With so many options to choose from, you’d think that buying a new mattress would be simple. The truth is, this can be a fairly complicated endeavor, particularly if you’re uninformed. Luckily, a little bit of knowledge goes a long way toward helping you make a choice you’ll be happy with – hopefully for years to come. Here are ten top tips for buying a mattress, either online or from a brick and mortar store near you.
Consider Different Mattress Types
Once upon a time, consumers had a small selection of similar mattresses to choose from. Traditional innerspring mattresses with steel coils are still around. These days, many come with layers of memory foam, special pillow tops, and other features. Other popular mattress types include:
- Memory foam mattresses, which come with or without cooling gel layers and other attractive features.
- Adjustable air mattresses, which feature electric pumps that allow you to inflate each side of the bed to the desired firmness.
- Hybrid mattresses, which usually feature individually wrapped pocket coils nestled inside layers of memory foam.
Think About Convenience
The days when buying a new mattress meant precariously strapping it to the roof of your car or paying a high delivery fee are long gone. Mattress retailers often offer free delivery, and so do companies that offer their mattresses online. Some companies will help you get rid of your old mattress if needed, while others still leave that task up to you. See what’s available and think about what works for your needs as well as your schedule. After all, your time is valuable.
Do Not Shop Without Reading Reviews
You’ve got to love marketing. Most companies go to great lengths to create appealing campaigns designed to convince consumers that their mattresses are the cream of the crop. The truth is, the mattress that’s best for me is probably not going to be perfect for every other consumer out there. The best way to cut through the sales-speak is to read mattress reviews. This doesn’t take long, but you’ll be able to find about known problems with certain brands, and determine if those issues are relevant to you. You’ll also find out what people liked best about the mattresses you’re considering, so you can make your choice with greater confidence.
Sure, it’s not the same as buying a new car, but purchasing a mattress means spending quite a bit of money, even when you go for a relatively inexpensive model. Be wary if there’s no warranty at all. The best mattress companies are proud to stand behind their products, and they say so by offering warranties. On average, mattress warranties last anywhere from one year to “forever” or as long as the mattress is owned by the person who originally bought it.
Look into Trial Periods
Most of us have been there: Lying on a bare mattress under fluorescent lights while an eager sales assistant hovers helpfully nearby. Many mattress buying guides recommend lying on this mattress for at least 15 minutes so you can tell if you’ll be comfortable once you get it home. While 15 minutes beats a quick lie-down, it really isn’t enough to determine how you’ll feel after a night’s sleep, or after your body adjusts to the new mattress. That’s why many companies now offer trial periods designed to allow consumers to relax, experience the mattress in the comfort and quiet of home, and return it for a refund if it fails to satisfy. Mattress trials are often 30 or 60 days, and some are exceptionally generous at 100 or even 365 days.
Consider the Mattress’s Feel
You probably have a pretty good idea about how you like your mattress to feel, but you might not be sure what all those technical terms mean. There’s a lot to weed through (again, one more reason to read reviews!) In general, keep the following in mind:
- Traditional innerspring mattresses are bouncy, and most start out feeling supportive. These can sag over time, though.
- Hybrid mattresses offer some of the same bounce as innerspring mattresses do, but the coils are individual units, so there’s less risk of collapse. They transfer less motion than an innerspring, but a bit more than a memory foam mattress.
- Latex mattresses tend to feel firm and a touch bouncy. Some memory foam mattresses have latex layers built in for a firmer feel.
- Memory foam mattresses offer a combination of comfort and support. If you tend to sleep hot, then you’ll want to look for a memory foam mattress with cooling layers.
Consider Your Sleep Position
Aren’t all mattresses pretty much the same? The quick answer is, “No!” Take a little time to learn about which mattress types are best for your preferred sleeping position, and you’ll save yourself quite a bit of time and effort during the shopping phase of this mattress-buying adventure.
Do You Sleep Alone, or With Another Person?
If you sleep all by your lonesome, then you can skip this mattress buying tip. If you sleep with a partner, or you pet then you need to think about their comfort as well. There are quite a few companies that offer mattresses designed to accommodate sleepers with very different needs and several offer “happy medium” mattresses that let couples compromise. Most memory foam and hybrid mattresses do a good job preventing motion transfer, so both of you sleep better.
Think about Price and Payment Options
Online sellers tend to offer lower prices than mattress stores do, and many offer payment options to help consumers spread the cost out over a period of several months. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t shop around – it’s just something to be aware of. Spending a little time looking into all available options means more money in your pocket at the end of the day.
With these mattress buying tips, you have a better sense of what to look for as you navigate the massive maze of options. Happy shopping!