Buying a new mattress might seem really easy for most people…but is it? With many mattress brands in the market today, it takes much more than just knowing the “name” of the mattress brand you want in order to buy the best quality mattress for long term use. In this post we highlight some of the most important need to know tips that you should have, before, during, and after buying your best mattress; and believe it or not, it’s much more than just being patient too.
When to Replace Your Mattress
Before replacing your mattress, it is important that you determine whether you are a mattress-replacing candidate. And how will do that? The following tips will help you to determine if the time to replace your mattress is nigh.
- If your mattress has developed impressions
- If there is an obvious sagging in the mattress
- If your mattress now feels harder /softer than before
- If there is any development of some uncomfortable lumps
- If the mattress has lived past its intended lifespan (usually 10 years).
- If every time you wake up you have aches and pains
- In case you are always having trouble to fall asleep
- If finding your most comfortable sleeping position is a problem
- If the mattress has increased allergy symptoms
Type of Mattresses to Replace
Depending on your needs, buying preferences, or recommendations from loved ones, you might choose any of the following mattresses for your needs.
These are mattresses that enjoy an all-foam construction. In most cases, they will have a single layer of polyfoam or memory foam. The support core is, however – most cases forged from high-density polyfoam.
How to Determine the Best Foam Mattress for You
Type of foam is very important. Typically memory foam is known to conform better as compared to polyfoam. This makes it ideal for aligning a sleeper’s spine or even in alleviating any pressure points.
Another thing to put in mind is the foam density. The density determines how well a foam mattress supports your weight. The density is usually measured in pounds (lbs) per cubic foot (PCF). I suggest avoiding the low-density foam mattresses as they tend to degrade really fast as compared to the medium or even high-density mattresses of this type.
Finally, indentation load deflection (ILD) which basically refers to the amount of weight needed to compress the mattress sleeping surface by up to four inches (4″) is also a vital consideration. Typically, a higher ILD means a firmer foam mattress.
Apart from foam, we have latex mattresses. They are mattresses whose comfort layer will have at least a single layer of latex – a naturally occurring substance which is usually extracted from the sap of any rubber tree. The support core of this mattress can be made from latex or sometimes high-density foam.
How to Determine the Best Latex Mattress for You
The first thing to consider is the method of processing the latex. For this purpose we usually have two processes; the Dunlop and the Talalay processes.
The Dunlop process will result in the mattress having more sediment on the bottom while remaining fluffier at the top because of the presence of foam. In short, the Dunlop latex is much heavier at the bottom and will often be incorporated in support cores.
The Talalay process on the other side will result into a much more homogenous mixture. It features light and frothy foam and is therefore used for comfort layers.
And like the foam, you will also have to consider the indentation load deflection (ILD). An ILD rating of 16 or under is the best if you are looking for the softest latex mattress while a 39 or higher rating is often considered to be the firmest.
The third mattress is the innerspring mattress. This type of mattress gets its name from its core support. While it incorporates a layer of two of polyfoam in its main system, it features a set of evenly set steel coils as its main support system.
How to Determine the Best Innerspring Mattress for You
The coil type will be the first consideration. There are four main types of coil that are commonly used in the innerspring mattress. They include:-
- Bonnell coils that are usually shaped as hourglasses and which are often used in los cost innerspring mattresses.
- Offset coils. These, like the Bonnell coils, are also hourglass-shaped. However, they have a straightened bottom which creates a hinging effect if you are looking at an increased and evenly distributed support.
- Continuous wire coils are set to create single steel wire rows joined on the sides to create one of the best hinging motions.
- Pocketed coils are the last type of mattress coil and are found mostly in hybrids. Every coil is usually wrapped in fabric to minimize noise and dissipate motion transfer to greater margins.
Apart from the coil type is the coil gauge or thickness. This determines the coil’s durability and is usually measured on a simple scale of between 12 and 18-inch thickness.
Note: Pocketed coils enjoy the highest-gauge while offset coils have the lowest gauge. The rest may vary when it comes to gauge.
Additionally is the “Coil’s Pitch: which basically is the coil’s angle in relation to the sleeping surface of the mattress. It is also used to determine the firmness of the innerspring mattress too.
Finally, the coil count will determine the rates of satisfaction with an innerspring mattress. It has been found that coil counts that range between 600 and 1,000 will provide the best satisfaction ratings which cannot be said of models with over 1,000 coils.
A true hybrid mattress will be constructed with over two inches (2″) of the memory foam or latex as its main comfort system and an additional pocketed coil to provide the main support.
How to Determine the Best Hybrid Mattress for You
Density will be a major player in determining the best hybrid mattress for you especially if the mattress has layers of polyfoam/ memory foam.
Indentation load deflection (ILD) will also be a big player when looking at the best hybrids mattresses.
The same applies to the gauge. Nonetheless, pocketed coils are usually high gauge (thin) which is a good thing. However, it is their specifications that will determine the longevity that they enjoy.
Finally, we have the airbeds/ air mattresses which may feature thin foam layers for comfort or sometimes come with no comfort layer. These mattresses use inflatable/ deflate-able air chambers as their main support systems.
How to Determine the Best Air Mattress for You
There are so many factors to determine the best air mattress for your daily use including personalized customization ability, controls (remote controlled models), and design among many other things.
Mattress Buying Myths Debunked
The truth is buying a mattress only requires the best research; nonetheless, there are common claims which have been pedaled around but which in truth hold no water. They have prevented many people from buying their best mattresses. They include the following:-
I. The More Mattress Coils, the Better
This is a big lie. While mattresses that enjoy 600 to 1,000 coils such as the ones in the innerspring mattresses have the highest satisfaction, the same cannot be said of any other mattresses with over 1000 coils.
And come to think of it, if a mattress has more coils than the other, the mattress with higher coils could still have weaker coils or lower gauged coils. Additionally, there is still so much variation on coils including Bonnell, Offset (hourglass type), and continuous wire which have different individualistic features.
II. The Best Mattresses Accommodates Everyone
Hell no! You can never find a “one mattress fit all” no matter how hard you try. Typically, there are a number of things that will determine the suitability of a mattress to the user including the following:-
- Firmness preference
- Sleeping position
- Sleeper’s weight
Therefore instead of looking for a “universal” type of mattress, you should focus on finding a mattress type that suits your sleeping needs, preferences, and choices.
III. Lying on a Mattress When Buying is the Best Way to Choose.
Another big hoax! There isn’t a single mattress that will feel comfortable on the same day that you buy it. A mattress, whether foam, latex, innerspring, hybrid, or air mattress, needs time to adjust – in most cases at least 30 straight nights of use.
Because of his, the way it might feel when you test it in a store will be totally different on how it will feel a month or so later.
IV. Addition of Gel will Provide Cooler Sleep
If you look at most innerspring mattresses you will find out that they have a gel-infused foam layer in them. This layer is said to provide a super cooling effect. However, after some comparisons and tests (which we will show you in our next post) it is clear that just about 10% of such mattress has the best ability to retain warmth.
V. Additional Lumbar Support Helps the Back Sleepers
Most mattresses will have a special zone to maximize their support. This zone is called lumbar-support. It is the one thing manufacturers will use to try and differentiate their mattresses. However, it doesn’t guarantee any unique addition.
How to Choose the Perfect Mattress Based on Your Needs
We have seen the most common types of mattresses to choose from. Even so, the one thing that we must agree on is that there isn’t the “universal” mattress for everyone. Yet, from your preferred sleeping style to sleeping partner, here is the way to choose a mattress based on your needs.
If You Love the Bounce: You can choose the innerspring mattress as the coils give it a bouncy touch. Go for interconnected coils as they are extra-durable or “pocketed” coils (covered with fabric) as they reduce on the ripple effect.
If Your Partner Tosses A lot: Tossing will mean so much ripple action on the bed. This could be quite uncomfortable. The good thing is, pocketed coils will reduce the ripple and leave you with a comfortable night and smooth sleep all through the day. Dual chambered mattresses will also do the trick.
If You Need Firmer Base: Look for mattresses with less spring at the base. Focus more on memory and latex and easily determine their quality by looking at the density or the thickness of the latex/ foam. This should determine the sink.
If You’re the Guy with Allergies: You can use foam or latex as both are inherently antimicrobial. They are also resistant to mold and dust mites. Additionally, you can opt for an innerspring mattress or air mattress that is topped with a fiberfill and encased in a cover that is an allergen-resistant.
If You Need the Plush Top: Plush tops will be found in mattresses with fiberfill or foam on their outer layers. These are often covered in quilted ticking. Most innerspring mattresses have this trait and will work best with a replaceable topper.
The Side Sleeper: Side sleepers need a firm surface with ideal support for corresponding body weight. The mattress should also conform to the shape of your body. An innerspring mattress could easily provide ideal pressure relief as compared to foam/ latex.
The Tummy Sleeper: A tummy sleeper hates enveloping memory foam mattress. Instead, they need a firmer mattress for the best support and a sense air filled mattress, firmer innerspring, or heavy density foam will do.
The Back Sleeper: If you are the back sleeper, the middle ground will work wonders for you. A surface that keeps your spine on the best alignment will leave you with the most deserved comfort for your spine.
If you Suffer from Back Pains: We suggest using a customized air mattress or even memory foam or latex since they both molds into your body shape in order to provide the maximum support.
Important Mattress Shopping Tips Many Buyers Ignore
Price, material of make, and density are some of the most common mattresses buying tips that many people look at. Unfortunately, there are a few important tips that they usually ignore and which have made them lose so much when looking for the best mattresses.
Many buyers usually overlook the “edge support” of a mattress when shopping for their right mattress for everyday use. After all, no one pays attention to how a mattress feels or behaves when they sit on its side.
Nonetheless, when you sit on a mattress edge and find out you are sliding out pretty easily it might spell problems. It could be a pointer the mattress will bottom out by the feel of your weight.
Look for an innerspring mattress if you are weighty. Most of them come with proper edge support, unlike the foams that tend to sink in a lot if you isolate your body weight only to a smaller area.
A stronger mattress on the edge might also help in keeping your kids safe if they love to sleep along the edge of the bed like mine.
We are often told to test (lie down on) the mattress we intend to buy. Well, it is not bad, but it won’t guarantee the best mattress as we have seen in the “myths” section above. Even so, it could help you to feel the bounce, feel the space, or just enjoy yourself.
So how do you do this (lie down) if you are buying online?
There is something called “Sleep Trial and Returns” when buying online. Sleep trial will allow a customer to test out their new mattress for a specific length of time in order to determine the suitability or if they want to return the mattress and get a refund in case of dissatisfaction. Here are a few things you need to know about sleep trials.
How long do the best sleep trials last? The average ones will span through 90 nights. However, this will still vary from brand to brand. I have never seen one that goes below 30 days though. Buying a mattress that offers lifetime returns though will invalidate any need for sleep trial.
Can a mattress be returned anywhere along the sleep trial? Any good mattress will take at least 30 nights until the bed adjusts properly to their bodies. Due to this, a number of sleep trials often include fixed “break-in period” of the 30 nights or more before a customer can return a mattress for the refund.
Are exchanges possible with sleep trials? Yes, but not all brands. Some brands only allow it f you are exchanging the mattress you bought for a different model, construction, type, size, firmness etc.
Checking Return Policies
It is important to look at return policies especially when buying online. You should ensure that the store gives a full refund or also credit towards another mattress in case you choose to return what you bought.
Remember, return periods are sometimes referred to as “comfort guarantees” and will range from weeks to even 120 days with you being responsible for any damages that might come up along the way through.
Try Haggling or Getting a Price Cut
Unless you are buying online where you need to look out for offers, discounted prices, free shipping, and warranties to spend less over time, it is generally important to understand that once you settle on your best model, you should try getting a price cut or bringing the price down by bargaining. Negotiating is not a crime!
Strive to Understand the Warranty
In most cases, mattress warranties will last from 10 to 25. These warranties often cover manufacturing defects only such sagging, loose or say broken coil wires. The cover will decrease over time (it is often prorated). To claim your warranty or even to remain eligible you must first understand it like that. Here are additional tips to help.
How long will mattress warranties last? With very limited exceptions most mattress warranties will last for 10 years or more.
What do mattress warranties cover? They will cover a number of things including and not limited to excessive sagging, indentations, or any manufacturing flaws that you might find in your mattress layers and cover.
What won’t the mattress warranties cover? Contrary to what many people often think, mattress warranties will never cover any form of normal wear and tear and also any physical damages that could occur when under use.
Can any mattress warranty be voided? Yes. Many warranties point out that in case the mattress has not been used in the proper way (specifications are often listed in the warranty) the warranty will not hold.
Vital Delivery Day Tips
Many buyers have ended with the wrong products which they couldn’t return because of ignoring the delivery day tips. When your mattress gets delivered whether you bought it directly from a store or online, here is what you should do.
- Inspect the mattress before accepting the delivery/ only accept when you have inspected and are satisfied that the mattress is in good condition.
- Look out for stains, tears, and any other form of damages that might be evident.
- Check out for the “all-new material” mattress label before you accept delivery.
- Call customer service if you find anything that appears to be wrong.
- Take photos of damages in case customer service requests for proof.
Shipping and Delivery
It is important to understand what you should pay for delivery and how long the mattress will take before it is delivered to your doorstep. You will realize that the mattress brands which offer the free delivery services will often ship mattresses through the third-party courier services and that delivers may take less than but not more than a week unless you are in very remote locations.
Do every mattress brands that you buy offer in-home assembly? Well not all. However, a few mattress brands provide a service called “White Glove delivery” that will often include in-home assembly and packaging waste for the mattress that you have bought.
Your Personal Health Issues
When buying your mattress, let me also point out that you shouldn’t ignore your personal health issues. Apart from weight or even your preferred sleeping position, putting your mind in line with your health conditions will provide you with a therapeutic mattress. Here are some issues that you should consider.
Millions of people suffer from this leading cause of disabilities in the world. You may not realize it but if you suffer from back pains the right mattress will help you to alleviate the symptoms. Look for mattresses with medium firmness as they will easily assist your vertebrae alignment.
Research has it that approximately 350 million have arthritis today. The symptoms can be quite severe such that you might not be able to achieve proper sleep. However, doctors have revealed that if one achieves a restful sleep by using the right mattress, they could lessen the severity of arthritis.
Look for the following when choosing the best mattress for arthritis:
- Proper provision of the under the hips and shoulders contours
- Extra support at the waist, knees, and the legs.
- Avoiding the use of mattresses that are too soft.
- Aiming for a mattress with an overall ILD of 25 or more.
- Avoiding firm mattresses as they cause pressure points to remain unsupported thus making arthritis affected areas tender and sore.
Acid Reflux can cause painful heartburn or even chest pain which will, in turn, make it pretty much challenging to sleep. Choosing a good mattress will help.
A mattress that is able to accommodate acid reflux should be adjustable. I recommend a remotely controlled air mattress. Such beds will give you the elevations (comfort heights) you need by a single touch of a button whenever heartburn (acid reflux) hits you.
Shoulder/ Hip Pain
In case you suffer from shoulder and hip pains the best way to alleviate the pressure is to find a mattress that conforms really well to all your body contours so that the pressure around the hips and the shoulders is relieved as the spine will then be properly aligned to the best point of relaxation.
The General Mattress Care Tips
There are a number of things that you should do if you want your mattress to perform efficiently once you have received it. I will highlight the most important ones apart from the common cleaning, using as per the manual, and not exceeding the capacity. Take a look.
- Allow your mattress to air for at least four hours upon delivery before you choose to use it. It is good at removing the storage dampness, cold, and smells.
- Add a topper/ linen to your mattress. It helps to provide you with the right firmness and will also keep the material covering the mattress safe, clean, and with no stains.
- Determine a periodic time frame to flip/ turn your mattress. It will be ideal at stopping digs from forming and your weight from altering sections of the mattress.
- Keep in mind that you will replace the mattresses after every 8 to 10 years as by then it will be extremely soft and with unreliable support.
Where to Shop for Your Best Mattresses: Buying Guide For Mattress
There are two places where you can shop for and also buy your best mattresses for everyday use. They are:-
If you want to buy your mattress from a physical store, you may need to explore a lot, try out international shops, and do so much of the walking and checking if you want to get the very best; and this is the biggest downside when it comes to buying your mattress in this type of way.
Just remember, if you choose to buy from a mattress store you shouldn’t pay the full price. Instead, shop for better sales and negotiate the price with the salesperson.
Types of Mattress Stores
There are quite a number of mattress stores that you can find your best mattress from. Here are the best examples:-
- Big Box Retailer Shops
- Department Stores
- Furniture Stores
- Mattress Specialty Stores
These stores are typically the best options for people who are looking at buying a mattress as they move around. However, they aren’t as reliable because of their limited choices, designs, and colors.
This is the new alternative for those people who dislike physical shopping for their favorite mattresses. It has so many merits and the mattress is often shipped in a box to your doorstep in a few days once you buy. Here are a few reasons why you should shop for your next mattress online.
Convenience: It is convenient. You won’t drive around and walk a lot when shopping; plus you won’t worry about incurring extra-costs for delivery.
Extensive Research: You will get all the mattress details in one page including the exact size, design, color, and also weight. This shows the depth of understanding that these shops have on their products.
Ease in Shopping: There are many sites online that sell mattresses. You can easily shop at the comfort of your home all through these sites and get the best prices and designs.
It Saves Time: Time is limited in such a busy world. When shopping online you don’t have to waste so much time moving around. You can use real-time apps that will compare prices for you and save time.
Save You Money: Mattress prices for online retailers are usually lower than physical shop retailers. This decreases overhead and leaves you with a direct saving opportunity.
Let’s give this post the best wrap up with a few frequently asked questions and answers that many people have raised out there.
Is returning the trial mattress done for free?
This one will defer from one store to the next. In many occasions, they are often totally free. But in peculiar scenarios, buyers are sometimes required to pay return fees that cover the cost of shipping and handling.
What does a ‘limited warranty’ mean?
If you see “limited” it means the warranty coverage will exclusively extend to the main/ original owner as long as they bought their mattress directly from the main manufacturer or even an authorized retailer of the brand.
In short, if you acquire the mattress from its original owner or bought it from a non-authorized retailer you won’t qualify.
What Is a Mattress Topper?
This is an extra cushioning (layer) that always placed over your mattress before you can put your linen on the bed. Mattress toppers are good at providing additional support and also comfort while at the same time giving you a luxurious and cozy bed.
What are the best materials for a mattress topper?
There are many mattress topper materials to choose from. The most commonly used options include the following:-
- Goose feathers
How should you get the best sleep when pregnant?
If you are in your first trimester chances are that you will often get sleepy. At this point, it is vital that you get enough rest and whatever position you feel really comfortable will be important to explore including the tummy or back.
In the second trimester, chances are the baby has developed a little and you can easily feel its weight more. This will feel rather uncomfortable and could put extra pressure on specific areas around the body especially around the hips. At this point, I would suggest using a soft mattress as it is recommended that you sleep on the left side.
Just like the 2nd trimester, the third trimester won’t allow you to sleep on your back as this causes your bump to press on the main blood vessel that supplies your brain with oxygen. The lower back at this time could be a source of pain.
Keep on sleeping on your side and use a pillow under the head, between the knees, and under your bump.
It is time to choose your best mattress in an easy way. Most of our tips and reviews have helped many people to buy the very best mattresses for their personal use. Whichever way you choose to go about it, finding the best buying guide for mattress will be the very first step for anyone who intends to have a mattress that actually addresses their needs and also captures the perfect style for their bedroom, ambiance, and style among other important things.