First I hit the internet and read up on mattress buying. The problem is that mattress preferences are so individual that no one winner emerges. While one person might rave over a particular mattress “worth every penny”, another one despises it “I bought another bed and am much happier now”.

Taking a look at our own needs, we focused on two things: minimal lateral transfer of motion and a medium-soft top. It had to be soft, yet supportive. We personally didn’t care for air beds (we had the same sleep number) or spring coils that were interlocked (I could feel every movement).

First stop, mattress store. A pillowtop mattress these days is twice as thick and much heavier than mattresses of my youth. Although we liked the individually wrapped coil mattresses with plush tops, I suspected that the polyurethane foam padding would compress in a few years and leave us with cookie cutter impressions in our bed and a small hill between me and Tig. Nothing stood out as the mattress of our dreams, so we took down some quotes and headed to a luxury brand mattress store.

The swedes have been making this brand of mattress for a long time. I’ve been told parents hand down their mattresses - which have a lifespan of 20 years - to their children and simply replace the separate topper. Tony Blair supposedly purchased this brand of bed once he became prime minister. After lolling about on a split king mattress with a separate 2 inch latex topper, we were sold on the concept but not the price. With a split mattress, it didn’t matter so much whether the springs were pocket or interlaced. The single latex topper spanning across the two mattresses still kept us connected. When Tig tossed and turned, my side moved minimally. Unfortunately, the price was a deal breaker. Anyone who has five grand to drop on a bed is clearly out of our league.

We had to look for a similar concept - a basic split queen bed that can be firmer (less fluff and padding) with a separate latex pad. Another possibility was a an all latex bed. I had found a store in the Boston metro area that manufactures their own beds. Perhaps they could make us a similar bed for less?

Continued on Mattress Shopping Part Two