What to know when shopping for a new mattress

Many people dread buying a new mattress and postpone the task. It can be time consuming and quite confusing for countless shoppers. However, it does not have to be.

Here are seven tips to use when shopping for a new mattress to make it less complicated.

  1. Look for the comfort and support of your own individual needs

    Comfort is subjective.  What feels great to one person may not feel good to another, no matter what quality the mattress is. This is because of body and age diversity.  For example, a younger, larger man is more than likely going to have a completely different idea of comfort than a smaller, older woman.  Simply stated, they have different body dynamics.  This goes the same for support levels.  That same man is going to have different support needs than that same woman.  Therefore, when shopping make sure the salesperson knows your individual needs, including pain criteria and sleep habits.  One size fits all does not apply in the bedding industry.  Some mattress retailers even offer a sleep evaluation to make sure you get a bed with the best amount of support and the least amount of pressure for your individual needs.

  2. Research mattresses online

    Black and grey icon of a computer monitor.

    Researching online is a great way to start your shopping experience.  Although the best way to know if a mattress is right for you is to actually lie on it, doing some pre-shopping legwork is always a good idea.  This way you can learn about the various types of mattress that are available and be knowledgeable when you start the actual shopping.  There are unbiased websites out there, such as The Better Sleep Council and Consumer Reports that can steer you in the right direction. Knowing what is out there before you shop can make your mattress buying experience uncomplicated.

  3. Coil Mattress or Foam Mattress?

    Picture of coil unit and cutaway of a memory foam mattress

    Do you want coil? Memory foam? The choices can seem overwhelming.  However, it does not have to be.  Once again, choose the bed based on your own individual needs and body dynamics.  A heavier person needs to be on a firmer bed to achieve maximum support and often  a larger person finds more comfort in an innerspring mattress.  However, a smaller and older person can benefit greatly from a softer bed.  As we age our bones get more brittle, especially in women.  Furthermore, arthritis and osteoporosis can occur. In these cases not only will a softer bed help alleviate those aches and pains, but a memory foam bed would also be a good choice.  The foam will completely conform to one’s body and cushion sore hips and shoulders in an older, more fragile person.  Another  consideration when choosing between an innerspring and a foam bed include one’s allergies.  If you are someone suffering from allergies a foam bed would be a good route to take.  Foam beds tend to be hypo-allergenic and resist dust mites and their droppings.  This is a huge benefit for allergy sufferers.  Another complaint  people have is sleeping warm. Whether you choose coil or foam, if you sleep warm you want to choose a bed with either gel or ice fiber.  This will help regulate body temperature for a cool night’s sleep.  And what if you and your sleep partner have completely different needs?  In this case, you will want to look for a bed with adjustable firmness, such as an Air Bed or an iZone.  This way each person can adjust the bed to their own individual needs.

  4. Time to test the mattresses

    Picture of customers and a The Bedroom Store salesman looking at mattresses on showroom floor.

    So you have established a comfort level and have your individual support needs in mind.  In addition, you have done some research online.  Now, it is time to start lying on the different types of mattresses.  Elimination is the key.  Many mattress shoppers get frustrated and confused when lying on too many beds.  Limit your choices to beds that only fit your exact needs.  Also as important is trying the mattress for at least fifteen minutes in your sleep position.  This gives your body time to relax and really get the feel of the mattress.  Sitting on the bed or bouncing from one to another is not a good indication of comfort or support.  Think of it as buying a new pair of running shoes.  You are going to try them on and walk around in them before purchasing.  Think the same way when trying out mattresses.  Lie down, get comfortable and take it for a test drive.

  5. You get what you pay for

    One reason people put off buying a mattress is their perception of price.  In other words, they find them to be expensive.  However, you  spend one third of your life in bed, making it the most used piece of furniture in your home.  It is also the only piece of furniture in your home that is going to affect how you feel on a daily basis. So, why would you skimp on the most important piece of furniture in your home?  Think about how much you spend on a new car.  According to triple AAA, on average people spend 46 minutes a day driving.  In addition to that , according to Kelly Blue Book in 2015, the average person spends $33,340 on a car purchase.  However, people spend one third of their life in bed and are only expecting to pay an average of $1100 every nine or ten years on their mattress.  When put in perspective , you should spend as much as you can afford on your new mattress.  A lower price often means a less durable and less comfortable mattress.

    Drawing of a stack of green dollar bills.
  6. Purchase at a mattress specialty store

    When looking for a mattress make sure you are shopping at a store that specializes in bedding only. Although many big box retailers and large department stores now carry mattresses, more than likely you will not get the information and help you need there.  In a large department store your salesperson could work in any number of departments. That person could be working in the shoe or china department one day and the mattress department the next.  They do not have the expertise that someone in a mattress specialty store has.  Stores that deal only with mattresses and bedding have a trained sales staff that are well informed and are sleep specialists.  They are trained only in selling bedding and most attend regular meetings and seminars to learn about product knowledge and sleep habits.  Therefore, buying from a mattress store is really the only way to go.

  7. Know the store’s mattress return policy

    Drawing of a written return policy.

    Before purchasing a mattress, make sure that you ask about their return policy.  Although you have done your homework by researching, test driving the bed and asking all of the right questions, what happens if you don’t like what you purchase?  Some specialty bedding stores do not offer a return or exchange policy or if they do it may have an expensive restocking fee.  A reputable bedding store will often offer up to 120 day comfort returns or exchanges with a very small fee invlolved. Check out our Comfort Guarantee.

Following these seven tips can alleviate the stress of buying a new mattress and make it a less daunting task.