Ultimate Guide For Find A Mattress For Your Bed
People approach mattress shopping incorrectly by focusing on the prices and ignoring the technology or materials. This approach could lead to a mattress you don’t like or regret purchasing.
This guide will help you find a better way. The key is comfort and support. This guide is based on hundreds of hours spent researching and sleeping testing in order to help you choose a mattress that you will love for many years.
Best Foam Mattress under $1,000
The Costco bestseller is made with layers of foam that are twice as dense and likely as durable as foam mattresses. It was loved by its supportive, cuddly feel but some people found it too firm.
Best latex-foam mattress
Although the all-latex Zenhaven costs $1,000 more than comparable online options, it is more durable and breathable than most foam mattresses. We think this mattress is a great value for money, even though it’s a premium latex mattress.
*The price at the time of publication was $2,200
Saatva Classic (Luxury Firm)
A plush innerspring with bounce
The Saatva for Crushed velvet bed by Hugo & Sons is a combination of a classic innerspring bounce and a soft, but not too luxurious, Euro top. It appeals to those who like to be ensconced without feeling overwhelmed. It doesn’t offer the best motion isolation.
*The price at the time of publication was $1,300
A foam on-coil combination with mellow bounce
The Leesa Hybrid is a combination of memory foam and spring mattresses. It has a thicker cover and better cooling than other mattresses. All this at a great value.
*The price at the time of publication was $1,444.
Zinus Cooling Copper Adaptive Hybrid
The best mattress below $400
Cooling Copper Adaptive Hybrid combines springiness with a classic memory foam feel to make a comfortable, substantial mattress that isn’t cheap. Its motion isolation and edge support are only middle-of the-pack.
*The price at the time of publication was $350.
You have three options when shopping for a mattress: innerspring (mixed foam and springs), memory foam, polyfoam (or a combination), and hybrid (a mixture of foam and springs). For their price, comfort, and generous trial periods, we recommend the Novaform ComfortGrande memory-foam mattress, the Zenhaven latex-foam innerspring, the Saatva Classic foam-and-coil Leesa Hybrid and the Zinus Cooling Copper Hybrid Mattress. These are just suggestions. We recognize that comfort is subjective and no one mattress will be right for everyone. This is why we have some tips to help you choose the best mattress.
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What is the best time to buy a mattress?
A new mattress may be the right thing for you if you are having trouble sleeping, experiencing aches and pains in your mornings, or just plain uncomfortable. Consider where your pain is coming from. If you have back, shoulder, hip, knee or joint pains, it may be that your mattress is not properly cushioned. If your mattress is sagging or has a permanent indentation in your body’s shape, it may be time to get a new one. If you notice that you are sleeping better at home, such as in hotels or vacation rental homes, that is a red flag.
Before you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a pillow, there are a few things you should consider. You might have neck pain and want to check out our guide to the best pillow. If your new supportive mattress isn’t soft enough or cushy enough, you might be able to make it more comfortable by adding a good cushion topper.
Types of mattresses
There are many types of mattresses, but most of them fall under one of the three main categories: innerspring (or Spring), foam, or hybrid. Here is a brief overview of each type.
An innerspring mattress is a mattress made up of a network of metal springs or coils that are connected to your body. The comfort layer, which is made of soft, fabric-encased padding and provides contouring and cushioning without the sinking sensation associated with memory foam. A quality innerspring mattress provides excellent edge support and is more breathable (and therefore cooler) than its all foam counterparts. It also comes in a range firmness levels to suit a variety of preferences.
A foam mattress can be described as a mattress that is made up of layers of foam (memory, polyfoam or a combination of both), with different densities and varying degrees of support, cushioning, durability, and support. All-foam mattresses are a good choice for those with back problems because they mold to your body. This mattress is also motion-isolated, so light sleepers will be less likely to wake up from their partner shifting at night.
Hybrid mattresses can have very different feel depending on which brand or model they are. They may contain varying amounts of foam and coils. The hybrid’s pocketsed metal coils provide a balance between bounce, pressure-relieving support, and comfort. However, the foam layers give you cushioning and cushioning without being too soft. Hybrid mattresses can help you choose between innerspring and all-foam beds.
How to choose the right mattress
- Although it may take several weeks to get used to a new mattress, you will have more success with a mattress over the long-term if your first impressions are positive.
- A mattress can be described as any type of flat fabric that has been wrapped in materials that give you some support when you lay down. To repel pests, the oldest known mattress was filled with layers of grassy and leafy plants. While modern mattresses use more complex fillings, they still follow the same pattern of layering. (To learn more about the different types of mattress, including innerspring, foam and hybrid, see mattress types.
There are many mattress options, and each type has its strengths and weaknesses. Don’t let fashion, price, or advertising fool you. Comfort should always be your primary concern.
Roger Magowitz, who is the executive vice president of Customatic Technologies, cautioned that if it’s uncomfortable when you first use it, you shouldn’t buy it. He has been a mattress retailer owner for over 35 years. He said that it’s better to buy one that makes you feel good right away.
It may take you a while to find out if the mattress is comfortable for you over time. Santhosh Thomas is the medical director at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Spine Health. He said, “You have to spend some time assessing it.” Even if the store asks you to keep the plastic covering on, he believes that you should insist on a trial period.
It’s difficult to tell if a mattress is right for you if you order it online. You can visit showrooms for some brands (e.g. Nest Bedding and Casper) or you can buy them in mattress shops (e.g. Stearns & Foster and Serta). Some brands also have showrooms where you can try the mattresses in person. Others are available at stores such as West Elm (Leesa) or Crate & Barrel (“the Tuft & Needle Mint”)
You can always take advantage of the free in-home trial if you find the mattress uncomfortable or not supportive enough. You can test the mattress for a month (many companies require this minimum), and then you can set a reminder on your calendar to end the trial. You shouldn’t settle for a mattress that you aren’t happy with.
When choosing a mattress, there are a few things you should ask.
- You can try a mattress in a shop by sitting down and laying on it.
- You can assess the comfort of a mattress by asking the following questions, regardless if you are buying it in a shop or online. If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, it is likely that the mattress you are sleeping on is comfortable.
Do you like it as firm as possible?
We recommend that you keep an open mind, even if you feel you have a good idea of the level of firmness you want. You can only determine if a mattress is “firm” or soft by laying down on it. Mattresses are similar to clothing sizes. There is no standardization for firm, medium or soft across brands. Two staffers, who had been insisting they were firm-mattress persons for years, discovered that they prefer mattresses labeled medium in our mattress tests. Be aware that firmness can mean different things to different people. For example, many users have criticized the Casper Original for being too soft. However, others find it to be just right.
Is it comfortable enough to cradle you or provide cushioning?
A memory-foam or foam-forward hybrid mattress will be more comfortable for you if you prefer the mattress to mold to your body. An innerspring mattress will give you a more firm feeling than if it is encased. These innersprings can be topped with a Euro or pillow top, but still allow you to move freely. Innerspring mattresses often have enough foam in their upper layers to offer cushioning, but not too much. A mattress made from latex, a springier foam derived from the sap of a rubber trees, can feel somewhere between an innerspring and memory-foam mattress.
Is it enough and the right type of bounce you want in your mattress?
Many of us were raised on innerspring mattresses, and we are conditioned to prefer a bed with some bounce. Innerspring mattresses and innerspring-forward hybrids will have more bounce. However, memory foam with latex layers, or an all-latex, mattress can counteract this sunk-in sensation with an elasticky springiness. Some people prefer the traditional innerspring bounce. Latex and coils may feel more comfortable when you move around in your bed while you sleep, or if you are sharing it with someone else.
Is it cool enough or too warm?
Foam mattresses are best avoided if you like to sleep hot. Because body heat travels from the surface to the coils, innerspring mattresses are more breathable. Foam hybrids and innersprings with foam toppers are good options for hot sleepers. There are many foam mattresses that offer heat transfer options, including foam with air channels, gel, copper or graphite infusions. These materials are more expensive and may not be suitable for everyone. However, the results can be very minimal. Latex mattresses are cooler and more springy than memory foam.
You can sit comfortably on a firm surface with good edge support without worrying about sliding off the bed. Photo by Emily Hlavac Green
Are you satisfied with the edge?
A mattress with edge support is a good choice if you love to lie on your side. Innerspring mattress are usually constructed with either a stiffer coil around the perimeter or a high density foam encasement. Although some people prefer the feel and firmness of foam encasements, they can soften over time. You may prefer a mattress with more rigid coils around your edge if you tend to sit on your side. This will make the mattress more durable. Edge support in foam mattresses and hybrid foam mattresses is usually dependent on the density of the support layers. You can’t presume a mattress will provide good edge support without testing it. The Tempur Adapt and Leesa Hybrid are two of our top picks for best hybrid mattress. They both have at least 4 lbs per cubic foot foams and offer excellent edge support.
Is it possible for you and your partner to both sleep on the mattress?
You will need to compromise if you are sharing a bed with your partner and have different preferences. Santhosh Thomas, a Cleveland Clinic physician, said that you should choose what is most comfortable for your partner if they have musculoskeletal problems (such as lower back pain). You could opt for the firmer option if neither partner has a problem on this front. For a king-size mattress, try to soften one side with a twin-sized mattress topper.
There are a few other options if you can’t find the right mattress for you. Adjustable air mattresses such as those made by Sleep number let you and your partner inflate the mattress to any firmness that suits them. This option is also available at some bedding stores who have close relationships with factories.
You might also want to consider a mattress that has good motion isolation if your partner or children roll over, or if your pets or kids jump into your bed. You can find foam mattresses at all price points that limit movement. However, you will also find innerspring and hybrid mattresses with this same quality. Pocket coils, which are individually wrapped in fabric and not wired together, provide the best motion isolation. They also offer better contouring and pressure relief that other types of springs.
Is it well-made?
All mattresses appear very similar at first glance (just a box with fabric!). Once you have a good idea of what to look out for, narrow down your search to those that last longer. To ensure that the mattress doesn’t feel flimsy or light, lift and move it around. Check the cover to make sure it is well-stitched and sturdy. Ask about the density of the foam, particularly for the top layers, if it is a hybrid or foam mattress. For adults weighing less than 200 lbs, it is recommended that a memory foam mattress has a density of at least 3 lb per cubic foot. For those who are over 200 pounds, at least 4 lbs per cubic foot would be better.
If you are looking to try out non-memory foam polyfoam beds and weigh less than 200 lbs, it is a good idea to look for beds that have a minimum of 1.8 pounds per cubic feet (such as the Tuft & Needle). You should look at denser foam options that are between 2 and 3 pounds per cubic feet if you weigh more than 200 pounds. For example, the Tempur-Adapt top layer has a foam density 2 1/2 pounds per square foot. You can find information online about foam density specs from brands that don’t have them. Or ask a staff member in a store. It’s worth looking for a brand that is transparent about the materials used if durability is your priority.
Ask about the spring type and gauge if the mattress contains springs. Pocket coils provide motion isolation and comfort that conforms to curves. Support coils, which are found in the bottom layer of a mattress, are more durable if they are between 12 and 15 gauge. The general rule is that the thicker and firmer the coil, the more durable the mattress. However, you might prefer softer mattresses with a slightly higher gauge gauge. A mattress that has more support coils than a similar-quality mattress but less of them is more durable. This is why we consider the IKEA Hesstun a budget mattress. It has half the number of coils than those that are upgraded. You can get a firmer feeling with less expensive innersprings by not using thicker coils, but by using other methods such as placing the coils closer together.
What are the possible risks of body impressions?
All mattresses can leave body impressions. These are imprints on the mattress you sleep on every night. Hybrid and foam mattresses are more susceptible to depression than hybrid ones. The cheaper and denser the foam, and your weight, the greater the chance of developing depressions. The imprint vulnerability of innerspring mattresses is higher if the Euro top or pillow are thicker. If you want a soft, plush mattress, it is difficult to avoid body indentations.
However you can reduce the impact by rotating your mattress every six months and changing where you sleep. The mattress’s top can be quilted to reduce indentations. Innerspring mattresses have steel coils that provide additional support and help to prevent sagging. We were told by mattress makers that it is difficult to quilt dense polyfoams. The average density of these foams was 1.7 pounds per square foot.
All-latex mattresses, such as the Zenhaven or innersprings topped by latex (such the Charles P. Rogers Estate), are less likely to be sagging or body impressions than memory foam. This is regardless of one’s weight. Although great components will not guarantee a mattress lasts, it is also about how they are assembled. However, this will reduce the chance of disappointment.
What is the return policy?
If you purchase your mattress online, most mattresses come with a 100-day free trial. However, you might need to test the mattress for at least 30 days before returning it. Third-party retailers like Amazon and department stores might have different rules depending on whether the mattress was purchased online or in a bricks-and-mortar location.
Are these really good deals?
This question is especially relevant for mattresses sold by third-party retailers. This is because although manufacturers may provide an SRP (suggested retail price) for the mattress to be sold, the final price will be determined by the retailer. Sometimes, retailers mark up the price to make it cheaper than the SRP so that they can offer a deep discount. Before you buy, make sure to check the SRP of the mattress on the brand’s website. This will allow you to determine if a retailer is offering a great deal.
How to choose the best mattress for you
You may experience strange aches and pains if your body isn’t supported properly while you sleep. As we have already mentioned above neck and shoulder pain could be a sign that your pillows may not be doing their job. You might need a mattress that is more supportive if you have back pain or any other discomfort. No matter what your preferred position is, the goal should be to find a spot where spine support (which requires some mattress firmness) meets pressure-point relief (which requires some mattress softness).
Avoid aches and pains the next morning by sleeping straight. Stomach- and back-sleepers should have the ability to draw a line between the neck and the lumbar (lower spinal region) to the knees. Side-sleepers must be able draw a line between the ears, hips, and shoulders. Illustration: Sarah MacReading
Proper spinal alignment is essential when lying down, just as it is when you are standing. Except for a slight curve inward towards the belly, your spine should be more straight than it is when you’re standing.
The bony or heavy parts of your body, such as the hips or shoulders, that press against the bed’s surface are called pressure points. They can vary depending on where you sleep. If you have joint or muscle problems, pressure-point relief can be helpful. If you have hip pain, rotator-cuff tendinitis, or side-sleeper, you will need a mattress that’s not too firm so that it doesn’t place pressure on the painful areas. Even better, avoid sleeping on your side until the affected areas are healed.
Pressure points refer to bony or heavy parts of your body, such as the shoulders, hips or knees that press against the bed’s surface. Depending on where you sleep, pressure points can vary.
Pressure points can be less problematic for sleepers with no specific medical conditions. Jonathan Kirschner is a physician and fellowship director at The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Because most people move around when they sleep, this is because we all do. However, if you feel the mattress pushing against your body while you are trying it out, it may not be right for you from a comfort standpoint. It might bother you at the showroom. But think about how annoying it will be when you have trouble falling asleep at three o’clock in the morning.
Mattress manufacturers may advertise layers that are “zoned,” which means they’re firmer where you need it, like your lower back. To determine if this feature is useful, you will need to test it out. It is possible that you will not be able distinguish between the different zones. Even if you could, the difference in your sleep quality may not be significant. This is due to your height, weight and distribution as well as whether or not you prefer to sleep diagonally or sideways on the bed.
These are the main features to look for, based on your position. Also, tips and tricks on how you can check for alignment.
A medium-firm mattress will be the best for you if you prefer to lay flat on your back. It should be firm enough to support your spine but soft enough that your hips, lower back and shoulders are supported. Ask someone to take a picture of you lying on the bed. You should be able draw a straight line between your neck and your lumbar region (lower spine), to your knees. Vincent Verhaert is a doctorate holder in mechanical engineering and biomechanics. He also owns Belgian mattress manufacturer Equilli. He suggests that you slide your hand under the lower back. If the mattress is snug, it will provide adequate support. If the space is too tight, it could indicate that the mattress has too much support. However, if it is too loose, it may be too firm.
You should consider your pillow if you are experiencing pain in your neck and back while looking for a mattress. You might consider an adjustable shredded foam pillow to help you find the right fit. Back-sleepers typically require a lower level of loft to keep their spines aligned. We recommend the Nest Beddding Easy Breather pillow. You can also use a neck roll to provide additional support between your neck and mattress. The contoured Ecosa is our recommendation. It looks like a pillow and neck roll combined in one. See our guide to the top memory-foam pillows.
You should have a mattress that is comfortable and provides pressure relief for your hips, shoulders, and back if you prefer to sleep on your side. A mattress that is medium-soft or medium should be suitable for side-sleepers. Side-sleepers with more support or who don’t like the memory foam’s “huggy” feel should consider a slightly firmer mattress. Take a photo of yourself from behind to check for alignment. You should be able draw a straight line connecting your ears, shoulders and hips. You may need something more firm if your hips or shoulders feel low. You could also consider a medium-firm or firm mattress with a topper for more personalized cushioning.
Experts have indicated that side-sleepers need more support than those who lie on their stomachs or backs. To better cushion your shoulder, you can try sleeping higher on your pillow (just make sure that your spine is properly aligned). The Nest Bed Bedding Easy Breather pillow is a good choice if you feel it’s time to replace your pillow. The Xtreme comforts shredded memory foam pillow is also recommended.
A mattress on the firmer side, such as medium-firm, will be most supportive and cushioning for your belly, hips and knees . It will also keep your spine aligned. An all foam mattress that sinks could cause strain to your lower back. However, you don’t want your ribs or any other body parts pressing too hard against the mattress. In this case, a medium-firm mattress might be more suitable. Ask your friend to take a photo from the side. You should be able draw a straight line between your neck and your lower back, right up to your knees. You may need a supportive mattress if your lower back curve is too extreme or you feel gravity pulling on your stomach.
Stomach-sleepers may have trouble finding the right pillow for them. We found that stomach-sleepers love down pillows and down-alternative pillows. This includes the Sleep number PlushComfort pillow Ultimate and more expensive Garnet Hill Signature white down pillow (in the firm density). Both pillows have adjustable fills, which make it easier for stomach-sleepers find the right fit for them.
You can’t shop in person if you don’t have the means.
We recommend that you try a mattress or pillow in person before buying. Although it’s the best way for you to determine if a bed is right for your needs, we understand that this may not be possible for everyone. If you do decide to shop online, we recommend that you choose a two-sided mattress, with multiple firmness options, or a mattress that has a long, solid return policy.
The all-latex Zenhaven, our favourite latex mattress , is a flippable, all -latex that should appeal to all types of sleepers. The Luxury Plush side of the mattress provides pressure relief for side-sleepers. The Gentle Firm side provides additional support for stomach- and back-sleepers. The company offers a 180 night trial during which you can return your mattress for a full refund (minus $100 shipping cost). The Charles P. Rogers Estate SE is made of latex and coils. It can also be flippable. It can be used for 100 days without shipping or surcharges.