We spent about a third of our lives in bed, on average, and the quest for back-comfort throughout the ages has been ongoing. When I was a kid, I could go camping, unroll a sleeping bag, and be happy with nothing between me and the ground but a thin layer of cloth.
Those days are gone, and they ain't coming back.
It's a little known fact of physics, but the older and heavier you are? The harder the ground gets. I had Indiana Jones wishing for an air mattress when he was in a tent in Haiti during his adventure there, and he was only forty-four at the time ...
We have a nice queen-sized bed we bought back in Louisiana, California Oak, but the mattress and box springs, while a quality brand, are almost twenty-five years old.
Nothing lasts forever, and a memory-foam pillow-top has been fighting in the Valley of Springs under my butt for the last couple of years–and the war is now lost.
It was time to get a new mattress–waking up with a sore back or numb extremities? Not good.
However: In the decades since we bought the current mattress, things have changed.
Boy, howdy, have they.
Now, there's a Bed Mart or Sleep Country or Mattress World on every other corner, a guy waving and spinning a sign out front to draw in customers, and the range of choices has multiplied likewise, and the prices gone up logarithmically. It's overwhelming.
Fortunately, there is the internet, and a certain amount of basic research can be done at home. We looked.
Armed with that, we set off yesterday to see what was what.
Top of the what's-what list is that a mattress store is a lot like a car dealership. There's a hard sell, a manager who is willing to check shipments and put a hold on a hot-selling mattress for only 10% down, (and the 10% down is about what we paid for our current mattress, back in the day.)
Want this one? Only six grand. That one? We'll knock off a thousand bucks, only five grand. Hey, hey, look at this, only two grand, and we'll throw in a pillow!
Five thousand dollars? What else does it do? Will it cook supper? Can it walk the dogs? Does it come with a masseuse who does happy endings? For that kind of money, I want something other than a springy pad, thank you.
So, back home and more research. We kind of wanted a memory-foam mattress, but we didn't like the way they felt. And what we didn't want was something made of petroleum that would poison us in our sleep with outgassing.
But wait, there's natural latex! And eco-friendly organic cotton and bamboo! And, and, and ...
To make a long story shorter, we came across Parklane Mattresses. This is a local company, the things are made in Tualatin, and they have some funny TV commercials: The one where the family goes off and leaves the dog behind, who immediately runs upstairs to lie on the bed, that tickled us. Not the best commercial–we didn't notice the company name until later–but the spot was cute.
Local company, good for the local economy, five-star reviews of their products, they have a showroom a couple miles from our house, so, what's not to like? Off we went.
The kid in the store was full of enthusiasm, he babbled on endearingly, and in short order, talked us out of the more expensive one we thought we wanted.
When's the last time you had a salesman do that?
Better, he said, that we were happy with the product, and that we got the one that was best for us, and that based on how we slept: Back? Side? Stomach? Do you bottom out when you sit on the bed? Is your back supported? Spine and neck in line? How does it feel?
We tried them all, and the one we went to see wasn't right, but the kid showed us one that was. And at half of what the folks at Mattress World would have charged us for their cheapo shipped from China in two weeks. (Might take six or eight working days for this one, but that's because they would be making it this week at the factory.)
Home delivery, haul away the old one, comfort-guarantee, swap it for a different one if we didn't like it.
Nice, when you spend a fair amount of money to have it be a pleasant experience for what you see as a quality product.
If you are in the market for a bed and you live around here, I offer that you might want to check out Parklane's factory-outlet or one of their local showrooms. Go and see Mattress World or Bed Mart or Sleep Country, then, try Parklane.
Your mileage may vary, but for us, it was a breath of fresh air.