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Why Is This So Hard? (Firm, Plush, Lux, Soft)

Claudia Hufham June 2020

Lifestyle Blogger: Claudia Hufham

Before this whole pandemic mess started, I was bouncing around the idea of buying a new mattress.The one I have, has a few years on it and I have started to notice it’s getting a little “sinky”. That’s probably not the technical term for it, but you know what I’m talking about. I sleep in the same spot every night, leaving the other side for the dog, Rokko. Ok, it’s more like he takes up more than his fair share most of the time.

Anyway, I’ve also noticed that I wake up a lot in the night, tossing and turning, not to mention my hip, on the side that I sleep the most, hurts in the morning.

Now, maybe all of this is because I am not aging as gracefully as I would like to. My mama would say it’s because I don’t do Yoga and there may be some truth to that, but I do exercise and walk most days and it doesn’t seem to improve my sleep. So, I have come to the conclusion that it’s the mattress.

There’s Not Much I Like About It

The traditional way of buying a mattress ranks right up there with buying a car on my list of things I’d rather not do. There is nothing about it I like. They cost more than I want them to. There are too many to choose from. And, the thought of going into a mattress store, well it does not trip my trigger on any level.

I have never been a fan of mattress stores for so many reasons. How do you ever decide which one to go in? You can’t possibly go to all of them, they are on every corner. (My kids think that they are front for money laundering or some other illegal shenanigans due to the abundance of them.) Why do we need so many? 

All The Questions

“Test driving” a mattress is uncomfortable and it’s not because the mattresses are uncomfortable, rather the whole situation is uncomfortable. The salespeople hover as you come in the door, much like those at the car dealership. They proceed to ask you questions about your sleep habits. Do you sleep on your side? On your stomach? On your back? Do you have back pain? Hip pain? Do you wake up a lot in the night? YES! Is the answer to all of the above. Probably not a helpful answer.

Then they ask “How much would you like to spend?” I would LIKE to spend 50 bucks, but I doubt that’s going to happen. My question is how much am I going to have to spend? Again, like buying a car, what I want to spend and what I am going to have to spend are very different.

Sleeping Single In A Double Bed

I would love to see the look on their faces when the dog and I come in to test mattresses!”

Now to add another layer of awkwardness to the situation, when you are a single woman they look around for your partner, because why would you shop for a mattress without them? As much as I’d like to take Rokko the dog with me, that probably would be frowned upon, but oh I would love to see the look on their faces when the dog and I come in to test mattresses! I would consider taking him, just to have a good laugh, but not sure it’s worth it.

Then the salesperson leads you to the mattress that they think is going to suit your needs and suggests you stretch out and relax. How can you relax with all of them staring at you? You oblige, because what else are you going to do? That is what you are there for. All of them are comfortable, but without spending the weekend sleeping on it, how am I going to know if it’s “the one”?

A Princess and The Pea Moment

Too soft, too hard, too memory foamy. Then there are the ones that are “endorsed” by celebrities. They lead you to the Tom Brady diamond dust memory foam mattress. Umm what?

First of all, dust is dust and what does Tom Brady have to do with mattresses? To be clear the mattress has micro diamonds that are part of the memory foam, and apparently wick heat away from the body to prevent overheating. Ok, whatever. I suppose they say whatever it takes to sell a mattress.

And, Then There’s the Virus

the good news is that most online mattresses come with a really good return policy”

Now that our world has been turned upside down with the Coronavirus, what was once something we did without thinking about it too much, now seems crazy! Like blowing out the candles on a cake and then eating it, shaking hands, hugging, not to mention lying on a mattress at a mattress store. This adds a new layer of uncomfortableness. Nope, I don’t care if they cover it in plastic, hose it off with lysol and wrap me up in PPE. I am not lying on those mattresses.

So, if I really want a new mattress, I am going to have to look to the internet to help me in my search. That means I have to do my research and depend on what others say about the mattress. Now, the good news is that most online mattresses come with a really good return policy. Anywhere from 120 to 365 days to sleep on it and if you don’t like they will come get it. That’s reassuring right?

So Many Choices

Like the car buying thing, mattresses have a wide price range and all kinds of different things to consider. They range in prices from $150 to over $5000 (diamond dust) depending on what type you want and/or need. Choices include memory foam; innerspring; coil, hybrids; gel; pillow tops; water; air; latex; adjustable bases; whew. How does a girl ever decide?

So in researching I found that there are also mattress “categories”. Yes, they have categories. Best bed in a box; best for side sleepers; best for back sleeper; best for back pain; best for sex; (really, that is a category) stomach sleepers; heavy people; not heavy people. Suddenly I feel like the princess and the pea!

Oh the Logistics

Besides trying to decide what mattress, there is a whole other layer of getting a new mattress. Moving old mattresses out, new mattress in, current mattress into the other room. My current mattress, which is a queen size, will go in the other bedroom that currently has a double (full) bed in it. The bed itself belonged to my mother and father and I am one sentimental girl! I hate to get rid of it, but what am I going to do with it?

I will need to buy a queen size bed frame for that room. Then take my mattress and boxspring, move it to the other bedroom and set up the new mattress. I think the quarantine has made me lazier than usual because that sounds like a LOT of work. It also means my kids are going to have to come help me. I can’t do all this mattress moving by myself. Well, I probably could, but I don’t want to.

Just Forget the Whole Thing

I even think about the delivery guy and how much trouble getting a mattress out of the truck and into my house is going to be! All of it makes me want to slide into my bed and be happy in the hole that I’ve grown accustomed to in my mattress. It’s not so bad! I have to pick myself up completely to turn over, but hey it’s more than some people have, so I can’t really complain.

I have resigned myself to the fact that if I don’t want to go to the mattress store, I am going to have to purchase a “bed in a box”. I remember the first time I had an experience with a “bed in a box”. I ordered one for my daughter Kaylan when she was moving to another city. I ordered it from the Walmart in her new city and we were going to pick it up there.

A Bed In A Box?

Kaylan, her dad and I went to customer service and I told the guy we were there to pick up a mattress. He got my name and order number and disappeared into the warehouse. A few minutes later he came out with a box that was about 4ft tall by 1ft square. He set it down and said “here ya go.”  I looked at him with confusion and said, no I ordered a mattress. He said “yea that’s it” Still not convinced that there was a mattress in this box we picked it up and put it in the basket, checked out and took it to her new apartment. 

We carried the box into the apartment and up the stairs to unbox it in her room. As we opened the box, there was a large rolled up plastic thing, still didn’t look like a mattress. We slid it out of the box and onto the floor, cut the plastic off one end and BAM the mattress started to inflate like one of those automatic inflatable rafts that you see in comedy sketches. It scared me to death. Kaylan and I couldn’t stop laughing as this thing kept getting bigger and bigger. It really WAS a mattress that had been shrink wrapped and put into a box.

We laughed until we cried over this mattress that was getting bigger by the minute. Who knew they could get a mattress in a box?

It Was In A Box

The big mattress-in-a-box companies — and there are many, including Casper, Layla, Leesa, Nectar, Purple and Tuft & Needle — all operate on the same basic principle: You order your mattress online and it gets shipped to your door. You try it out for a set amount of time. If you don’t like it, you can return it for a full refund.

That certainly takes away some of the worry about buying an expensive mattress sight unseen or having never stretched out on it even for a few minutes. The choices are overwhelming and when I spend this much on something I don’t want to make a mistake. But if they let you return it, maybe you can’t make a mistake.

What If I Don’t Like It?

surely they don’t expect you to get it back in that box”

Let’s think about returning a mattress for a minute. SO you hate it, you call the company and tell them you hate it. They ask a bunch of questions, but ultimately agree to arrange for it to be picked up. I am only speculating but surely they don’t expect you to get it back in that box. Apparently, they have a company that will come get the mattress and all it’s glory from you and take it away.

Now, you have just a certain amount of time to do this all over again, otherwise you are sleeping on the floor. Or in the other room on your old mattress that was the problem to begin with!

Changing The MindSet

Maybe my biggest problem may be that I think too much. Maybe not only do I need a new mattress, but I need a different way of thinking about this whole thing.

When you think about it, a mattress is something that you use every single night of the year and sometimes days too. When you break down the price, it makes it easier to sleep on. Say you keep the mattress for 8 years (8 x 365 = 2920). Then, you divide the price of a mattress, the average being around $2000, that’s like .68 cents A DAY! That changes my perspective on the price right? 

Making decisions like this, with no one to bounce it off of, is sometimes difficult. I should be used to it by now and trust me, there are many times when I am happy that I don’t have to hear someone’s opinion about what I am spending my money on. But, there are times when it would be so much easier if someone else would just make the decision for me. Rokko has no opinion that he is able to tell me anyway. Trust me, I’ve asked and I interpret the big brown eyed look as, “As long as you are happy Mom, that’s all I care about” I like that answer, but it’s not helpful.

Any Advice?

If anyone has any advice, recommendations, prayers,  that they’d like to share please feel free!

To be continued…

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Claudia Hufham

About the Author

Claudia Hufham is a blogger, mom to two grown kids and a Boxer/American Bulldog, who found herself looking for a new career at age 59. In her quest to reinvent herself and save her sanity, she started a blog. Her humor and down to earth story telling of her life lessons have led her to be featured on sites like Feedspot.com. You can read more from Claudia at Claudiareinvented. You can follow Claudia on her Instagram and FaceBook Page as well.

Claudiareinvented is featured on Feedspot as one of the Top 10 Women Over 50 Blogs