9 Tips for Buying a New Mattress

Mattresses are among the most expensive items in your home, often costing you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. That being the case, the less often you have to buy a new mattress, the better.

Buying a mattress that lasts a long time starts with buying one that suits your needs. Like any other product, a mattress bought on a whim without any research is way more likely to present problems — whether design-related or comfort-related — that are reason enough to cause you to replace your mattress sooner than otherwise necessary.

To make sure this never happens to you, below are 9 tips to help you purchase the perfect mattress that will stick around for the long haul.

Assess Your Current Mattress

Most mattresses need to be replaced every 10 years, but it’s more useful to replace your mattress when you start experiencing specific warning signs. These warning signs include:

Other than these physical sensations, if you notice obvious degradation of the mattress itself — such as holes, tears, smells, or mold — it’s probably time to buy a new mattress.

Research The Different Types Of Mattresses

Research the different types of mattresses available so that you can purchase the one that best caters to your needs. The most common types of mattresses available are:

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses typically feel firmer and can be suitable for people wanting a more traditional “bouncy” feeling to their mattress. They’re also great for people who sleep on their stomachs as they don’t allow much “sinking” in comparison to foam mattresses.

Foam

If you need a softer mattress that molds to the shape of your body for pressure-relief reasons, then a foam mattress — especially memory foam — is right up your alley. If you’re worried about sinking into your mattress, you can look at the density and thickness of the foam to get an idea of how deep you’ll sink. Foam mattresses are also great for people who share a bed with their partners thanks to their motion-containment properties.

Air Bed

If you don’t want to have to decide between a firm or soft mattress, a safe, in-between option is an adjustable air bed. With an adjustable air bed, you can adjust the firmness and softness in different parts of the mattress with a remote to your liking. The ability to customize adjustable air beds also makes them great for partners with different support needs and safer to purchase before trying them.

Hybrid

One of the newer types of mattress available on the market, hybrids are a combination of two or more support systems in the same mattress — usually a combination of innerspring and memory foam. The memory foam helps make sure that there are no gaps between you and the mattress — which is essential for back support — and the springs ensure that the memory foam doesn’t form to your body too well so you don’t wake up drowning and sweating in your mattress. Having multiple types of support systems make hybrids the closest thing to a universal mattress, which make them a great choice for many different sleep positions, as well as partners with different sleep styles.

Consider What Size You Need

There’s nothing worse than having your feet hang off the end of your mattress or fighting for space on the mattress with your partner. This is why, before going out and purchasing a new mattress, it’s important to know all of the different sizes available. This way, you can think about your situation, take some measurements, and purchase a mattress that you know is perfect for your situation.

The different mattress sizes include:

Come Up With A Budget

This one’s obvious, but having a price in mind that you’re willing to pay can not only help you quickly narrow down your options, but if you’re in a store, explaining to a salesperson that you can only spend so much can help with price negotiation. This is especially true for brick-and-mortar stores where mattresses are often significantly marked up.

Prioritize Trusted Brands

It takes a lot of happy customers and quality service for a brand to remain popular for decades. While the fact that a brand is popular shouldn’t be the only deciding factor in deciding to buy a mattress from a specific company, there is some comfort that comes with dealing with a trusted brand that has been in the business for a long time. And when you’re buying something as important as a mattress — something you spend a third of your life on — you want to deal with someone you can trust.

Look At Reviews

As with any big purchase, the most accurate indicator of a mattress’s quality, after in-person testing, is user reviews. When looking for reviews, don’t stop at the company’s website; look across the internet for reviews on different sites. This is because while there are certainly legitimate reviews on a company’s website, there are also more likely to be paid or incentivized reviews as well. Looking elsewhere for reviews is more likely to turn up reviews that are more authentic. It can also be helpful to ignore highly positive and highly negative reviews and focus on in-between reviews, as these are often the most legitimate and accurate.

Test Before Purchasing

A mattress might fit perfectly, look great in your room, but if it’s not comfortable, nothing else matters. There’s no more accurate way to gauge whether or not you’re satisfied with the comfort of a mattress than by laying on, ideally for extended periods of time. Even firmness labels (firm, medium firm and extra firm), which are supposed to give you an idea of a mattress’s comfort, are not to be completely trusted. Like clothing size labels, firmness labels change from company to company. To get as clear of a picture as possible, ignore firmness labels and test a mattress’s comfort in person.

This is easy to do when buying in-store, but a little harder when buying online. Fortunately, many online mattress companies now offer trial periods — often in the range of months — that you can use to get an in-person feel of a mattress in the comfort of your own home. While it’s a bit more of a hassle if you decide you don’t want the mattress, these trials are still way more useful than blindly buying a mattress without testing it.

Decide If You’re Going to Buy In-Store Or Online

Aside from how they differ in your ability to try a mattress before purchasing it, buying in-store and online each possess their own respective pros and cons. When you buy from a store, there is usually more room to negotiate the cost as mattresses tend to be marked up in price. If you’re a good haggler, this can mean saving a lot of money by buying in-store. Buying online is more suitable for people who already know what they want, have tested or used a specific mattress in the past, and just want the most convenient way possible to buy a mattress. Prices are more firm online, but they can also be cheaper from the get-go. If you buy a bed-in-a-box, it can also be easier to move around and set up in your bedroom.

Familiarize Yourself With Warranties and Return Policies

Depending on the type and size of your mattress, you could be spending upwards of several thousand dollars. The last thing you want is to damage your mattress in a way that you think is covered, only to find out that it’s not. Something that’s as small of a detail as staining your mattress without a mattress protector as opposed to with a mattress protector could be the difference in it being eligible for a full refund. This is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the fine details of warranty.

It’s also worth asking about available return policies. Oftentimes, in-store providers will give you at least a partial refund if you decide to return your mattress, and many online companies will even arrange to pick it up for you, donate it to a local charity and give you back 100% of your money.