Buying a new mattress can be as daunting an investment as buying a car or a house. They’re expensive and there’s a confusing array of options in the market. Let’s face it, there are few things as important to your health and wellbeing as your mattress. Some people forgo this hassle altogether and keep their mattresses much longer than they should. The average mattress will last you around 7 or 8 years with good maintenance. Using it for more time can be detrimental. To ensure that you rest easy each night, it’s essential to consider the following things when purchasing a new mattress.
What Are Your Needs?
First thing’s first: there is no perfect mattress. Rather, the goal is to find the right mattress for your needs. Are you a single person with allergies who sleeps on their back? Are you a light sleeper whose significant other tosses and turns all night? Or are you looking for a mattress that will address specific health issues–for example, a mattress for snoring? Think about how your current mattress is unsatisfactory and try to find a new mattress that ticks all the right boxes and will have a lasting positive impact on your sleep. In general, the following criteria are the most important to consider when shopping for a new mattress: firmness, composition, size and, of course, price.
What’s Your Budget?
Don’t be overwhelmed by too many options and high price tags. Before you start shopping, it’s important to decide on a budget and stick with is. A little searching might reveal several quality options within your budget range. If you are shopping in person, don’t hesitate to bargain, and be wary of sales and hidden fees that inflate the price.
Comfort and Firmness
Unfortunately, there is no industry standard for firmness when it comes to mattresses. One brand’s “firm” might be another’s “soft,” so trying out a mattress before buying is important. Softer mattresses will provide pressure release and are ideal for side sleepers. Firmer mattresses provide support and can be a healthy option for stomach sleepers. Back sleepers should aim for somewhere in between. There are also several mattress types you can choose from. Hybrid mattresses offer different amounts of support for different parts of the body, whereas air mattresses are generally adjustable but more expensive. Innerspring mattresses, the most common option, offer support and affordability, while memory foam mattresses are perfect for aching joints but can be a little too hot. Don’t be fooled by the initial comfort of plush top mattresses. They generally have a higher price tag, but the cushioned top typically compresses in a short amount of time, leaving you with an overpriced run of the mill mattress. Instead, it is often better to buy a mattress pad separately that can both protect your new mattress and offer an extra layer of comfort.
Are you looking to upgrade or save space? Twin beds are perfect for a single person with a small apartment, with extra-long options to keep your feet from hanging off the edge. If you are shopping as a couple, full is likely the smallest size you should consider and can be better suited for single sleepers who like a bit more space. Queen-sized beds are generally just right for couples, and king-sized beds are perfect if you have pets or children that like to sleep with you. In general, consider if you have enough space already (or, in some cases, too much) and start from there.
Where to Shop
Earlier, the only option shoppers had was to buy directly from mattress stores. Recently, however, reliable online mattress-in-a-box sellers have become more popular and have forgiving return policies. The price tags you see when shopping online tend to be lower than the ones you face in person. However, online prices are final, whereas negotiating is a common practice at mattress stores. It can be more costly to return a mattress bought in person, as some stores charge a restocking fee, but some retailers may help you dispose of your existing mattress.
Test Driving and Returns
While most mattress stores offer the option for buyers to lie down on the mattress they are considering, it’s difficult to properly gauge if a mattress fits your needs until you are at home trying to fall asleep on it. Take your time when selecting, and make sure to shop for a mattress with a long warranty and a good return policy. Getting the perfect night’s sleep will make the time and money spent worth it!