Common mistakes when buying a bed

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Buying a new bed and mattress can be a complex process where you can easily make mistakes. We share some of the most common mistakes people make when buying a new bed and how to avoid them.

Investing in a new bed and mattress is arguably one of the most important purchases you will make. But many people fail to invest enough time in choosing the right one. This often results in poor sleep, waking up with aches and pains and regretting why they didn’t spend more time selecting the right one.

Buying a new bed and mattress can be a complex process where you can easily make mistakes. In this article, we share some of the most common mistakes people make when buying a new bed and how to avoid them.

young couple sitting on bed in store

Not researching the reputation of the seller

When choosing a bed, it’s reassuring to know you’re in safe hands if something goes wrong. Where two beds from different retailers are similar in price and quality, some people give little consideration to the after-sales service.

Buying a new bed can be a minefield, so you need to know if the retailer you’re buying from is reliable. Also, consider your relationship with the salesperson. Are they giving you trustworthy advice? Can they be relied upon for favours, such as quicker deliveries?

Look for their customer reviews online. But be sceptical about reviews posted on their website as these may not be genuine. Also, reach out to friends and family who have had previous dealings with the retailer and ask them to share their experiences with you.

Finally, familiarise yourself with the retailer’s terms and conditions and returns policy. These can often be found on their website at the bottom of the page in the footer section.

Buying a new mattress for an old bed base

While it may feel like a cost-effective solution, placing a new mattress on an old bed base is unlikely to improve your sleep. It may also invalidate your mattress guarantee. You will also have to replace the old bed base sooner than expected as it will not provide the support the mattress needs.

Allowing their partner to choose the bed

Comfort is subjective, so shopping for a new bed together is essential to ensure you’re both happy with your choice. Yet many couples will allow their partner to go out and choose the bed for them. This often results in choosing a bed that they find uncomfortable and unsupportive.

Not setting aside enough time

Choosing a new mattress takes time, and there are many factors and options to consider. The average lifespan of a mattress is around seven years, with most people getting between 6 and 8 hours of sleep each night. So making sure you choose the right mattress is essential.

Many people do not allow enough time to buy a mattress, some even act on impulse. Not trying beds out properly in the showroom or taking the time to research and consider different mattress options will inevitably lead to making the wrong choice.

Choosing a new mattress is not a typical impulse purchase. You should take your time and not be rushed into deciding, even if that means sleeping on your old mattress for a bit longer than anticipated.

Listening to other people’s recommendations

As buying a new mattress is an infrequent purchase, people may rely on mattress recommendations from friends and family. This is usually a mistake, as choosing a mattress often comes down to personal preference. Some people like a firm mattress, while others prefer something softer that cradles them.

It is also important that you choose a mattress that provides correct support and helps to keep the spine in proper alignment. Correct support is mainly based on your body weight and build.

Furthermore, there are lots of myths and misconceptions about buying mattresses. For instance, some people may advise you to buy a firm mattress because they are good for the back. This is not necessarily the case, and a firmer mattress may cause aches and pains and build-up of pressure points.

Not setting a realistic budget

Most of us will only buy a mattress a few times during our lifetime. Because of this, it can be difficult to know how much to spend on a new mattress.

Many shoppers often underestimate how much they should spend on a new mattress. Mattresses advertised with huge discounts can often mislead shoppers into thinking they are getting a better mattress for less money when they aren’t. Other shoppers prioritise going on holiday or buying a new car than spending their money on a new mattress.

Whilst many experts will tell you to set a budget and stick to it, investing in a new mattress should be an exception. Keep an open mind and spend as much as you can afford.

Failure to consider different mattress options

Many people will stick to a budget, a specific brand or type of mattress and will be unwilling to consider other options that may be more suitable.

For instance, some people may choose a mattress from a brand they are familiar with based on the strength of an advertising campaign. While others may be loyal to a particular make because that is what they have slept on previously. However, it is important to recognise that a lot can change throughout a mattress’s lifespan. Manufacturers can get taken over, or the quality may not be as good.

Other people will avoid certain mattress types altogether because of a misconception. For instance, that memory foam mattresses are hot, which is not necessarily the case.

When choosing a new mattress, keep an open mind and do not limit your options. Some of the best mattress manufacturers invest their time and resources into product quality rather than advertising.

Prioritising the bed’s appearance over its comfort

A common mistake when choosing a bed is prioritising its look over its comfort. Some people would rather spend most of their budget on a new bed frame and buy a cheaper mattress.

Putting off buying a new bed and mattress

Buying a new bed and mattress can be a daunting prospect. Every manufacturer claims that their beds are better than the rest. With so many options to choose from, many shoppers can get overwhelmed and, in some cases, put off buying a new bed altogether.

All mattresses have a natural lifespan, so when a mattress is more than seven years old and affects your sleep, it’s best to replace it as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem will only make things worse.

Not measuring the space

Size matters when choosing a new bed. You are less likely to disturb your sleeping partner with a larger bed. But one of the most common mistakes people make when buying a new bed is not measuring the bedroom space beforehand. This often results in a bed that is either too big or too small for its intended room.

Some people order a bed that is not big enough for two people to share even though they have the bedroom space for a bigger size. On the other hand, some people may order a bed that is too big and overwhelms the bedroom. Some may upgrade their bed from a standard double size (135 cm x 190 cm) to a 5’0” king size bed (150 cm x 200 cm), not realising they are slightly longer.

Similarly, bed frames take up more space as the mattress sits inside the frame. Many people don’t allow for the extra space the frame takes up in the bedroom. Depending on the style, some bed frames can even add up an extra foot to the overall length.

Worse still, some beds don’t even fit into the room they are intended for due to access restrictions at the property. Narrow staircases, tight corners and low ceilings may cause issues in getting the bed into the bedroom. This may result in cancellation or reselection charges from the store the bed was purchased from.

Bed height can also cause some problems. Your bed should be in proportion to the rest of the bedroom. Sometimes a bed can be too high or too low for the headboard it is paired with and its surrounding furniture.  Furthermore, bed height may cause issues comfortably getting in and out of bed.

Buying a mattress topper for an old mattress

Mattress toppers provide an extra comfort layer when placed on your mattress. But many shoppers will often buy a topper as a cheap substitute for purchasing a new mattress.

While toppers can be effective for a relatively new mattress, placing a topper on an old worn-out mattress is unlikely to improve your sleep. A topper will conform to the shape of an old sagging mattress.

Not negotiating a better deal

A new mattress represents a significant investment for many people. But with sales and special offers seemingly on every week, many shoppers believe they are already getting good value for money. Others may find the idea of haggling impolite, rude or slightly embarrassing.

But as they say, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Many retailers are happy to do deals if they can get you to commit to placing an order.

Not checking the paperwork properly

Many people still prefer buying beds in-store where they can get advice from a salesperson and try out the beds. But a common mistake many people make is not checking the order properly when purchasing in-store.

From time to time, items may be ordered incorrectly, whether this is because of a salespersons error, a mistake on your part or a simple misunderstanding.

It’s important to check your order thoroughly to ensure the correct items have been ordered and that you’re familiar with the store’s terms and conditions and returns policy. The last thing you need is a bed that has been ordered in the wrong size that you can’t return or that has been left outside your home unassembled.

Making plans before the bed is delivered

There’s nothing more infuriating than waiting in for a bed delivery only to be told at the last minute that it has been cancelled.

Many people make plans beforehand in anticipation of their bed delivery. They may invite guests over to stay or remove the old bed. So when the delivery fails to arrive, it may leave them without a bed.

Not investing in a mattress protector

Many shoppers ignore the importance of basic mattress care, such as investing in a good quality mattress protector to protect it.

Every night, your mattress absorbs sweat, dirt, debris, bodily oils and even food and drink. All of which provide the perfect conditions for dust mites to thrive.

A good quality mattress protector creates a clean and hygienic sleeping environment. It protects your mattress against stains and spillages and reduces the risk of dust mites.

Buying a mattress that is too heavy

Mattresses are heavy, and many people don’t realise that most mattresses need regular turning to help even out the wear. On occasions, they may even need to be moved for cleaning.

But, some mattresses are ‘non-turn’ or ‘no need to turn’, which can help to ease some of the burden. Zip and link beds allow two single beds to be zipped together to make one large bed. You can separate them to make them easier to turn and move.

Final thoughts

Choosing a new bed and mattress is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It’s essential to take your time and consider all the options carefully. See our bed buying guide for further advice about buying a new bed and mattress.

About the author

About the author

Tony Brown is the founder and creator of The Bed Consultant. His career in the bed industry began in 2002. After graduating from university with a degree in Business Administration, Tony joined one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the UK as a bed consultant. Tony has helped thousands of customers find the perfect mattress.

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