Mattress Buying Guide - How To Buy a Mattress Online

What are the steps to purchasing the right mattress? Believe it or not, mattress shopping is not such a walk in the park. With different mattress brands releasing different mattresses each year, there's a lot to consider before making that purchase.

Unfortunately, everyone has a unique sleeping need. This can be influenced by several factors including body size, health conditions, sleeping positions and many more.

Fun fact: You spend almost half your life in bed.

Why then would you want to spend this much time in an uncomfortable environment? A good night sleep or even a simple afternoon nap can help improve your mental and emotional well-being, give your body strength and even help kids grow healthily. Sadly, there's no good sleep with a bad mattress.

Therefore, I have gathered some information in this mattress buying guide to help you make the right decision as you hunt for a quality mattress. While money talks, let's step aside for a moment and consider functionality!

Reasons to Purchase a New Mattress

Before we get into the guide, there are several reasons that may trigger you into buying a new mattress. Here are a few.

1. Back and Neck Pain

If you experience back and neck pain when you wake up in the morning, it could indicate the wrong sleep posture. Sleeping in an inappropriate position can put a strain on your back and exert pressure on your joints. You will wake up very tired and having to deal with lower back pain and stiff neck.

This might, in turn, ruin your day, and worst-case scenario, you may find the need to see a doctor. To avoid this situation, purchase a mattress that conforms to your body and keeps the spine aligned properly. A memory foam mattress will be a good choice.

2. Old Mattress

Ever woken up and felt very disoriented and tired like you have been working the whole night? Chances are, your mattress is old, or it doesn't meet your needs. Don't bother going to the physician; instead, change the bed in your bedroom. Remember, poor quality sleep can affect the normal functioning of your body and brain. An old mattress sags in the middle and causes you sleepless nights because your body does not position itself well on it.

Likewise, sleeping on a worn-out mattress exposes you to allergies and chest problems because it collects lots of dead skin and probably microscopic bugs. The bed is also prone to making a lot of noise as you turn because the coils springs are worn out and rub on each other. You need quality sleep, wake up feeling refreshed, ready to tackle the day ahead with energy. You might decide to repair the mattress but believe me, and this will be a very temporary venture. Just prepare a new purchase, and voila! You are back to your normal self!

3. Poor Sleep & Fatigue

Poor sleep could be as a result of using a low quality mattress or an inappropriate sleeping posture. Other reasons may include stress or health conditions, but sometimes the solution is as simple as changing your mattress. When you wake up feeling tired instead of relaxed or if you're restless all night for no good reason, go for mattress shopping. This commonly happens when the mattress is worn out or sinks deep when you sleep.

4. Squeaking Coil Springs

If you have a partner that tosses and turns in bed all night, then you know how unbearable and noisy it is. Now add squeaking coil springs to that problem and you have a long endless night. The indication here is that the coil springs are worn out, and therefore, the mattress needs to be replaced. Ideally, opt for a Pocketed Coil Innerspring mattress. This type of mattress reduces motion transfer thanks to the individually wrapped coils that do not rub against each other. I guarantee you a fabulous sleep because you will no longer hear a motion from your partner.

5. Hot Sleepers

Sweating a lot during the night can deprive you of the required sleep. This is because you will keep on waking up occasionally at night. As much as toppers and sheets can give a cooling effect, you might want to purchase either a Latex Foam mattress or Pocketed Coil innerspring mattress to provide you with cool sleep.

Any sleep discomfort should be a wake-up call; you need to check on the mattress you sleep on to determine if it is the cause.

6. Significant Weight Change

We all acknowledge that our bodies experience significant weight fluctuation in our life. This could result from aging, sickness, and injuries, which confine you to beds and pregnancies for ladies. Due to restrained mobility, you will find yourself adding on weight.

This normally affects the mattress that you have been sleeping on before this predicament. You may find the bed has softened on the top layer due to weight, and a mattress topper may only provide a temporary solution. This situation will compromise your sleep to a great deal, which calls for a good mattress.

Factors to Consider when Purchasing a mattress

Let's get down to the ultimate checklist for the perfect mattress. Remember that perfect is relative to your personal sleep needs. That said, once at the stores or when shopping online, ask the mattress salesperson about the different factors and be open about your habits and any conditions you may have.

1. Your Preferred Sleeping Position

You need to consider your favorite sleep style before you decide which mattress to purchase. Check on the pressure relief and support the bed provides. A good foam mattress should hold your body to its neutral alignment. A mattress that offers pressure relief ensures that you don't wake up with lower back and neck pain.

If you are a side sleeper, you may want a medium to average mattress firmness level mattress that will curve your hips and neck to avoid strain as you sleep. Back and stomach sleepers will require firmer mattresses that give adequate support to the spine all night long. If you sleep in several positions, whether on your stomach, back, or side, then a medium-firm mattress will be good for you. Ideally, if you fall under this category, opt for hybrid mattresses or traditional mattresses.

Ok, let's keep all other factors constant. Your sleeping position highly determines what type of mattress you purchase.

2. Body Weight

Ask yourself how heavy or light you are because this will guide your decision on what mattress to purchase. If you weigh more than 250 pounds, you should look for an average-firm bed that will support your body weight.

A King size mattress or even a Memory Foam bed would provide the support you need to avoid negative effects and sleepless nights. A soft bed will be a no-go zone as it will not guarantee you sound sleep. 

If your weight is lower than 250 pounds, you have a lot to love about soft foam mattresses. I advise you choose from an Innerspring foam mattresses or Memory form mattress.

3. Type of Mattress

You have now decided that you want to replace your mattress for one reason or another. Ask yourself what type of mattress fits your need. The kind of mattress you choose depends on why you are replacing it in the first place.

The market offers a wide range of mattresses from Innerspring, Memory Foam, Hybrid, Latex Foam, and California Foam. All these address unique needs for everyone, so as you make that ultimate choice of the mattress you want to buy, let it give you comfort and happy sleep and following your budget.

4. Size of Mattress

The number of people sleeping on the mattress and their body size guides you to buy the right size of a bed. The available range is from small Twin size, Queen size, Full size, and King size mattresses. The Twin size is the best choice for small people, teenagers, and short persons because it is small and can only accommodate this group. You will also find such beds in small-size rooms, especially for college students.

Can you imagine a couple or a heavyweight purchasing the Twin size mattress? This might sound like a big joke! The Queen and King sizes are ideal for this category of buyers because they have enough space for movement and support heavy bodyweight. Tall people will also fit here because the mattress length dimension is 80", unlike standard mattresses, which measure 75" long.

5. Health Conditions

You may be having a health issue that will not allow you to sleep on just any mattress you find around. If you have Sciatica (a sharp pain that shoots through your lower back and runs down to the leg or feet, causing numbness), you will require a mattress that will address this condition. Sleeping on a bad bed will only worsen the situation, and the same goes for all other health conditions, including Intercostal Muscle pain and broken ribs.

6. Budget

Have you considered the budget you have for a nice mattress that you intend to purchase? This is a very important factor before deciding on the type and size of the mattress to purchase. Depending on why you want to buy a particular kind of bed, shop around to see if the funds you have allocated for the purchase are adequate.

While some high-end mattresses may probably be expensive for you, good sleep is equally important so you can start planning early enough for the purchase?

7. Consider Your Age Too

As you advance in age and become seniors at over 65, you might probably start experiencing natural changes in your sleep circle and your lifestyle generally. In most cases, aging will come with body aches, which also determines the kind of mattress that will accommodate these changes. You will probably begin sleeping for more hours than usual, and a bad bed means having to deal with restless nights.

Menopause comes with night sweats for most ladies in this age group. This is the time you choose a mattress that can provide a cooling effect like the Pocketed Coil

Innerspring mattress type. I, therefore, advise you to buy a mattress that aligns your spine and contours your body to avoid pain in the shoulders and lower back. So please take time to shop for a good mattress that will give you the sleep you desire and age gracefully.

8. Mattress Protector

While the process of buying a good mattress able to address your need is not a walk in the park, you will find yourself doing it again and again, especially if you do not take good care of your mattress. The best way to keep your mattress as new as you bought it is to invest in a mattress protector.

A mattress protector is a durable, fitted sheet used to cover the sheets and the mattress. The protector will cover the edges of the bed and even the bottom. Additionally, the cover protects your mattress and ensures it stays clean. Keep in mind that any spills, sweat, make-up, and dead skin from our bodies get trapped by the mattress protector, which can be removed and cleaned.

This mattress protector also prevents dust mite allergies which can cause sneezing, short breath, and nose running. Mattress protectors are advantageous as they are thin and waterproof. Please do not confuse a mattress protector and a mattress pad that add padding to the mattress. 

You might also be interested in adding a mattress topper that is thicker than a mattress pad. A mattress protector should be placed to cover both the topper and the mattress. A mattress protector will also protect the Warranty because, as said earlier, Warranties are conditional, and a stain may void it. Next time you shop for a mattress, remember to buy a mattress protector. It is for your good.

Other Factors to Consider

1. Trial Periods

It is either testing the mattress lying completely on it for about 15 minutes in a store shop in the presence of other customers or accepting a trial period for the mattress purchased. Be aware that a new bed needs time to break in and adjust to the new person sleeping on it. For this matter, various manufacturers provide a trial period to their clients, after which you return the mattress if you don't fancy its features.

Most manufacturers will refund the entire purchase amount, while others may have a rider on return policy. It is just important that you check on what is required if there is a return of the goods purchased.

2. Warranty

Sellers give a warranty to cover for manufacture defects of a product. Mattress warranties are provided to protect the buyer from defects of the bed. Imperfections may include premature sagging and poor-quality materials used. While in trial periods, you can carry your mattress home and use it for a particular period; warranties are effective immediately you purchase the mattress.

Mattress warranties can cover a period of 5 to 20 years and sometimes a lifetime, depending on the type of mattress. I find this a good incentive since you can return the mattress for repairs or replacement as long as the Warranty is still in force. What is important to note is that warranties are very conditional, and replacements or repairs are carried out as per the Warranty conditions.

3. Mattress Reviews

The mattresses market is flooded with a wide array of mattresses. Ideally, go through mattress reviews from the seller and customers. You need to check on a trusted site for you to be at ease when making your decision.

As you research the reviews, make sure you visit websites with industry experience to help you make an informed decision.

Types of Mattresses

Once you get familiar with your sleeping position and determine your body weight, remember that different types of mattresses are available to choose from. What makes a bed differ from another is the material used to design them. We now take you through different types in the mattress industry.

1. Innerspring Mattresses

These are the standard mattresses that are readily available and cost less. They are designed with metal coils wrapped together inside and fitted with foams and fibers on top. You will find some with a pillow top sewn on the mattress to give it a firmer feel.

These standard Innerspring mattresses are not ideal for sensitive sleepers as they transfer motion. The mattresses also have a short lifespan as the coils are wrapped together and tend to rub against each other with time, forcing the bed to sag in the middle. They are best suited for young, petite, and light persons.

2. Pocket Coil Innerspring Mattress

The Pocket Coil innerspring mattresses have individually wrapped pocketed coils covered with fabric encasement. The springs are wrapped separately so that if pressure is exerted on one spring; it does not affect the other springs. This means motion is not transferred. They are also bouncy and have excellent edge support. They also contour your body, thus giving you good support as you sleep.

If you are a side sleeper and overheat at night, I recommend Innerspring for you since it's more breathable. Although they are more expensive than the standard Innerspring mattresses, it is worth the investment since you will get value for your money when you buy the pocket coils innerspring mattress.

Do not overlook the coil gauge when determining which Innerspring mattress to buy. Please remember the lower the numbers, the thicker the coil and, therefore, the more comfortable the bed .

3. Memory Foam Mattress

Did you know that Memory Foam was originally intended for safety measures in case of an airplane crashing as it would give the necessary cushion on impact? Due to its comfort feature, the memory foam mattress has taken the market by storm. This mattress works wonders, contouring your body to align properly, comes with low motion transfer, a high level of pressure point relief, and is durable.

The base layer of the dense foam makes these mattresses suitable for heavyweight individuals because they don't sag on the weight. We, therefore, recommend it for sleepers of all positions. However, Memory Foam mattresses tend to suck more heat, so they aren't ideal for people who get too warm at night. If you intend to purchase a Foam mattresses, be prepared to spend $600-4000 depending on the brand name. Think twice if the price is lower than $600!

4. Hybrid memory foam

A combination of memory foam technology and innerspring technology brought about the manufacturing of Hybrid mattresses. The mattress has the stand-alone pocketed coil springs meaningless motion transfer. It also has layers of Latex foam on its top, providing pressure point relief, bouncy feeling as you sleep, and resistance to molds and allergens. If you are a couple looking to purchase a mattress, I recommend the Hybrid mattress type.

5. Latex Foam Mattresses

Initially, the cost of producing Latex material was very high, and most people could not afford to buy the Latex mattresses. Over the years, technology has brought production costs down, and now many people can purchase this high-end mattress. Since the Latex Foam material is resilient, it keeps the pressure off the hips and shoulders just like Memory Foam Mattresses, therefore a good fit for side sleepers.

Latex suppresses motion, and therefore it is a good choice for couples and your partner tosses on the bed at night. Latex mattresses are made of natural materials meaning they are organic and therefore preferred by environmentalists. The solid structure is suitable for heavy side sleepers, and since the material is temperature neutral, we also recommend this type of mattress if you experience high temperatures at night.

A point to note: Latex mattresses are the heaviest in the mattress industry and are difficult to move.

6. Air Mattress

This mattress is built with several air coils for support and durability because it uses ComfortCoil technology. It comes in many sizes, and it is well known for its unique features, including being easy to set up, storing away easily, and not sag.

It is very durable, comfortable, and adjustable. The mattress comes in many sizes and can be good for any sleeper. A pump is used to inflate the mattress in just a few minutes. The bed is also ideal for those who love camping.

7. California King Mattress

If you love a five-star kind of life, this is where you belong. A luxurious, expansive mattress with a dimension of 72" width and 84" length. The tallest person on earth can sleep on this mattress since it is the lengthiest of all. It is a very good mattress with all the features you want in a bed, and if you can afford it, why not.

With so many choices of mattress types in the market, including the ideal memory foam beds, you certainly will get one that fits your needs. Whether you purchase your mattress online or you visit a mattress store, take your time to compare the different types with your needs and preference as a priority.

How to Choose a Mattress Size

The following guidelines will help you choose a mattress size that will be ideal for you:

  • Measure your room to determine what size will fit
  • Measure the position of the bed and the space around it
  • Make sure there is enough room to open the closet and dressing table
  • If the room is small, consider a bed that has storage underneath
  • Size of the person who will be sleeping on that mattress
  • Sleeping position and height of the sleeper
  • Number of people who will be sleeping on the mattress
  • Room location for ease of transportation of the mattress
  • Budget


Once you have addressed the above concerns and you are ready to shop for a mattress of your choice, the following sizes are available in the market according to your budget.

1. Twin Size Mattress

This is the smallest standard size mattress measuring 39" width by 75" length. It is ideal for a small room or bedroom and usually for children and teenagers. Shorter persons can also use this mattress.

2. Queen Size Mattress

This is a 60" by 80" mattress recommended for couples. This is the most common standard mattress in most homes. It can also come in 2 split pieces, thereby providing some freedom of motion disturbance by partners.

3. Full-Size Mattress

This is a good size for single sleepers measuring 54" by 75. A good size for tall persons because of the length. We do not recommend this mattress size for couples.

4. King Size Mattress

Measuring 76" by 80", this mattress is luxurious and expansive. It also comes with a split of 2 Twin XL mattresses placed side by side. A good one for couples who want to enjoy life and comfortable sleep.

5. California King Size Mattress

This is the lengthiest mattress, measuring 72" by 84", suitable for tall sleepers. It accommodates 2 to 3 sleepers comfortably, and it is ideal for families. As you search for the best type of mattress that addresses your needs, size is also a key factor to be ignored. Make sure you work out a balance between your needs, room size, and budget to arrive at the ideal decision.

The Bottom Line

As you go through this guide, don't lose sight of the ultimate goal of purchasing the best mattress that will cater to your unique needs and give you comfort and support as you enjoy a peaceful sleep. Keep in mind that a good bed can be a therapy to most of the problems accosting you as you try to find good sleep.

Say goodbye to sleepless nights!

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