A Friday Chat About Mattresses

Sleep is important.

Photo: Deoridhe Grimsdottir Quandry

MEGAN: I’m always so elated when it’s Friday. It’s Friday. I’m elated. Hello!

NICOLE: Hello! I got a full night of sleep last night which means I am READY TO FRIDAY. Also, I need a new mattress. Badly.

MEGAN: Madam. Please. I implore you. Get a new mattress. You DESERVE a new mattress. Before I flap my jaw about mattresses (a passion of mine), I would like more information on your current model.

Mattresses I Have Loved

NICOLE: Okay. So. When I lived in Los Angeles, I slept on a futon. Which, somehow, was tolerable? I was younger then, I guess. Then when I moved to Seattle, I bought myself a real mattress, although I didn’t have a lot of money so — if I remember correctly — I bought the second-cheapest one on Amazon. Or maybe the third-cheapest one, because you’re never supposed to buy the second-cheapest of anything.

I’m going to look up how much I paid, hang on…

Brentwood Well-Being Encore 8-Inch Quilted Pillowtop Inner Spring Mattress, Full

Okay, in 2013 I bought the Brentwood Well-Being Encore 8-Inch Quilted Pillowtop Inner Spring Mattress for $189. This mattress appears to no longer exist. Amazon says it is unavailable.

It was a fine mattress, certainly better than the futon, but it’s showing its wear. There is a Nicole-shaped dent in it, and I can feel the springs when I sleep.

MEGAN: Ah, the futon. I slept on a futon too at some point in my youth, but I think futons are only fine when your bones are still fresh. My back seized at the thought of a futon just now. I assessed your mattress which you somehow, against all reason, STILL OWN, and….I think my mattress from when I first moved to New York seven years ago is something similar, but it cost way more because I got it at Sleepy’s. If you can feel the springs when you sleep….NO! Bad! Help! What are you going to do?! It’s time for a new mattress.

NICOLE: So how do I make that happen? Do I just order from Casper like all the podcasts tell me to do? Do I have to order five mattresses and keep them in my apartment and then send four back? What’s the procedure here?

MEGAN: Given what I have seen of your very lovely apartment, I would strongly recommend against ordering five mattresses and keeping them in your home. Casper is fine! I think there are other ones, too? I personally have a Helix mattress, which was sent to me for free because I was going to write about them and the experience of going into their showroom, laying down on the mattress in my street clothes and having them “customize” it to my “sleeping preferences.” It’s honestly a really good mattress. The FOAM.

Also, all these places have some sort of bonkers 100-day return policy. So there is that.

NICOLE: I have made this joke many times before, but what’s to prevent people from buying a mattress, using it for 100 days, sending it back for a refund, and buying a different mattress from another company? You could repeat that process for probably two years before you’d go through all of the mattress companies.

MEGAN: WHO HAS THE TIME TO RUN A MATTRESS SCAM!?!?! Seriously, yes ok sure, buuuut if you order a mattress from Casper etc., it comes in this giant box that you drag up your stairs and then it unfurls like a sea monster. That’s half the fun.

NICOLE: Let me ask a different question. What’s a good amount of money to pay for a mattress?

MEGAN: This is an excellent question. Now that I’ve slept on a “good” mattress, I want to say something crazy like $900 at MOST, but that is a lot of money and I’m not sure what I would think if I hadn’t gotten my mattress for free. Probably like…$800? Not much lower, but I don’t know, if you think about it, sleep is important! And if you can afford to sleep on something that doesn’t feel like a pile of metal wrapped in an airplane blanket and some throw pillows, then you should absolutely do so.

NICOLE: That’s the other problem. If I get a new mattress, I will definitely want new pillows and new sheets. My sheets are covered in ink markings, because I write in my non-Moleskine notebook in bed and sometimes I forget to click the bottom of the pen and retract the ink part. Also they’re worn out. So this is going to be one of those If You Give a Mouse a Cookie endeavors.

MEGAN: Yeah, it is tricky, but I would say a mattress is half the battle. Or, if you really want to test the waters, I guess, or if you’d rather just get new sheets and pillows first while you ponder the mattress, my sister got one of those memory foam mattress topper things that goes on top of her Fucking Awful mattress and it’s actually not that bad.

Or you could throw away all of the things, get new things and stay in bed with a book more often.

NICOLE: Would you recommend my just picking a mattress that sounds nice off the internet, or should I go to a mattress store and try a few out? Get a sense of what keywords I want to associate with my mattress: memory foam, pillow top, springs, etc.

MEGAN: I feel like if you’re going to spend a significant amount of money on anything, it’s always best to test it out. Go to a mattress store! Roll around, see what works. There’s a distinct possibility that literally anything will feel better than the mattress you’re sleeping on right now, but you should definitely try some stuff out first. Go! It’s fun! Maybe they’ll ask you questions about how you sleep!

NICOLE: “I used to sleep really well, and then politics happened.” That’s the real reason I need a new mattress. There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning and thinking “wow, this is uncomfortable.” I used to fall asleep so quickly I didn’t notice.

MEGAN: Yep, really great point there. We have to be strong and ready for the shitstorm ahead. You deserve a new mattress.

NICOLE: Okay, I’m publicly committing to getting one before the end of February. Now I have to do it!


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