Size, support, comfort and price are just a few things to consider when buying a new sleep set. Choosing the correct size can make a big difference in the quality of sleep you get from a new mattress. First you need to make sure you fit on the mattress and secondly that if you have a sleeping partner that both of you have enough "personal" space that you don't affect each others sleep. The four industry standard sizes are:
Additional "special" sizes are also available to accommodate almost everyone. Comfort, price and support can all go hand in hand. You may be able to find a comfort level you like at a wide price range, but the price usually goes up as the support gets stronger. A good rule is to purchase as high a level of support as you can afford to get the most out of your new mattress set.
BUYERS GUIDE: Shopping for a new mattress can be confusing:
Shop quality, name brand mattress's.
Buy at a reputable, professional mattress specialty store with a knowledgeable staff that can help you make a good decision.
Purchasing the correct comfort level for you is crucial for a good nights sleep. Selecting the right comfort is done by "Comfort Testing", which means to lay on 2 or 3 mattress's of the same quality but different feels. Lie down with your feet up and in a position that you normally sleep and choose the one that is most comfortable.
Buy the correct quality to suit your needs. If you are looking for a long life and a high level of support and comfort, make sure to purchase a "premium level" sleep set.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR/CONSIDER:
Coil counts: The sheer number of coils in a mattress is not as important as the design of the innerspring. A lower coil count mattress with a good design and extra support in the middle can be a much stronger support than one with just a high number of coils.
Border Rods: Make sure the mattress you are considering has a border rod; some manufacturers have eliminated this very important feature in the last few years. The border rod will help keep the edge from breaking down and gives the innerspring added structural integrity.
Make sure the mattress meets or exceeds all flammability codes to help keep you and your family safe.
A premium mattress should provide more support where you need it the most. Look for a mattress that offers more coils in the middle or double strung coils to lengthen the life of the mattress and add more support.
Boxsprings: You should always consider two options when purchasing a new boxspring. One is the height; most all boxsprings will come in two sizes. Normal height, which is about 9" and a low profile option that is 3" lower. Second is split boxsprings, queen and sometimes full size one piece boxes may not fit into some homes. The alternative is a 2 piece box that usually cost a little extra, but will easily fit into any house.
Once you have chosen the correct mattress, you will now want to protect your investment. The best thing you can do to keep your mattress clean and sanitary is to purchase a mattress protector. A good quality protector will not just protect your mattress from dirt, stains and spills, but will also make it a healthier place to sleep. Protectors can keep harmful dust mites out of your mattress and help people with allergies and breathing ailments sleep much easier. Also, a good quality protector will keep your mattress free of stains that can void the manufacturer's warranty.
Q. How do I choose the right mattress?
A. You must first lie down fully on the unit and test it as if you were sleeping. If you are a side sleeper, try it that way. Always test the best quality first to get a perspective and work your way down in price. Compare the difference in the various comfort levels, such as firm ,plush or pillowtop. Pick the feel that suits you the best and then pick a price level that gets you the service or number of years that you want.
Q. How do I know where to shop for a mattress?
A. It is always best to go to a store that specializes in mattresses. This way you know that they are well educated about mattresses. Look for terms liked "factory trained" staff. Try to find sleep shops that offer extras in the way of services such as delivery, removal, financing, etc.
Q. How many coils do I need to buy?
A. Everyone's support needs vary, so it may be different in each case. Generally it is thought to be at least 300 coils for daily support, but with so many different spring units on the market, it can be confusing. The best way to make sure you get good support in your mattress is to buy a reputable brand name with a coil system that has been "time tested" and recognized to be reputable. Steer clear of "generic" or "off-brand" product.
Q. What is the average price and life expectancy of a mattress?
A.Based on the average queen size set in the industry, the life expectancy is approximately 10 years. In today's marketplace the average cost of a queen size set is about $999. In a queen size, if you equal $100 spent to 1 years service, this would be close to reality. So a $399 model may last 4 years, a $999 lasts 10 years, a $1999 may last 20 years, and so on.
Q. How do I know if I need a $399 or a $3000 model and what is the difference?
A. The price of a mattress reflects how much support and comfort it will give you over time. You can certainly find a less expensive mattress that feels good. The difference in the more expensive ones is that they will feel better longer. ....sometimes 5 times as long or more depending on the quality. It is always best to buy the best you can afford.
Q. Can I just buy the mattress/Do I need the box spring?
A. Some stores will sell the mattress separately, but expect to pay 65 to 75 per cent of the total cost of the set. A general rule of thumb to decide if you need a box spring is: if you are having support issues with your mattress, then the box is bad also....it has allowed your mattress to sag and has weakened under the work over time. It is also important to replace the box, as your old one may not be compatible with your new mattresses and can cause it to wear oddly or sag. If this does occur, you may void your warranty due to an inadequate foundation. It is always best to replace your box spring if in doubt.
Q. What do warranties cover?
A. The warranties from national manufacturers will cover any structural defect that may occur. So, if you can physically see a defect while not in the mattress, it is probably covered. Some local and generic warranties have many restrictions, so steer clear of them. No warranty will cover normal wear and tear and/or body indentations or impressions. Warranties do not cover comfort and support, which is something that is relative in nature and different for every person.
Q. Why are mattresses so expensive?
A. A mattress is a piece of furniture like a sofa. It has more springs, wood and padding than most sofas and are used 4 times as much. The foams that make up a mattress are petroleum based. The distribution of mattresses is done by trucks which entail shipping and gas costs. The wood is generally high grade Canadian pine which is imported. The cost of steel for the springs has tripled in the last 2 years. Actually, a mattress purchase is one of the most value oriented in the whole furniture category.
Q. What if I don't like the feel of my new mattress?
A. It is normal to be uncomfortable on a new mattress. It is like a new pair of shoes, you have to break it in. It will take at least 2 days to 2 weeks or more to get accustomed to a new sleeping surface. Your muscles have memory from whatever you were on prior and have to conform to the new surface. Some manufacturers have "comfort guarantees" that after a certain time frame you make re-select. But, be careful....the whole breaking in process will start all over and you may be worse off than the first one. It is always best to keep what you selected and you will eventually get used to it.
Q. What is a pillowtop/eurotop and do they break down?
A. A pillowtop or eurotop are comfort quilting stitched to the top of a mattress to achieve a specific feel. There can be more padding involved and generally they feel softer. Most people think that because the mattress is soft, that it is weak. This is incorrect!! The surface or comfort level of a mattress has no bearing on the wear factor, strength factor, or life expectancy of a mattress. If you buy a cheap pillowtop, it will wear fast. If you buy an expensive pillowtop, it will last a long time. Pillowtops and eurotops are actually preferred by most people and outsell "firm" models 2 to 1.
Q. What is memory foam?
A. The correct term for memory foam or "tempurpedic" foam is visco-elastic foam. It is high density foam designed for N.A.S.A. in the late sixties. It has properties that make it advantageous for mattress materials. It relieves pressure points and promotes circulation. It has a contouring effect and is temperature sensitive. This means it will respond to your body slowly and more completely than standard foam. It also has a shock absorbing quality that allows less transference of movement between partners. Latex foam has similar characteristics.
Q. Should I buy a "Firm" mattress?
A. NO!! You should buy a STRONG mattress. The feel on top can be whatever you want. Most people think firm means strong. In mattress terms, it just means hard on the surface. You can buy a "firm" mattress for $99 and it will be weak inside and last for a very short time. So the best thing to do, is to lie down, pick the one that is the most comfortable for you....and then just make sure it is strong or "firm" on the inside. However, if you like a hard feel on top, by all means, go for it!