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Highlights from Consumer Reports mattress tests

Highlights from Consumer Reports mattress tests

At Consumer Reports, we often recommend that our readers shop for mattresses around major holidays when prices can drop 50 percent or more. But sometimes waiting for a mattress you like to go on sale can backfire because some models go off the market in as little as a year. That’s why we test mattresses frequently, to make sure we offer a number of good choices in our mattress Ratings. We’re in the process of testing a new batch now and expect to post the results before summer’s end. In the meantime, here’s a glimpse of our early findings.

One thing we’d like to know is whether paying $3,000 for the top-ranked Sleep Number Innovation Series i8 bed Pillowtop queen, an adjustable-air foam mattress, truly buys you better back and side support than spending only $700 (what we paid) for the same company’s Sleep Number c2 Bed, shown above. From an initial examination, one difference we noticed is that the more expensive bed has a considerably thicker foam topping, which could at least make a difference in how comfortable it feels.

Among innerspring mattresses, we brought in a mattress from The Original Mattress Factory after our readers gave the store high marks in our surveys of mattress brands and mattress retailers. So we’ll let you know soon how well The Original Mattress Factory Orthopedic Luxury Firm, at $540 one of the least-expensive innerspring in our labs, did against models costing as much as $4,800.

Costco isn’t the easiest place to buy a mattress because the stores display them standing up, which rules out lying down on the mattress to try it out, as we recommend. But we liked the Novaform Memory Foam Collection Serafina 14″, $800, in our last tests and we’re testing two of its new foam mattress, the latex-foam Spring Air Back Supporter, $1,200, and the Novaform Altabella, $1,300. The mattresses come factory-folded in a box so they can be unwieldy to return if there are problems. Fortunately, the warehouse club will work with its members—including free pickup and return.

If you need a mattress immediately, consider the innerspring Serta Perfect Day iSeries Applause, $1,075, the foam Novaform Memory Foam Collection Serafina 14″, $800 at Costco, or the Sleep Number Innovation Series i8 bed Pillowtop, $3,000.

And before you start shopping, arm yourself with our advice and experience by checking our  mattress buying guide and mattress Ratings for models with the best back and side support, along with other performance factors.

—Ed Perratore (@EdPerratore on Twitter)

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on this website. Copyright © 2006-2014 Consumers Union of U.S.

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