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10 Things to Do When Mattress Shopping


WHEN’S THE LAST time you bought a new mattress?

Chances are, it’s been awhile. Probably 10 years or so. If you’re like most people, mattress shopping can be confusing and intimidating. How can you avoid making an expensive mistake you’ll regret?

You may be surprised to find out how much has changed since you last went mattress shopping. There are so many possibilities to choose from now! Gel foam… memory foam…pocketed coils… hybrids! There are even high-tech beds that cool, move, or gather information about how you slept the night before. The options can be almost overwhelming.

And then, there’s the pressure not to get a mattress you’ll regret buying later.

Mattresses are big-ticket items. The last thing you want to do is to spend your hard-earned money and then be stuck with a mattress that isn’t as comfortable as you thought it would be. For some of us, it’s hard enough to pick which sixty-dollar coffee maker to buy, let alone make a decision on a pricey investment that will last for 10 years or more.

True confession: I recently put off buying a new mattress myself for these reasons – and I work for a mattress company! Fortunately, I was able to turn to our Comfort Coaches for insights on what I could do to increase my odds for selecting the mattress of my dreams. 

Lucky for you, we took their suggestions and put together this list of  to ensure you wind up with a mattress you’ll be happy with for a long, long time. 

10 Things To Do When Mattress Shopping
  1. Dress comfortably.

Wear clothes that allow you to move easily on the mattress without concern for modesty. Don’t wear clothing so bulky that prevents you from getting a good “feel” of the mattress. Wear shoes that you can slip on and off easily.

  1. Take your time.

Be prepared to spend at least 45 minutes or longer at the store. This is a big investment; don’t rush into a decision. Lie on the mattress the way you would at home. Lounge on it. Read a magazine on it. Chat on your phone. The idea is to get a sense of how the mattress will feel in your real life.

  1. Assume your natural sleep position.

Now isn’t the time to be shy. Lie the way you normally sleep even if it’s a bit embarrassing. It’s the only way to find out if the mattress will be truly comfortable for how you sleep. Ignore everyone else; they’re not worth making a $1,200 mistake.

  1. Keep an open mind.

Think only a firm mattress can support your back? You may be surprised at the lumbar support a pillowtop mattress offers. Until you try something different you may never know which type of mattress actually supports your body best. Keep your options open; try different types and feels. Check out gel memory foam, latex or hybrid mattresses, too.

  1. Don’t focus on how the mattress feels.

Yes, you read that right. Instead of focusing on whether the mattress feels firm or soft, pay attention to how your body feels when you’re on it. Notice if your hips or shoulders hurt. How does your back feel? Is your spine aligned?

  1. Bring your own pillow.

Or select a store pillow that feels like your pillow at home so that you can make an accurate determination of what your full sleep experience will be at home. Pillows have a big impact on your comfort.

  1. Focus on your needs and sleep comfort issues.

Some mattresses are made to address specific sleep comfort needs. If your arm tingles or falls asleep at night, consider a mattress with latex for pressure relief. Do you wake up every time your partner moves or gets out of bed? Try a mattress that offers motion separation. You can also take the Sleepography Quiz for help in determining which mattress would best solve your sleep comfort issues.

  1. Shop at a store that specializes in mattresses.

Stores that focus only on mattresses offer more expertise. The sales staff is able to dive deep, instead of having to learn a little about a lot of different products, such as sofas, lamps, dining room tables and mattresses. Often, the mattress-only sales staff spends more time educating you than trying to sell you on a mattress.

  1. Check out the return policies or service offerings.

Some stores have return policies that allow you to take the mattress back or exchange it – if it falls within a specific timeframe, say 60, 90 or 120 days. Some require that you buy a mattress protector in order to be able to return the mattress later. Only one store, (yes, it’s Verlo) offers a Lifetime Comfort Guarantee. It’s better to find out up front what your options are.

  1. Keep the future in mind.

Chances are you’ll have your mattress for at least 10 years so think about your future needs. Planning on having children? You may want to get a larger mattress for the pregnancy or for mornings when the kiddos want to crawl in bed with you. Maybe you’re thinking of getting a power foundation down the road. In that case, you may want to look at mattresses that pair well with adjustable bases, like hybrid, gel foam or latex mattresses.

So there you have it. Let us know if it helped you!

(In case you’re wondering, I bought a v9 Pillowtop mattress. Can’t wait for it to be delivered!)


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