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August 9, 2004

Mattress Shopping

I've been in so many different beds the last two days I think I have a vague impression of what it's like to be a manwhore. Only without the chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and bulging wallet.

Mattress shopping, in case anyone was wondering, sucks.

Not only because every mattress store has at least a dozen beds for you to try out, but because each has their own "exclusive" brand in addition to the old standbys. So even the beds you've been on in previous store require revisiting after trying out the current store's beds.

"This store's exclusive brand is comfortable," you think, "but is it more comfortable than Spring Air I liked at the last store?" So then you wander over to the Spring Air section in the current store, find the one you liked, and rest comparatively. This, of course, prompts the salesman (more on this in a moment) to come over and discuss the bed you're now laying in, and make suggestions for additional mattresses to try based on what you think of it. Invariably, his suggestions turn out to be particular models the last store didn't have on the floor, so you're now traipsing around a mattress store that couldn't be bothered by the invention of modern air conditioning to try out yet another mattress while simultaneously trying to remember the entire laundry list of mattresses you do and do not like and keeping straight which pillow top sucks and which pillow top is actually comfortable.

But the salespeople: the worst part of mattress shopping. They're nice people, really, and I appreciate their help. It is, however, incredibly creepy to be feigning your night time routine in front of a complete stranger standing at the foot of the bed watching you. Sure, like many people I've a bit of an exhibitionist streak, but it doesn't include sales staff watching me roll around on a mattress. It's made worse by the fact I in no way sleep consistently in one position. One night I'll sleep on my side, the next on my back, the next on my stomach. Whereas most people can flop back on a mattress and tell whether or not it will work, I'm essentially a free show for everyone in the store for three times as long.

I'll be happy when I've found a single mattress once and for all, and can go back to tossing and turning in the privacy of my own bedroom.

For the Phoenix folk: the Sleep America that just opened at Elliot and Alma School in Chandler is an outlet, not a full-fledged store. Sleep America's web site neglects to mention this. Good if you want to save money, bad if you pull into the lot expecting a full selection.

Posted by Colin at August 9, 2004 9:11 AM

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