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Expert Roundup: Mattress Buying Mistakes to Watch Out For

by SleePare

By Emily Stringer | 3 Minute Read

With so many online mattresses available and seemingly endless amounts of information online about different mattresses, their materials, construction, benefits, and more purchasing an online mattress might seem like an easy decision. However, there are several factors you might not have considered before either narrowing down your mattress choices or purchasing a new mattress. 

As mattress professionals, SleePare wants to make sure everyone has a mattress they love that improves their sleep. A mattress is a large purchase, and buying a new one shouldn’t be a frivolous decision. Here’s a mattress buying mistakes to watch out for from leading sleep and mattress experts to help guide you through the process. 

1. Maintaining your mattress

“First, they don't consider mattress maintenance. Compared to some things, it's a relatively big purchase. More than that, it's a purchase affecting about one-third of your life. It's an important decision.

With any purchase like that, you want it to last as long as it can in as good of a shape possible. 

If you're supposed to flip and rotate the mattress in order to maintain it, you need to make sure you can do it alone if you're most likely going to be doing it alone. If you live with others, it's not as big of a consideration. 

Because of their size and weight, some mattresses are very hard to move on your own. That's true even if you're not supposed to flip a particular mattress. Some mattresses are heavy and bulky and even turning them can be a difficult chore.”

James Cobb, Owner, The Dream Recovery System

2. Don’t fall for sales

“Never purchase a mattress that you don’t like just because it is on sale. Yes you can save money, but in the long run, you can face a lot of challenges while using it because you didn’t really like it in the first place.” 

Martin Seeley, CEO, Mattress Next Day

3. Read the fine print

“I'd say one of the most important mistakes people make with online mattress buying is being sold on those free return policies without reading the fine print. Unfortunately, there are some sites that just so happen to leave out the part of that deal that states the customer is responsible for shipping back the mattress if they don't like it. Who can afford to, or even figure out how to mail a queen size mattress?”

Mike Germade, Founder, Restasy 

4. Make your own choice

“[One mistake] is making a choice based solely on other people’s recommendations. Whether it’s your friend, a sales assistant, or a famous blogger, you need to remember that even if a mattress worked perfectly well for someone, it might not work for you. 

That’s why I always say that you need to consider your body type and sleeping position first before choosing a mattress. Just because a shop assistant says that this heavenly soft mattress is super comfy doesn’t mean you will actually feel comfortable sleeping on it. 

Because some people require more support and need to choose firmer mattresses. Just like that, someone may recommend a firm mattress that they love, but it could result in painful pressure points in you. So, do your research and make a final decision based on your particular needs.”

Alex Savy, Certified Sleep Science Coach and Founder, Sleeping Ocean

5. Do your research

“The biggest mistake one can make when shopping for a mattress is not doing research beforehand. You see, to find something that would work for you, you need to understand the basic differences between mattress types. 

You also need to think about your most favorite (frequent) sleeping position, body type, and the needs of your partner to choose a suitable mattress. That’s why mattress shopping requires research. And yes, it might take you some time to figure out what you need (for instance, back, side, and stomach sleepers all require different comfort and support levels). But once you learn more about mattresses, it will be much easier for you to find exactly what you require.”

Allana Wass, Certified Sleep Science Coach and Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Comfybeddy

6. Buy the right size

“Buying too small is the most common mistake that people make all the time. I look at buying a mattress like buying a boot. They say you should buy boots one size bigger than you might need, which is the same as a bed. 

If you’re going to spend the money on a new bed, and you plan on having it for a few years so it can grow with you (and your family) then go one size bigger than you first expected. You’ll enjoy it more and it might save you money in the long run because you’ll be less inclined to purchase a new one in the foreseeable future.”

Chris Moberg, Founder, Slumber Search

7. Look for support

“A defective, unsupportive mattress can prevent the sleeper from getting the restorative benefits of a sound sleep – which over time, can weaken the immune system and lead to chronic back pain and increased stress levels. 

What many sleepers don’t realize is mattresses are not one size fits all --- and a mattress that isn’t built for your specific body type will break down at a faster rate – resulting in the unsupportive “mattress sag.” The key, if you are plus-sized, is to look for extra support that will cradle the lower back in a neutral position.”

Jeff Brown, President, Big Fig Mattress

8. Consider your sleep partner

“If you sleep with a partner, consider their comfort. If one person likes a firmer mattress and the other likes a softer mattress, you’re both going to be miserable. An adjustable bed is a great way to compromise.”

Lauri Leadley, CCSH, RPSGT, President- Clinical Sleep Educator, Valley Sleep Center

9. Consider price and bed weight

“Don’t buy on price alone. Don’t buy cheap, especially online. Some name brands are overpriced. You can get a bed online for [a good price] that is equal to a name brand. Look at the weight of the mattress to judge quality, especially look at the weight of the cheapest product in the product line. [When it comes to brand marketing], don’t fall for a cute video. Mattresses provide subjective comfort. Get what works best for you.”

Chris Bradley, Founder/CEO, BedInABox

9. Pay attention to the firmness 

“Though most mattress experts advice a softer mattress for lower weight individuals and for side sleepers and firmer mattresses for heavier people and back support.It is important to note that if a mattress is too soft, it will cause more curvature in the spinal alignment, possibly causing issues and if a mattress is too firm, it can cause joint and muscle aches on the body.It is important to find a mattress that has the right firmness support and the appropriate amount of softness to contour to the individuals bodies unique curvature when shopping for a mattress.”

Dustin Morgan, Sleep Expert/Store Manager, SleePare 

 

Buying a new mattress and figuring out what works best for you is not without its challenges. There are several things to watch out for during this process. According to our experts, some of the biggest things to consider are quality, conducting your research, and purchasing the best option for you based on your own comfort, not recommendations or reviews. 

Still deciding on a mattress or want some additional advice? Visit SleePare’s website and check out our mattress comparison tool where you can compare the features of the most popular online mattresses, read sleep guides, and more!

 
Emily Stringer

Emily Stringer


Emily is a sleep expert and content creator at SleePare. With over five years of experience writing and extensive experience reviewing mattresses, curating comparisons and advising on "best of" guides, she's well-versed in mattress technology.

Emily has perfected this method by personally testing over 200 different mattresses, so she's not only able to discern the overall value of a specific bed, but to assign its value to different types of sleepers.

Along with creating honest and straightforward mattress features, Emily enjoys spending time with her dogs and exploring her home town of Lexington, Kentucky.