Buying a mattress? Consumer Reports finally weighs in – guess which largest retailer came in last

For years, Consumer Reports – which recommends everything from what type of coffee you should drink to the safest cars – had made a conscious decision not to rate mattresses.

The non-profit firm said its just impossible to compare mattresses because retailers each have their own brand names so the ones at Sleepy’s can’t be compared to the ones sold at Bedding Barn.

However, Consumer Reports did the next best thing, asking its readers to rate their mattresses.

And loyal readers came to the rescue, with 17,000 responding  in October’s issue.

Based on the responses Consumer Reports rated 10 mattress and 14 stores.

The $2,400 Tempur-pedic came on top with a reader score of 83 while Spring Air, selling for $1,100 came in 10th place with a 66 rating.

Original Mattress, selling for $890, came in second with a 52 rating.

The Original Mattress Factory came in as the best retailer with a score of 88, (my favorite company, Costco came in 2nd) and at the end of the line was Sleepy’s, the nation’s largest mattress retailer.

Of course you won’t find this in The Courant because Sleepy’s is one of the largest advertisers at the oldest newspaper of continuous circulation in the nation, and we know how the new Courant management likes to protect its prime advertisers from unfavorable publicity.

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32 Comments on "Buying a mattress? Consumer Reports finally weighs in – guess which largest retailer came in last"

  1. John Porriello | September 1, 2009 at 10:02 pm |

    A couple of years ago I learned a lot about mattress shopping when I needed to purchase a mattress for my son. I went to a Sleepy’s near my house and was really “just looking” and the salesman showed me the various options. I went to leave and the salesman said “what will it take for you to buy a mattress today?” I had to look around to see if I was at a car dealer or in a mattress store. I then realized that I had to employ car-shopping techniques in order to get a reasonable price. I put on my car-buying hat and the negotiations began. Up until this point I had no idea that the price of a mattress was negotiable. I threw out a price and of course the salesman had to call his “manager” to get his approval. This confirmed that I was buying a car/mattress. The only problem that I had when I left the store was that I didn’t know if I drove a hard enough bargain.

  2. Add mattresses to the list of consumer goods that are routinely marketed and sold in ways designed to confuse, and ultimately, take advantage of unwary consumers. Kudos to Connecticut Watchdog for shedding light on these unsavory practices.

  3. After comparing mattresses, I actually found the ‘National Leading Brand’ to be very uncomfortable and also overpriced compared to some of the smaller companies out there. I ended up with a mattress much more affordable. check out

  4. I purchased a queen-size Kingsdown mattress and box spring approximately six months ago at Sleepy’s in Waterford, CT. Within a week, I noticed considerable sagging in the middle of the mattress. After several “inspections” by an independent contractor hired by Sleepys, I agreed to an exchange for a new box spring and mattress. [The inspection procedure to determine if the mattress is within warranty is, in itself, a sham. It is a static, no-load test, performed with a string and yardstick. To obtain an accurate and true measurement, mattress sag can only be determined with a load (i.e. body) resting on the surface of the bed.]

    The exchange process took almost two months, and included lengthy telephone conversations and extensive hold times with so-called professionals. After receiving the new box spring and mattress, the same sagging problem was evident, and in fact, worse than the first bed set. I have asked Sleepys to pick up the defective merchandise and for a full refund.

    They continue to stonewall my request by proposing more inspections and offering nothing more than excuses they deem as policy. This is a rip-off, pure and simple. What is presented in the showroom doesnt even closely resemble the product that is delivered. From my elementary investigation into Sleepys and Kingsdown, it is clear that this is normal practice for these companies.

    I intend to follow through by contacting the State of Connecticuts Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal. He has an impressive history of consumer advocacy, aggressive law enforcement for consumer protection, and a record of recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for Connecticut taxpayers and consumers each year.

    For those in the mattress market, be wary. Sleepys and Kingsdown are companies that operate in the deceitful zone.

    Old Lyme, Connecticut

    Originally posted October 2007 on:

    Update September 2009: No resolution from Sleepy’s . They basically told me, “Too bad, so sad for you.”

    • Edward Rogers | June 16, 2015 at 2:29 pm |

      I purchase my Mattress at Sleepy’s and i got a great deal but most important the sales associate sold me a matress that support my back properly.It seem the Sales associate knew jis product.And the price was great.

  5. Many of the smaller companies do have much higher quality mattresses and also truly care about their customers satisfaction. I would rather buy from a smaller company!

  6. I bought a $2000. mattress from 1-800 mattress a few years ago; after just one month the mattress felt like it was sinking, and left body images, that filled in when you got up but when you laid down you had to be in the same spot because of the impressions of the body. When the store came to check the mattress they put a string across the mattress and said it was fine….I said lay down and the response was “this is how its done” “I had them 3 times within 1 1/2 years. even though they claim to exchange…they did nothing. I called BBB and opps sorry they said it was fine..meanwhile I must get another now being I finally saved some money to buy another and my back is aching. I will never recommend 1 800 mattress EVER

    • we are about to switch out our 4th mattress with sleeps in one year. Each a different brand, simmons, carolina, sealy, serta they all sag after a month. Im convinced they use some crappy material cheap from overseas and the beds are made different than these brands at other stores. We are so frustrated at this point. Sleepys beds are garbage

      • Mary
        I totally agree with you Sleepy’s is awful! I bought a king-sized mattress last year and it sagged on both sides, I also purchased a full mattress set for our 22 yr old son and that also sagged. Both mattresses were replaced except they made me pay 500 more for the Kung due to price change? Now that I’m reading everyone’s responses I see that I was probably lied to.
        Our king is starting to sag not even a year later and our sons bed is so bad poor kid can’t sleep well at all! I give up with them. If everyone writes in about the
        Awful quality of their mattresses hopefully no one will shop there

        • Edward Rogers | June 16, 2015 at 2:37 pm |

          Wow Im reading this and it dont make sense.Whats brand did u purchase? Rhe reason I asked,The brand Sleepy’s carry are all name brands
          And if it sagged in a year thats coverer under the manufacture warranty.Make me think this is a. Campaign aimed at Sleepy’s by competition.humm I wonder

          • Oh no, they are telling the absolute truth and there is no campaign. I purchased a mattress from Sleepy’s also, sort of a treat for myself with a $1700 price tag and a $200 extended warranty. Within a week I could feel a hump down the center, but I figured it needed time to adjust. After almost a month and no change I returned to Sleepy’s for an exchange and that’s where the games began. One year later I am still waiting for some cooperation. They are frauds and I wish I had read some reviews first.

  7. I have learned over the years from buying mattresses for myself and my family to stay away from the national brand name stores. I always brought from the little guy and was never unhappy.

    My recent purchase came from Costco, I had this mattress for a few years and so far so good. My son purchase one from there as well (a plush euro pillowtop).
    He love’s it and he got it for a good price after looking at what the national chain was charging for it.

  8. ConstantReader | May 31, 2011 at 6:46 am |

    The ONLY mattress to buy is a Select Comfort Sleep Number. I’ve had mine for 9 years now and wouldn’t consider anything else if I ever had to replace it. I tried the “XXX-pedic” and it is horrible! Stiff as a board and too hot! I’m 60 years old and I should know!

  9. We bought a pillow top king size mattress from better bedding – which after a couple years started sagging. Their warranty stated that if it sagged 1″ or more within 10 years they would replace it. The “technician” came out with a yard stick and layed it on the bed…of course it didn’t sag over 1″ (even though you could visibly SEE it sagging). He was ready to leave when I went and got an 8′ piece of pvc pipe, and showed him the sag from one side of the bed to the other. We did end up getting a new mattress, but even it started sagging after a few years. I’m convinced kings are just too big to provide the support in the center – and a queen is the way to go.

  10. Funny, we bought our Simmons from Sleepy’s a few years ago and have been perfectly happy. They happened to be the last store we visited, in Saugus, MA, the rep. was friendly, not pushy, the price was right, in comparison, I got no interest financing, so paid no interest and broke up the payments over several years. I think they get a bad rap

  11. live green | June 19, 2011 at 10:18 am |

    “Of course you won’t find this in The Courant because Sleepy’s is one of the largest advertisers at the oldest newspaper of continuous circulation in the nation, and we know how the new Courant management likes to protect its prime advertisers from unfavorable publicity.”

    Mr. Gombossy, did the other Connecticut newspapers that you write for also report the above Consumer Reports information about Sleepy’s? If not, are you going to also going to “call them out” as well? That to me would represent fair and balanced reporting by you. If they did please report that, if not then it seems the real point of this column is just you taking a cheap swipe at Sleepy’s and your ex-employer, the Hartford Courant.
    Can you please respond?

  12. After 16 years of sleeping on mattresses I sold to others and servicing many, you must know that 50% of mattress sagging problems are coming from poorly set up frames that are missing center supports, or the legs have been knocked loose by people putting stuff under the bed, or the floor is just not level. A consumer should start at the bottom and work their way up when trying to solve their sleep problem. floor level? frame set up correctly? box springs good and sturdy with know defects? Did you put a waterproof mattress protector on the bed OR have you been sweating into the top of the mattress? (average person sweats 1/2 cup per night 2 adults = 1 gallon per month, so what do you think the top of the mattress will look like after a few months?)

  13. Dwight H. Slocum | January 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

    Sleepy’s Sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My third exchange is already working on A “Fox-hole, !!!!! I may try a Number Bed next!!!!!
    George, Thank you so much with all your help in the past!!!!!!!!!!. I love ya, Dwight(CRaneman)

  14. People need to know that Better Bedding, once owned by the honorable Wholley brothers was forced to liquidate by their creditors about two years ago. Their creditors ordered them sold to Sleepy’s! In other words, Better Bedding is now owned by the same people who own Sleepys! They give the appearance of being competitors, but they are really just the same bad company now. If you want to get the same quality and honest advice, go to Connecticut Mattress, which Tom Wholley recently opened.

  15. When we began shopping for a new mattress, we quickly decided that we wanted a Select Comfort/sleep number-type mattress (although that was a queen size) similar to one we had a few years ago. I was convinced that as with so many other things where the brand name is so huge that there must be some competitive products that, absent the big “Sleep Number” name and expensive mall stores and with a lower price. Boy, was I right! Turns out that once you get past the “Sleep Number” advertising hype, there are many companies that sell what are known as airbeds. Same warranty, same construction materials, same multi-day trial, same “dial-your-sleep-number” style controllers, etc. We looked at mattresses from in St. Louis which looked to be a great product but ultimately, we settled on a bed from Dream Number Bed in Houston Texas. (
    For $2,100 we got a king-sized bed pretty much identical to Select Comfort’s i8 bed costing $3550 and with some things that Select Comfort couldn’t give us: One thing my wife objected to with the Select Comfort was that there is a foam strip running the length of the bed between the two air chambers. This created a divot down the center of the bed. With our Dream Number bed, the two air chambers butt against one another with no foam divot strip. We got a memory foam top, the dual, set your firmness setting controls, but we also got a cover made of CoolMax, that anti-wicking material used in sportswear these days. We also got 12 months / no interest. I love using other peoples’ money. The bed came to us in two HUMONGOUS boxes and went together perfectly. We’ve had it for about five months and it feels as good as the Select Comfort was.

  16. Purchased expensive mattress ( $2300 ) two years ago from Hartford area Sleepys store. Had to go through major efforts to get bed frame attaché dot headboard. I was told that they have no employed mechanic to do this. Manager said that he , himself would have to come out and do th proper install. That is just NUTS! Finally for problem solved, through goodness of another Sleepys employee. Shows me that they are not adequately staffed to handle customer needs. Would never use them again.

  17. Any reviews on “Saatva Luxury Mattress”???

  18. I was getting ready to purchase a mattress from a very nice salesman at Sleepy’s and now I am concerned because of what I am reading.

  19. buzz jones | May 27, 2013 at 11:05 am |

    don’t do it Dorothy. We are so unhappy with ours. He dropped the price from $3,000 to $1500 on the queen that we bought. I honestly don’t believe that what was delivered matched the quality of the showroom bed. Also we bought the 4″ box spring… total crap! In buying the lower priced unit, we were not given a warranty.

    Run from this place. They are all about sneaky sales strategies.

  20. Purchased 2 twin xl mattresses from Bob’s EPIT @ 125.00 they are 8″. they are the most comfortable I’ve ever had 1 for my son being used on his hospital bed to replace the crappy ones we have gotten from medical companies.
    They we both delv at $33.00. Well worth it!!

  21. I’m convinced most problems I read about mattresses should never occur in the first place.
    If you have a queen size mattress set your frame has to have a center support. If the salesman you speak with doesn’t ask what you’re putting the bed on you need to find another store.
    If the salesman doesn’t tell you that you need a new box spring for your new mattress you need to find another store.
    There is no difference in quality between a lopro box and standard.
    If the salesman doesn’t try to sell you or give you a mattress protector you need to find a new store.
    If you’re shopping Tempurpedic and the salesperson doesn’t mention the foam is temperature sensitive or he says the bed sleeps hot, find a new store.

    I’ve been in the bed business for 10 years and shop my competitors often and there are a lot of sleezy used car salesmen out there. BUYER BEWARE!

    If the bed you’re buying is worth what the tag says, there isn’t a reason for the salesperson to offer a lower price.

    Don’t be duped by “I need to call my boss.” If the salesman needs to call his “boss,” let him. Then ask him to call his boss back with another question while on speaker phone. Then use your instinct and RUN when you see him backpedal.
    You don’t want “mis-matched” box spring sets. Again, you’re being duped. No matter what the salesperson tries to convince you of. Its a sales gimmick.

    Find a reputable dealer. Look for their online reviews. If you want a discount, ask for one. Understand that many manufacturers tie our hands with MAP pricing on the mattress.
    10-15% is not unreasonable on other sets. In most circumstances we can swing it.

    Bottom line, trust your instinct. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

    And finally. Stick with the major “S” brands for spring beds. Simmons, Sealy & Serta. If you’re doing foam, Tempurpedic is the best.

    • John Baker | May 13, 2016 at 12:32 pm |

      Have a Simmons and it starting sagging on both sides within a year. It is on top of a set of sturdy matching box springs.

  22. perchest a mattress 6 years ago 2700 10 year warentey matterss discounters sent servay man sair no brainer matterss discounter said no way also ran over my mail box dis honess company and sleeps bault them out be were do not buy from theme.

  23. ATTENTION !!!!!!Be Aware Of Sleepy’s Return Policy Scam.

    Sleepy’s is a big cheater company.

    Every time I called customer service each one of them gave me a different policy. I bought a Tempur-Pedic bed from Sleepy’s in Ellicott City and I wanted to return it. I went to the store in Hanover because that’s where I moved.

    They said you can not do a return you have to exchange it. Then I called customer service they said the same exact thing no returns. I went back to the Ellicott City store TODD said the same thing. So I did an exchange with another mattress which was delivered defective.

    The delivery guys said sleep on it the bumps will go away. Well it didn’t. I called Customer service the 30 day exchange period was just over so I had to do an inspection and was qualified for an exchange. The customer service representative said go to the store and pick any bed you like I asked specifically if I could choose any bed and they said yes.

    I go back to the Hanover store they said I have to pick a bed with equal or lesser value. So I call customer service once again they said well you had an option to exchange or RETURN the Tempur-Pedic but you chose to exchange. WHAT!!!! I had a chance to returnnnn when 2 of theirs stores (Hanover and Ellicott City) plus customer service said Sleppy policy has no returns on Tempur-Pedic.

    I go back to the sales guy in ellicott city he still says we don’t do returns and we work separately from customer service. I don’t understand how the same company can have different policy. From my experience I noticed that they change their policy’s each time so Sleepy’s always wins not the customer. They lie and want your money and don’t care about customer satisfaction.

    I should’ve done more research about this company. SO they are bunch of liars stay away from them and save your money and time. I have a lot more but want to keep this short. I talked to the manager SHARON SMITH (if its real name they always lying) she just says sorry.

    I told her about this bad review she didn’t even care.I guess this is how Sleepy’s grew as a company.

  24. roger parmenter | November 5, 2016 at 7:35 pm |

    No mattress is worth what you pay for ir.Especially the high priced foam junk

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