You’ll probably agree with me if I say that buying a mattress requires some research. But what if the plethora of options at the mattress store makes your head go round? Don’t worry, that’s why I’m here.
The tips I collected below are based on my own experience. They also helped some of my friends make their final purchase, so I dare to think you’ll find them useful too.
#1 Learn About Your Options
There are several types of mattresses available on the market. At the mattress store, you will probably make a choice between foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid models.
Let’s briefly walk through the pros and cons of every type:
- Foam mattresses are the most popular and often have good value for money. Their major benefits are excellent hugging properties and ability to provide pain relief. However, they may sleep hot and are prone to mold development.
- Latex mattresses are somewhat similar to foam ones, except that latex typically is more sturdy and gives you a bouncy feel rather than a hugging one. Natural latex is also hypoallergenic and breathable, so you will sleep comfortably even if you live somewhere in Texas. Yet, the price of these beds can be quite high.
- Innerspring mattresses typically are the cheapest. They have a good range of firmness options and excellent edge support. However, they lack good motion isolation. So, if you have a partner who tosses and turns a lot, this might become a problem.
- And finally, hybrid mattresses. Usually, these models have either pocketed coils or spring block which is topped with several foam or latex layers. They can provide you the most balanced feel during sleep but usually are at the more expensive side.
The bottom line is, you’ll never know if a new bed suits you before you test it.
So, don’t hesitate to bring your own pillow and give a good try to all the mattresses that caught your eye at the store. Or, if you shop online, buy from brands offering a solid trial period.
#2 Check Your Special Needs
Your comfort weighs more than all these firmness scales, innovative materials, and hot deals. And if you have some health issues, then the ability of your bed to relieve them becomes crucial.
So, how do you choose a mattress while taking into account your personal needs?
Latex mattresses will be your bed of choice here. They are breathable and don’t allow the dust mites — one of the most common allergens — to dwell inside. In addition, latex, if natural, is produced without any harsh additives and chemicals, which could have triggered your allergies too.
“The problem is that sometimes people are allergic to latex. In this case, organic polyurethane beds can become a good option. Just make sure that they have proper certification from GreenGuard, CertiPUR-US or other companies.”
Lower back and neck pain:
Lower back pain and neck sprains are often tied to sleeping on the wrong mattress. The good thing is, they can be also easily cured with a suitable bed.
Foam mattresses will do perfectly in this case because they adapt to your sleeping position and cradle your body, so your spine can maintain its alignment.
“If you have chronic pain, it’s best to consult your doctor or chiropractor before you buy a mattress. A specialist may give you some important recommendations about your new bed.”
Snoring and sleep apnea:
In the majority of moderate and severe cases, snoring is not linked to the mattresses one sleeps on. Yet, mild snoring can be caused by sleeping on an unsuitable bed.
Here’s the thing:
People are more likely to snore if they sleep on their back, whereas stomach sleepers and fans of a fetal position snore much less often.
Therefore, if you want your nights to become quiet and rejuvenating again, you can try to change the way you sleep and pick your new mattress according to your new sleeping position.
I recommend you to pay attention to hybrid and memory foam models with even support and the optimal amount of cushioning. They will offer good compensation for all the pressure points and will adjust to your position comfortably.
For heavy sleepers:
Heavy sleepers typically require better support. The best choice here may be an innerspring or a latex mattress that is on the firmer side. And to make your sleep even more comfortable, you may choose models with a pillow-top as an additional layer.
Note that heavy sleepers often tend to sleep hot, so you might need to buy a cooling topper along with the mattress.
#3 Shop Online
Times are changing and online shopping becomes more and more popular. If you still think that buying a mattress online is risky, I have to disagree with you:
Online shopping has much more advantages than going to a brick-and-mortar store.
See for yourself:
- online stores are open 24/7;
- you can quickly “visit” several different retailers and compare their products;
- no annoying salespeople;
- mattresses in online stores are usually cheaper (and you can get an additional discount for the first order);
- you can immediately check out reviews after you find a model that appeals to you.
In addition to all of this, brands that sell their mattresses online offer door-to-door delivery and can help you dispose of your old mattress.
The only downside to shopping online may be the cost of delivery, especially if you’re ordering outside the US.
My Canadian readers will probably nod their heads at this point.
The good news is, you don’t have to suffer anymore because I have Happysleepyhead’s Canadian mattress choices especially for you!
#4 Trial, Return and Warranty: Ask Before You Buy
When you shop for a new mattress, there are times when it is better to ask too many questions than not to ask them at all.
I’m talking about the trial, return, and warranty. Let’s look at each of these points in detail. So, trial and return.
The most common reasons why customers return mattresses are the following:
- too firm/too soft;
- too hot;
- weird smell/off-gassing;
- poor motion isolation.
Let me explain why it happens.
When it comes to offline shopping, sample mattresses that are available for testing at showrooms are usually not fresh out of the box. They accommodate a lot of testers like you every day, so no wonder they might be somewhat different from the original models, e.g. they might feel softer and have no off-gassing.
Now, with online shopping, you get to rely solely on feedback from other users, which means the mattress you choose might eventually be different from what you expected based on that feedback.
That’s why reliable brands offer a trial period from 90 to 365 days and a hassle-free return policy. Under its conditions, you can return the mattress and get all your money back if you aren’t satisfied with the purchase.
Well, at least that’s how it’s supposed to work.
But in some cases, the following can happen:
- a company will charge fees for transportation and restocking the mattress, which might cut up to 40% of the purchase;
- you return the mattress and receive a credit that can be used to make a new purchase at this store;
- you will have a one-time option to replace your mattress with another available model.
Be aware of these scenarios and, to avoid disappointment, make sure you read the return conditions prior to purchasing.
Now, about the warranty. To understand whether a warranty is beneficial to you or not, you need to remember one thing: It is recommended that you change your bed every 7-8 years.
Do you really need a 20-year warranty? Obviously not.
Especially given the fact that some brands include a bunch of restrictions that will make it almost impossible to return or replace your mattress if it turns out to be defective.
“Remember that any stains on the mattress will void its warranty. Therefore, it makes sense to buy a waterproof topper.”
#5 Outline Your Budget
The budget can vary from person to person.
However, I still have some general recommendations that will help you choose a mattress with the best value for money:
- Set your starting budget for at least $1,000 (for a Queen bed). The average price of a high-quality mattress is $1,200-1,300. So, a thousand bucks in your pocket will leave you plenty of options to choose from.
- Do not try to save on your sleep. When buying a mattress for less than $500, you’re risking to get a product made of low-grade and non-durable materials, which is very unlikely to ensure you a good night’s sleep.
- At the same time, remember that a higher price does not always mean higher quality. Especially if you shop at a brick-and-mortar store. That is why it is so important to conduct preliminary research so that the manager in the store could not sell you a pup.
I always recommend my readers to buy mattresses online. In this case, there is less risk of overpaying and higher chances of getting a mattress that’s worth the money.