Marvelous Mattresses

We all love a good night's sleep, and a good mattress can help. But a new survey by Consumer Reports found about one in five people wished they'd bought a different mattress.

Consumer Reports' just-released test results can help you cut through the barrage of mattress ads.

A mattress can be one of the hardest things to buy. So Consumer Reports tested a dozen queen-size foam and innerspring mattresses, ranging in price form less than 500 dollars to nearly two thousand.

Chris Regan, Consumer Reports, says "Body support is our most important test. We map the natural curve of the spine for a range of people."

Then testers record how well each mattress maintains that curve when sleeping on your back. Testers also check how well your body is supported when sleeping on your side.

In another test, an increasing amount of weight is applied to the mattress to check for firmness. Many of the mattresses tested aren't as firm as they claim.

And this test checks for durability-rolling a heavy weight over each mattress 30-thousand times.

Consumer Reports also cut open the mattresses to inspect the construction. It turns out you don't have to spend a fortune to get a great mattress.

Regan says, "Higher-priced frills like additional coils or fancier fabrics really don't guarantee a better mattress."

Consumer Reports named three queen-size mattresses that cost under a thousand dollars Best Buys. For innersprings-the Simmons Glover Park Firm Pillowtop from Sears. It cost 780 dollars.

The Serta Perfect Sleeper Elite Pastel Firm Pillowtop from Macys also did well. It costs 835 dollars.

For foam mattresses-the Novaform Serafina from Costco. It comes in a box. You just roll it out, and it's ready for you to get a good night's sleep. The cost-900 dollars.

Consumer Reports says its ratings are a place to start, but it's best to try out a mattress in the store.

If you can't do that, check the return policy carefully and make sure there are no restocking fees.

While you can't try out the Costco mattress, you can return it for free if you don't like it, and there is no charge for pickup.

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