Updated August 9, 2020Since a new mattress should last you at least 7 or 8 years, there’s a lot of pressure to choose the right one. It’s not an easy task with hundreds of mattress brands to consider. However, it’s simpler when you shop knowing how much you want to spend and what type of mattress and mattress size you want.The best mattress for you should offer a balance of support and comfort. You should wake up feeling refreshed, not groggy or sore. If your current mattress leaves you too tired to face the day, it may be time to replace it.Set Your BudgetA quality mattress is a long-term purchase that should last you at least 7 to 8 years. However, does that mean you have to buy an expensive luxury mattress to get your money’s worth? No, you can still find many excellent mattresses for under $1000.There are mattresses available at all price points:$100 to $500: You’ll find inexpensive polyurethane foam mattresses and inflatable air mattresses in this price range. Poly-foam is like memory foam but usually does not mold to you as well. You will also find used mattresses at this price, which we recommend avoiding. Always buy a new mattress.$500 to $1,000: This price bracket includes simple yet comfortable memory foam and innerspring mattresses. They may lack certain features or have thinner comfort layers, but you can still get a good night’s sleep.$1,000 to $2,500: You’ll find all the main types of mattresses at these prices. High-quality mattresses at these prices include features such as edge support, added lumbar support, and pillow tops.$2,500 and up: Mattresses that cost this much aren’t necessary for a good night’s sleep. Many include features that are nice to have, such as smart technology to track your sleep and plush comfort layers.Factors which affect a mattress’s cost include:Material typeMattress sizeMattress thicknessThe length of the warranty and return policyDecide on a Mattress TypeThere are hundreds if not thousands of mattresses out there, but only a few types of mattresses. We recommend focusing on the five main types. They are memory foam, latex, innerspring, hybrid, and airbed.Memory FoamMemory foam’s name comes from the brief impression of an object that lingers after the object’s removed. It yields to heat and pressure, which is why the material contours to your body.Older memory foam mattresses had two issues—slow response times and heat retention. When a mattress is slow to respond to your movements, you may feel stuck in the mattress. Many modern memory foam mattresses take only seconds to react to your actions.To offset heat retention, manufacturers add conductive materials such as cooling gels, copper, ceramic beads, graphite, and charcoal. Replacing petrochemicals during production with plant-based substitutes also improves the mattress’s breathability.The lifespan of a memory foam mattress depends on its quality. The average memory foam mattress lasts 7 to 8 years. High-quality memory foam mattresses may last 10 or more years.LatexLatex mattresses have at least one comfort layer of latex. Some are 100% latex. Less expensive models may have supportive poly-foam base layers.There are two processes to produce natural latex from rubber tree sap. Dunlop latex is 100 percent natural with no additives. Talalay latex is softer and more expensive since manufacturers add polyurethane fillers.Synthetic latex is an option if you have a latex allergy, as the material is made from chemical compounds. However, synthetic latex has a much shorter lifespan than a natural latex mattress. Natural latex mattresses can last 15 or more years.InnerspringInnersprings may be the most widely available type of mattress. They usually have one or two poly-foam layers for comfort, supported by inner coils. The coils’ configurations affect how motion is transferred.Bonnell coils are hourglass-shaped and common in basic innerspring mattresses. Manufacturers use offset coils, which are also hourglass-shaped but have hinged tops and bottoms for better contouring, in higher-end innersprings. Continuous coils are a row of coils made with a single wire, and while they are durable, they do not conform as well as other coil setups.Innerspring mattresses often have a short lifespan, lasting no more than 5 or 6 years. When the coils wear out, it compromises the bed’s support and comfort.HybridHybrid mattresses usually blend a coil support system with a foam comfort layer. However, you may see some companies labeling mattresses with a mix of different foams “hybrids” for marketing purposes.Authentic hybrid mattresses contain at least 2 to 3 inches of foam on top of a pocketed coil setup. Pocketed coils reduce motion transfer. Each coil is wrapped in fabric so it can react individually to movement.Hybrids contain a mix of high-quality materials. This is why they have higher prices than an innerspring or memory foam mattress. Many customers find a higher price fair since hybrids tend to sleep cooler than a foam mattress while providing more pressure relief than an innerspring.AirbedWhen we discuss quality airbeds, we don’t mean the inexpensive blow-up mattresses you might keep on hand for the occasional guest. No, we’re talking about the latest smart mattresses that offer an adjustable air filling so that you can customize your comfort.Airbeds typically have a foam comfort layer supported by an air bladder. You may add or remove air with a remote or through an app. Included smart technology can track your breathing, heartbeat, movements, and more to gauge how well you slept.Airbeds may be the most expensive type of mattress on the market since they contain many electronic features.Pick a Mattress SizeThere are six standard mattress sizes for adults. From smallest to largest, they are twin, twin XL, full, queen, California king, and standard king. You can choose what the best size for you is by considering your budget, room size, and whether it’s just for yourself or a partner.Naturally, a bigger bed size is going to cost you more than a smaller mattress. Twin mattresses are the least expensive, while king and Cal king mattresses cost the most.When you’re considering how a mattress will fit in your room, you need to account for furniture and walking space. We suggest leaving 2 or 3 feet of clear space around the sides and foot of your mattress.Single sleepers can rest comfortably on all mattress sizes. However, if you plan on sharing with a partner, you need a queen or king size mattress. If you both want a different firmness, your best option might be a split king mattress.There are other bed sizes available outside of the normal size range. However, most of these nonstandard sizes can only be found online, along with matching bed frames and bedsheets.Choose a FirmnessMattresses can be soft, medium, and firm, with variations in between. If you sleep on a mattress that’s too soft or too firm for you, you’ll likely misalign your spine. Your mattress should push against your body enough to offset your weight while remaining soft enough to mold to your body’s curves.How do you decide what the right mattress firmness for you is? Consider your sleeping position and body weight.Your sleeping position affects the support your spine needs. This is why each position requires a different firmness. Side sleepers need a soft to medium mattress for pressure point relief. Back and stomach sleepers need a medium-firm to firm mattress to maintain neutral spine alignment.Your weight affects how you compress the mattress. People weighing less than 130 pounds should look for a softer mattress. People over 230 pounds need a firmer mattress to better take on their weight.If you’re sharing with a partner and you need to compromise on firmness, try a medium mattress. This option can accommodate side sleepers, combination sleepers, and select back sleepers.Companies decide what a mattress’s firmness is through a 1-10 scale, usually with 1 as the softest and 10 as the firmest. This scale can vary from company to company, so it’s always a good idea to read customer reviews before you buy a new mattress.A 2011 study discovered that trying out a mattress in a showroom isn’t as helpful as you might think. Always choose one with a sleep trial period, so you can continue trying it out at home.Good Mattress FeaturesAny good mattress should offer you a balance of support and comfort. However, those are not the only two things you should look for in a new mattress.Edge SupportEdge support prevents you from rolling over the side of the mattress, makes it easier to get in and out of bed, and even lets you sit on the edge of the mattress. The trade-off is that it reduces your available sleeping space.Most mattress brands use firm foams to create edge support, although low-quality mattresses may use a steel rod along the edge. Innerspring and hybrid mattresses often have excellent edge support. Many memory foam mattresses do not since they’re made to conform to your body.Motion IsolationCouples who want to share a bed should look for a mattress that minimizes motion transfer. If you feel your partner’s every movement when they toss and turn or get up to use the bathroom, you won’t get a good night’s sleep.Memory foam and latex mattresses absorb motion at the point of impact, so they’re an excellent choice. Innerspring mattresses do not isolate movement well, as the coils often help it ripple across the mattress. While hybrids also contain coils, they’re usually wrapped individually to reduce motion transfer.Cooling MeasuresIf your body grows too hot while you sleep, you’re likely to wake up sweating. Sleeping hot disturbs your rest, limiting the time you spend in the deeper restorative stages. A cooling mattress promotes a better night of sleep.Most mattress companies add things like conductive materials that wick away heat, ventilation, and supportive coils to keep your mattress cool. You’re at most risk of sleeping hot if you buy a cheap memory foam mattress since it’s unlikely to have features to offset heat retention.Save Money OnlineBuying a bed in a box mattress can save you both time and money. If you try comparison shopping at your local mattress stores, you have to account for driving time and time spent trying out the mattress—maybe even budget for the time it takes to speak with a salesperson.Comparison shopping is easier to do online. You can pull up reviews on Google, Amazon, and other third-party websites to see what previous owners have to say. Look for people who have owned the mattress for at least three or more months—they’ll have a well-formed opinion.Online retailers also offer lower prices than most mattress stores. The company is selling directly to you instead of through a middleman who will mark up the mattress so they can profit as well. And since many online companies lack a physical storefront, they have fewer costs to cover.If you can wait until one of the big sales days of the year. These include New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Life happens, and sometimes you need a new mattress immediately. However, waiting for a sale can save you hundreds of dollars.You might still want the reassurance of trying five or six mattresses in a big showroom. However, a few minutes on a mattress can’t give you a complete picture of how it will feel to sleep every night on a mattress. Shopping by how it feels to lie on a mattress can mislead you, especially as you may need time to adjust to the mattress that’s right for you.Read All the Fine PrintSo you’ve done your comparison shopping, and you’re confident that you’ve chosen a good mattress. But before you settle on a mattress purchase, you should always check the details of the warranty and return policy.Warranties serve as a benchmark of the mattress’s quality. This is because mattress brands determine the warranty’s length based on the bed’s durability. The industry standard is a 10-year warranty, so a longer one can indicate a high-quality mattress.The warranty’s fine print will also tell you how to maintain the warranty, such as how often you should rotate the mattress and what foundations you should use. Most foam mattress warranties are void if you keep it on a box spring.Return policies outline the condition a mattress must be in for returns and exchanges. Most insist the mattress be clean and still usable by someone else since returned mattresses are usually donated to charity. Some companies, however, will only accept a return if the mattress is unopened or arrives damaged.Take Advantage of Home TrialsSleep trials function as an extended return policy. You can try the mattress out at home for 90 to 120 days, or sometimes for as long as a year. If you decide you don’t find the mattress comfortable, you can return it for a refund or ask to exchange it for another model.Don’t worry if you don’t sleep well the first or second night. The reason behind it is that when you slept on your old mattress, your body adjusted even as the bed lost support. Sleeping on a more supportive and comfortable mattress can still leave you with a few aches while your body corrects its bad sleeping posture. Some people need a full month to adjust to a new mattress.Your new mattress may have a chemical smell from off-gassing, which is the result of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) breaking down at room temperature. This odor should fade away within three to seven days.If you’re sensitive to smells, look for a mattress with a CertiPUR-US® certification. CertiPUR-US® guarantees a mattress contains low amounts of VOCs for minimal off-gassing. You may also want to consider a mattress encasement, which will not only protect your mattress but will provide a barrier against the smell.When to Replace Your Old MattressEven a perfect mattress will need replacing someday. There are a few signs you can watch for, so you know when it’s time to replace your mattress.Your mattress is sagging or lumpy.Your mattress is ripped or stained.You wake up with back pain, hip pain, or headaches.Your allergy symptoms are worse in the morning, from the allergens that accumulated in your mattress.You sleep a full eight hours and still wake up tired.Other Things to ConsiderWhich type of mattress is best?To decide what the best type of mattress for you is, you should ask yourself what you want from a mattress. For example, if you want a mattress for back pain, you should look for a medium-firm model with targeted back support.Many of us sleep best when our mattress relieves pressure and remains cool throughout the night. We suggest looking at memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses, which are the best mattresses for pressure relief.How much should I spend on a mattress?We recommend a budget between $700 to $2000 for a queen size mattress.What is the best time of year to buy a mattress?May is often a good time to make a mattress purchase, as mattress stores try to clear out older stock to make way for June’s new mattress models. Big mattress sale days include New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.How thick should a mattress be?We strongly recommend always buying a mattress that is at least 10 inches thick. Thinner mattresses wear out quicker, preventing you from getting your money’s worth.Should I shop in-store or online?It depends on how you prefer to shop, but we usually recommend shopping online (or at least making your final purchase online) because it allows for better savings. Brick and mortar mattress retailers carry a wide variety of beds, so they’re great to go and browse different options in person, but they often have to hike the price of their products up to cover overhead costs. If you make a purchase right there in the store, you may end up paying more than you need to. Browsing in person and buying online is a good way to incorporate both shopping styes.ConclusionThe first step of mattress shopping is to budget how much you want to spend. Then, you decide on the mattress type, size, firmness, and features that you want. Shopping online can save you a considerable amount, and bed-in-a-box mattresses usually include sleep trials so you can test the mattress within the comfort of your home.This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional. Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. 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