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How to buy a bed with confidence

SPONSORED — Your bed is the part of your house where you spend a third of every day, so buying a new one represents a pretty life-changing decision. However, most people don’t realize until they go to a mattress store just how many options are out there.

The basics

The “just the facts, ma’am” version of how to shop for a mattress — for those in a hurry.

This tells you exactly how to shop for a mattress without:
• Spending money unnecessarily
• Falling for marketing mythology
• Ending up with a mattress that won’t stay comfortable

Make a plan

Know how long you want your mattress to last, determine your budget, make time in your schedule, dress comfortably (you’ll be testing out beds, after all) and take a buddy with you – especially if you’ll be sharing the bed together – to bounce ideas off of during your shopping trip.

Choose a store

Look for high customer ratings online with reviews that speak to good service and helpful salespeople. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Call or visit several stores’ websites ahead of your big shopping day to get an idea of their inventory.

Buy two-sided

Two-sided mattresses that you can flip and rotate last three times as long as “can’t flip” mattresses. That extra time benefits both your wallet and the environment. Many pillow top mattresses cannot be flipped, so they don’t last as long.

Know your materials

Looking for natural or organic? Have allergies or chemical sensitivities? Keep an eye on what materials are used in the mattresses you research. Additionally, different materials wear out faster than others. For example, plastic foams and synthetic foams are the primary source of sags in mattresses.

Select your surface feel

From extra firm to extra plush, your body already has a preferred surface feel. There’s no need to change it. After all, what you like is what you like. If you want to change, try one degree firmer or plusher – don’t go to extremes.

Pick coil, fiber or hybrid

Some mattresses contain spring coils, some don’t. Neither are better or worse for sleeping. Rather, they just have a different feel. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Test rest

Try before you buy. Spend 10-15 minutes lying on your two or three favorite mattresses. Lie in the position you normally sleep – side, back, stomach or a mix – and see how the mattress really feels.

Decide if you need a box spring

Your mattress may or may not need a box. If it needs one, replace your old one, as it will have worn out, and a new mattress will feel worse on a used foundation. A sturdy platform bed with a solid deck or enough slats across the bottom for the mattress to lay flat does not need a box.

Check warranty and policies

Manufacturers’ warranties usually cover only defects, not normal wear and tear. Get familiar with the store’s return or comfort exchange program before you buy. Remember, warranties are not necessarily an indicator of how long you will like the mattress.

Take time to adjust

Your body needs up to a month to acclimate to your new mattress. Don’t be concerned if it takes that long before you feel comfortable on it.

For more details and to ask questions, you can attend the free “How to Shop for a Mattress” class at Bedrooms & More in Seattle every Thursday at 12 p.m. or Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Bedrooms & More is also a great place to find a mattress that will suit all your needs.

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