Tempur-Pedic, the leading maker of memory-foam mattresses is buying Sealy, a rival in the bedding business known mostly for its innerspring models. Combined, the company will include such brands as Tempur, Tempur-Pedic, Sealy, Sealy Posturepedic and Stearns & Foster. When Consumer Reports asked its readers how satisfied they were with their mattresses, 84 percent were very happy with Tempur-Pedic but Sealy and Stearns & Foster fell short of that, scoring 70 and 68 respectively.
As a combined company, Tempur-Pedic and Sealy will offer mattresses across almost all price points in more than 80 countries. Tempur-Pedic mattresses can cost as much as $9,000 whereas Sealy's offerings are more modestly priced. "Together, we believe that we can deliver more value than either business could by leveraging our strong combined assets," said Sealy CEO Larry Rogers.
When we asked 12,557 of our readers about mattress brands they purchased new between 2007 and June 2011, Tempur-Pedic was the one more people would buy again and that readers said improved sleep more often. Given the hefty price tag, however, they were not as satisfied with the cost. Readers who bought Sealy or Stearns & Foster mattresses said that they were not so sure they would buy that brand again or whether the new mattress improved their sleep. Price satisfaction was higher with those brands, which cost substantially less.
We also asked our readers where they prefer to buy their mattresses. The Original Mattress Factory scored excellent on quality, service, price and delivery and very good on selection. Not being a dedicated mattress retailer, Costco scored surprisingly high on the list but did poorly on service (because it's self service) and selection. Sleepy's was the brand in which readers expressed the least satisfaction in a survey based on 5,821 shopping experiences at walk-in mattress retailers between 2009 and June 2011.
Buying a mattress can be tricky because mattresses can differ from retailer to retailer. To find the one that's right for you, read our mattress buying guide. Here's our top tip: Try it before you buy it.
—Mary H.J. Farrell