5 On Your Side

New, tailored tests lay out best mattresses for different people

Posted 9:20 a.m. Thursday

With all the time we spend in bed, a mattress is an important investment.

Consumer Reports tested 50 of the top models to determine which will give you the best night's sleep.

Typically, mattresses are given a roller test, which helps simulate 8 to 10 years of use on a mattress. This year, though, testers used more tailored ratings to assess the mattresses.

"In the past, our back and side support scores were based on an average sized individual," said Consumer Reports' Chris Regan. "Now, we have broken apart that into a petite, an average and a taller or larger individual."

The results of the new tests show you don't have to spend thousands of dollars.

Online mattress companies, such as Casper, Lull and Tuft & Needle, offer good performance and very competitive pricing. The $950 Casper mattress earned top ratings in Consumer Reports tests of memory foam mattresses.

"Casper delivered very good performance whether you sleep on your side or on your back," Regan said.

[Editor's note: The Casper mattress Consumer Reports tested is the model that is currently available at www.casper.com. Casper plans to make an upgrade to this mattress in the near future.]

If you're nervous about buying online, know that Tuft and Needle and Casper got the highest satisfaction rating in a recent Consumer Reports survey. Before you buy online, though, be sure to check the trial period and return policy.

If you prefer to check out a mattress first, the traditional in-store experience is still the best way to try before you buy. But don't be shy.

"You want to spend at least 15 minutes lying on that mattress, trying it out," Regan said. "Get comfortable, find your ideal position, kick off your shoes, maybe even bring your pillow from home."

No matter where you buy, Consumer Reports recommends you haggle with the seller. Consumer Reports says when you're shopping in store you should start by asking for 50 percent off the list price and take it from there.

Ask about free delivery and haul-away service. Another way to save, ask for a price guarantee: If the mattress goes on sale within 30 days you can get a refund for the difference.

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  • Ackmed Mohammed Mar 17, 12:29 p.m.
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    Mattresses are typically marked up 300% so keep that in mind when negotiating your best deal. Always be prepared to walk away if you can't get close to what you consider a fair price.