Blog > Mattress Buying Checklist

Mattress Buying Checklist

The Ultimate Mattress Buying Checklist 2022

Buying a mattress is a major purchase and you want to make sure you’re picking the right one. Getting the right mattress for you can make a big difference in your sleep quality. It can be difficult to know what is the right mattress for you and there are multiple factors to consider. The last thing you want is to buy the wrong mattress! 

Our mattress buying checklist will help you purchase the right mattress to match your particular needs. 

 

Table of Contents

 

1. Why should you buy a new mattress?

 

2. What to look for when buying a new mattress

 

3. What To Consider When Buying A New Mattress 

 

4. What Features Make A Good Mattress?

 

5. Where to buy a new mattress

 

6. Further information & Resources

 

 

 

1. Mattress Checklist: Why Should You Buy a New Mattress?

On average, a mattress will last around 7-8 years. If you think it’s time for a new mattress, you’re probably right, especially if you don’t feel well rested when you wake up. Besides that, there are a few more reasons to buy a new mattress. 

  • You’re in pain 

Waking up in pain every morning is a good indication that it’s time for a new mattress—barring any medical issues or injuries. Do you find you sleep better in a different bed? If so, your mattress is definitely to blame. 

  • You’re getting older 

As we age, our body changes as well. What was comfortable for us a decade ago might not be anymore. It’s possible you might need more support so you can improve your sleep. If you’ve slept on the same type of mattress for years, it’s best to test out a different type to see if that is more comfortable.

  • Your kids are getting older

You aren’t the only one getting older. If you’re a parent, you already know how fast kids grow and change. Kids tend to sleep more, especially in the teenage years, for optimal growth and development. Sleeping on a mattress that is not supportive or too small can end up harming your child’s overall growth due to poor sleep quality. It might be tempting to give your child a hand-me-down mattress. It’s best to avoid these and buy a mattress that provides better support and comfort.

  • Your current mattress is old

Besides waking up in pain, your current mattress getting old is another reason to buy a new mattress. High-quality mattresses will last longer than cheaper, lower-quality ones. If you’ve noticed any of these signs, your current mattress is too old and it’s time for a new one. 

1. Sagging 

2. Damage and tears

3. Visible staining

4. Poor support

5. Visible dust, dirt, or mold

6. Poor motion transfer 

 

  • A mattress you like is on sale

If you’ve been thinking about buying a new mattress and have one picked out, when it goes on sale is a great reason (and time) to buy. Mattresses are often on sale during holidays and in the summer months. It’s best to buy a mattress on sale and get a good deal than to wait. 

 

2. Mattress Checklist: What to Look For When Buying a New Mattress

Now that you’ve decided it is time to buy a new mattress, the next question is which one do I want? Knowing what to look for will ultimately help you decide what mattress to buy. 

Mattress Types

Latex

Latex mattresses are made from the material extracted from the rubber tree. These mattresses are some of the highest quality available and provide exceptional comfort and support. Latex mattresses are often made with organic materials, making them a great option for eco-friendly shopper and those with back pain. 

Latex Pros

  • Similar to comfort to memory foam
  • Provides excellent support for neck and back pain
  • Durable and will last much longer than other types of mattresses 

Latex Cons 

  • Might be too firm for some
  • On the pricey side, not recommended for those on a budget

Memory foam

The classic memory foam mattress is one of the most popular mattress materials. Memory foam mattresses provide excellent support and comfort at a lower price. The materials in memory foam molds to your body for a contouring comfort.

Memory Foam Pros

  • Provides pressure relief by conforming to body shape
  • Lower cost
  • Variety of options 

Memory Foam Cons

  • Materials restricts ventilation
  • Some models can have a chemical smell

 

Innerspring

This is the most common type of mattress. The classic spring mattress uses metal springs to support you. The top layers of an innerspring mattress will have foams, a cover, and other materials.

Innerspring Pros 

  • Easy to find at mattress stores and furniture stores
  • Cost-effective 
  • Variety of options available 

Innerspring Cons

  • Lower priced varieties lack in quality and might not provide enough support
  • Limited motion isolation

 

Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are growing in popularity. These mattresses combine the best features of other types of mattresses. Hybrid mattresses have a coil support core and are topped with comfort layers that are often made from foams, latex, or specialty materials. Most commonly, hybrid mattresses will have memory foam or latex as the top comfort layer.

Hybrid Pros

  • Provides more comfort, support, and contouring
  • Excellent motion isolation
  • Often includes extra layers for cooling and additional support/comfort 

Hybrid Cons

  • Often more expensive than other models
  • Memory foam materials in hybrids tend to be too hot for some

 

Airbed

To some, an airbed is a blow up mattress that you take camping or use for a guest bed. Today, an airbed is a high-end mattress with a customizable internal air chamber to adjust firmness. Airbeds are adjusted with a remote or an app. The top layers of the airbed are made from mattress materials like latex or memory foam.

Airbed Pros

  • Adjustable
  • Great for couples who prefer different firmness levels
  • Long-lasting

Airbed Cons

  • Most expensive type of mattress
  • Repairs are costly

 

Type of Sleeper

The position you sleep in is a major factor in determining the best type of mattress to purchase. Most mattress shoppers don’t consider this and end up with a mattress that doesn’t suit their needs or primary sleep position, which can end up causing aches, pains, and the hassle of returning a mattress. Here’s a breakdown of the most common sleep positions and what type of mattress works the best for each. 

Back Sleeper

Those who sleep on their back find firmer mattresses ranging from a level 7-8 the most comfortable. Firmer mattresses provide enough support for the entire back. 

 

Side Sleeper

If you sleep on your side, you can experience pain in the hips and back if your mattress is too firm. A soft mattress with a firmness level of 3-5 is recommended for side sleepers. 

 

Stomach Sleeper

Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended, but many still find it the most comfortable sleep position. A medium firmness (level 5-7) mattress will most likely provide the most comfort and support.

 

Combination Sleeper 

Those who switch positions frequently while sleeping need a mattress that provides comfort and support for the body in all positions. Because combination sleepers change positions frequently, it’s best to go with a softer mattress to relieve pressure points. Try a mattress with a firmness of 4-5 to get the most comfort and support.

  • Shipping & Delivery

There are many alternatives when it comes to purchasing a mattress.  As many of these options are online, mattress companies have streamlined their shipping and receiving process, making it easy for both them and customers. In the U.S, it usually takes about a week to receive a new mattress purchased online. 

If you need a mattress sooner, it’s best to make a purchase at a local store. This isn’t always possible, depending on the options in your area. Some online mattress stores provide expedited shipping and white glove delivery. When buying a mattress either online or in a store, make sure you know their shipping policies, fees, alternatives, or added costs. 

  • Sleep Trial & Return Policy

One of the biggest downsides of purchasing a mattress online is that you can’t test it before buying. For many, buying a mattress online is concerning. Luckily, online mattress companies offer sleep trials. 

A sleep trial is a risk-free way to test a mattress’s specified length of time. Most sleep trials range from 90 days up to an entire year. You can easily return (or exchange) the mattress if you decide it’s not right for you. Pay attention to sleep trial policies before purchasing a mattress. 

  • Warranty

Besides trials, returns, and shipping/delivery, warranties are vital when purchasing a new mattress. Each mattress company has a different warranty that covers various defects, including faulty manufacturing. Ideally, choose a mattress with a warranty of at least 10 years—considering the average mattress lasts about eight years, this is a reasonable length of time. Before you buy a mattress, check the warranty terms to see what is and is not covered.

 

3. Mattress Checklist: What To Consider When Buying A New Mattress 

Buying a mattress is more than just deciding on what type of mattress to purchase. Here are a few more things to consider to make sure you end up with the right mattress.

  • Testing 

Testing a mattress in person isn’t always possible, especially if you are buying a mattress online. This is why sleep trials are so important. If there is a mattress you want to buy, test it in a store if you can before purchasing. At any of our SleePare stores, you can test up to 20 online mattresses that you can’t find anywhere else! Testing a mattress will ensure that you buy the right mattress the first time and avoid the hassle of returning if it doesn’t work out.

  • Size

The size of mattress you need depends on your life circumstances or your living space. For example, if you share a bed with a partner, you’ll want at least a queen or a king-size mattress. For smaller spaces, a full-size mattress might work the best. Queen-size is the most popular and works for couples and single sleepers. 

Measurements can vary from brand to brand. Here’s the standard measurement for the most common mattress sizes:

Mattress Size 

Measurement 

Twin XL

39 inches x 80 inches

Twin

39 inches x 75 inches

Full

54 inches x 75 inches

Queen

60 inches x 80 inches

King

76 inches x 80 inches

California King

72 inches x 84 inches

  • Firmness 

Mattress firmness is measured on a scale ranging from 1 to 10, with a level one being the softest and the level 10 being the firmest. On average, most mattresses are in the medium firm range, which measures about 5-7. Most soft mattresses measure at level 3 and the firmest mattresses measure around 8-10. 

  • Thickness

When mattress shopping, many overlook the overall thickness of a mattress. The depth of a mattress can vary among brands and even sizes. Whatever thickness you find the most comfortable is frequently related to your weight and build. Heavier people will usually find a thicker mattress more comfortable, while smaller people tend to prefer thinner mattresses.  

  • Price 

Everyone wants a good deal on a new mattress. Prices vary among brands, materials, and sizes. When shopping both online and in stores for a mattress, prices will vary and, more often than not, online stores will have the best deals. 

 

Here’s what you can expect to pay depending on the materials:

Memory Foam

$700-$1,100

Memory foam mattresses provide great comfort and support at a good value. 

Innerspring

$600-$1,000

Innerspring mattresses are the easiest to find, the most common type of mattress available, and are cost-effective. 

Hybrid

$1,700-$2,000

Hybrid mattresses have both a spring base and a support core made from various materials to provide a luxurious sleep experience. These mattresses are much more expensive due to their advanced design and materials. 

Latex

$1,400-$2,000

Latex mattresses are made from all-natural materials and often include organic cotton and wool. These mattresses provide excellent support and are more expensive than memory foam or innerspring mattresses. 

Airbed

$2,000–$2,500

Airbed mattresses are constructed with customizable air chambers that adjust the firmness of the bed. Because of the chambers and the top portion of the mattress, which is usually made with memory foam or latex, these are the most expensive mattresses available.

  • Sleep problems

If you have any health issues, injuries, or have certain requirements to get the best possible sleep, you will benefit from a certain type of mattress. You can help relieve some common sleep problems with a new mattress. For example, if you suffer from allergies, a latex mattress or one made with organic materials is a great option. 

Here are a few more sleep problems that can be aided with a new mattress: 

Back pain

A mattress that corresponds to your sleep position can help relieve back pain. Make sure to choose one that provides enough support and contouring. 

Sleeping Hot

Getting too hot when sleeping is a common problem for many. If you tend to wake up sweaty and uncomfortable, try a hybrid mattress with cooling features. Avoid memory foam mattresses as they retain heat. 

Disturbing your partner/Motion Isolation 

If you sleep with a partner and you tend to wake each other up at night when getting in and out of bed, you need a mattress with good motion isolation. Mattresses with better-than-average motion isolation prevent movements from waking up your sleep partner. 

Edge support

Mattresses with edge support will prevent you from falling out of bed. This is ideal if you sleep with children or pets. 

Height 

Taller individuals or those with back or knee problems tend to have a better experience with a taller mattress. Taller mattresses allow for an easier transition in and out of bed.

 

4. Mattress Checklist: What Features Make A Good Mattress?

What makes a good mattress is subjective — one person might prefer a soft memory foam while another will prefer a firmer hybrid mattress. Even though everyone will have their own personal preference for a mattress, there are some features that universally make a good mattress.

Mattress Material

The material a mattress is made from is the key component in its overall comfort. From innerspring to memory foam, advanced hybrids, and eco-friendly latex, each mattress material has its own pros and cons. Everyone will have their own preference. For a good mattress, choose the material that is the most comfortable for you. There is no “best” overall mattress or mattress material. 

Size 

Many don’t realize, but the size of your mattress affects how well you sleep—if you’re taller than average or sleep with a partner, you’ll obviously sleep more comfortably in a king-size bed vs a full size bed. 

Once you have a bed frame, most people will keep that size for a long time. However, as your life and living situations evolve, it’s important to upgrade your mattress and bedding to go along with it. Changing your mattress size can keep you comfortable and sleeping well.

Firmness 

Firmness, along with material, is the key factor in mattress comfort. What you find comfortable is subjective, based on sleep position and body type. Over time, your body and sleep positions might change, so what you once found comfortable might not work for you anymore.

Remember when looking for a new mattress, that firmness and support are not the same—a firm mattress can be lacking in support, or a soft mattress can provide excellent support. If you have trouble deciding which firmness level to choose, consider your sleep position first.

Price 

When it comes to mattresses, you don’t always get what you pay for. New mattresses from online stores are lower priced due to limited overhead and improved manufacturing with modern materials. It’s possible to purchase a cheaper mattress that is high quality. 

Still, you want to make sure that you’re buying a quality product that will last. A mattress that costs $200 is going to be lower quality than one that costs $500. Online stores also have frequent sales and discounts, so you can get a mattress worth much more than you pay for it. 

Longevity 

A mattress is an investment and you want to buy a higher-quality mattress that will last for many years. Modern mattresses are made with better materials and give greater overall support that will last longer. Mattress longevity is directly related to price; expect to pay more for a mattress that will last longer. 

 

5. Mattress Checklist: Where to Buy a New Mattress

  • Offline 

If you want to test your mattress before buying, consider purchasing your mattress at SleePare. Even though the most popular and highly recommended online mattress stores have sleep trials, there is no comparison to actually trying out mattresses in person. At SleePare, you can try (for free) and buy the best online mattresses at exclusive prices. In our stores, our mattress experts can help you find the best mattress for you, something you don’t get online.

  • Online 

Buying a new mattress online is a more convenient option for many. Online mattress stores make it easy to shop and receive your mattress. When buying online, there are endless options to choose from. Deciding which mattress to buy can be a challenge. Here’s a few that SleePare recommends: 

Nectar

Leesa 

WinkBed

 

6. Mattress Checklist: Further Information & Resources

>> Best Mattresses for Heavy People – guide for the best mattresses and mattress materials for overweight individuals.

>> Best Latex Mattress for Back Pain – latex mattresses are ideal for back pain sufferers; here are the best ones.

>> Chiropractor Recommended Mattresses – best mattress recommended by chiropractors for 2022.

>> Mattress Retailer Comparison – Best places to buy mattresses, both in stores and online.

>> Mattress Firmness Scale – this guide will help you determine the best firmness level for your new mattress.

 
Emily Stringer

Emily Stringer


Emily Stringer is a Content Writer at SleePare. Emily has over five years of experience writing and conducting research for different industries. When she’s not writing, you can find Emily with her dogs in Lexington, Kentucky.