Robert and Michele Boudreaux's first Mattress Made Easy store in Leander was a soft test that soon found a strong foundation, Robert said.

They opened the store on Old FM 2243 in January 2011. By December 2012 the couple had added a second store in Cedar Park and joined their business partnership with a marriage partnership. Since then the couple has watched both locations flourish by offering name-brand luxury mattresses at discounts of 50 percent or more, Robert said.

"We're still competing somewhat against the retail stores, but we have more of a niche market," he said. "You can get a mattress here, which retails for $2,000,

for $700."

Mattress Made Easy sells items from Sealy Corp. and brands such as Stearns & Foster. Department stores used some of Mattress Made Easy's mattresses as demo models, Robert said.

"[Stores] send them back to Sealy, the manufacturer," he said. "[Employees] inspect them, re-bag them, box them up into a truck, and I buy them by the 18-wheeler. So I don't actually get to order what I want. I get what's in the truck. It's kind of like Christmas every time."

The store can deepen its discounts to customers by selling mattresses without manufacturers' warranties and with small scuff marks made during shipment. Mattress Made Easy customers can learn exactly what scuff marks led to a mattress's discount, Robert said.

"Sometimes they get forklifted on the bottom and it doesn't affect the functionality of the mattress," he said. "But cosmetically there might be a blemish on it."

For $35 buyers can add same-day mattress delivery and setup, Michele said. The store also sells discounted bedding and frames when supplies are available.

Before they started their mattress business, Robert worked for about 20 years in the technology industry and Michele worked as a security supervisor. Both Robert and Michele were raised in Missouri and attended the same schools before they reconnected on the Internet and decided to attempt a business together, they said.

"I went from a high-tech to a no-tech [job]," Robert said. "You're selling somebody something they're going to sleep on and be happy with for a long time, but it's more of a

comfort thing."

Michele manages the store's accounting and said she enjoys the change from security work.

"Mattresses don't argue back," she said.

Michele said store customers often express frustration with the mattress-shopping process.

"They compare it to car shopping, and we try to make it easier," Michele said.

The Leander store remains the flagship location and the site of Mattress Made Easy's warehouse, but the Cedar Park store at Parmer Lane and Whitestone Boulevard has gained more traffic, Robert said.

"We would love to grow more, to expand," he said.

Staffers do not work on commission and may encourage customers to compare Mattress Made Easy's prices to those at other stores, Robert said.

"Whatever it takes, we make the people happy," he said. "We really try to exceed in that area."

Mattresses on the market

Spring mattresses are firmer, supported by metal coils and are often the least expensive.

Memory foam mattresses are softer and can include additions such as cooling gel.

Hybrid mattresses have firmer springs on the bottom and softer memory foam on top.

Adjustable mattress foundations have controls for lifting the mattress's front or back.

Mattress Made Easy,, Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–7 p.m.,Sun. noon–6 p.m.

Leander, 11880 Old FM 2243, Ste. 104, Leander 512-354-1513

Cedar Park, 13010 W. Parmer Lane, Cedar Park, 512-587-1877