During the past two weeks, we hosted two Twitter parties dubbed “Out with the Old, In with the New.” These chats were a chance for you to share what you love and what you find challenging about the mattress shopping process. It was also an opportunity for us to share tips and ideas to consider when shopping for a new mattress—and award two lucky party-goers a Queen Sleep Number p5 bed set (@iheartmarcusb and @projecthope7 were our lucky winners!).
I hosted the parties along with my colleague and our resident sleep expert, Pete Bils, vice president of sleep innovation and clinical research for Select Comfort. During the chats, Pete provided some great research and information for you to use on your journey to your best sleep experience.
As we looked back on the chat transcripts late last week, seven key themes (or lessons) emerged from the discussions. For those that missed the chats, I wanted to share these lessons with you today, along with specific tweets from the parties that will help illustrate the tone and nature of the conversation:
1. Most of us have mattress-buying fear. When we asked you about how much you dread mattress shopping on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the worst, most of you started out at a 5. Thankfully, after some information, tips and candid discussion, many of you were in the 1-2 range by the end of the chat.
2. The mattress buying experience can be as important as the mattress itself. It’s essential to find knowledgeable salespeople when purchasing a mattress. People that can answer your questions and calm your fears. At the same time, watch out for salespeople who are overly pushy and display a lack of product and sleep knowledge. These signs are usually covering up larger issues and can lead to a purchase you might regret.
3. Think beyond the mattress for total body comfort. Pillows play a key role in spinal alignment, and should be tested and purchased at the same time to ensure optimum comfort and alignment. And remember to take care of your pillows with a quality pillow protector to help deter dust mites.
4. Consider price, quality, comfort and size. When it comes to mattresses, price can’t be the only factor (here’s a comprehensive checklist of all the items to consider when buying a mattress). Quality, comfort and size need to fit into the equation, too. We spend 30 percent of our lives in bed, so it makes the most sense to invest in a mattress with a long life-span and size that fits your needs, which will ultimately provide the better value and sleep experiences.
5. You have a unique sleep ID. Just like no two snowflakes or fingerprints are the same, no two bodies and sleep needs are the same. Every person has unique pressure points that require differing levels of firmness from your mattress. Side sleepers need a different kind of support from back sleepers–and the same goes for stomach sleepers. Even if you and your sleep partner are back sleepers, you still need differing levels of firmness because you have different pressure points.
6. Your body is constantly changing. Not only do you have a unique sleep ID, but you also have a body that is in constant flux. This is why adjustability is another key factor to consider when shopping for a mattress. Especially if you perform manual labor, workout regularly or have an ongoing injury or illness. When you have an adjustable mattress, you have the power to personalize your sleep experience to fit your exact needs each night.
7. A mattress purchase is an investment in your health. Researchers have routinely documented that the quality of sleep affects our overall health. Good sleep gives us more energy to maintain a healthy lifestyle, better perform at work and save on long-term health care costs. Bottom line: Getting enough zzz’s is one of the best investments you can make for yourself!
Thanks to all of you who participated in this Twitter party series on the mattress buying process. Make sure to share tips you learned during the parties with anyone you think might need some help navigating the mattress buying process. We look forward to hearing about your improved sleep experiences!