Tip #1 – MAKE A PLAN
How long do you need this new mattress to last? Is it for occasional guest use or for your own nightly use? Allow yourself ample time to shop, without distractions. Also decide ahead of time on your budget, and how much wiggle room you have.
Tip #2 – CHOOSE A STORE
Check out Yelp and Google Reviews. Look for themes. If you hear multiple reviewers mentioning the same positive or negative aspects of the shopping experience, you can be pretty confident it’s a trend. Ask family and friends for recommendations of where they’ve shopped and been happy with their purchase.
Tip #3 – BUY 2-SIDED
A 2-sided mattress you can flip and rotate gives your bed up to 3 times the life expectancy. ‘Can’t flip’ mattresses develop dips and valleys that can’t be flattened out, hence the accelerated breakdown. A 2-sided mattress wears more evenly and stays comfortable longer.
Tip #4 – LEARN ABOUT MATERIALS
Commonly, mattress manufacturers will come up with dreamy-sounding names (CloudRest, DrowsyLuxe, SleepAffinity) to conceal the chemical compounds in their ‘proprietary’ comfort layers. The reality is, if it’s not made in nature, it’s made in a lab. If you can tolerate some off-gassing (and low durability), then maybe memory foam or gel foam is for you. But if you want a long-lasting, durable mattress that stays comfortable and is good for your body and the earth, look for plant-based fibers like cotton, wool, and botanical latex.
Tip #5 – DECIDE ON SURFACE FEEL.
From Plush to Extra Firm and everything in between, there’s a surface feel that makes sense for your body type, physical condition, and preferred sleep position(s). When buying a new mattress, try going just one degree plusher or firmer than your old mattress. This’ll give your body an easy but appreciable adjustment.
Tip #6 – TRY OUT COMPOSITIONS
Do you like the feel of a bed with coil springs, or do you prefer a fiber only mattress? How about a hybrid? Every mattress composition has a different feel to it and only you know what feels best to you. Be open to trying something new, and if you don’t like it better, stick with your tried-and-true!
Tip #7 – TEST REST
Never buy a mattress you haven’t laid on for at least 10 minutes. A mattress can look and sound great on paper, but until you’ve test-rested it, you don’t really know if it’s the one for you. Aim for at least 10 minutes, 20 if possible, in comfortable clothes. Lie in the position(s) you normally sleep. If you sleep with a partner, bring them, too!
Tip #8 – BOX OR NO BOX?
In the old days, we called these ‘box springs,’ but really (if they’re made well), they’re just a box frame constructed of wood with sturdy wooden slats running across them. A box adds height and flat support underneath your mattress. Know your bed frame; classic platform beds don’t typically require boxes because the frame provides all the foundation you need. Squeaky bed? It’s probably time to replace your box.
Tip #9 – CHECK WARRANTY & POLICIES
Most manufacturers’ warranties only cover material defects, but mattress failure due to material defects is very hard to prove. That’s why it’s important to get clear on the store’s return and exchange policy. Many stores offer a comfort exchange option where, within a certain time period, you can swap your new mattress for a different model, for a fee. Be sure to ask about all associated fees before making a change.
Tip #10 – GIVE IT 28 SLEEPS
It takes the body up to a month of nightly sleep to adjust to the feel of a new mattress. So give it time. If you’re nearing the end of your comfort exchange window and still can’t get comfortable, contact your retailer as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Follow these 10 tips to take home a mattress you’ll be happy you bought — one that’s durable, comfortable, and worth every penny for the years of good sleep it’ll bring you.