Taking the Guesswork out of Mattress Shopping
May 11th, 2022 •
Let’s just start by stating what everyone already knows: Mattress shopping can be a real buzzkill. As soon as you walk into a mattress store, you’re approached by an eager sales rep who wants to tell you all about the special deal he/she has “just for you, today only.” You spend 30 seconds explaining the type of sleeper you are and bingo-bango — they’ve got the perfect mattress for you! Super scientific, right?
Guys, that’s not science. That’s sales. And far too many innocent people fall for these sales tricks.
So when we heard about how the new Kingsdown bedMATCH system powered by Sleep to Live was revolutionizing the mattress buying experience, we had to see it for ourselves. Here’s the TL;DR version: bedMATCH is a technology that takes 1,000 calculations and 18 statistical measurements of YOUR body and then recommends the mattress that is going to provide the best support and comfort based on your results. If the Jetsons were going to go mattress shopping, this is what they would use.
Mattress Advisor spent the day with the Kingsdown team learning more about this technology and experiencing the bedMATCH process. So if you’re into science and you like a good night’s sleep, you might want to read on.
The Science Behind bedMATCH
No matter how smart, wise, experienced or lucky you are, the chance of you choosing the perfect mattress after rolling around on a bunch of beds in a showroom is pretty slim. In fact, there’s a real problem with this selection method. Dr. Robert Oexman, Director of the Sleep to Live Institute, explained it this way:
“When you’re trying out a mattress in a store, you’re awake, and therefore your muscles aren’t fully relaxed. When your body enters REM sleep, you start to lose muscle tone. What this means is that the amount of support you need your mattress to provide when you’re sleeping is different from when you’re awake. This is especially important for things like spinal alignment and pressure relief.”
In other words, unless you’re planning on spending the night in a mattress showroom, there’s no way to tell if a mattress is going to give you the proper support you need. But the bedMATCH system takes the guesswork out of this equation.
The amount of support you need your mattress to provide when you’re sleeping is different from when you’re awake.
Here’s how the bedMATCH system works
This is our real-life play-by-play on the bedMATCH system. The people in these photos are really us (no, we didn’t plan on matching that day), and this is our real experience. If you were to try the bedMATCH system for yourself, here’s how it would go down.
Step 1: Create your sleeper profile
Before we stepped into the bedMATCH chamber, we filled out a short questionnaire that asked us things like our age, gender, preferred sleeping position, whether we had any joint or muscle pain, and whether we slept with a partner. All in, there were about 10 questions and it only took a few minutes to complete.
Elizabeth and I took the assessment assuming we were buying a mattress together. So if you sleep with a partner, you would both fill out the questionnaire.
Step 2: Enter the chamber!
Ok, maybe that sounds a little dramatic. The chamber isn’t like a prisoner’s corner from a Disney movie. It’s actually quite pleasant. It looks like this:
We stepped into the chamber and each of us laid down on the side of the bed we would normally sleep on. That’s when the magic happened. As we were lying there, we could actually feel the technology taking our measurements. Think of it like a massage chair set on low.
While we sat there, the bedMATCH system was calculating over 1,000 measurements to help “fit” us to the perfect mattress. It measured things like the distribution of our body weight, the width of our hips, and our lumbar curve, just to name a few. It also adjusted for the loss of muscle tone we’d experience while in REM sleep. (Remember, this is actually really important when deciding on the right mattress for you.) The process took about three minutes. There’s even some in-chamber entertainment while you wait. 😉
Step 3: Get your results
Let’s think back to the mattress store scenario we mentioned above. The one where you give your sales rep a 30-second spiel about what you’re looking for and they instantly know the right mattress for you. How do they know that after only knowing you for less than five minutes? They don’t. Really, there’s no way.
But when the bedMATCH system reveals the results of your diagnostic evaluation, it’s based on real science. And you can see it being printed out of the machine yourself. Here’s what our results looked like:
This next part was really surprising. In fact, when we first glanced at this sheet of paper, we asked, “How are we supposed to know what this means?” We felt like there was still the potential to be roped into some sales tactic here. And then, we turned around. Which brings us to step 4…
Step 4: Select your mattress
When we turned around to look at the row of mattresses behind us, there was a blue light under the mattresses that best matched our diagnostic results. This wasn’t a sales tactic – this was the magic science chamber sending a signal (through the WiFi?) to the mattresses that fit the bill for our exact body measurements. Like I said, it’s straight out of the Jetsons.
We each tried the mattresses that were signaled as our best match. And then (just to make sure) we also tried the mattresses that didn’t light up. Science doesn’t mess around. Our mattress selections were spot on.
You might still have a few questions about bedMATCH
We get it — sometimes it’s better to err on the side of skepticism when it comes to a major purchase like a mattress. For us, seeing was believing. But here are a few things you might still be wondering about the bedMATCH system.
Will the bedMATCH technology only recommend Kingsdown or Sleep to Live mattresses?
No. The bedMATCH system will recommend any mattress that’s right for you – not just Kingsdown or STL models. Seriously, this is a no-BS kind of deal.
Dr. Oexman put it this way: “This was never a tool designed to sell more of our mattresses. The goal was always about selling the right mattress.”
This is some super fancy tech. Do these mattresses cost a fortune?
The Sleep to Live and Kingsdown mattresses are sold at four different price brackets: $1,699, $1,999, $2,499, and $3,499. So finding a mattress in your budget is possible. And as we mentioned above, it doesn’t always recommend one of these mattresses, so the chances of you finding something within your budget are pretty high. Keep in mind that you’re also investing in a mattress that has been proven to support your speicifc body type.
In case you were wondering, getting your bedMATCH profile taken does not cost you anything.
Where can I experience the bedMATCH system for myself?
BedMATCH is currently available in 1,132 locations. So far, more than 11.5 million people have completed a bedMATCH profile. Click here to find a retailer near you.
If I share my bed with someone, do they need to be with me to take the assessment?
While it’s not required for both you and your partner to be present, it is recommended. The benefit of having the diagnostic completed is that it’s taking actual measurements of your body. So if you’re both present, your results will be more accurate.
What if my results are very different from my partner’s?
Then you’re doomed. (Just kidding.) If you and your sleeping partner have different needs and measurements, you can get what’s called a blended recommendation. This will identify the ideal support level and match mattresses that best meet both sleepers’ needs.
Will I need to interact with a salesperson if I use the bedMATCH system?
Yes, but not like you typically would in a mattress store. Your sales representative will guide you through the process and help you understand your results, but there’s not much to hide.
Pro tip: If you know you want to experience the bedMATCH system and are heading to a store that has this, lead with that when you walk in the door.
What if I don’t like the mattress that bedMATCH recommends?
By no means are you required to buy the mattress that the system recommends. Your purchase is still your decision – think of bedMATCH as a scientific guide to help you determine which option might be best for you.
If you still have questions about the bedMATCH experience, drop us a line in the comments below or check out the bedMATCH website to learn more. You can also read more about our tour of the Kingsdown production facility.