Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mattress Buying in 1948

 by June T. Bassemir

Buying a mattress in 1948 was a major purchase     and we chose a Beautyrest double mattress and box spring.  It was well made with wrapped inner  springs and it was heavy.  A very comfortable mattress that lasted over 25 years, and then  passed on to a daughter for another 10 yrs.  In those days we were told the mattress would last  longer if we flipped it over every six months and  this we did quite regularly.  It took two of us to do  it but no doubt that helped to lengthen the life of it.     

  There have been many beds bought since 1948  but that Beautyrest remains in my memory as the best made.  Today when you buy a mattress  you should be aware of several things.  The  sales pitch that is used today is that “You don’t have to flip” their mattresses.  And the reason is there is no padding on the underneath side, so if  you flip it you will not be doing much sleeping. It is not that you don’t have to flip them…it’s that you can’t flip them.  How clever of the industry to create a cost saving design and thus enhance their  profit.  This they do and then pitch it as if they are doing us a favor.     

   One nationally known company promises a ten year  guarantee but that only means you are tied to them  for the next purchase because you see the mattresses  they are selling will not last 10 yrs. Indeed it may not last a year and a half.  This was my experience.  Sure, they stood behind their guarantee BUT I had to pay  for an upgrade (I didn’t want the same mattress),  delivery and tax.  This second mattress has lasted four  years and again I am back at the same store. “Surprise”….as a former customer, I am entitled to a discount and yes I can go through the whole process  of having an inspector come to my house to do some  measuring of the mattress to see what my credit would  be, but do I want to go through that whole process  again?  No. 

I would like a mattress that is better than that….  I would like a mattress that it is built so well that  you don’t have to depend on a guarantee.  I would  like a mattress that you can flip to extend the life of it.  Sadly, there is no such thing.   

Actually, this subject of mattresses is one that fills  my essay file with many stories.  I suppose it’s  because my earliest recollection of sleeping was  on a straw mattress in a cold alcove... not even a bedroom.  By today’s standard we were poor but I didn’t know it, so I was happy.  When the  Beautyrest mattress came along with someone to  share it, I rested in Heaven every night.    

copyright June T. Bassemir  2013 

 June Tuthill Bassemir is the widowed mother of four and grandmother of 10.  An artist and writer, she  volunteers as a docent in a 1765 farm house.   June loves old cars and antiques, and has also enjoyed furniture stripping and rug hooking.  "I used to say I was a stripper and hooker.but with so many trips around the sun, no one raises an eyebrow anymore. They only laugh."  June has given up furniture stripping, but is still an avid rug hooker.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.