10 important things I wish I knew about mattresses before I bought one

1. The Mattress Material Matters

Of course, I had heard about memory foam mattresses and spring mattresses before, but that was the limit of my knowledge. There are, in fact, five common main mattress materials that are all good for different things.

Innerspring mattresses are traditional mattresses with internal coils (hence the name) which offer bounce and strong support. Latex mattresses are even bouncier but are a much cooler option for people who get too hot in the night. Memory foam mattresses are the ones I was most familiar with, but little did I know that they were not the best kind for me! These mattresses are designed to contour the body to relieve pressure but at the same time can make you a little too warm in the night. Because of this it is important to know how to clean a memory foam mattress correctly as you are more likely to sweat.

Hybrid mattresses turned out the be the best option for me. The combination of memory foam and latex on top of an innerspring mattress provided both a soft bed and suitable support. Finally air and water mattresses are adjustable, non-traditional mattresses that can be pumped to the desired firmness level and provide a rocking sensation to help you sleep. These are certainly not for everyone, however, so I recommend trailing one of these before committing to one for life.

2. In A World Of Online Mattress Shops, Testing Your Mattress Is Still A Good Idea

I admit that I was certainly tempted by the convenience of ordering a mattress online and it arriving at my door the next day in a convenient-to-move cardboard box. It was only when my dad talked me out of it that I went to a physical store and tried the mattresses out for myself.

3. 'Orthopedic' Mattresses Aren't Necessarily Medically Approved

If like me, you are wondering why your mattress may be causing you back pain, then it could be because you also fell for the 'medical-grade' gimmick.

4. Always Read Reviews From Real Users

Reviews online can easily be fabricated and written with no experience. Learning how and where to find true reviews from people who tested mattresses over periods of time

5. A High Price Doesn't Always Mean High Quality

Just as when you're buying the best mattress protector or looking for the best organic mattress, a high price is not indicative of a high-quality product.

This is something I have been learning a lot about recently as I make new purchases for my home. While it is often best to steer clear of the cheapest options on the market (as a 'too-good-to-be-true price often is), the most expensive option is not always what is best for you either.

6. Firmness Labels Are Not Universal

I admit I was shocked to discover that two mattresses found next to one another in the same store, both labeled as 'firm', were not the same in the slightest! It turns out that the soft-to-firm scale is not a universal measurement for which mattresses are designed. In fact, the scale is completely different from brand to brand, making it even more difficult to buy a mattress, especially if you are changing your mattress after a few years and want an identical one.

7. Don't Rush Into Buying A Mattress

Trying out mattresses is embarrassing! Or at least I think so. I found it very awkward walking around a store with other people, taking off my shoes and laying on a bare mattress for 10 minutes – I think any sane person would. Despite this, however, I knew it was important to not rush my decision in the hopes of getting out of the store quicker. Mattresses are a big and expensive purchase after all, and one that I knew I would be stuck with for a good few years.

8. A Good Warranty Is Just As Important As A Good Mattress

A mattress warranty is not the same as a two-year laptop warranty, I learned. Mattress warranties should last around 10 years or longer to make sure it is covered for defects or premature wear and tear.

9. Researching The Best Mattress Type For Your Sleeping Position Is Important

One of the best ways to improve sleep is to understand sleep positions and how a mattress can make a big difference in comfort.

10. Pick The Best Size For You, Even If It Is More Expensive

I have always had a double bed so upgrading to a king sized felt like a luxury. Picking the size of a mattress and bed shouldn't just come down to the size of your room either, as it turns out.

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