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Published: Wednesday, 6/13/2007

Mattress Shoppers Can Rest Easy Simple Tips Take the Mystery Out of Mattress Shopping

(ARA) - Americans like to comparison shop when looking for a new mattress set -- a task that 66 percent of people report as difficult, according to the Better Sleep Council. The process can be confusing, especially considering that people typically only shop for a new bed every eight to 10 years.

Mattress shopping doesn t have to be an overwhelming experience. To help simplify the process, consider the following tips:

Doing a little research will help you narrow your focus to the type of bed you need and prefer. It is especially important if you re looking to replace the mattress you sleep on every night. Do you prefer a firm or soft sleeping surface? If you have a sleep partner, or will have one in the future, realize that you will likely have differing preferences for comfort. Keep both preferences in mind when shopping. Also, consider what size bed you need. Experts agree that most people are happier on a larger bed. Consider purchasing the largest size mattress that will fit comfortably into your room.

* Side sleepers: Sleeping on your side often increases the amount of pressure on your shoulders and hips. With the bulk of the body s weight pressing down on shoulders and hips, many side sleepers experience discomfort frequently accompanied by numbness or tingling in the arms or legs. This is usually the result of painful pressure points constricting the flow of blood.

* Back sleepers: When you sleep on your back, your weight is usually more evenly distributed over a larger surface. On an overly firm bed, you will likely experience painful pressure points. On a sagging, overly soft bed, your back may hammock, allowing your spine to bend, which can cause back pain.

* Stomach sleepers: Sleeping on your stomach presents many comfort challenges. Arching the back can lead to morning stiffness, so it is important that the sleeping surface match and properly respond to the body s weight and weight distribution.

Mattress types and technology may have changed dramatically since the last time you purchased a mattress. It s good to get an idea of the different bed types available and the benefits of each to ensure that you choose a bed that perfectly fits your needs.

There s no substitute for lying on a bed to check the level of comfort you experience. To properly try out a bed, take off your shoes and lay on it for several minutes in the position you would normally sleep. If you like to sit on the side or foot of your bed in the morning when getting dressed, try simulating it on each mattress. You ll be amazed at the difference in edge support.

Inquire about the warranties and return policies. Remember, testing the bed in the store is not the same as trying it in your bedroom.

Tell the salesperson that you intend to shop at other retailers and want to know about their equivalent models. Good salespeople know their competition as well as the equivalent models and prices. To verify this information, you can cross-check equivalent models with their competitors.

A new mattress will support your body quite differently from an old mattress, and often puts your head and neck into a different orientation. Purchase new pillows that support your head and neck properly. Pillows shouldn t be an afterthought. Try them out in the showroom on the mattress you will purchase. Let the salesperson know your favorite sleep position, and they can match a pillow to your sleep style.

Be sure to get the basic product specifications, warranties and prices in writing so you can evaluate the information once you leave the store. Check out the store s Web site to see more detailed information.

It takes time to make an informed, rational decision about a significant purchase. Good salespeople have enough confidence to arm you with as much information as possible and periodically keep in touch. Courtesy of ARA Content



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