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Stearns and Foster, Aireloom Mattress at Discount Prices.

Ivan writes:
Hello Pete,
Thanks for spending the time on your informative blog. 
I’m hoping that you might be able to shed some light on this situation for me.
The Mrs & I had been looking at new mattresses. 
We settled upon a Stearns & Foster Estate king-size model that we previewed at Macy’s, and on sale for $2800.
Looking on the internet, I discovered that very same model through an online supplier for $1000 less. 
I called this company to inquire further, and the salesperson explained that most of the mattress manufacturers ship their mattresses in flimsy plastic only, and thus there’s a large number of mattresses that get soiled in shipping. 
He went on to say that stores like Macy’s then blow them out to the online mattress sellers as “seconds”.
My BS radar went off upon hearing this story, but the guy seemed knowledgeable about mattresses.
He went on to tell me to shop before making a decision and call him back after I did more research. 
After researching pillow tops, I found that they’re great for a few years, but they all sag prematurely. 
I did call the online discount seller again and he offered to knock an additional $200 off the price.  
I decided to buy it. The mattress arrived a week later.
The first thing I noticed was that the S&F box springs were particularly dirty.
The date of manufacture was January 2015. 
The mattress appeared to be brand new, though it didn’t fit quite right on top of the box springs.
It was a bit too long & a bit too narrow. 
After taking measurements & consulting the internet, I discovered that I’d been sent a “Cal” king mattress.
After calling the contact person at that discount mattress company, he told me he’d look into it.
H called me back & apologized for the warehouse screw-up. 
He offered me a choice of two Cal King box springs and a $200 refund, or a replacement king mattress.
I accepted the latter. 
Later in the day, he called back from to tell me that the warehouse was temporarily out of stock on the king size.
He said it could be up to two weeks before they get another–and that he would offer me an upgrade. 
It was a Hotel Collection by Aireloom, ultra plush pillow top mattress as a straight up replacement. 
He said it usually sells for much more than the Stearns & Foster. 
He advised me to go to Macy’s and try out the Aireloom, which I did.
That Aireloom mattress is twice the price of the S&F model. 
The Macy’s person told me that they’re 100% handmade, used in the White House, the Cadillac of mattresses. 
Checking the online reviews of the Aireloom, I see however that there’s no shortage of horrible reviews. 
It’s a bit disconcerting that no mattress I find has glowing reviews. 
Even the S&F had a 1-star review, where the person says that the mattress has sagged in short order.
I have a two part question for you, if you wouldn’t mind…
1) As I will not be getting a refund from the discount online mattress place, I have to make a decision. 
    Aireloom ultra plush pillow top, or the S&F Estate pillow top?
    May I know your thoughts?
2) I noted that the box springs, that accompanied the S&F Cal king have stickers saying “second hand”.
     They list a company called American Closeout Wholesale in Covington, TN. 
     When I looked this company up, they deal in overstock, floor model, blemished, and other as-is mattresses.
     What does this mean?
I did discover that Macy’s offers a short return period on their mattresses.   
They’ll refund the buyer’s money, minus a 10% restocking fee.
I’m guessing that most of the mattresses sold by this company are returns.
There can’t possibly be enough mattresses scuffed up in shipping from the manufacturer that would 
yield a fully-stocked warehouse for resale…can there be? 
I’m hoping you may be able to explain what’s going on with regard to this as-is resale industry.
Kind regards, Ivan
Hi Ivan,
Mattresses are returned to the factory by the retailer because they arrived damaged, which isn’t very often, or because they were deemed defective after they had been delivered….which is far more likely.
Many stores simply re-wrap them and sell them to the next customer who wants one.
The term “Restocking Fee” is a dead give-away for this practice…as illegal as that is.
In any case, what you bought is described as “salvage bedding”.
Salvage bedding is purchased by the truckload for pennies on the dollar.
They get whatever price they can for them.
It comes with no manufacturer’s warranty.
You read so many bad reviews on mattresses because most of what is sold is plush and pillowtop.
These softer mattresses don’t perform as well as firmer ones do.
Mattresses upholstered with memory foam usually end up with a complaint.
Manufacturing defects can occur with any mattress.
All mattresses are hand made.
And even though we used to recommend S&F products, we no long do so.
They were purchased by Tempur Pedic in 2013.
Now, all of the S&F mattresses use a lot of memory foam…which is a problem in and of itself.
The same is true for Aireloom.
What you have is much more likely to have been in someone else’s home than not.

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but the money you spent is wasted.

Regardless of your choice of those two mattresses, you bought junk that you will need to replace before long.
Not only that, but your body will suffer, sleeping on a used, worn mattress.
There’s another axiom you should have remembered…”Penny wise, dollar foolish”.
Keeping your mattress clean and dry will increase longevity.
Use our Organic Cotton Waterproof Mattress Protector. 
Thanks, Pete

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