Wondering how to choose the right mattress? Choosing a mattress is a big deal. Mattresses range in price from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. And choosing the wrong one will be a mistake you’ll live with for years. Recently, after seeing an ad for a “sale,” I decided to get a new mattress for my guest room. I did some sleuthing and found what looked like a good deal. Then I read my notes from the last time I bought a mattress…seven years ago. There’s a lot to learn. I hope these notes help you as much as they helped me.
How to Choose the Right Mattress
My first try at buying a mattress didn’t go so well. I ordered a premium brand mattress online. When it arrived, I was so disappointed. I tried to sit on the edge of the bed. It was so soft I slid off. And the mattress was so deep my feet didn’t reach the floor. Returning it was a hassle. And since they had taken my old mattress, I had to sleep in the guest room until I bought a new one. For help choosing the right mattress, see How To Choose a Mattress by Consumer Reports. It will tell you everything you need to know about mattresses and how to choose the right one.
What to Know before Shopping for a Mattress
- Do your homework. Check mattress types, brands and prices online before venturing into a store.
- Order online only if you’re able to try the mattress at a retail location.
- Decide how much you’re willing to pay. Mattress stores often advertise “big sales” on holidays like Labor Day. When you get to the store sale prices may apply only to a few unfamiliar brands.
- If you have a frame and a standard size mattress, you don’t need to buy a new frame.
- Know whether the family member who will use the mattress sleeps on their side, stomach or back. It makes a difference in the firmness of the mattress.
- Measure the depth of your existing mattress. If you have fitted sheets you may want the same depth mattress.
- If you store things under your bed, measure how much space you need between the floor and the bottom of the frame.
- Bring a measuring tape to the store.
Tips for Your Trip to the Mattress Store
- Know your budget.
- When you find a mattress you like, negotiate. Ask for a senior discount, cash discount, or low price guarantee. Mattress sales people may offer up to a 30% discount.
- Be willing to walk away, go home and comparison shop. You can always go back the next day if you don’t find a better deal.
- Check to see if the price includes delivery, set up, and disposal of packing materials as well as your old mattress.
- If you like to sit on the edge of the bed, make sure the mattress has edge support and isn’t so deep your feet don’t reach the floor.
- Try lifting the mattress to make sure it’s not too heavy to tuck in the sheets.
- Look for instructions. Does the mattress need to be flipped or rotated? How often?
- Ask about the return policy and warranty. With good care, mattresses last 7-10 years.
- Try to resist add-ons like toppers, mattress protectors, sheet sets and pillows. You can probably get them for less online.
- If you intend to store things under the bed, make sure there’s enough space between the floor and the bottom of the frame.
What to Do on Delivery Day
- Check the top, bottom and sides of the mattress for defects.
- Give the delivery people a nice tip. How would you like to deliver mattresses all day?
- Make the bed and look forward to a great night’s sleep!
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