Pick Out a Mattress Type
Before you break out your card and pick an option that doesn't suit you 100%, you should consider the most popular types of mattresses available. This will help you narrow down your choices right out of the gate, and it can make it seem less overwhelming when you start to shop.
If you get a bed that is adjustable, you can quickly and easily change your mattress's sleeping position to suit your needs. You can incline the back and elevate your feet, and some allow for massage, heat, or vibrations to help you sleep.
Sleepers that have a specific set of needs that would improve with an adjustable foundation like this option. Older sleepers, people with certain medical conditions like acid reflux or chronic lower back pain, and people who snore can all benefit.
Innerspring-style mattresses are one of the most widely-used and popular models in the world. Also known as coil mattresses, they come with one or several layers of steel coils that give you support. Although technology advancements mean that the types, number, and coil layers change, more coils usually work out to greater comfort.
If you're someone who values the more traditional feel of springs or coils with excellent bounce and strong edge support, this could be the best choice for you. They can also keep you cool while you sleep, and you won't worry about the edges wearing out with repeated use.
This type of mattress uses a combination of coil and foam layers that can help to maximize certain mattress benefits while reducing some drawbacks. For example, say you have memory foam and latex hybrid. The memory foam portion will give you support and pressure relief while the latex gives you responsiveness, cooling, and bounce.
Hybrid mattresses are excellent for people who want the best of two types of mattresses. The fact that you can have cooling, comfort, support, and great bounce makes hybrids a nice choice for a large portion of sleepers.
Latex-style mattresses use latex foam in their construction, and they have a reputation for having great cooling properties associated with them. It has a high level of bounce, comfort, cooling, and responsiveness when you lay on it that can help you get comfortable very quickly without a lot of restlessness.
Latex works very well for people who want to stay cool while having a responsive mattress with a little give to it. They're also a nice alternative for people who want a mattress to slightly contour to their body without them sinking in like you do with memory foam.
This product uses memory foam as the main material in the makeup. They have a reputation for offering you excellent pressure relief, a high level of support, and they can contour to your body. What's better, advancements in memory foam technology allows them to have excellent cooling properties that reduce the chances of you overheating while you sleep.
Memory foam mattresses work best for sleepers who want a mattress that'll form and contour to their body. They can help relieve pressure on your joints by keeping your spine straight, and they're a good option for someone who wants more contouring than you'll get with a latex or hybrid option.
Pillow-top mattresses come in a huge range of categories, including hybrid, memory foam, latex, and innerspring. These mattresses come with a thick layer of soft material that the manufacturer either sews or stuffs into the mattress's cover. This layer gives you extra cushion and comfort.
Any sleeper who wants more cushion for comfort to create a softer surface may like this type of mattress. They give you a cloud-like support that is slightly softer than other options, but it won't help much with pressure points. You can choose from several thicknesses and cores.
Decide on a Firmness Level
Your mattress's firmness is how soft or hard it feels when you lay on it. Your exact definition will depend on what you feel soft, medium, or firm is. Also, your weight, body type, and size will factor in. It's easy to find a mattress that promises universal comfort, but they only offer a single firmness level.
A mattress with layered foam gives you an adjustable comfort level that conforms to each sleeper. It's nice for partners who prefer different levels. The firmness scale is out of 10, and the average preferred firmness level of any mattress usually falls between four and seven. Universal comfort designs conform to this scale, and this allows you to discover which level is right for your sleep style.
If you have a firmness preference that falls outside the average brackets or you're not sure about a universal comfort pick, you might have to consider other options for your mattress. Some companies allow you to personalize your pick based on feel options, firmness, and support.
Set a Budget
Your budget will vary depending on your circumstances. As recently as a few years ago, the only feasible option many people had was going in-store and paying inflated prices for mediocre mattresses. Shopping online has opened the doors for reasonable and fair prices, and they deliver straight to your door.
The good news is that money doesn't always mean you're going to get a fantastic option. In-store pricing has a high inflation point, and the markups can range anywhere from $300 to over $1,000. This is why you want to explore all of your options while setting a reasonable budget.
- Set Aside at Least $1,000 - When you shop, having a budget of $1,000 is ideal. This price point will put you right at the luxury end for shopping online, and it opens the door for several fantastic options.
- Increase the Budget for a King or California King - If you want a King or a California King mattress, be prepared to increase your price point up to around $1,500. Again, this will put you up in the high-end market for online mattresses.
- Be Over $500 - You may be tempted to choose a mattress in a queen size that falls under $500, but this is the ultra-cheap end. If you're not spending at least at or over $500 for your new mattress, there's a very high probability that you're getting a lower durability and quality while increasing the mattress's toxicity.
- Prepare to Pay for Quality - You get what you pay for, and you're paying for an 8 to 10-year investment in this case. If you spend $1,000 on a mattress that lasts 10 years, this works out to just $0.27 per day. Your sleep and health are well worth this cost.
Consider Your Sleeping Position
Whether you sleep on your back, side, stomach, or a combination will factor into how comfortable you are with your mattress. You want to pick something that supports your sleeping style, and this can help you narrow down your choices relatively quickly if you have a dominant way.
Back sleepers require support and firmness. If it's too soft, you'll end up with pressure points because it doesn't push back enough. Your spinal alignment can be off when you sleep, and this can lead to chronic back pain and issues. You want great support while it's soft enough to avoid pressure points, so look for a firmness rating that falls between four and seven.
Side sleepers are notorious for moving when they sleep, and they can keep both of their legs straight, bend both of them, or bend one of them over the course of a night. You'll need a mattress that falls within the medium firmness range between three and six. This can help relieve any pressure points in your back and neck.
You'll need to pick a firmness level that is soft enough to contour to your body to avoid pressure points. If it's too firm, you'll get a lack of support that can slowly lead to shoulder pain, neck pain, and aching in your lower back as you try to sleep.
Support is your biggest priority if you're someone who sleeps on their stomach because your torso puts the most pressure on the mattress. If you get something that is too soft and doesn't support you from your head to your feet, your spine will curve and cause lower back aches and pains.
The goal is to be as flat as possible when you sleep, and even using a thicker pillow can result in your spine being out of alignment. The ideal firmness level for stomach sleepers falls between five and seven, but picking a four or eight firmness isn't uncommon.
Size and Thickness
The mattress size and thickness are two other considerations you want to keep in mind when you shop. Generally speaking, mattresses come in six different sizes, and we outlined them below.
- Twin - 38-inches by 75-inches
- Twin XL - 38-inches by 80-inches
- Full - 54-inches by 75-inches
- Queen - 60-inches by 80-inches
- King - 76-inches by 80-inches
- California King - 72-inches by 84-inches
The size of the matters comes down to your personal preferences, room size, any growth expectations you have, and whether or not you plan to share it. You can always upgrade to a bigger mattress later, but the price does climb as you get into the larger sizes.
Your mattress's thickness level will vary depending on the brand. You'll find that entry-level picks feature a much simpler design with thinner material. The luxury brands come with more complicated designs with comfort layers, and they tend to have a thicker construction. If you have mobility issues and trouble getting in or out of your bed, a thicker mattress may not be the best route to go.
Picking out a mattress is an investment, and you should take the time to carefully consider all of the points we outlined to ensure you pick out the best possible choice for your wants and needs. Compare brands, consider how you sleep and note any special features you want your new mattress to have. This can help ensure you make the best choice and pick the mattress that is going to give you a good night's sleep for years to come.