Chicago, IL

Buying a New Bed?

Sherry McGuinn

Know what you're getting into as "today's beds" come at a price

My husband and I have been sleeping in the same, old saggy bed for years. Let me rephrase: I sleep. He is up and down all night, every night. Or, in and out, I should say, with absolutely no sexual subtext implied.

We liked the bed when we purchased it. It was a decent price, a quality brand, and was comfortable enough, in the beginning. But we kept it long after its shelf-life expired.

It was a conventional bed and box spring arrangement. Nothing fancy. The thing was lofty, though, which I like as I prefer a higher bed. More fun to scramble into. Makes me feel like a Victorian-era virgin in a bodice-ripper, about to get her rosy bare ass slapped for the first time by a sexy, shirtless, knave.

I couldn’t tell you if our worn-out bed was comprised of coils or springs or both, but the mofo got louder every year. Since my husband suffers from insomnia, I’d been feeling guilty about holding onto that beast. We have the money for a new bed, and anyway, there’s a little thing called “financing.”

So, last week, I bit the bullet and went on my own to one of the better mattress stores in our area. I had a lengthy conversation with the salesman, who I must admit was not only friendly but knew his shit. And, “we” determined that the best bed for our needs, as well as my husband’s condition, would be a Tempur-Pedic, “medium-firm,” with an adjustable base.

The base, of course, comes with its own hefty price tag, and, I found out later, that it is non-returnable. More on that in a minute.

By the time I finished up, I’d bought the mattress, the adjustable base, a set of pillows, a set of bamboo sheets (which suck), and a mattress protector, not a pad, mind you, a protector.

Yes. The tab was into the thousands. I was stunned to discover that this is what mattresses cost these days. If you don’t plunk down at least a grand for the mattress alone, you’re probably buying a piece of doody.

I don’t know when, or why buying a new bed became so pricey, but there are used cars that cost less than what my total invoice came to.

Because my commons sense flies out the window when I’m stressed, and I was extremely stressed that day, I never bothered to peruse the other mattresses in the store. Stupido, no?

As I later found out, there is a mind-numbing array of styles and “feels” and even temperatures for these newly-minted mattresses. You got your memory foams, your steel coils, your hybrids (still not sure what the hell they are), and of course, your beds-in-the boxes, like Casper and Purple.

I don’t trust a bed in a box, but that’s just me.

Also, know that some beds sleep cooler than others. Memory foam, for example, is notorious for its “hot pockets.”

And then, you have to decide on a surface. Do you prefer plush? Pillow-tops? Perfectly smooth? I’m into the plush and/or pillow-top variety with a firm base. There’s just something about sinking into those cloud-like puffs.

So what do I do? I purchase a bed with a smooth surface. Why? Because I wasn’t thinking straight. I was worn out by the convo with the sales guy and I just wanted to help my hubby.

The bed was delivered two days later and I was stunned to see that it was much lower to the floor than our previous bed as it’s not nearly as dense. I believe it measures around eleven inches, tops, depth-wise.

I hate it. I do. My poor husband has had to listen to me intone, “this fuckin’ bed…” since its arrival.

But, the adjustable base is awesome. You can elevate your head, or feet, or both at once. There’s even a setting on the accompanying remote that says “zero gravity.” I still don’t understand what the hell that is.

Another issue: Our fitted cotton sheets slide right off the fucker. I’m constantly adjusting them during the night. I’ve since found out that there are gizmos one can buy on Amazon to alleviate this and I’ve put several in my “wish list.”

Two days ago, I decided that the Tempur-Pedic has to go. No disrespect to the company as they manufacture some fine mattresses, but this one isn’t for me.

My long-suffering husband returned to the store with me so I could make an exchange. He looked exhausted and I felt guilty as hell so we quickly narrowed down our choices to two. A hybrid Serta and a luxury, firm, pillow-top Stearns & Foster. We went with the latter. Naturally, being a popular item, it was out of stock and we’ll hopefully get it around the fifteenth of this month. I can’t wait.

Our new mattress will work perfectly with the adjustable base as we were told every mattress in the store’s lineup, does. BULLY!

A damn good thing as they don’t let you return it. And therein lies a screwing-in-small-print. We’re good with it, though, as my husband appreciates the elevation.

After sorting out the mattress exchange, we turned to Amazon once more to purchase three-inch risers for our bed frame, just in case it turns out that the new setup still isn’t high enough for me, although I’m hopeful as the S&F is fifteen inches in depth.

Now, I’m checking out “ultra-deluxe” mattress pads and the choices, along with the reviews, are overwhelming. I need a break from all this bed stuff. In fact, I think I’ll have a lie-down.

Friends, take a lesson. If you decide you’re in the market for a new kip, do your homework, and also, prepare to pay through the nose. Or just do the whole financing thing and stretch out the payments. I mean, it’s your bed. You’re going to sleep in it, plus hopefully, do some really nasty stuff in it…a lot…and you deserve a quality item.

Short of that, you can always buy one of those Japanese “floor mattresses.” I spotted one for less than $150. Guess where?

© Sherry McGuinn, 2021. All Rights Reserved.

Sherry McGuinn is a longtime Chicago-area writer and award-winning screenwriter. Her work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and numerous other publications. Sherry’s manager is currently pitching her newest screenplay, a drama with dark, comedic overtones and inspired by a true story.

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My goal is to educate, entertain, make you laugh, and above all, make you think. I will be running the gamut as far as my articles go because I have a restless mind and I allow it to ramble where and when it wants. I hope you enjoy what I'm looking forward to sharing with you. If so, I'd love for you to follow me. Thanks for reading.

Chicago, IL

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