Your Complete Mattress Shopping Guide

When it comes time to buying a new mattress, it is certainly something you should not skimp on. A mattress is something we will use every single day of our lives, for several hours (preferably 6 – 8 ) at a time. Without a good night sleep it can be difficult to function during the day, thus investing in a quality mattress will help improve your quality of life, as well as help to alleviate back and neck pain. Here we’ll discuss how to tell when it’s time to buy a new mattress, and how to pick the best model for your needs.

How to tell when you need a new mattress

Your body may be trying to tell you that it’s time to replace your old mattress with a new one. Here are physical indications, as well as structural signs, that you need a new mattress.

1. You wake in the morning feeling stiff or achy.
2. You wake frequently to change position.
3. You sleep better when away from home.
4. Your mattress feels or looks saggy or lumpy.
5. Your mattress is 5 – 7 years old.

Mattress Shopping Guide

Once you’ve determined that it’s time to buy a new mattress, arm yourself with information that will help you choose the best model. Here are the most important things to look for when purchasing a new mattress, as listed by The Better Sleep Council.

Comfort – Just because a particular mattress was recommended as comfortable by a friend, does not mean you will find it equally enjoyable. Everyone is different, and each person finds a different level of support comfortable. Therefore, spend a minimum of 15 minutes trying out a mattress before buying, spending at least 5 minutes on each side and on you back. Don’t be shy! It’s the only way to find out if the mattress will work long-term for your needs.

Support – Some mattresses are labeled as soft or firm, others as medium-firm or extra firm, and so on. This label refers to how much support the mattress offers, and each person is different in what they find comfortable. When trying out various support options in the store, pay close attention to the how the heaviest parts of your body feel. Your hips, back, and shoulders should be comfortably supported with no pain or pressure.

Durability – A durable mattress is likely to cost more than one that is less durable. Again, remember not to skimp! In addition, ask about the store’s return policy, as some will allow you to return the mattress after 30 days for a different model.

Size – How big of a mattress do you need? If you sleep alone, you can save money by purchasing a smaller size. However, if you share a bed with your spouse, or tend to be highly active during the night, a larger model will be the best for your needs. The Better Sleep Council reports that the average person moves 40 – 60 times a night, thus it’s a good idea to give yourself ample room to move freely.

A note about mattress warranties

Like warranties on just about everything else, a mattress warranty does not cover average wear and tear, only defects in materials, structure, or workmanship. Each warranty is different, so take the time to read over yours to know exactly what is covered and for how long. Also, keep the receipt for your purchase with the warranty itself. Chances are you will need to have it if you ever file a claim.

And finally, when buying a mattress, look for one backed with a non-prorated warranty. It’s the difference between the company paying for any repairs and replacements, and you paying for it.

More from Jennifer Wagner:

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Personal knowledge

The Better Sleep Council

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