Most Important Furniture Purchase?

I really screwed up. I pushed my body too hard a few weeks ago – tennis (3x), softball, and biking – and by Friday morning, when I got out of bed, my back was stiff and sore.

I’ve rested it for a couple weeks, but it continues to be aggravated. I’ve come to believe that our bed – now 13 years old – is part of the problem and needs to be replaced.

I remember a mattress salesman telling us 30 years ago that it is “the most important piece of furniture you’ll ever buy” because you use it so much everyday. Its hard to argue with that assessment when your back is stiff.

Now we are thinking of making the jump to one of those adjustable firmness air mattress set-ups that let you set specific firmness levels for each side. They get very good reviews and are HQ’d locally in Minnesota.

They are also much more expensive than any bed that we’ve ever bought. It looks like the basic ones sell for $2-3K, the fancier ones from $5-6K, and the ones with all the bells-and-whistles as much as $10K.

At those prices, it feels like we are buying a used car, not simply a bed. Still, my sore back will appreciate the investment. How have you approached the important business of buying a bed/mattress?

Image Credit: Pixabay

13 thoughts on “Most Important Furniture Purchase?

  1. Bells & Whistles Sleep Number bed is wonderful. We’ve had one since 2018 and love it. Perfect for adjusting the firmness based upon your health. Ours adjusts during the night to maximize sleep.

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  2. I am lucky, I can sleep like a rock anywhere. I just keep buying futons for a mattress as I sleep very well on them and they last a long time. However, I do know the day may come when I need a different type of mattress for my spine. Assuming I will have some sort of back ache, I will go to a chiropractor for an evaluation and ask for a recommendation, if I find this mattress comfy I will buy it. The cost should be secondary to your heath. Your heath always has to come first.

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    1. I was lucky and could sleep like a rock about anywhere until … now! It arrived fast. Maybe I’m over reacting, but our mattress is 13 years old already.

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  3. Sorry to hear about your back, Chief. I can relate. Back when I was a youngster like you, I also approached exercise like you did recently (same as we did as thirty-somethings). Then aging and gravity assert dominance. Your current mattress is past best-by date. It’s daunting to face all the new possibilities. What I’ve discovered over the past decade is that materials and construction technology of beds now constantly change. Instead of “going big” on one, I view them like cell phones. Upgrade biannually. My mattress now is a Zinus Green Tea Cooling Gel from Amazon. Great deal. Great sleep. Low risk.

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    1. Bi-Annually?! Wow that’s a lot of changing out. I just looked it up and the “national sleep foundation” (probably a mattress company trade group) says 7-10 years. We’re definitely overdue!

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  4. We bought an expensive Sleep Number mattress about 4-5 years ago because I like a firm mattress and she prefers a softer mattress. Very overpriced IMO, and I would never recommend purchasing one. My wife and I both agree fully on this point and are already considering buying a replacement mattress after just a few years. It has never been a good sleep for either of us.

    Interestingly, we recently purchase a new RV that came with a queen sized RV mattress (they are typically smaller than the typical standard sized mattresses). So we knew during the RV purchase that we would immediately upgrade to a standard King size mattress, and so we did. We decided to purchase a relatively “cheap” standard king size mattress from our local Wal-Mart. It was a simple Serta Hybrid memory foam mattress that was only $400. YES— only $400, and yes, I was very skeptical too! It came rolled up in a vacuum sealed bag inside a box! When opened, it took 24hrs for it to expand into a fully 10” deep standard king sized mattress. We both agree that it sleeps absolutely AMAZING! We’ve been on several week-long trips since the purchase, and both sleep fantastic! I honestly don’t know how well it will hold up, but it appears extremely durable and we both love it so far. We are seriously considering moving our expensive Sleep Number to the guest room in our home, and buying another $400 Serta mattress for our master bedroom. For that price, I could replace it every two years at least ten times and it will still be a lot less than the Sleep Number mattress!

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    1. Wow, disappointing that the Select Comfort didn’t deliver. I’ve heard really good things about these online mattresses in a box. My son just bought a Helix brand one that ‘inflated’ just as you described. He loves it. Casper seems to be really highly rated too. I guess if we didn’t like it, we could always put it in our guest room.

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  5. I used to have lower back problems in my late teens through early 30s. In my teens the issue was sports related jarring and horrible hard dorm beds at the UW. During my 20s the driver was bending over working on equipment. During my early 30s, it was driving in a car without good back support.

    I have not had problems with my back for decades now and attribute the difference to strengthening my core. Here is a list of ways to improve you core strength to make your back bullet proof:

    1) Do most of your weight lifting standing up, using free weights, and incorporating multi-joint exercises. Doing your weight lifting standing up builds your core. The only weightlifting I do without standing up is bench. Great multi-joint exercises include squats, deadlifts, and hang cleans. Deadlifting will improve your ergometrics when lifting anything.

    2) Incorporate yoga moves. Try sitting on the floor with your legs crossed and sit up as straight as possible. Try to make yourself as tall as you can be. If your core is not strong it will seem really hard at first. After doing it awhile, you find that you become aware of your posture and naturally want to get your body into alignment.

    Here are some other exercises. Incorporated planks on just your hands and toes, while keeping your back straight. Look up these exercises especially to help your back through the short term, Cat-Cow and Crescent Moon.

    Our bed is 22 years old and is starting to really looking sad. I am planning to look at Avocado, which was rated number 1 in Consumer’s Reports the last time I looked.

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    1. Agree – Weights & flexibility are the key. I got out and played disc golf today, so I think I’m on the mend. I had a couple friends text me about the Avocado mattress. They say it is great.

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      1. Their product looks like it is in the mid price range of the options you were looking at. I also like buying a locally made product in LA. I have had good experiences having furniture built locally to my exact specs. In many cases the manufacturers are able to offset higher LA costs by cutting out layers of middlemen so you are able to get higher quality at a fair price.

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