If you're in need of a mattress soon, this is the time. This weekend even. As a representative from Sleep Number put it recently, this is the Christmas season if you're buying a mattress.

Anyone considering aSleep Number bed should get ready to shell out some serious cash, but less if you shop between now and Labor Day. All of the Sleep Number beds are on sale through Labor Day. It's not a huge savings ($100 to $1,300) but the Sleep Number beds don't go on sale that often (semi-annually). Sale prices for the three lines of bed sets range from about $1,149 to $3,000 in a queen size, but you can save a little more if you buy at the State Fair. The c3, p6, p7 and iLE are discounted an extra $50 to $300 compared to stores.

Chances are you've slept on an innerspring mattress all your life (with a brief off-road attempt to ride the wave with a waterbed if you're a Boomer), so you might be nervous about dropping 1-3K on a new bed. Sleep Number offers a 30-day money back guarantee. If you have Sleep Number come to pick up the bed in your home, it's a $200 pickup fee. If you ship it back yourself with requested UPS labels, it's about $90 to $120. If you live in the Twin Cities and want to return it yourself to the Plymouth headquarters by appointment, it's at no cost to you.

Check almost any mattress dealer this weekend for deals on innerspring mattresses too. Slumberland, for example, is advertising additional savings. If you're a Simmons fan and like top of the line plushiness, Macy's Home Stores (Edina, Roseville) have the Simmons Black on clearance.

If you're looking for a budget option, try the new location of Dave's Furniture World (6315 Penn Ave. South, Richfield, 952-484-0834). Dave's prices are very competitive--$300 to $60 for a queen set or $400 to $1,000 for a king set. He's also got an excellent selection of futons ($600 to $900) and leather sofas and chairs at good prices. Mattress brands include King Koil, Restonic, Spring Air and Martin Bedding.

One more budget tip: Big Lots is selling Serta mattresses and the matching foundation is only $10 extra. The cheapest queen set is $200; others are around $500.