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How to Choose a Mattress That's Right for You

Sally Painter
Woman_mattress_shopping.jpg

You can learn how easy it is to choose a mattress that's right for you with a few simple tips. Some of the things to look for when you set out shopping for a mattress include cost, type of mattress, and firmness desired.

Step One: Set a Budget

The most obvious tip is often overlooked in the focus of finding the perfect mattress. It won't matter if you find a must-have mattress if you don't have the budget to purchase it. A budget is an excellent guide to help you narrow your choices from the beginning. Get an overall idea on how much a mattress will cost and decide the price range your budget can accommodate.

Step Two: Type of Mattress

You want to decide on the type of mattress you wish to buy. This will cut down on your browsing time and will keep you on track. There are several types of hybrid mattresses on the market. Once you're familiar with what's available, you can determine which ones are in your price range.

Innerspring

The most common type of mattress is an innerspring or coil type featuring a layer (some have more than one layer) of steel spring coils. The coils provide tremendous support. The more coils in the mattress, the greater the comfort and support. By the nature of its construction, a coil mattress has cooling properties. The springs give it a bounce while supporting you.

Memory Foam

The memory foam mattress conforms to your body. If you have difficulty with pressure points, this may be the right mattress for you. A memory foam mattress will give support while relieving pressure points. The latest technology offers memory foam that is cooling. Be sure to ask about this if you go with this type of mattress. Old mattresses and some newer models don't have this technology and heat retention may be an issue.

Latex

This type of mattress is made from latex foam and has a bounce to it unlike memory foam. It also has a natural built-in cooling property.

Hybrid Mattresses

There are all kinds of hybrid mattresses. Some combine memory foam with coils, or a memory foam with cooling gel. This type of mattress combines specific features of other mattress types to create a unique sleeping comfort.

Pillow-Top

A pillow-top mattress can be found on all types of mattresses. It provide an extra layer of comforter, while still affording you support. More expensive mattresses have a pillow top on each side, so you can turn the mattress over periodically to prevent it from sagging.

Mattresses for Adjustable Beds

You can use almost any type of mattress with an adjustable bed, but it's best to shop for mattresses specifically designed for this bed frame. The main concern in selecting a mattress is to select one that provide a mattress high enough to make your bed easy to get in and out. Since the bedframe is adjustable, it is made of steel and a rigid mattress may not have enough give for sleeping comfort. A pillow top is an excellent choice if you're seeking support and soft comfort.

Step Three: Level of Firmness

In choosing the right comfort level, you want to focus on the level of firmness you need in a mattress. The type of mattress provides you with the level of support you receive for your spine, while the firmness provides you with the level of comfort.

What Is Firmness?

Too firm a mattress may mean your bed doesn't give enough under your weight to be comfortable. To determine the firmness of a mattress depends on each person. It is a subjective assessment that is specific to each individual. What you may find to be too firm, another person may find it the ideal firmness. You can gauge the firmness of a mattress by lying down on it. How does it feel? Is it hard, soft, comfortable? This is the easiest test to determine the firmness of a mattress.

How Do You Sleep?

When you start shopping for mattresses, keep in mind the type of sleeper you are. Do you sleep on your back, side or stomach? A mattress that's comfortable for a back sleeper might not be comfortable for someone who sleeps on their stomach. Make sure you lie on the mattress the way you sleep to assess if it is the right mattress for you.

Infographic of mattress firmness vs. sleep position

Finding the Right Mattress

A mattress is one major piece of furniture that can mean the difference in a restful or restless night. Take your time and be sure that you lie down on the mattress before you buy it. Once you have it home, it's yours since mattresses cannot be returned or exchanged, unless there is a defect.

How to Choose a Mattress That's Right for You