Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Adventures in mattress shopping

Over the weekend my husband and I went mattress shopping for our bed in the new house. Finally I get to go back to king-sized comfort, when I will be able to ask my husband to scootch over a couple of inches without feeling guilty. I had a couple of requirements for the new mattress – one, I wanted a king-size, preferably the good ol’ American king-size but I could accept the European king-size which is 17 cm smaller. Secondly, I really wanted to see if we could find the old standard in mattresses – with a box spring or something similar as support – instead of buying a mattress that goes on top of a flat board, like most mattresses around here seem to do. Now, it isn’t that our IKEA mattress has been uncomfortable, and I like our bed here because it has storage underneath, but I was brought up in a world that insisted that mattresses needed box springs to hold up. I guess I’m old fashioned that way.

Our plan was to go to a couple of places I had researched – one that had a brand of bed I had never heard of (Dux) but sounded promising, and another place that advertised Sealy and Serta mattresses. I knew that the Dux beds would be expensive, but very well made and supposedly unbelievably comfortable. We tried out three different beds in the store, and they all felt too soft to me, although I could also tell that the mattress was conforming to my body. Honestly, I couldn’t tell the difference between the bed that was supposed to be the softest (and cheapest), and the hardest (and most expensive). The harder bed had this crank system in the “box spring” part (I use quotes because it wasn’t a box spring in the usual sense of the word) that you could adjust for more or less firmness. Impressive, but the damn thing still felt too soft for me. Not to mention the bed moved in a similar fashion to that of a water bed. Honestly, if I want to feel like I’m drifting at sea when I’m sleeping I’ll go buy a water bed.

Needless to say, that although the presentation was good and the quality of the beds seemed high, I was not sold on the Dux bed. It was at that point that the salesman told us the price of the firmer bed – 8000 euros. Sheeeeeeeeeet. Was it hand stitched by angels with golden thread? Because at that price, it better damn sure have been. Now, my in-laws have a good deal of aplomb when faced with such ridiculous prices, they are high class people who are used to expensive things, and didn’t bat an eye. But not little ol’ low class me. I expect the damn thing to sprout wheels and drive me around town for that price.

In the end, I have to consider my standard for judging items that are well out of my price range. If it is something that I would buy if money was not an issue, then it is worth the extravagant price. If I wouldn’t buy it even if I had the money, then it isn’t worth the price. I don’t think I would buy a Dux bed even if I had oodles of money, but maybe I should go to one of those hotels that uses Dux beds and see for myself if it is really worth the price.

In the end, we bought a Serta, recommended by my parents, and nice and firm like I like it. And with that purchase, we are one step closer to moving into our new home.


bryan-in-greece said...

Hi Mel, I am going through a similar process to yourself, in that I am waiting for my new home to be finished (in my case it is an apartment in Kilkis, rather than a house), and the anticipation of how things are going to look and what extra costs are going to be involved is constantly on my mind. That, and having to make sure that the μάστορες do what I want to the new place! I certainly wouldn't pay EUR8000 for a bed either (I already have one anyway!!) - it does just make you wonder how they can justify such a price. I remember a phrase used by a friend of mine back in the UK in such cases: "There was a major financial taking-down of the trousers". Seems appropriate!!! :-)

Yianna said...

8,000 euros!!!!???!!!

Does it talk to you when you have insomnia? Or sing Gregorian chants in the morning while making you French toast for brunch? Answer the phone when you're too lazy to get out of bed?

Okay, forgive my peasantness, but OOF. BIG MONEY.

Tim said...

Oh, how I'd kill for a nice, new bed . . .

CaliforniaKat said...

I, like you, had narrowed my choices to a Dux and either a Simmons or Sealy Serta. Dux because I used a girlfriend's bed once, and it was like a cloud. (Her parents bought it for her). Sealy and Simmons because of past good experiences.

No Simmons in Greece, one Sealy place in Athens. My friend N went with me, and I'll never forget the look on his face when they told us the price. The mattress was 3000 euros and the boxspring was another 3000. I was in shock! I could get the same set in NYC for 1000 dollars. Needless to say, I didn't take it. I mean, it'd be cheaper to buy the set in NYC and ship them over by surface. And I could buy them for all my friends for 6000 euros. How do I justify the cost?

Dux, forget it. I got something perfectly good for 600 euros and called it a day. Sleep very well on the mattress, noise from neighbors is another matter.

Cheryl said...

We bought 2 new Serta mattresses today. A queen size and a twin size, and for the 2 together we paid about $700.00. My Sister-in-law kept reminding us that we should buy them before we come over. I can't say that I would have forgotten!

Bed UK said...

i hate shopping for beds and mattresses so decided to attempt to buy beds online! it was good because there was no pressure but i like sitting on them andmattempting to barter the price! so i went into a showroom found one i liked and found the cheapest price on the internet!

bruce said...

Right. Here's the story. I need to find somewhere that sells REALLY cheap mattresses. I've just moved into a new house, but I'm only renting so god knows how long I'll be here. It isn't furnished, but I already have a bed so that isn't important (it's standard double size, by the way). I don't want to spend loads purely because I'll probably just end up throwing it away when I move again.

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Anonymous said...

Ergh I hate bed shopping. My wife took me last week to buy a new memory foam mattress and I got dragged around about 6 different shops before she found one she wanted!