Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Shopping for a Bed

I don’t like shopping, especially for big-ticket items. As noted two posts ago, it took me weeks to find a new car. All that time spent looking online, trying to find a deal, wondering if I made the right decision, time that would be better served laying in bed in a fetal position.

But it had been more than a decade since the Mrs. and I had bought a new bed. The one we have has quite a few holes in it and is more bent out of shape than Bill was after Hill lost the nom. There are also bite marks on the sides of it from when our Saint Bernard (who passed in ’05) would get bored in the middle of the night and go to town. So I was resigned to the fact that we needed a new one.

Our neighbor lady said that most furniture stores have big sales on Labor Day weekend and gave us several fliers as evidence of this. I took my time getting up, but we were able to make it out a little after noon on Monday (which is pretty damn good for us on a holiday).

Since Slumberland closed the earliest of the stores, we went there first. We had looked at a place called HOM furniture several weeks before and were prepared to spend about a grand on a good bed. Within 45 seconds of entering Slumberland, we were approached by a salesman. Shocking, huh? He was an older chap whose name was Bill.

You gotta admit that looking for a bed is unlike any other type of shopping. I mean, you lay on a bed trying to get comfortable, trying to get an idea if the bed will be good for you while a salesman hovers nearby. Wouldn’t it be great if the salesman left you alone, let you take a couple articles of clothing off, and had a blanket you could put over yourself? That would go much further in giving one an idea on if the bed is gonna be a good fit. Slumberland’s flyer said that a number of Sealy Posturepedic beds were on sale, so we tried those out first. It reminded me of the Three Little Bears because there were three different types of bed, one was too firm, one too soft, while one was just right.

My wife loved the super-firm one. Bill said this is the typical preference for one who sleeps on their stomach most of the time (as my wife does). The next one (a bit softer) was much more comfortable to me (someone who sleeps on their side). The last one was even more soft, but the salesman said it would probably be too soft for my wife’s tastes. I was fine with the middle one.

Just for comparison’s sake, Bill let us try some other brands including the priced-to-the-roof Tempur-pedic bed (they go for at least 2G’s). He showed us another bed and said, “This is the kind of bed that the President sleeps in”. We laid on it. It didn’t seem too special to me. I wasn’t going to make any comment, but my wife said, “Keep it away from me”. To this, Bill said, “When I used to tell people that line, most would ooh and aah, but these days…not so much”. He said that he personally had a Beautyrest, so we tried those out. It cost a bit more than the Sealy, but was a good deal more comfortable and priced at a very-nice $667. Bill then said, “I’m 62, but have a really good back and think it’s at least partially due to the mattress I sleep on. Course I also do Jazzercise every day”.

My wife and I were quite happy with the Beautyrest. One cool thing Bill mentioned is that Beautyrests have individual coils so that if your partner gets out of bed in the middle of the night, you can’t feel it. I was somewhat dubious, so closed my eyes and told my wife to get off the bed sometime in the next minute. About 30 seconds later, she was off. Holy crap! They’re not kidding. I didn’t feel a thing (that’s what she said).

Just for shiggles, my wife said she wanted to try a couple of the more generic beds that were on sale. I laid down on one and knew within about 1.3 seconds that it was lower quality. There was another lady nearby who was going to try the bed out after us. My wife asked what I thought about the bed. I said, “It’s alright” in the way I usually do after I’ve just seen a shitty movie. The lady had heard my comment. Oops. Bill said a couple minutes later that those beds were not very high quality. Poor lady. She probably only had enough money to get one of the cheaper ones. I wanted to buy the Beautyrest right then and there, but my wife wanted to check out a couple other places. I told Bill we would most likely return and off we went to a newer store called Mattress Giant.

Upon entering the store, we saw a guy laying on a bed that had a sign on it that said “50% off”. He had taken off his glasses and was laying on his side, his wife sitting next to him. Their flyer said they had a number of beds for $500, but upon inspection, they were pretty lame.

Thankfully, a salesman wasn’t bothering us since he was busy going over financing with another couple. My wife said she wasn’t impressed, so we headed out a couple minutes later. The guy on the bed was still laying there when he left. He probably was meditating on if he should purchase it or not, afraid that if he made the wrong decision, it would unravel space and time itself.

Next it was on to HOM. I told the salesman that we had been there a few weeks ago and were very familiar with the types of beds they had. It was nice not having anyone next to us as we laid on a couple beds. The one we spotted earlier this summer was priced at about $900. It was a bit nicer than the one at Slumberland, but we didn’t think spending an extra $200 was justified. So we left and headed back to Slumberland.

Bill said, “That was quick” as we returned after having left the store about 45 minutes prior. Before checking out, Bill asked if we would be interested in purchasing a mattress cover. I was thinking, "WTF?", but didn't allow my facial expression to change as I didn't want him to think I was making fun. He showed us the cover and demonstated how the mattress was able to "breathe" through it. My wife asked how much it was. Bill replied, "75 dollars". I was thinking, "Check, please". We said we were gonna pass this time. Who needs a protective cover? I thought that's what sheets were for.

I got into a conversation with one of the other salesmen as we checked out when he saw my T-shirt which said Pomeranian Dad. This was the 2nd day in a row I received a comment on my shirt (the day before, I returned to Valleyfair and two guys said they liked my Borat “Sexytime Explosion” T).

We returned home after completing the sale. I was quite pleased we had found a good bed for a nice price, but perhaps even more happy knowing that some of the commission Bill received from our sale would go towards continuing his Jazzercise regimen.


Rocketstar said...

You'll have to let us know how the matress "performs" wink, wink.

Thomas said...

I think that may have gone through my mind for about 3 seconds while I laid on one of the beds, Rocket. I couldn't linger on it, though, not with Bill just 10 feet away.

Sarah said...

i don't want to go into details in order to spare the not-so-innocent, but that protective cover was worth every cent when someone had too many drinks and wet my bed. yes, it happened. no, it wasn't me. yes, i was livid. but i got a new mattress out of the deal when the urine soaked into my bed. as part of the deal, you are promised a new, comparable mattress if the cover fails to adquately protect your purchase - as mine did.

i assume most people buy them for an extra insurance policy against kids &/or pets. i'd shell out the $75 again. and again.

Thomas said...

That's quite a story, Sarah. You should consider giving more details and then posting it as a blog entry on your site. It wouldn't be too difficult. I mean, I got quite a bit of mileage just talking about bed shopping.

I can say with full confidence that if the wife and I were drinkers or had kids (or anal leakage, for that matter), we would most assuredly have purchased ze cover.

Sarah said...

i'm sure he doesn't read my blog [or know of it], but i couldn't do that to him. it was unfortunate. but it would have been TONS worse if i had to shell out for a new bed.

Timothy Smith said...

You can pick up a mattress pad anytime but I myself would recommend it. Sheets do not completely protect the mattress.

One mistake I made was letting a friend take our guest room bed as a loaner for about 2 years.

It was so nasty when I got it back I had to throw it out.

Not sure if he wet the bed or just hated taking showers.

I agree with Sarah, I usually get a new pad every few years. Keeps the mattress like new.

I just found a sale on 1200 thread count sheets so soon I will be testing my first set of "expensive" non-Wal-Mart bed sheets.

They are suppose to be sooo much better...

Thomas said...

That sounds like a good plan, Tim. I'm fairly certain I could get a good mattress protector for a percentage of what Slumberland was charging. I'm looking at Target's website right now and see they have a number to choose from. Thanks for encouraging me to look into this, Tim. You too, Sarah.

First non-Wal-Mart sheets, huh? The first night you sleep in them, I have a feeling you're gonna be happier than a pig in slop.

Anonymous said...

My mom is slightly obsessed with trying out a sleep number bed.

Thomas said...

I wouldn't mind trying one of those out myself, Sil. Then the next time someone asks me what my sleep number is, I'll have an answer.