Are online reviews helpful when you’re buying a mattress?
Buying a new mattress today is a much different experience than it was 10 short years ago. The Internet, social media and online reviews have jettisoned word of mouth. If we want information about a product or service, all we have to do is swipe our smart device and it’s there at our fingertips.
At LA Mattress Store, we love how social media connects us immediately to the people who sleep (or potential sleepers) on our beds. We love hearing how much people love our beds and why they won’t sleep on anything other than a LA mattress Store. And while it’s hard to read a negative review of one of our mattresses, we appreciate the opportunity to do better.
But are mattress review websites helpful when you’re in the market for a new mattress?
Mike Magnuson, CEO of GoodBed.com says that most people don’t know how to write an informative mattress review – one that actually helps other consumers make a smart choice – which is why he wrote a guest post on our site. Read his post here: Writing an Effective Online Mattress Review.
We encourage mattress shoppers to load up on as much information online before heading to a store but be wary. Not everything you read online is true and some of it can be downright confusing.
5 tips to use mattress reviews to your advantage
1. Look at the big picture
Are the reviews mostly positive or negative?
If the reviews skew one way, look closely at where the positivity or negativity is directed – is there a trend? Do you think the reviews are all legitimate? Too many good reviews are as fishy as too many negative ones. Weed out the overly positive and overly negative reviews and hone in on the center ones – they usually offer meatier information about the comfort and durability of a mattress. “I hate it” or “I love it” means nothing if your comfort needs vary from that of the reviewer.
Do the comments refer to the mattress, the store or the manufacturer?
From the mattress ticking to the sales person’s follow-up to the delivery of a new mattress on a rainy day, a lot of things can go wrong. Many of those things can be corrected but some can’t. For example, if the reviewer bought the mattress online and was expecting the bed to be softer or firmer than what was delivered, that’s going to skew the review.
2. Be conscious of comparison
Many people who write mattress reviews compare their new mattress to their old, saggy mattress that has long since ceased to deliver a good night’s sleep. For some people, this can result in a glowing, effusive review that fails to offer a realistic commentary about the comfort of the mattress. On the other side of that coin, the new mattress might not be as noticeable of a change from the old one and the review falls flat because the consumer was expecting an unrealistic transformation. Illness can also play a factor in the satisfaction of a mattress – a mattress is not a miracle drug.
3. Look closely at the date of the review from date of purchase
As a manufacturer, we want you to review our mattress and our best chance to get you to do that is within a month of your purchase. After that, most of you don’t want to hear from us again. Trouble is, a month is not long enough for you to know how you truly feel about your new purchase. Remember, you’ve spent 8 hours a night in your old mattress for years and your body needs time to adapt to new sleeping positions. Sometimes that adjustment period is painful as your muscles learn to relax in different positions. Sometimes the adjustment period is euphoric. Either way, you need time to fall in love with your mattress – some experts say as much as a year.
4. Know what’s important to you
If you’re looking for the cheapest bargain price you can find, you probably aren’t as focused on conformability and comfort as much as someone who suffers from arthritis. It’s kind of like comparing a Lexus driver to someone who drives a Camry. While Toyota produces both cars, the difference between the two brands is as wide as a transcontinental flight. Know what’s important to you and read reviews through that lens.
5. Use common sense
Regardless of what mattress review site you consult, look at more than just one brand on that site. Whether it’s a mattress, restaurant, hotel or technology, you’re always going to find lots of good, lots of bad and likely a bit of ugly too. But if you approach the reviews knowing what’s important to you and understanding that not all reviews are legitimate, you should be able to find a trend that helps you make a smart buying decision. Remember, someone that complains about a mattress being too firm may actually be giving you insights whether or not it’s right for you.