Why Do Mattresses Cost So Much?

What Does a Mattress Store Salesman Sleep On?

October 20, 2008
Healthy Sleep

You can imagine as a mattress storeowner’s son there is one question I always get asked; “What do you sleep on” or “Have you slept on this mattress before?”

My dad opened his waterbed store in February 1986, which would have been my junior year of high school. As a teenager a waterbed was the coolest things to have. I was the typical 80’s brat, I had a mullet (bi-level) and stonewashed jeans. I couldn’t get any cooler than that (just ask my friends!).

For my high school graduation I got a complete bedroom set to match the waterbed I already had. It included all the bells and whistles – even a vibrating massage unit. I loved that bed. A few years later came marriage and much to my surprise my wife didn’t love my hip 1980’s bedroom group so much. She thought it looked more seventyish and very dated. So I did what any man would do and I negotiated like a lawyer and I settled for a softside.

My wife’s selection of a softside waterbed was interestingly enough actually the best bed I ever owned. For nearly six years Kathy and I kept that softside. Then one day I let a salesperson talk me into their top of the line pillow top mattress and boxspring – they practically gave it to me. Kathy and I slept on that mattress for nearly a year. Our findings… one year of sub par comfort, no temperature control and just “so so” sleep.

After telling another sales representative my story he suggested the Tempur Pedic Classic, which we were selling at the time. He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and I took it home. We slept on the Tempur Pedic mattress for nearly 2 years and honestly I thought it was really nice. Unfortunately memory foam mattresses do not have a heater for temperature control and quite frankly it was still not my old waterbed. Truthfully Kathy really never liked it, but I did, to me it was a lot better than the mattress and boxspring we replaced it with.

After visiting a local mattress trade show at Harrah’s Casino in St. Louis, I bought Land and Sky’s floor sample Body Tone latex mattress. It was twelve inches of dreamy all natural rubber. The funny thing was I had already committed to a purchase of a land and sky Celeste Pillow Top Softside with dual temperature controlled mattresses. We had made up our mind we were going back to a softside waterbed. I got rid of the latex mattress and went back to a waterbed after a 3 year sabbatical.

A little older and a little wiser I now see many others doing what I did. More and more people are changing back to their first love, the waterbed. I can’t tell how thankful I am that my wife talked me back into a softside waterbed. Kathy is the real reason we went back to water and the real salesman in the family. She turned me back on the bed I always loved and really missed a softside waterbed.

Unexpectedly as a store we are seeing a steady growth of new customers again looking back to natures finest sleeping surface; water. For years people listened to the propaganda and lies saying things like:

  • That waterbed is not good for you.
  • They’re too wavy.
  • They’re hard to move.
  • You can’t get in and out of them and hard to make.
  • They’re a fad.

Baloney! Waterbeds are the most comfortable mattresses I have ever slept on.  And if the owners’ son can sleep on one then maybe a few more of his customers will recognize what great beds they really are.

It’s October 2008 and I still love my King size dual controled softside waterbed. As a wise man once said in a local TV ad, “If you ain’t sleepin on water you oughta!