Just give me the bare minimum I need to know to make a good decision.
The 'just the facts, ma’am' version of
how to shop for a mattress -- for those in a hurry.
This page tells you exactly how to shop for a mattress without:
spending money unnecessarily
falling for marketing mythology
ending up with a mattress that won't stay comfortable
10 QUICK TIPS:
1. MAKE A PLAN
Know how long you want your mattress to last (3 years? 15 years?). Consider your budget — money and time for shopping. Dress in comfy clothes.
2. CHOOSE A STORE
Look for high customer ratings online, with reviews that speak to good customer service and helpful sales people. Ask friends and family for recommendations.
3. BUY 2-SIDED
2-sided mattresses you can flip and rotate last up to 3 times as long as 'can’t flip' mattresses. They may be hard to find in your area, but 2-sided mattresses are still made and sold every day to consumers!
4. KNOW YOUR MATERIALS
Looking for natural or organic? Avoid 'natural latex' (it’s not) and synthetic materials. Have allergies or chemical sensitivities? Stick to plant-based fibers like cotton, wool, and botanical latex and avoid poly foam, memory foam, and gel foam.
5. SELECT YOUR SURFACE FEEL
From extra firm to extra plush, your body already has a preferred surface feel. There’s no need to change it — what you like is what you like. If you want to change, try one degree firmer or plusher; don’t go drastic.
6. COIL, FIBER, OR HYBRID
Some mattresses contain spring coils, some don’t. Neither are better or worse for sleeping, they just have a different feel. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
7. TEST REST
Try before you buy. Spend 10-15 minutes faux napping on two or three beds at the most. Lie in the position you normally sleep: side, back, stomach, or a mix. See how each mattress feels.
8. BOX OR NO BOX?
Your mattress may or may not need a box, depending on the condition of your current box (if you have one) and the type of bed frame you have. A sturdy platform bed with a solid deck or enough slats across the bottom for the mattress to lay flat does not need a box.
9. CHECK WARRANTY & POLICIES
Manufacturers' warranties usually cover only defects, not normal wear and tear. Get clear on the store’s return or comfort exchange program before you buy.
10. ALLOW FOR 28 DAYS OF SLEEP BEFORE MAKING A CHANGE
Your body needs up to a full month to acclimate to your new mattress. Give it time!