The Importance of
Impartial Bed and Mattress Reviews

Choices, choices!  How do I choose?

Most of us want to make intelligent, wise choices when shopping.  For some items, almost anything will do, but many things require more discretion, especially large ticket items such as a house, an automobile, or a bed and mattress.  There are many considerations: health, safety, cost/value ratio, maintenance, service, warranties. So, how do we know which is the best for us? In the case of beds and mattresses, we can use expert mattress reviews.  But it is important to find mattress reviews which are impartial, not biased.  To judge the value of a mattress review, we need to consider the issues that matter.

Issues that matter

When it comes to your bed and mattress, they affect your health in a very direct way.  First, how comfortable you are makes a difference in how restfully you sleep (see our blog article "Mattresses, Beds, and How We Sleep"), and how rested you are influences the immune system, metabolism, moods, alertness, judgment, memory, coordination, and many other health factors.  Some experts relate lack of proper rest to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Therefore, you want the beds and mattresses best suited for helping you and your family to rest well.  How can you know which bed or mattress will best help you rest? 

Also related to health are issues of toxicity, allergies, and safety. Many chemicals used in manufacturing are harmful, and some of them may linger in a mattress. The danger may come from physical contact or from breathing fumes. And some materials can cause allergic reactions in certain persons. Related to this are harmful organisms too small to see, such as dust mites and bacteria, the causes or carriers of disease.  Additionally, we do not need a bed with safety issues. How can we know know which beds and mattresses are safe, non-toxic and hypoallergenic?

How do we know?

Since most of us do not have the time or the resources to personally examine and test every available bed and mattress, we depend on others.  But whom do we trust?  When buying a car, the sales person tells us about the vehicles on the showroom floor or in the car lot.  We all know the reputation of car salemen in general.  It's good to finally find one we can trust.  We may trust the real estate agent, but still have the house inspected since there may be some issue the agent was not informed of. 

When it comes to a bed and mattress, the sales representative in the furniture or mattress store may or may not be knowledgeable.  And when it comes to integrity, not all sales people are equal, so whom do you trust?

The role of reviews

In this Internet age, a common source of information is reviews of manufacturers, brands and models of almost every conceivable product.  In fact there are many websites devoted entirely to reviews, and beds, mattresses & bedding are no exception.  Reviews in themselves are not entirely new. Before the Internet, magazines and newspapers published reviews of shows, books, restaurants, hotels, and automobiles.  But now, with the World Wide Web, reviews of practically everything are universally available.

As with salesmen in the showroom and customer service representatives on the telephone, the question is "Whom do I trust?"  Which mattress reviews are more trustworthy than others?  We know that a sales person or customer service representative has a direct interest in promoting or defending their products. 

Beware of biased bed and mattress review sites. When it comes to bed reviews and mattress reviews, we want ones that are unbiased, which do not have a vested interest in a particular brand or model.  For this reason, not all reviews on manufacturers' websites are equally impartial.  The manufacturer can have favorable reviews added by employees, contractors or business partners.  They can limit the number of unfavorable reviews, keeping a few for show.  The ratings can be fudged.  There are any number of games a manufacturer or dealer can play to look good.  So the first criterion is:

Find bed and mattress review sites not affiliated with manufacturers. 

Even if a review page is not owned by a bed or mattress manufacturer, the company or persons wanting to promote it can post favorable reviews on it, posing as ordinary customers/users.  Also, someone dissatified with a mattress can seek out a place to cut the company down.  Or an unfavorable review can be posted by a rival company.  Either way, persons with a vested interest can add their slant to an independent review site. 

There are several independent, impartial mattress review sites. Beds.Org is one of them.  It was started by doctors who wanted honest reviews of mattresses and beds from the viewpoint of users' health.  We at Beds.Org screen reviews posted by users to filter out fraudulent mattress reviews. 

One well-known impartial review site is open to reviews by customers. The descriptions are more like lists of features.  But since they have a wide variety of reviews on several mattresses, they are generally considered honest and impartial.  They also have a list of manufacturers and brands and known models, even those not reviewed. 

Another well-known and authoritative site searches the web for incidental comments on mattresses owned by commentators, looking for the mattress owners' view after using a mattress for a long time.  They also interview mattress owners. 

Another site focuses on answering consumers' questions, consciously trying to be impartial. They will warn readers of problems when they exist. 

Another factor to consider is that use over time is the real test of a mattress. Therefore the most reliable consumer mattress reviews are by owners who have had them several years. 

Our advice is to get a well-rounded perspective.  Visit impartial review sites, beginning with Beds.Org.  We are not trying to sell mattresses and beds, and neither are the handful of other sites mentioned above.  If a mattress model you are considering is not covered here, first check to see if the collection it is in is reviewed. We have several of those.  If not there, request it. If you own a mattress for some time and want to review it, we welcome your review.  It will help us in being impartial and reliable. 

 

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