Set yourself up for sleep success with these mattress shopping secrets.
Perhaps you’re a virgin buyer, or you’ve had yours a little too long. Maybe you’re shifting into your new home, and want a new one to go with it. Either way, shopping for a mattress is perhaps one of the most important home furnishing decisions you’ll make – given that you’ll be spending about 1/3rd of your life on it for the next decade or so. With prices for a mattress ranging from the low hundreds to over $10,000!!, how do you know if you’re getting the best bang for your buck? Get started on the right side of the bed with these mattress shopping secrets, and we guarantee you won’t be kept up nights.
Most shoppers have some idea what size mattress they need. If you co-sleep, if you are tall or heavy, or children or pets occupy your bed, then you probably want a queen or king. Smaller people or children might just need a single (designed for children or petite adults) or super single (slightly wider than a single).
Many people don’t know, however, that a mattress that feels great in a single might not be as comfortable in a queen. Ideally, when shopping, you should try to test mattresses in the size you want.
Try before you buy.
A study by Consumer Reports showed that people who spend at least 15 minutes testing a mattress were happier with their purchase than those who didn’t. It’s well worth a visiting a mattress store to try out different mattresses.
If you are tempted by prices offered by bed-in-a-box companies that ship mattresses directly to consumers, check their return policies. They’re able to offer lower rates as they have lower overheads, but cheaper definitely isn’t better if you end up with an uncomfortable bed. And even previously online retailers have realised the importance of letting potential customers try their mattresses – some well-known ones have begun to supplement their click-and-ship models with physical brick-and-mortar showrooms.
Go with your sleeping style.
The only way to know for sure whether a mattress will work for your sleeping style is to test it by lying on it in your favourite position. Don’t be shy to do so in the showroom – else you may be sleeping with regrets for many a night to come.
If you’re predominantly a side sleeper: you’ll benefit from a mattress that maintains the horizontal alignment of the spine in that position, so a medium-firm or firm mattress such as the Trilogy or Delight works best for you. They’re soft enough to conform to the curves of your body, but also provide support to relieve pressure points on your neck and back.
If you’re predominantly a stomach sleeper: a firm or medium-firm mattress (e.g. the Chiro or the Grand) will help maintain the natural alignment of your spine. Due to the level of support you need for your spine, you need to tread a fine balance: if your mattress is too soft, your torso will sink into the mattress, causing your spine to arch as you sleep Too firm, however, and your spine won’t be able to fall into its natural curve. Either way, morning aches and pains would become your new constant companion.
If you’re predominantly a back sleeper: keeping the natural curve of the spine when you are on your back is important, so you’ll need more support than a side-sleeper. A firm or orthopaedic mattress (check out our Chiro mattress) would be perfect. This allows natural spinal alignment and consistent pressure distribution for a longer, uninterrupted sleep.
Judge by feel not labels.
Firmness varies by manufacturer and type of mattress. So if you loved your old “firm” mattress, don’t assume you can just choose any mattress with that designation. Furthermore, your age, weight, fitness level, and sleep patterns can all affect what mattress is right for you and all of those factors can change. Keep an open mind as you test mattresses and avoid going into the process with too many preconceived ideas about what you’re going to like.
Quality can be deceptive.
Just because a mattress costs a bomb doesn’t mean it’s high quality – neither does an affordably-priced one mean it’s bad. You don’t have to buy the most expensive mattress out there for quality sleep, but spending a bit more for a premium or at least mid-range mattress might result in better sleep and a product with a longer life, especially if you’ve allergies or back pains.
That said, it’s worth shopping carefully. Certainly, you don’t want to pay more than necessary, but since you will hopefully be spending 6-8 hours per night on your mattress for up to ten years, it is definitely worth doing your research.