The Mattress Story


It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything, so I wanted to make sure that I got one or two more written before the end of 2018.

I was trying to think of a story to write that I thought everyone would enjoy and my wife suggested “The Mattress Story”. So here it goes…

When my wife and I got married in 2008, we bought a bed like most new couples do. This wasn’t the most expensive or luxurious bed in the world, but it was very nice: 15″ tall, pillow top, queen-sized bed. This bed lasted until about June of 2018; when we both started experiencing neck and back pain. I’m convinced it was the bed and not the fact that we both are getting old. Definitely the bed.

Stupid bed.

My coworker told me to buy a “mattress in a box” from an online store. This sounded stupid. How am I supposed to know if I like it or not? What about the bragging rights of telling people that you went to the store and bought the adjustable BeautySleep SuperSleeper 8000 Pillow Top & Bottom, Medium Soft n’ Firm, Memory Foam with Independent Inner Spring mattress? Why would I buy one that I can’t tell people about?! Dumb.

So we started researching mattresses online. . .

Here’s a fun fact: No matter which mattress you are currently reading about, that one is the best mattress in the cosmos and the other one that you JUST read about previously is filled with ocean trash, dead kittens, and hate. It’s incredible! Also, during this process; my Facebook and Instagram feeds became inundated with nothing but Mattress ads-from every single brand.

We landed on a newer brand called “Tomorrow Sleep” and purchased their hybrid mattress. This is a innerspring mattress with 4 layers of memory foam on top. So basically, the support of a innerspring with the feel of a memory foam.

Here’s where this story actually starts getting good…Sorry for the long buildup.

In early December, we decided that even though the mattress was super-comfortable, for some reason we weren’t sleeping great on it (still the mattresses’ fault–I’m not old). So, we utilized the “365 Night Trial” that Tomorrow Sleep offers and they refunded it and picked it up-no questions asked. I was very impressed with their policy. We started the mattress research process all over again. Someone told us to try “The Sleep Sherpa” in Edina, MN. At the Sleep Sherpa, you can try out all of the online mattresses before you buy them and even buy them right from the store. So basically, going back to how we bought our first mattress…

We didn’t do that, however.

We had heard about “Tuft & Needle” online and wanted to upgrade to a King size, because you know…”status” (other legit reasons, too–but ‘status’ is funnier). So we ordered a Tuft & Needle mattress and a new frame for our new High-Royalty sized bed.

The mattress came in a neat little 94lb box that my wife and I got to lug upstairs (this is how they all come–I’m not complaining, just telling the story). We roll the bed out and cut the vacuum sealed wrapper and watch this thing puff up like a marshmallow in a microwave.

We slept on this mattress for one night and the next morning my wife said “I don’t think I like it-I think it’s too firm”. I kind of agreed with her, but I was ready to keep it.

Now, at this point I’m done with the ship a mattress and return it the next day process that we are heading towards. The 1-800-Got-Junk people are going to know us on a first name basis for sure. So we decided to go to the Sleep Sherpa if we were going to buy a new mattress from an online source. At this point, I’m not really sure why we’re doing the online thing anymore anyways–except that the cost is cheaper (usually).

Long story short, we ended up with a Nectar mattress from the Sleep Sherpa.

OK–NOW THE STORY GETS GOOD. I’m really bad at this–sorry. (or maybe really good if you’re still reading)

So, now we have 2 King size mattresses laying out on our bedroom floor. Super convenient, right? We needed to return the Tuft and Needle mattress so I called them to set up our new buddies at 1-800-Got Junk to come pick up a second mattress in 3 days. I just remembered I forgot to send them A Christmas card…

When I got on the phone with T&N, they had no problem refunding my money and then I asked about setting up a date and time for pickup and they said “Well, we just ask that you donate it“…. “what?! Seriously?” “Yes, we don’t need proof-we just hope you find the right person or entity to get the mattress, have a great day!”.

Whoa… “A FREE MATTRESS!!”, shouted the little cartoon red guy sitting on my shoulder.

“You should probably donate it”, deadpanned the little cartoon white guy sitting on my other shoulder.

Kate and I talked about the best way to donate it; and honestly–putting it in one of the guest rooms DID come up…We decided to donate it, like they said.

I brought up putting it on a “Swap & Shop” Facebook Group for the city that we live in and advertise it as free for an in-need family. I can’t find my original post, but the summary of the ad was: “Free Brand New King Sized Tuft and Needle mattress for a family in need. We have only slept on this for one night and we want this to go to someone who can truly use a new mattress; if you just want a new mattress for yourself-then go buy one. ‘Interested’ and ‘next’ mean nothing to me.”, with a few pictures.

In hindsight, I should have said “if this is for you and you don’t need it, the cost is $5,000”.

The responses that I received to this message were unbelievably eye-opening. We live in what I would consider to be a “good suburban community”. The average household income is decent, it’s a close-knit community, white picket fences, 2.3 kids, the whole works. The overall perception is that things are going good for everyone.

Remember the old saying “Never judge a sports team by its mascot?”, well that applies here. Within 20 minutes, I had 17 private messages on Facebook; basically pleas for the mattress for either themselves, a family member, or friend. Seriously eye-opening.

Some examples:

“I just had a friend get out of an abusive relationship and she and her 3-year-old daughter are sleeping in a townhouse sharing a twin mattress”

“I have a family that has been sleeping on used couches for over 4 years”

“I’d love to give this to my parents. They have always been helping out their children and everyone else before themselves. As long as I’ve been around; I can’t remember them ever buying a new bed for themselves”

“My brother and his wife have 4 boys and they have been going through a financial hardship for the past 2 years. They always make sure to provide for their kids, but a new mattress would really be a bright spot in their lives at the moment.”

17 of these. You can imagine how hard it was picking where the mattress should end up.

Remember the movie “The Grinch” (original, not the masterpiece by Jim Carey), where his heart grows three sizes and breaks the heart-measuring meter? Well, that’s what I imagine would have happened to someone with a heart during this process. That person would have wished they had 17 mattresses. I just wanted to get rid of the 76″x80″ obstacle laying in my bedroom.

I’m kidding…I have a tiny heart and it grew three sizes to the size of a normal one that day (although, given my line of work, it has already shrank back down to its original size).

I initially gave the mattress to the woman who’s friend got out of the abusive relationship and sharing a bed with her daughter (to me, that was #1 with a bullet). However, that fell through at the last second due to the woman getting a new mattress from her parents the day before. So I ended up giving it to a lady who reached out and said that she had a friend who had been sleeping on the floor with her husband while going through extreme financial hardships while trying to take care of their two young children.

I was under the understanding that the person who reached out to me was going to pick it up- however , the “end-user” picked up the mattress. It was a bit awkward for me, kind of feeling like “Yeah, so….this mattress is .7% too firm and not perfect…so you can just have my reject mattress”. When they picked it up, (judging a sports team by its mascot), I knew that we made a good decision. The husband and wife were extremely nice and truly grateful (albeit a bit embarrassed I think), and you got the feeling that they maybe didn’t have the world’s greatest quality of life. They both had on rubber boots and very worn out Carhartt jackets. I helped them load the 94lb mattress into their hand-made trailer behind a very beat up late 90’s suburban. When they opened the back of the suburban to get some blankets to cover the mattress, one of the little kids said “Thank You!” to me.

If that doesn’t tug at your heart-strings, nothing will. Even in my ‘Hollow Tin Chest‘(Copyright Chandler Bing), I felt really good about donating that mattress, especially around Christmas (and my birthday).

There’s probably a moral to this story, or some sort of line I could leave you with. But I just wanted to let you know that I sleep on a King-sized mattress and still donated one to a family in need around the holidays. What have YOU done lately? (Tongue firmly planted in cheek). I’m totally kidding…

In a serious note-giant props to Tuft and Needle for their amazing return policy. They could have just picked it up and tossed it away, but instead gave it to someone in need during the holidays. Awesome, awesome, awesome!!

I hope you and your family had a great Holiday weekend! I’m going to try to get one more out before 2019 and recap my 2018 New Year’s resolutions.

That should be interesting…

Thanks for reading! Please share if you enjoyed it!




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