5 Tips for Picking Your New Mattress

Monday November 23rd, 2020

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A good sleep is important, and if you aren’t waking up refreshed, it might have something to do with your mattress. Mattresses and bedding, in general, can be costly, so you need to know what you’re buying so that you don’t make a poor investment.

The good news is that you have a ton of options. The bad news is that you have a ton of options, which might make the process more confusing. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, here is a five-step process you can follow to get the best one for your needs.

Step 1: Make Sure You Need a New Mattress

Not all sleep issues are tied to a terrible mattress. According to The Sleep Foundation, a good night’s sleep is a battle for about one-third of Americans.

Many people experience disturbed sleep cycles because they have to use the bathroom in the night, aren’t getting enough exercise, have stomach issues, are stressed, or suffer from snoring or sleep apnea.

If any of these ring true for you, address them first before buying a new mattress. In fact, an anti-snore watch is a perfect solution to help you, or a loved one sleep through the night.

Maybe your mattress still needs some help. As a general rule, most people find that they want or need a new mattress after about seven or eight years. If you feel consistent back or neck pain, addressing where you sleep is a good first step.

Step 2: Consider Your Budget

It’s important to note that the most expensive mattress on the market is not necessarily the best. Don’t let a salesperson or some flashy online ad convince you that you must go into debt to get a good sleep. It’s simply not true.

You can spend $3,000 on an upscale mattress and be just as uncomfortable on it as you are on a $100 mattress that you buy in a big box store. These days, there are plenty of online options for mattresses and excellent local deals that deliver what you need.

It’s also not a good idea to buy the cheapest mattress on the market. Those options often have durability and quality issues. Somewhere in the middle of the pack, there will be plenty of choices to meet a reasonable budget.

Step 3: Understand Your Mattress Options

Before you buy a mattress, it’s a good idea to become intimately familiar with the most common types of mattresses, how they’re constructed, and some of the potential benefits of each:

Innerspring Mattresses

These traditional mattresses use coils that might be individually wrapped or not. This is an affordable option for a mattress, and it’s often given a bad wrap. 

Innerspring Mattresses

These traditional mattresses use coils that might be individually wrapped or not. This is an affordable option for a mattress, and it’s often given a bad wrap.

Just because there is new technology available, it doesn’t necessarily mean that innerspring mattresses are bad. These can be durable products that last for years, and some are paired with memory foam to provide additional comfort.

Latex Mattresses

Latex mattresses are foam products that are known for their excellent comfort and cooling. They also have good responsiveness and bounce. These products generally come in several layers of foam with different densities.

There are two types of latex mattresses – natural and synthetic. Natural material comes from a specific type of tree but is more expensive. Synthetic is less expensive but also less healthy.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Memory foam was first developed by NASA in the 1970s to protect passengers from injury during crashes. Now, it’s used universally for all types of products, including mattresses.

Memory foam mattresses are known for delivering excellent comfort because they conform to your body and then bounce back time after time.

Hybrid Mattresses

A hybrid mattress is a combination of a spring mattress and memory foam. If you’re on the fence, this can provide the best of both worlds. You get the support of the springs coupled with the contouring of memory foam.

There are different versions of a hybrid mattress, though. Some have more foam than others. For an optimal combination, look for one that has around three inches of foam.

Many of these mattresses are also available in adjustable models, which are excellent options for people with medical conditions. Another popular option is a pillow-top mattress, which is a layer of soft material on top of your mattress to make it more comfortable.

Step 4: Determine Your Firmness and Ideal Sleeping Position

How you sleep and how much you weigh will help determine the ideal firmness of your new mattress.

Back Sleepers

The Better Sleep Council reports that roughly 15% of people sleep on their backs. These sleepers require a mattress that is medium to medium-firm for the highest level of comfort. In general, memory foam is a good choice because it contours to the spine.

Side Sleepers

Most people sleep on their sides but also experience shoulder and hip pain or discomfort. These sleepers should have a mattress that is medium-soft.

Stomach Sleepers

Even though it’s not considered healthy, some people sleep on their stomachs. If a mattress is too soft for these sleepers, it could cause back pain, so it should be medium to medium-firm.

Remember, we said something about your weight? If you weigh less than 150 pounds, a medium to medium-soft mattress is ideal. If you weigh 150-200 pounds, a medium mattress is appropriate, and a firmer mattress is better for someone over 200 pounds. These can be adjusted depending on your sleeping position.

Step 5: Read Product Reviews and Find the Best Deal

Assuming you’ve determined what type of mattress you want and the firmness, you can begin to look at brands and models. Don’t worry – there will be plenty of options.

Mattress shopping can get tricky because some sellers will label their products as “medically-approved” or “orthopedic.” These are just terms they’re using for marketing purposes, and no medical group has verified these claims.

The best way to narrow down your choices is to take your time and do a ton of research. Ask friends, family, and social media groups what they recommend. You’ll get plenty of feedback. From there, read online reviews of those brands and see what general consumers have to say.

Are there any complaints (surely there are a few)?

Do you see a pattern in the reviews regarding praise or complaints?

Use your research to narrow down your choices and then start looking for the best deal online or locally.

While choosing a mattress is ultimately a matter of personal preference, it’s helpful to take these factors into consideration so that you don’t waste your time or money. If you aren’t sleeping well due to factors beyond your mattress, such as snoring, be sure to address those things before you decide to go shopping for bedding.