You will spend one third of your life on your mattress, more than any other piece of furniture in your home. When it comes to purchasing something so important, it is imperative to research the right one for your body and ultimate sleeping comfort. Choosing the right mattress can improve your sleep, enhance your well-being and have an overall profound effect on your health. Our mattress buying guide is here to assist you in purchasing the mattress of your dreams.
How to Tell if You Need a New Mattress?
When you buy a quality mattress set, you should only have to replace it every eight to 10 years. Other than the age of the mattress, here are some other signs to look for:
- In the morning you wake up with some stiffness, aches or even numbness.
- Your mattress has deep indentations, beyond normal body impressions.
- A spring or any interior of the mattress has become exposed.
- A night away at a hotel or staying with family provided you with a better night's sleep than your own bed.
Know the Mattress Sizes
Be sure to know the size of your bed frame so that you can purchase the appropriate mattress size. Here are the different mattress sizes:
- Twin: 39 inches wide by 75 inches long
- Twin Extra Long: 39 inches wide by 80 inches long
- Three Quarter Size: Antique size 48 inches wide by 75 inches long
- Full: 54 inches wide by 75 inches long
- Full Extra long: 54 inches wide by 80 inches long
- Queen: 60 inches wide by 80 inches long
- King: 76 inches wide by 80 inches long
- California King: 72 inches wide by 84 inches long
Understand the Different Types of Mattresses
Mattress types are constantly evolving, so it is important to familiarize yourself with all your options before you begin shopping. From various constructions and materials to different levels of firmness, mattresses vary greatly so take the time to learn about each.
- Innerspring: This is the most common type of mattress. It uses tempered steel coils in a wide variety of comfort levels. Support and durability are provided by the innerspring while layers of padding and upholstery on top provide the comfort. Innerspring mattresses are now light years ahead of older versions. The technology today is state-of-the-art so you will see and feel the difference!
- Pocket Coil Springs: These mattresses are similar to innerspring but each coil is now individually wrapped in super strong fabric. The fabric pockets are connected to each other only in the center, allowing the coils to respond independently of each other. The spring is now not only there for support, but will conform right to the shape of your body. Pocket coil mattresses will reduce movement felt by another person in the bed.
- Memory Foam: Memory foam mattresses have gained more popularity recently, as these mattresses provide great support by distributing your weight and aligning the spine. Visco-elastic foam reacts to your body temperature which will mold and conform to the contours of the body. These mattresses are firm, yet supple. Memory foam mattresses have varying density levels that denote their firmness, so be sure to pay attention to these ratings.
- Natural Latex: These mattresses are inherently hypoallergenic, resistant to dust mites, bacteria and other allergens. If you suffer from allergies, natural latex may be a better choice. Natural latex is also eco-friendly and long lasting. Latex mattresses offer the conforming support of memory foam, yet are softer.
Understand the Warranty
Most premium mattress sets today offer a 10-year warranty. No other consumer product even comes close. The warranty, however, is not an indicator of how long the product should be used before replacement. The warranty is there to protect the consumer from product defects, not against the gradual loss of comfort and support. Please read your manufacturer's warranty card for information specific to your mattress. All manufacturers require a rigid center support with a leg touching the floor for all queen and king size sets. A mattress protector should also be used since most manufacturer warranties will be voided with any stains.
Be Aware of Comfort Guarantees: "The Dirty Secret of the Mattress Industry"
Some retailers offer comfort guarantees ranging from 30 to 60 nights with the option to return the mattress if it is not comfortable. This sounds like a great idea, right? We respectfully disagree. This is one of the biggest problems facing the industry today. There are usually large transportation fees involved, anywhere from $99 to $299, and the second set is always sold at the off sale price, not the sale price. It is a simple question, but no one seems to ask, "What happens to the set that I slept on for 30 nights?" Most won't like the answer! Manufacturers don't take back bedding that is too hard or too soft, they only warrant for defect. So, in most cases, if the mattress is not damaged or soiled, it gets a new plastic bag and goes out to the next customer. Others that may be scuffed from transportation are sold as left over stock or floor samples. These comfort guarantees are simply used bedding, no other way to put it. Be very careful when shopping at retailers that offer comfort guarantees because you may not be the first to sleep in your "new" mattress.
Finding the Right Feel for You
There are many different comfort levels found in today's sleep systems. Contrary to the myth, a firm mattress is not better for your back than a softer version. It all comes down to the individual. What you are looking for is support. Support, rather than firmness, is the most important quality of your new mattress. The technology of today's mattresses focuses on keeping your spine in alignment while you sleep. As long as the mattress keeps your spine aligned and doesn't have a hammock effect, then the firmness is up to you. From experience, here are a few tips:
Back Sleepers: Back sleepers traditionally like the firm, harder feeling mattresses.
Recommended Firm, Cushion Firm or Ultra Firm.
Side Sleepers: Side sleepers almost always like a medium to softer mattress. The reason for this is that there is much more curve to your body sleeping on your side. You need a little more give than the back sleeper. Side sleepers will often wake up with their arm numb or asleep when sleeping on a mattress that is too firm.
Recommended Plush, Ultra Plush or Pillow Top.