Topics:Mattress Industry News Mattress Shopping Help Sleep Positions Mattress Logistics Mattress Satisfaction Mattress Benefits Improve Your Sleep In-Home Sleep Trial Mattress Policies
February 24th, 2020
It's Saturday morning, and you've woken up from what you hope is one of your last nights sleeping on the world's worst mattress. You head straight to the nearest mattress showroom. Everything at the showroom feels like an improvement from what you are used to, but the sticker shock has you worried that you'll be stuck with the old mattress you hate. The salesperson kindly lets you know that there are some clearance mattresses available. Would you like to check those out? It turns out that they are discounted because they are floor models. Phrases like barely used, like-new, and great condition are thrown around. This is the answer to your prayers! But wait! Before you get your hopes up about this awesome value, a once-in-a-lifetime deal, you need to know what you're really getting into. Don't let your excitement about the price tag lead you into a situation where you're sleeping on yet another mattress that you hate. Why are floor models sold? "Purchasing a floor model mattress set can be a good way to get a good deal," says Lauren Taylor, President of Holder Mattress Co., Inc., a mattress manufacturer/retailer located in Central Indiana. "Often they get very little use, only a few customers a day for a few minutes at a time." "Sometimes floor models are being sold because that model is in a discontinued ticking or is being dropped from the line," suggests Taylor. "They may be in perfect condition, but the retailer can no longer sell the product and needs to replace it with a current model." Buying a floor model has its advantages: "What is nice about a floor model is that it has been presumably "broken in" a bit with people testing it. So the feel shouldn't change substantially when you bring it home," advises Logan Block, from Sleepopolis. As with any large purchase, however, you want to feel confident about what you're spending your money on. We're sharing tips from the experts about what you need to know before you buy a floor model mattress: Savings vs. comfort "Sleep quality is so important and it isn't a place to skimp on comfort," advises Jeanine Joy, Ph.D. from BestMattress.Reviews. "If you only need the mattress for a few years or it will be used in a guest room where it won't be used all the time, a floor model can be a way to save money on a better quality mattress." If you are getting a mattress for everyday use, it should be a good fit for your body. "Definitely don't buy a floor model if your decision is price-driven and you're sacrificing comfort," adds Joy. "If you don't sleep well on the mattress, it will decrease your daytime quality of life — not just your nights." Cleanliness and condition "Floor models can often be a great deal! You just really need to spend some time with the mattresses to make sure that it's in good condition," advises Block. Jeneva Aaron, founder of The HouseWire home decor blog has some advice from her own experience purchasing a mattress floor model: "Here's what you need to know: You are getting the mattress that was on display in the store, which means that other people have been lying down in it. And it gets even worse — the mattress store doesn’t necessarily clean that mattress before they deliver it to your house. When my husband and I bought our floor model mattress, I assumed that they’d steam clean it, or at least vacuum it off before they brought it to us. They didn’t, and I know this because there was a piece of chewed gum stuck to the bottom corner of the mattress when it arrived. I’m not even a germaphobe, which is why buying a floor model mattress seemed like a fine idea to me, but I’ve never been so grossed out. I had to steam clean it myself just to be able to fall asleep in it. I’m sure that there are some stores that clean their floor models before they get to you, but don’t count on it. I can tell you from firsthand experience that that doesn’t always happen." Taking into consideration that the mattress is sold as-is, it's best that you inspect it pretty thoroughly in the store. "Really press into the entirety of the surface of the mattress, don't just lay on it in one spot to evaluate it," advises Block. "You'll of course also want to make sure that it's clean and free of any tears or obvious malfunctions." Service limitations Apart from the as-is condition of a floor-model mattress, the rest of your mattress experience is the same as if you bought a brand new model, right? Not necessarily. Depending on the retailer, your level of service and the applicability of the policies that are generally meant to ensure a customer's purchase experience is satisfactory can be revoked (or skimped on). This means that your purchase might be riskier than a brand new purchase, if you don't end up with access to beneficial policies after the date of purchase. "I wouldn’t purchase a floor model unless I receive a discount off the regular price, a full comfort policy, and a full warranty," advises Taylor. "Anything less would indicate a bad deal and possible future issues with no recourse." She has a point. This is the biggest difference between standard mattress purchases and floor model purchases. Floor model purchases are often sold as-is, with exceptions to a store's standard service policies. This can affect delivery service and costs, as well as post-purchase needs, like options to return or exchange the mattress, options under a comfort sleep trial, or the possibility to make any claims under a warranty. Rules differ depending on where you bought it, the brand/manufacturer, the physical condition of the mattress, and what you can get help with. Accepting a deal on a floor model can mean compromising several benefits, including delivery services, in-trial periods, and warranty coverage. Mattress delivery How are you going to get your mattress home? Is delivery included in your purchase? Is it even available? "Many times, stores don't offer delivery service for floor models," says Michael Decatur from truck-sharing service, Truxx. Other times, retailers only include free delivery service with purchases over a certain threshold. Getting a big discount on your mattress may put you under the free delivery dollar limit. Do you have a way to get the mattress home on your own, or will the lack of delivery help be a deal-breaker for you? "If you want to take advantage of a great deal, but don't have a way to get your new mattress home," Decatur suggests, "consider using a truck-sharing service..." Truck-sharing is imilar to the concept of ride-sharing, but a truck or van driver will meet you at your pickup location with a vehicle big enough for the job. According to Truxx co-founder and CEO, Jamie Hess "mattresses are consistently a top five item users are moving with Truxx. With our service, it typically costs $39 for suburban areas and $70 if you're in a city." Sleep trials, returns, or exchanges A sleep trial policy generally lasts more than 90 days. It gives shoppers the opportunity to try out a mattress at home, and return and/or exchange it if it isn't a good fit. A retailer's sleep trial policy commonly offers a return or exchange for a mattress that will be a better fit, giving you peace of mind about your purchase. Unfortunately, clearance mattresses, including floor models, are often excluded from this customer benefit. It all depends on how the retailer classifies a floor model purchase, and stores have varying takes, from allowing returns or exchanges, adding extra conditions, and simply not allowing floor models to be returned or refunded. Be sure to ask your sales associate whether the policy applies to your floor model purchase. It may not be worth giving up the easy-out clause if you are less than 100 percent certain that this is the mattress of your dreams. Mattress warranties When you buy a floor model, you want to know before-hand if a manufacturer warranty will still apply. You can run into two specific issues: Floor models are categorically excluded from the manufacturer's warranty. The mattress, having been unwrapped and used by customers for comfort tests in the showroom, has visual wear and tear, like spots, rips, or tears. Most mattress warranties last for 10 years or more, covering consumers in the case of any manufacturer defects. Some manufacturers exclude floor model purchases from their warranty policy. Without access to a warranty Joy says, "In most mattress stores, that means you're buying it "as is" and if you discover a defect or it doesn't hold up well, you don't have any recourse." If floor models aren't automatically excluded from the manufacturer's warranty policy, there may still be hope. Taylor advises shoppers: "Read the warranty carefully before purchase. If stains or marks void your warranty, you won’t want to purchase a product and lose the warranty as a result." She makes a great point. Most mattress manufacturers have very specific warranty policy standards. Stains and marks on the surface of a mattress, or even frayed stitching are often cited as reasons that exclude a customer from warranty benefits, regardless of their origin, they are technically labeled as signs of misuse, no matter who made them. Mattress floor model shopping tips 1. Try it out — If the mattress is anything less than comfy, or is a stark contrast to what you are used to, sacrificing your comfort for a good price is a bad idea. 2. Ask questions — "Try to find out why that particular model is being dropped," suggests Taylor. "If they stop selling it because of high return rates or quality issues, you will want to find a current model instead." But those aren't the only reasons why a floor model would be available. She adds, "Sometimes they are being sold due to condition (scuff marks, general wear and tear) and depending upon the state of the product may or may not be a good purchase." Ask the following questions: Is that the best price you can do? Is delivery available? If so, how much does it cost? Does it come with a trial policy? If so, will I be able to return or just exchange it? And what fees are required? Will it come with a warranty? 3. Thoroughly examine the mattress — "Inspect all six sides of the mattress with your eyes and nose before you buy," advises Joy. "Pay attention to the sides (borders) in the middle of the mattress," advises Taylor. "This is typically where customers sit and will show more wear than other areas. A scuff mark wouldn’t be a concern, but sagging or seam tearing, for example, may indicate durability issues in the future." 4. Document your purchase — "Take pictures if you're not taking the floor model mattress with you, including pictures of the tag," says Joy. "I've seen complaints about mattresses that were sold 'as is' where the customer claimed the mattress that was delivered wasn't the one they purchased, but they didn't have any way to prove it." 5. Do some research — "Read reviews about the mattresses sold by the store before you buy a mattress without a warranty," advises Joy. "If you see complaints about mattresses that begin sagging after just a few years, realize you may not be getting a bargain when the durability of the mattress is factored into the equation." 6. Shop around, including online — "Compare in-store and online mattress prices to make sure you’re getting the best deal," suggests Gabrielle Pastorek, writer for Finder Shopping. "You can also test out similar mattresses — or sometimes even the exact same model — in the store, then buy it online to cash-in on discounts and free delivery." "Online prices can be hard to beat," she points out, "since they don’t include the overhead costs of operating a physical store. The main draw of purchasing a mattress from the store is that you can try it out before you buy. But because the vast majority of online retailers offer risk-free trials, this isn’t much of a concern anymore. The one exception would be for Alaska and Hawaii residents — check to make sure shipping costs from the online retailers aren’t astronomical. This could potentially offset the savings of buying online." 7. Consider the pros and cons — It's best to weigh the costs and benefits. If you can find the same mattress, with the same or similar pricing, you might be happier if you could still benefit from an easy out, in case you aren't in love with the mattress.
When a car breaks down, most people eventually accept their fate and fork over the cash to get it repaired or even buy another car. After all, for most of us, a reliable car is a necessity, albeit an expensive one. But no matter how long your commute may feel, you'll spend much more of your life sleeping in your bed than driving in your car. So why are people so hesitant to buy a new mattress when their old one breaks down? Many of us try all kinds of fixes to put off buying a new mattress. At BestCompany, we have heard suggestions all the way from putting the mattress on the ground instead of the box spring to putting a piece of plywood under it to offer more support. When the chips are down and you need a mattress, some people look for a hand-me-down, and some people wait for a sale. "The good news for mattress buyers is that there are several times during the year to get a great deal on a new mattress," says Katie Golde, Editor and Head of Sleep Research for Mattress Clarity. If you're tired of rolling into the middle of your sagging mattress or fed up with trying to cover up broken springs with duct tupe, the good news is you don't have to put up with a broken down mattress. "Without question, there are certain times where mattress brands offer their biggest discounts of the year," advises Bill Fish, Certified Sleep Science Coach and cofounder of mattress and sleep product review site Tuck. "Luckily, those peak shopping times are spread throughout the year, but Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period are when shoppers will be able to uncover the best deals. Brands have become more and more competitive in those heavy shopping timeframes and the offers seem to be getting better each year." To better understand mattress sale timelines, we asked mattress experts to help us understand when is the best time to buy a mattress: Great times to buy each month: January Federal Holidays — New Year's Day (January 1st), Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Third Monday in January) While not unheard of, January's big holidays are not necessarily the best time to get a huge pricing discount on a mattress. The month is known for white sales on bedding and linens. However, depending on how well retailers holiday sales went last quarter, The Sleep Judge suggests that this is a good time to keep on the lookout for flash sales, if any holiday stock still needs to be cleared. So, make a deal alert and join some email newsletters, so that you can be ahead of the other shoppers. February Federal Holiday — Presidents Day (Third Monday in February) When it comes to snagging mattress deals, the experts at Howard's TV, Appliance, and Mattress "recommend the months February to May. This is because most manufacturers began to push out new inventory/products in June. So, to make room for that new inventory they are pushing sales in the months leading up. We were running sales every month leading up to May." David Ewart, Director of Pavilion Broadway agrees that the month of February can be a benefit to mattress shoppers. "From a purely price point of view," he says, "the big holiday sale weekends tend to be a great time to snap up a bargain, particularly towards the tail end of winter when new season stock is coming into play." This trend goes on for the next few months. March "Spring was a great time to shop for mattresses," advises interior designer Michael Helwig, "because many of our vendors would come out with new merchandise. That meant deals on retiring models and significant savings on floor merchandise. This would coincide with home show season and daylight savings time, early March." April "A large number of mattress brands also debut their new ranges in the summer months, so you can also grab yourself a great deal towards the end of springtime when many retailers are clearing stock to make way for new models," advises David Ewart, Director of Pavilion Broadway. It just depends on whether your favorite mattress store starts their old model-year purge, whether in March, April, or May. May Federal Holiday — Memorial Day (Last Monday in May) "Typically, large mattress stores upgrade their collection every June," Tim Sims, founder and CEO of Kansas-Sleep.com. "This means clearance sales, which give you an opportunity to grab a great product for a ridiculous price." Because mattress brands are putting out their new model year mattreses lines within the next couple of months, Katie Golde from Mattress Clarity says, "Springtime, in general, is also great to look for a mattress, especially if you're cool with a slightly older model." She advises, "Even if you don't see a promotion being advertised, if you see a mattress you know you want, ask the sales rep or customer service rep if there are any discounts they can offer you." It never hurts to ask, especially when in-store staff may have quotas for stock that has to be cleared soon. Don't forget the Memorial Day Weekend. This big shopping weekend "at the end of May might offer even more appealing prices," advises Sims. June Sadly, June is devoid of national holidays and is one of the first times of the year that it may be hard to find a clearance event or holiday sale. If you need a mattress at this time of year, check out local retailers online and sign up for all the newsletters possible. Many retailers offer special discounts and promos for first-time customers. Check out our other tips below. July Federal Holiday — Independence Day (July 4th) Independence Day is more than just a federal holiday, which makes it prime shopping time. It's also when you might see newer mattress models at discounted rates for the first time. While less important than celebrating our nation's independence, many retailers take this opportunity to celebrate "Christmas in July," or "Black Friday in July," with outrageous deals on home goods in general. Check out deal sites and your favorite furniture retailers for more information. August While August doesn't come bearing any federal holidays (that I know of), it can still be a good time to scope out mattress deals. "One of the best times to buy a mattress is during the back to school rush," suggests Jennifer Moore, marketing specialist at Saatva. "While the holidays can be great for decor, back-to-school time is perfect for picking up household essentials, and that includes mattresses and bedding. Start looking in early August to grab something in your price range and preferred style by September." September Federal Holiday — Labor Day (First Monday in September) September brings us Labor Day. For many, this is the end of the previously mentioned back to school shopping rush, though some colleges don't start their year until later in September. Labor Day is a big shopping holiday. Combine that with the number of college students, etc. who are looking to move into their new off-campus apartment, and the retailers hoping to cash-in on the volume, mattresses, along with other household essentials will still be on sale at many retailers, especially leading up to Labor Day. October Federal Holiday — Columbus Day (Second Monday in October) The month of October offers several opportunities, including Columbus day. As a holiday with a three-day-weekend, this is a great opportunity to shop mattress sales before the holiday shopping blitz. "As a former retail furniture salesperson, we would usually run sales in the late fall, between October and Black Friday, Thanksgiving," shares interior designer Michael Helwig. Fall is a season for shopping in America, and October is a gentle precursor to the shopocalypse that comes as soon as you have eaten your turkey and gravy. November Federal Holidays — Veterans Day (November 11th), Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday in November) "The time of year I've seen the absolute best deals (think biggest discount of the year) is Black Friday/Cyber Monday," says Logan from Sleepopolis. Tim Sims Founder and CEO of Kansas-Sleep.com agrees, but he has a little advice for discount shoppers: "The biggest online sale worldwide is another great chance to get your dream bed. But keep in mind that you need to act fast, as there are literally thousands of people who browse websites with the same purpose." Additionally, as you are skimming through this year's barrage of ads to plan your Black Friday or Cyber Monday game plan, remember: Many of the biggest deals are flash sales, first-come-first-served, and only while supplies last. A backup plan is always helpful. December Federal Holiday — Christmas (December 25th) "Furniture sales, in general, are usually quiet for the winter holidays," says Helwig, but you aren't totally out of luck. You could make up quite a discount in added promotional offers. He says, this is "usually the time to keep an eye out for promotions like free mattress support upgrades, percentages off, or dollar amount savings." "Finally," says Sims, "there are New Year and Christmas sales happening both in offline and online stores around the United States with plenty of great offers." Taking advantage of holiday sales Start researching one or more weeks out. "Most bedding brands have huge sales leading up to [big federal holidays], so start scoping out your favorites a week or so out from the holiday," advises Logan Block, director of content at Sleepopolis. This research can definitely be done with physical mailers, as well as online. Subscribe to newsletters. To avoid missing holiday deals, Tim Sims, Founder and CEO of Kansas-Sleep.com suggests, "you can subscribe to the newsletter of the brand you’re interested in." That is perfect for brands that only sell their own product line, like Sleep Number, as well as online bed-in-box retailers like Purple, Saatva, and Tuft & Needle. It's also a good idea to sign up for newsletters from your favorite retailers and non-direct-to-consumer mattress brands. This way, if your favorite brand is on sale for a better deal at a different local retailer, or has a free shipping or free setup offer at a different place, you can know your options. Pre-shop. If you have the time, it never hurts to pre-shop in a brick and mortar store. That way, if there is a better-priced deal from an online mattress retailer, you can get the same model and firmness, ordered online, from the comfort of your own home on the actual busy holiday, when you may be busy celebrating or spending time with friends or family. Many online retailers actually have better customer-centered policies for the exact same mattresses that you would have trouble returning to a local brick and mortar retailer. Consider shopping on Wayfair where any mattress has a 100-day sleep guarantee. The same mattresses purchased at Ashley Furniture may not. However, there are several factors that decide how long it will take to actually arrive to you. A good plan is to research mattress and return policies, as well as delivery fees at a few favorite retailers. Then, when sales are made public, you can weigh your pros and cons. If you can't wait for a holiday sale Holidays sales are nice, but the best time to buy a new mattress is really when you need a new mattress. "Unfortunately, mattress emergencies and cash flow don’t always align with holiday sales, and waiting months on end until a huge sale comes your way is not an option," says Josh Pribyl, owner of bedding retailer, Bare Home. Tim Sims, founder and CEO of Kansas-Sleep.com adds: "Actually, you don’t want to wait for a perfect moment to buy a new mattress if your old one is already messing with your health. If you notice that falling asleep takes you longer, or you’re waking up with stiff shoulders, neck, or lower back, then the best time to upgrade your bed has already come." Sleep researcher Jeanine Joy, Ph.D. from Bestmattress.reviews agrees that your wait time should be minimal. "The best time to buy a new mattress," Joy says, "is as soon as you need one, or at the latest, the next holiday." She doesn't encourage people to wait to buy a new mattress because "when someone needs a new mattress it usually means they aren't sleeping well on their current mattress. Sleep is too important to wait for months to save a little money." If you sleep too long on a bad mattress, "It could end up being a costly decision," Joy says. "Lack of sleep increases the risk of accidents, including falls and car accidents (and accidents involving space shuttles and oil tankers), reduces effectiveness at work, leads to poor moods that damage relationships, and can mess with immune and digestive function. Your health and well-being are too important to wait." What can you do to make the tables act a little more in your favor, any time you need to buy a mattress? "Lucky for us," says Pribyl, "there are ways to save year-round." Here are his suggestions: "Flash sales can save big bucks, if you can find them in time. We suggest signing up for newsletters and following your favorite brands on social media to never miss out on an opportunity to save big on flash sales and subscriber-only discounts." Deal sites can also be a goldmine. A quick search on these sites can provide the coupons you’ve been looking for anytime of the year." "Check your purchases when they arrive in the mail. Sometimes brands mail discount codes for future orders. Save these for your mattress purchase while making note of any expiration dates or limitations." Do you work with a mattress brand that has special sales annually? Have we missed a mattress sale opportunity? Send us tips at [email protected]
Do you dread sleeping in your own bed? Do you get jealous when you see other people coming in to work rested and refreshed? Do you feel guilty for longingly watching mattress commercials? Are you jealous of the people pretending to sleep in the ad? Have you had more than three dreams in the last month featuring a BRAND NEW MATTRESS? Do you find excuses to sleep an extra day at a significant other's place, your in-laws' house, or even on the living room couch, just to avoid your mattress? It's time to face the facts: You're cheating. . . on your mattress. It's time to end the relationship, get a new mattress, and enjoy some well-deserved sleep at your own home. For those of you in denial, here are 12 signs that you need to look for a new mattress. 1. Your back or neck hurts "If your back or neck is stiff or hurts when you wake up, but feels better as the day goes on, it might be because of your mattress," says Meg Jacobini, Mattress expert at RAVE Reviews. How often is this happening? "If you wake up with aches and pains two, three, or more times a week, that's a really good sign it's time for a new mattress," says Christina Heiser, content manager at luxury mattress company Saatva. "As a mattress wears over time, it'll provide less support than it used to at the beginning, which could leave you with a sore neck or back in the morning." 2. Everywhere hurts For some of us, the aches and pains cover more than just your back. Laura Mogen is a professional mattress reviewer, sleep enthusiast, and editor-in-chief of mybestmattress.com. She suggests that "waking up with soreness in your back, shoulders, and hips" are all signs that it's time to get a new mattress. When you are waking up with aches and pains, it might be your mattress, not you, says sleep researcher Jeanine Joy, Ph.D. from bestmattress.reviews, "Many people assume their morning aches and pains are a sign of aging, but they’re more likely to be a sign of an aging mattress." "Mattress quality is an important part of getting an optimal night's sleep," explains chiropractor Dr. Tauberg. "Having a quality mattress allows for your body to relax more completely during the night which allows your body to recover and for you to sleep better. When your mattress starts losing support it becomes harder to stay comfortable for long periods of time as the body is having to rely on muscles and joints to properly provide support. When this starts to happen waking up with pain or stiffness is common." "If you're beginning to notice aches and pains when waking that you didn't use to experience, this indicates the materials are beginning to degrade," says Jessica Ruiz-Jones, Lead Mattress and Sleep Product Expert with The Sleep Judge. If these new pains are happening "night after night (particularly at the shoulders or lumbar region), the structure of your bed has likely been compromised," agrees Sleepopolis content director Logan Block. 3. You can't get comfortable Do you find yourself wiggling around more than normal trying to nestle into a comfy position? "Inability to find a comfortable position" is a great indicator that it's time to start thinking about a new mattress, says Mogen. It could mean that your mattress is too old or that it wasn't right for your sleep position in the first place. "If you wake up in pain, it could mean that your mattress is not supporting your body while you sleep," says sleep researcher Joy. "This means your muscles are working to support you, which leads to soreness. If you have the wrong mattress for your primary sleep position it could cause soreness as well." What is your primary sleep position? Side, back, or stomach? "Side sleepers need softer cushioning in the shoulders and hips so that they can sink in without creating pressure points or causing pain or numbness," says Joy. On the flip side, "Back and stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress," she says. "Medium-firm is the best for most back and stomach sleepers." It's also one of the most common mattress comfort levels available. For example, all of Purple's mattresses are rated as medium-firm. 4. You feel sleepy during the day "If you’re often sleepy during the day even though you spend enough time in bed, you may need a new mattress," advises Joy. "Adults generally need seven to nine hours of sleep each day." If you are putting in the hours, but still sleepy, your mattress may be the culprit. Writes Chris Nguyen at SleepStandards, "The average lifespan of a mattress is about eight years. More important than any statistic is how you feel sleeping on your mattress. If you need to toss and turn or feel tired after waking up, then you should consider a new mattress." If you feel sleepy during the day, your sleep quality may be declining as your mattress ages. Alesandra Woolley is Mattress Advisor’s executive editor and a certified sleep science coach. She shares, "A study published by the U.S. National Institute of Health found that subjects who slept on a new mattress improved their overall quality of sleep." But how will you know the difference? Sleep researcher Joy suggests keeping a sleep journal or using "actigraphy to track the quality of your sleep on your old mattress." That way, you can have something to compare your sleep quality to, like a snapshot of your sleep quality on the questionable mattress vs. a new one. 5. You wake up multiple times each night "Quality of sleep and duration are solid measures for evaluating your mattress," advises Vinay Amin, Health and Wellness Expert and CEO of Eu Natural. "If you're waking up several times per night due to discomfort or wake up with joint pain despite not having injuries, it could be due to having an old mattress or the wrong one." 6. Your body has changed If your mattress isn't comfortable anymore, it's time for a change, says Jacobini. "This may seem pretty obvious, but you might not notice if it’s a gradual change that occurs over the years. The change could be due to normal wear and tear, but could also be because of changes in your body, from weight gain or weight loss, pregnancy, or surgeries. Whether it’s the mattress or your body that’s changed, there is no reason to hold on to a mattress that is uncomfortable — invest in a new one." In addition to weight changes, surgeries, and pregnancy, other physical circumstances could cause your old mattress to no longer be ideal. Joy explains, "injuries or illnesses may make it advisable to sleep on a softer or firmer mattress. This can sometimes be accomplished by changing the foundation or adding a mattress topper, but those solutions are usually not the optimal choice." The optimal choice is a new mattress, but these are great frugal solutions for people who aren't financially ready to invest in a whole new mattress. 7. You keep migrating to the middle "As mattresses age, they lose support, which is crucial for a good night’s sleep and a healthy back," says Jacobini. "When one part of the mattress is dented or softer than the rest, it’s time to let it go." In addition to losing support, (innerspring coils or high density foam), your mattress could also be gradually losing comfort layers (upper layers of softer, fluffier materials, like a pillowtop). Ruiz-Jones explains, "Along with aches and pains, often comes sagging of the comfort layers. This is a telltale sign of degradation, and you should replace it soon before you start to notice yourself falling into new crevices during the night much like you would a hammock." If you love hammocks and don't get it, here's an example: Melanie Musson, a writer for USInsuranceAgents.com shares a personal experience that may seem all too familiar for some of us: "You know it’s time to get a new mattress when you’re always falling to the middle! The first time I slept in the bed that my husband had before he met me, I said, ‘I feel like I’m falling into the middle.’ And for ten years, I said every night, ‘I keep falling to the middle.’ But mattresses are expensive, and this was not an old mattress. So we kept it. Finally, we got a new one and every night, I am in awe that I’m not falling anywhere! Now, we have a fifth-wheel camper, and it has a lovely king size bed which should feel quite roomy, but in this bed, my husband and I both fall to the middle. It’s my lot in life, apparently. So the size of the bed is wasted because we’re pancaked together taking up a combined foot in width. It’s time for a new mattress!" How can you assess this lack of support on your own? How much of a dip is too much? Brett Thornton serves as Director of the Revive mattress brand, sold exclusively at Living Spaces. He explains, "Although we typically think about mattresses in terms of comfort, the most important thing is the support our mattress is giving us. Once your mattress starts losing its support, it is time to move on. The best way to see this is generally by looking for dips and sags in the mattress. A dip is caused by one of two things. Either your support, whether coils or foam, has broken down and no longer pushing back to its original shape, or the comfort layers on top are compressed and not providing the loft they once did. In either case, this will cause your body to be unaligned and will most likely lead to soreness in the lower back or hips over time." Block from Sleepopolis says, that the "dreaded mattress dip ... typically pops up in the area in which you sleep the most. It should be pronounced and noticeably different from the rest of your mattress." What can you do about it? "We would recommend flipping your mattress at least once every three months in order to even out the distribution," advises David Ewart, Director and Lead Mattress Buyer at Pavilion Broadway, a designer furniture and mattress retailer. "If even after flipping your mattress, there are still gorges appearing, then it’s probably time to buy a new mattress. Generally, the feel of the mattress is far more important than how it looks. Your mattress should gradually adjust to the people sleeping in it, without losing shape entirely." However, not every mattress is flippable these days. While you can still rotate your pillowtop or hybrid mattress, this isn't a preventative measure that everyone can use. How bad is bad? "To know if you have a sag," says Thornton, "take your sheets off and put a broomstick or large stick on the bed. If you can fit two fingers' distance between a dip in your bed and the stick you should look into either checking in on the mattress warranty or move on to a new set." "If it is still under warranty," advises Joy, "most older warranties require an indentation of 1.5 inches before warranty coverage will kick in. Some newer mattresses only require half that, at .75” deep." Read your warranty thoroughly. It could save you hundreds of dollars. As a budget-friendly tip, Ruiz-Jones, sleep expert from The Sleep Judge suggests a lower-cost solution: "you can often buy a mattress topper to get a few extra months or even years out of a saggy or otherwise compromised sleep surface." 8. Looks aren't everything, but they matter "Beyond thinking about how your mattress makes you feel, examine how it looks," suggests Heiser from Saatva (reviews). "The appearance of the mattress can also let you know that the mattress has seen better days," explains Joy. "If it appears lumpy or there is a visible indentation where you regularly lay, it may mean your mattress is worn out." What indicators should you be looking for? In addition to big dips in your bed (#7), "Rips, lumps, or springs poking through are more signs you're ready for a new mattress," says Heiser. "Visual flaws such as sagging, tears and holes," are also good indicators says Mogen. What else? Katie Golde, Editor and Head of Sleep Research for Mattress Clarity, suggests physical appearance is a good thing to monitor. When "your mattress is showing physical signs of damage, whether it's from fluid or liquid-related accidents or sagging from overuse or jumping or something else," it could be time to upgrade to a new model. "The other thing to look at is the top quilt pattern for sweat stains," says Thornton. What's the harm in a little sweat? "Moisture will get into the padding layers and break them down over time, so if you have a lot of stains you may be due for a new mattress," he clarifies. Multiple liquid stains on your mattress cover could just be showing you the tip of the iceberg, with much more structural damage underneath. 9. You can't sit on the edge Do you ever sit on the edge of your bed when getting ready in the morning or tying your shoes? Have you ever sat down on the edge of a friend or relative's bed and been surprised by a lack of support? Thornton suggests that a lack of edge support is a good indicator of your mattress's age creeping up on it. He explains, "If the firm seating edge has broken down, this means that the entire edge system may be compromised and you are probably losing support, especially if you sleep next to the edge of the bed as many couples do." 10. You've had your mattress forever "According to Mattress Advisor, you should change your mattress every 7 to 10 years," says Woolley. "Mattresses age like people do. They can sag as your body leaves impressions, which can lead to aches and pains." "If your mattress is nearing the end of that [7 to 10 year] range and you find yourself waking up with more pain and stiffness, have a harder time getting comfortable, or you are having a harder time falling asleep, then it may be time for a new mattress," advises Dr. Alex Tauberg DC,CSCS, CCSP®, EMR, a Pittsburgh Chiropractor. If mattresses last up to 10 years, why do warranties sometimes last longer? "For starters," says Ruiz-Jones, "mattresses don't last forever. Although a 20-year warranty may give the impression you'll get two decades of use, the warranty ensures workmanship of certain parts, not comfort." The 7 to 10-year rule isn't exact for every mattress on the market. "This will vary based on the material and build (all-foam/springs/etc) but seven years is a great general guide," suggests Carolyn Burke, a certified sleep coach and outreach manager with The Sleep Advisor. "That being said, if you are noticing sagging, rips and tears, lumps, memory foam that doesn't reclaim its shape, or a flattening of the mattress, you will want to consider replacing it. If a bed used to bring comfort and good sleep and no longer is, you might also want to think about replacing it or adding a topper to get that good sleep magic back." 11. It makes noise "Your mattress can also provide audible signals it needs to be replaced," says Ruiz-Jones. "Squeaks and creaks aren't normal and can signal foundation issues. This is often associated with changes in weight. If you or your sleep partner have gained a significant amount of weight, it's always good to be on the lookout for potential side effects on your sleep surface." 12. You're not alone anymore If humans aren't the only living organism going to bed with you at night, shop for a new mattress. Woolley warns, "They can become breeding grounds for dust mites and mold and mildew." AND BEDBUGS. Nguyen suggests that a good sign that it's time to shop for a new mattress when "Your mattress has more dust than an abandoned attic." "No one likes to think about creepy-crawlies living in their bed, but the truth is that after many years, it’s quite probable that they’re in there," says Jacobini. "Getting your mattress professionally cleaned can prolong its life, as will the use of a mattress protector. No matter how hard you try, though, your mattress won’t live forever." Not only are dust mites gross, but if you are allergic to them (as 10 percent of Americans are), it can cause sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy skin and eyes, coughing, and more. "Dust mites may be the most common trigger of year-round allergies and asthma," according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Dust mites are gross but bed bugs are worse. It's time for a change if your mattress has "a bed bug infestation brought back from your travels," says Joy. Wiser words were never spoken. The bottom line Let's be clear. We don't suggest breaking any vows, but you deserve to sleep happily ever after. Don't be afraid to sleep around. "Another good way to look at your own mattress is to sleep outside your home for a night or so and see how much more comfortable you feel sleeping on other mattresses," suggests Mattress Clarity's sleep expert Katie Golde. As my mom always said, "There are a million mattresses in the sea." (paraphrasing) The mattress of your dreams is out there. You just have to keep looking. Check out our mattress reviews to see what's good, what's bad, what's in your price range, and what you should look for.
No one should have to wake up in pain, especially when it is caused by your mattress or pillow. With the right changes, this should be totally avoidable. To save ourselves pain and discomfort, we need to be more educated about how to select the best mattress to accommodate our sleeping position. Is sleeping on your stomach good or bad for you? Only 7 percent of adults sleep on their stomach, but why?This position can put your back into an unnatural curve, causing hyperextended ligaments and strained muscles. Many people also twist their neck, laying their head sideways on a pillow. This can lead to even more strained muscles and possibly nerve damage. Rather than straining your back and neck by sleeping this way, the National Sleep Foundation suggests switching positions. “While this is good for easing snoring, it’s bad for practically everything else...It’s best to try to choose another position, but if you must sleep on your stomach, try lying facedown to keep upper airways open — instead of with your head turned to one side — with your forehead propped up on a pillow to allow room to breathe.”To mimic the feel of sleeping on your stomach, consider sleeping on your side with a pillow against your chest or abdomen. Whether you want to change the way you sleep, you still need to find a way to sleep comfortably. You can see more information about the best options for side sleepers in our other article in this series.“Without the right mattress and pillow,” Mattress Advisor explains, “this sleeping position can be really tough on your body. It puts a ton of pressure on your spine and chest, which may lead to back and neck pain, difficulty breathing, tingling nerves, pressure point pain, and general achiness.” What mattress firmness is best for tummy sleepers? Mattresses come in all different firmness levels, ranging from ultra soft to ultra firm. What comfort qualities should you seek when sleeping on your stomach is your preferred position?Dr. Mark Mandell, a chiropractor, explains what to look for in an edition of Dynamic Chiropractic, “Sleeping on the stomach in a soft bed can stress the thoracolumbar spine. The weight of the belly and pelvis also compress the bedding. To provide support to the stomach, pelvis, and thoracolumbar areas, a firmer mattress is necessary.”“Stomach sleepers tend to fall somewhere in the middle, according to Andy Bloom and Shane Carey from Home Mattress Center. They suggest stomach sleepers use a mattress that will conform to their bodies to relieve pressure on the stomach and chest. "A high-quality mattress that is ideal for stomach sleepers will provide significant spine support, limit how far the pelvis can sink into the mattress, and rank as mildly firm,” according to Sleep Guide. Mattress Advisor explains, “The ideal mattress doesn’t allow you to sink in too deeply, but is still soft enough to provide relief at pressure points. If you find yourself sinking into the mattress, you’re likely to wake up with a sore back. Sometimes, a firm mattress with a softer top layer will also do the trick.”Sleep advice site Tuck recommends different mattress support/comfort ratings, depending on your weight. If you are a stomach sleeper weighing less than 130 pounds, you should look for a medium soft or softer mattress. Those weighing 130 to 230 should shop for a medium to medium firm mattress, and people weighing more than 230 pounds should look for medium firm or firmer mattresses. What kind of mattress is best for stomach sleepers? Mattress Advisor advises, “Multi-layered memory foam mattresses are usually comfortable for stomach sleepers, as they provide support while still lending comfort to pressure points. A firm mattress, such as an innerspring, latex, or hybrid type, can still work, especially when it has a softer top layer.This soft top layer is important for reducing pressure on your joints. Whatever you choose, you’ll want something that doesn’t break down too quickly, as a sagging mattress will not be comfortable for a stomach sleeper. Stomach sleepers will also want to stay away from waterbeds and other mattresses with extremely soft surfaces or lingering depressions.” What kind of pillow is best for a stomach sleeper? If you sleep on your stomach, “You could use the thinnest type of pillow — or even no pillow at all,” because of the potential stress this position can put on your back, according to sleep.org. The site also suggests using an additional pillow under your abdomen to keep your spine in a natural position and avoid back pain. Combining both of these pieces of advice can go a long way to getting you the restful sleep that you need. How do I avoid being stuck with a mattress I hate? Purchasing a mattress can feel like a gamble. To avoid this feeling, we suggest doing your research, considering your partner, and checking your retailer’s return policies. Do as much research as you can. Even if you plan on purchasing your mattress online, go into at least two mattress stores, and lay down on as many mattresses as possible, for up to 10 minutes. Take note of the specific models that you found comfortable and not comfortable, so you will know what qualities to look for when you shop online. Mattress Advisor points out that two rather incompatible sleeping positions are stomach and back. What if your partner is a stomach sleeper and you sleep on your back? Break up? Not so fast; you have options. “Stomach sleepers are a rare (err, special) breed. This position is the most different from others which means that some mattresses that are comfortable for stomach sleepers are not the best choice for side or back sleepers. This makes for a tricky conundrum when selecting a mattress for two. If you and your sleeping partner are not both stomach sleepers and have trouble agreeing on a mattress that’s comfortable for both, consider getting a split mattress so each person’s needs are met.” If you don’t want to get a split mattress, you can opt for magic adjustable air mattresses from brands like Sleep Number, ReST Bed, or Habitat Furnishings. Last, choose a mattress company that offers a great return policy or an in-home trial. Mattress retailers often offer an in-home trial period, meaning that you buy the mattress and sleep on it at home. If you aren’t satisfied during the predetermined term, you can exchange or return the mattress. Remember to research or ask what fees are associated with your trial. Most stores will charge fees, so be as prepared as possible. Stomach sleepers should be looking for a firmer mattress, most likely medium firm. The mattress can be of any construction type: innerspring, foam, or hybrid, but you need to have a supportive and contouring foam layer on top. Whether you decide to try transitioning to sleeping on your side, or continue to sleep on your tummy, we hope that this advice will make your shopping experience easier and your sleep more restful.
You should be able to find a mattress that lets you wake up rested, relaxed, and pain-free, no matter what position you sleep in. To improve the quality of your sleep, we have researched the specific characteristics to look for in a mattress for back, stomach, and side sleepers. After reading this article, you will know what kind of mattresses and pillows best complement your sleep position. How can sleeping on your back affect your health? Sleeping on your back is the most recommended sleep position by doctors, but why do only 8 percent of us sleep this way? Sleeping on your back can be detrimental for snoring, acid reflux, neck, and back pain. It can also cause discomfort during pregnancy. How firm should my mattress be if I sleep on my back? Sleep Guide informs us that "Back sleepers need a firmer mattress than side sleepers. Too soft and your spine curves. However, too firm and you run the risk of causing pain in your lower back or snoring." Why do back sleepers prefer a firmer mattress? “When sleeping on your back your body weight is spread out rather evenly, meaning less direct pressure points & less conformability needed to caress your body,” according to Home Mattress Center Owner Andy Bloom and Sales Professional Shane Carey. Mattress Advisor elaborates, “Back sleepers need a mattress that offers support and contour in equal measure to keep your spine in a neutral position. The support is what holds up your spine and neck, while the contour is what allows your bum and other curvy parts to rest peacefully.” The site advises that we look for a medium-firm mattress. “[Firmness] is the most important factor to keep in mind when choosing a new mattress. A soft, sink-on-in mattress will put your body in an arch position, and won’t provide you with enough support. But a mattress that tilts too far in the other direction can feel like a concrete slab to a back sleeper — this puts too much pressure on your back and shoulders, so you wake up with aches in the a.m.”You may need to look for different mattress support, depending on your weight. Mattress advice site Tuck recommends different firmness ratings, depending on how much you weigh. If you are a back sleeper weighing less than 130 pounds, you should look for a medium soft or softer mattress. Those weighing 130 to 230 should shop for a medium to medium-firm mattress, and people weighing more than 230 pounds should look toward medium firm or firmer mattresses. What kind of mattress is best for back sleepers? You can find a compatible mattress from any category: innerspring, latex, memory and poly foams, as well as hybrids. Just make sure that you are looking for a medium-firm mattress that conforms well to your body to provide consistent support and prevent your back from sinking down too much. What kind of pillow is best for a back sleeper? Back sleepers should use a pillow, or possibly two. “You may benefit from a thinner pillow (so your neck is not thrown too far forward) that has an extra loft in the bottom third to help cradle your neck. Loft just means how much lift the pillow has, so having extra loft at the bottom means it will be a little thicker in this area. Memory foam is a good option, because it molds to the shape of your head and neck, as is a water pillow, since it offers all-over consistent support,” The National Sleep Foundation explains on Sleep.org. “Also, try sleeping with another pillow under your knees to alleviate pressure on your lower back.” This under-the-knees pillow should be about the height of about two of your fists. How do I avoid buying a poor fitting mattress? Proper education and expectations are key when mattress shopping. When looking for your firm or medium firm mattress, you should be aware that the firmer the mattress, the more motion transfers. Best Mattress Reviews warns, “Be ready for motion transfer if you decide to go with very firm mattresses: Very firm mattresses have little give. That means every movement you make isn’t absorbed by the mattress. Rather, it transfers to your bed frame or partner.”Mattress Advisor points out that we often change sleeping positions during the night. “Additionally, many back sleepers cite side-sleeping as their secondary position, especially snorers whose sleeping partners beg them to roll over. Is this you? If your sleep position changes over time, or you share your bed with another person, look for an even more versatile mattress.” Consider a magic adjustable air mattress from brands like Sleep Number or Habitat Furnishings. These will allow you to adjust the comfort level of your bed. The Sleep Number even uses a technology that automatically adjusts to your body while you sleep. This is super helpful, especially for those of us that move around or switch positions while sleeping. What kind of retail mattress policies should I look out for? Check to see if a return or exchange policy is available before you purchase a mattress. More and more, retailers are offering an in-home trial that lasts at least one month. Keep in mind the fees for any return or exchange come in different shapes and sizes, whether in the form of an opt-in fee, a pick-up fee, a shipping fee, or a charge to re-select a mattress. Sometimes it is a flat rate of $100 or more, and sometimes it is a percentage of your original purchase. Know that many retailers require that you sleep on your new mattress for a couple weeks to break it in before you can initiate any return or exchange. In addition, policies vary. Some companies offer a refund, while many more allow for a one-time comfort exchange and selection of a new mattress. Choosing a mattress isn’t an exact science. Check out a retailer’s policies before you even walk into a store, or press “add to cart.” Make sure that you are looking for a medium firm mattress that offers enough support and pressure point relief for your frame when you sleep on your back.
People wake up in pain every day due to inadequate support from their mattress or pillow. To help you get a better night's sleep, we have compiled expert advice about finding the best mattresses and pillows that provide adequate support for side, back, and stomach sleepers.After finishing this article, you'll know what to look for when shopping either in-store or online for a pillow or mattress to support your body and provide proper pressure relief to side sleepers. You will know what types of mattresses and firmness comfort ratings to look for in your new bed. How can sleeping on your side affect your health? Almost 70 percent of people sleep on their side, according to a recent Consumer Reports study. While sleeping on your side is the second-best position (behind sleeping on your back and ahead of sleeping on your stomach), there are a few situations where you can definitely benefit.Sleeping on your left side is the doctor-recommended sleeping position for pregnant women and can help with snoring, sleep apnea, digestion, and heartburn. Why does it hurt to sleep on your side? Sleeping with a mattress or pillow that doesn't support you well enough can lead to pain in your hips, back, shoulder or arm. Mattress Advisor explains, “The reason sleeping on your side is not as good as sleeping on your back is because it puts pressure on your hips and shoulders.” Sleepopolis clarifies, “A mattress with great support will relieve pressure points and keep your spine, neck, and back in alignment. For side sleepers, this is especially important, since your spine may be misaligned already.” Additionally, a good mattress should contour to your body and support your spine while you sleep so that it stays in alignment and parallel to the mattress surface. When you don't get enough support, or you sink into your mattress too much, your spine is forced out of alignment, and your body will tell you.The third thing to worry about is arm, shoulder, and neck pain due to inadequate neck support. Dr. Nate Vogan tells Mattress Advisor, “If you are a side sleeper, it's important to make sure your neck is square to your shoulders and not sagging to one side. The implications of this is a muscular issue. It can create impingements of the joints in your neck. These impingements cause pain and tightness in the neck and under the arms.” What mattress firmness is best for side sleepers? You need a mattress that conforms to your body and offers pressure relief. Matt Ross from The Slumber Yard suggests, “Side sleepers generally prefer softer mattresses that are more gentle around their pressure points. Beds that are too firm tend to cause discomfort around the hips and shoulders of side sleepers. Given this, we've found that a lot of side sleepers like beds that contain memory foam top layers. Memory foam, unlike a lot of other common foams, conforms to the sleeper's body shape. As such, side sleepers feel like memory foam beds cradle their hips and shoulders extremely well.“Andy Bloom and Shane Carey from Home Mattress Center explain, “Side sleepers will lean towards a softer surface feel in a lot of cases. This is because when you are on your side you take the same amount of pressure but condense it into a smaller surface area. In this case shoulders and hips become major pressure points that will appreciate the softer surface padding that can cradle these areas and alleviate the pressure that contributes to aches/pains and tossing/turning.“Don't forget to consider your weight. Depending on your weight, different support levels will conform to your body differently. Sleep research site Tuck recommends medium, soft, or softer mattresses for side sleepers who weigh under 130 pounds, medium or medium-firm mattresses for those weighing 130 to 230 pounds, and medium-firm or firmer mattresses for people over 230 pounds. What kind of mattress is best for side sleepers? Side sleepers need a softer feeling mattress than back sleepers, but what types of mattresses are best? Should you look for a latex mattress, a memory foam mattress, a gel-infused memory foam mattress, an innerspring mattress, or a hybrid mattress? Sleep Guide explains, "Mattresses now use layers of contouring and supporting materials to give you the soft give you need for side sleeping without sagging." Along with contouring support, Sleepopolis adds, “Foam mattresses offer many advantages for side sleepers, but well-built and well-designed innerspring mattresses can be effective also.”You can choose any type of mattress, but choose a model with enough contouring and support to provide the pressure relief that you need for your hips and shoulder. What kind of pillow is best for a side sleeper? Pillows greatly impact the quality of your sleep and how you feel when you get out of bed. They can be the difference between being in pain or pain-free, but their importance is often overlooked. Experts suggest that people who sleep on their side use two pillows to avoid pain: one under your head to avoid spine, neck and shoulder pain and one between your knees to combat lower back and hip pain. When sleeping on your side, a good goal is to try to keep your ear, shoulder, and hips in alignment. This is going to be the job of your pillow too. “Pillows made from latex, shredded foam, memory foam, or other poly foam help provide consistent and stable support by responding to the varying pressures of your head and neck. You'll want to look for a pillow that is tall enough to cradle your head and neck but not so tall that you introduce a new form of pressure,” according to Sleepopolis. The National Sleep Foundation concurs, “Go for a firm pillow, and one with an extra-wide gusset to help bridge the distance between your ear and shoulder. (Instead of a pillow that has just a top panel sewed directly to a bottom panel, a gusseted pillow has rectangular panels along all four sides that increase its thickness.)” You can even find special anatomical pillows to help support your neck and avoid pain.For the between-your-knees pillow, which helps preserve your spinal alignment, chiropractor Dr. Jarrett Grunstein explains what to look for in Sleep Junkies, “I recommend the width of this pillow to be approximately the width of a fist. This will serve to keep the pelvis in a neutral position, minimizing compression or torque forces on the sacroiliac joints, which are a very common source of low back pain.” You can use a purpose-made half-moon or hourglass-shaped pillow or a body pillow between your legs. How do I avoid being stuck with a mattress I hate? When you invest in a mattress, you can get burned by a retailer with poor return or exchange policies. Mattresses have such a wide range of comfort levels because everyone's body is different. Sleepopolis has some great advice for shoppers, “Be sure to try a wide range of firmnesses when shopping for the best mattress for you. Depending on your size, weight, and body type, you may find different firmness levels affect your body differently. When trying out a new mattress, it helps to lie on it exactly as you would sleep. Try to give it at least ten minutes. Softer mattresses for side sleepers contour and react to your body very quickly, as soon as you lie down, so it may feel different after only five minutes.”When you are shopping for a mattress, especially when shopping online, see if a trial or exchange period is offered. You don't want to be stuck with a mattress that isn't a good fit. Most places will offer at least a 30-day exchange period. You also want to know in advance what the exchange or return shipping fee will be. Most retailers charge at least $100 for an exchange. Also, be aware that a full refund is not likely to be available. Following these guidelines, as well as knowing how to exchange your mattress, will go a long way to helping you sleep like a baby on your new mattress.
With hundreds of mattress retailers and thousands of mattresses to choose from, sometimes it can be a little daunting to try and separate the wheat from the chaff. At Best Company, we try to make big decisions like buying a mattress a little easier. To help guide your search, we have gathered the following tips from industry experts: Consider how you sleep “The most important consideration is your sleeping position; side sleepers need a soft to medium mattress while back and stomach sleepers need a firm sleeping surface. These kinds of surfaces will keep your spine aligned and help you wake up without pain in your back.” — Leslie Fischer, Founder of Sustainable Slumber “Be mindful of the kind of sleeper you are. While shopping, let your store associate know if you're a side sleeper, if you overheat when you sleep, and other details about your sleep routine. The more they know, the more they'll be able to help accommodate your needs.” — Erin Fausel, Lifestyle Blogger, American Freight Furniture & Mattress Check for certifications “There are no federal regulations when it comes to mattresses other than CFR1633 which is a burn test (ie the mattress can't catch on fire for x number of minutes). As a result of that, mattress manufacturers can put whatever they want into a mattress cover and call it a mattress as long as it passes a burn test. Including components that are toxic to your health. Look for mattresses which use components that have third party certifications. For example: foams that are CertiPUR-US Certified, Glues that are Green Guard Certified, etc” — Jonathan Prichard, Founder and CEO of MattressInsider.com“A growing number of consumers want to be sure the flexible polyurethane foam used in their bedding (and upholstered furniture, too) is certified by the not-for-profit CertiPUR-US program. Certified foam is your assurance that the foam meets rigorous standards for content, emissions, and durability and is analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories.” — Helen Sullivan, Communications Counsel for CertiPUR-US, in the article "Seven Tips for Buying a New Mattress" Support vs. comfort “I'm currently working for a mattress firm, and I've often seen customers make the common mistake of thinking that the firmer the mattress, the better the support. But in reality, firmness and support aren't the same thing. Support would refer to the feeling you have in a bed when your entire body feels comfortable, aligned, and in harmony. You can have a soft bed and still be completely supported. Depending on their sleep styles (e.g., on your back, on your side, on your tummy) and whether they have any health conditions (e.g., bad back, bad joints), different level of firmness would offer the right support to different customers. Because of that, I would ALWAYS recommend that customers should visit mattress stores and try the mattress out in person before committing to purchase.” — Vi Trang, Sleepy’s “There is a widely-believed myth that a very firm mattress is the most supportive mattress. They are great for stomach and back sleepers because it keeps your spine aligned. If you are a side sleeper, a soft and medium mattresses can also be very supportive. It all comes down to how you sleep. If you are plus-sized, you should choose a mattress that is extra thick — 13 inches or thicker.” — Leslie Fischer, Founder of Sustainable Slumber Research mattress materials “If you are ready to upgrade your mattress, take the time to research what materials your mattress contains. The better quality and more natural materials your mattress is made with, the longer your new mattress should last and the better you should sleep every night.Organic mattresses are made with organic and non-toxic materials instead of conventional and chemically questionable materials. Consumers should consider organic mattresses as a way to avoid unnecessary exposure to harsh chemicals.” — Barry Cik, Founder of Naturepedic Organic Mattresses“In general, I have found that people absolutely love their latex mattresses; they have a cult-like following. They do not contain metal and will not conduct electromagnetic waves. They are also very eco-friendly. They are made from the sap of rubber trees. They do not off-gas. They can be more expensive but are very long-lasting and have the longest warranties in the industry.” — Leslie Fischer, Founder of Sustainable Slumber“As the bed in a box craze got started with companies spending millions of dollars to bring awareness to the space, many sleepers immediately thought a memory foam mattress would be perfect for them. While they are great beds and conveniently delivered to your front door, sleepers over 200 pounds probably won’t be provided with the necessary support with an all memory foam mattress. The key to getting a great night of sleep can be broken down to spinal alignment. When our spine gets out of line, we develop pain in the hips, back, and neck as our body instinctively tries to bring everything back into alignment.Thus, do your research before purchasing a mattress. These days you can purchase an incredibly high quality mattress online, but just make sure it fits your body composition and sleep preferences.” — Bill Fish, Certified Sleep Science Coach and Co-Founder of Tuck Think about your partner "Size matters. If you're sharing a bed, you should buy at least a queen-size mattress. A healthy person moves 40 to 60 times a night and makes lots of full-body turns. For sound sleep, you need freedom of motion." — Helen Sullivan, Communications Counsel for CertiPUR-US, in the article "Seven Tips for Buying a New Mattress"“Your mattress should be six inches longer than the tallest person sleeping in it.Partners should be able to rest both hands behind their head (elbows sprawled) without bumping into each other.” — Mark’s Mattress Buying Guide “...I would suggest that a buyer look at the MORPHIIS Mattress because it’s THE ONLY MATTRESS that allows each sleeper to customize the firmness of each side of the bed with 64 options for each sleeper. Does it make sense to you that a person of 230 lbs that is 6’3” is going to like the exact same mattress as someone who is 5’1” and 110 lbs? Well, that’s the business model of CASPER and the bed-in-a-box industry. They want you to believe that the ONE PERFECT MATTRESS they have chosen will satisfy every person IN THE WORLD. It defies all logic. “ — Earl Takefman, Morphiis Think ahead about transport “Don't forget about getting your mattress home. It's easy to get so caught up in debating on which bed you want to sleep in tonight that you forget that most mattress stores won't deliver to you for two weeks or more (and delivery will cost $100 or more). It's tempting to offer to bring it home yourself by tying it to your roof or renting a truck, but both options could end in disaster or at the very least, dirt on your brand new mattress. If you're eager to sleep on your new mattress that very night, try a reliable service like Dolly that pairs you with trained Helpers who can move your mattress home that very day — for a fraction of the cost of the mattress store.” — Miranda Benson, Marketing Coordinator at DollyAdditional Resources: CertiPUR-US Participating RetailersConsumers Advocate|What’s the Best Mattress for Me?Mark’s Mattress Buying GuideMorphiis|Mattress Myths Exposed