The Ultimate Mattress Buying Guide

Jodi King | 15.05.18 | 11 Comments

Getting a good night’s sleep is a bigger physiological need than most people know. If you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep every night (8 hours on average), your energy levels will likely be low for the majority of the day. Moreover, if you develop a habit of not going to bed around the same time every night, you may run the risk of developing a sleeping disorder or worse. Being comfortable in your bed is just one part of ensuring that the sleep you are getting is of high quality; the other is sleeping very deeply. Non-restorative or non-REM sleep can be as bad for your body as lack of sleep, as you aren’t able to give your bodily organs the rest that they require. This is especially important because between 50-70 million Americans of all ages suffer from sleep-related problems.

As we mentioned, a necessary prerequisite for good sleep is a comfortable, supportive and durable mattress. Depending on your favorite sleeping position, body weight and preferred support level, you should choose the mattress that best suits your needs. In this article, we will discuss some of the factors that you should consider before buying your perfect mattress. But first, let’s take a look at some criteria to consider when searching for the right one:

Durability

There are plenty of factors that you probably didn’t even know about that can affect how you experience a mattress, ranging from size, motion transfer, pressure resistance to sinkage and softness. If you analyze before you buy and select the mattress that meets your personal needs, you will be more likely to keep the mattress for a long time.

Sleeping Position

Most people sleep either on their backs, stomachs, or sides. Depending on your favorite sleeping position, you should choose a mattress that is designed specifically to provide you with the ideal sleeping experience.

mattress buying guide

Customization

Some leading mattress providers (like Saatva) also give you the ability to customize your mattress according to your specific needs and preferences.

These aforementioned points are only 3 of the countless reasons why you should continue reading as we offer suggestions for how to choose the right mattress:

Is it the right time for you to start?

If you aren’t able to get a substantial amount of high-quality sleep every night of the week, then you should start questioning the effectiveness of your mattress. For example, if it’s a cheap mattress and you have gotten some years out of it, then it’s likely time for a change. Even if you paid good money for your mattress, but it now seems worn out and unsupportive, you need to start looking for a new one. Never compromise on a good night’s sleep; even a single night of sleep deprivation can lead to performance impairment that’s equal to that caused by blood alcohol content of 0.1% – which is above the legal driving limit.

What are your options?

Once you have decided that you need a new mattress, the next step is to find out about all the available mattress types. In general, there are 9 different kinds of mattresses: memory foam, gel, innerspring, pillow tops, water bed, air bed, latex, adjustable base, and hybrid mattresses. All of these have their own unique features, and you should consider the type that will be best for your budget, needs and sleeping habits. Hybrid mattresses are normally crafted using different aspects of one these 9 mattress types, so it’s always worth exploring this option.

mattress buying guide

Motion transfer and disturbance

This factor is particularly important if you intend to share your bed with someone else. The motion transfer of a mattress can be defined as the amount of disturbance caused by the movement of a person on one side of the mattress to the other side of the mattress. For example, with mattresses with high motion transfer, if a person on the left side of the mattress moves or turns, the person on the right side might be able to feel it. This can lead to disruption in sleep.

Firmness

Even though it’s recommended by sleep experts that you get a mattress with medium firmness if you want to relieve back pain and have a great night’s sleep, there’s nothing wrong with going for a softer or firmer mattress, depending on your preferences. Just make sure that you inquire about the mattress’s firmness prior to purchasing.

<<Click here to learn How to Protect Your Back While You Sleep>>

Warranty

Another obvious factor you need to consider is the mattress’s warranty. Some vendors offer a lifetime warranty, while others offer protection for only a few years. Make sure that you are aware of and satisfied with the warranty offered so you can have peace of mind that your investment is protected.

Try before you buy

A lot of the leading mattress vendors offer sleep trial periods for their mattresses, which gives you the luxury of trying a mattress out before committing to buying. If and when it’s offered, make sure that you try before you buy.

Temperature control and breathability

Your mattress should have high breathability and an ability to regulate temperature. Normally, mattresses that are good at temperature control have thin, breathable covers made up of soft materials like wool and cotton. Some mattresses also allow you to control your mattress’s temperature, making them adjustable to your temperature preference.

Final Word

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, you should never compromise! A poorly rested body can be vulnerable to many medical risks. In order to sleep peacefully and adequately, you need to get yourself a mattress that is a good fit for your body and sleep style, and that supports it in the best way possible. In this article, we shared some of the most important factors that you need to consider before buying a mattress. Whatever you do, ensure that you try out the mattress for several weeks before paying for it. Be sure to go for the mattress type that has been built specifically to cater to your specific needs.

Jodi King
author

Jodi King has been an interior decorator for many years specializing in bedroom décor and design. She has been researching mattresses and matching the correct mattress for her customers’ needs for years. She has a lot of knowledge when it comes to looking for the perfect mattress and is a contributor to Top 5 Mattresses.

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Questions & Answers

Carl
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Carl

I’m 6’3” , 300 lbs I have a king mattress, but worn out.i would like to try a foam gel. I’m also on a tight budget.oh I’m 68 year old also lol. What kind of mattress would recommend? Thank you!

Jodi King
Guest
Jodi King

If you would like a foam gel mattress, you should consider Nectar or DreamCloud. If you like a taller mattress, which can make it easier to get into and out of bed, DreamCloud is 15 inches tall. Nectar, on the other hand, is 11 inches tall. Nectar is lower in price, but both of these mattresses allow you to pay in low monthly payments by choosing “Affirm” as your payment method at checkout.
Here is our DreamCloud review: https://top5-mattresses.com/reviews/dreamcloud/ .
Here is our Nectar review: https://top5-mattresses.com/reviews/nectar/

June
Guest
June

If I love my current SWEDA mattress that is composed of urethane foam 49%, Latex 45%. What kind of mattress do you recommend?
I’m moving to a condo where the stairs only allow me to get a mattress in a box.
Thank you!

Jodi King
Guest
Jodi King

Check out the Mattress in a Box page to see the most recommended choices: https://top5-mattresses.com/mattress-in-a-box/.

Christopher Paras
Guest
Christopher Paras

Sleeping Position, you talked about typical positions, but what is best materials etc… for each?

Jodi King
Guest
Jodi King

Hi Christopher,
To learn more about the best mattresses for different sleep positions, we’ve got a great article for you called Which Mattress is Best for your Sleep Style? https://top5-mattresses.com/articles/which-mattress-is-best-sleep-style/ . Let me know if you have any other questions!

Florence Welch
Guest
Florence Welch

It sure got my attention when you mentioned the importance of firmness in choosing a bed mattress in order to relieve back pain and ensure a good night’s sleep. My son is suffering from back pains due to his scoliosis. That is why we are looking for the right bed that is firm enough to minimize the pain he experiences from laying down.

Audrey Taylor
Guest
Audrey Taylor

Time for a new mattress. I’m 70 years old, spend a lot of time in bed. Normally a side sleeper. Laying on my side now hurts my hips really bad.
I dont like the memory foam, as it let’s you sink. It feels creepy to me, I’d never get any sleep. It seems like all the mattress top layer if the memory foam. What innerspring pillow top mattress doesn’t have it?

Jodi King
Guest
Jodi King

You may want to consider the Saatva mattress, which provides 3 firmness levels that you can choose between. While their medium firm level is recommended for side sleepers, you can always choose their firmest comfort level to really avoid any feeling of sinking.

Nancy
Guest
Nancy

We bought an EVE but it is far too hot for me .
I’m middle aged so realise that hormones are an issue . A thermoregulator topper does not help . My husband sleeps well .
What do you suggest ?

Jodi King
Guest
Jodi King

Are you located in the UK? We have a page full of UK mattress reviews at https://top5-mattresses.com/uk/. You should check out the Nectar mattress review. This mattress has a variety of cooling features, plus a 1-year trial period. If you don’t like the mattress, you can return it for free.

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