How to Choose a Mattress

Published by Clive Braude on 9th Feb 2016

Whether you are rich or poor, young or old, you spend a third of your life sleeping. Not only that, but the quality of your sleep can have a significant impact on your health, mood and productivity. Which is why, it could be argued, that a good bed and a great mattress are not simply a luxury. They’re an absolute necessity. Here are a few mattress facts that can help you make the right purchasing decision.

Type of Mattress

There are three major types of mattress on the market today, with many different variations. Those types of mattress are:

  • Memory foam, which is a type of latex foam that is comfortable, hard wearing and popular with people who have back or joint problems. It molds to the body, providing great support, but memory foam can be hotter than other types of mattress, as it does not let as much air through.
  • Inner spring are the traditional type of spring mattress, these days, often paired with layers of foam and other newer elements. Spring mattresses are reliable, but over time, they can become squeaky, and most will need to be turned regularly to ensure even wearing, there are a few things you can do to remind yourself when to do this.
  • Adjustable air mattresses are air mattresses encased in a foam outer shell. They usually feature a built in pump, which allows you to adjust the firmness of the mattress. In theory, that sounds like a good idea, but if you want to just have a mattress that’s the right firmness all the time, then it’s probably not for you.

Buying Tips

There are almost endless mattress options out there, and it can be tricky to work out which one is right for you. Here are a few things to look for and consider when shopping for a mattress:

  • Foam layers on spring mattresses should be at least a couple of inches thick. If they’re not, you could save by buying a cheaper mattress, and adding a memory foam topper afterwards.
  • The number of springs in a mattress have less impact on the overall quality than the gauge of wire that is used to produce them. Opt for mattresses made from higher quality materials, regardless of what kind of mattress you choose.
  • Never. Ever. Shop for mattresses online. This is one instance where you must test the merchandise, and the only way to do that is to actually lie down on the store demo model.
  • Even if you do visit the store, and test the mattress out, you may still find that after a week, it’s not what you expected. Make sure that wherever you purchase your mattress, they have a comprehensive returns policy. Mattresses are not cheap items, and you want to be sure that the one you buy will be the right one for years to come.
  • Factor extras like deliveries and extended warranties into your comparisons. Even if you buy a mattress cheap, extras can add up, so you might get a better deal if the overall price is a little higher, but all the bells and whistles are included.
  • Understand that you might not always need a box spring. If you already have a bed, or you are considering a bed with a slatted or board base, this is an unnecessary expense. Make sure you know if you need a box spring ahead of time, and stick to your guns if you don’t. You don’t have to buy the set if you don’t want it.

The average mattress will be in your life for at least ten years. Take your time selecting one, choose one that is firm enough and comfortable enough, and budget enough for the purchase. There are a few things in life where the cheapest is definitely not the best. Getting a tattoo and buying a mattress are definitely two of those times.