Going Green In The Workplace

Can a Computer Help You Buy a Mattress?

March 24, 2008
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Recently I saw a television commercial from a company claiming to help diagnose and recommend the perfect mattress for a great nights sleep. They advertised “the benefits of helping to take the guesswork out of buying a mattress.” I thought to myself what an imaginative concept for retail mattress marketing. After all so many of us today use our computers and technology to any answer questions by means of the Internet. As we have learned there is also a lot of misinformation on the Internet. Which begs the question if a computer can pick out the proper mattress for me, how could I possibly go wrong?

The technologies behind such tantalizing advertisements are a few pieces of electronic equipment, a monitor, and a body matt. Ok so I’m skipping the geeky description, but the basic principal of this machine is that it pressure maps the body. It points out various areas of concern where body pressures are the greatest and weight concentrations can be reduced.

Are such tools and technologies being added to the mattress industry arsenal to get potential sales closed? One only needs to look at the advertisements directed at mattress retailers from companies selling or leasing pressure mapping equipment to get the answers. Mapping companies nearly always advertise such things as increased time with the customer and the ability to keep them in your store longer. Additionally they suggest that the average sale price on a mattress will be increased while at the same time increasing retail profits. Lastly they claim substantial increases in consumer confidence through a visual picture. A picture that will convincingly display the pressure areas in shades of dark oranges and reds that are of concern. It will also show reduced body pressures with lighter colors like blues and greens additionally proving the true value of what seems to be a prescribed mattress to the consumer. But should a picture be the proof and insurance of comfort and a good night’s rest.

My biggest fear with such a convincing sales pitch, people will take such information as gospel. The only real true way to get perfect support for the hips, shoulders, and the rest of the body is having a mattress custom made for you where the coils can be placed in accordance. Such mattresses are generally out of the average mattress budget.

After secretly shopping one of these retailers I was told it is just like purchasing a pair of shoes, you merely need an accurate size measurement of the foot. A mattress is no different a person must find the precise body measurement and fit the mattress to it. Each person has a different and unique the body shape and size. The salesman went on to tell me it is critical for the mattress to properly fit my body. So the concern is when mattress retail stores start getting into the proper fitting and measuring of the body through pressure mapping by using it as a fitting tool, haven’t they affectively crossed the medical line of diagnosing. Let’s remember sales associates are not trained physicians.

After my experience I am not buying into the idea that this is a simple tool to help people find the right mattress, but is being used as a method to diagnose. Worse yet I feel mattress stores are using this tool too promote and sell only the most expensive mattresses and close sales. So I’ll ask the question again should we rely on a computer to pick out the proper mattress for us, and how could we possible be steered wrong?