SOMETHING TO SLEEP ON: It’s Not the Name of the Mattress, But What Goes Into the Name That Counts

May 19, 2011
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Over the years, Paul has had to wake a few customers after they fell asleep testing out one of his mattresses.

A MATTRESS MAN YOU CAN TRUST: Over the years, Paul has had to wake a few customers after they fell asleep testing out one of his mattresses.

There are a lot of reasons to buy your next mattress from Paul Niederer, owner of Cost + Mattress in La Verne.  He’s a family man, with three children, Andrew, 14; Melissa, 15; and Walter, 16; he served in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield in his eight years in the U.S. Air Force; and he would rather educate than “sell” his customers.

He’s just as happy selling you his least expensive $209 queen-sized mattress as his most expensive $2,500 showroom model.

“Just because a bed is the most expensive doesn’t make it the best bed for you,” said Paul, who has worked in the mattress manufacturing industry for the past seven years and learned part of his craft from one of his brothers who manufactures beds in Orange, Calif. “We all have different feels and comforts. My least expensive bed could be the best bed you’ve ever slept on. It’s about what’s most comfortable for you. I never push my customers into buying the most expensive bed unless that bed happens to be precisely the one they want.”

Paul moved his retail shop from Corona to La Verne because he lives in nearby Rancho Cucamonga and he has family in La Verne. His mother lives here in the Twin Oaks mobile home park and his brother John lives on Bradford in a large Victorian home, which was recently designated a historical landmark.

Unlike the physics of aeronautics, mattress-making is not rocket science, according to Paul. Knowing this, many big-name manufacturers, Paul said,  are guilty of worrying more about naming and branding their products than what actually goes inside them.

To demonstrate, Paul walks over to a corner of his showroom where there is a stack of mattress sections from big-name manufacturers that Paul has cut open to bare a few myths about mattress construction.

“You always here salespeople talking about the number of coils,” Paul said. “It’s not the coils that wear out; it’s what’s above the coils that wear out. Then he showed how a well-known manufacturer’s mattresses were filled with nothing but flimsy, egg-crate type foam above the coils.

Personally, Paul sleeps on latex, and he made a strong case for this material as a superior mattress component by lifting up a corner of  a bed post that was sitting squarely on top of a block of latex. The latex immediately sprang back, regaining its original form despite being “crushed 24/7.”

Paul sources his mattresses from U.S. manufacturers, including two in California, who believe in making mattresses the old-fashioned way — two-sided ones designed to be flipped over.

“No-flip mattresses don’t last as long,” Paul said, noting that no-flip mattresses are just another gimmick that corporate-owned mattress-manufacturing companies, more concerned with pleasing shareholders, cook up to sell their products of planned obsolescence to unsuspecting consumers.

At Cost + Mattress, Paul believes in selling only what the customer needs.  For instance, he is not going to sell you the box spring set that supports the mattress unless you really need one, adding they often outlast the mattress. Paul added that many big name companies won’t honor the warranties on their mattresses unless customers also purchase the box set, just another way for them to peddle more product and wiggle out of warranties.

In addition to the twin-, full-, queen- and king-sized mattresses customers can find in Paul’s showroom, they can custom-order about any size or shape mattress they want.

“I can make any size, shape … round square, anything you want,” Paul said. “I deal with the manufacturers personally. I go to their showrooms and manufacturing plants.”

He also occasionally goes to large retailers and heads right to the mattress department, which drives his wife crazy. He’ll ask the salesperson on the floor about the quality of their mattresses and the manufacturers’ warranties.

“It’s really scandalous and unscrupulous,” Paul said. “The salespeople don’t anything about the construction, and when I ask them about the warranty, they’ll say they have to look it up in the back or on the computer before finally throwing up their hands and telling me I’ll see the warranty when the mattress is delivered.”

As for warranties, Paul said many big-name brands don’t honor them because of loopholes couched in fine print. For example, he said they consider mattresses that leave “body impressions” naturally occurring structural defects. He said stains also void their warranties.

“The only time I won’t take back a mattress is if the stain is from blood or urine,” Paul said.

If up to now you’ve thought that buying a mattress was more challenging than buying a car off a dealer’s lot, Paul hopes he can change that impression. “My philosophy is ‘just be honest with the customer,’” he said, “Let me educate you. I’m going to teach you about construction. Then go out and do your own research.”

In defense of not selling the big-name brands, Paul replied, “Names are just made up, I want to show you what literally lies beneath the name.”

What lies behind the name of Paul and Cost + Mattress is integrity and someone who loves La Verne and wants to do business here for a long time — longer than his longest-lasting 25-year mattress that he sells.

“If you’re not happy, I rather refund 100% of your money. It’s not about selling mattresses; it’s about building relationships. I think we’ve lost some of that in our society.”

Paul is hoping to bring that feeling of comfort and trust back.

Cost + Mattress is located at 1167 Foothill Blvd, a few short paces from the drive-through Starbucks. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ,Monday through Saturday. Paul is also interested in initiating a 5 percent-of-purchase giveback program with schools and other nonprofits. For more  information, please call Paul at (909) 392-5554. LaVerneOnline also invites you to click on the Reel Video of Paul sharing some more mattress tips.

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