Mattress Buying Guide: All That You Deserve to Know
A mattress buying guide could tell you what you should do or help you make the call yourself. Which one would you prefer? You say the former? You are with us.
Buying a new mattress or replacing an old one can be exhaustive. A long list of new models only makes the choice more difficult. At the same time, the choice is very private and your personal luxury can be at loggerheads with another person’s backache. For a better sense of perspective, consider this as a product that you will have to use every day for at least the next 10 years. Considering you get a decent mattress which lasts a lifetime and you sleep out the recommended 8 hours in a day, you will be spending a third of your life on it. Read our complete mattress buying guide to know how you should tread through the process.
Best Type of Mattress
Given the high importance of the product, let us start by visiting the best types of mattresses. As you might have experienced already, the variety of mattresses presently available in the market is overwhelming. The variety even outleaps choices and enters prices, as we come through mattresses ranging from mere unbelievable to greatly unbelievable prices. But in most cases, our research tells that you will not need to spend astronomically to land a comfortable, supportive and durable mattress.
Here are the three major types of mattresses you can find in the market today.
Open Spring Mattress
The open spring mattresses have been in use for as long as we can remember. They have pretty much served as the world’s staple bed. The open spring mattress is still a good consideration if you have a shoestring budget.
Various configurations of steel coils and used in these mattresses. The variations of these mattresses include special cushion layers, infused gel and pillow-top layers. The hybrids in this category are more foam layers above the springs.
The border rod or wire gives the mattress shape and helps define the edges. The sides in an open string mattress are more likely to be machine-stitched and not hand stitched. While shifting positions may be seamless, you may present awkward bounce for your partner while doing so.
Pocket Spring Mattresses
The pocket spring mattress serves you best if there is a difference in size between you and your partner. This is because the mattress curbs the risk of the both of you rolling toward one another.
Compared to open spring mattresses, the pocket spring ones are slightly more luxurious as individual small springs are housed in separate fabric pockets. The individuality in placement allows the springs to work independently and thus to respond to different body weights.
The sides are stitched for stable and definitive edges. While both hand stitching and machine work is prevalent, hand stitches are signs of quality and craftsmanship.
Visco Elastic / Memory Foam Mattresses
These mattresses are made from polyurethane and are favorites among the conscious mattress shopping class. People who suffer from back and joint pains have found this mattress to be of great help. Latex foam, a variation of the memory foam is purportedly hypoallergenic.
Memory foam ‘melts’ or softens when you lie on it. Soon it takes the shape of your body. Once you leave bed, it gets back into its original shape. While some owners have expressed concerns about the mattress feeling hotter than necessary, most conscious buyers end up happier.
The memory foam does not curb natural movement during sleep. Even when you are lying on your side, it will help in horizontal alignment of the spine. More advanced foams have anti-microbial properties besides being hypoallergenic.
Adjustable Air Mattresses
These mattresses allow you to inflate air and achieve the desired level of firmness. There is also vacancy for foam addition if the users feel the need for it. Also, some mattresses allow you to inflate different volumes of air inside different halves of the bed for convenience of partners.
But you will not want to change the firmness in the middle of the night as the noise of the electric air pump can be pretty annoying at that time. While most people use these mattresses as stop gap solutions, high quality adjustable air mattresses can also be used permanently.
Best Place to Buy a Mattress
The inspiring thing about purchasing mattress is that you always have some choice and this extends to the places from where you can buy mattresses. Here are some options and the pros and cons for each.
Should you try online shopping?
There is always the option to go online. There are several sites to choose from and the variety may even outdo specialty stores on occasion. Other options include big box retailers, department stores, furniture stores and mattress specialty stores. Big Box Retailers are essentially places that house ketchup gallons and toilet papers alongside mattresses. They are good if you can manage carrying back the mattress home. Even department stores have sections that are completely deducted to mattresses. The prices at departmental stores can be a little higher than online stores or big box retailers.
Much like department stores, furniture stores host sections dedicated to mattresses. The mattress section in furniture store is usually slightly smaller than mattress specialty stores. Also, the salespersons are not as trained as you would expect. But both these attributes are variable. The mattress specialty stores sell only mattresses and related items. There are some very big chains and some independent stores.
The good thing about online shopping of mattresses is you stay at home. Then, most online stores are not affiliated to single brands and you may find many varieties in a single store. Most online stores are reasonably priced.
How much should I spend on a mattress?
Most first time buyers have no idea on how much they should spend on a mattress. TV specials Pillowtopqueensize mattresses made available at $299 is often a favorite for most people. In fact, there are options even below that.
Based on the sale prices of mattresses (retail tags might be much higher), here is a break-up of what you can expect in what price range.
- $0-50: These are generally used mattresses you find on local listings. Not a very couth choice!
- $51-249: You can be found the mattress within this price range if you are looking for cheap mattress. Please check out our article twin mattress sets under 100, where you can be found some best mattress idea within this price range.
- $250-450: This range gives you the basic guest mattresses. Here is a great post about best queen mattress under $500.
- $450-650: This is the range for nice guest room mattresses to maybe the bare minimum requisite for sleeping through the year.
- $650-1050: This is the average price range that most people settle for when buying their daily use mattresses. Expect advanced foams and better coil systems.
- $1050-1550: This is basically the entry level for luxury mattresses. Advanced coil systems and added foam layers mark this entry.
- $1550-2550: This price range will give you just about all that you can hope to have in a mattress. You get the thickest foams, longer warranties and the largest sizes.
Choosing a mattress
Choosing a mattress is a composite process and can be divided into three broad steps:
- Knowing about different mattress types
- Considering your physical needs/restrictions
- Finalizing the product based on comparison shopping and other factors
We have already discussed the types of mattresses in our previous section. We will now move on to addressing your physical needs. Consider the following elements first.
Physical concerns and needs are often major reasons people choose to replace their mattresses.
- Do you sleep on your back, side or stomach? Mattress companies now pay attention to design mattresses based on sleeping positions.
- Are you suffering from mobility issues? There are mattresses that are designed to make getting in and out easy.
- Is there a significant size gap between you and your partner? Pocket spring beds prevent depression on side of the bed to affect the other half.
- Is one of you over six feet tall? If yes, you may consider a king-size bed.
- Have you been waking up with aches? You may consider buying one of the bio-foam mattresses.
The Regular Checks
While there can be many things that you would want to do before you bring home a mattress, it is good to have a streamlined checklist. First, ensure that these steps are followed.
- Check for right mattress support and head to toe alignment
- Check for the comfort at sensitive parts of the body
- Specialty stores offer better service, while online stores offer better prices
- Draw advantage of price match guarantees
- Avoid cheaper Chinese foam mattresses that prove to be counterproductive in the long run
Always go for a trial: The best way to ascertain the quality of a mattress is to lie down on it. Make sure that you wear loose clothes when you go to try mattresses. Also, a good gesture would be to slide your shoes off before stepping on a mattress. You may even ask the salesperson to step aside for a while if you feel pressure. Try as many postures as you can while you are still on the mattress.
Study return policies well: There might be a need to return mattresses if they do not fit the warranty guidelines and do not satisfy you. Check at the onset if the store, offers cash refund or forwards credit for purchase of another product. Some retailers also offer free pickup if there is a need to exchange the mattress.
Negotiate well: The next logical step after you have settled for a model is to call it negotiation time. If you are dealing with a store that has a no-negotiation policy, you should avoid haggling with them. But with regular stores, you should always and negotiate. Visiting stores that offer price match guarantees is a plus.
Top mattress brands
Here are some mattresses brands that you will want to check out when planning to buy a new mattress.
Signature Sleep: Signature Sleep mattresses are highly committed to quality and craftsmanship. These mattresses are shipped by the company in a compressed and rolled form. Each mattress is designed in compatibility with federal flammability standard.
LUCID: LUCID mattresses are known for the cutting edge technology the company employs in making these. The company also claims to have a mattress for every person’s needs.
Casper: Casper comes as a new entry in the business. Most parts are manufactured in Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Most customers hold positive views about these mattresses.
Kingsdown: Kingsdown is one of the oldest players in the game and they have been manufacturing mattresses from North Carolina for well over 100 years. The brand has climbed up the years to become one of most acclaimed global brands.
Tuft and Needle: The brand sources, designs and manufactures mattresses solely inside the United States. The final finish to the mattresses is given in California.
The Original Mattress Factory: The brand has turned out to be one of the most successful mattress sellers in the United States with factory stores in nine states and nationwide online business in the States.
Saatva Mattresses: These mattresses come out of factories in 12 states and reach user hands through 35 fulfillment centers. Bio based foams and organic cotton covers are main attributes of these mattresses.
Sealy: The brand has three factories in the US. The house excels both in traditional mattresses and the new memory foam and latex foam mattresses.
Englander: The multi-chain brand has about seven factories inside the United States. The only issue is that they do not make direct sales to the customers.
Editor’s Choice top 5 mattress
Having covered most facets of shopping in this mattress buying guide, it would be wise to shift attention at some specific products we researched. Here are short reviews of 5 such products.
Signature Sleep Contour 8 Inch Mattress
The mattress scores high marks for its independent 15-gauge coils. It comes across a soft, high quality and comfortable mattress after first use. A new purchased piece could smell like fresh paint, but that fades away with just a couple of uses.
- Firm and comfortable
- Works with bunk beds and trundles
- Supports oversized people well
- Good price point
- China made
- Slightly pungent smell
FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
Is the mattress suitable for persons over 200 lbs?
The mattress perfectly supports and comforts persons who are overweight. The 8 Inch Twin has been designed in view of the comfort of oversized people.
Does the mattress go well with a child’s trundle?
Customers have used it on trundles and bunk beds and the mattress works perfectly fine.
Is this a China made mattress?
Yes, the Canadian company sources out the manufacturing to China. But the quality is better than most China made mattresses.
Is the mattress firm or soft?
The mattress is a slightly uncommon amalgamation of firmness and comfort.
Verdict: While many do not prefer mattresses made in China, the Signature 8 inch Twin Mattress is a very high rated product that ensures great comfort and convenience in its price range.Check Price on Amazon
Signature Sleep Queen Memory Foam 12-Inch Mattress
The makers of the Memoir 12 inch Queen Mattress have impressed upon making the mattress as relaxing as possible. Sleeping on the mattress relieves pressure from the hips, feet and shoulder. The mattress ships in a compressed and vacuum sealed form.
- Supports body form well
- Comes in a neat packaging
- Medium firmness allows good sleep
- High longevity
- Unwanted price fluctuations
- China made
- Presence of chemicals like PBDEs
FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
How is the foam density of the mattress like?
The foam density of the mattress ranges from medium to firm. The figure for foam density is 4 lbs.
Is there any presence of methylene chloride or formaldehyde?
Unfortunately, yes. The mattress ha some PBDEs in it and people with chemical sensitive skins should do a longer trial before bringing the mattress home.
Is this mattress made in China?
Yes, the mattress is made in China. Any advertisement that claims the mattress is made in America is fake.
What is the life expectancy for this mattress?
A couple who have already been using the mattress for about six months said that the mattress feels anew even now.
Verdict: The mattress is good with overall features. And if you and your partner are not sensitive to chemicals, you can give it a go.Check Price on Amazon
Sleep Innovations Shiloh 12-inch Memory Foam Queen Mattress
The DuoComfort(TM) design of the Sleep 12 inch Shiloh Memory mattress imparts a light cradling comfort to the body, claim its makers. The company has also said that the mattress is perfect for the average bigger bodies and people who like to toss around when in bed.
- Great for side-sleeping
- Comforts the average big persons
- Washable cover
- Great at price point
- Might turn out too warm
- Firmer than the average mattress
FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
Can the cover of the mattress be washed?
The cover of the mattress can be taken off, washed and then dried. It can then be put on the mattress and used without any heck.
Does the mattress keep the body warm or cool?
The mattress is typically designed to keep the body warm. But there are customers who have complained of profuse sweating.
How good is the product for side-sleepers?
This is a best mattress for side sleepers, i mean this mattress is great for people who like to sleep on their sides. The makers have paid categorical heed to side sleeping.
Is the mattress affected by oversized people?
The mattress is designed to comfort the average big person and it undergoes no change when used by oversized people.
Verdict: The Sleep 12-inch Innovations Shiloh Memory Foam Queen Mattress could well become the deal cracker within its price range. While the temperature issue is user-subjective, you will not find many reasons to complain.Check Price on Amazon
Zinus Ultima Comfort 6 Inch Memory Foam Full Mattress
The Zinus Ultima Comfort 6 Inch Memory Foam is a product designed for comfortable night sleeps. The foam layers include 4.5 inches of base supporting foam and the top 1.5 inches are memory foam. Bio Foam technology employed in this mattress uses natural plant oil instead of petroleum products.
- Memory foam top
- Non-petroleum base
- Plant based gels used
- Cheap and comfortable
- Slightly skinny
- Laid back customer service
FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
Will there be enough support sans a box spring?
There will definitely be enough support even if there is no box spring. Some users have taken great liking to using it without box springs.
Is there clarity on the dimensions when rolled out fully?
The full size of the product should be 75 inches long and 53.5 inches wide when rolled out completely.
Would the mattress spread evenly on a large sleeper sofa?
While it will fit over full size sofas, the process of making that happen may be a tad cumbersome and it could be a two-people effort.
Verdict: The mattress is great for budget mattress seekers, especially for singles. The great price point beats all cons hands down.Check Price on Amazon
LUCID 10 Inch Gel Memory Foam Dual-Layered Mattress
The 10 inch LUCID dual layer mattress is divided into 7.5 inches of polyurethane and 2.05 inches of memory foam. The manufacturer claims that the open cell technology employed will allow free air passage, making the mattress comfortable and cool. That is topped by a 25 year warranty.
- Great use of technology
- Passable air feature
- Heavy foam combination
- Chance temperature issues
- Not completely non-chemical
FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
Will children like the mattress?
The mattress has an air passage technology that children will generally like. Customers who bought the mattress for their children feel fairly satisfied.
Is the mattress accompanies by a box spring?
There is no box spring with the mattress. But the mattress is compatible with box springs and one can be bought separately.
Can the mattress be used with an adjustable bed?
It can be used with an adjustable bed. It works fine both with adjustable and non-adjustable beds.
Does the mattress have a cover?
Yes, the mattress comes with a cover.
Is that mattress similar with novaform mattress?
Sorry, it is Memory Foam by LUCID. Check our post for best novaform mattresses reviews.
Verdict: Most users have applauded the great technological built of the product. Combined with the sheer thickness and feel, this could be the mattress to beat.
Please check this product review in details if you are interested on this 10 inch memory foam mattress.Check Price on Amazon
As already pressed upon, mattress shopping can be as taxing as it can be difficult, It is important that you pay keen attention to the all the points mentioned thus far in this article. In our mattress buying guide article, we have included the types of mattresses available in market, the best place to shop for them, the price range that you should be looking for and the process which should help you choose the right mattress. You could also have a look at the 5 mattresses we reviewed for you and tell us which one you liked the best.
There is another common question from people is that how often should you change your mattress? We have an article about this topic, click here to check the article.