Few industries are more full of customer confusion, deception and trickery than bedding sales. We try to venture into a mattress store as little as possible. In fact, when last we visited one it was for a “Y2K” sale. January 1, 2000 found us buying a mattress to replace a waterbed that had sprung leaks thanks to the claws of an aggressive and somewhat mean-spirited cat.
Despite advertised so-called sales, on that first day of new millennium we needed a new mattress and felt the sharp salesman had far too much of the upper hand. The terminology required an insider’s knowledge to ferret fact from fiction, the names of the manufacturers all sounded similar (they all started with “S” like “sleep”) and up-selling and other pressurizing tactics ruled the day. We swore we would never buy a mattress again.
Nearly 18 years later, we slowly reasoned that our now-aging Triple-S-Sensual-Sleep-Slumberland-Supreme no longer owed us anything. For one thing, it no longer seemed all that rectangular, in part because we may have been lazy about occasionally flipping it as suggested. We recalled our foreboding sense of “gotcha” at the mattress store two decades previously and reasoned there had to be a better way.
Consumer Reports (which covers only cars more extensively than mattresses) affirmed the accuracy of our worst nightmares: trickery, thievery and buyer deception abound in a yesteryear industry chock full of sharp, commissioned salespeople desperate to hit the quota that qualifies them for the cruise (or whatever). Comparison shopping on price, store-to-store, is all but impossible because model names and numbers change for the deliberate purpose of thwarting such efforts. Worse, many times the mattress one picks on the showroom floor and the one that arrives at your home differ in materials, workmanship, durability, feel, etc. (with no way to prove it).
Consumer Reports also advised that it is both possible and increasingly popular to buy bedding online. Before you say “How can I buy a bed without flopping myself onto it in the mattress store,” rarely do you get the time to really experience how it might be, the mattresses on the showroom floor may differ from the ones delivered to your home, and at the store you have the salesman pressure as well as the press of other customers hurry your decision. Trying it in the store simply does not provide the objective insight one thinks.
Online direct-to-consumer manufacturers also can provide a higher-quality mattress at less cost because the costs of floor planning inventory, bricks-and-mortar rent, on-premises sales staff and the like are not built into the price. There are many, and the reviews are right-on-top-of-one-another, scores-wise. After much research online, we came to select the Ghost Bed Luxe.
Now why there are competing on-line brands “Ghost Bed” and “Casper” (as in the “friendly ghost”) is something it probably takes an industry insider to know; my patience stopped before researching this unlikely coincidence. Later I learned that several of the e-commerce bedding manufacturers have been warring with one another legally – see Casper Sues the Friendly Ghost? No matter, three days after completing the online purchase (with the very helpful chat box person, who steered me to certain unpublished promotions which lessened the cost some $150), our Ghost Bed arrived.
Though Queen Bed in size, somehow the air within its memory foam had been evacuated for shipping. It came in a box (an 89 pound box) about the size of two cases of office copy paper. Inside the box was the bed, tightly wrapped in much heavy plastic. We positioned the bed where it would be (atop our existing box spring), cut the plastic wrapping and watched a miraculous re-inflation process (now I know how those under-seat life preservers work on airplanes). In a minute or two, the mattress was 8 or 10 times its volume, within an hour it was over 95% full size, and in less than 24 hours was full size and firmness. Looking at it, sitting, lying or sleeping on it, you simply never would know it was shipped compressed like that.
A few nights ago, our Ghost Bed had its maiden voyage. We are total fans. Summer will tell whether its embedded cooling gel makes it cooler to sleep on, but we believe the advertising. So yes, you can safely and confidently buy bedding online. Total fan; overslept as evidence. We heartily recommend Ghost Bed (both Luxe model and not) if you are in the market for a new mattress. The pillows (made of the same synthetic marshmallow-like fluff) are outstanding too.