Mattress Sale Results In Back Pain And Sleepless Nights

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Will this mattress hurt my back? (credit: Doug D.)

Vicki Briganti – CW50 Writer / Producer / Editor

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first mattress. Isn’t that the popular saying? Maybe I have it wrong. I’m sure the average consumer lies on a mattress in the store, decides they like it, has it delivered, and keeps it for the next 10-15 years.

Apparently, I’m not a normal consumer. I owned my most prized possession, my beloved 1995 Serta Perfect Sleeper Emerald Bay Pillowtop in a full-size, back when all mattresses were flippable. I regretfully made an impulse buy during a sale at a local department store, rationalizing that 16 years was long enough for my old mattress. The time had come to upgrade to a big girl bed: a king-sized mattress.

You’re familiar with the popular saying that hindsight is 20/20? I said it a hundred times and I’ll say it again: I would do anything to have that mattress back. Over the next several blog posts, you’ll find out why. Hopefully, along the way, you’ll learn a few things about mattresses. Maybe by reading about my mistakes, you won’t suffer the same fate.

Vicki’s Back Story

It was August 2011. Although saggy, nothing was wrong with my old Serta mattress. It held me in its loving embrace in a hammock-like concave in the center of the bed. I did not have back pain. Springs weren’t pushing through the fabric. I insist now that those are the only reasons someone should consider a new bed, if then. Perhaps you can use wire cutters to snip away any excess wires poking through and keep the bed you have?

I browsed the mattress selection at a local department store. I sampled several brands and comfort levels and decided the Serta Perfect Sleeper St. George Eurotop Plush in a king-size felt like home. Other salespeople at other stores later told me that flippable mattresses were no longer sold to consumers. Not true.

I did no research. Zero. I hadn’t purchased a new bed since 1995. I figured the only thing that mattered was if the mattress felt comfortable in the store. I received a 12-months same as cash incentive and scheduled delivery for the following Saturday. I rolled around in my beloved full-sized bed the week in between and considered cancelling my order. What was wrong with my old bed? I loved the bed. Why take a risk?

Sigh! Alas, I did not cancel. The very efficient and polite delivery team brought my new king-sized Serta. My anxiety was through the roof as they hauled my full set down my steps and out of my house. Not only did they cart away the most important item in my sleeping life, I paid them an additional $20 for the removal. That still smarts like a Chris Brown slap to the face. If I’d known then what I know now, I’d give them $200 to bring it back.

Sleepless in Royal Oak

Immediately, as I sat on the edge of my new bed, I could tell it wasn’t the same as my former bed. There was no springiness. No bounce. The quilt was cotton, not nylon. It was three inches lower than my other bed. The king-size was excessive for my space. I regretted this purchase. But it was too late. My precious Serta Perfect Sleeper Emerald Bay had become fodder for a dumpster.

I managed to sleep okay for the next five months, never loving the new mattress. I enjoyed having more room, but it was unnecessary, and my expensive duvet didn’t fit. This mattress model boasted a 900 coil count density with a 14.75 coil gauge and the patented FlexZone Innerspring Technology providing proper back support. I felt more support was needed. When I started waking up at night in January 2012 with back pain, I knew it had to be the bed’s fault. Nothing else in my life had changed.

I slept in every direction on the mattress, but my back still hurt after two months. I considered a chiropractor, but visits aren’t covered under my health insurance plan. I tried to wait it out, but I didn’t want this bed. I called customer service and begged them to return it. Did I order a new bed? Am I sleeping on the floor? Am I living in a hotel?

Stay tuned for future blog posts to find out what happens next in the continuing saga of the backbreaking bed(s)….

>> More Motor City Musing With Vicki Briganti

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