How to Pick a Mattress (2020) – The Ultimate 7 Steps Guide

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how to pick a mattress

Choosing a new mattress can be overwhelming. So many options. So little time. But, if you have the right info – mattress shopping should be a breeze.

We’ve broken down how to pick a mattress in 7 comprehensive steps. In case you’re the grab-and-go kind of person, you can head over to the bottom of the page for a quick summary. But, while we understand you want to go the shorter route, we still recommend for you to consider your mattress purchase in greater detail because it is an investment that you’ll spend an average of 7 to 8-hour chunks of your time in.

So, if you’re excited to know more about how to pick a mattress the right way, our team’s got your back (literally – with a good mattress). 

We spent hours of research and here’s what we have in store for you:

7 Steps To Finding The Perfect Mattress

1

Step No. 1: Pick the Right Mattress Type

pick the right mattress style

Mattress types matter. It’s the defining feature of how mattresses affect sleep and it should be the first thing you need to consider. The type of mattress you’re sleeping on can be the sole reason why you’re not sleeping so great at night – when your mattress is too firm or when your mattress is too soft. 

And while we’d like to give you the definitive “yes this one is the best mattress type for you”, it’s important to note that the operative word here is “you”. Your preference is the primary basis for choosing a particular mattress type.

Here’s an exhaustive list of mattress types that may (or may not) work for you:

Foam Mattresses

We’ll start with foam because it is typically what makes up a mattress, regardless of type, in the first place.

The three most common types of foam mattresses are made from memory foam, latex foam and polyurethane foam (a.k.a polyfoam). 

Let’s take a look at each:

Memory Foam Mattress

Quick definition

Developed by NASA in 1966 to improve the safety of aircraft cushions, memory foam mattresses are a popular choice for a lot of sleepers. It can also be referred to as viscoelastic polyurethane foam or low-resilience polyurethane foam (LRPu).

What it's made of:

Composed mainly of polyurethane foam, it’s developed with added chemicals for the purpose of increasing density and viscosity. It’s designed with open “foam bubbles” (or cells) which then create a matrix for air to move freely. Memory foam is much denser than regular polyurethane foam.

Durability:

Memory foam mattresses are generally known to last longer than most types of mattresses. If you invest in a quality brand and take care of your memory foam mattress well, it can last anywhere from 8 to 10 years.

How it feels:

Memory foam’s most popular quality is that it’s “slow-moving” hence the term “memory” as it seems to remember your shape and your form. That’s why most users of memory foam mattresses feel a “sinking” feeling as soon as they settle in for bed. But you don’t have to worry about your bed sagging because it will bounce back to its original shape.

Another common quality of memory foam is that it is temperature-sensitive. That means sleepers tend to feel warmer than usual when on this type of mattress. That’s because memory foam molds and contours to the body as it responds to the body’s natural heat and pressure.

There are, however, newer, more innovative options that integrate cooling gels into memory foam which offers the full comfort of memory foam minus the “overheating”.

Firmness:

Memory foam mattresses cater to every sleeper as they come in both firm or soft variations. 

The best way to determine how deep you’ll sink into a memory foam mattress is to have a look at the foam’s density and thickness. Thinner, less dense memory foam mattresses offer a firmer base, while thicker memory foam mattresses should feel plusher.

When thinking about the best firmness level for you, think about your usual sleeping position:

  • Stomach sleepers don’t generally feel comfortable on plush or soft memory foam mattresses as it due to its sinking, quicksand feeling making the person feel smothered instead of rested. 
  • Back sleepers and side sleepers will usually feel almost immediate pressure point relief on firm or medium-firm memory foam mattresses.

A great place to look for memory foam mattress options would be Costco mattresses. You can have a look online and check out their memory foam mattress collection.

Price:

Most pure memory foam mattresses are generally more expensive than other types of mattresses. However, there are options that are affordable, as well. Currently, a memory foam bed would generally cost somewhere between $1,000 to $1,500 for a queen mattress.

Our sleep experts agree that one of the best quality memory foam mattresses under $200 is manufactured by Zinus.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you’re all for splurging, then we won’t hesitate to recommend Tempur-Pedic’s Tempur Adapt Memory Foam Mattress which currently retails at $1,999.

Pros
Cons
Bottom line:

Memory foam mattresses aren’t for everyone but if you’re looking for hugging, body-contouring feel, great support, pressure relief, good motion isolation, and love to sleep on your back or side, then a memory foam mattress may just be what you need. In terms of price, it comes in a wide array of budget options.

Our recommendation:

If you’d like to get all the comforts of a memory foam mattress in both soft and firm versions, you may want to try Layla’s Flippable Memory Foam Mattress. Simply flip it and get the firmness that you like. It’s also copper-infused, which makes it cooler to sleep on.

Latex Foam Mattress

Quick definition

If you’re looking for both a durable yet chemical-free and eco-friendly mattress option, then a latex mattress is a great choice. 

Here’s a quick snapshot of each type of latex:

  • Natural latex comes from the sap of a rubber tree and comes in 2 types: Dunlop and Talalay. It’s the most durable latex type but it may cause allergic reactions to people who are allergic to latex.
  • Synthetic latex feels just like genuine, natural latex but is made from a mix of chemical compounds. Compared to natural latex, it’s less durable but won’t trigger latex allergies.

Blended latex is a combination of both natural and synthetic latex. Compared to synthetic latex, it’s more durable and it generally costs less as it’s more affordable to produce. Usually, blended latex should contain more synthetic latex components than natural latex.

Durability:

Natural latex mattresses are popularly known to be more durable than almost all other types of mattresses. It’s made from rubber, one of nature’s most durable materials so it’s no surprise that most natural latex mattresses can last up to 20 years or more. Latex mattress users find that they don’t need to regularly flip the mattress as it usually stays comfortable on the most frequently used side even after years of use. 

Synthetic latex and blended latex mattress options are also more durable than other mattress types.

Brands that claim to contain purely all-natural latex (sometimes labeled “organic latex” or “botanical latex”) do not contain purely 100% natural rubber sap. In order to correctly bake the rubber sap and keep it from being a runny mess, other chemical additives need to be combined into the latex.

That’s why labels honestly offering natural latex mattresses usually only claim “95 – 97% natural latex” as the rest of it comprises a small percentage of chemicals for the latex’s curing package. This isn’t harmful, though. It simply helps complete the process of creating durable, natural latex.

How it feels:

Overall, latex mattresses feel extremely comfortable because it offers just the right amount of cradling comfort complemented by springy, bouncy support. 

It’s also recommended for couples due to its great motion isolation features. Due to the firm, springy feel of latex, movement isn’t easily transmitted to either side.

Firmness:

The firmness of latex mattresses depends on its type. Dunlop latex leans towards the firmer side, while Talalay latex can be made to feel either firm or soft.

In general, health professionals recommend latex mattresses if the sleeper is looking for pain relief from physical aches and pains. This is because latex offers natural cushioning properties which promotes spine alignment.

Price:

Since latex mattresses are usually more costly to produce, they generally cost more than other mattress types. The price range is anywhere between $2000 + upwards. 

However, the cost outweighs the long-term benefits as latex mattresses last longer, promotes healthier sleep, and is produced responsibly with natural materials.

If you’d like to invest in a latex mattress but you’re not ready to put out that much cash, you can also avail of monthly payment schemes usually offered by latex mattress sellers.

For an affordable mattress option, you can try checking out Latex for Less.

For pure, organic latex at a premium price, you’d want to see if the Botanical Bliss® Latex Mattress is right for you.

Pros
Cons
Bottom line:

It’s easy to see why lots of people love latex mattresses – it’s durable, comfortable, and environmentally friendly. It’s also recommended by health experts for back pain relief. It has a few drawbacks – but more on its price than its features but, to counter budget constraints, there are several brands that offer affordable payment plans. 

At the end of the day, the high cost makes latex mattresses a worthy investment as it lasts up to (or more than) 20 years while still retaining the same comfort as it did when it was brand new.

Our recommendation:

Our team recommends the Eco Terra Hybrid Latex Mattress, an all-natural hybrid latex mattress that doesn’t come with a $2000 price tag but still offers the same comfort, firmness and durability that people love in a latex mattress.

Polyurethane or Polyfoam Mattress

Quick definition

Created in the 1950s, polyfoam is one of the most common and lowest-grade types of foam used in mattresses. It is completely synthetically-made. Polyfoam can most often be found as the topmost layer of innerspring mattresses but big, full blocks of polyfoam can be used to produce an all-polyurethane foam mattress. 

Since higher-grade polyfoam is expensive to produce, it is conventional knowledge that all-polyfoam mattresses are usually inexpensive and lower quality.

It’s also good to note that other mattress types also have layers of polyurethane foam in it. We’ll learn all about it in the next section.

Durability:

Durability depends on the type of polyfoam:

  • Low-density (or conventional) polyfoam mattresses aren’t as durable and may last as little as 2 years. It’s usually added to the top layer of the mattress for more comfort and bounce. After that general time frame, it may no longer feel as comfortable. It is the lowest-grade of polyfoam.

Per its name, it only has density levels of 1.5 pounds per cubic foot (PCF), and according to mattress experts, if the foam has a density of less than 1.2 PCF it will quickly deteriorate and not suitable for frequent use.

  • High-density or HD polyfoam mattresses, on the other hand, are more resilient and durable. It is costly to produce a mattress purely made out of high-density polyfoam. That’s why it’s usually combined as the base layer of hybrid memory foam, latex mattresses, or coil (innerspring) mattresses.

High-end hybrid mattresses may typically use a thin, top layer of high-density polyfoam. This created additional comfort because HD polyfoam can feel identical to the extreme comfort of an all-natural latex mattress.

HD polyfoam’s density rates from 1.2 PCF to 2.5 PCF which explains why it’s more comfortable and offers more support. Check the label, though. HD polyfoam that has a density of 1.8 PCF usually won’t offer the same type of comfort and support.

  • High-resilience or HR polyfoam is the highest-grade polyfoam type and is found in many top quality mattress brands. It’s much more resilient, responsive, and can last years. The difference lies in the way it’s produced. It is constructed with a different, more complex chemical makeup and cell structure then lower-grade polyfoam.

According to experts, to qualify as HR polyfoam, a density level of 2.4 PCF (or higher) is required.

The difference between the classifications of polyfoams lies in its density which is then measured in cubic pounds per foot or PCF.

The higher the PCF measurement, the denser the polyfoam is which makes it better, more resilient and more durable. The lower the PCF measurement, the less dense the polyfoam is the less support it provides.

It is not density, however, but Indentation Load Deflection or ILD that determines mattress firmness. It is a measurement that is used by car seat and furniture manufacturers, as well.

How it feels:

Low-density polyfoam feels soft and responsive to the touch. Due to its comforting, cradling feeling, it is mostly used as a top layer for memory foam, innerspring or hybrid mattresses. Since it compresses at the heavier points of your body, it provides great pressure point relief. 

However, be aware that low-density polyfoam is usually found in inexpensive polyurethane mattresses and may last no longer than 2 years.

High-grade polyfoam (both high-density and high-resiliency polyfoam) feels much firmer and springier compared with low-density polyfoam. It feels almost the same as a latex mattress – springy, usually firm, and has more bounce.

Firmness:

As with all other mattress types, polyfoam mattresses offer varying degrees of firmness levels. 

However, since polyfoam is known as one of the lowest-grade mattress foams, regardless of firmness, it does not usually offer the same kind of specific support and pressure point relief as other, more high-grade foam mattresses.

Price:

Polyfoam mattresses are generally more inexpensive than other types of foam mattresses. However, since polyfoam is typically used as layers within other mattress types, mattresses with expensive price tags usually have high-grade polyfoam within its top or base layers.

Pros
Cons
Bottom line:

All-polyfoam mattresses may come at an affordable price and would be great as a transition mattress or as a comfortable, seldom-used guest mattress, but it may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a strong, durable mattress to sleep on for years.

If you’re in it for the long haul, then invest in quality mattress brands that offer high-density and high-resiliency polyfoam within its layers. Check the label or contact the manufacturer to confirm density levels. Look for a 1.8 PCF density or higher as these would offer the same kind of comfort and support as more expensive mattress brands and can usually last up to 5 – 8 years.

Our recommendation:

If you’re looking for an all-foam mattress that offers quality polyfoam within its components then the Original Purple Mattress is something that we think you’ll love. 

Its base layer is made with 3.5”, 1.8 PCF polyfoam while its base layer is made with 4”, 2.0 PCF polyfoam. It also comes with a 10-year warranty and a 100-night sleep trial to sweeten the deal. Plus – the price isn’t so bad considering the durability and comfort this all-foam mattress offers.

Choose memory foam if...

Do not choose memory foam if...

Choose latex mattress if...

Do not choose memory foam if...

Choose a polyfoam mattress if...

Do not choose a polyfoam mattress if...

Coil Mattresses (Innerspring)

Quick definition

Also known as a traditional mattress, coil or innerspring mattresses have been manufactured for generations. Together with memory foam, coils or innersprings are one of the most commonly used core materials in mattresses for almost every mattress brand today.

Originally developed and patented for chair support in 1857, it was Heinrich Westphal, a brilliant German inventor, who built and constructed the first-ever coil mattress. After that – as they say – the rest is history; the whole world fell in love with the comfort, spring, and bounce of the coil mattress.

What it's made of:

To put in simplest terms, coil mattresses are primarily composed of steel innerspring systems which are then overlaid with a foam topper. It is then encased by various types of padding materials typically foams, fiber, and, in some types of coil mattresses, overlaying additional smaller steel springs.

Coil mattresses now are more advanced than it was in the 1800’s. Mattress technology has allowed for the development and improvement of more types of mattress coils, including the number and layers of coils. Generally, more coils in the spring mattress would mean more comfort and better support for the sleeper.

Durability:

Well-made coil mattresses can last up to 15 years. More affordable brands with lower quality materials may still last up to 6 – 8 years. The reason for its durability is because its core is made out of resilient and robust metal coil systems which offer even weight distribution. The result is that coil mattresses wear out evenly over years of usage as there are certain parts of the mattress that do not receive too much weight or pressure.

It’s also good to remember that coil mattresses are encased in upholstery which is not made from metal. Its base is also usually made out of sturdy foam. This means that, due to prolonged use, its encasement and base may wear out before the actual core springs. To avoid this from happening, it’s always good to see the product manual to ensure you are caring for your coil mattress correctly.

How it feels:

In general, coil mattresses offer more bounce and “spring”. Due to its overall construction, coil mattresses often feel firmer compared to other mattress types. 

Unlike memory foam mattresses or other types of hybrid mattresses made with both memory foam/latex/high-density foam combination, coil mattresses are bouncier and give an overall feeling of laying “on” the mattress instead of enveloped “within” it.

On that note, since coil mattresses have been around for so long, it’s possible that you have slept on one at least once in your lifetime and you’ll remember its firm, springy feel.

Firmness:

Coil mattresses come in all levels of firmness: firm, medium-firm to soft, and plush.

If you’d like to buy a premium coil mattress where you can select your own comfort levels, from Firm, Luxury Firm to Plush Soft, you may want to check out Saatva’s Classic Hybrid Innerspring Mattress.

Price:

You can buy coil mattresses at various price points:

  • $200 – $450 – usual price tag of affordable innerspring mattresses but these may not be too durable and may not last long.
  • $600 – $900 – mid-priced, entry-level innerspring mattresses are usually better in quality and also more durable. 
  • $1000 – $5000 – premium, luxury innerspring mattresses with the latest, state-of-the-art coil systems and comfort features

Still, you can get a great coil mattress with a 10 to 15-year warranty at around $950+.

Pros
Cons
Bottom line:

Coil mattresses are popular as most consumers will usually always opt to purchase something that’s familiar and tested through time. But mattress innovations have come a long way – making modern- coil mattresses more responsive, durable, and comfortable. 

That said, if you want a wide array of budget and firmness options on either a traditional coil spring mattress or hybrid innerspring models, every type of sleeper, especially those with larger, more heavier builds, will probably find a coil mattress suited to their preferences.

Our recommendation:

Since there are lots of options available for coil mattresses, we’ve decided to include one of each today’s more sought-after models:

  • Best innerspring mattress with cooling features – manufacturing innerspring mattresses for 160+ years, Real Bed knows what they’re doing. Encased in organic cover with a cooling, Eucalyptus-based rayon, it offers cool, healthy and comfortable sleep.
  • Best coil mattress for heavier individuals – because coil mattresses don’t usually “sink”, these are recommended for plus-sized sleepers. The best one out in the market today is from the Big Fig. Dedicated to bigger-figured sleepers, their mattresses feature 50% more than the usual number of innersprings in an average coil mattress.
  • Best priced coil mattress – a comfortable, durable and breathable coil mattress that costs less than a premium innerspring mattress, The Aviya Mattress offers both great value and great sleep for its price.
  • Best luxury innerspring mattress – with a price point of $1599 or a $200 per month payment option, the price tag of the WinkBed is quite high. But once you see the features it comes with, you’ll love it. With a 120-night trial (20 nights more than the average mattress brand) plus lifetime warranty, along with the durable and high-quality materials it’s constructed with, you’ll understand why NBC and Forbes gave the brand some great reviews.
  • Best eco-friendly innerspring mattress – also from WinkBeds, the EcoCloud is a baby-safe, organic, breathable coil mattress that’s responsibly made with natural materials. It is more expensive than the WinkBed, with a price tag of $1799, but if you want utmost comfort on a naturally-made innerspring mattress, this may be the one for you.

Hybrid Mattresses

Quick definition

A mattress that combines the benefits of foam and innerspring features, hybrid mattresses came about fairly recently in the late 2000s.

Its origins are basically rooted in the law of supply and demand: when memory foams were all the rage, consumers traded in their firm coil mattresses for softer memory foam. When memory foam’s popularity began to wane, people started buying coil mattresses again. 

At the time, there seemed to be no middle ground for people who wanted to enjoy both the comfort and benefits of sleeping in memory foam and coil mattresses.

The hybrid was the mattress industry’s answer to what the consumers wanted: a mattress that has the cradling, enveloping feeling of memory foam but still has that distinct support and bounce of innersprings.

What it's made of:

Hybrids are typically hybrid latex mattresses or hybrid memory foam mattresses. They are generally heavier than an all-foam mattress as it is composed of several layers. It’s easy to understand that latex hybrids are composed of latex foam and innerspring systems while memory foam hybrids are composed of memory foam and innerspring systems. 

Interwoven into these layers are other relevant mattress materials that provide the support and comfort that each sleeper needs.

There are some mattress brands that market a mattress as “hybrid” for the simple reason that it blends memory foam with innersprings. However, experts agree that a true hybrid mattress should have at least 2” of foam in its top layer.

Durability:

Hybrid mattresses can generally last up to 10+ years. However, mattress longevity depends on a lot of factors, including how frequently it’s used and how well it’s cared for. 

But, since hybrid mattresses have an innerspring core, it will have the same durable qualities with that of a traditional coil mattress. It may also last longer than your all-foam mattress mainly because hybrids are also constructed with several layers of other mattress material such as memory foam, polyfoam, latex, etc.

How it feels:

Hybrid mattresses feature the best of both mattress worlds so they can feel both comforting and supportive while keeping you cool all through the night. In other words, hybrids offer the sleeper what they want out of each type of mattress:

  • The cradling comfort of memory foam but without the “sinking”, quicksand feeling.
  • The support and bounce of latex and innersprings combined.
Firmness:

Just like other mattress types, hybrids offer varied firmness levels ranging from plush to firm. However, unlike mattresses constructed purely out of memory foam for example, one can always rely on added support and bounce with any average hybrid mattress.

Price:

According to recent data, hybrids can be sold at the lowest price of $1200 below for a queen size. However, some premium brands sell hybrids for above $2000. An average-priced hybrid mattress from a trusted brand with a 10-year warranty would usually cost somewhere around $1650.

Pros
Cons
Bottom line:

Even amidst the general opinion that hybrid mattresses are just one of many high-priced, mattresses trends, it looks like it’s here to stay. That’s because it caters to sleepers whose preferences fall right in the middle. 

Just like Goldilocks who wanted to sleep on a bed that was “just right”, hybrid mattresses are great if you’re looking for the bouncy support of an innerspring mattress but also the cradling feeling of a memory foam mattress.

Hybrids are best for combination sleepers, couples who seek the comfort of reduced motion transfer and it’s also ideal for heavier sleepers over 230 lbs.

Our recommendation:

Highly-reviewed with lots of great feedback. Casper’s Wave Hybrid Mattress is literally making waves in the hybrid mattress market. With features that help reduce back pain, added bounce,  a 10-year limited warranty, and a 100-night trial – it’s easy to understand why lots of people love sleeping on this particular Casper mattress. Have a look at it and see if it’s something you’d like to buy for yourself.

Pay attention to how the mattress is constructed. Instead of just scanning through features, benefits and price, look for sections talking about “construction and build”. A true hybrid mattress will have a total of at least 2″ of foam (whether memory foam, latex or polyurethane) in its top layers.

Other common mattress types you may want to consider:

Adjustable Mattresses

What is it?

Invented in the 19th Century by Dr. Willis D. Gatch, the adjustable bed was once known as the “Gatch Bed”. It was originally used for medical reasons such as accommodating injured, recuperating soldiers in World War I. It then naturally transitioned as a hospital bed due to its customizable nature. Depending on the needs of the patient, it can be adjusted accordingly to help aid both in treatment and healing of patients.

Today, however, anyone can take home and sleep on an adjustable mattress, even if you don’t have a medical reason. 

As its name suggests, this mattress has functionalities that allow it to be adjusted based on the sleeper’s needs. Lots of people love that they can elevate their feet or incline their back for better comfort.

Some adjustable mattresses offer additional features such as:

  • massage functionality
  • vibration
  • heat/warmth

More expensive adjustable mattresses also offer smart features that not only adjust best to your desired position but also connect to your smartphone with apps to monitor breathing, room temperature, sleep quality and movement sensor, among other smart features.

Who it’s best for:

Due to its customizable nature, adjustable mattresses are highly recommended for people with specific medical needs. It’s definitely a great bed if you’re recuperating from a serious injury or, for women, after giving birth. 

Other people who benefit from adjustable mattresses are:

  • Older people
  • People with lower back pain, hip or shoulder pain
  • Obese or heavier individuals
  • Heavy snorers
Who it’s not best for:

Adjustable mattresses usually cost more than regular mattresses for more obvious reasons in that it offers more features. So, if you’re looking for a bargain, then the adjustable mattress may not exactly be your first choice. Also, adjustable mattresses need an adjustable bed – which also comes with an expensive price tag.

If you do not have any specific reasons for sleeping on an adjustable mattress, then there’s really no need to purchase one. However, if you have some money to spend, investing in an adjustable mattress may just help you sleep more comfortably.

Pillow Top (or Eurotop) Mattresses

What is it?

A modern mattress innovation that’s made its way into many brick-and-mortar mattress showrooms as well as online brands, pillow top mattresses are constructed like any other mattress except its top layer is composed of a soft, thick layer either stuffed or sewn on the top part of the mattress. Usually, the top layer is additional padding made of memory foam. However, the padding can also be made of:

  • Wool
  • Cotton
  • Fiberfill
  • Regular foam
  • Latex foam

The result is that, on the outside, pillow top mattresses look like any other type of mattress except that it has a softer and thicker top layer.

Who it’s best for:

Pillow top mattresses are generally best for back and side sleepers as it’s softer and more comforting. It’s also recommended for people who are “hot sleepers” as it’s usually constructed with breathable cotton or latex. 

Couples will also love pillow tops because the mattress allows for reduced motion isolation – ensuring that one sleeping partner will experience minimal disruptions while sleeping.

It’s also generally recommended for anyone who simply loves sleeping on a soft mattress. Perhaps younger sleepers who have no issues with back pain or sleep disruptions will feel like they are sleeping on a cloud.

Who it’s not best for:

People who prefer firmer mattresses may not like the plush feel of pillow top mattresses. It’s also not best for sleepers who are looking for a targeted pressure point relief and support due to its soft, plush feel.

Also, if you’re looking for a durable mattress that will feel the same after years of use, the pillow top may not be the wisest choice. That’s because the plush, thick padding of the pillow top mattress will eventually compress, as all mattresses would. As the top padding is sewn or stuffed in place, once it’s compressed and indented, it’s hard to regularly turn it and fluff it up.

If you want to impress guests with “hotel-like” sleep, you can invest in a pillow top mattress for your guest bedroom. Because it will be slept on less frequently, it will stay plush and soft for a longer period as it’s not regularly compressed.

That said, if you simply want your mattress to feel fluffier and softer, you can easily purchase a mattress topper. It will automatically “convert” any mattress into a soft, pillow top. The advantage here is that you can easily turn, flip and fluff up a mattress topper regularly.

Bed In A Box Mattresses

What is it?

An ingenious mattress innovation that makes it a whole lot easier to buy a mattress, consumers are loving the concept. 

You no longer need to worry about how a mattress is shipped or if it will arrive in one piece – all you need to do is order a mattress off the internet and it will be compressed to a size small enough to fit in a shipping box. A few days later, it will be conveniently delivered to your doorstep.

Who it’s best for:

Today, the best-known mattress-in-a-box mattress brands are Casper and Purple. 

However, 7 years before Casper even introduced their own bed in a box to the rest of the world, a machinist and foam expert named Bill Bradley trademarked a machine he built that had the ability to effectively compress and roll foam mattresses so to fit into a box. It became a huge success. Bill is now founder and CEO of Bed In A Box.

For those who have never experienced buying a mattress in a box, once you take the mattress out, it expands in full to its original size and thickness.

What are the types of mattresses sold in a box?
  • Memory foam mattresses
  • Hybrid latex mattresses
  • Hybrid memory foam mattresses
  • Latex mattresses (natural, synthetic or blended latex)
Are mattresses-in-a-box any good?

Since mattresses that come delivered in a box are actually the same mattresses that you order anywhere else then yes, a mattress in a box ordered online would be just as good as the one you buy in-store.

Oversized (Family) Mattress

For people who may be built larger, taller and heavier, oversized mattresses may be the type of mattress for you. Also, it’s a great option for large families who co-sleep with 2 or more kids. Dog parents who own a couple dogs and find themselves sharing a bed with them may find oversized mattresses a worthy investment.

Now, we’re not talking about the California King, which can also be pretty expansive but we’re talking about something much larger – the Alaskan, Texas and Wyoming King beds. These supersized mattresses spell out space and luxury in a whole different way.

Solidly built with the same materials as a regular mattress, there is some difference in construction as it needs to be sturdier, wider, longer and more spacious.

Alaskan King Beds are typically 9 x 9 feet (a whopping size for a mattress) but you can get larger, custom sizes built for you, as well.

Who are oversized mattresses best for?

If you’re plus-sized with a plus-sized partner and you have the right space in your home for an oversized mattress, then this is definitely best for you. As mentioned, it’s great for larger families who don’t mind co-sleeping with kids and pets. 

That said, you don’t really need any special reason to buy an oversized mattress especially if money and space  isn’t an issue. A sprawling bed in a lovely, spacious guest room is a great conversation starter or, if you’ve included a giant, home theater in your home, an oversized mattress and comfy pillows make for a great family (and friends!) movie night.

Summing up this section:

Understanding mattress types is key to picking the right mattress. What many people don’t realize is that picking the correct type of mattress for your needs will affect more than your comfort; it will greatly affect your health. 

Sleep, after all, is directly linked with our health. If we develop back pain due to lack of support, for example, or sleep too hot and wake up in the middle of the night feeling both sweaty and tired, then we will never start the day right.

Aside from our detailed guide above, you’re also free to contact the mattress manufacturer directly to ensure that the mattress that you’re going to spend your hard-earned money on will help you become healthier in the long run.

2

Step No. 2: Pick the Right Mattress Size

pick the right mattress size

After the type of mattress, size is the second factor to consider to help you choose the right mattress size. After all, no matter how comfortable or durable the mattress is, what good will it do if it won’t fit your room?

So, if you’ve decided that a hybrid latex mattress works best for you, hold off on putting in your credit card details. Bookmark the link and save it for later. Time to take out your measuring tools.

To make things easier, we’ve included a comprehensive list of mattress sizes to give you an idea of the dimensions of the mattress you need to buy based on your needs and the size of your room.

Please note, however, that we can only provide you with standard mattress sizes and room size suggestions. Mattress manufacturers often have custom, non-standard sizes that may suit you best, hence, it’s still best to make your own measurements as room sizes vary. In addition, you may have a non-standard room size, as well. You can consult the mattress manufacturer or consult with an architect or interior designer.

If you’re confident that you can measure your room yourself, here are some points to consider:

  • Walking/movement space
  • Size of the people who will sleep in the room e.g. larger sized people tend to need larger mattresses and more space to move in
  • Dimensions of bed frame or box springs 
  • Dimensions of headboard and nightstands (if any)
  • Consider other furniture and the space needed when drawers or cabinet doors are opened

After considering the above and you feel that the mattress you are looking to purchase will make your room feel claustrophobic and “tight”, you may want to consider going the next size down e.g. if a queen mattress won’t suit your room, you may want to consider with a full size or a full XL, instead.

If storage is the issue, then you may also want to consider using a platform bed to make room for storage space below your bed for shoes and sundries.

Check out our mattress size and room size guide below. Note that we’ve included data for oversized, family mattresses:

Standard Mattress Sizes

Size Dimensions Best For? Suggested Room Size
Crib
28 ⅝" width x 52 ⅝ " in length | *Sizes will vary
Infants and babies
7’ x 10’
Short Twin *for RV
34" x 75" | Custom sizes available
Kids, children and average-sized adults
7’ x 10’
Twin
38” x 75"
Ideal for kids' bunk beds, kids' beds and solo sleepers
7’ x 10’ or 10’ x 10’
Twin XL
38” x 80”
Ideal for people with limited bedroom space, taller kids and teenagers and solo sleepers
7’ x 10’
Full Size (Double Bed)
53” x 75”
Ideal for people with spacious bedrooms, comfortable extra guest bed and great for couples
10’ x 12’
Full XL
54" x 80"
Ideal for tall adults who need extra foot/leg room but do not prefer a wide, spacious bed, tall solo sleepers and couples who don't mind narrower space (compared to a Standard queen)
10’ x 12’ to 10’ x 16’
Queen
60” x 80”
Ideal for couples, large/tall built teenagers and great for couples
10’ x 10’ to 10’ x 14’
Olympic Queen
80 x 66"
Ideal for taller adults and couples who also want wider space but do not prefer a larger King size, great fit for rooms that are long but not wide and great for pet owners (space at the end of the bed for a dog, for example)
10’ x 10’ to 10’ x 14’
King
76” x 80”
Ideal for people with spacious master bedrooms, parents who co-sleep with at least 1 child and single adults who love a spacious bed
10’ x 12’ to 13’ x 13’
California Queen
84" x 60"
Ideal for couples who prefer extra space and parents who may occasionally co-sleep
12’ x 10’ to 12’ x 14’
California King
72” x 84”
Best for couples, families with children and pets who prefer a large, sprawling but not oversized bed
12’ x 12’ to 14’ x 12’

Oversized Mattress Sizes

Size Dimensions Best For? Suggested Room Size
Wyoming King
84" - width (213.36 cm) 84" - length (213.36 cm)
Larger built couples, parents who co-sleep with children and families who love a large, spacious bed
12 x 12 ft (365.76 cm x 365.76 cm)
Texas King
80" - width (203.2 cm) 98" - length (248.92 cm)
Large/tall built couples, and families who love a huge sleeping area but generally more affordable than a Wyoming King Size Bed
12 x 14 ft (365.76 cm x 426.72 cm)
Alaskan King
108" - width (274.32 cm) 108" - length (274.32 cm)
Couples who have different sleep schedules (one day, one night), families who co-sleep with 2 or more children or pets and very large/tall adults who have spacious bedrooms
16 x 16 ft (487.68 cm x 487.68)

Summing up this section:

Determining the correct mattress dimensions to fit your exact room size is an important step in picking the right mattress. This is because you don’t want to come home to a bedroom that won’t leave any room for you to relax. 

Remember, the whole point of this guide is to ensure you get a great night’s sleep and a comfortable time while you’re in your personal quiet space – your bedroom.

3

Step No. 3: What’s Your Budget?

budget

Now that you’ve figured out the right mattress type and you just took some time off your well-deserved weekend to measure the room size for your new mattress, now it’s time to talk about money.

The next step in this mattress-picking guide is to determine your budget against the cost of the mattress you’re looking to buy. Remember that there is no one way to determine the cost of the mattress as it depends on a lot of factors. 

Also, the mattress industry is quite competitive. Mattress giants like Tempur Sealy or Serta no longer single-handedly dominate the market. Casper, Purple and a number of online mattress brands have become more popular over recent years. Shipping innovations like the bed-in-a-box have also changed the mattress game in a significant way.

That said,  here are some common factors to remember when looking at mattress prices:

Size

For obvious reasons, smaller sized-mattresses cost less than larger-sized mattresses e.g. a Twin will be more affordable than a Queen mattress. Following that logic, oversized mattresses are definitely higher-priced compared to standard-sized mattresses.

Brand

Online? Or brick-and-mortar? These both affect mattress pricing significantly. In general online brands sell mattress prices lower than brick-and-mortar mattress shops.

Materials Used

Mattresses produced using lower-quality, synthetic materials, will usually cost less than mattresses produced using natural, organic materials. The reason for this is that natural materials are harder to acquire and cost more to produce. 

The most basic example of this would be natural latex foam vs. conventional synthetic polyfoam:

  • Natural latex comes from the sap of a rubber tree mixed with a very small percentage of chemical additives so that it won’t become a gooey, rubbery mess as it undergoes the mattress-making process.
  • Conventional synthetic polyfoam (conventional polyurethane), on the other hand, are produced with synthetic chemicals that are much easier and more affordable to come by. High-density or high-resiliency polyfoam is more expensive to produce, though, but is usually combined with other layers of hybrid mattresses.

Warranty

Mattresses with longer, more comprehensive warranty policies will contribute to the cost of the initial mattress purchase. These additional costs are usually in the form of return or restocking fees. 

We’ve dedicated a full section on warranty and return policy info for you to get an overview of how mattress warranty works. You can jump to that section if you feel it’s something you’d like to learn about before checking out the next steps.

Accessories, Delivery & Set-Up Costs

From sheets to headboards, the bells and whistles you prefer to go with your mattress can add to your purchase. In terms of accessories, one of the most significant expenses will probably be the mattress foundation or box springs. Just like the mattress itself, these have varied costs, depending on the design, construction, material and size. More complicated ones with storage space may be more expensive, as well.

Other things like headboards, pillows, bedding, nightstands, matching curtains, etc., can also add to your cost. Speaking of bedding, mattress sizes that are considered “odd” will probably cost more such as Twin XL mattresses or oversized beds. 

Ordering mattresses online also comes with additional delivery fees which usually range from $50 – $150. There are, however, lots of brands that offer free shipping within a certain region or, for a lot of brands, within the US. 

In-store purchases also incur their own fees. Retailers will usually offer full-service delivery (including in-home set up) with either USPS, FedEx or with a local contractor. They may offer certain promotions for specific brands marketed with “free delivery”. 

Setting up the mattress can also cost you additional service fees especially “white glove”, in-home setup. However, these are usually fast, efficient, and time-saving so, if you have some extra cash, it’s a great, hassle-free service to avail of. Also, some mattress companies may offer to pick up your old mattress if you’re getting a new one especially if you’re buying from the same brand. But, again, this may come at an additional fee.

It’s good to note, though, that even with the factors considered above, you can still find ways to purchase a quality mattress for no more than $250, or if it’s an investment piece you’re looking for, you can easily find $2000+ mattresses that are worth every cent.

We’ve broken down common mattress categories to help give you a ballpark figure and prepare your funds for your new mattress.

Price Estimate Per Mattress Type, Average Size, Material & Construction

Mattress Type Material Price Range Price Range per Average Size
Coil or Innerspring
Generally classified as an affordable bed type that's widely available and preferred by several customers, traditional innerspring mattresses do not need complicated materials and construction. These usually have all-foam layers and may have a combination of latex, polyfoam or memory foam topmost layer.

Lowest price - $250+

Highest price - $1200

Queen $1000 - $1050

Twin $500 - $550

All-Foam
Constructed within a combination of memory foam, latex foam or polyfoam as well as hybrid and coil mattresses. All-foam mattresses are generally classified as mid to low-range as the materials used are usually synthetic and low grade.

Lowest price - $500+

Highest price - $1250+

Queen - $1020 - $1050

Twin - $600 - $650

Latex
Constructed with either all-natural latex or blended latex, latex mattresses are built with high-end mattresses using cutting-edge mattress technology. These are classified as luxurious with an expensive price tag.

Lowest Price - $1000+

Highest Price - $3000+

Queen - $2000 - $2050

Twin - $1150 - $1250

Hybrid
Constructed with pocketed coil system core, hybrid mattresses are generally priced higher than latex mattresses due to a combination of high-end materials and layers to achieve both great comfort and good support.

Lowest price - $1000+

Highest price - $3000+

Queen - $2050 - $2100

Twin - $1050 - $1100

Oversized
Due to the size and dimensions of oversized mattresses, these are generally the highest-priced mattresses available as more material and a different, more specific type of construction is required.

Lowest price - $3500+

Highest price - $7000+

How To Get A Good Deal On Mattresses

Shop online.

This is probably the most commonly-used advice but there’s a reason why – because it is generally true. Purchasing online usually means lesser fees.

Take your time.

Unlike a pair of shoes which you can maybe buy in the morning and wear the same day, it’s recommended that you take your time when choosing your mattress. This  allows you to keep an eye on the following:

  • Price comparison against different brands
  • Promos and price deals
  • Holiday promos
  • Clearance sales
  • Read real customer reviews

However, if budget isn’t your issue then taking your time is still beneficial as this will also allow you to:

  • Get your money’s worth by researching materials/certifications properly
  • Find the best luxury mattress
  • Learn about the best brands 
  • Hunt for the best warranties and longer trial periods

Talk to the experts.

No one knows how to get the best mattress deals than the ones making it. Don’t hesitate to click that “contact us” button and get in touch with the mattress manufacturer. Aside from asking your questions about the mattress you’re intending to buy, you’ll be able to find out ways to score the best mattresses at the best price.

Take advantage of mattress payment plans and financing.

Mattress brands normally offer financing plans especially for their more expensive mattress models. If you’re on a budget and can’t come up with some cash, this might be a good way to get a great deal.

Follow your favorite mattress brands on social media.

Lots of mattress manufacturers sound off on special deals and product launches on their social media pages. Be the first to know all about them and look for their social media icons in their websites.

Summing up this section:

Mattress prices basically tell you one thing: you get what you pay for. But, thanks to the magic of the internet and lots of healthy competition between mattress manufacturers, you can get great deals for bargain finds but you can also invest in more expensive mattresses, if that’s what you prefer.

In general, many mattress experts will always highlight the benefits of a more costly mattress over its price – investing in a mattress that’s made from high-grade materials, design, construction and a full warranty will get you a great night’s sleep for years to come.

4

Step No. 4: Know Your Needs & Preferences

know your needs and preferences

Out of all the steps here, this would probably be the easiest one to determine. Still, it’s an important factor to help you pick the right mattress. So, what are the preferences you need to consider? We’ve compiled a quick checklist below:

Do You Need a New Mattress?

Possibly one of the most important factors when assessing your needs and preferences is to actually make sure you’ll know when to replace or to change your mattress. 

To give you the best information, here are some FAQs that may help you determine if you need a new mattress:

The benchmark longevity of most mattress types will be anywhere from 5 to 10 years for average mattresses made with mid-range materials and construction. Premium latex, hybrid and innerspring mattresses are known to last 15 - 20+ years.

 

However, there is really no one-size-fits-all for mattress age. You can find expensive mattresses bought 5-odd years ago beginning to show signs of deterioration while some have lasted 20+ years without visible signs of wear and tear.

 

That said, there are several ways to make your mattress last longer. 

 

Here are some basic tips:

 

  • Follow care instructions to the letter
  • Invest in a good, sturdy mattress foundation or box springs
  • Consider buying a mattress protector while your mattress is still brand new
  • Rotate and flip your mattress regularly
  • Air out your mattress regularly
  • Let the sunlight in
  • Wash bedding regularly

The best way to determine if you should consider buying a new mattress is if your current one is no longer giving you a great night’s sleep, regardless of how old it is or when you bought it.

 

Other than analyzing your sleep quality, there are some more questions to ask to determine if you need a new mattress or not. 

 

  • Do you sleep better away from home, on another bed? 
  • Is your mattress more than 5 years old?
  • Have you removed all mattress layers and inspected your mattress in great detail?
  • Does it show signs of sagging? 
  • Does it appear degraded and deteriorated?
  • Is your partner not sleeping well?

 

If you answered no to all of the above, it might be time to replace your current mattress.

 

If you’ve answered no to only most of the above, then you can reevaluate in the next 6-12 months and go from there. It may not be time for you to get a new mattress just yet. 

 

But, if you or your partner are sleeping uncomfortably, you may want to consult a health professional. You could also check if your mattress foundation needs replacement or, if purchasing a mattress topper will help you sleep better.

Over time, discoloration happens with mattresses. It is usually caused by harmless, non-toxic oxidation of the materials and chemical additives used to produce mattresses.

 

Yellowish discoloration can also be the result of stains caused by bodily fluids reacting to the material of the mattress. These fluids include sweat, vomit, urine and other bodily secretions. Over time, if your mattress is constantly stained and not regularly cleaned, most parts of it will turn into a yellowish color that may be difficult to remove.

 

The best ways to ensure your mattress doesn’t turn into a yellowish hue is to use a mattress topper and to ensure that your mattress is cleaned frequently once stained.

 

Also note that mattress warranties do not usually cover discoloration, even removable ones. So it’s always best to care for your mattress properly.

Yes, it will. In fact, most mattresses will feel firm (even if you ordered a soft or mid-firm mattress) when it’s new. It will take a few days for you to “break in” a mattress, but after a week’s sleep (some take less), it should soften enough to feel as you expect it to.-

 

Also, mattress manufacturers usually offer a 100-night sleep trial. It would be wise to take advantage of this offer. You can keep a “sleep quality diary” either on video or written down so you can properly assess how comfortable you are on the bed you purchased.

 

Speaking of softness, however, if your mattress has turned out too soft or too firm for your liking but still good and comfortable, there are ways to fix it. 

 

To make a mattress softer, here’s a few things you can do:

 

  • For brand new mattresses - break it in and make it softer by walking on the surface (barefoot, please) or sleeping on it as often as possible. 
  • Use a soft or plush mattress topper made from pillow materials like memory foam (less than 2” thick and lower density levels, around 1.5 PCF), cotton fiber, wool toppers and down alternative toppers. 
  • If you’re in a cool room, mattresses can feel firmer. Make it feel soft by warming up the bed or increasing the room’s temperature.
  • Invest in softer bedding.
  • Rotate your mattress regularly.

 

To make your mattress firmer, here some things you can do:

 

  • The usual suspect in these cases is the mattress foundation. Your box springs might need repairs or reinforcement and will usually be the reason why your mattress is sagging.
  • Invest in a firm mattress topper. It’s best to choose dunlop latex toppers or tightly woven, compact wool toppers to add firmness to your mattress.
  • Check if your mattress has a zip-off mattress encasement or protector. Over time, this may be compressed and will feel firmer. You can have an upholster replace this with newer, firmer ones. However, it’s important to note that if you remove this from your mattress, your warranty might altogether become void.

Your health.

A bad back can be attributed to a lot of things including your weight, your lifestyle choices, your diet, and more, but regardless of specific reasons, a bad back can be aggravated by sleeping on the wrong mattress. In the same way, any other medical condition may worsen over time if you’re not getting comfortable sleep.

Aside from back pain, you should also consider allergies. If you are allergic to dust and dust mites, you’d want to get a memory foam mattress, which is known to be dust repellant. You can also 

It’s also a good idea to get diagnosed by a medical professional before going ahead with purchasing a new mattress. Doctors should be able to recommend the best kind of mattress for you to sleep on to improve your overall health.

Your lifestyle.

Do you work nights? And does your partner sleep during the daytime? Are you often on-call and wake up anytime of the day (or night)? Do you co-sleep with pets? Do you have 2 or more kids that may sleepily traipse into your bedroom in the middle of the night looking to snuggle with mommy? Do you sleep solo? These and lots of other questions can determine your lifestyle which can also determine the best type of mattress for you:

  • Couples with different or overlapping sleep schedules/habits would want to consider memory foam or hybrid mattresses that offer greatly reduced motion isolation. This means that when either person moves on their own side of the bed, one will not completely disrupt the other’s sleep. A larger, more spacious bed can also benefit couples who have different sleep schedules.
  • Solo sleepers will usually not have any issues with motion isolation or space. Still, solo sleepers may still look forward to life changes such as finding a partner or having to move. In this case, it’s best to invest in a mattress that’s lightweight and easy to move while still having a bit of space to stretch out.
  • Families who co-sleep with pets or kids will, for obvious reasons, want to invest in spacious mattresses. But, other than size, it’s also good to invest in a hypoallergenic mattress that’s easy to clean.
  • People with underlying medical conditions that require care, treatment and therapy may want to invest in an adjustable mattress with a surface that’s on the firmer side of the spectrum. This is because it is much easier to move on a firmer mattress and, with the added benefit of it being adjustable, it’s easy to control certain preferences such as inclining the back or elevating the feet.
  • People with back, shoulder and hip pain may want to invest in a firm mattress made out of 100% latex or latex + innerspring hybrid mattresses because these are known for its pressure point relief qualities.

Your beliefs.

This might be odd to mention but it’s no secret that your beliefs shape your preferences in life. Don’t let it stop you from choosing the right mattress based on what you believe in – it might just help you sleep better at night.

For example, if you believe in products created sustainably, you would want to consider purchasing an eco-mattress, whether budget or luxury, there are options for both. 

However, lots of mattresses market mattresses using “natural” or “organic” emblazoned on their websites, ad copy or labels. Here are some legitimate certifications to look to know if the mattress is truly green-certified:

Summing up this section:

At the end of the day, your needs and preferences will be one of the most important factors for most of the buying decisions you make. This is especially true in mattresses as it is usually a big investment.

Knowing why you’re purchasing a mattress, assessing if you truly need a mattress and ensuring that you buy a mattress that’s good for your health and you, as a whole, will help you decide on the best type of mattress for you.

5

Step No. 5: Know Your Sleeping Position

know your sleeping position

Your sleeping position is one of the next things you would want to look closely at when deciding on which mattress to purchase. We’ve mentioned this at one time or another in the above sections highlighting certain mattress types as best for certain types of sleeping positions but we’ll cover it in more detail here to help you decide what the best mattress is based on your sleeping position.

Firstly, how do you determine your sleeping position in the first place? It may be something others are aware of and will answer without a second’s hesitation but, if you’re a newbie in this department, here’s a few surefire ways to identify what type of sleeper you are:

  • Some may find this a bit extreme but you could try installing a camera or use your smartphone to record you while sleeping. You can try it for a full week and then review the footage. This will allow you to really examine the sleeping position you retain throughout the night.
  • If you’re sleeping with a partner, this makes things much easier. They’ll usually tell you what your sleeping patterns are.
  • Not having one single sleeping position through the night is okay, too. You may start out as a back sleeper, be more comfortable sleeping on your side and wake up on your stomach.
  • Take online quizzes. There are many sleep quizzes on the internet that can help determine your sleeping habits plus a few other things like how it determines your personality, as well.

As soon as you figure out what kind of sleeper you are, here are the common sleeping positions and the best matching mattress types for each:

Best Mattresses for Each Sleeping Position

Sleeping Position Description Do Consider These Mattress Types/Firmness Level Don't Consider These Mattress Types/Firmness Level
Back Sleeper
  • Only 37.5% of sleepers prefer sleeping on their back
  • Best sleeping position for neck, shoulder and back alignment
  • Not a good sleeping position for those who have GERD (acid reflux) or sleep apnea (snorer)
  • memory foam mattress
  • all-foam mattress
  • latex hybrid mattress
  • adjustable mattress
  • medium-firm to extra plush
  •  traditional innerspring mattress
  •  extra-firm or extra-plush
Side Sleeper
  • the most preferred sleeping position
  • 75% of sleepers prefer sleeping on their side
  • side sleeping isn't good for natural body alignment
  • may cause back pain if spine, hips and neck are not aligned
  • latex mattress
  • hybrid latex mattress
  • hybrid memory foam
  • traditional innerspring
  • plush, soft to medium-firm
  • low-grade polyfoam mattresses
  • extra-firm or too-plush softness
Stomach or Belly Sleeper
  •  the least preferred sleeping position
  • only about 16% of the American population prefer sleeping on their stomach
  • not the most healthy sleep position for adults as it causes unnecessary strain on the neck and spine
  •  traditional innerspring mattress
  • all-natural latex mattress
  • latex hybrid mattress
  • thin, firm to medium-firm mattress
  • low-grade polyfoam mattresses
  • plush memory foam
  • extra-firm or too-plush softness
Combination Sleeper
  • there are no current statistics for combo sleepers but research shows that some people switch positions up 36 times before finally settling to deep sleep
  • latex mattress
  • hybrid latex mattress
  • firm to medium firm all-foam mattress
  •  plush memory foam mattress
  • extra-soft, low grade all-foam or polyfoam mattress

Also, if you currently have difficulty sleeping or experience disrupted sleep because of physical aches and pains, you can also check in with a health professional. Your current sleeping position may be the culprit. Check to see if you need to change your sleep position to help you sleep better.

Summing up this section:

Determining your sleep position helps you understand your overall sleep quality. It’s a good way to start identifying sleep problems and then carefully selecting the right kind of mattress to ensure you get the best sleep possible.

However, always remember that these are just suggestions based on research and expert recommendations. Always trust your instincts. You know your body better than anyone. If you feel more comfortable on a firmer mattress, but the recommendations say otherwise, then go right ahead. Your comfort is of utmost importance.

6

Step No. 6: Check Your Body Type

check your body type

Did you know that a larger-built, heavier person will find a firm mattress softer than a smaller, lighter-built person? That’s because the weight and the pressure you put on the mattress will matter greatly in terms of overall comfort and durability. This is why checking your body type, your height and your weight will help you determine the best mattress for you.

Also, there are mattress companies that produce mattresses that cater specifically to larger, plus-size individuals. Here’s a few that you might like:

Here’s some data we prepared showing common body types and the best mattresses for each:

Best Mattresses for Plus-Size, Average Height Sleepers (230 lbs and up)

Mattress Thickness

Mattress Firmness & Size

Mattress Type

Mattress Thickness

10 - 13+ inches

Mattress Firmness & Size

Medium Firm to Firm, Standard Bed Sizes (depending on preference)

Mattress Type

- hybrid mattress constructed with high-density foam

- hybrid latex mattress with innerspring core

Best Mattresses for Plus-Sized, Tall Sleepers (230 lbs and up)

Mattress Thickness

10 - 13+ inches

Mattress Firmness & Size

Medium Firm to Firm, California King, California Queen or Custom-Made Sizes

Mattress Type

- hybrid- mattress constructed with high-density foam

- hybrid latex mattress with innerspring core

Best Mattresses for Smaller People (120 lbs and below)

Mattress Thickness

6 - 10+ inches

Mattress Firmness & Size

Soft to Medium Firm, Standard Sizes for Average Height, Twin XL or Full XL for Tall Individuals

Mattress Type

- memory foam mattress w/ thinner top layer

- all-foam mattress w/ thinner top layer

- latex hybrid

In addition to mattresses, plus-sized individuals also have to look into getting strong, robust mattress frames and box springs as this will make or break the comfort and durability of their mattress. 

Taller, plus-sized individuals should also do away with mattress foundations with handrails unless required for medical reasons.

Smaller, lighter individuals do not also need to invest in thick, expensive mattresses as they would generally not exert pressure on the foam mattress.

Summing up this section:

The best thing about being human is our diversity. But, regardless of our size and shape, we all need a good night’s rest. Getting a good mattress that’s suited to your weight will help you sleep better but also ensure that you pay your hard-earned money into a mattress that’s best for your body.

7

Step No. 7: Learn About Warranties, Returns & Refunds

learn about warranty, return and refund

Understanding how mattress warranties work is vital before finalizing your mattress purchase. In this last and final step, we’ll learn about what’s typically included, what you should, and shouldn’t look out for in a mattress warranty, and we’ll also get a bit of overview on how mattress returns and refunds.

Note that this information covers standard mattress warranty, returns and refunds policies. We aim to give you a general overview of how it all works. For more specific information, it’s best to read up on the warranty info that’s usually found in the mattress manufacturer’s website or you can contact them directly.

To make things simpler, we’ll cover this Q & A style:

Mattress Warranty

Written Warranty 

  • the most common type of mattress warranty and not required by law
  • depending on the brand or seller you’re going for, written warranties are usually valid anywhere from 5, 10, 15 to 20 years
  • contents of a written warranty promise to replace or repair the defective mattress as long as stipulated conditions are met

Implied Warranty

  • protected by law in all 50 States
  • it is composed of a “Warranty of Merchantability” and a “Warranty of Fitness”
  • Warranty of Merchantability ensures the consumer that the mattress they purchase is designed to be suitable for sleeping

Warranty of Fitness ensures the consumer that the mattress they purchase meets all greed purposes between the buyer and the seller e.g. if you buy an adjustable mattress, you will get a fully-working, adjustable mattress

Important Note: All mattresses are covered by implied warranty, by law, even if it does not include a written warranty unless the mattress is sold “as is” by the seller. Also note that “as is” sales are prohibited by law in the District of Columbia and several other states.

Prorated coverage in a mattress warranty means that the owner will not be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses related to the repair or replacement of a mattress that is officially deemed as detective. However, inspection and transportation costs are usually shouldered by the owner, in most instances. 

Exclusive prorated coverage usually offered and lasts for the most of the entire length of the warranty coverage that is 10 years or less.

Non-prorated coverage means the owner will be liable to pay a percentage of a defective mattress’s repair and replacement costs. This type of coverage usually comes in after the prorated coverage becomes invalid. Prorated coverage costs will usually increase by a certain percentage until the full warranty period expires.

Warranties are important on all products, not just mattresses. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a warranty is similar to a “promise” that the manufacturer makes to the seller and is proof that they stand by the product that they design, build and sell.

According to federal law, warranties on all products are to be made available to consumers before the sale is finalized. It helps protect the consumer against product defects and damages.

Here are the most common reasons why a mattress warranty becomes void and unusable:

  • Stains. Both removable and irremovable stains void the warranty.
  • Removal of “Law Tag” automatically voids the warranty.
  • Improper mattress support. 
  • If the mattress will be given or sold to someone else. Warranties cannot be extended to anyone else except the original buyer.
  • Not following proper rotation schedules.
  • Not immediately removing the mattress from the packaging.

Most mattress warranties cover these commonly-recognized product defects:

 

  • Seams that come undone 
  • Faulty sagging or sinking (most common reason for mattress defect) 
  • Innerspring coils that prematurely break or burst out of the mattress seams
  • Irregular, uncomfortable bunching on the mattress surface

Most mattress warranties do not cover the following and are considered “wear and tear”:

 

  • Lumps and uneven surfaces due to extended/prolonged use
  • Any structural damage caused by the owner such as scuffs or tears caused by pets or kids.
  • Indentations caused by jumping on the mattress.
  • Improper mattress foundation or support.
  • Mattress discoloration
  • Owner changing their mind because of any reason such as comfort or firmness
  • Replacement of parts that are non-defective

The easy answer is to contact the mattress manufacturer first. Just ensure that you go over the warranty information before getting in touch with them. This is so you can understand some established grounds such as checking that you made every effort to ensure that any repairs and replacements do not constitute a voided warranty.

Mattress Returns and Refunds

Mattress sellers usually offer a trial period. If you’re unhappy with the mattress after the indicated trial period, they will outline clear procedures for returns. These aren’t usually a one-size-fits all scenario but most mattress retailers will allow you to return a mattress after a 30-trial period. Some brands offer 100+ nights trial period.

When it comes to return fees – these would usually be handled by the buyer and would cost anywhere from $50 – $100.

These are usually donated to charities, children’s homes , homeless shelters or the Salvation Army. Some are also cut up and used for other products such as roofing inserts and carpet padding.

Depending on the mattress seller, refunds can be initiated for certain scenarios and usually after using the mattress for a year. However, if refunds aren’t possible, some mattress retailers offer replacements.

As usual, it’s best to contact the seller directly for specific refunds or exchange policies.

Summing up this section:

Mattress warranties and returns policies can make or break your mattress purchase. Talk to your mattress seller before closing the sale. This is most especially true if you are buying an expensive mattress with a longer warranty coverage as most mattress lifespans do not usually exceed the length of the warranty. 

In terms of returns, always know when you’ll be eligible to return a mattress and how. These are key questions that you’ll want to focus on before deciding on a mattress.

Quick Summary

1. Understand the types of mattresses and the material it’s made with.

It all starts here – choosing the right mattress type. Just like a soldier going into battle, the right mattress is your “weapon of choice” as you settle into sleep at night.

Here are some common mattress types and who it’s recommended for:

  • Memory foam mattress – great for people who love a sinking, cradling feeling. Not so great for “hot sleepers”. Generally recommended for back and side sleepers. Not recommended for plus-sized people weighing over 230 lbs. Comes in varied firmness levels and prices. 
  • Latex foam mattress – eco-friendly mattress great for people who want a bouncy, springy feel (opposite to memory foam). Great for “hot sleepers” as latex foam is generally cooling. Great for sleepers looking for pain relief. Recommended for plus-sized sleepers but just make sure you take note that mattress thickness is over 10”. Not great for people on a budget.
  • Polyfoam mattress – most all-polyfoam mattress is made from the lowest grade of polyurethane foam. High-grade polyfoam is usually -found within layers of quality hybrid mattresses. All-polyfoam mattresses are usually low-quality and not durable but are inexpensive. Good as a temporary, infrequently used mattress. 
  • Coil mattresses – a.k.a. traditional innerspring mattresses are constructed with a durable, steel coil system. These usually offer a firmer, springy feel, and best for side or combination sleepers. Recommended for plus sized sleepers over 230 lbs but will need a sturdy, durable mattress foundation or box springs. Varied firmness levels and prices are available.
  • Hybrid mattresses – combines the comfort of memory foam, latex and some polyfoam elements and usually constructed with pocketed coil systems in its core. Hybrids combine the best elements of foam mattresses + coil mattresses creating a mattress that meets just the right comfort and support. Not great for people on a budget as these are usually expensive. Varied firmness levels and prices are available.
  • Pillowtop (Eurotop) mattresses – have a soft, plush “pillowtop” sewn or stuffed directly into the topmost layer of the mattress. It’s recommended for people who prefer softer mattresses over firm ones. Be aware, however, that since the pillowtop is usually sewn over it, this may compress and become firm over time. Comes in varied sizes and but in terms of firmness, these usually come in the softer variety.
  • Adjustable mattresses – anyone can now take home an adjustable mattress to sleep in. Some even have smart features like heart monitoring and sleep quality. Just like its name suggests, adjustable mattresses can be customized to the best position you prefer – whether you want an inclined back or elevated feet. It’s not for everyone, though. It’s best for older people or people with medical conditions. It’s usually expensive so it’s not great for people on a budget.
  • Bed-In-A-Box – more of a delivery/mattress shipping concept rather than a mattress type, if you want the ease and convenience of ordering a mattress online and then having it arrive in a box, this is the way to go. Varied mattress types, firmness and sizes are available. Most common brands are Casper and Purple. But you can also check out the original bed-in-a-box website.
  • Oversized mattresses – family-sized mattresses great for families co-sleeping or for plus-sized adults (couples). Size types are Alaskan King, Texas King and the Wyoming King mattresses. These are thicker, wider and longer and constructed differently than standard-sized mattresses. One of the most expensive types of mattresses and can be custom-made.

2. Consider the size of your room before you finalize on the size of the mattress you will purchase.

Mattresses, no matter how comfortable or durable, will become a nuisance if they take up too much space in your bedroom. It’s best to measure your room before finalizing if you want a Queen or King-size mattress. Some rooms are also wider than they are longer or narrower than they are wider and you may be better off with a Twin XL rather than standard sized mattresses.

We have a full guide of standard mattress sizes with corresponding bedroom sizes in the main sections above. However, it’s still best to measure the room yourself or consult with your architect or interior designer. You also need to consider:

  • Space to walk or move about
  • Closets/cabinets/drawers the space it needs especially as you open/close cabinet doors/drawers
  • Nightstands/bookstands
  • Headboards (if your box spring or mattress foundation comes with it)

If space isn’t an issue, then consider your height and how much arm or leg room you need or if you sleep with a partner, child or pet.

3. Compare prices and don’t settle on the first “good deal” you find.

The mattress industry is one of the most competitive industries and you will find that you can get a quality mattress for as little as $250 or as high as $1000+. So, doing your homework on mattress prices may help you with your budget.

Other than the price of the mattress itself, you also have to consider other things like:

  • Shipping, delivery and set up costs
  • Materials used in the mattress (e.g. eco-friendly mattresses are usually more expensive than synthetically-made mattresses)
  • Other accessories like a box spring or mattress foundation
  • Pillows and bedding will also add to the cost (if you need new ones)
  • Warranty fees

The best way to get good prices for quality mattresses will be to do the following:

  • Shop online
  • Take your time to compare prices and research the best brands
  • Talk to the experts and connect with their customer service or sales team. They may be able to help point you into the right price points.
  • Take advantage of promos and sales.
  • Follow mattress brands on social media.

If price isn’t an issue, then make sure you are really getting what you pay for. Check the label and add a bit of research into its materials and certifications to ensure you are really getting your money’s worth.

4. Know your needs and preferences.

Assessing to see if you truly need a mattress and why you need one in the first place will help you make an informed decision about your purchase. For starters, you’ll want to know if you actually need a new mattress in the first place. The best thing to do is to think about the following:

  • Analyze your sleep. If you sleep better in other places other than your own home, maybe it really is time to replace your mattress.
  • How old your mattress is. If it’s more than 5 years old and you’re getting disrupted sleep, time to get a new one. 
  • Your partner’s sleep. If you sleep with a partner and they are complaining of bad sleep quality, as well. This is a good sign that you’re on the right track. 
  • The current quality of your mattress. After removing layers and really examining your mattress, if it’s deteriorating or sagging in the middle and sides, then it’s time to replace it.

Other factors include your lifestyle and your beliefs. Knowing and understanding how you live is also understanding how you sleep. Your beliefs also shape your purchases and general buying behavior. Think about these things and it will help choose a brand or mattress type that suits you.

5. Your sleeping position is important to the type of mattress you’ll be buying.

Do you sleep on your back, your side or your stomach? Do you switch positions before settling into deep sleep? If your mattress does not support your most comfortable sleeping position, then it will certainly give you disrupted sleep. This is because it does not support main pressure points the way it should.

Check out our guide in the main sections above regarding the best mattress for each common type of sleeping position.

Also, while you’d like a mattress that’s great for your current sleeping position, you can also consult a health professional if you are experiencing pressure point pain. There may be a need for you to train yourself to change to another sleeping position.

6. Understand your body type - height and weight.

If you are tall and heavyset and you are getting a mattress recommendation from an average-sized individual, the mattress they recommend may not be good for you. This is because a firm mattress may feel different to a lighter individual than it will be a heavier individual.

If you are plus-sized, it’s best to steer clear of plush to soft mattresses. It would be best to invest in something more firm. For lighter individuals, firmness levels aren’t really an issue but also consider other factors like your personal preferences, as well.

7. Learn about how mattress warranties, returns and refunds work

Mattress warranties aren’t the same for each mattress manufacturer, but it is an important selling point that every new mattress owner must consider before finalizing the purchase.

When you read the fine print or talk to a sales associate, these are the things you want to look out for:

  • What does the warranty cover?
  • What does it not cover?
  • What constitutes the warranty being void?
  • How long does the prorated coverage last?
  • When does the non-prorated coverage kick in?
  • Can I still get a refund after a certain period of time?
  • If refunds aren’t allowed, can I exchange it for another mattress?
  • How long before I can return the mattress?
  • What happens to the mattress if I can’t return it?

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a few more mattress-related questions? Chances are, they might be answered here. See commonly asked mattress questions below:

Sleep experts and occupational therapists commonly recommend medium-firm to firm memory foam, medium-firm latex or hybrid (memory foam + innerspring) mattresses to help with back pain relief.

The short answer is yes - it can. While newer mattresses can cause back pain, it is usually older mattresses with older mattress foundations that can be the culprit. One of the best ways to tell is if you wake up with back pain but after stretching, the back pain subsides or completely disappears. 

 

That said, there are many other health factors that can cause back pain. It’s always best to consult a physician.

Yes. Lots of mattress experts advice purchasing a mattress topper together with your new mattress purchase and using it right away. It helps extend the life of your mattress, it can help soften up a too-firm mattress and it can also “plump” up a mattress that’s been compressed over time.

Yes. Sleep experts advice to wash your mattress cover several times in the course of a year. To maintain its quality, always follow wash/care instructions to the letter.

There are many options and brands that offer baby-safe mattresses. In general, mattresses that are best for babies offer medium-firm support, aren’t made with harsh chemicals and are easy to wash. Too soft mattresses are often unsafe and may increase the chance of SIDS.

One of the top recommended crib mattresses is the Tranquility Eco Select Crib and Toddler Mattress.

This isn’t entirely a “yes or no” answer. That said, you’re not required to get one because all your mattress needs is a good, solid platform for support. In any case, if you’d like to get additional support, raise the height of your mattress, absorb shock and decrease wear/tear, then a box spring is generally a good idea.

Conclusion

As you can conclude from this guide, lots of factors go into choosing a mattress and there is certainly no cookie-cutter way on how to pick a mattress. But choosing the right mattress for your specific needs is vital to get better, healthy sleep. In fact, the wrong mattress can make or break the quality of your sleep. 

At the end of the day, if you know exactly what information to look for and you know how to pick a mattress that you’re actually comfortable sleeping in then it will make a whole world of difference.

If you still aren’t sure what mattress to pick, contact our experts! We’re always here to help.

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