Tips for Buying a New Mattress

Where to Shop for a Mattress

Laying down in the store isn’t the only way to go anymore.

New mattress-in-a-box companies have won over thousands of customers with convenient shipping and free trial periods.

Online mattress buying buying has seen a serious boom, but it’s not right for everyone.

Here’s what you need to know.


Compare the Types

If you’re shopping for a new mattress, you could be overwhelmed by the variety of choices and prices, ranging from too-low-to-believe to astronomical.

But there’s good news: Our years of testing have shown that, whichever type you choose, you only need to spend around $1,000 for a comfortable, supportive mattress.


Know Your Size

You don’t necessarily have to buy a replacement mattress that is the same size as the old one.

Perhaps you bought a king-sized bed back when the whole family piled into bed for Sunday morning cartoons and fun, or you were sharing your bed with Rex, your St. Bernard/Great Dane mix.

But now, the kids are older and your new dog is a corgi.

You can gain quite a bit of bedroom space and save money by downsizing to a queen or full-sized mattress.

Or maybe you’re moving out on your own, and it’s time for something bigger than a twin.

Think about your current lifestyle before heading out to shop.

Of course, changing mattress size means you’ll need a new bed frame or at least a new headboard.

This can offer a great opportunity for a bedroom makeover


Mattress Dimensions

  • King 76 x 80 inches 193.04 x 203.2 cm
  • California King 72 x 84 inches 182.88 x 213.36 cm
  • Queen 60 x 80 inches 152.4 x 203.2 cm
  • Full XL 53 x 80 inches 134.62 x 203.2 cm
  • Full 53 x 75 inches 134.62 x 190.5 cm
  • Twin XL 38 x 80 inches 96.52 x 203.2 cm
  • Twin 38 x 75 inches 96.52 x 190.5 cm


When Is It Time To Replace Your Mattress

Chances are good that if you’re thinking you need to replace your mattress, you are probably right.

A substantial portion of the population is sleeping on mattresses that are either out of date or ill-suited to their body.

If you’re still unsure, here is a list of questions you may want to consider.


When should I replace my mattress?

There are many reasons to replace your mattress.

Foremost, the decision should be based on comfort and support.

Like any item that is regularly used, after some time, your mattress will show signs of wear and tear.

However, an important factor in deciding to replace your mattress is how you feel when you wake up in the morning.

Do you have aches, pains, sore and stiff muscles, back pain, do you feel exhausted in the morning?

If so, it’s time to change your mattress.

Another general rule of thumb when deciding to change your mattress is its lifespan.

Typically, a mattress will last 7-10 years.


What to Look For in a Mattress

If you can find a mattress that keeps you in proper alignment while not causing any pressure to your body, you’ve found a good mattress for you.

There are some other minor factors to look for. They include motion transfer, edge support, and temperature.

There are two major factors to look for in a new mattress. They are support & comfort.

You want the mattress to hold you in proper alignment from head to toe, so you don’t wake up with a backache.

You don’t want the mattress to cause pressure to your body, which causes tossing and turning, which means you wake up tired.


How Firm or Soft Do I Need My Mattress?

Another basic but important question.

Do you like a firm orĀ  soft mattress, or something in between?

This is perhaps the most important question of them all, because it doesn’t matter if you buy the most expensive, fanciest bed made of the highest quality materials: If it’s too firm or too soft for you, you won’t sleep well.

Within the context of this question, you’ll want to consider the different mattress types: memory foam, gel-infused foam, latex, innerspring, pocket coils, adjustable, pillow-top and hybrid.

If you buy your mattress online, it can be hard to determine if the firmness or softness is right for your body.

Luckily, you can try out mattresses from Purple, Leesa, Nectar and more in real life before buying.

Mattresses in a box come in all kinds of comfort levels.


Do I Need to Accommodate a Sleeping Partner?

Having a bed partner will most likely affect your final decision.

For example, you’ll probably want a larger bed than you might need for yourself, and you may be more keen on an adjustable mattress that can accommodate both sleeper’s preferences.


Do Your Research

You’ll find that mattresses come in a wide variety of styles: soft, firm, orthopedic, pillow-top, box spring , innerspring, foam, and more.

To narrow down your options and prevent feeling overwhelmed, research the pros and cons of each option before you visit a store.


How to Choose a New Mattress

When it comes to choosing a new mattress, there are two types of things you must consider:

  • What type of sleeper you are
  • The basic qualities of mattresses available on the market.

By considering your unique sleeping qualities within the context of what types mattresses are available, you’ll be able to narrow your options significantly.

Please note that although we’ve found that certain types tend work better with certain types of sleepers, mattress preference is ultimately subjective.

Consequently, we recommend going to a local store and trying different mattress types before purchasing online.


What Is Your Sleeping Position?

Now that we’ve got the age question sorted, it’s time to think about you, the sleeper.

While we’ll be digging into a lot of different factors that have to do with you and your unique slumber style, the first thing to figure out is what position you sleep in.

Though a majority of folks tend to toss and turn between different positions in the night, most people favor certain positions over others.

Maybe you’re someone who likes to start off on your back and roll over to your side.

Or perhaps you spend most of the night on your side and then finish things off on your stomach while hitting snooze in the morning.

If you’ve never really thought about your preferred sleeping positions before, I’d encourage you to pay extra close attention to how you sleep over the next week.

You’ll likely find that you’re either a back sleeper, side sleeper, stomach sleeper, or some combination of the three.

This information is important because all mattresses endear themselves to different kinds of sleepers.


Mattress Myths

Common claims that haven’t held up in our tests:

The More Coils, the Better – The better innerspring models we test have 600 to 1,000 coils.

But even if one mattress has more coils than another, the coils could be made of thinner-gauge metal.

You’ll also hear about coil variations such as Bonnell (hourglass type), continuous wire, and individually pocketed springs.

None of those is inherently superior.

Gel Provides a Cooler Sleep – More than half our innerspring mattresses (noted in our mattress ratings ) have a layer of gel-infused foam that’s claimed to provide a cooling effect, though it’s worth noting that 10 percent of the mattresses with a gel-infused layer still retain warmth.

Overall, our tests have shown that innerspring mattresses containing gel did tend to sleep slightly cooler, but the reverse was true with gel-infused foam beds.


Understand the Warranty

Ensure that your mattress has a decent warranty; many are at least 10 years long.

Also take care to understand what, exactly, the warranty includes.

Most warranties cover only damages that result from manufacturing errors, which homeowners typically notice within a few months of purchase.