Don’t be sad in the sack

By Mir
August 7, 2006

Today’s question is almost funny enough to make me forget that I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. In fact, the questioner followed up with a “will you be answering this soon??” last week, so despite the fact that I’m on my deathbed (oh, okay; it’s just my regular bed, but I am sick) I’m going to get this answered, because nothing is sadder than newlyweds without a bed.

In September I am getting married. Now I’m sure you’re aware of the importance of some of the things you buy when you’re getting married. With all your beauty and sensualness I am hoping you would be willing to show some sex goddess knowlede and share some advice on how to save on the most important purchase for newlyweds—otherwise known as the Queen Size Bed or baby factory as we like to call it here in California.

My current baby factory has that grand canyon look to the center proving that when I bought it two years ago I had no clue what I was doing. His bed, although cute is smaller than my right thigh so it’s right out. We have the pleasure of being a couple with two different body shapes. He is tall and narrow and I am short and valumptuous.

We live in a small town (by small town I mean that sometimes in the morning I have to scare other people’s chickens out of my front yard with a hose and it’s not uncommon to find a bunny or goat from the neighborhood in my back yard eating apricots that have fallen off my tree). Our town only has one furniture store and the bed selection resulted in my ownership of the grand canyon. The nearest town has several stores where nothing ever goes on sale because they know you have no other choice. This means I’m looking for a place to buy a bed online.

~Not in the Sack Newlyweds

Ahhhh. What could be more beautiful? Young love, bed shopping, chickens…? Hrm….

Okay. Here’s the thing: I do not recommend buying a bed you haven’t tried. A bed is a very personalized preference, and I just don’t think it’s the sort of thing you can say “oh, this is a good one!” and buy it sight unseen. Remember—a bargain is not a bargain if it’s something you don’t want or need. I may be able to tell you how to find a smokin’ deal on the esteemed Pillowy Comfort Deluxetop Sleepmaster, but maybe that’s not the bed for you. You won’t know which bed is for you until you’ve tried some.

Your first assignment is to leave the chickens behind, hie thee to a larger town (preferrably one with a mall and a few furniture stores), and giggle your way through laying down on several showroom models. Think of it as a bonding experience for you and your fiance.

I am not saying you have to buy your bed on this trip. I’m just saying that right now you have no idea what you like, other than “a bed without a crater in the middle.” That still leaves a lot of room for possibilities. Find out what you like. Then you’ll know what to look at while shopping.

Thinking out loud here: I suspect that—given your disparate sizes, and the wonderful things I’ve heard about them—you and your beloved might really dig the Select Comfort Sleep Number beds. You can each adjust your own side individually and everybody ends up comfy. Perfect, right? Wellllll… maybe not. I priced out a queen set over there, and even with the sale they’re currently running on their most popular model, you’re still looking at about $1800. Ouch! I mean, hey; if you can afford it, awesome. I’m not saying it’s not worth it. Just that I think that’s a big chunk of money. It’s not going to be your most frugal option, that’s for sure.

Let’s talk about another popular—though not particularly cheap—option: memory foam. Tempur-Pedic is all the rage these days, but again, it’s pricey. Do you like memory foam? (I do; I have memory foam pillows and I love them.) Go and try it. The good news about memory foam is that there are cheaper options than the original name brand. As with anything else, pay close attention to details if you go generic. You want to look at the thickness, the density, etc. But if you try memory foam and you like it, one good option for you might be the Bodipedic from QVC, of all places. (QVC uses frames in a weird way that makes it difficult to link directly to certain products. Search on “bodipedic.”) The price is competitive and the reviews I’ve seen are good. And you can get it delivered to your door.

Happy to go the traditional innerspring route? Again: figure out what you like, first. Then go call 1-800-Mattress or hop on their website. You should be able to find a decent deal on any of the conventional big names, there.

If you haven’t read my previous post on picking a bed for your child, check that one out as well. Many of the tips apply to buying any bed, although the local furniture store tips may be useless for you out there in the boonies.

Two more general points I feel compelled to bring up….

First: A bed is an investment. You spend a third of your life sleeping, and a good night’s sleep effects everything from your posture to your mood. Don’t settle for a crappy bed. You will receive money when you get married; maybe you need to decide right now to earmark it for the Bed Fund. A proper bed will last you twenty years, so if there’s any way to stretch a bit, now, to get a really good one, do. It’s important.

Second: Having said that, I also understand that sometimes you just cannot pull together $1000 for The Best Thing right at the moment. If you simply cannot afford a good bed for a while, at the very least, rescue your spine from further damage: Invest in a good futon mattress. It will cost a fraction of a good bed set and later you can toss it on a couch frame and have a spare couch/bed. (If you hate how hard a futon feels, bop on over to Overstock (click through on the sidebar there, or wait for the next weekend sale coupon I post on Friday) and buy yourself a luxurious padded mattress topper. It’s a cheap but ergonomic solution that will tide you over for a while.

Best wishes for a lovely wedding and a lasting marriage, and for all of your bed-related wishes to come true!


  1. Hope you feel better, Mir! Thanks for keeping us in the know even when you are under the weather.

  2. I have a Select Comfort Bed ( it was pricey but it is the most comfortable bed we’ve ever had and it allows him to sleep the way he likes and I can sleep the way I like.

  3. We got our double pillow-top queen mattress in an unusual way for 1/4 of its original cost.

    You know how new subdivisions have totally furnished model homes that you can tour? Well, apparently when the subdivision closes down the model homes, they have to get rid of all that furniture somehow. So they sell it. Really cheap. It’s “used” so they can’t get full market value for it. But it’s not “used” in the sense that someone else has been, erm, “factoring babies” on it.

    Anyway, I have no idea how the person who told us about our mattress found out about this, but it might be worthwhile to call around to some local subdivisions and find out where they get rid of their old furniture. I’m sure this info is good for more than just mattresses, too.

    Hope you feel better soon, Mir!

  4. Try Costco! If you don’t have a Costco nearby, there’s always Of all the mattresses we’ve purchased the most comfortable turned out to be the one we cared the least about so didn’t spend much on, since it’s for the kids bedroom. It was really a great choice. They only offer 3 or 4 choices, each being a different firmness level, and once you pick that they ship you the mattress. With all of the poor choices I’ve made on mattresses it’s funny to me that the one that I just checked the “medium firm” box on the order form is clearly the best, most comfortable one in the house.

  5. Dude. I have to give my input (mostly because I like talking, but also because I have relevant information to share).

    Two years ago my husband and I did quite a bit of shopping before buying a bed. It was pricey, but top-of-the-line and lovely to lay on. Six weeks later, we were both waking up with sore backs.

    Hint One: Some beds are different in the half hour you lay on them than the eight hours you sleep on them.

    We returned the mattress! Free! And got a store credit to shop around some more. We ended up with the Tempur Pedic, which we love.

    Hint Two: buy from a store that allows you a 90 day grace period, so that if you do get the bed from hell that causes sore backs and crying in the middle of the night BECAUSE THE FLOOR IS BETTER THAN THIS, at least you’ll be able to return it and start the process over again.

    But, note: as we shopped, we learned that a good bed should last minimum of 10 years, and depending on the quality, up to 20 years. That’s a LOT of years of sleeping on the same mattress.

    Hint Three: Don’t be too skimpy on the quality. If this is a bed that you’ll be sleeping in for the next twenty years, spending $2000 shouldn’t be out of the question. Amortized over the years, for say 15 years, that’s only $133 a year. Which brings me to my last point: Don’t be shy to apply for a store credit card that gives you a couple years to pay it off at 0% interest.

    BONUS HINT: Because you’re getting married, and because I like to talk, and because I like to give unsolicited advice: your wedding video/audio and photography, ESPECIALLY THE PHOTOGRAPHY, is all you’ll have left from the wedding years and years from now. Make sure you like the work your photographer does.

    Okay, seriously. I’ll shut up now.

  6. One word: IKEA. I don’t know if there’s one near you, but they have excellent mattresses for bargain basement prices. We bought a king size mattress for $250 last year. So comfy, so big, so cheap. They don’t come with box springs, and if you don’t sleep on the floor (we do) you’ll have to spring for a frame, but it’s still really inexpensive. The one we bought had a 25 year warranty.

  7. Get a king-sized bed, not a queen. Once you have kids to jump in with you on Satruday morning or whatever, you will be glad you went with the larger size.

  8. Just wanted to say that I’m thinking of you, Mir, and sending lots of healing thoughts your way! Thanks for keeping tabs on things even when you aren’t feeling 100%. We love you and your site!

  9. If your Grand Canyon bed is a big name bed, check their website for warranty info. I have a Simmons Beautyrest that is 5 years and a few months old and is killing my back (and my husband’s). I took down all of the info off of the law tag and the satin label and called the number on their website. Even without a receipt and having moved a few times, the mattress is still under warranty. They sent a guy from the company called Bed Check to come inspect it. I am waiting for the report as we type… Hopefully, I’ll get some money and/or a new mattress.

  10. Also, you can haggle for mattresses at the stores. I KNOW! I had no idea until we bought our apres-wedding bed and got theeee steal of a lifetime when my husband insisted we could bargain with the sales person. We good cop (husband)/bad copped (me) him and walked out a couple times and got a King sized set for between 6-700 dollars. And I LOVE my bed. We are about to hit 7 years with it and it’s as comfy as day one.

  11. I recently bought a bed. You have to spend at least 15 minutes on a bed before you can evaluate it! And not on your back, unless you actually sleep on your back. We shopped around and knew more or less what we wanted but were hesitating on spending that much. We went to 2 of the same chain store, and though we saw the same bed at both places and it was the same price, we found a much better deal at the second location! At the first, the guy wanted to give us a free tv. We didn’t want a tv and told him so. He said he would take 40 bucks off and kept insisting that we needing the store’s extra special matress pad and blah blah and that would only cost us 80$. I didn’t want his stupid matress pad and the guarantee was a ripoff (having done my research, I knew how matress guarantees work and that they are virtually impossible to take advantage of, whether it’s the store’s guarantee or the manufacturer’s). At the second location of the same store, there was no free tv, but they were going to give us the matress pad because we were going to get such a luxury mattress. I convinced the guy to knock off some money instead of giving us the matress pad. Most people that go into this store, get the store’s credit card. He said that if we could pay cash (aka pay with our credit card right away instead of getting the store’s card with the financing and all), we could not pay the tax. Cha-ching! We got the mattress we wanted at about the amount we were willing to pay after tax. Tax here is 15% so that’s a big deal on a mattress that’s over $1000. He also didn’t charge us for delivery because our baby was cute or something and we love our new bed.

    PS in some stores, they give you a bed frame, but you can usually negotiate a small discount if you don’t need/want it. Also, some stores allow you to try the mattress for a month or two and bring it back if you don’t like it, but you should make sure you understand the deal. There can be a restocking fee, plus the charge for pickup and you’ll be obliged to buy another mattress from the same store and potentially pay for delivery again.

  12. Update on my mattress inspection. The Bed Check man came and, apparently, deemed my mattress to be failing. Simmons is sending us a brand new mattress for $85 (shipping).

Bargain Hunt





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