Tips for Buying a New Mattress
By: David Keam
President of Best Sleep
You spend more time in your bed than in any other piece of furniture in your home!
With numerous mattress options to choose from, purchasing a new mattress should be done with the thought process it deserves. After all, this is the most important piece of furniture in you life.
This is especially true if you suffer from back or neck pain or simply are getting older.
Chances are good that if you’re thinking you need to replace your mattress, you probably right. As I always tell my customers, a good quality mattress saves you money. Just think of the cost of all those massage and chiropractic bills! No mattress is intended to replace a fine masseuse or a professional chiropractor, but getting a treatment and then getting back into your 12 year old sinking mattress, will sure make the chiropractor’s wife happy. A good quality mattress will make the difference between spending your day feeling great or in pain.
Chances are good that if you’re thinking you need to replace your mattress, you are probably right. A considerable portion of our population are sleeping on mattresses that are either too old or ill-suited to their body weight.
Here are some of my buying tips to help you make the right Mattress choice:
- Focus on Comfort.
The most important thing to consider is your own comfort level. Even if you buy the most expensive mattress in the store, you will not ‘your’ best sleeping experience if you’re not comfortable on it. To find a mattress you’re comfortable sleeping on, you need to consider several other factors, like mattress size, firmness and the type of materials used in the mattress. Don’t look for the one mattress that is the best for everyone. Look for your very own best mattress. Spend an hour with us laying around, don’t walk around sitting on and punching the bed, your just wasting your precious time.
- Familiarize yourself with common mattress types and how they are constructed.
Spring mattresses use coils (pocket coils), which often provide a traditional bounce feel coupled with strong support. Latex mattresses typically offer more bounce and responsiveness than pocket coil mattresses, and tend to mitigate body heat, helping you sleep cooler. Memory foam mattresses are designed to contour to the shape of your body, which leads to pressure relief. Hybrid mattresses combine memory foam or latex layers with the goal of providing a mix of softness and support. Mattresses are also rated based on firmness. In general, a mattress that is too old or too soft may not provide adequate spinal support.
- Visit stores and test out mattresses.
Go to a mattress store and give yourself ample time to browse. Take off your shoes and lie down on different mattresses for at least 10-15 minutes each. Ask questions, ask more questions. And don’t worry about feeling self-conscious—this is an important purchase, so take your time.
- Read reviews from real customers.
Pay little attention to what the mattress companies say about themselves. Seek out the unbiased reviews from other people/ customers who have purchased the mattress you are interested in and/ or from the company you are considering buying from. I recommend using Google reviews as a starting point.
- We all change over time.
A lot can change over the years. Growth, injuries, pregnancies, or sleep position(s): all these things can affect how we experience a mattress and how we prefer to get our rest. A bed that is perfect right now may be less than ideal 5 years down the road through no fault of its own. If your body has changed substantially in size or you are sleeping differently than you were when you bought it, you may want to consider replacing it or consider moving that perfectly good mattress that’s no longer good for you to the guest room.
- Ask for recommendations online.
Announce on your social media accounts that you are looking for a new mattress and ask friends and members to post their suggestions. Consider including details about your health condition, as some people might have a similar experience and can give more specific recommendations. You could also visit Spine-health’s Sleep Problems Forum and ask people who are in a similar situation as you.
- Think about adjustable beds.
If you find you are more comfortable sitting in a recliner than lying down, try an adjustable bed. This option allows you to elevate your head and knees slightly, which may relieve lower back pressure.
- Check the warranty.
Before you buy, verify that there is a warranty for the mattress, in case it breaks down or is defective. Often a good mattress will have a minimum of a 10-year warranty max. This is honest and truthful in how much time a properly purchased mattress will be without defect.
- Protect your investment.
Don’t forget to purchase a waterproof mattress protector. Mattress stains will void your warranty, even if they have nothing to do with a future defect. The reason why is simple: it's always “coke” on the mattress, but nobody wants to figure out if it is or it is not 'coke' and you don’t want your new mattress going down the belt beside someone’s old dirty one being repaired. Keep your new mattress spotless with a warrantied mattress protector.
- Brands have value.
There are reasons why some brands are more well-known than others. Look for trusted brands like Restonic and Spring Air that have good quality products and good customer support. Now having said that, there has been major mergers in the mattress industry and today there are now only 4 or 5 major brands left and most of these brands have significant debt and shareholder fiscal responsibilities resulting in cutting corners on materials and manufacturing best practises.
Our in store brands: Restonic (80 years) and Spring Air (65 years and Winnipeg made) both have excellent customer ratings like goodbed.com ( a consumer driven review website).
- Decide on your budget.
The prices of mattresses vary greatly and lifespan depends on what you pay. So you need to set a price you are conformable to pay but you also need to make sure that your budget will actually suit your needs and expectations. A 300 lbs. customer wanting to spend $600 on a mattress should not expect the same lifespan as a 120 lbs. customer. Comfort life and wearing out a mattress is not a warrantable issue(s).
So please make sure, if you want things to last, you set a reasonable budget for your health and weight. It is important to note, a high-quality mattress is not cheap, but well worth the investment.
- Remember: higher price does not always equal higher quality.
It's easy to assume that the more you pay for your new mattress, the better the mattress quality. But a high price tag does not guarantee high quality. To get what to pay for; deal only with those mattress companies that talk about and teach you how the mattress is constructed so you can actually make a real comparison. Companies talking about their boxing week special in March, June and September; should tell you something. A mattress is an important investment that can and will affect your overall health, so please, take the time to find the mattress that is right for you.
AND remember that you will spend more time in your bed than any other furniture item in your home. A small amount of time spent shopping with intelligent questions and an intelligent salesperson will pay huge dividends by contributing to your comfort and well-being for years to come.
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