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20 Things to Look for when buying a Mattress

People spend more time on their bed than on any other piece of furniture in their home.A good night’s sleep has a refreshing and re-energizing effect. That’s why mattress selection is quite an important shopping exercise.  If you are not sure what to look for in a mattress read up on several important things you should know before buying one.

  1. Focus on comfort. The most important thing to consider is your own comfort level. Even if you buy the most expensive mattress, you won’t have the best sleeping experience of your life if you’re not comfortable on it. What to look for in a mattress boils down to several other factors, like the size, firmness, and type of materials used in the mattress.
  2. Don’t look for one mattress that is the best for everyone. When you’re buying a new mattress, remember to look for a mattress that’s best for you, not the mattresses that the experts hail as the best ever on the market.
  3. Find the right size for your needs. If you feel restricted by a narrow bed, then you need a more spacious double bed. A queen size may be a bit large for an individual person, but it’s great if you like the extra space. King-sized or California king mattresses are made for partners and for master bedrooms and offer plenty of space for couples. Keep in mind that moving a mattress this large can present some challenges if not done the right way.
  4. Firmness labels are not accurate. One brand’s extra firm may be equivalent to another brand’s medium firm option. You can’t trust these labels completely.
  5. Test the mattress.  Most mattress and bed shops will allow you to lie down on the mattress so you can test it.
  6. Read consumer mattress reviews when buying online. This gives you a more practical idea of the popular mattresses currently available and allows you to narrow down the huge field of choices when buying a new mattress.
  7. Firmer is not better. You need just enough firmness to properly support your spine and other parts of your body. But excess firmness can cause uncomfortable pressure points and prevent your spine from maintaining its natural curve while you sleep.
  8. Softer is not better. Too much softness will sag under the middle area of the spine, which can cause poor posture and lead to back pain.
  9. An adjustable air bed is a safe but expensive option. Since you can adjust the firmness and softness with a remote, you’re safer even without first testing the mattress.
  10. Multi-zoned beds make good alternatives. If you find adjustable beds too expensive, you can go for mattresses with different support zones. Hunt for a mattress that is softer at the hips and shoulders, but firmer at the mid-spine area.

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  1. Decide on a budget and stick to it. The prices of mattresses vary greatly, so you need to set a price you are willing to pay and not go over that amount.
  2. Don’t rush. Take your time and so you will make the right decision. The last thing you want to do is bring home a bad mattress and then go through all the hassles of returning it.
  3. Consider all options. You can spend the time you have researching innerspring mattresses, air beds, waterbeds, memory foam, latex, and so on to find which mattress type suits you best.
  4. Metal coils are common, but not necessarily the best. Innerspring beds are prone to sagging and allergens, are noisy and have a bouncy effect some people find uncomfortable.
  5. Memory foam is far from perfect. Despite all the hype, memory foam is not the ultimate choice. It tends to feel hot, expels an unpleasant chemical smell, and is prone to body indentations.
  6. Natural latex foam is better. Keep an eye out for natural latex if you do decide to go with this classic foam choice.
  7. Waterbeds are not for everyone. Waterbeds can follow the body’s shape and feel cool, but some people also feel seasick and dizzy on them and they don’t always provide enough back support.
  8. Hybrid beds are becoming more popular. If you want to get the benefits of the different types of mattresses, get hybrids like latex and memory foam combination, or an innerspring with memory foam top layer.
  9. Brands have value. There are reasons why some brands are more well known than others. Look for trusted brands that have good quality products and good customer support.
  10. Look for a good warranty. As the list of what to look for in a mattress grows, you cannot ignore the warranty. The longer the warranty, the better.

The bottom line

Knowing what to look for in a mattress will steer you in the right direction when it comes time to make a decision. Remember that you will spend more time on your bed than any other furniture item in your home. A small amount of time spent researching your mattress choices can pay huge dividends by contributing to your comfort and well being for years to come.

Frequently asked questions

What do you look for in a bed?

If you’re wondering what to look for in a mattress, you will want to focus on price, size, firmness, and construction of the mattress.

How do I know I need a new mattress?

If you suspect that it is time to get a new mattress due to age, smell, or any number of other factors, there are a few things to take into consideration. And if you decide it’s time, check out our guidelines on what times of year are the best time to buy a new mattress.

What is the best affordable mattress?

When buying a new mattress, affordability is important, but remember that everyone’s circumstances and needs are different. Luckily, mattress prices vary, so you have options.

These tips were provided to us by David Patrick from Mattress Wiz.

Kristina Byas contributed to this report

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