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Buying a mattress today can be very confusing and very expensive if you are not educated on what you are buying. It is very difficult for the consumer to make a good decision when only the outside of the mattress is visible to the eye. The most common problem expressed by the consumer is that they need a firm mattress. Unfortunately, everyone seems to think that a firm mattress means a hard mattress. This is absolutely not true. Firmness comes from within the mattress; hardness and softness are only a surface feel, meaning that you can sleep on a soft mattress, and it still can be very firm and supportive because the firmess comes from the coils on the inside. A medium feeling, soft mattress is the best mattress because our bodies are not flat. If we did not have curves in our back and neck, then a hard, flat mattress with no "give" would be appropriate, but the human body was built with curves throughout the spine and neck. The padding on the top of a mattress fills in those curves and makes it more comfortable for us to sleep at night. If you are a side sleeper or sleep on your stomach, all the more reason to buy a mattress that has padding for comfort.

If your mattress is too hard, it can cut off the circulation and cause you to toss and turn at night. A good mattress is designed to keep you sleeping comfortably from the time you climb in to the time you wake up in the morning. When selecting a mattress, you should always try it out in the showroom. You should be able to put your hand underneath the arch in your back and feel the padding right underneath your hand. If you have a friend standing next to you, they should be able to notice the padding meeting your arches under your neck, your lower back, and underneath your knees.

Many people are frightened at the thought of buying a softer type mattress because we have always heard to buy a firm mattress. As long as you understand that firmness comes from within, you should feel comfortable selecting a soft mattress.

When you walk into the store, the more expensive mattresses are always at the front of the showroom. This is a marketing tool designed to get you thinking about paying more money than you had expected. These expensive mattresses are always the better looking ones because they are shown in king or queen size sets. They usually have big fluffy pillows and look rather inviting. The least expensive sets are towards the back of the showroom and many of them are shown in twin size sets. If you are buying a twin size for a child, and you are planning on keeping it for 10 years or so, you should plan on spending about $200 dollars for each piece, meaning a total of $400 dollars for the mattress and boxspring set. If you are an adult and are looking to purchase a queen or king size set for yourself, plan on spending anywhere from $800 dollars to $1,000 dollars. This is pretty much standard price for a great quality set that will last 10-15-20 years, depending on how well it is taken care of. A mattress must be rotated approximately 4 times a year. Instructions on rotation should come when the set is delivered.

As far as the sets that cost $2,000 dollars to $5,000 dollars, forget it. You are paying too much money and that is the bottom line. Forget about all the so called perks that the salesperson is trying to sell you. The markup in mattresses is unspeakable. As long as you stay in the middle of the showroom, and stay within the $800 to $1000 dollar mark, you will get a great quality mattress set. Don't be afraid to get a "house" brand set. The insides are basically all the same regardless of what name brand you buy.

Try to buy from the smaller mattress chains. Make sure you shop at only one or two stores because you will only confuse yourself. When you find the mattress you would like to buy, ask for the salesperson's business card and proceed to walk out of the store. I can assure you that if they are doing their job right, they will come down on the price and give you a reason for doing so, like having a similar set out back that is a close out set. Try this technique in a couple of small chain stores and you will see what I mean. Never pay the price listed on the set. All of the smaller chain stores are allowed to drop the price hundreds of dollars. Happy shopping, and sleep tight!!!