I was initially hesitant to buy a mattress online, sight-unseen - especially at such a low price. Let's face it, you probably wouldn't have high expectations for a mattress that costs less than $200, right?
Here's the deal: cash is tight. I've gone back to school and so I've got to be scrappy and pinch every penny I have. So when it became painfully clear (literal pain in my back!) that my old mattress needed to be replaced, I went on an exhaustive search for options - and "exhaustive" is no exaggeration. Here are the criteria I used:
1) Has to be a bed in a box - didn't want to pay delivery/setup fee and didn't want weird strangers tromping around my bedroom
2) Has to be less than $500
3) Has to be a spring/foam hybrid
4) Has to be a size/weight I can manage myself (I am a 42-year-old woman of slightly higher than average physical fitness)
If you look around Amazon, you will see that there are a LOT of mattresses that fall under those criteria, so I had to narrow it down. This is where I really need to thank my fellow Amazon consumers for their thoughtful, detailed reviews, because it made my task a lot easier. So.. thanks! :) I will attempt now to do the same.
The bed arrived four days early, which was a nice surprise. I came home, and the box was laying on my front patio. I think the UPS person must have struggled with it, because one of the flaps on the end was missing/ripped off. If I had one critique, that would be it: the box this thing ships in would be lots easier to manage if it had handles of some sort. Lacking handles, it's pretty unwieldy. As it is, I'm a pretty crafty gal, so I flipped the box end-over-end through my front door, through the foyer, and up my stairs (three sets total, two landings) to my bedroom. (An aside: I lift weights. Heavy ones. Regularly. It's good for you, and you should do it, too, so you can heft heavy mattresses around by yourself without injury.)
Getting the mattress to metamorphose from its brilliantly vac-wrapped sausage form to its final flat mattress state was a bit of a trick. The mattress is wrapped in a few layers of thick plastic; included with the mattress is a handydandy thing that looks just like the letter opener on my desk at work. I helped myself to it, and I guess maybe I accidentally poked a hole in the innermost plastic layer as I was cutting the plastic, because the mattress started to expand before I was ready for it! I could hear the air hiss as it was being sucked into the package, so I hurried to finish removing the plastic. The mattress unfurled, and I watched as the product of modern technology unfolded before my eyes.
In the span of about ten minutes, the mattress had expanded to near-full capacity. I was shocked! I was also mightily curious about what it felt like. So - I laid down on it for a brief minute... just to see. It was GLORIOUS. It had give while still being supportive. It squished, but the springs have just the right amount of pushback. I was excited! :) BUT - I also am good at delaying gratification, so - per directions - I let the mattress sit for 24 hours to finish any additional expansion. I'm not real sure if it did, to be honest - It really looked to me like it expanded to full size easily within one hour - but I didn't want to mess anything up by not following directions.
I've slept on the mattress a few days now, and I can say that this is, without a doubt, the most comfortable mattress I have ever owned. It is perfect for me - it's firm, but it has give, so even sleeping on my side is comfortable. It's also very well made; all the ticking and the stitching is straight, well-done, and solid.
I will, of course, update my review if, over the course of time, something goes awry... but for now, I am a very happy and satisfied customer, and I would highly recommend this mattress to anyone looking for quality and comfort on a budget. Shoot, even if it only lasts for a few years, at $200, I'm still ahead of the game!