29 May 2024, 02:55
By The Sleep Council Dec 17, 2014

When is a bargain a real bargain?

Savvy shoppers looking to bag a bargain bed in the January Sales should make sure the items on sale are a genuinely good bargain.

That's the message from The Sleep Council which is urging all bargain hunters to check out any special offers before they part with their hard earned cash, for not all great deals may be as great as they seem.

Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council says: "January is undoubtedly the key sales period for bed retailers and there are some terrific bargains to be had. But consumers should also be aware that some ‘hot' deals might involve old display models or a mattress that doesn't have the same fabric as the base. Check that the base and mattress are a proper match as the trend today is to use a plain fabric on the base which is different to the mattress. It's important that the mattress and base are made to work together for optimum comfort.

"You may be happy to buy a mismatched set or an odd mattress to go on an existing base but bear in mind some manufacturers' guarantees are invalid if the mattress is not used with the base for which it was made - check the small print before you buy.

"And buying a really good quality ex-display model might offer a considerable saving on the original price."

Buying on credit - especially interest free credit - enables you to spread the cost of your purchase over months or even years. It's a great facility to enable you to buy a better quality product than you could otherwise afford. If the credit's not interest free, however, you should make sure you know exactly how much more you will be paying and decide if you think the bed's worth the extra.

The all-year-round discounts that have become a permanent feature of competitive retailing are often supplemented by additional offers, discounts and promotions at key sales periods. Upgrades to the next model quality; king (5ft/150cm) sizes for the price of a standard double; or money off your old bed, traded in, are typical of such offers.

"The best basic rule is to remember that a bed is worth what you pay for it," says Lisa. "That £1,000 model on sale for just £500 is not a bargain if it's not the right bed for you and it's not going to give you the support and comfort you need for a good night's sleep."

As the old adage says, you should always buy the best beds and shoes you can, because if you're not in one, you're in the other!

So, before you step into store, The Sleep Council has some useful tips on bagging a real bargain bed:

  • Plan ahead. Before you get to the sales, think about what you want from your bed. For example is it price, storage, access to bedroom, turning the mattress, getting in and out of bed, overall size or shape, a health issue, etc.
  • Spend as much as you can afford. Instead of buying the bed you might have chosen during a non-sale period more cheaply, take the opportunity to trade up to a more luxurious model.
  • Buy as big a bed as you can: a roomy king-sized bed will ensure less partner disturbance during the night than a standard double (at just 4'6" wide it only offers each adult the same space as a child's cot!). So take advantage of any offers to trade up a size at no extra cost.
  • Avoid the ‘Seven Year Hitch' - the point at which existing beds may still look good but are beginning to offer less support than a new one. Seize the sales opportunity to invest in a better night's sleep if your bed is seven years old or more.
  • Only buy a drawer divan if you really need extra storage space: four drawers can account for well over £100 of the purchase price - money that could be better invested in a superior quality mattress. The same applies to other features - only go for them if they offer real benefits.
  • Look out for beds that have the NBF Approved Member label - you're guaranteed that the product you buy is safe, clean and honest.
  • Make shopping for a new bed a special trip - you'll choose more wisely if you are not in a rush, tired, emotional or harassed.
  • Dress sensibly and comfortably so you can lie down properly on a selection of beds in your normal sleeping position without feeling embarrassed.
  • Find a pillow you're comfortable with and take it from bed to bed.
  • Once you've narrowed your choice down to between one and three beds, spend a good five to 10 minutes or more lying down on each one.
  • If the bed is for two, you should try it out together.
  • If you're buying online check delivery costs as online retailers can have different rules on returning goods, so establish their terms and conditions before starting your shopping.

Remember that every £100 invested in a new bed costs less than four pence a night over seven years - now that's a real bargain!

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