If you’re shopping for a new mattress, your head is probably swimming with questions. Which brand is the best? Is memory foam better than inner springs? How much is too much to spend? Which design looks best in a Western-style bedroom? While we can’t help you answer that last question, we can offer some tips for your journey:
Talk to your doctor first.
Mattress salespeople may try to tell you about some sort of back strain or pressure point that their bed design helps with. Like many sales pitches, this may not be true, or may not apply to you personally. Back pressures and pains are a medical problem, and everyone’s medical needs are different, so your doctor would be the one to know if you need to look for a specific type of support.
Try out a lot of different mattresses.
You spend a third of your life on your mattress — much more time than any other piece of furniture in your home. Don’t take the job of shopping for the right mattress lightly. Take your time, and try out as many different mattresses as possible. Compare different brands, models within that brand, mattress types (innerspring, latex, memory foam, and even the new hybrids), and different firmness. Take your time — don’t let the salesperson or anyone else rush you into buying a mattress that might not be right for you.
Firmness labels are meaningless.
A common misconception is that the firmness rating – soft, firm, extra firm, etc – are standardized in some way, and they are comparable between different brands. This is simply not true; each brand has their own method of labeling. Put simply, a “firm” mattress from one brand could feel very different from another brand’s “firm”. The only way to determine if a mattress has the right amount of comfort and support for you is to try it out. Stretch out on the mattress for at least 10-15 minutes to make sure it’s the right fit for you.
Brands are important.
With many things in life, expensive brands aren’t necessarily worth it. You can often save money and get the same product by choosing a generic or discounted brand over the leading brand. However, think twice before going for a discount mattress brand. The mattress industry leaders have earned a reputation for customer service, quality control, and post-purchase service like warranties or money-back guarantees. If peace of mind is worth a few bucks to you, stick with the big dogs.
High price doesn’t mean high quality.
While brand power might be worth a slightly higher price, you shouldn’t necessarily spring for the most expensive mattress in the store. Product comparisons will tell you that a pricier mattress isn’t always better than a lower-price competitor. Just like firmness labels, the price on the tag shouldn’t be an indicator of whether or not the mattress is the right one for you. There is no substitute to testing it out for yourself to ensure that it’s the right fit.
Check the warranty and guarantee.
If you take care of your mattress (and it takes care of you), you could have it for up to 20 years. That’s a hefty lifespan for a single investment. If you want to get the most out of your mattress purchase, ask your sales associate about your selection’s warranty, and see if the store offers a money-back guarantee period on the purchase. If you take the mattress home and decide you don’t feel right with it, don’t feel stuck with it — use that guarantee!
A lot of people don’t know that the price of a mattress is negotiable. As with a car purchase, the sticker price is often the sucker’s price. Mattresses have some of the highest markups in the retail sales industry. That means that you have room to negotiate the sale price, even if that price was already marked down by a promotion. If the store is already selling under the market price of the mattress, you can still negotiate things like free delivery and free add-ons like a bed frame, sheets, or a mattress protector set.