, the downside is that there is a bar between the two sides of the bed, so I can’t sleep comfortably in the middle of the bed.
At Mattress Warehouse, the Bed Match metric system calculates the best options for each individual sleeper and, if you share a bed, comes up with a short list of recommendations for mattresses that will work best for both people.
That, for me, was pretty awesome. It meant that we could be more focused in what we tried out, instead of randomly bouncing from mattress to mattress.
Also, I have to take a moment to say that I LOVE the pillows that Andy-the-mattress-salesman picked out for us. They were absolutely perfect – though Robert continually wondered why mine had to be so heavy.
We tried out about six different mattresses there – from the quite luxurious Kingsdown, to a more commom Sealy Posturepedic. Finally, we were able to narrow our top picks down to two or three mattresses, and it was time to take what we had learned about mattresses, and our opinions about the ones we had seen, and determine which one to get. After about a week of careful consideration, I believe I have finally picked…
(I’ll be honest, the name was enough to get me to try out the mattress. When I lay down on it…I’m pretty sure every muscle and joint in my body relaxed.)
With any luck, we can get the floor finished and the bed frame reassembled by Monday, so I can order the mattress and get it delivered some time next week. And then, dear friends….