Knowing what to look for can mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a pain in the neck.
It feels like you can’t go anywhere or do anything without someone trying to sell you a mattress these days. The apparently unending choices when buying a mattress can certainly be overwhelming.
For someone who experiences chronic neck or back pain, this chore can be even worse. You don’t want to get stuck with a mattress that will make you feel even worse than you already do.
We’ve listed some suggestions and advice for what to look for and considerations to make during the mattress buying process. While, unfortunately, we can’t tell you exactly which mattress will be perfect for you, we can point you in the right direction.
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Research Before You Shop
Look around online before you start shopping.
There are plenty of non-profit resources available online to help you better understand sleep health and what your personal mattress needs might be.
Ask your doctor.
The first place to check if you have any health concerns is with your doctor or physical therapist. While healthcare professionals may not be mattress experts, they will be able to give you useful advice about what to look for since they’re familiar with your specific concerns and the research on them.
Investigate guarantees or trial period offers.
Lots of mattress companies boast a “comfort guarantee” or “in-home trial.” Make sure you thoroughly read the terms and conditions associated with any such guarantee before you purchase that mattress.
You want to be well aware of any fees, waiting periods, deadlines, or conditions before you make a purchase so that you don’t run into any unexpected frustrations later on.
Check the mattress warranty.
Some mattress companies offer a 2-year warranty, which might sound great at first. A good mattress will come with at least a 10-year Full Warranty. An even better mattress will have a Lifetime Warranty.
Firmer isn’t always better.
Many people with back pain automatically assume that it’s because they need a mattress as firm as concrete.
However, research shows that a medium-firm mattress is better at preventing back pain. You want to look for a mattress that has a firm support base with upper layers that provide some bounce and contour to your body.
A pillow-top doesn’t always mean more luxury.
If you’re planning on buying a more traditional spring-type mattress, you need to take your weight into consideration when it comes to whether or not you need a pillow-top.
Heavier people tend to need a pillow top in order to get a little cushion between the body and the coils, while lighter weight people don’t need this cushioning since they aren’t heavy enough to press it down.
Adjustable beds can be super comfy.
An adjustable bed may make you think of medieval torture racks, but hear me out. Especially if you have health problems that require you to sleep in a recliner or with a plethora of specialty pillows, an adjustable bed might be for you.
The purpose of this bed is to slightly elevate your head and knees in order to relieve certain pressure points and to assist those with certain breathing troubles.
There are mattress models made especially for adjustable frames, but many foam-type mattresses will work with this type of frame as well.
How to Shop Smart
Keep an eye out for sales gimmicks.
Mattress companies like to market their mattresses as “orthopedic” or “medical,” but this can be misleading. These mattresses may have features geared toward those with medical issues, but there is no official group that provides such a certification.
Don’t be afraid to try it out.
If you decide to go to a brick and mortar store to shop for a new mattress, try each one out by lying on it for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Couples who share a bed should try the mattress out together. This is a big investment, so don’t allow the salesperson to rush you or try to sway you on how the mattress feels.
Explore all of the different options available.
If the salesperson doesn’t offer you to take a comfort test, do one yourself. You should try different firmness levels and types of mattresses, each in the same price point and level of quality.
Once you find the firmness level and material you find most comfortable, try more mattresses of that kind. Make sure to spend at least 10 to 15 minutes on each mattress you try.
Shop at a mattress specialty store.
If you decide to visit a brick and mortar store when mattress shopping, find one that carries several different mattress brands. The staff at a specialty mattress store will generally be much more knowledgeable and able to answer any questions you might have than if you visit a department store that also sells mattresses.
Take care of your new mattress.
While it is a bit of an extra expense, you’ll want to also purchase a mattress protector that will help you avoid any stains and prevent any unnecessary wear and tear to your new mattress.
This will come in handy in case you need to take advantage of your warranty and will extend the life of your mattress.
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Find the Best Mattress for You
You now have the tools you need to make a smart choice when shopping for a new mattress. However, keep in mind that in the end, this is your new mattress and nobody else’s. Spend the time on doing your research that you deserve. In the meantime, keep an eye out for any sales and be sure to ask for discounts when the time comes.
To help you get started on your search, check out our list of the Best Mattress Brands of 2018.