Buying a new mattress is an exhausting job. You have to research and read up as if you were preparing for a board exam. Running around from store to store, hopping from website to website, comparing the pros and cons of springs over memory foam and haggling over the prices is part and parcel of the job.
As your friend and your mattress guide, we wouldn’t want you to lose your mind. Hence, we have prepared a list of important considerations to bear in mind when you go shopping for a new mattress.
The 12 Tips For Purchasing a New Mattress in 2023
Without any further ado, let’s get right into it.
1. Knowledge About Mattress Types
Before you go off and start spending your hard-earned cash, you should know what you are spending it on. There are a handful of mattress types (based on materials). Let’s familiarise ourselves with them.
are the oldest and essentially traditional mattresses. They are cheap and bouncy because they use spring coils. These coils produce the familiar bouncy support.
However, they can be noisy, develop sags and nest allergens. They also aren’t the most durable mattress type.
Memory Foam Mattresses
As the name suggests, they are supposed to ‘memorise” the shape of your body. They do that by contouring to your body curves that, after some use, leave an impression. There is significant pressure relief and you get the classic memory foam sinking feel.
On the downside, they are often quite expensive and sleep hot.
Related Article: Best Memory Form Mattresses in Australia
Latex mattresses are simply marvelous. They are more responsive and cooler than their foamy counterparts. But it also costs much more to buy a latex mattress. However, they more than make up for it with their remarkable durability.
The latex can be natural, synthetic or blended. Always opt for the natural option (though it costs more than others).
Related Article: Best Latex Mattresses in Australia
These mattresses attempt to give the customers the best of both worlds. They usually have an innerspring base covered by a foam layer that could be either a polyfoam or a memory foam.
Sometimes, they also use latex. Many hybrid mattresses also offer adjustable firmness.
Naturally, as a high-end product, they are more costly than their simpler counterparts.
Related Article: Best Overall Mattresses in Australia
Then there are the mattresses that don’t use any foam, springs or latex. Instead, an air pump is used and the mattress is inflated to the required firmness level.
Many a time, the two sides of the bed have separate air chambers to allow for different firmness levels.
Related Article: Best Blow-Up Mattresses in Australia
2. Find the Right Size
Just because you’ve been sleeping on a Queen for the past 10 years or so does not mean that you have to stick to that. Your circumstances may have changed and you must change with them.
For example, you may have moved to a more spacious house and want to enjoy that by getting yourself a California King. Similarly, you may be a young adult moving out, trying to make your mark in this world. A Single or a Twin mattress might work much better for such (ditto for people living in cramped quarters).
3. Suitable Mattress Firmness
This is the most important factor as far as the comfort level is concerned. Do not simply believe the company when it advertises its mattress as “soft and plush” or “medium firm”. There is a high degree of variability among companies and firmness itself is also a very subjective matter.
It may very well be the case that one company’s medium is another’s soft.
As a rule of thumb, heavier people require firmer and lighter people need softer surfaces. The result is that they may have different views about how firm the mattress really is.
Another important thing to mention is that firmness isn’t always the answer to back pain. As a matter of fact, medium firm mattresses turn out to be a better choice for such people. A mattress that is too firm can have the opposite effect and aggravate pressure points which increases pain and discomfort.
4. Visit Physical Stores for Tests
While many think that going to a physical, brick-and-mortar store is outdated, there are some advantages to it that online shopping just doesn’t offer at the moment.
Even if you intend to buy a mattress online, visit a store to try it out if the store displays your pick.
While looking around the store, you never need to rush yourself into any decision. Once you have selected one or more candidates, lie down on them one by one and take your time.
Remind yourself that a mattress is a long-term investment. Don’t ruin ten years of sleep just to save yourself 10 minutes of embarrassment or awkwardness.
5. Beware of Gimmicky Advertisements
Just as it is true for any other business, the mattress market has its share of snake oil peddlers.
They usually advertise their mattresses as “medically approved” or giving “orthopaedic pain relief” whereas, in truth, they don’t have any certifications to back them up.
While certain kinds of mattresses may aid people with back pain issues, there is no such thing as a medically approved mattress for back relief.
Always steer clear of these conmen.
6. Read Customer Reviews
It is always good practice to read real customer reviews before you make your decision.
Naturally, all company websites will present their product as messianic solution to all of your sleeping problems. Don’t pay them much attention and go right for the unbiased opinions of fellow sleepers.
You will find a wealth of reviews that range from excellent to average and all to way to disastrous. Regardless, they will come up with a largely common narrative about the pros and cons of the mattress. You can use that to make up your mind.
7. Online Recommendations From Friends
Another good idea is to use your social media accounts to get suggestions and recommendations from friends and family. People can also share their experiences with a certain mattress on your post.
You could specify any requirements of yours to narrow it down.
Finally, you could use relevant Facebook groups and pages (same for Instagram and WhatsApp) to help you out.
Even if it doesn’t get you to a right decision, it can save you from a wrong one.
8. Trial Period and Return Policy
While most companies offer significant trial periods and generous return policies, you’d better familiarise yourself with all the details.
Always ensure that the trial period covers at least 30 days. Many companies offer a 100-night trial period these days.
Similarly, ensure that there is a hassle-free return policy that doesn’t leave you hanging for too long. Any damage to the mattress contravenes such policies so you should keep kids, pets and food items away from it.
Most quality mattresses and top brands have 10-year warranties. However, many of them are prorated and shift a percentage of the charges to the customer after a few years. Always prefer a non-prorated warranty.
Also, avoid buying a second-hand mattress because the warranty holds only for the original owner.
10. Investing in Mattress Protection
If you can spend hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars to buy the mattress of your dreams, for your dreams, you can certainly chip in a couple more of them to protect it.
Most companies also advise their customers to buy a mattress cover or a protector of some kind.
While they guard the mattress against damage, they are also a requirement for the validity of the warranty. Most warranties are voided by any damage to the mattress.
It may be that you call the company for a different reason and get told off for an old spill or stain.
11. Loosen the Purse Strings (a Little)
While you shouldn’t spend a fortune on them, buying a mattress is one of those times when you should loosen the purse strings.
You may have to save up a little for a while or reduce spending on entertainment or non-essential expenses but this small period of pain will translate into a decade of dozing off comfortably.
Don’t be afraid to splurge a little to get your money’s worth.
12. Comfort Is King
Above all else, regardless of how well-known a brand is, how expensive the mattress is and however unique and scientific its construction may be, comfort is king.
A big price tag doesn’t necessarily translate to better comfort although it is indicative of greater investment in mattress materials.
Similarly, many new and unknown brands come out with mattresses that work wonders for many sleepers while many market mainstays remain afloat merely on name recognition.
Some companies advertise complex builds and innovative materials that make it seem as if they have rocket scientists on their payroll.
The formula is simple. Always opt for what works, buy what gives you comfort.
Buying a mattress is among the most important investments you’ll ever make. It is right up there with marriage, parenting, buying a house or choosing a career.
Hence, it is important to have a few guiding principles in mind when looking for one. In this article, we shared 12 essential tips to help you with that. We hope that you take your time and find the mattress that you’re looking for. Sleep tight!