Mattress Shopping By Design

The average person spends a third of life in bed, so why settle for a lumpy, uncomfortable mattress? Sure, a great bed doesn’t come cheap, but when was the last time you actually replaced your mattress? Under normal conditions, experts recommend getting a new one every six to eight years, so chances are you’re due for an upgrade. The good news is that this is one investment that will pay off in the long run. To help you find your best fit for bedtime bliss, start with these mattress buying tips.


The Best Mattresses You Can Buy Now

Whether you’re buying your first mattress or you’re replacing one you’ve had for years, the world of mattress buying is probably, well, overwhelming to say the least. The proliferation of direct-to-consumer brands delivering “beds in a box” has made the landscape of mattress retail almost unrecognizable compared to just a few years ago. Now you don’t have to go to a mattress store—you can just get a brand-new mattress delivered straight to your door, no middleman necessary. This means finding the best mattress has become both much easier and much harder.

The market is truly saturated with quality mattresses, all of which boast increasingly advanced features. Gone are the days when lying on a mattress for a few minutes in a store is all that’s needed to make your decision; instead, you now have to consider things like off-gassing, coil construction, and foam infusions. It takes a huge amount of time to sift through all the options, so we’ve tried to make the task easier by researching and sleeping on over a dozen mattresses. While we haven’t been able to test every mattress out there to find the best, we did find a number of stand-out options, no matter what you’re looking for.

What to Consider Before Buying a Mattress

A mattress is a huge investment, personally and financially. It’s the thing that’ll make or break the quality of your sleep, and you’ll probably spend more time on your mattress than you do on anything else in your home. Researching the options beforehand is vital, and knowing what you need and want is better than going into the process without a clue. Here’s what to consider when buying a mattress:

Type of Mattress

Innerspring: The most common type of mattress, an innerspring mattress offers great support and will last a long time. Today’s innerspring mattresses typically have much better motion isolation and body contouring abilities.

Foam: Growing in popularity, foam mattresses offer ultra cushioning and great motion isolation. Foam, however, does absorb heat, so it might not be the best option for hot sleepers, unless it’s a gel-infused foam.

Hybrid: For those who want the best of both worlds, a hybrid might be your choice. Made of foam and coils, hybrid mattresses offer great support, a cooler sleep, and excellent motion isolation.

Organic: If eco-friendly materials are important to you, a number of organic mattresses have sprung up recently. These mattresses typically do not use foam, but instead use latex, a similar but much more sustainable material.

Level of Firmness

While general knowledge says that back and stomach sleepers should go for something firmer and side sleepers should choose something softer, it’s really up to personal preference. For example, someone with back pain might love the cushioning a soft foam mattress provides, while another person might prefer the support of an innerspring. The most common firmness level of modern mattresses is medium-firm, which offers a good deal of support without feeling like a rock.

Where to Buy a Mattress

This used to be a non-issue—you’d simply head to a nearby mattress store. While feeling a mattress in person has obvious benefits, buying online has its own pros, too. Not only do you get a long trial period (typically around 100 days), but you’ll also likely pay less and have access to the brand’s customer service. Some online-only retailers do have showrooms, especially if you live near New York City.

How Much to Spend on a Mattress

Like any major investment, mattresses do not come cheap. While you can find mattresses under $500, these options are typically lower in quality than the more expensive options and won’t last as long. A good mattress costs around $1,000, and that price will increase depending on materials used and where you buy it.


If you’re buying a foam mattress, make sure you’re choosing one that’s made of CertiPUR-US certified foam. This certification means the foam is made without ozone depleters, flame retardants, heavy metals like mercury and lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates, and has low VOC emissions for indoor air quality.

If you’re buying organic, look for GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification and OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification. GOTS certification means that every stage of the supply chain, from harvesting to manufacturing to packaging, is done ethically and sustainably. OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certification means that the textiles contain no harmful dyes or substances.

Another certification you might see is GREENGUARD Gold, which means the mattress has low chemical emissions and is acceptable for use in environments such as schools and health-care facilities.

What We Look For in a Mattress

We tested a wide range of mattresses for our best list, judging them on the following criteria:

  • Feel: Is the mattress firm, soft, or somewhere in between? Does it have extra cushioning? Is it comfortable no matter our sleep position?
  • Support: Do we wake up feeling sore? Does the mattress feel comfortable throughout the night?
  • Safety: Does the mattress have certifications, particularly CertiPUR-US certified foam?

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By Style Bestie

Super busy mom