The Story of how I bought 3 Mattresses in 6 Months

June 17, 2013

Part of growing up is making grown up decisions. This is something that’s not really taught at home or in school.

There are some unteachable aspects of life. Actually, most of life is unteachable.

Folks try their best to write “how to” books while some do autobiographies but each one of us must travel the path of life alone.

I bought three mattresses in the last 6 months.

All of this started in early 2012. Maybe late 2011. My body was aching. Elbows, back & numb thighs.

One of my toes also had a sharp pain in the middle of the night. In my dream, it felt like I stepped on a piece of glass.

I assumed it was because I needed to lose weight. I thought these were signs of prediabetes after some heavy googling.

So I tried my best to lose weight. All of 2012. A lot of those posts are here.

I also did random things like float tanks, therapy, fir body sauna, & energy work.

I thought I could use all the help needed to lose weight so that my body would stop aching all over.

Towards mid december 2012, I realized that my mattress was sagging hardcore. Oh ya, that’s right. Adults buy new mattresses, right?

I guess mattresses have to be replaced after 5yrs or whenever. I’ve never bought a mattress by myself before.

This is just like in feb 2011, my rav4 kept getting stuck in the alley due to the snow. It was super embarrassing & I just panicked + sweat profusely as other cars did not help me.

Luckily this one dude came & helped me out. He mentioned that my tires look super worn out. Oh ya, damn. Tires need to be replaced also, I guess. That’s a thing, right? An adult thing?

I don’t know. No one really told me these things. I changed tires & finally no more car + snow probs.

Anyways. I really didn’t want to buy a new mattress. It’s expensive + I don’t feel like negotiating etc. The pain was so terrible that I literally was hunched over as I woke up, hobbling from pain.

So I did a quick yelp check of nearby mattress stores & went in.

The mattress industry is really old school. The same mattress manufacturer make different styles under different names. And give certain ones as exclusives to certain outlets.

What this means for us consumers is that it’s harder to price shop. No two stores have the same brand & style of mattress.

There are also three main styles of mattresses. Regular coil, wrapped coil & foam.

The mattress dude was super nice & a pro salesman. I just flat out told him my problem & didn’t give a price range. I was just open to a solution.

Mattress #1: Super low end full foam $230

So during this process, I realized I was currently sleeping on a full mattress. WTF? I’m 6’2 & luscious – no wonder my feet stick out all the time. I just never paid attention.

Weird. Ok, so I had a choice to make. Buy a whole new queen mattress set. Or just a full mattress. My current full set had like the bed shelf & drawers below etc which I didn’t feel like throwing out.

So the sales dude basically asked me one question. Actually two questions.

Are you single?

How long do you plan on being single?
Good point.

Well then I recommend buying this lower end full foam mattress for the time being, which should last you a couple of years at least.

Good point. Done.

Cost = $230ish after he dropped an extra $50 for not being to deliver it next day.

The mattress felt fine for a couple of days. But like I said, I’m a big bowl of luscious and this super low end thin foam mattress was not cutting it. It would get squished all the way down & that sucked.

Of course mattress stores dont have a refund policy. Even if they do, there is like a restocking fee.

Plus, some of the sites said that we should test out a mattress a full 30 days or more to “wear it in.”

I did that and the return period ended.

I knew I had made a big mistake. The question was what should I do next?

It would be craaazy to buy another mattress, right? Right?

I’ll just wait it out.

Fast forward 2-3 months and the pain was worse than it was with my old mattress. I literally could not sleep anymore.

At this point, the current mattress was just sunk cost. Something I was taught over and over in my economics classes in college.

When making a decision, do not let old decisions affect it. Let’s say you paid $200 for some concert tickets. On the day of the concert, for some reason you do not want to go. Assuming you cannot sell the tickets, you should not base the decision on the $200 you spent. That’s sunk cost. You cannot get back that money. The new decision needs to be based on which is better – forcing yourself to go to the concert vs not going.

I finally went back to the same store to buy another mattress. Forget the $230 I just spent on the current one. That’s sunk cost. Forget complaining or demanding refunds = that’s just not how I operate.

Plus I’m the one who made the decision to buy the low end mattress anyways.

Mattress #2: $1100 memory foam queen + box spring

This time I told the dude my issue. It was a different sales dude working that day. I asked to see the memory foam set.

For a queen mattress, the cost was like $900. The set (including the box frame) cost $1100.

I had a decision to make. Do I now throw out my full set and all the drawers and replace it with this new queen set?

Or do I just put the queen mattress on top of my current full set, thus saving the drawers.

I spent a lot of brain cpu analyzing every angle. It was exhausting.

Fuck it. I’ll buy the queen mattress + box spring and then figure out what to do when I get them delivered = was my endgame decision.

Sometimes in life, you just have to make a decision. There is only so much analyzing I can do.

The mattress set got delivered next day.

I should tell you that my current full drawer set means that I sleep pretty high. Which is good since I have long legs & its easier to get out of bed.

If I were to just use the new queen box spring + mem foam mattress, I would be way closer to the floor. Which was not fun.

So this is what I did. Put the new queen mattress on top of the existing full box spring which is set inside the wood drawer frame.

It felt good.

Then I started panicking. What if the new mattress is only meant to be used with the new box spring? What if I’m ruining it by using it with the old box spring?

I couldn’t sit still.

So I took out the full box spring, replaced it with queen box spring – which does not fit into the slot on the bed frame. Then stacked the queen mattress on top. Now I was sleeping waaaay too high. Damn.

So then I fully disassembled the wooden bed set – sweating profusely and cursing myself. Took a long ass time esp since I didn’t have any tools.

Now I tried sleeping on just the queen box spring on the floor, with the queen mattress on top. Now I’m waayyy too low to the ground. Sucks balls.

I started sweating more in panic. Damn this brain.

Balls. I now put the old bedset back together. Put the old full boxspring in. Put the queen mattress on top. Fine, I’ll sleep like this.

The new queen box spring is now a nuisance. I don’t have place to store it. I live in a tiny studio apt.

More panic. More sweat.

I finally found a place to put it against the wall near the kitchen. It actually looks decorative. I didn’t feel like throwing out this new $200 box spring.

A couple months go by and I’m still not comfortable. The memory foam mattress squishes down too much. Did I mention I’m a big bowl of super luscious man?

This sucks. I possibly can’t buy ANOTHER mattress, right?

I mean, this is a pretty good memory foam mattress. What the heck is wrong with me? I wouldn’t have these problems if I were a skinny hipster dude.

Again, the pain and shittiness of my sleep was overwhelming to the point where I went back again to the mattress store.

I realized I need a coilspring mattress. By this time, I was an expert at mattress buying.

The mistake I had made was assuming memory foam was superior to coilspring. The salesman didn’t push me to buy this, I asked to buy this thinking it was the solution to my issues.

A memory foam can be superior but it also can suck. It retains a lot of body heat. It also squishes down, probably not a big deal for skinnier folks. But for big juicy luscious super sexy dudes, cannot hang w/ memory foam.

Mattress #3: Queen Pocketed Coil Luxury Firm = $950

I knew exactly what I wanted this time. I need a coil one. The question was do I get individually coiled vs pocketed coil vs traditional coil. A newer salesdude said individual coiled has a tendency to slouch and pocketed was the way to go.


Just the mattress please. No box spring. I dont care about anything else. Let’s get this done asap.

I also laid on the mattress for a while, in the store. Like more than 15mins. I’ve never done that before. I wanted to be sure. I tried squishing it as much as I could, it didn’t budge. Nice.

I told the dude this is the 3rd mattress I’m buying from them and I hope I don’t have to buy mattresses as frequently as toilet paper.

He gave me an additional $50 off, fine. I really dont care about sales or discounts too much. If I get it, fine. If I don’t fine. It’s just not worth the mental effort for me. If it’s in my price range, I’ll buy it. If it’s not, I won’t. If service sucks, I’ll go somewhere else. If it really blows I’ll yelp about it or worst case scenario – dedicate a whole website to it.

That’s another story. I’ve done that before and have gotten full refunds after the business owners found my site – a full year later. They panicked, called every number they could find, and fedexed me overnight a full refund check.

Anyways, I’m sleeping on my 3rd mattress right now. It feels the best so far. I hope I don’t have to buy another one any time soon!

The lessons learned:

Don’t let sunk cost worry you into not making better decisions.

A lot of us make a poor purchase decision and punish ourselves by using that inferior product forever. Sometimes we have to cut our losses and move on. Of course, having money to do so helps. That’s why I’ve spent most of my life focusing on making & saving as much money as possible – for the freedom it brings.

Sometimes you have to experience crappy options before finding optimal one = goldilocks & the 3 bears.

With nowhere to sit, Goldilocks climbed up the stairs to find somewhere to sleep. She was still very tired.

First, she tried Papa Bear’s great big bed. “TOO HIGH!” she yelled.

Then, she tried Mama Bear’s medium-sized bed. “TOO LOW!” she screamed.

Finally, she tried Baby Bear’s tiny little bed. “JUST RIGHT!” she sighed. Then Goldilocks fell asleep and dreamed dreams of flowers and warm cookies.


Do not consult others (family/friends/coworkers) on advice.

Unless you have evolved mentors, most will mock you for wanting to buy a better mattress the 2nd time. Most folks do not make optimal decisions. They will tell you to save your money. To not be crazy. Why would you buy three mattresses in 6 months?

Do not listen to this sunk cost based advice.

Life is tough.

Sometimes you will do all the research in the world and end up with an inferior product. Sometimes you will not know what the correct decision is. Sometimes you have to travel uncharted lands without a guide holding your hand. This is life. Make as many mistakes as fast as possible and get them out of the way.

We learn from mistakes more than successes anyways.

Make enough money, save enough money to weather the storms of finding optimal solutions to make your life as pleasant as possible.

That’s it. Done.