Whether you’re just moving into a new home or you’re looking to upgrade your existing mattress, there are many factors to consider in your decision. From your budget to the firmness of the mattress, every part of your decision is going to be based on your individual preference. In this guide, we’re going to go step-by-step and discuss each factor you need to consider in your mattress purchase to ensure you get the right one.
Top Signs It’s Tme To Get A New Mattress
Many people don’t realize just how often it’s recommended to get a new mattress. The magic number is every eight years. This is going to vary depending on usage and kind of mattress but eight is a general rule of thumb to go by. Realize the pillowtop and innerspring mattresses are going to need to be replaced sooner than memory foam or latex mattresses.
If you don’t know when your mattress was last replaced, there are some telltale signs that will alert you that it’s time. If you wake up in pain in the morning or are constantly restless throughout the night, you need to get a new mattress. If you find it harder and harder to get a good night’s rest, look to your mattress as a potential problem.
There Are Various Kinds Of Mattresses
If you’ve done a little research online or just watched all the various advertisements on the television, you know there are many different types of mattresses out there to choose from. Finding the right one for you comes down to personal needs. We’re going to start by breaking down each mattress type below to give you a better idea of what it can provide for your body.
Memory foam is becoming a very popular choice. It consists of memory foam that provides pressure relief, body contouring, and great overall support for your body. When memory foam mattresses first came out, sleepers complained about how hot the bed would become over the night. With new technology for keeping the memory foam cool, sleepers are now able to enjoy a restful night’s sleep without sweating the mattress. This mattress is ideal for those who are looking for a contouring hug and excess support while they’re getting their zzzzs.
This kind of mattress is fully made of latex foam that keeps the bed cool and comfortable. Latex is a material that is well-known for its cooling, bouncing, and responsiveness. If you aren’t interested in the hugging contour of the memory foam mattress, then the latex foam mattress is a great alternative. It will provide a nice bounce of comfort while staying cool while you sleep.
Also referred to as coil spring mattresses, these are what most people traditionally think of when it comes to a mattress. Inside of the outer shell, this type of mattress typically has one or more layers of spring coils that help to provide both comfort and support for the sleeper. With so many advances in spring technology, manufacturers are more capable than ever before to get multiple layers of coils into these inner springs. Generally, the more layers of coils, the more support and comfort you’ll have. These are perfect for those sleepers who enjoy having strong edge support and a cool mattress.
The pillow top mattress tends to be a combination of various other types of mattresses. Its foundation is usually made up of innerspring coils. Above these coils, there is a soft layer of material that is stuffed or sewn into the mattress cover. This is considered the pillow top which adds an extra layer of comfort for those who aren’t in love with the traditional innerspring mattress. Sleepers will enjoy cloud-like support with a pillow top mattress.
As you’ve learned above, different types of mattresses bring various benefits. The hybrids are constructed with the concept of maximizing as many benefits of different materials as possible while minimizing the cons that they possess. These hybrids are typically a combination of various materials such as latex and memory foam. This unites the benefits of cooling, bounce, responsiveness, support, and pressure relief all into one mattress. The majority of sleepers out there will function better with a hybrid mattress that can provide various benefits from each type of mattress material.
The last type of mattress we’re going to talk about is the adjustable mattress. This mattress essentially moves or adjusts to support the body. Most come with adjustable back areas and foot areas. This way, you can prop up the upper back and the knees at the same time. These adjustable mattresses are best for older sleepers, those with chronic low back pain, snorers, and those with varying medical conditions.
These six different types of mattresses are widely available for people to purchase. Choosing the right one for your body starts with determining just what you’re looking for when you go to sleep. By knowing what your individual preferences are, you can better purchase a mattress that is going to be an ideal fit for your body.
We do want to take a moment to mention that waterbeds are a type of mattress. However, we don’t really recommend this type of bed as it’s expensive and has a long history of leaking. These beds are typically reserved for those who have extreme back pain, allergies, and arthritis and are able to invest a large sum of money into a mattress and supporting frame.
A Look Into Your Budget
While we all wish that we could have unlimited funds to purchase the mattress that our bodies love, that’s not always the case. Sometimes our budget can restrict us to certain mattress types. Knowing where to purchase your mattress and what to look for can make a big difference in the price that you pay for your bed.
Start by realizing that mattresses are widely available both online and in-store. You’re no longer restricted to going to the local mattress store to get your bed. In fact, studies show that retail stores tend to inflate their mattress pricing anywhere from between 300 and 1,000 percent. That’s a big markup that can be a large price to pay as compared to waiting for a mattress to ship.
As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay around $1,000 for a typical queen-sized mattress. This price is obviously going to vary depending on the brand that you purchase, the deals that are going on, and the size of the bed. However, don’t expect to spend thousands of dollars to get a quality mattress as it simply isn’t necessary to. Here are some other general rules to follow when deciding on your mattress budget:
- Don’t Go With The Cheapest Option Of $500 Or Less – This will likely result in a lower quality mattress, with more toxins, and uncomfortable sleeping.
- Higher Prices Doesn’t Translate To Higher Quality – Stick to around $1,000 for a typical queen-sized mattress and $1,500 for a California King mattress.
How Firm Should My Mattress Be?
We’re going to define firmness as how soft or hard a mattress feels. This is usually the one question that most people tend to be confused about when purchasing a bed. Some commercial mattress sellers will tell you that a firm mattress is necessary for support. However, others will tell you that a soft mattress is ideal for more comfort while you sleep. This can lead to lots of confusion for sleepers.
Throughout this guideline, we’re going to be discussing firmness on a general scale. This scale ranges from 1 to 10. At the low end, 1 is very soft. On the high end, 10 is very firm. You’ll find that 3 to 4 is considered soft, while 7 to 8 is considered medium firm. Right smack dab in the middle is medium firmness at 5 to 6, which is what most people will prefer to have.
The truth is that firmness is a relative term depending on who is defining it. Your soft, medium, and firm can be much different than the next person’s. In addition, your weight, body type, size, and other personal factors are going to play a huge rule in how the firmness of a mattress feels.
It’s important to realize that firmness doesn’t equate to support in the mattress world. An ideal mattress with good support is defined as one that keeps your spine in proper alignment without creating any sort of pressure points on your body. You’ll know that a mattress has horrible support if you wake up with pain and soreness as the mattress created unnecessary pressure points.
Firmness is actually how comfortable you feel on the mattress. Therefore, the optimal level of firmness depends on how you feel. Determining the optimal level of comfort of a mattress from an online retailer can seem difficult to do with this information. However, many mattress manufacturers have come up with universal comfort mattresses. The design and layer of their materials is constructed in a way that offers comfort for varying types of sleepers including those who are short, heavy, sleep on their side, and so forth. If you’re ordering a mattress online, you may want to consider one that is marked for universal comfort.
Know Your Sleeping Position
Part of choosing the ideal mattress for you is determining what your sleeping position is. We all tend to have a favored sleeping position that feels more natural than others. This sleeping postition is going to be a big factor in determining which mattress is right for your body. Let’s take a look at the most common sleeping positions and how to choose a mattress based on them.
If you’re a side sleeper, you know for a fact that your legs move throughout the night. You may start with both legs straight out. Then, one leg may bend. You may switch up and bend the other or simply bend both at the same time. Throughout the night, this constant change can wreak havoc on pressure points throughout the lower body. Therefore, having a mattress with a soft to medium level of firmness is ideal as it will contour your body.
Those who sleep on their backs demand a higher level of firmness and support. This is because pressure points can develop for back sleepers on softer mattresses that don’t provide the right amount of push back for the body. Softer mattresses tend to allow the spine to sink down out of alignment. This can lead to unwanted back pain. Back sleepers are best getting a bed firmness between four and seven as this provides enough support without overdoing it.
Those who sleep on their stomachs are going to need to find a mattress that has a great deal of support. Since the most force of your body is going to be coming from your torso, you’ll need a bed that provides enough force to keep your torso in line with the rest of your body. Getting a mattress that is too soft will allow your torso to sink into the mattress. This will create an unwanted curving of the spine, which will result in lower back pain. Since stomach sleepers want a mattress that is flat as possible, they should opt for firmness between five and seven.
As you have now learned, the way you sleep is going to highly affect the level of firmness that you need in a mattress. To recap, those who sleep on their side should aim for between three and six. Those who sleep on their backs need to be between four and seven. Lastly, those who sleep on their stomachs are going to need a firmness between five and seven.
Take Your Bodyweight Into Consideration
While you may not initially think that your bodyweight would have anything to do with your mattress, it totally does. Your bodyweight will alter how the material hugs, feels, cools, and supports your body throughout the evening hours. While there is no exact science to the right mattress depending on body type, there are some general rules of thumb to follow when picking out the right one for your bodyweight.
Light Sleeper Weighing 150 Pounds And Below
Most universal comfort mattresses are made for those ranging between 150 and 200 pounds. Therefore, you’ll find that being under this weight you don’t sink as deeply into the mattress. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to get a mattress that is less firm that the universal comfort mattress. Aim for anywhere between four and six on the comfort scale. This way, you can ensure the top layers of the mattress aren’t too dense and uncomfortable to sleep on.
Average Sleeper Between 150 And 200 Pounds
If you fall into the average sleeper category, then you’re a lucky person. Most universal mattresses are designed for your bodyweight. You’ll find universal comfort mattresses going by the name of medium, luxury firm, or medium firm. These mattresses are typically rated anywhere between a five and seven on the firmness scale. Most mattress stores will have these types of mattresses in stock because they are the most popular as many individuals fall into the average sleeper category.
Heavy Sleeper Weighing 200 Pounds Or More
Those who fall into the heavy sleeper category tend to put more pressure on their mattresses than those who fall into the first two categories. Heavier people, in general, tend to have more pressure points on their back. These get worse with a mattress that sinks in. For this reason, they’re going to need more support and cooling to be comfortable when sleeping. You should also look into mattresses that provide exceptional edge support. When looking for firmness, you should be choosing anywhere from six to eight.
Do You Have Allergies?
If you have allergies to pests like dust mites, then sleeping in some specific types of beds can increase your symptoms. Those who are allergic to dust mites have symptoms as a result of the shed skins and fecal matter that the dust mites produce. Innerspring and pillow top mattresses tend to be the worse when it comes to harboring this type of pest. They’re just naturally a better nesting place with harder to clean materials that attract them.
If you have allergies, you may want to consider a bed that is made from antimicrobial materials. These include memory foam mattresses and latex mattresses. These types of mattresses are resistant to dust mites and mold spores that can cause allergic symptoms. If you would rather go with a material that is not antimicrobial, make sure that you invest in an allergen-resistant cover to keep the irritants low in your bedroom. Otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for some restless sleep.
Talk With Your Health Professional If You Have Medical Conditions
If you currently have medical conditions, then you should consider asking your health care provider for a reference. Many physical therapists and physicians get patient feedback regarding sleeping habits. It’s not uncommon for your physical therapist or doctor to have a great recommendation for a kind of mattress to purchase to alleviate some of the pain and other symptoms of your medical conditions. You don’t have to solely base your mattress purchase off of this recommendation, however, it’s a good piece of information to utilize when making your purchase decision.
Don’t Fall Victim To Medically-Approved Mattresses
There are some gimmicks out there that are tricking some unknowing buyers into purchasing overpriced mattresses that are supposed to help with their medical conditions. Realize that there is currently no medically-approved or orthopedic mattress out there. No recognized medical organizations officially have certified any kind of mattress. So, if you see labels stating the mattress was medically-approved, do your research. It’s likely a gimmick from a no-name organization that is just there to try and help the mattress manufacturer trick you into paying for an overpriced mattress that won’t help do anything special.
Take A Look At The Test Drive Or Money-Back Guarantee
Mattress stores know that your mattress is a big investment. When you shell out the money for a quality mattress, you want to ensure that you get comfortable to sleep on it. It’s a good idea to look for mattress suppliers that offer a test drive period or a money-back guarantee. This way, you can be assured that you’ll enjoy the mattress before you’re fully invested in it.
Realize that it will take some adjustment time. You may be all excited to get a new mattress that you just can’t wait for a good night’s rest. However, you find that the first couple of nights you wake up with a backache and you may even toss and turn. This can lead to instant frustration with your new mattress.
Do yourself a favor and give it at least a couple of weeks. This is why many of the mattress suppliers out there will offer a 90 or 120-day money-back guarantee. They know that it takes time for your body to adjust to your new mattress. This holds especially true if your old mattress was so worn it put your back into a bad sleeping position. You’ll want to test drive your bed for two full weeks to see if your problems subside. If they don’t, then consider contacting the mattress supplier to test out a different mattress.
Don’t Be Afraid To Test Mattresses Out In The Store
It’s not a bad idea to head to your local mattress store to test out some specific types of beds. Do your research ahead of time and narrow down your choices to one that fits your preferences from above. Then, look for local mattress stores that have the item that you’re looking for. Go to the mattress store and test out the mattress.
Usually, you can get a good feel for how the mattress is from the first few moments you lay down. This can help you to better narrow down your list of potential options. If you find that you’re having trouble deciding. Remember to check out the mattress prices online before heading to a retail store. This way, you don’t fall victim to high price markups that could be easily avoided by purchasing the mattress online. Realize that you can test out the mattress types at your local mattress retailer without having to purchase a mattress from them.
Replace Your Pillows Alongside Your New Mattress
One big mistake that people make when purchasing a new mattress is not getting new pillows to go with it. If you’re like most people, your pillows have been around since back when you purchased your bed. Do yourself a favor and get some new pillows that will help to increase your comfort level in your new bed.
Realize that the gap between your head and shoulders may change as a result of your new bed. You may find that you’ll need a pillow with more or less support depending on how your mattress has changed. It’s best to get your new mattress installed and test out your old pillows. Then, purchase new pillows depending on how your body elevation has changed with the new bed. If you’re not sure what pillow to get, start with purchasing just one first to test out. Then, buy as many as you need once you know that you have the right fit.
A Quick Recap Of How To Choose The Right Mattress
This guide is very in-depth and will, hopefully, be a great resource for you. However, we don’t want you to get too confused when deciding on the right mattress for you. So, we’re going to do a quick recap of our guide so that you can leave reading this with clear, actionable information to find the best bed for you.
- Do You Need A New Mattress?
If your mattress is over eight years old, it’s time to replace it. The normal mattress lifespan is around eight years. If you don’t know when the last time your mattress was replaced, it’s probably time. Common signs of a bad mattress are chronic low back pain, poor sleeping, and constant turning throughout the night.
- What Mattress Type Do You Prefer?
Before you take other factors into consideration, you should decide what you’re looking for specifically in a mattress. The above shared with you the six different types of mattresses available for purchase. These include memory foam, latex, innerspring, pillow top, hybrids, and adjustable. Based on the descriptions above, you can narrow down your list of choices to one that you will prefer to sleep on.
- What Is Your Budget?
You must take your budget into consideration when purchasing a mattress. It’s a good idea to set aside about $800 to $1,000 for the purchase of a new queen-sized mattress. If you need a larger mattress, tack on another $500 for that. If your budget doesn’t allow for at least $800, you may want to consider saving a little more before spending your money on a mattress. Remember your mattress is an investment for the next eight years and getting a good night’s rest each night depends on how good it is.
- What Firmness Level Do You Desire?
Most average sleepers will need a firmness between five and seven. This general range will cover those in all sleeping positions who fall within the average body type and weight. If you’re a side sleeper who weighs less, then consider going four or below on the firmness scale. If you’re a heavy sleeper who lays on their back or stomach, consider moving up to seven or above on the firmness scale.
- What Type Of Sleeper Are You?
Your sleeping position can play a big role in the kind of mattress that you purchase. Not only will it affect the firmness level you need but it will also affect the type of mattress that you purchase. Specific mattresses like memory foam and latex are designed to contour to your body to relieve pressure points for side sleepers. Knowing how you regularly sleep at night can help you to determine the best mattress choice for you.
- What’s Your Weight And Body Type?
Lastly, you’ll need to take your body weight and type into consideration when picking a mattress. Obviously, if you’re tall, a larger-sized mattress may be a necessity for your comfort. Your body weight can also play a role in picking the right level of firmness, support, and cooling for your ideal mattress.
What Is The Best Mattress For Your Money?
At this point, you should know that the best mattress for your money is going to depend on your individual needs. Everybody’s body and needs are different from the next. You should be choosing a mattress that has the qualities you need in a comfortable bed. For example, you may be a light sleeper who wants to have a mattress that hugs them. Your ideal mattress would be a memory foam mattress with firmness of about five. But, if you’re a heavy sleeper that sweats and hates contouring of the bed, you’re going to want a latex mattress on the heavy end of seven for firmness.
Your mattress needs are going to be unique to you. After reading through this guide, you should have a clear idea of what options are available out there for you to choose from. And, you should be able to construct a list of must-have features depending on your body and your budget. Now, it’s time to check out the mattress stores and online retailers to find the one that is perfect for your body.