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How to Choose a Mattress – A Guide to Getting Enough Sleep

You go to a store near you, find a mattress you like, and checkout.

Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

Well, most people disagree.

According to the 2020 J.D Power Report, comfort is the biggest priority for consumers shopping for mattresses.

This can make the process of finding the right mattress for you a tedious one, even if you know exactly what you want. Some of the specifications you’re looking for may not be readily available.

image - How to Choose a Mattress - A Guide to Getting Enough Sleep
How to Choose a Mattress – A Guide to Getting Enough Sleep

Since you’re here, you probably don’t want to buy a mattress that fails to meet your needs. After all, that decision comes with a decent investment that’ll stay with you for several years.

Regardless of the challenges that come with finding the right mattress, this guide will arm you with the info you need to make an informed decision.

When Should You Buy a New Mattress

When exactly do you need to replace your mattress?

Perhaps something has prompted you, or maybe you just want to get yourself a new mattress. You don’t necessarily need a reason.

However, certain situations call for replacing a mattress.

If any of these apply to you, it’s probably high time you replace your mattress:


You’re no longer comfortable with your mattress. You wake up more tired than when you went to sleep because you have a hard time relaxing.


If you’re waking up stiff and in pain, it’s time to change your mattress because it’s affecting your health.

Look out for neck and back pain, as it may mean your bed is no longer capable of properly supporting your body.

Dipped Areas

Over time, mattresses tend to dip in certain areas, especially the middle. Your mattress may deceive you by springing back.

Test this by lying on the edge. If you quickly roll into the middle, it’s time for a replacement.

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It’s Old

Good mattresses last for years, but they also outlive their usefulness. It’s ideal to get a new mattress after six or eight years.

How to Choose a Good Mattress

There are few things you’ll want to keep in mind when you go mattress shopping.

Remember, it all comes down to your needs. That’s the only thing that should influence your buying decision because what feels right for one person may not be great for another.

Here are the things to figure out when choosing a mattress:

1. Durability

Durability refers to quality in this case. It’s not about how long it’ll last, as we already know most mattresses can stay intact upward of seven years.

At the same time, while your mattress may be in seemingly “good” condition, it may have long surpassed the ability to offer proper support.

Ask about performance and how long you can expect the mattress to support you properly. Keep in mind that thickness doesn’t mean quality; its purpose is to cater to different weight classes.

2. Mattress Firmness

Firmness is an essential factor when it comes to choosing a mattress. But it’s also a personal thing, which means only you know what level of firmness feels right for you.

The firmness scale ranges from one to ten, with ten representing the firmest mattress you can find.

3. Your Weight

Foam mattresses typically conform with your body, which is excellent for spinal alignment. They are also great if your weight is on the light side, not so much if you’re heavy.

So, your weight does come into consideration. If you’re a heavier person, you may find innerspring and hybrid types more comfortable.

4. Type of Mattress

When it comes to mattresses online, designs use different materials, making each style unique.

The most popular types you’ll find on the market include:

a. Innerspring

This is the traditional mattress design and also the most popular one — most likely due to affordability. Its unique feature is the layers of support coils beneath the surface polyform layer.

An innerspring mattress is super affordable and bouncy, but it’s not the best option if you’re looking for comfort and good body support.

b. Foam

Foam mattresses generally come as either polyfoam or memory foam. Both have a large inner layer of high-density foam that replaces the coils used for the innerspring design.

Foam mattresses have excellent longevity, with memory foam being the most durable and superior when it comes to comfort.

c. Latex

Latex is a material made from the bark of the Hevea-Brasiliensis tree and makes up the comfort layer of latex mattresses. The inner core may consist of materials like foam, however.

These mattresses last the longest compared to any other type. They are comfortable, cool, and offer excellent body support.

d. Hybrid

This type is more of an upgrade from innerspring. It maintains the coils but has a latex or memory foam for the comfort layer.

Compared to an ordinary innerspring, a hybrid has a better lifespan and offers more comfort and support.

e. Waterbed and Airbeds

Airbeds are inflatable mattresses reinforced with polyvinyl chloride. They are adjustable for personal comfort.

On the flipside are waterbeds, which have long outlived their popularity, but you can still find one if it’s up to your alley.

f. Cost

The price of a mattress shouldn’t be that much of a factor in your purchasing decision, as it’s not necessarily a measure of quality.

The competition in the mattress industry is fierce, which consequently affects price tags.

You could get a high-end mattress at a jaw-dropping price. But if you’re not careful, you may end up spending a fortune on an average mattress.

Where to Buy a Mattress

Where exactly to buy a mattress is not always obvious, especially if you’ve just moved to a new neighborhood.

Still, it’s easy to buy almost anything today. If you prefer in-store purchases, find a department store near you. Malls also have dedicated shops for mattresses.

Or, you can buy a mattress directly from the manufacturer if they offer that option — check big sites like Amazon and Walmart.


Buying a mattress doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. But if it feels overwhelming, you’ve got our guide to help you navigate your options.

Remember, the mattress you choose will play a key role in your ability to get enough sleep. It’s crucial that you prioritize comfort.

Author Bio:

Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Copper Beech State College – Parkway Plaza to help them with their online marketing.