Afraid Of Your Mattress?

The Mattress Industry Name Game

November 19, 2007
Industry News & Alerts

When car shopping one can easily go from one dealership to another and compare various models with relative ease. Example: a Toyota Camary is still a Toyota Camary no matter how many dealerships you visit. Automobile manufactures make it easy for the consumers to evaluate comparable models through catalogues, Internet sites, and trained sales associates.
The mattress and box spring industry on the other hand does not seem to want to make it so easy, as a matter of fact it is quite the opposite and darn near impossible to compare mattresses. Visit your local store that displays brand name mattresses or even the not so well known mattress brands and you may feel as though you are among feeding sharks. Make an effort to discover out how a mattress is constructed, sales associates often provide you with fluffy feel good answers and forget trying to pin them down to specific mattress details they would rather throw you out of the show room rather than relinquish that kind of information.

Albeit rare, Ford, Chevy, or Toyota rarely position stores across or down the street from one another. The mattress and box spring industry however seems to saturate local markets encouraging every Tom, Dan, and Harry to sell their mattress line regardless of their location. Even worse, is that they now make available too the enormous big box stores, large mattress and furniture store chains a privately labeled line that discourages cross shopping. If the truth were to be told, large companies are at fault for the unfair practice by encouraging manufactures to custom build and tailor special beds that carry exclusive labels. These are exclusive mattresses lines they can claim as their own and are hard for the consumer to shop.

Unfortunately for patrons these manufacturers will display different model names, differ in construction make up, fabric patterns, quilt stitching and even total weight. These comparable mattresses are supposed to share similar construction only offered with a simple change of the fabric color and a change of the name on the label. The reality is that it could be a lower-grade product. Protection of these large retail cash cow dealers is imperative especially in the cases where mattress dealers are in close proximity to one another.

It would seem that getting the mattress specifications would be as simple as asking for them. Not always true, many companies practice low price promises but fall short when it comes time to compare. Example XYZ store sells Brand A with the model name “St. Louis” for $599.While ABC store also sells Brand A but carries the model name “Kansas City” for $649. Even though ABC Company guarantees to beat competitor’s prices they are able to wiggle out of having to so by claiming that the mattresses are not the same.

So what is a consumer to do? Fight back; ask for the written specifications. This is a sheet listing the entire mattress construction and make up. It should include coil count, steel gauge, and each layer of upholstery. It should describe what the layers are and their make up including foam densities and ILD or IFD. What if they won’t or can’t get it for you. Find a store that will.