3 Mattress Shopping Rules Honest Retailers Wish You Knew

Field of yellow flowers with headline: 3 mattress shopping rules honest retailers wish you knew

When it comes to mattress shopping, hindsight is 20/20. This we know.

You trusted a retailer with whom you did not have a “know, like, and trust” relationship, and he said he’d get you a good deal. You fell for his story about new, magical mattress materials that suddenly eliminated the need for flipping. (As if.)

But don’t feel too badly. Many mainstream mattress companies don’t have consumers’ best interests at heart. Their goal is to sell the most mattresses possible of a certain type to anyone who walks through their door, maximizing the retailer’s and manufacturer’s profits. Along the way, misinformation is carelessly passed on to the customer — and the customer will likely be back in the store in under 5 years needing a new mattress because the one they just bought didn’t perform well.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have known the hidden rules of mattress shopping before you even set foot in the store? We’re here to give you a leg up before your next mattress shopping excursion. It’s your investment and you deserve to know what you NEED to know.

Here are 3 mattress shopping rules honest retailers wish you knew.

Mattress Shopping Rule #1

When selecting a new mattress, the more extreme the change from your current sleeping situation, the more difficult it’ll be for your body to adjust. If you’re looking for something firmer than what you have at home, get a mattress that feels incrementally firmer to you. DO NOT choose the firmest bed in the store.

If you’re looking for something softer than what you currently have, don’t choose the plushest bed you can find. Baby steps. When it comes to your sleep surface, a little change goes a long way. You’ve trained your body for years, or even decades, to sleep on a certain surface feel. Your body may not ever be able to adjust to a change in surface feel that is too extreme. Use caution when going firmer or softer than your usual.

How DO you shop for a mattress?

We offer a free, weekly class at our Seattle store to help people navigate the mattress shopping process.


Mattress Shopping Rule #2

When in doubt, err on the side of buying a firmer mattress. You can always add a plush mattress topper to make a firm bed softer, more forgiving, or cozier, but you can’t often make a soft bed firmer. As your body (and/or your partner’s) changes through the years due to pregnancy, illness, recovery from surgery, or weight loss or gain, or your lifestyle needs become different, you can replace, alter, or remove the mattress topper, without having to replace the whole mattress. Customization for the win!

Mattress Shopping Rule #3

When your bed isn’t flat anymore, and you’re stuck rolling into a valley each night. Avoid the temptation to overcorrect with your new mattress. With mattresses, ‘hard’ shouldn’t be confused with ‘supportive.’ Just sleeping on a flat mattress instead of a bowed one can make all the difference! While selecting your next bed, consider the surface comfort. You can know that the support underneath will be better, because it is new and flat.

Take the mystery out of mattress shopping

In Seattle? Join us any Saturday at 9:30 AM for our live, in-person class called How To Shop For a Mattress. Free coffee & fruit provided; no sales pitch.

How to Shop for a Mattress

6 thoughts on “3 Mattress Shopping Rules Honest Retailers Wish You Knew

    • Blake says:

      Thanks for reading. It is a labor of love. We just want people to have access to accurate information. It’s so hard to filter through all the marketing out there, and know what you’re actually getting.

  1. Hendrik says:

    Great Post Blake,
    love what you guys are doing! Keep u the good work, it is important for people to know about a good sleep!


    • Blake Garfield says:

      Thank you. That’s the ultimate goal. Send a request for a topic that has you confused or concerned, and we will happily make a post to fill you in.

  2. Phyllis Cain says:

    had shoulder surgery and have been sleeping in Lazy Boy for 2 months, went back to my 20 year old mattress last night and woke up this morning feeling as though i had been beaten, back hurt could barely move, every joint in my body ached. I have come to the conclusion i may need a new mattress. Kids and grandkids say mine is too hard, side or stomach sleeper, so what do you suggest. It’s terrible when the chair is more comfortable than the bed. Can’t afford anything real expensive, on fixed income.

    • Blake Garfield says:

      I would recommend an adjustable base and a latex mattress. The Brio adjustable base and the Georgetown mattress would be worth trying out. Both are very affordable and quite comfortable. Backs are delicate and choosing an adjustable bed will make the transition from chair to mattress much easier. This way you can gradually work your way back to flat and won’t shock your body like the rough night last night did.

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