One of the difficult decisions that consumers face today is deciding which mattress to buy. With hundreds of models to choose from, it can be challenging to make a selection. Mattresses may be made with inner springs, foam, fabric, water or air. Hybrid mattresses are made with a combination of materials. Mattresses come in varying degrees of firmness. Some are very firm and others conform more to the body. So there are many options.

Darren Millington, a purchaser at Major’s Furniture and Appliances in Farmingdale, said recently that the most important factor to consider when buying a new mattress is comfort. He said that the average person spends one-third of their day sleeping and their sleeping experience affects the other two-thirds of their day. So it’s important to buy a mattress that’s comfortable and that will contribute to a good night’s sleep.

Millington said that it’s important to spend time lying on the mattress in positions that a person usually sleeps in at night. He said that he cringes when he sees customers lie on the bed with their feet hanging over the side because he knows that’s not how they usually sleep. He said that he hates to see anyone make a major investment like a bed and find out later that it’s not what they really wanted.
“They should try to recreate the home situation as close as possible,” Millington said.

Millington added that many people with back problems come into the store looking for a soft mattress, thinking that will make their back feel better while often just the opposite is true. Many people have found they need a firmer mattress that will keep their spine in better alignment while sleeping. He said that he can’t give medical advice but that has been his experience in selling mattresses.

While most retail stores now stock single-sided mattresses, Major’s started carrying double sided mattresses again several years ago. Millington said that they stock Therapedic ® International mattresses (not to be confused with Tempur-Pedic® mattresses) and the company stands behind their product. He said the manufacturer allows returns for true manufacturer’s defects such as seams that rip or springs that pop out.

In regards to size, Millington said that queen size mattresses are the number one seller in the nation. Many couples choose a queen size over a king size bed because king size beds are 76 inches wide.


“A king size mattress is 16 inches wider than a queen size mattress and it’s more difficult to fit in many of today’s smaller homes,” said Millington.

According to Millington, one of the most popular headboards sold at Major’s is a twin headboard made in Newport, Maine from Maine maple because it’s very durable and bolts right into a metal bed frame. Many of these headboards are sold to assisted living and rehabilitation facilities.

A popular option for larger mattresses, he said, are platform beds with storage drawers underneath the bed. These beds don’t require a box spring.

Major’s Furniture and Appliances, located at 680 Maine Avenue in Farmingdale, is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday 12 noon – 4 p.m. For more information, visit

Another retailer that sells a lot of mattresses is Fortin’s Home Furnishings in Winslow. Salesperson Gerry Boucher said that they carry only Serta® mattresses at Fortin’s. He said the three lines they carry are Majestic Sleep®, Perfect Sleeper®, and iComfort®.
“We’re a certified Serta® dealer,” Boucher said.

Boucher stressed the importance of stretching out on a bed in comfortable clothes for at least five minutes to determine if a mattress is a good fit. He agreed that most people don’t spend enough time trying out a mattress to determine whether they have the right one. He said that it makes a big difference whether a person is a back or a side sleeper. So they definitely need to lie in different positions when trying out a mattress. He said that he usually leans towards a firmer mattress for a person with a back problem. He said that their best-selling mattress is a hybrid mattress.


Fortin’s Home Furnishings, located at 412 Augusta Road in Winslow, is open for business Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Friday-Saturday 8 a.m. -5 p.m. For more information, visit

The owner of Oakland Furniture Alan Breton said that they sell Sealy®, Ashley ®, Primo ®, and Corsicana ® brand mattresses. He said that they sell inner spring, memory foam, latex, memory foam with gel and hybrid mattresses. Memory foam with gel mattress is one of their best sellers. He explained that memory foam produces a lot of heat and the insulating gel prevents the heat from coming through. Memory foam was originally developed by NASA to improve seat cushioning and crash protection for airplane pilots and passengers.
According to Breton, although queen size mattresses are still the best seller, the demand for king size mattresses is rapidly growing. They also sell extra-long twin and extra-long full size mattresses which are 80 inches long like a standard queen or king size bed. They also sell California king-size mattresses which are 84 inches long.

Breton stressed the importance of investing in a quality mattress because both adults and children spend so much time sleeping. He said that medical specialists now recommend that youth 6-12 years get nine hours sleep and youth age 13-18 get 10 hours sleep. A quality mattress is definitely a worthwhile investment.

Oakland Furniture, 12 Main Street in Oakland, is open for business Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, visit

Mattress types to consider

Innerspring Mattress Hundreds of coils covered by layers of comfort foam and/or fabric, has been on the market for many years.


Pocketed coil mattresses Individually wrapped coils which work independently, offers maximum support with minimal motion transfer so that couples may not be as affected by their partner’s movement while sleeping.

Memory Foam Mattress Memory foam offers lower motion transfer than an innerspring mattress because there are no coils shifting when another person moves while sleeping, may not offer as much support for back issues because the foam is so soft.

Gel Memory Foam Mattress Made from gel particles and visco foam (Visco-elastic foam, also commonly known as memory foam) which increases air flow and reduces the heat of the mattress.

Hybrid Mattress Made from multiple materials including a combination of inner springs and latex foam, may offer both support and cushioning.

Pillow-Top Mattress An added layer of comfort foam stitched on top of the mattress to give it an extra level of comfort.

Euro-Top Mattress An added layer of comfort foam stitched on top of the mattress but unlike the pillow-top mattress, the layer is stitched all the way to the edge of the mattress.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: