Rawls-Meehan says it’s important you spend the time learning about the new sleep technology that’s available. “If you haven't purchased a mattress in over 10 years, you may not be familiar with the different comfort options available, including things like adjustable power bases and temperature-regulating mattress materials,” he says.
Talking to your friends and family about their mattresses helps, too. “There are numerous third-party mattress review sites that you can visit to get the skinny on the mattresses you’re considering,” Murphy says—and many offer discount codes as well.
"Some retailers now have diagnostic systems to align your sleeping position and body type to a pressure map in order to help guide your decision," Rawls-Meehan says. "Let your salesperson know if you have specific pain, if you wake up hot, or if you and your partner have different sleep habits and needs." All of these things help determine the right sleeping surface for you.Consider materials.
There are pros and cons to materials like memory foam, innersprings, air, and latex. Innersprings, considered the “traditional” bed, are comprised of innersprings and a layer of cushioning. “They have the benefit of being cheaper and providing good support—however, people often complain about lack of pressure relief as they tend to be bouncy,” says Murphy. “One result is that you can disturb your partner’s sleep when you change positions at night.”
Memory foam is another option that’s known for pressure relief—memory foam mattresses have a nice feel as you sink into them. “The major complaint with these is that they tend to sleep hot, and lack support,” says Murphy. “It also takes some effort to change positions, which can disrupt your sleep.”
Last up is the hybrid, which attempts to incorporate the best of both worlds: High-quality pocketed coils provide support and spinal alignment, while memory foam provides pressure relief that keeps you in deep sleep longer. “While hybrid mattresses tend to sleep cooler because of air flow, more premium products add a temperature regulating material to the foam to help you reach—and maintain—the ideal temperature for sleep,” Murphy explains. “Ask your salesperson about each of these types of mattresses, and what standards are used to measure quality,” Rawls-Meehan adds.
Debate between purchasing in-store and online.
"In the older days of mattress buying, you had to simply go to a store and lie down on a few mattresses with a salesperson on overwatch," says Murphy. Now, there are many great online options as well.
The advantage of in-store mattress shopping is that you get to see and test a number of mattresses, but the good news is now, most online options offer 100-day-plus in-home trials and zero-hassle returns. “It stands to reason that sleeping on a mattress at home for 100 days is a much better indicator of performance as compared to lying on one for five minutes,” Murphy points out.
Convenience and value are the two other big advantages of online shopping—many companies offer white-glove delivery and old mattress removal. So, if you’re buying directly from the manufacturer, you’re more likely to get a great value.
Read the fine print.
Murphy advises to make sure you understand the fine print of the trial, return, and warranty associated with whichever mattress you choose. “Keep an eye out for restocking fees and short-term mattress warranties—most typically range from 10 to 25 years,” he says. “Also watch out for prorating, which is when the warranty declines over time.”
Hunt for coupons both online and off, since most brands offer regular promotions. “Look for a brand that has been around for a number of years, or is part of a larger company,” he says. “Today, there are hundreds of companies selling mattresses, so you want to make sure there will be someone to back up your warranty, should you ever need it.”
Give it time.
A new mattress may not feel great the first nights—or even weeks—you sleep on it, especially if you're going from one type of mattress (for example, innersprings) to another kind (for example, natural latex). “If you've been sleeping on a really uncomfortable mattress, your body may have been contorting itself to find a comfortable position,” Rawls-Meehan says. “So even when you upgrade, your body will still need to train itself to adapt to a more supportive surface.”See more sleep: