No mattress lasts forever. This we realized after months of tossing and turning until it finally occurred to us that the mattress was the culprit, not our health and went mattress shopping.
Once your mattress starts to become less supporting and is showing signs of wear and tear, it’s time to start shopping for a new one. Managing with the same old mattress will interfere with the quality of sleep, leading to that constant feeling of tiredness, aches, and pains, especially in the back and neck, as we found out. Ugh!
So we went shopping for a mattress. After visiting a few stores in our area, we came back with an education. We were particularly stunned by the variety and the price range.
Those were the days when we simply went to the neighborhood mattress-maker, chose our fabric and cotton, and ordered the size and thickness we wanted. I remember once, we gave the wrong size and the mattress turned out to be five inches longer than required. After we had laughed our heads off to see the mattress spilling over the foot of the cot, we decided to just let it be, and my son used it as a slippery slide. It looked really funny, as the new mattress was quite stiff.
These days, the variety available is mind-boggling, and so is the price.
I must admit that we’re a little like Goldilocks–and like our bed and pillows just right.
After talking to some friends, we decided to do a little research and what we learned was interesting. We checked out reviews of the different mattresses available, by experts such as The Sleep Judge.
One type of mattress we often saw mentioned was made from polyurethane or PU. We were surprised, as we had never come across this as a mattress material. It got is thinking, could it really be a safe material to use in a mattress? Sure, we’d heard of memory foam and its various avatars, but PU?
Polyurethane – is it safe for use in mattresses?
Polyurethane Foam (or PU Foam) is made from synthetic materials and literally baked to form the finished foam. There is a variety of PU foam but this is not recommended for regular use. While it can be inexpensive and lightweight. we found that there are two main issues with polyurethane mattresses
- the additives that can be present in the material and
- the low level of support that they sometimes provide
The additives are there to help prevent the mattresses from catching fire, but imagine the health issues connected with ongoing exposure to these additives. After all, we use mattresses for at least five years, right? Compared to their memory foam counterparts, polyurethane mattresses also often provide a lower level of support. It’s this lack of support that can lead to problems with back and neck pain. Also, the mattress does not breathe as it is not ventilated and this means a shorter lifetime.
Encouraged by the store salesman, we did lay down on one of the PU mattresses and couldn’t stop laughing when the entire mattress moved when one of us moved. How weird is that! I would NOT want the mattress to jiggle or move if my partner turned over in his sleep!
However, we were told that if we were adamant about buying a PU mattress, we could look for one with a high level of density for more support and durability. A low-density PU foam can save money in the short run but will need to be replaced in a couple of years.
So, what are the options?
When we looked at the price range across mattresses, it put us in a dilemma. The polyurethane mattress was the closest to our budget. We wondered what alternatives were available. One of our friends had mentioned buying her mattress online, so we decided to explore that option. Perhaps it would be more economical to buy the better quality memory foam online?
Sure enough, we found that there are many online specialist mattress retailers who often sell their own products. As a result, they do not have the same expenses and overheads that general furniture retailers have when they need to buy mattresses from the manufacturer. This means that they do not have additional costs which they need to pass on to customers, by way of inflated prices.
We decided to do the following:
- Try and plan the mattress purchase when there are several online and shop based sales available, obviously to get the best price for a quality product.
- Spend some time checking for discount codes and vouchers to use while making our purchase. D’uh!
And yes, we found one that suits us and as an added bonus, it came with two free pillows. This means I may want to shop for fresh sheets, but that’s another story for another day.
Have you gone mattress shopping?
Would love to hear your experience.