How to Choose a Mattres

Photo by sinankocaslan/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by sinankocaslan/iStock / Getty Images


How to Choose a Mattress

Buying a new mattress can be an overwhelming endeavor. Let’s face it, we spend on average between six to eight hours sleeping in our beds each day. As such, it’s important that we have a comfortable, supportive mattress that will help promote a restful night of sleep. 

When you purchase a new mattress, you must consider several factors. There is a common vocabulary used in mattress sales, so you need to familiarize yourself with the right terminology in order to make the right purchase. Buying a mattress is like buying a car, and you don’t want to get bogged down by convoluted terminology and sales jargon. You must be adequately prepared to discuss the characteristics of your ideal mattress when you speak with a salesperson at the store. 

Consider the following suggestions as a guide for buying a new mattress. By reviewing these tips, you will be able to make a more informed decision regarding your mattress choice, and you will be more likely to negotiate a deal within your budget. When you purchase the right mattress, you will be pleased with your investment as it will ensure restful nights of slumber for years to come. 


1. Consider the Size of the Mattress 

When purchasing a new mattress, you must carefully consider the size of the mattress in addition to the amount of space it will take up in your bedroom. Mattresses typically come in twin, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. While a mattress on its own can occupy a lot of floor space in the bedroom, you must also carefully consider the size of any additional pieces that may attach to it, including headboards and bed frames. Make sure that you measure your space in order to understand how your new bed and existing furniture will fit into the room. 

2. Determine Comfort Level 

Mattress firmness typically falls into four categories: plush, medium, firm, and extra firm. Many mattress stores also use a scale of 1-10 in order to help differentiate the firmness level among mattresses. You cannot immediately assume that a plush mattress will offer you the best quality of sleep or that a firm mattress will offer you the best back support. In fact, most medical professionals agree that a mattress with a medium to medium-firm comfort level offers the best support for the average sleeper. However, you may need to seek a different firmness level if you are prone to sleeping in a certain position. 

3. Consider Your Sleeping Position 

Most sleepers usually sleep on their sides, backs, stomachs, or a combination of positions. When you purchase a mattress, make sure that the firmness of your mattress adequately corresponds to your sleeping position. Otherwise, you may be prone to waking up throughout the night in order to reposition yourself. In general, back sleepers should look for a medium-firm mattress, side sleepers should consider a soft-medium firmness, and stomach sleepers should try out firm mattresses before purchasing. 

4. Understand Mattress Materials 

The days of simple, spring-based mattresses being the market standard have long passed. While some mattresses still use a system of interior springs and coils, many mattresses now come available using different levels of foam and memory foam support. Some mattresses are even sold as hybrids, meaning that they contain layers of memory foam in addition to traditional springs and coils. 

Both kinds of mattresses have pros and cons. For some, memory foam can tend to sleep hot, causing the body to overheat or sweat at night. For other sensitive sleepers, springs or coils may provoke pressure points and cause discomfort. Carefully test your options for materials in the showroom in order to decide which choice is best for you. 

5. Discuss with Your Doctor 

If you are someone who has particular difficulty sleeping due to spinal sensitivities or you are prone to pressure points, speak with your doctor before purchasing a new mattress. Your doctor can help you to evaluate the kind of mattress and the level of firmness that will be appropriate for your sleeping needs. This will ensure that you sleep well and do not wake up the next day with any aches and pains. 

6. Shop During Big Sales 

Mattresses commonly go on sale throughout the year, especially surrounding major holidays like President’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day. If you are planning on purchasing a new mattress, start looking at inventory before sale weekends. When you have pinpointed the kind of mattress that you would like and its typical price point, you can more effectively negotiate a deal with your salesperson. 

7. Try to Negotiate Price 

Unless you are purchasing a mattress directly by mail or via a bargain-mattress supplier, there is usually wiggle room when it comes to the final sale price of a mattress. Sometimes, floor prices can be negotiated down to almost 50 percent of retail value. Also, consider other factors that may be up for negotiation during the mattress sale. 

You can often include delivery costs and accessories like pillows and bed frames into the final price of your mattress deal. If you are wary about settling for a final price, ask your salesperson if there are price-matching options available. If your mattress goes on sale within a certain timeframe after purchase, you may even be able to get some money back. 

8. Test the Mattress in the Store 

It may seem uncomfortable to try out every mattress in the store before deciding which one to buy. However, testing a new mattress before buying it is an important part of the process. Even if you enter the store with a certain level of firmness or mattress material in mind, it may be helpful to test out other options in order to make a fully-informed decision. Another thing to note is that mattresses displayed on the store showroom typically undergo a special process in order to break them in. This means that upon delivery your new mattress may not be as soft as the one in the showroom until you have broken it in over time. 

9. Be Mindful of Trial Periods 

Many mattress stores want you to be satisfied with your investment in your new bed. As such, when you find a good deal on a comfortable mattress, you should buy it. Some mattress dealers will offer you a trial period of up to 100 days after purchase in order to exchange your mattress. Be mindful of the fact that a new mattress may require some time to adjust to the same level of comfort that you experienced in the showroom. If during the trial period you feel that the mattress is not the right fit for you, do not hesitate to contact your mattress salesperson and evaluate your exchange options. You may be able to use the full value of your current mattress as a credit toward a different one that better suits your needs. 

10. Agree With Your Partner 

Purchasing a new mattress can become a much more difficult process when you sleep with a partner, especially if the two of you have varying definitions of what constitutes a comfortable mattress. Before entering a store, discuss with your partner what you are looking for in terms of mattress size and comfort. This will help save your salesperson from having to intervene during any disputes or debates in the store. If you and your partner truly have varying needs regarding the firmness of your mattress, you may find more success in a mattress that offers adjustable settings on each side for both sleepers. 

In summary, when you purchase a mattress, it is important to think carefully about size, comfort, materials, price, and your sleeping needs. Most employees at mattress stores are willing to consult with you one on one in order to help you find the perfect mattress. Always remember, however, that you are the buyer and you have the power to advocate for yourself and negotiate a great deal. Once your new mattress comes home and you adjust to your new bed, you will be happy about your purchase, guaranteeing many nights of pleasant slumber for years to come