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The Ultimate Guide to Mattress Shopping

By: Sheryl Cannes
Updated on: April 05, 2024

Shopping for a new mattress can be a daunting task. There are many, many mattress brands and options to choose from. Finding the perfect one that fits your sleep needs and preferences can be overwhelming. Investing in a good mattress is important for better sleep and comfort. We made a guide to help you shop for a mattress easily. This guide will help you choose a good option for your needs, such as pricing, construction, type, size, and availability. Additionally, we’ll provide insights on trying out mattresses and understanding warranties, sleep trials, and shipping policies. Embark on this mattress-shopping journey with us to find the mattress of your dreams.

How to Shop for a Mattress

Buying a new mattress is essential. Think about the sleep needs of both you and your partner. When you search for something, having a few crucial things in mind is helpful to make it easier.

  • Price: Start by figuring out your budget and researching the cost of the mattress type you want. This knowledge will assist you in narrowing down your options effectively.
  • Buying In-Store vs. Online: When choosing where to buy a mattress, you should consider buying it in a store or online. Visiting a store lets you test the bed, but buying online gives you more options and lower prices.
  • Types: Discover the different mattress types like memory foam, foam, innerspring, hybrid, and latex. There are more types available for you to learn about. Different types of bedding are suitable for other sleepers. By knowing the differences, you can make a better choice.
  • Firmness: Mattresses are typically rated on a firmness scale ranging from 1 to 10. The firmness of your bed affects how your body sinks in, moves, and supports you while you sleep.
  • Mattress size: Choosing the right mattress depends on room size, how many people sleep on it, and preferred sleep positions. Consider these things for a comfortable and restful sleep with enough space.
  • Sleeping Style: Think about how you usually sleep – on your back, side, stomach, or a mix. That’s your predominant sleeping position. Different mattress types are better for different sleeping styles. They offer needed support and pressure relief to keep your spine aligned properly.
  • Body Weight: Your body type significantly influences your interaction with the mattress. Choose a mattress that fits your body weight to get a good night’s sleep. It should support and comfort you so that you wake up refreshed.
  • Trying It Out: Trying out a mattress in a store can give you an idea of how it feels. But online retailers offer sleep trials if you want more time to test it. This lets you evaluate the mattress more carefully before buying it. You can try this: During the trial period, you can test your sleep experience to decide if you want to keep it.
  • Checking the Fine Print: Before you buy a mattress, make sure you read the fine print. Check the company’s warranty, sleep trial, return, and shipping policies carefully. Knowing these details will keep you calm and protect your investment in the long term.

What is the Best Mattress?

People often ask this question, but the answer is challenging to give. Finding the perfect mattress is different for everyone and depends on many factors. The ultimate answer is: it depends. The perfect mattress depends on your needs, wants, and situation. The mattress gives you the right comfort and support for your body and how you sleep. It’s made just for you.

Moreover, it should fit your budget and meet high quality and durability standards. The “best” mattress for you is the one that feels most comfortable. Comfort is personal and varies from person to person.

What to Look for in a Mattress

Motion Isolation

A mattress needs good motion isolation to prevent movement from spreading across the bed. Selecting a mattress with good motion isolation is important if you share a bed with a partner who moves or wakes up often at night. This helps avoid disruptions to your sleep.

You can perform a simple test to evaluate your mattress test motion isolation. Have your partner move around on one side of the bed while you lie still on the other. You may feel movements on the mattress if it doesn’t isolate motion well. You can also use mattress testing and review websites to test how well they stop moving.

Pressure relief

A mattress must evenly spread your weight and take the pressure off sore spots like your hips and shoulders. This is called pressure relief and helps ease back pain. Choosing a mattress that suits how you sleep and your body type can reduce back pain and prevent it from getting worse or causing new back pain.

To check if your mattress relieves pressure, see if it adapts to your body shape and keeps your spine in line. You should feel supported and comfortable in the sleep position. No point should bear too much weight. If you can lie on the mattress comfortably for a few minutes, it means the mattress is comfortable. Reading online reviews can be helpful. This is especially true when looking at feedback from people with similar body types and sleeping habits.

Ease of movement

Ease of movement refers to how responsive and easy it is to change positions on the mattress. This factor is particularly important for seniors or individuals with mobility issues. Material preference is subjective. Some materials may make it hard to move. Choose a mattress that won’t disrupt your sleep if you move around a lot at night.

Testing the ease of movement is simple. Try sitting up, rolling over, and getting out of bed. If any of these actions seem hard or uncomfortable, the mattress may not be right for you.

Edge supportive mattress

A mattress’s edge support is how well it stays firm and doesn’t sink on the sides. Thanks to its strong support, the bed won’t let you slide off when you sit or sleep near the edge. If someone is bigger or shares a bed, they need enough space on the mattress. This makes sure they can use the whole bed.

To assess the edge support of a mattress, sit or lie down near the perimeter of the foam mattress. You should feel just as supported as when you’re in the center of the mattress. If you feel wobbly or like you might roll off the bed, the mattress doesn’t have good edge support.

Temperature control

Controlling temperature is important, especially if you get hot while sleeping or live in a warm place and sleep hot too. A mattress must control heat, remove moisture and be cozy for the whole night. Mattress temperature is affected by the materials and construction methods used. Traditional memory foam beds are known to retain heat.

When you’re looking for a mattress, find one that keeps you cool. Some good options are mattresses that have gel-infused foam or breathable covers. You can touch the mattress in a store and see if it feels cool.


A mattress’s durability refers to how long it keeps its shape, structure, and materials. A mattress is a big buy, so you need one that stays comfortable and supportive without sinking or getting lumpy.

Durability is harder to test than other factors, as you can’t try it out in a store or online. When choosing a mattress, it’s best to pick a well-known brand with a long warranty. Read reviews from people who have used the mattress to learn about its durability.

How Much to Spend on a Mattress

Mattress costs vary a lot, from around $300 to over $4,000 for the more expensive ones. Most regular mattresses, made of innerspring or polyurethane foam, cost between $250 and $1,000. You can get all foam and hybrid mattresses made with good materials for $1,000 to $1,500. But if you want natural or latex foam or high-end foam and hybrid mattresses, it might cost more than $2,000.

Several factors contribute to the price variation of mattresses. This sentence is already below the recommended Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 8, so it does not require any improvement. Cheap mattresses are priced based on the bed size. Twin mattresses are usually the cheapest, while king sizes are the most expensive.

Mattress manufacturers can save money by selling directly to customers. This way, they don’t need to use middlemen or pay to run physical stores. Buying a mattress online is usually cheaper than buying from a brick-and-mortar store anyway.

How to Choose a Mattress

When you buy a mattress, you have to think about many things. You need to decide what type of mattress you want, how soft or hard it should be, what size you need, and how you sleep. You also need Everyone has different preferences and needs for mattresses. However, knowing how various types of mattresses perform can help you limit your choices. Trying a mattress before or after buying it can be helpful to make sure it fits your needs.

Mattress size depends on your space and how many people will use it. After selecting your mattress, check the warranty, sleep trial, shipping, and other policies to avoid hidden costs or responsibilities.

Identifying the Right Mattress Type

Mattresses are generally categorized based on the primary materials used in their construction. The type of mattress can affect how well you sleep, depending on your preferences. You should learn about each kind of mattress to make a good choice.

There are different types of mattresses you can buy today. They include memory foam, a hybrid, an innerspring mattress, and latex. Also, you can choose airbeds or waterbeds instead of traditional ones. They have unique qualities that some people might prefer when buying a mattress.

Memory Foam:

Memory foam is a viscoelastic foam known for its conforming properties. It’s often used in mattresses because it relieves pressure very well. Memory foam also absorbs motion, reducing disturbances for couples sharing a bed. Memory foam mattresses usually have layers of memory foam on top of a dense foam base. Memory foam beds can also be used in hybrid mattresses with coils.

Switching positions on a memory foam mattress can be hard for some because it molds to one’s body. Memory foam mattresses also tend to have limited edge support and can retain heat. Newer memory foam mattresses try not to get too hot, but they may not be good for hot sleepers or people who get hot while sleeping.


Foam mattresses have layers for comfort and support. The comfort layers comprise polyfoam, memory foam, cotton, or wool batting. The support layer is high-density polyfoam. Polyfoam mattresses are more responsive and breathable than memory foam mattresses. Foam mattresses are bouncy and have firmer edges compared to memory foam ones. However, they have less bounce or firmness than those with a coil support center.

Polyfoam mattresses have a firm support core. This reduces pressure, stops movement from being felt, and makes the bed silent. Foam mattresses may not give enough support for people who weigh more than 230 pounds. You can find cheap memory foam and polyfoam mattresses. There are also expensive ones if you want luxury.


Hybrid mattresses mix different types to give a balance of support and shape. Hybrid mattresses have comfortable layers made of foam, latex, natural fibers, or micro coils. They also have a support core made of pocketed coils. Coils help heavier sleepers and make the bed more comfortable. They also improve the support around the edges, allowing for easier movement and more airflow. The foam layers help reduce pressure and motion. They work better than old-fashioned foam and innerspring mattresses and beds.

Hybrid mattresses have different types that can fit any mattress style or sleeping type. Their mattresses are often softer and more expensive because of their complex design.


Innerspring mattresses have a steel coil core for support. They may or may not have a comfort layer. They provide a bouncy sleep surface and strong edge support. The airflow through the coils helps with temperature regulation. Innerspring mattresses are strong but might not help with pressure or motion. They may not be the best option for people who sleep on their sides, weigh less than 130 pounds, or share a bed.

Innerspring mattresses are cheap and common in mattress stores. They use springs inside. They’re not sold online as much because they’re difficult to pack for shipping.


Latex comes from the liquid of a rubber tree and is strong and bouncy. It can be used in a mattress’s comfort layers or support core. Natural latex is comfortable and durable, but synthetic latex is also an option. Latex is a good base for support cores because it helps prevent too much sinking. Latex adds to the comfort layers of a mattress. It is lightweight and durable, providing a surface that responds well to sleepers. Additionally, it offers moderate contouring. It’s a good option for those who don’t like memory foam’s tight embrace as it’s bouncy.

Latex mattresses have tiny holes in them, which make them naturally breathable. These tiny holes help regulate temperature, making them a good choice. They can let movement move and may not hold the edges well. Latex mattresses are popular for environmental reasons. They’re made from natural materials that people like to buy. Luxury mattresses usually cost less than those that outlast other types.


There are a few less common mattress types, such as airbeds and waterbeds. Airbed mattresses have adjustable firmness. You can control it using a remote or smartphone app. The app can inflate or deflate the air chambers for you. Adjusting the firmness is easy with these beds, but they usually cost more. Waterbeds offer decent pressure relief, and some models allow water temperature control. However, they have become less popular due to their expense and maintenance requirements.

How Firm Should My Bed Be?

Firmness LevelFeelDescriptionRecommended For
1Extra SoftThe sleep surface sinks deeply and closely conforms to the bodySide sleepers under 130 lbs.
2-3SoftThe sleep surface sinks and significantly conforms to the bodySide sleepers under 130 lbs.
4Medium SoftThe sleep surface moderately sinks and provides contouringSleepers under 130 lbs.
5MediumThe sleep surface sinks minimally and offers moderate contouringSleepers between 130 and 230 lbs.
6Medium FirmThe sleep surface provides moderate contouring with a little sinkageSleepers between 130 and 230 lbs.
7-8FirmAlmost no sinkage with minimal contouringSide sleepers over 230 lbs.
9-10Extra FirmThe sleep surface doesn’t sink and provides little contouringBack and stomach sleepers over 230 lbs.

Mattress firmness refers to the level of hardness or softness of a bed. It is typically rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with one being extra soft and 10 being extra firm. To find the right level of firmness for a mattress, consider your body weight, how you sleep, and pressure points.

Usually, soft mattresses are better for people who need less pressure on their bodies. However, harder mattresses are good for providing support. However, personal preferences for softer mattresses can vary.

Sleepers usually have various firmness levels for mattresses, like a mattress that provides comfort and support. Many mattresses are made to be of medium firmness, around 5 or 6 on the firmness scale.

Finding the right bed firmness is subjective and may take some trial and error. To find the best mattress for good sleep, you should know what your body likes, how much you weigh, and how you sleep. This will help you choose the right level of firmness.

What Size Mattress Do You Need?

Mattress SizeDimensions (Width x Length)Best For
Twin38″ x 75″Children, Teens, and college students & Single adults
Twin XL38″ x 80″Teens & Taller single adults
Full/Double54″ x 75″Single adults, Teens, & Guest rooms
Queen60″ x 80″Couples & Single adults who want extra room to stretch out
King76″ x 80″Couples who want extra space & Couples who frequently share their bed with a small child or a pet
California King72″ x 84″Taller couples, Couples with a pet that sleeps at the foot of their bed

Determining the right mattress size depends on various factors. Some people want a mattress that matches their bed frame, while others think about room size and what they like. Mattresses come in different sizes like twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king. The sizes may vary a little bit. Children and teenagers often use twin or twin XL mattresses. The twin XL is great for growing individuals because it’s longer. Full-size beds are bigger than twin beds and offer more space for one person to sleep. They can also fit a couple, but not as comfortably as a queen size bed.

The queen-size mattress is a good choice for couples. It’s roomy but doesn’t take up too much space. People who like to have more space while sleeping prefer king-size beds. These beds can fit two adults or a child or pet comfortably. If you’re tall, you might choose a California king bed. It’s a bit slimmer but longer than other beds. If you and your partner prefer different mattress firmness, consider getting a split king or split California king. This way, each of you can have the feel you prefer on your side of the bed.

Big mattresses usually cost more than smaller ones. Bedding, bed frames, and mattress toppers cost medium-firm mattresses and more for cheaper mattresses and bigger beds. Moving larger mattresses can also be more challenging compared to smaller ones.

When choosing a mattress size, think about how much space you have, what you like, and if you have special needs.

Sleeping Style, Body Weight, and the Right Bed for You

The way you sleep and your body weight play crucial roles in determining the right bed for you. They affect how much support and comfort your body needs to be in the right position while you sleep. When choosing a mattress for a shared bed, it’s vital to factor in both partners’ sleeping styles.

Sleeping Style

Side sleepers usually like mattresses that are a bit soft (around 4) to a bit firm (around 6). This helps support their hips and shoulders, providing pressure relief. Back sleepers need a medium-firm (6) to firm (7) mattress to support and relieve pressure on the lower back. Stomach-back and stomach-side sleepers also benefit from this type of mattress. Stomach and back sleepers need a firm mattress (7 to 8) to keep the spine straight and the hips supported.

Choose a mattress based on the position you sleep in most often. It’s important if you switch positions during the night. Combination sleepers can choose a middle-firm mattress. This is because medium (5) to medium firm mattress (7) firmness levels are in the middle of the scale. It’s important to find a comfortable mattress and sleep position. Overly plush or firm ones might make it hard to change positions easily.

Body Weight

Your body weight also affects your sleep quality and mattress preference. Mattresses may feel different depending on your weight. If you weigh less than 130 pounds, the mattress might feel firmer. If you weigh over 230 pounds, it might feel softer. If you weigh less than 130 pounds, you may prefer a softer or firmer mattress for better sleep. But if you weigh more than 230 pounds, a firmer mattress might be more comfortable. Explanation

If you weigh over 230 pounds, you need a mattress that supports your weight well. Hybrid and latex mattresses work well for these sleepers. They last long and give good support.

To get a cozy and restful sleep, you need a mattress that fits your preferred sleeping position, style, and body weight.

Trying Out a Mattress

It can be hard to know if a mattress is right for you without testing it first. When shopping for a mattress at a physical store, you can sit or lie on the bed to assess your comfort level. However, keep in mind that it typically takes about a month for your body to adjust to a new mattress. Foam mattresses tend to become softer in the first month, so don’t judge it based on one night’s sleep. That won’t reflect its long-term performance accurately.

To address these issues, most online retailers offer an at-home sleep trial.

You can test different mattresses in a showroom before buying. They come in different sizes, materials, and firmness. This first experience gives an overall sense of the help and comfort they provide. Testing a mattress in-store has a downside. There isn’t enough time to evaluate its long-term performance.

Trial Periods

Most online mattress sales companies let you test the mattress for at least 90 nights. Some even give you a whole year to test it out. Usually, mattress companies make you use the bed for a while before you can return it. This ensures that your body has sufficient time to adjust to the mattress.

You can send back the mattress during the trial period. The company might pick it up or ask for proof of donation to a charity nearby. Usually, these companies give you a complete refund or exchange if needed. Sometimes, you might have to pay for the shipping of the returned item or a small fee.

Read the Fine Print

When buying a new mattress, make sure it comes with a warranty. The warranty should cover any problems caused by how it was made or put together. Warranties for mattresses can be different lengths. It’s better to avoid mattresses with warranties shorter than ten years.

A mattress warranty covers problems with how the mattress was made. For example, it can cover things like broken coils, cracked foams, or when the mattress dips too much.

Warranties are useful for protecting against defective products, but they usually don’t cover damage caused by using or storing mattresses incorrectly. Customers are responsible for taking care of their mattresses. This means using the right base, using a mattress protector to avoid stains, and rotating it often to make the wear and tear even.

Buying a mattress can cost more than just the sticker price. You might have to pay for shipping, trials, warranties, and payment plans. These extra expenses affect how much you’ll really spend and how long your mattress will last. Explanation Before buying your mattress, make sure to read the fine print carefully. This helps you know all important details before finalizing your mattress purchase too.

Where to Purchase a Mattress

When looking for a new mattress, you can buy it online or at a regular store. Each choice of spring mattress comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Many mattress shoppers now feel better buying a mattress in-store because they can try it out first. Many mattress companies now send mattresses directly to your home. They have good shipping, sleep trial, and warranty policies. This is because people worry about buying a mattress without seeing it in person.

The decision between online and in-store mattress shopping also impacts mattress comfort, pricing, and selection. Shopping online for mattresses can offer more options than shopping in a store. You can also take advantage of sales.

Purchasing a Mattress In-Store

When you go to a mattress store, you can try out different beds and compare them directly. If you’re unsure which mattress to buy, expert mattress salespeople can help you choose.

Physical stores have fewer products and higher prices due to extra costs. Many stores don’t offer sleep trials, which can be bad for mattress owners and customers who want to test the mattress for a longer time at home.

Buying a Mattress Online

The internet has lots of different mattresses you can buy. They’re easy to set up because they come in small boxes, and there are many types to choose from. Shopping online allows you to look at many products and their prices. Online prices may be closer to the cost of making the products.

Direct-to-consumer mattress companies are different from regular mattress stores, though. You can’t try their mattresses before buying them. They usually make up for it by providing in-home sleep trials. This way, customers can try the product at home and see how it works for them. Shopping online means you don’t get help from a salesperson. But many people like that they can buy without pressure from home.


How do I choose the right mattress?

To choose the right mattress, consider factors such as your preferred sleeping position, body type, comfort level (soft, medium, firm), any specific health concerns, and personal preferences for materials (foam, innerspring, hybrid). Additionally, consider factors like motion isolation, edge support, and temperature regulation.

What is the average lifespan of a mattress?

The average lifespan of a mattress can vary depending on the type and quality of the mattress, as well as usage and care. However, on average, a good quality mattress can last between 7 to 10 years.

Should I try out a mattress before buying it?

It is highly recommended to try out a mattress before making a purchase. Visit a local store to lie down and spend some time on different mattresses to assess their comfort, support, and suitability for your needs. If buying online, look for brands that offer generous return policies or trial periods.

What is the importance of mattress firmness?

Mattress firmness is crucial as it affects your comfort and support while sleeping. Firmness preferences can vary based on factors like body weight, sleeping position, and personal preference. It’s important to find a balance between comfort and support to ensure proper spinal alignment and pressure relief.

What is the difference between memory foam and innerspring mattresses?

Memory foam mattresses are made from layers of foam that contour to your body, providing excellent pressure relief and motion isolation. Innerspring mattresses, on the other hand, contain coils for support and often have a layer of padding on top. Innerspring mattresses are generally more responsive and offer better airflow, while memory foam mattresses excel at minimizing motion transfer and conforming to your body’s shape.

Can I use my existing bed frame with a new mattress?

In many cases, you can use your existing bed frame with a new mattress. However, it’s important to ensure that the bed frame provides adequate support and is compatible with the size and type of mattress you’re purchasing. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations or consult with a sales representative if you’re unsure.

How often should I replace my mattress?

As a general guideline, it’s recommended to replace your mattress every 7 to 10 years, or sooner if you’re experiencing discomfort, sagging, or a decline in sleep quality. However, individual circumstances may vary, and factors such as mattress type, quality, and usage patterns can influence the lifespan.


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