Buying a mattress is an important investment, like a car or home computer. Since you use all of these items every day, you want them to last a long time. Here, you want to be doing your homework to make sure you’re getting the best quality for your money. Knowing how to choose a mattress involves understanding the essential attributes to look for when making a purchase.
Our mattress buying guide outlines all the basics so that you feel prepared when you start shopping around. And speaking of shopping around, don’t limit yourself to the standard mattress store, testing out mattresses countless other people have also tried. Online shopping is easy and convenient, with a varied selection to choose from. Many exciting possibilities are waiting out there for you.
When Is the Right Time to Purchase a Mattress?
Sometimes, you’re buying a mattress because you’re moving and need a new bed or you’re ready to size up. But other times, you just need a change. There are certain signs to look for that signal you need a new mattress, including:
- Age: You’ve had a mattress for five to 10 years, or longer.
- Wear and tear: You notice lumps, sagginess, and other signs your mattress is past its prime.
- Poor sleep: You toss and turn due to discomfort or wake up with aches and pains because your mattress no longer gives you the necessary support.
If you’ve determined it’s time, read on to learn more about how to buy a mattress.
How to Shop for a Mattress
Here are some key mattress buying tips to keep in mind:
Know your options: Think about the mattress size you want and consider its construction (see “Types of Mattresses” below). Both are key determinants in how to pick a mattress.
- Consider your budget: Cost will vary, depending on the size and type of fabrication. Keep an eye out for sales, too. Thanks to the many online and brick-and-mortar options, you may be able to score a deal any time of the year beyond Presidents’ Day weekend, when mattress sales abound.
- Customer service is important: A high-quality mattress retailer should offer exceptional customer service, and you should expect nothing less. Ask about delivery and shipping charges, return policies and old mattress removal and disposal at any store, whether you’re shopping online or in person.
Double check care instructions: Different types of mattresses may have different care requirements. You want a mattress that will be easy to tend to for greater longevity.
What Mattress Should I Buy?
The question of “What mattress should I buy” may seem overwhelming with so many choices out there. Here are some things to think about to help you narrow down your options and find the one that’s best for you.
Size: This one may be easy if you don’t plan on getting a new bed; you’ll just choose a mattress that fits your current bedframe. Shopping for a new size? Consider the size of your room, how many people will sleep in the bed (including any pets or children) and how much sleeping space you want.
- Support: The relative firmness of your mattress typically depends on your sleep position. You want a mattress that supports the pressure points on the parts of the body you lay on while you sleep to prevent stiffness or pain. A general rule of thumb: Side sleepers can use a softer mattress, back sleepers need medium support that’s a combination of firmness and softness and stomach sleepers need firm support for proper back alignment.
Construction: How to choose the right mattress can also depend on how it's made. Memory foam, for instance, is a popular choice, but it tends to trap heat, which can be uncomfortable for people who need a cooling sleep environment. On the other hand, people with allergies may prefer memory foam over an innerspring mattress because the former is resistant to allergens such as dust and mold.
Types of Mattresses
Mattresses can be categorized by their size or by their fabrication method. Here’s what to look for when buying a mattress from a typical retailer.
- Twin/Twin XL: About 38 inches wide by 75 inches long
- Ful/Double: About 53 inches wide by 75 inches long
- Queen: About 60 inches wide by 80 inches long
- King: About 76 inches wide by 80 inches long
- California king: About 72 inches wide by 84 inches long
One thing to think about if you’re choosing between king and California king: Bedding sets for the latter may be more expensive and not as readily available for purchase as king sizes.
Mattress technology has come a long way, giving consumers various options designed to provide maximum comfort, such as zone technology where each sleeper can set their own firmness level on their side of the bed. Some of the common mattress types include:
- Spring: These mattresses are known for their bounciness, thanks to an inner coil support system. The coils are usually made of steel in varying levels of thickness measured by gauge--the lower the gauge, the thicker the coil (and the firmer the mattress). The number of coils, or coil count, also matters: You’ll usually find mattresses with 700 to 800 coils. The coils can cover the entire area of a mattress or in zones for more directed support to certain areas of the body.
- Memory foam: These mattresses offer customized comfort, molding to the shape of your body over time. Dense and thick, memory foam is ideal if you or your partner is a restless sleeper; you’ll feel minimal movement. But that same thickness may not be pleasurable if you tend to sleep hot as memory foam tends to trap body heat. If that sounds like you and your heart is set on memory foam, find one with cooling gel pockets.
- Latex: Latex acts like memory foam in many ways, but it’s got a lighter feel that’s less dense and more bouncy. Like memory foam, latex is also hypoallergenic. Some latex mattresses may cost a little more than memory foam or spring mattresses.
- Hybrid: Can’t decide what type of mattress you want? A hybrid is for you. It has a memory foam topper for the moldable support but an inner foundation of spring coils.
Find Your “Perfetto” Mattress at Elegant Strand
Now that you know how to select a mattress, shop Elegant Strand. Our Perfetto mattress offers the ultimate in comfort and support thanks to ingenious design and engineering. Discover the beauty of a good night’s sleep.