What to Look for When Buying a Mattress
Photo of woman reading in bed

YOU SPEND MORE TIME ON YOUR BED THAN ON ANY OTHER PIECE OF FURNITURE IN YOUR HOME.

That's why it's so important to find the mattress that's right for you. To determine the mattress that's best for you, go to a retailer of your choice and take a "SLEEP TEST". Lie down on different mattresses while paying attention to these important features.

COMFORT

Gone are the days when a mattress had to be stiff-as-a-board to be good for you. And it's interesting to note that recent studies suggest that a medium-firm mattress is more likely to improve back pain than a firm mattress. Today's top quality mattress and foundation sets combine luxurious new cushioning materials and extra-soft surface treatments to create a more plush, comfortable feel.

SUPPORT

Correct support is the essential ingredient for a healthy body. The best mattress and foundation will gently support your body at all points and keep your spine in alignment. Pay special attention to your shoulders, hips and lower back. If there's too little support, you can develop back pain. But if the mattress is too hard for you, you can experience uncomfortable pressure.

Don't rely on product labels to tell you which mattress will give you the right support. One manufacturer's "firm" may feel harder than another's "extra firm". The only way to find out if the support is right is to lie down and give it a try.

DURABILITY

It's the quality of the materials used and how they're put together that determine how long a foundation and mattress set will provide proper comfort and support. The best assurance of good performance over a good many years is to buy the highest quality sleep set you can afford.

Don't look to the warranty to tell you how long to keep your mattress and foundation. The warranty is there to protect you from product defects, not against the gradual loss of comfort and support. Keep in mind that while a mattress set may still be usable after many years, it's probably not giving you the good night's sleep you deserve.

MATTRESS SIZE

Cramped quarters can turn sleeping into a nightly wrestling match. A healthy sleeper moves anywhere from 40-60 times a night, including some dozen full body turns. You need freedom of motion while you sleep and to help you relax while you're falling asleep.

If you sleep with a partner, be sure to select a queen or king size bed. Both are not only wider, but several inches longer than the standard "double" (full size), which offers each sleeper only as much space as a baby in a crib.

Take a Sleep Test!

Don't be embarrassed! You don't think twice about test driving a car, so you shouldn't think twice about "sleep testing" a mattress. Lie down on the mattress for several minutes and assess how well it provides support and how comfortable it is for you and your partner. The only way to tell if a mattress is right for you is to lie down on it!