Buying a New Bed - the Ultimate 2024 Guide


Buying a New Bed - the Ultimate 2024 Guide

Buying a new bed - The Ultimate 2024 Guide This is a ‘Ultimate Buyer’s Guide’ to help you through the process of buying a new bed in 2024.

Buying a new bed is one of the most important household items that you will buy – and one of the most confusing. With an endless selection of stores, brands and products, choosing the right products can be very overwhelming. Did you know?

• In your lifetime you’ll spend over 200,000 hours in bed. You’ll end up spending more time in bed than you do with any other household item including the couch, TV and kitchen items.

• Your body isn’t flat! It's a unique collection of curves, muscles, organs and bones that need the right support.

• When people get the sleep they need, they not only feel better but will also increase their odds of living healthier, more productive lives.

• Numerous studies have found that insufficient sleep can significantly increase a person's chance of developing medical conditions including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

1. Mattress vs. bed

It’s important to clarify the difference between a ‘mattress’ and a ‘bed’. These terms are often misused in New Zealand so let’s start by explaining the difference.

The word ‘bed’ typically refers to the combination of a mattress and a bed base as seen below and is primarily what Brownie's Mattress Direct sells as 'bedsets'.

A mattress is usually made of a spring system and various comfort layers and can be put on a traditional bed base, a bed frame or a slat frame. We absolutely sell mattresses by themselves also.

2. What size should you buy?

Before you think about what mattress or bed base you want to buy, you will need to decide on what bed size is best.

For example:

• Single is great for toddlers and children
• King Single is perfect for teenagers and guest bedrooms with size limitations. They are slightly longer than singles so have room to grow.
• Doubles are great for children and spare bedrooms
• Queens are the most purchased size and the minimum we would recommend for couples that sleep together regularly.
• King size gives couples and families that extra room to move and is perfect if your partner is a bed hog. We recommend if you have the space then go for a King.
• Super King is our largest stand size and for people who love space in bed.

Other sizes:
• Long Singles - Great for when space is limited but the person sleeping on it is taller
• California King - Very much an American-size bed and Brownie's can custom make these with selected models.
• Custom Sizes - As Brownie's is a manufacturer we can make nearly any custom size for older bedframes, boats or campervans. You can find more information on these here.

New Zealand Bed Sizes

To see our Mattress Size Guide with dimensions - click here.

3. How much should I spend?

This is obviously an important topic for most bed shoppers so we must discuss this early in our guide.

Mattress prices (Queen size) in New Zealand range from $99 all the way past $20,000, so understandably, many of us are unsure as to what we should be spending on a new mattress.

Generally speaking, you can get a very good bedset for between $1,000 – $2,000 (queen size). Now, we must emphasise that this is a very general guide, and the amount of money that you spend on a new mattress or bedset will be unique to your individual needs, preferences, and life situation.

If you’re happy to spend a more than $2,000 (queen size), the quality and durability of a mattress will generally increase. Having said that, we would be cautious once you move into the $6,000 plus range. We don’t believe that you have to spend many thousands of dollars to get a good mattress.

4. Which type of mattress?

Generally speaking, there are 3 main types of mattresses:
• Innerspring mattresses (Continuous coil or pocket spring)
• Foam mattresses
• Latex mattresses

Most mattresses on the market are innerspring mattresses, but there is a growing number of foam and latex products now available too.

We do not recommend buying a cheap foam mattress for anything more than an overnight stay as they flatten quickly and don't provide a wide range of support.

• Continuous Coil Innerspring Mattresses
As a very general rule, we recommend innerspring mattresses as they are more supportive, more durable, and have better ventilation. These are the most common types of mattresses in the market and there are many different types.

• Pocket Spring Innerspring Mattresses
The main purpose of a spring system is to provide correct spinal support. It is also designed to absorb body weight comfortably, and to accommodate normal sleep movements (e.g. rolling over and reducing Partner Disturbance). Innerspring mattresses have a characteristic ‘bounce’ to them, allowing us to jump up and down on the bed like a trampoline.

• Foam Mattresses
‘Foam mattresses’, as the name suggests, refer to mattresses made entirely of foam. A foam mattress will typically use two or three layers of different foams to create a balance of comfort and support. Foam mattresses have become more popular in the last few years, particularly with the explosion of the online ‘mattress in a box‘ market.

• Latex Mattresses
As much as there are a number of latex mattresses on the market today, they are far less common than innerspring and foam mattresses.

Latex is known to be durable and resilient, so a latex mattress should last for many years. Latex is also a natural substance (obtained from rubber trees), so latex mattresses are popular with customers who value their health and the environment. Latex is also resistant to bacteria and dust mites, so it can help to minimise asthma and allergies.


Different types of mattresses

5. Which type of bed base?

As we touched on earlier, buying a new bed base is an important part of the bed shopping process. Your bed base can certainly influence how your mattress feels and performs over time. Below are the main types of bed bases:

• Standard bed base
• Bed frame or slat bed
• Adjustable bed base
• Box spring

Size Considerations:
As mattresses can be ‘squeezed’ through spaces or upstairs to some degree, it may be the bed base that will limit your options. For example, we find in Wellington that often a standard queen size bed base won't go up some of the tight staircases common there.

In this instance, we would recommend a Slimline Bed Base, which is narrower in width or if the bedroom size allows, purchasing a King as the base then comes in two separate pieces. Alternatively, purchase a mattress and choose a bed frame or slat bed that can be put together in the room.

Solid base or bed frame vs sprung base or sprung bed frame:
In most cases, we would recommend a solid base or bedframe over a sprung one as mattress quality and technology has now advanced so that additional springs are not needed. You may also find that for example putting a Pocket Spring mattress on a sprung base may counteract the anti-partner disturbance technology.

Mattress and base bedset vs slat frame and mattress

A bedset (mattress and base) next to a slat frame bed and mattress

6. Which firmness is best?

Choosing the right firmness can be a tricky part of the selection process as everyone has their own firmness preference. We often find that partners prefer different firmness levels, so this can make things even more complicated!

Many retail store mattresses come in 3 firmness levels – firm, medium, and plush (soft). Some may even offer an ‘extra firm’ or an ‘ultra plush’ option. Deciding on the firmness level of a mattress really comes down to your personal preference and what suits your body the best and this is where trying the bed in-store is our recommended option.

Your chosen firmness may also depend on your sleeping position/s. Below is a general guide as to what firmness level you may consider based on your sleeping position:

• Side sleeper: Soft or medium-soft
• Back and side sleeper: Medium-soft or medium
• Side, back, and stomach sleeper: Medium
• Stomach sleeper: Medium or medium-firm
• Stomach and back sleeper: Medium-firm
• Back sleeper: Medium-firm or firm
• In our experience, the most common firmness preferences are ‘medium’ or ‘medium–firm’ as this generally offers a nice balance of comfort and support.


Which mattress firmness is best?

Many people have a basic feeling of how ‘firm’ they like a mattress but to get a better understanding it may be best to try some out in-store to get a better sense of your preference.

7. Should I buy online or in-store?

One decision you will need to make before you buy a new bed or mattress, is whether you want to buy online or in-store.

You can visit one of our six locations around New Zealand and our Sleep Specialists will be able to help guide you through our range, answer any questions you may have and shortlist mattresses that suit your particular needs. You will also be able to do the most important step - trying it out!

Testing it out
Lie on the bed for at least 10 minutes - don't be shy. Try the bed with your partner at the same time. Lie in your usual sleeping position and ensure your hips and shoulders are comfortable. You can't judge if the bed has the correct amount of comfort and support by sitting on the edge.

Buying a mattress online is more of a recent trend where you can purchase a mattress online from the comfort of your own home. While we recommend if possible always visiting one of our locations to try a bed out in person, Brownie's Mattress Direct has put a great deal of effort into ensuring finding and ordering the right bed for you or your family is an easy experience.

Online Bed Selector
We have also poured our years of experience into our Bed Selector, which with a short quiz, will shortlist a range of beds that are suitable for you based on your needs. You can find that here.


Buying a mattress in-store versus online

8. Payment and finance

If you’re not in a position to pay the full cost of a new mattress upfront, we offer Interest-Free Hire Purchase through Finance Now (instore) and Buy Now, Pay Later (or as we like to say Sleep Now, Pay Later) finance options via AfterPay and LayBuy (online) to help you manage the cost of your new purchase. You can find more information here.

As always, we strongly recommend that you use finance sensibly. Please check all of the terms and conditions outlined by each finance provider before you use their service.

9. Delivery times and cost

Brownie's Mattress Direct are proud to offer free delivery and setup within approximately 50km of each of our store locations.

We frequently delivery beds outside of these zones and around the country via freight and you can find more information on these costs here.

As all of our beds are made to order in our factory in Christchurch we generally have a 10-14 day lead time. If you need a bed urgently, we are always able to help with bed sets and mattresses on hand and recommend contacting your nearest branch before ordering online to confirm.


Bed Delivery times and costs

10. Old Mattress Removal

When purchasing a new mattress, you will likely have to dispose of your old one. You may want to keep your old mattress (for example in a spare room), but if you want it removed, you have a few options.

Firstly, many councils will collect old mattresses, often for free. Contact your local council to see what your options are in terms of collection. Alternatively, there are a number of mattress removal companies that will collect your old mattress and even recycle it.

If your mattress is relatively new (or in good condition) you can try your luck selling it on online (e.g. TradeMe, Facebook Marketplace). It may also be easier to simply ‘give it away’ (list it for free online) or pass it on to a family or friend.

If someone is collecting your mattress, they will almost always need a ute, trailer, or van. Some mattresses may fit on roof racks, but we would be cautious trying to squeeze a mattress into a car. This may damage the mattress and/or your car.

Does Brownie's Mattress Direct remove old beds?
We do in some instances for a small fee and we recommend contacting your closest branch for more information on this.

11. Health Considerations

Many customers these days ask us:
“Does this mattress contain any harmful chemicals?”

It is very normal for a new product (including a mattress) to have a new product smell upon delivery. Some people are sensitive to certain new product smells and odours, but it doesn’t mean that the smell is harmful or toxic.

If you are sensitive to new product odours, we recommend placing the product outside (undercover) or open windows.

If you are sensitive for Allegies and Asthma, we highly recommend our Latex Mattress range which is effective in preventing dust mites, mould and bacteria allergens. Our Latex Mattresses are made from 100% natural, organic certified pure latex, tapped from rubber trees and made without any springs, synthetic foams or glue.

12. Warranties

All of our Brownie's Mattress Direct bed sets or mattresses come with either a 5-year or 10-year warranty that covers any major defects. As a rough guide, most mattresses over $1000 (for a queen) are covered by our 10 year warranty. You can find more information here.

13. 100 Nights Customer Satisfaction Guarantee

All of our beds are covered by our 100 Nights Customer Satisfaction Guarantee that allows you to exchange your mattress or bedset if you find it is not suitable for you. We highly recommend testing the beds instore with our helpful sleep specialists to ensure you find the right bed the first time around.


Customer Satisfaction Guarantee

14. Sleep Accessories

Along with a mattress and bed base, there are numerous other bedding products that you may need to buy when upgrading your bed. These include:

• Pillows
• Sheets
• Mattress protectors
• Duvets

A few tips when it comes to sleep accessories:

• Using a mattress protector is possibly the best thing you can do to keep your mattress clean
• If you have a queen-size bed, a king-size duvet is usually a great idea and the same for a king size and super king size.
• Make sure that your bed sheets are deep enough to fit your mattress (check mattress height and sheet height) as many modern mattress have a large depth to include the many comfort layers.

Just like mattresses, there is a huge range of bedding accessories on the market and you can find Brownie's specially curated range of bedding here.

15. Sleep Hygiene

Once you get your new mattress, there are some easy measures to take to maintain a clean and healthy sleep environment. Some of these include:

• Use a mattress protector (as mentioned earlier)
• Wash your linen weekly
• Rotate and/or flip your mattress every 3-6 months depending on if it is a single or double sided mattress. 

16. Best Mattresses

To help you with your selection, Brownie's has put together numerous ‘top product’ collections to assist you.

Best beds for Kids
Best beds for no parter disturbance
Best beds for spare bedrooms

18. About Brownie's Mattress Direct

Brownie's Mattress Direct is a 3rd generation family business founded in Christchurch in 1939. As a mattress and bedset manufacturer, we sell direct to the public and cut out the middle man, giving Kiwi's a better night sleep at a much better price than competitors. We have 6 locations nations wide. 

Christchurch (Head Office and Factory)

About Brownie's Mattress Direct

Frank Brownie (Right) and Apprentice Les Wood at the new factory in September 1939. 

17. Still Unsure?

We hope that this guide will assist you in buying a new bed and mattress in 2024. With that said, we still understand that it can all be a bit confusing. If you have any questions, please contact our friendly sleep specialists at your closest branch and we will happily answer any questions you might have. Contact Us

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