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Posted: 10:27 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14, 2014

The Best Mattress for Your Money

By Clark Howard

Our nationwide epidemic of insomnia has caused Americans to become obsessed with buying the right mattress. It's faulty logic, though; most cures for insomnia involve lifestyle choices -- drinking less caffeine, not watching TV before bed, not working up until the moment you go to bed.

To cut through the clutter of advertising you'll see out there, the March 2014 issue of Consumer Reports has a look at the best mattresses and mattress retailers.

You don't have to pay a lot to get a lot!

The highest mattress rating of all goes to a memory foam mattress -- the Sleep Number Innovation Series i8 bed Pillowtop (average price $3,000).

Though the real story here is the No. 2 mattress, which is Costco's Novaform Memory Foam Collection Serafina 14". At just $800, the Costco mattress was the only "best buy" the magazine noted in the memory foam category.

Yes, that's right -- the second highest rated product is less than one-third the cost of the industry leader! Now that's a Clark Smart buy!

It's important to remember that price does not necessarily equate to satisfaction with mattresses. A more expensive mattress may not make for a better product.

When it comes to traditional innerspring mat­tresses, the Serta Perfect Day iSeries Applause gets the "best buy" checkmark in its category and costs only $1,075.


Who is the best mattress retailer?

On the question of retailers, Consumer Reports ranked the Original Mattress Factory stores as the top choice for customer satisfaction. Costco Wholesale was a close second.

The high placement for Costco may reflect their return policy on mattresses: A full money back refund without penalty and no time limit. That really makes Costco stand apart!

I particularly like the warehouse clubs for mattress shopping, and I've long advised people to test the mattress right there in the store for an extended period. Bring a book or tablet to Costco or Sam's Club and get those mattresses off the displays or yank them off the walls. Then lay there for 15 minutes and see how you like the feel before you buy.

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