How To Choose A Mattress?

Do you need a new mattress or want to replace the old one? There are some factors that you should put into consideration, for example, the type of mattress you need .There are some factors that you should put into consideration, for example, the type of mattress you need. There are several types of mattresses: Adjustable, foam, innerspring, air bed, water bed, and many others. Also, the type you choose will depend on your sleeping pattern, people who sleep on the side need a much softer mattress, back sleepers need a medium mattress and stomach sleepers need a much firmer mattress.

Table of Contents

What type of mattress do I need?

When it comes to buying a mattress, people usually go for one that is according to their preference.

Below are some types of beds that will guide you and make you go for the best choice.

Memory foam

Are you a side sleeper? If you are this is the perfect bed choice to go for, this will provide you with great support and comfort. This kind of bed is loved by many because of the benefits it has for the body. It does offer support for your hip and shoulder as you sleep. The memory foam bed is ideal as it contours to your body and allows you to feel partially surrounded by the mattress while being supported.

how to choose a mattress

This type of mattress does not sag in the middle easily, it has been made with materials that resist this, and therefore you will not have to flip your mattress routinely.

Gell mattress

Sometimes foam mattresses have a gell component added to it in the support system. There is no big difference between the two there you may want to test it out to decide which feel you prefer. Also if you don’t like how the foam mattress absorbs heat from your body you may go for the gell mattress.

Pillow tops

These layers that are added to the top of the mattress, they are very soft and cushiony allowing similar sinking feeling that the memory foam has.

Innerspring mattress

To know the quality of support this mattress has you can easily tell by identifying the number of coils used to make it. They also have a variety of spring shapes and coils used which can affect the quality of back support. Back, side and tummy sleepers are usually comfortable when they get the right type of innerspring mattress.

Water bed

Are you a back sleeper? Then this is the best choice of mattress for you. The mattress uses water as water for support, it consists of a rectangular chamber of water that is padded with fibers or foam.

Air Bed

Just like waterbeds, air beds have a chamber that is filled with air as the primary support. The air chamber is padded with foam or fiber upholstery. The air beds are good for back sleepers and couples with different firmness needs. The air chamber is padded with foam or fiber upholstery. 

how to choose a mattress

Latex Mattresses

This mattress offers a variety of firmness levels that are preferably good for side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers. Latex mattresses use natural material and are dense and less heating as compared to memory foam which uses synthetic materials.  

Adjustable bases mattresses

Do you have sleep-related problems? Are you having sleepless nights caused by muscle aches, back pain, heartburn, acid reflux, or even heartburn? Adjustable base mattresses are very flexible and they provide relief and support wherever you need it.

Which mattress is the best?

ou will agree with me that choosing the best mattress is not an easy task. You will need to get rid of the old one and start shopping for a new one which may be very hard to get to choose the right one from the many options available.

You can get lucky and get the best mattress after consideration of several important factors. Below are some of the key factors that you need to put into consideration before getting a new mattress.

Do you need a new mattress?

any people are fond of changing their beds after using it for just a few years, this is okay if you have invested in it. On the other hand, it is not a small investment therefore you will need to check if you surely need a new one.

In a case where you have used your mattress for more than eight years, you will most likely need a new mattress. This will depend on the quality of your mattress also if you have instances of back or neck pain, your bedding could be the problem.

What is your budget?

What is a good amount to spend on a mattress? Should I spend more to get a good mattress? Well, you should note that spending more money doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed a good mattress. Here are some guidelines for you: 

●        What is a good amount to spend on a mattress? Should I spend more to get a good mattress? Well, you should note that spending more money doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed a good one. You may also think that a mattress with a high price has high quality, this is not true at all.

●        Avoid going for the cheapest option you get in the market – if you spend less you are likely to buy a lower- quality mattress that you will need to replace sooner. Getting a mattress at a higher cost doesn’t guarantee you a high quality.

Always take note than more money does not mean better quality

What is your ideal type?

Most of the time people will have in mind their preference, people who sleep on the side prefer memory foam mattresses, people who sleep on their tummy prefer innerspring mattresses and much other preference.

What is your ideal sleeping position and firmness?

What is your favorite sleeping position? Your sleeping pattern will determine the type of bed you need. Take note of your sleeping position and you will be good to go. Whether you sleep on your stomach, side, or even on your back, you will get the ideal bed.

What is your body weight?

You may be wondering how weight affects the type of mattress you choose. Well, the sinkage, feeling, and support depend on an individual body type. lighter sleepers will need a slightly smaller mattress to get the same feel as an average person. For a heavy person, a thicker mattress is ideal to support the weight.

When should you buy a new mattress?

Buying a mattress should be something you invest in life, it’s like getting insurance. Deciding to purchase one can be very challenging because of the many mattress variables. When heading to buy a mattress you should be aware of the difference between myths and the truth. Below is a list of myths that you may need to know about.

a) You should replace your mattress every 8 years

It is advised that you replace your mattress after every 7-8 years, this will depend on the comfort and support it provides. Maintenance is a key factor in the lifespan of your mattress, how you sleep on it, how you flip it, and how you take care of it will determine its condition.

A good mattress is one that gives you the best support and comfort if it doesn’t provide this then go for a new one.

b) A firm mattress is the best for your back

how to choose a mattress

A good mattress will protect you from any form of discomfort you may be going through. You do need a mattress that provides comfort in your sleeping position and gives you support on your body parts. Mattress are grouped into three categories depending on the comfort and support it gives see below the categories

●        Soft mattresses are fit for your shape however, they fail to deliver equal support across your entire body.

●        A medium-firm mattress is proper in that it provides uniform comfort and support that alleviates pressure points pain in most people.

●        The very firm mattress provides proper support, however, it provides little comfort which may result in pressure point pain.

  c) The right mattress will prevent tossing turning

As human beings we are destined to roll over and move around while sleeping, babies are fond of rolling over in their sleep at the age of 4 months. On the other hand, adults do move around as much as 75 times at night. It could be a simple movement or a full out roll.

People do move around at night majorly to reduce pressure point and lower stress and strain on their backs and joints reduces.

d) Your new mattress needs to be a perfect fit from the first time you sleep on it.

Do you have a new mattress? Have you adjusted to it? Well, you need at least a month to get your body used to a new sleep surface. Our muscles and joints tend to have a memory of how to find the most comfortable spot on the mattress. This is because of the number of hours we spend in bed. Anyway, this does not mean that you should purchase a mattress from a retailer that offers a comfort guarantee.

Not necessarily. If you have looked at factors that affect mattress purchase, and concluded on your preference, your purchase of the mattress needs to be a natural progression of those activities.

e) A mattress needs to be flipped every few months for good maintenance       

In the present day, you do not need to flip your mattress as most of them are made one-sided. You can achieve maximum comfort of your mattress and reduce body impressions by doing the following:

●        Ensure that the parts of your mattress are compressed evenly, this you achieve by sleeping on all the positions and places of the mattress.

●        Afterward, flip your mattress every month for the first six months and quarterly after that.

You should take note that when you sleep on your new mattress, you need to rotate it for 2 weeks for the first two months. The upholstery materials are complying with the weight and shape of your body, which is a good thing.

f) Get a longer warranty for the mattress you purchase

Note that if you get the warranty it doesn’t mean that the mattress will go for a lifetime. The warranty like any other product covers workmanship and materials therefore you will notice wear and tear before you even reach the end of the warranty.

In case of a repair or replacement, transport to and from the factory is not usually covered, therefore you should read your warranty very keenly. Will you be given a new warranty after a mattress replacement? Well, this is not possible as the warranty is only given on the first instance of purchase.

g) Removing your mattress tag is against the law

Should I remove the tag on my mattress? you may be indecisive when it comes to making this choice. The truth is that once you have purchased the mattress you are allowed to do anything you want with it as you rightfully own it.

On the other hand in an instance where you will need to file a warranty claim, the tag needs to be attached to the mattress. The tag has information that assists the manufacturer to process your claim. But if you ever need to file a warranty claim, it needs to be attached to the mattress because it contains critical information that will help the manufacturer process your claim.

How do I get the best deal on a mattress?

Mattress manufacturers usually set a minimum price allowing retailers to sell their mattresses. From this, a store owner has to price the mattress at that minimum or over priced and negotiate, so you will know that if a store is willing to negotiate they are overpriced.

Some people may be hesitant to negotiate when it comes to buying a mattress. Do not be shy to ask for deals for example free shipping, price reduction, or even complimentary box spring. You can buy a new mattress with little hassle and with comfortable negotiations. Here are the guidelines.

●        Before you go to the store do research online or from other people who have had the experience before. With all this research you will be able to show confidence and be aware of what you expect at the store, therefore, handle well the negotiation

●        Do not rush to buying the product yet, let them think that you are shopping around for the best price on the mattress. If you have a smartphone you can check other shops that offer the same mattress at a lower price and tell them about it, then the salesman may decide to give you a discount or do the following:

  1. The salesman may lower the price immediately or call the manager to drop the price. Only take it if it is a big price drop.
  2. Some salespeople will just listen to you and let you leave. If this happens don’t buy instead go to a comparison shop.
  3. A good salesman may decide to look up comparison models on competitors’ websites for you. Not all of them are usually willing to tell you the real comparison model

●        Comparison shop, take your time and go online to check and you may be surprised to find a similar item for a lot less.

●        Price match and Price beat, you can go to the showroom ready with a comparison model in hand. Have the comparison model somewhere visible for example on your phone or even print it out. Inform them of your intentions to buy it online if they cannot match their offer.

In an instance where they say they can only match but not beat try to convince them to offer you additional items instead like pillows, set of sheets, or even mattress protector.

Some salespeople may refuse to match the price, have them call the manager.

Some may even say the models are different, get them to explain how, and if it’s reasonable then ask them to inform you on the comparable model on the website. They will automatically speak about theirs maybe using a latex foam instead of memory foam, the high number of coils it has, and many other descriptions. Just tell them you don’t care about that and you will go for the online one.

●        Go into a showroom and go through their various selections.

After trying all the negotiations work some salespeople may be very rigid on their decision not changing minded at all. Do not buy it, go for the comparison shop. The salespeople are usually strict because they want to get high commission.

So all you will need to do is to be at par with the mattress buying process, choose an online comparison shop then go back into the store and take advantage of the price match or price beat policy.

Type of Bed Base

Different beds usually have different bed bases. They are four main types of bed base namely: 

  • Divan Bases
  • Bed Frames / Bedsteads
  • Adjustable beds
  • Guest Beds

The bed base can affect the performance of your mattress and also the feel of your mattress. It is advised to check with your manufacturer which type of base is recommended for your mattress.

Many manufacturers suggest a base with sprung slats because they provide support and when you move about in your sleep it absorbs movement.

Most mattresses of any kind can be supported by a platform base that provides a firmer foundation. However, a slatted base is worth noting that it can cause a mattress to bulge over a long period, so it is usually very good to make sure that the slats are no more than 70mm apart to ensure longevity.

Turning of the mattress

To ensure your mattress has an even wear and tear it is good to have it turned or rotated regularly. Though it does not mean all mattresses need to be turned or rotated. Some mattresses just need to be rotated instead of being turned; this depends on the type of mattress. It is good to consider this when buying a mattress. This job can be tricky since some mattresses are very heavy. The manufacturer should advise if the mattress should be turned, rotated, or if it is the kind of mattress that does not need to be turned or rotated.

Importance of Warranty

Usually, when you buy a mattress you just ask or check the number of years/period of your mattress warranty, but it is very important to also check the fine prints of the details of the warranty. Most of the warranties provided only cover the defects that are caused by the manufacturer which might happen in a short period or you will discover in a short period for, example, a foam not bouncing back or a popped spring, but if by any chance a defect happens and you did not use the recommended bed base by the manufacturer or you did not use a mattress protector when it was instructed you use one, the warranty could be invalid and you might not be given another mattress in exchange of the defected one.

Trying a mattress before buying

When buying a mattress some people use their hands to check mattress comfort and support levels while others sleep on it for very few minutes, that is besides being the right size.

It is important to try a mattress before buying, one good way is sleeping on it for at least ten minutes in your natural sleeping position, the other better way is buying a mattress with a trial period, some manufacturers offer a hundred-day trial period. This is good because by the time the period is over you will have a good judgment of the comfort of our mattress.

Mattress Size

It is very important to make sure that the mattress matches the bed frame, it is also important to note that the European mattress sizes differ slightly to standard UK sizes, so it is not good to use your eyes to assume that the mattress you want to buy will fit exactly on your bed frame.

Advice from Health Care Providers

It is important to seek advice from health providers, especially physical therapists before buying a mattress to recommend on which best mattress to buy depending on an individual. The doctors and physical therapists are not mattress experts but if they know your medical history they may have good advice from that point of view.

You should aim for the neck and low back to be in a neutral position while lying on the mattress, this promotes good spinal alignment.

Watch out for Gimmicks

Mostly there is no medical organization that officially verifies if the ‘medical labels’ written on the mattresses are genuine. Some mattresses use the labels as ‘orthopedic’ or ‘medically-approved’, these labels should not be trusted by the buyers and used as a way to decide on which mattress to buy if not advised by a qualified orthopedic. However, some mattresses may have orthopedic friendly features as much as no medical group verifies these claims. 

Reviews and recommendations

Mattress companies usually have good things written about themselves so as to market themselves.

It is not always advisable to just check what the companies have written about themselves and decide on what mattress is best for you. It is good to check reviews online and seek out unbiased reviews from people who have purchased the mattress you are interested in, read both positive and negative reviews before you decide.

You can also seek advice from friends and relatives by posting the mattress you want to buy on your social media, consider including the details about your health conditions and maybe the price. They might have similar experiences and give recommendations on the mattress you want to buy, but at the same time, you keep in mind that comfort will be determined by your personal preference.

Protection of your Mattress/Investment

When buying a mattress, it is also important to consider protecting it so that it lasts long and avoiding the warranty of the mattress to be void if the manufacturers detect the defect was from your side.

One way of protecting your mattress is buying a kind of waterproof mattress protector as mattress stains can render your warranty void, thus means if you already had spent money on the mattress you will not get a mattress for exchange if stained and you will have to invest again on the mattress if you need a new one.

A mattress protector is also important to ensure you do not replace your mattress often because it prevents dust mite allergies from acting up, the dust mite eats dead skin cell, so the mattress will have dead skin cells.

The mattress is also an important investment and you should consider your future, it can affect your health in the future of your spine and the quality of your sleep. If in future if you have back problems, it might cost you more to seek medical attention and you end up spending more than what you would have spent on a good quality mattress.

Body Types/Weight

The body type and weight usually influence the type of mattress best for you to buy. The best mattress for you to buy provides spinal support, comfort, and other important features no matter your shape or weight.

Light Profile People.

People who weigh less than 130 pounds often benefit from softer mattresses especially if they sleep on their side or have pronounced pressure points; this is because they don’t sink as far into the mattress. Innerspring mattresses tend to be a poor fit, and foam or hybrids beds are compelling options.

Based on the sleeping positions, for lightweight people between 130 pounds and 200 pounds, it is easy to give suggestions. Foam, hybrid, and latex mattresses are good options for lightweights (130 pounds and 200 pounds) and can be selected based on their specific features, designs, and preferences.

People over 200 Pounds.

These are people who are heavier and, of course, tend to sink deeper into the mattress than the lightweights, especially near heavier parts of the body. These sleepers usually are advised or have a better result with mattresses that are a bit firmer to avoid the risk of throwing off spinal alignment.

These kinds of people will require a responsive mattress which is easier to move on top of because it reduces the chances of you being stuck in the bed. Latex and hybrid will be more appropriate with you if you weigh over 200 pounds.

People of over 200 pounds usually can cause wear and tear on top layers of the mattress easier and faster because of weight for sure, so what is important is considering durability when buying a mattress, for this reason, sleepers with higher body weight are advised or opt for a mattress with a thicker comfort system that uses high-density materials.

Other than the weight their other body features can be considered before buying a mattress or affect how to choose the right mattress. They include hips that may need a softer mattress or the shoulder, especially for side sleepers. Height, especially people over six feet also can affect as they need to stretch out comfortably, so dimension should be considered at this point.

How do you choose a Mattress for Children?

There are meaningful differences to take into account when choosing a mattress for a child and when choosing for an adult. Choosing a mattress for a child has quite a bit of overlap with choosing a mattress for an adult.

Good sleep is important for a child’s development, they require more sleeping hours than adults, meaning they spend more time in bed than adults. Making sure the child has a quality mattress is a central part of making sure the children get the quality sleep they need.

how to choose a mattress

Safety is very vital when choosing a mattress for children, especially infants, it is important to check that your child’s mattress meets safety guidelines.

The size of the mattress of your child is also something that should be looked into since they tend to outgrow as they grow unlike adults, so should be bought based on a child’s age and their expected growth.

The price of the mattress for kids also should be different and mostly cheaper than an adult’s mattress. Most kids’ beds are smaller and thinner as compared to adults’ beds, this means the materials used to make the mattress for kids are less, thus should be cheaper than an adult mattress. However, this is not always the case, some kid’s mattresses are made of costly materials and have extra features thus can be the same price as an adult’s mattress.

How do you Choose a Crib Mattress?

The most important element to consider when buying or choosing a mattress for a crib is the safety of the mattress. The key aspects of crib mattress safety include the following:

● Ensuring the mattress meets the standards of CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) that relate to limiting exposure to lead and other compounds.

● Ensuring the mattress meets the CPSC guidelines which relate to size for use in a full-size crib.

This means a minimum of 27.5 inches by 51.25 inches and the thickness not to exceed six inches.

●  Ensuring the crib mattress is firm as this can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS).

There are other factors also considered other than safety that relates to the convenience and usability of a crib mattress.

Ease of Cleaning

Cribs mattresses get messy easily due to the kids, thus it is an advantage to have a design that makes it easy to clean, some cribs mattresses are made with either a waterproof cover (usually made of vinyl) or a waterproof backing. These features usually make it easier to clean up the mattresses since it needs easy and fast cleaning because the kids spend most of the time sleeping and mostly cannot wait for a slow cleaning method.


The cribs mattress usually undergoes regular cleaning, thus lighter mattresses are favorable to most parents such as those made of foam, so it is easy to carry and clean fast as compared to the heavy mattress which is more tasking to lift and clean.

Mattress Type

There are companies which make crib mattress out of special materials or components, including some that are produced with an eco-conscious focus. However, the mattress ideal for the crib which has a firm sleeping surface is foam and innerspring mattress.

Reversible Firmness

Crib mattress which has a reversible firmness (a design that gives each side of the crib mattress a different feel) is a plus, since when your child grows you will not need to buy a new mattress. The child requires a firm mattress when young but as the child grows the child doesn’t need quite as much firmness. Reversible firmness will allow you to flip the mattress depending on the age and needs of your child.

How do you choose a Mattress for Back Pain?

Different factors lead to back pain; can unsupportive mattress lead to back pain? Yes, and should not be underestimated, and why should you buy a good quality mattress if you do not have back pains? This is because it will prevent pain from arising.

Considering the nature of the back pain alongside other matters can help choose the best mattress for you. Some back pains are short term and are known as acute back pain, other times it persists over a long period and is known as chronic back pain. Acute back pain may need just a temporary relief from their mattress; this may be adjusting sleeping positions. For chronic back pains, it may require you to take more steps such as choosing a mattress that is softer or firmer. The type of mattress may also depend on where a person experiences back pain.

Lower Back Pain

This can be caused by a bad sleeping position. For side sleepers, it can be caused if the shoulder and hips are not supported. For back and stomach sleepers, it may be caused by a mattress that is too soft or too firm, putting pressure on the natural curvature of the lumbar spine. It is advised for side sleepers to use medium-soft to medium-firm mattresses. What if you are a back or stomach sleeper? You look for medium-firm to firm mattresses.

how to choose a mattress

Middle and Upper Back Pain

Poor posture can cause tension in the middle or upper back. A pressure-relieving mattress that contributes to spinal alignment can reduce the risk of this kind of pain. However, pains in these areas can be serious and are advised to seek medical advice when buying a mattress that causes such kind of pain.

Bottom Line

The information above should help you select the best possible mattress you can buy. This is because there are a variety of options you can choose from either of which guarantee a different experience when you use them.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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