Top Ten Mattress Shopping Tips

mattress shopping

Before you go mattress shopping, read up on these top 10 questions for mattress shopping.

Comparison mattress shopping is difficult. Buying online is hit-or-miss. Many people don’t even know where to begin their search. You have mattress questions? Viewpoints has answers!

I’m in need of a new mattress where do I start?

Before you head to the store, assess the situation. What size mattress do you want, and what size will fit in your room? If you’re moving to a new place, be sure to measure the area first before you buy.

There are so many types of mattresses! What are they, and how will they affect how I sleep?

Your average mattress is probably inner coil spring, which is covered with bedding material so you don’t feel the springs. Pocket coil spring mattresses, common in the Simmons Beautyrest line, is a smaller spring pre-compressed that allows isolation of movement of sleeping partners. Foam mattress, including poured polyurethane and latex mattresses, are all types of foam mattresses that are supposed to relieve back pressure and conform to the shape and heat of your body.

I’ve heard mixed things about mattress firmness. How much firmness will be comfortable and good for my back?

You want a mattress that feels right for you, and this isn’t something you can determine online. Firm is not the same thing as supportive. A mattress that is too firm will be uncomfortable and difficult to get used to. However, one that is too soft won’t be supportive enough. If you are concerned about mattress firmness, talk to your doctor or chiropractor. Even if you’d prefer to buy a mattress online, try it out in store so you’re sure your mattress is right for your body.

What are the benefits or drawbacks to a pillow-top or plush-top mattress?

Both of these add softness on the top of an otherwise firm mattress. However, these mattresses generally can’t be flipped, which is a big drawback to those who only sleep one person to one side of the bed. A plush-top mattress is more compressed than a pillow-top. If you aren’t sure if you need these features, just invest in an affordable mattress pad or topper for your bed that you can detach.

What exactly is a box spring, and do I need one?

Box springs aren’t springy; they are just the enclosure that holds the mattress. Many can be very expensive while you can find a good price on others already paired with a mattress. Make sure you buy a box spring designed to properly support your mattress because it is the foundation of your bed.

What are some other important features to consider when buying my mattress?

You’re going to want a quality bed frame to support your mattress. Be sure your frame has at least six points of contact with the floor, as many manufacturers recommend, or your mattress warranty might be voided. Also, pay attention to the ticking, which is the outermost layer of the mattress, an important factor in comfort. A smaller ticking pattern feels firmer while a larger pattern gives a cushioned feeling.

What is the general return policy on mattresses?

Once you buy a mattress, it’s pretty much yours for good. If you change your mind, even if you haven’t used the mattress yet, you need to consider shipping and restocking fees. Plus, if you’ve used your mattress, it could void the warranty. If there is a stain, forget about it. You might want to invest in a waterproof mattress cover just in case. Don’t remove that warranty tag on your mattress!

What is the best mattress brand?

It really depends on what type of mattress you’re looking for. Tempur-Pedic is the top name in foam mattresses. If you have a bad back, you might want to look into Sealy Posturepedic mattresses. Serta mattresses have a reputation of making affordable mattresses. Other popular brands include Simmons and Sleep Number.

What is the minimum I can spend on a mattress that is functional and comfortable?

If you opt for mattresses on sale, look into mattress store closings or even buy floor models (there’s nothing wrong with them!), you can find a nice, queen size mattress for about $300. Even the top brands start selling at just a couple hundred dollars. Also, remember that you can negotiate on your mattress price. Just be sure you aren’t skimping on the price because it will cost you (and your back) later.

Where should I buy my mattress, or where should I at least start looking?

Look online to search for stores in your area; you might be surprised by some you didn’t know existed. Consider any possible sales coming up before you check out the stores. From Black Friday, to President’s Day and Memorial Day, there are tons of opportunities to save. Be sure to compare prices both in store and online. If you’re replacing an old mattress, be sure to inquire at the store about mattress recycling.

Want more information on choosing the best mattress? Visit the Mattress homepage

Jennifer A. Freeman (73 Posts)

Jennifer A. Freeman is the content editor for Viewpoints. Reach out to her with story ideas or comments about Viewpoints.