5 Important Things To Know Before You Go Mattress Shopping

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sleeping woman clouds mattress

Time to buy a new mattress and don’t know where to start? Here are a few tips to help steer you in the right direction.


Choosing a mattress is not a job to take lightly! After all, this is where you will have to sleep for the next 8-10 years – or longer if you are like most Americans who keep their mattresses longer than recommended.

Visiting a mattress store in person and trying some of them out is the best way to make a final decision – recommendations from friends, and online reviews, can only go so far. It’s truly a personal decision that you – and your body – need to make, but here are a few things to do before you set out shopping:

1. Know your sleep style

Are you a side sleeper, a stomach sleeper, or a back sleeper? This is likely the first question you will be asked when you visit a mattress store so they can steer you towards the right mattress for your style. For example – a side sleeper may want to go with a softer, plusher mattress to take the pressure off their joints, while a stomach sleeper may find that the same plusher style mattress may hurt their neck and suffocate them a bit.

Most people do have a go-to sleep position, even if you do move around a lot during the night. Take a few nights to think about the position you typically drift off to sleep in, or the position you tend to move into during the night, and figure out which your body picks most.

sleeping couple overhead2. Consult your partner

Unless you are planning on buying the bed for you and only you, never bed shop alone – the person sharing your bed needs to be in on this decision. If both people can’t be comfortable in a bed NEITHER of you will get any sleep!

If you find you have completely different needs, look for a custom-style design with side by side air chambers that can be programmed separately to make one half perfect for you, and one half perfect for them.

You could also consider a mattress with pocketed coils or memory foam which doesn’t tend to rock the bed with motion if one person is having a restless night – hopefully ensuring the other person stays asleep.

3. Know your allergens

Mattresses can be made with some sneaky materials so if you have any allergies to foam or fillers check to see what the mattress you are considering is made of. If you have a general allergy to dust – which mattresses collect awfully fast – buy a specialty allergy mattress, or at least make sure you can get a hypoallergenic cover or topper to put on it.

4. Choose your size

Mattresses typically come in 3 sizes for adults – full (sometimes called double), queen, and king. Measure your bedroom to see which size you should choose – most people decide on queen as it is comfortable for two to sleep in, and fits in most rooms nicely. I had friends who had a king sized bed then moved to a home where the bedroom was smaller – and the bed took up the whole room  – so bigger isn’t necessarily better!

Most of the main mattress brands tend to be uniform in size between them, so if you have queen sized sheets you should be able to fit them on other queen sized beds – but double check exact sizes before you put down your money.

5. Shop at the right store

Most reputable mattress stores encourage lengthy (at least 20 minute) in-store trials to let you get a true feel of the mattress, and will also allow you to return or exchange it within 30 days if you get it home and regret your choice. This is an important guarantee to have – don’t settle for a mattress you aren’t truly happy with!
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Erika Palmer

Erika Palmer is a Mom and freelance writer located in Beautiful British Columbia. She is currently working hard to create a home for her new family and is stumbling hilariously down the road to becoming a domestic goddess. In addition to her love of family, and reading and writing, she enjoys exploring new interests with friends, shopping for just about anything, and cuddling up with a great cup of tea and some sort of chocolate treat.