We are aware that with so many different types of mattresses and brands it can be overwhelming and confusing when trying to select a mattress. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as the perfect mattress what we hope to do educate you about the mattress buying process so that you select a top-rated mattress 2021 that is suitable for your particular needs.
Mattress Buying Guide – How to Buy a Mattress
Well if you are still reading this that means that you want some more details. Well, we are happy to comply. Hopefully, by the time you are finished reading, you will know what to look for in a mattress and how to select a mattress that is perfect for your particular needs.
When should I replace my mattress
The first thing you need to decide is whether you really need a new mattress. Here are a few clues:
- You have had the same mattress for over eight years. You should be rushing to buy a new mattress at this point!
- You wake up with aches and pains. If you haven’t been doing any heavy lifting or new exercises its time to make that switch.
- You have uneven surfaces on your mattress. Is there a big dip in the middle? Yes, it’s time to change the mattress.
- You toss and turn during the night trying to find a comfortable position at night and you wake up tired in the morning.
- You can see body indentations on your mattress.
- The warranty is up on your mattress.
Okay, now that we have decided you need a new mattress the next thing you should consider is what size mattress you want to purchase.
Mattress Sizes- Everything you need to know
The first thing you need to decide is what is the best mattress size for your needs. You need to take into consideration your height, are you single or a couple, sleep patterns (are you a stationary sleeper or do you move around) and the size of your bedroom, you would be amazed how a large bed can take up most of your floor space.
|Twin||38" x 75"|
|Twin XL||38" x 80"|
|Full||53" x 75"|
|Full XL||53" x 80"|
|Queen||60" x 80"|
|King||76" x 80"|
|Cal King||72" x 84"|
Twin Mattress – Size 38” x 75”
Twin mattresses are perfect for a child, teenager, or a single adult. These mattresses are the smallest size and thus the least expensive.
- Great for single sleepers.
- Great if you have limited space for your bed.
- Great if you are not an active sleeper
- Least expensive Mattress size.
Twin Mattress XL (Extra Long) – Size 38”x80”
A twin extra-long mattress provides many of the same benefits of a twin mattress. They are great for small spaces, individuals who are not active sleepers, and singles. The difference is they are 5 inches longer so they provide extra length for tall individuals.
Full Size Mattress – Size 53” x 75”
Full-Size Mattresses are great for single active sleepers. They are also an excellent choice for children and teens.
- Great for single active sleepers.
- Good for teenagers and children
- Spacious size for singles.
- Not much price difference between this and a queen
Full Size Mattress XL (Extra Long) – Size 54” x 80”
Provides the same benefits of a full-size mattress, the only difference is the mattress is 5 inches longer. This is great extra length for tall individuals.
Queen Size Mattress – Size 60” x80”
Queen-size is the most popular size sold and is great for couples. When you see advertising for mattresses the prices are usually referring to Queen size mattresses. Based on the size of these mattresses they are the most cost-effective.
- Great for couples.
- The queen size is the most affordable size for couples.
- Very comfortable sleeping area.
King Size Mattress – Size 76” x 80”
King size mattress are the largest and thus the most expensive mattresses. When buying a king size mattress measure your bedroom and make sure you leave enough walk space.
- Great for couples.
- Great for couples who are active sleepers
- Provides ample space for a person to turn without disturbing the other person
California King Size Mattress – Size 72” x 84”
A California King provides the same advantages as the King size bed. While the California king is 4 inches longer, it is also 4 inches shorter in width than the standard king-size bed. It is a great solution for tall people since it is four inches longer.
King vs California King Mattress, What’s the difference?
What is the difference between a King mattress and a California King Mattress? The main difference is their dimensions. In theory, the King size mattress is actually the larger size. The California King is the longer mattress.
Advantages of a King Mattress
- You will find it easier to find accessories and sheets for a King size mattress since they are more common.
- A king size mattress is larger in overall size so you will have more space.
Advantages of a California King Mattress
- If you are a tall person a California King is a better option.
- Spacious, good for tall couples.
Mattress Firmness – What’s the best firm mattress?
Most people normally assume a firm mattress is best. This is not the case for everybody. What you want is a mattress that will keep your spine straight or aligned along a straight line. What you are really looking for is a mattress that will contour your body and provide support to keep your spine straight and therefore promote a good sleeping posture.
For example, if you are a side sleeper your hips are going to take you off the mattress. If you on a firm mattress you will find yourself in an uncomfortable position because your spine is not properly aligned. If you are on a softer mattress your hips will sink into the mattress keeping your body aligned. In the case of a side sleeper, a soft mattress would suffice.
If you sleep on your back a firmer mattress would be best. Keep in mind if your body is not properly aligned you will be constantly tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position. In this case, you will not enter that realm of deep sleep, and more than likely you will not feel properly rested in the morning.
You will also want to look at comfort. Comfort refers to how the mattress feels. Just because a mattress might be soft that doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide support. Remember support of a mattress refers to whether or not the mattress keeps your spine straight. If the mattress doesn’t provide the support it will tend to sag where your body weight is focused. If the mattress is too firm for your needs it will put pressure on various parts of your body. If you don’t have comfort more than likely you won’t feel well-rested in the morning.
You can use the general guidelines below when selecting Mattress firmness
|Firmness of Matttress||Type of Sleeper|
|Extra Firm||Mattresses are best for back and stomach sleepers|
|Firm||Mattresses are best for back and stomach sleepers|
|Medium||Best for all sleepers|
|Soft||These mattresses are best for side sleepers|
|Extra Soft||These mattresses are best for side sleepers|
One other point we should mention is you should keep your height and weight in mind when buying a mattress. Heavier people will find that mattresses feel softer than lighter people.
Other than the support and comfort level of the mattress, a few other things you should look at are motion transfer and the temperature. If you are sleeping with a partner motion transfer is something you should take into consideration. You don’t want your partner to disturb you when you are sleeping. Additionally, you want a mattress that doesn’t run too warm and stays around skin temperature.
What is a Pillow Top Mattress?
A pillow top mattress provides an extra layer of cushioning for your mattress. The pillow top provides permanent padding attached to the top of the mattress. People who prefer softer and more cushion support will prefer a pillow top mattress.
What is a Box Spring?
Box springs are rigid foundations that exist to support the mattress. If you have another sturdy apparatus to support your mattress you will not require a box spring. If you have a platform bed or plan to put your mattress on the floor this should be fine.
Types of Mattresses
The main types of mattresses are memory foam, innerspring, latex, hybrid, and air mattresses. Memory foam mattresses have become more popular year after year and have ranked in user satisfaction over innerspring mattresses.
Please note that the chart below should be used as a general guideline. Some mattresses go against the norm. A brief overview of each mattress is listed below:
|Innerspring Mattress||Foam Mattress||Latex Mattress||Hybrid Mattress|
|Constructed with Artificial Material||Constructed with Artificial Material||Constructed with Artificial or Natural Material||Constructed with Artificial Material|
|Has more motion transfer between sleeping partners||Has less motion transfer||Some motion transfer||Some motion transfer|
|Good body contouring.||Good body contouring.||Good body contouring.||In between body contouring.|
|Good for Back Sleepers||Good for Side Sleepers||Good for Side and Stomach Sleepers||Good for Back and Stomach Sleepers|
Memory foam mattresses are some of the highest-rated and most popular mattresses on the market. These mattresses have layers of foam that contour to your body while you sleep.
Advantages of Memory Foam
- Has good separation. This is good if your partner moves around a lot in their sleep.
- Feeling of floating on top of the mattress allows you to achieve deep sleep. .
- Side sleepers tend to prefer this type of mattress. .
- Memory foam reduces pressure points on your body. .
- Memory foam is naturally anti-dust mite and anti-microbial.
- Memory foam is durable. .
Disadvantages of Memory Foam
- Some people feel they sink too deeply into the memory foam. Some say it feels like quicksand. To counteract this you can look at a mattress that has air cool memory foam.
- Some people complain the mattress retains more heat. There are versions with infused gel to keep it cool..
Innerspring mattresses are traditional mattresses and have been around for a long time. These mattresses are often cheaper than their memory foam mattress counterparts. These mattresses consist of steel coils in various configurations. These mattresses have various layers of cushioning.
Advantages of Innerspring Mattress
- Tend to be cheaper.
- Good for people with back pain and people who sleep on their backs.
Disadvantages of Innerspring Mattress
- Some mattresses have an annoying bounce.
- Not as durable as other mattresses.
A hybrid mattress is a combination of the features of an innerspring mattress and a memory foam mattress. A hybrid mattress usually has coils and memory foam or latex foam on top.
Latex Foam Mattress
Latex mattresses are made of natural, bio gradable foam. Sap from the rubber tree is processed into latex. The product is used in pillows and mattresses.
Advantages of Latex foam mattress
- Latex mattresses allow you to sleep a bit cooler than traditional foam mattresses.
- Last longer.
- Doesn’t have the quicksand feel of memory foam mattresses.
- Helps to promote a healthy sleep environment.
Disadvantages of Latex foam mattress
- Tend to be a bit more expensive.
The name is pretty self-explanatory. An air mattress is a mattress that you can inflate to your desired firmness. Instead of a coil system or a foam core, the air provides support. One of the main advantages of an air mattress is most air mattresses allow you to inflate each half of the mattress to different firmness. This is a great feature if you and your partner have different firmness preferences. Some air beds allow you to customize different sections of the bed.