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Why Did My Bed Get A Body Impression (And How To Prevent It)

Nov 03, 2012

Would you spend $1000-$1500 on a new mattress if you knew you would be buying a new one in another 5 years? Likely not, and yet unsuspecting consumers do it every single day.

You might be saying, "Wait a minute, 5 years? My mattress has a 20 year warranty."

If you, like a lot of customers I talk to, are experiencing a body impression in your mattress you got just a few years ago, you might not realize that your mattress was designed to last 5-7 years. In fact, head over to your local mattress super store website and look under the "Frequently Asked Questions" section and you will see they recommend replacing your mattress every 5-7 years. 5 years? 5?! That's right, the mattress manufactures, the big name brands anyway, build their mattresses to wear out quickly so you are back in the market every 5 -7 years. It's called "Planned Obsolescence" and it starts by conditioning consumers to just throw up their hands in resignation as their mattress starts to develop the dreaded divot, valley, dip, body impression and ends with tossing it and getting a new mattress. 

And don't worry, it's not your fault. It didn't happen because you didn't flip or turn it enough. It happened because the materials the manufacturer uses are a very low quality. They look and feel good in the store, but the mattress you purchased, if its a big name brand, is built with low density materials and inexpensive components to maximize profits. 

Let's do a quick math equation to help you understand why your mattress developed a body impression. Let's say you went to your local big mattress train store because they were advertising a huge sale, half off on all memory foam mattresses and regular mattresses. You get there and the salesperson tells you they have a big mattress sale on this particular model, regularly $1500, now only $899. 

Now, they are not a charity, they are a for-profit company, and they are not giving away mattresses. If they are selling it for $899 they are making a profit. So, let's do the math: You heard about the mattress sale how? The paper? The radio, TV? Those are all very expensive advertising mediums. You get to the store, and it's a big store with lots of mattresses, in a busy part of town. Ok, that means we have a high rent or lease payment to consider, electricity and other utilities, all the inventory that costs money. The salesperson likes to eat too, so you have their commission, which is usually 3-10% on top of their medical insurance, etc. They you have the guys that are going to do the "Free Delivery", the payments, insurance, gas and upkeep on the truck, and the expense of maintaining a warehouse and staff where the mattresses are kept. Wow, lots of money behind that $899 mattress, right?

Let's be conservative and say your local mattress train paid $400 for that mattress from their manufacturer. That is about a normal markup, which of course means that a lot of other people WAY over paid for it when it was not on sale. $400. That should cover their expenses and commission and still make some profit. $400. That means the mattress manufacturer sold it to them for $400, and they have to make a profit too. They trucked it there on a big truck, from a big warehouse. And they advertise too, right? And they had to buy all the materials to make that mattress, pay their workers, the upkeep of a plant, etc, and still make a profit. So, assuming they too doubled their money, that means they had to make at least $200 profit, leaving about $75-$100 to actually make your mattress. Based on those figures I would say it's safe to assume that for every $1000 you are getting about $75-$100 in mattress. 

Ok, back to our body impression.

Your mattress, if it's a typical big name brand mattress, is not designed to hold up for a long time. You can flip and turn it all you like, but it is not manufactured with high quality materials capable of lasting the length of the warranty. Remember, the warranty is not the mattress. Likely, on those types of mattresses, your mattress will be in a landfill long before the warranty wears out. You were just the victim of normal wear and tear, not covered.

How can you prevent this from happening again? How can you keep from becoming a body impression victim again? 

First, do your homework. Look for brands which are constructed with high quality materials. Foams which are 3-5lbs in density. Natural fibers and fabrics. Double heat tempered coils or high density foam bases. High quality natural latex and real wool. These mattresses will end up costing more initially, but in the long run, will not need to be replaced every 5-7 years. A good quality memory foam mattress or latex organic natural bed will last 12-15 years with proper care and rotating.

Second, keep a good protector on your mattress. Moisture and organic matter are enemies of your new bedding and mattress. Keeping both out of your mattress are mandatory for keeping it sanitary, allergen-free and long lasting. Try unmaking your bed every day. Fold the covers back to the feet allowing the mattress to breathe. Keep a protective cover on the mattress and wash it as often as you wash your sheets.

Lastly, rotate your mattress head to toe twice a year. This helps the materials wear evenly over time. Most mattresses can't be flipped, so a simple rotation is all that is necessary.

In part, the old adage "You get what you pay for" can apply to mattresses. However, a good quality mattress doesn't necessarily need to cost a fortune. Do your research, read review sites, ask around. Good quality mattresses are out there, but those companies are not spending a fortune to advertise. 

Consider the mattresses at Nest Bedding. The mattresses we carry, both memory foam beds and natural beds, are designed with high quality materials and built to last, without costing a fortune.

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