How to Buy a Mattress

Debugging the Shopping Experience

Research shows mattress shopping can be less than dreamy. But sleep experts agree that finding a sleep set that suits your individual needs is one of the most important factors in getting a good night’s sleep. The Better Sleep Council conducted an extensive qualitative study in 2014 that identified common challenges with mattress shopping. Here are a few of the most common frustrations, along with our recommendations for overcoming them:

1. “I have no idea when it's time to buy a mattress.”

Common indicators include:

2. “I think a good mattress should last forever.”

Mattress warranties vary by manufacturer, but even if your current mattress isn’t worn out, it may not be the best fit for you. Lifestyle changes and other variables make it important to evaluate your mattress every few years -- and research shows a new mattress can improve activity levels.

3. “I usually replace when there are holes in it, or it sags so bad I can't sleep at all."

Just like your favorite old chair or worn pair of shoes, your mattress can still feel somewhat comfortable long after it has lost its ability to provide your body with the proper support and comfort. Keep in mind that everyone’s body changes over time, and the need for comfort and support only increases with age.

4. “I actually almost didn’t go shopping because I was lazy.”

Chronic sleep issues can make us feel too tired to do everyday tasks. Most people can feel the consequences of insufficient sleep. They’re irritable and exhausted. And they are easily distracted and often don’t make sound decisions. Getting to the store one day could mean hundreds of good mornings in the future.

5. "The worst part of shopping was not really knowing what I was looking for. So confusing."

Research can help refine your shopping, but the right mattress for a great night’s sleep is the one that meets your personal needs for comfort and support. Before you start shopping, research mattress types online to find out what to look for at the store.

6. “I hate shopping when the options are limitless!”

Once you’re familiar with the menu of mattress options available and you’ve visited a store you trust, be sure to “test drive” prospective mattresses by following the SLEEP test for mattresses.

7. "Do I start by researching the technology or find something in my price range?”

Mattress shopping can seem a little overwhelming, but using the E.A.S.E. method should help you get started in the right direction.

8. “Once I got going and inside the store, I got a little excited.”

Mattress shopping should be exciting, but keeping these tips in mind can help guide you when shopping:

9. “At one time, it did serve me well, but as I get older, and it gets older, I'm getting closer to saying goodbye.”

If your mattress is causing you pain or has signs of wear and tear that impairs its functionality, you know it’s time for a new one. Once you’re ready to part with it, make sure you dispose of your mattres the right way.

10. “The most fun, exciting and valuable part is lying down on the mattresses.  As you lie down on a bunch of them and start eliminating some, the direction to go in becomes clear and you feel more confident.”

As confusing as the shopping experience can be, knowing what mattress feels comfortable to you is one of the simplest tests. In fact, getting on top of a mattress is often considered one the most rewarding elements of the shopping experience.