Follow our 12 step buying guide and make an educated choice when you’re ready to buy a new mattress.
1. Recognize your current mattress is no longer delivering a healthy night’s sleep. If you sleep better in hotels than at home, if you wake up tired and achy more than once a week or if your mattress looks lumpy or sags, it’s time to go mattress shopping.
2. Choose your mattress size. If you share a bed with a partner or if you’re taller than average, you’ve probably experienced at least one night struggling to get comfortable. Size matters – for the people in the bed and the room you put the bed in. Not every bedroom can fit a king size mattress.
3. Talk to your doctor. If you have a health condition that affects your sleep, your doctor is a good starting point. While the inner spring versus latex issue might be out of bounds for advice, you might learn something about temperature control or the need for extra cushioning for your joints or back. Remember, a firm mattress is not necessarily a supportive mattress.
4. Research online. Visit manufacturer websites and read lots and lots of reviews. Load up on as much information online before heading to a store – but be wary. Not everything you read online is true and some of it can be downright confusing.
5. Set your budget. Just like buying a new car, mattress prices range wildly. You might have Cadillac tastes but a Honda budget – and there’s a lot of nice Honda’s at lower prices. Decide how much you want to spend and focus your research on that price category. You’ll be amazed at the comfort options within each budget.
6. Go shopping! We believe buying a mattress should take longer than it takes to order a pizza. You might suffer indigestion one night if you order the wrong pizza but a wrong-for-you mattress has a bigger impact on your life. There’s no better way to shop for a mattress than to go to a store.
7. Test drive a lot of mattresses. When you buy a new smart phone, you hold it in your hand, push buttons, check out the apps – and you do that for a lot of phones before you choose the one that feels right to you. Buying a mattress is no different. Understanding the difference between mattresses means lying on each one in different positions.
8. Slow down. Your body needs time to feel each mattress and compare it to the one you’re currently sleeping on. Experts suggest eliminating the ones that don’t feel good and spending at least 15 minutes on the mattresses that do. Chat with your partner while you’re lying down and focus on areas that give you discomfort at home.
9. Talk about the components of the mattress. Some people prefer a plush, pillow-top with a supportive inner-spring core while others enjoy the suppleness of latex. As you lie on each mattress, ask questions about what’s inside and how those components change the feel. This step keeps you on the mattress longer, which will help you begin to understand what your body responds to better.
10. Visit multiple retailers. Department stores may advertise more sales but they can be crowded and it can be tricky to find a qualified sales person to answer your question. You might find a more attentive sales person at a specialty store and you might be surprised at their price competitiveness too.
11. Talk about the warranty. Understand what the retailer and manufacturer warrants in the mattress. Workmanship and materials should be guaranteed but comfort is a personal perspective and often not covered. Read the fine print so there are no surprises if something goes wrong.
12. Protect your purchase. Stains on a mattress void the warranty – with every manufacturer. A tipped cup of coffee or glass of wine and there’s no going back. Invest in a waterproof mattress protector when you buy your mattress – for hygiene and to protect your warranty. You’ll be glad you did.