Not sure what new mattress to buy? Not a problem. Experts agree that there is no one “perfect” mattress brand. Instead of mattress shopping by brand, experts suggest deciding which of the four mattress types suit your comfort and support needs before you hit the showroom. Reading up on different styles and mattress materials can improve your both your shopping and your sleeping experience.
Shopping for the best mattress
“I would be a millionaire if there was one specific brand of mattress that fit everybody’s specific needs,” says Karin Mahoney, Director of Communications at the Better Sleep Council, a company that compiles mattress industry research, “but it really comes down to personal preference and choice. The biggest thing is go to into the store as informed as possible so you save yourself the confusion and that overwhelming feeling that many people tend to get.” By identifying the different styles and materials, you can get one step closer to the mattress of your dreams.
Air bed mattresses
Air bed mattresses combine a number of materials to provide an adjustable sleep experience. Air mattresses offer sleepers the unique option of adjusting the firmness on either side of the bed, making them a great choice for partners with different sleep preferences.
Try: Select Air i1000 Mattress (approx. $2,000 for queen) which boasts a perfect Viewpoints score: 100/100, based on 5 reviews.
“This is a terrific bed! I love the air chamber qualities and the triple threat combo of air, latex, and memory foam. Now I just smile when people complain about their bed or aching back and I know I made the right decision.” – husseyjaques, Reviewer since 2010
The most widely available and cost friendly option in the mattress world, innerspring mattresses are a good option for sleepers with back pain or those who like more support. Although innerspring mattresses do come in plush pillow top options, they are also the firmest style on the market.
Try: The Original Mattress Factory Pillow Top Mattress (approx. $850 for queen) which holds a Viewpoints score of 84/100 based on 9 reviews.
“I don’t think we realized how bad our old mattress had gotten. We are no longer waking up hurting or with headaches. It feels like we are getting a better nights sleep and we feel so much more rested in the morning.” – mom2-8, Reviewer since 2011
Memory foam mattresses
Memory foam is a heavy hitter in the mattress shopping world for good reason. Foam absorbs motion which is great for people who toss and turn in their sleep, molds to your bodies shape, and can help reduce pressure points for side and back sleepers. Make sure you choose a high quality model, since some foams can sag or lose their elasticity.
Try: Sealy Posturepedic TrueForm Cool Springs Memory Foam Mattress (approx. $1,300 for queen) is at the top of the memory foam pile with a perfect score on Viewpoints based on 7 reviews.
“I have arthritis, and when sleeping on a regular mattress it seemed like every painful spot on my body lay against a hard spot on the mattress. With this mattress, there are no hard spots. It conforms to your body, making you completely relaxed and pain free.” – Mist, Reviewer since 2007
More supportive than memory foam, latex mattresses are made of a rubber that is hypoallergenic and resistant to mold, bugs, and bacteria. Firm and supple, these mattresses support the entire body equally and are great for sleepers with back pain.
Try: Savvy Rest Serenity Latex Mattress (approx. $2,400 for queen) falls just short of perfect, with a Viewpoints score of 90/100 based on 22 reviews.
“I finally found a comfortable all-organic mattress at Savvy Rest. I’m extremely satisfied, and I expect it to last at least 20 years. There are three 3″ layers to the mattress, so you can be very specific about your level of comfort.” - fmsauthor, Reviewer since 2009
Mahoney points out that knowing what type of mattress best suits your needs will ”give you a really good starting point and help you narrow down your choices as you select your mattress,” ensuring that you get the best beauty sleep for your buck.
Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with mattresses, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.