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, are you sure your getting what you asked for? Do you really know what the words firm mattress mean in the mattress industry? Hang tight this article is going to make you second guess your selection. For those of you that have not read my regular blog I often just call it like I see it and this one is one that needs to be called out from the roof tops and I quote “I’m looking for a firm mattress” or better yet check out a recent mattress add “Firm Mattress On Sale Now”. Those two words firm and mattress may very well be the most over used words in the bedding industry.
While the words firm mattress are all to often used together far too often I would only add that many other descriptions are thrown around like pillows on a little kids sleep over. As they say in the industry test out these; Extra Firm, Super Firm, Cushion Firm, Plush Firm, and Firm Pillow Top. By now I hope you can see where I am going with this. Each of these words while descriptive is not specific to what the mattress actually feels like.
While somewhat helpful these descriptions are not clear and precise as to what the bed might feel like. A mattress shopper could and probably will visit several stores. Each will sell their very own versions of what they call a firm mattress even if each bed was built exactly the same and was exactly the same firmness salespeople would describe them as differently as the words I shared above and some I may not have thought of off the top of my head. Why, because there is no standard firmness measurement within the entire bedding industry to define and determine a hardness or softness scale for customers to use for a basis of comparison.
I remember a couple who brought in an ad while I worked for a competitor Sleep Station in St. Louis MO and the customer asked me to see the $199.00 queen size firm mattress we had advertised. I took the couple back to see the mattress located in the far corner of the store and asked them to lie down to see if it met their comfort and support needs. The customer then asked me if I was kidding him. I said no why? He responded this is a piece of S*#t and it isn’t even firm. I told him I had firmer mattresses and he asked to see them. I showed him the other firm mattresses and he agreed that they were firmer than the one at $199.00 he’d just tried. I explained that extra firmness would come at additional cost and the one he ultimately chose was $400.00 more. He replied that he wasn’t going to pay that and that the company’s newspaper ad was misleading in by calling the $199.00 mattress firm. While I agreed that it was ridiculous to call the $199.00 mattress firm especially when comparing it to more the expensive and better built bed it was without a doubt very firm when compared to other $199.00 beds both in our store and at the competitions stores.
The bottom line is at this time a 1 to 10 scale does not exist. While firmness of foam can be measured with polyurethane foam, memory foam, land latex rubber by using ILD or IFD it is rarely ever marketed and is only one measurement. Coil springs to my knowledge market no such measurement. I say give the shoppers all the information available so that they may compare mattresses on a level field that is easy to understand with no confusion. After all even doctors and chiropractors don’t agree on the proper mattress firmness.