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Soaring Price Tag Of Quality Sleep: Finding A Bargain

Last Updated on March 18, 2021 by Mr. FightToFIRE

Before our move, we struggled for a long time with the question: “Can you put a price on a good night’s sleep?”. I think I have found the right price tag.
After sleeping years on hand-me-downs, I believed it was about time to get something decent as we approach life with 3. But the prices brought me nightmares instead of blissful dreams.

In this day and age, there is something for everyone. You need something cheap but ok? Go to IKEA. You get what you pay for applies here, but for students or young adults moving out of their parents’ house, it’s perfect. For about 700 EUR – 1,000 EUR, you can get a mattress, a slatted bottom, or box spring and sheets.

A more advanced wooden bedframe by IKEA
An example of a wooden bedframe from IKEA that's on the higher end of the price range.

Need something better? There are multiple different stores offering All kinds of brands (Beter Bed). You also have specialized stores offering one brand (Auping). Prices here start close to the price range of IKEA beds but reach thousands of euros with ease.

Looking for the perfect combo of mattress and bottom

It started in November 2020 when we knew we weren’t going to stay at our small 40 m³ rental apartment anymore. While it’s doable for 2, it was too small for a family of 3. Because we could move to my grandmother’s house, we would have enough space to fit a decent and large bed.

We also weren’t planning to move back into anything small. As we had been sleeping on an over 10 years old hand-me-down, it was time to upgrade to a new and solid bed that would make many a king and queen jealous.

There were 3 simple requirements in our mind for a new bed. We wanted to get at least:

  1. Electrically operated slatted bottoms or box springs (2 or 3 engines)
  2. Memory foam matrasses (e.g. Tempur)
  3. Well-constructed bed frame in case of slatted bottoms (solid wood)

Putting all of these requirements in front of different sleep specialists brought us back down to earth faster than a falling meteor.

We asked 4 different sleep stores for bed and mattress combo. 4 different but all equaly epensive offers came back (rounded to the nearest 1 EUR):

  • Sleeplife:
    • 1,890 EUR electric slatted bottoms + 1110 EUR (2 mattresses) = 3,000 EUR
    • 2,569 EUR for electric box springs + 1110 EUR (2 mattresses) = 3679 EUR
  • Sleep world: 2200 EUR eletric box spring + 1,396 EUR (2 mattresses) = 3099 EUR
  • Beter Bed: 1800 EUR for electric box spring + 1000 EUR for 2 matrasses  = 2800 EUR.
  • Auping: electric bed + 2 mattresses = 5,215 EUR

Auping was immediately out of the question. While we wanted a phenomenal feeling bed, paying over 5,000 EUR was questionable to us. I do not doubt that Auping does a lot of research. But generally, there is no perfect mattress, it depends on the person and how you sleep.

Reducing the cost thanks to a replacement

Scratching Auping, we were still paying quite a lot. As luck would have it, my parents recently replaced their mattress. I know I said we didn’t want hand-me-downs but these were getting replaced not because they were getting old -they had only 5 years of use- but because my parents had more back issues and needed firmer than the medium Tempur once they had.

We happily took them over as we were able to try them out and felt very comfortable on them. So paying 5K for a specific brand wasn’t a guarantee it would give us better sleep.

Mattresses: check!

This reduced the cost considerably, so were left with the choice of style of bed: box spring or slatted bottom. There is no clear quality difference between either so it was down to taste and price.

Getting the best bang for our buck

With no distinct difference between a box spring and a slatted bottom, I leaned towards the box spring for a while. After looking at different possibilities, none of the styles were to my taste. On top of that, our move date of March 2021 wasn’t too far off, so we had to make sure our order could get delivered on time. A strict deadline diminished our choice to slatted bottoms.

Our final decision: quality at a bargain

Sleeplife Murcia model
The bed frame we ended up buying: Murcia by Sleeplife. Solid wooden frame with the steel feet.

With our choices reduced to slatted bottoms, we had noticed a quality difference between ‘Beter Bed’, ‘sleepworld’, and ‘sleeplife’ respectively. Both ‘Sleepworld’ and ‘Beter Bed’ didn’t have the design and material we were looking for nor did the slatted bottoms support us as well as sleeplife does.

On top of that, even with the discount at the time (25% when buying two items which was the case), both Beter Bed and sleepworld didn’t have the best offer compared to Sleeplife for slatted bottoms.

Sleeplife had non-electric Ergosleep P4 slatted bottoms with 35% off; 1100 EUR Instead of 1690 EUR! It wasn’t an electrical model but after looking at possible future use cases, we concluded the electrical support was something we would barely use.

When we visited Sleeplife the first time we immediately fell in love with one of the showroom models called ‘Murcia’. Thanks to the discount of 35% we could get this frame and still be cheaper than the other stores, so a win-win.

Putting the bottoms and the frame of Sleeplife together:

  • 1100 EUR — non-electric P4 Ergosleep slatted bottoms
  • 1000 EUR — Murcia Bedframe

Total: 2100 EUR.

We ordered the above on 19 December and received the slatted bottoms on 4 February. The bed frame arrived in the second week of March.

Was the expensive bed worth it? YES!

With over three weeks of experience, I can happily say that paying more for a better-slatted bottom was well worth the money. My wife -who is pregnant- was able to sleep much better. Her hips hurt less and thanks to the separate mattress we each have our personalized slat configuration. Would we pay full price for it? No. but if you can get a quality bottom and mattress during a sale you have to go for it!

To be fair, the mattresses are second-hand -the horror!- though since they are only 5 years old. They always had double protection around them, making them as good as new and not really shaped. The fact that they are Tempur helps as well. It does show that paying more for a good mattress is worth it. Even after a short period, we already noticed the difference.

I'm a developer for a major financial institution in Belgium that is present in over 40 countries. I have over 8 years of working experience in the development of customer applications focussing on all aspects of banking. This helped me gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of a commercial bank. All of this experience in both banking and life culminates in this blog about personal finance and my fight towards FIRE.

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