To help you decide, here are some of the most common mattress-related questions and the answers you'll need to find your perfect mattress!
What are the different types of mattress?
Mattresses come in many types, such as foam, spring, and latex. They all have their advantages, so the type of mattress you choose will mostly depend on your personal preferences. Some of the most popular mattress types include:
Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam is a popular mattress material because it is constructed to fit to your body’s natural shape.t A memory foam mattress will conform to your shape and easily cushion your pressure points. It also retains heat, so it may be a good choice for you if you tend to get chilly at night.
Another advantage of a memory foam mattress is that it isolates motion. This makes it a great choice for couples with at least one restless sleeper. If you toss and turn in your sleep, a memory foam mattress will ensure you don't disrupt your partner's sleep!
The innerspring or coil mattress is the most classic type of mattress. While other options are more popular, the spring mattress does have some advantages that are worth considering.
For starters, thanks to lower demand, this tends to be the most affordable mattress option. It's also one of the most durable, as metals coils can maintain their shape for several years. Plus, spring mattresses allow for plenty of air circulation, so you can expect a cooler night's sleep.
Latex foam is another popular mattress material known for comfort and cooling. Latex foam mattresses come in two types: natural and synthetic.
Natural latex foam comes from rubber trees and doesn't include any harsh chemicals, making it a healthier and more eco-friendly option. Because it's 100% natural, you also don't have to worry about off-gassing and odors as you would with synthetic materials.
Synthetic latex foam is made from a combination of natural tree sap and synthetic polymer fibers. It's not as eco-friendly as its natural counterpart, but it is less expensive, so it could be a good alternative if you're on a budget.
Hybrid mattresses are exactly what they sound like: mattresses made from a combination of materials—in this case, memory foam and springs. A hybrid mattress is a great choice if you need both the support of springs and the pressure relief of memory foam.
Note that the amount of foam in this mattress depends on its firmness, though in most cases you'll want close to three inches. The price range also tends to be higher for hybrid mattresses, but it's also one of the most durable types of mattress, so it will likely be worth the investment.
Do I need a softer or firmer mattress?
More than anything, the firmness of your mattress depends on what position you sleep in.
If you sleep on your back, you'll need more support to avoid back pain but enough softness to cushion your pressure points. A medium to medium firm mattress would be best for you.
If you're a side sleeper, the pressure points you need cushioned are in your shoulders and hips. Choose a medium soft mattress to evenly distribute pressure and avoid shoulder and hip pain.
If you sleep on your stomach, you don't want a mattress that's too soft, as that could curve your spine and cause chronic back pain. Like back sleepers, you'll want a medium or medium soft mattress to cradle your pressure points and support you while you sleep.
How much should I spend on a mattress?
Mattress prices are mostly based on size and material, but don't assume higher prices mean higher quality. Stores are known to inflate mattress prices by as much as 1,000%, so you'll likely find options online that are just as good for a fraction of the price!
Of course, you don't want to spend too little on a mattress either, as that would all but guarantee low quality. A good rule of thumb is to set aside about $1,000 for a queen-size mattress and about $1,500 for a king-size mattress. If you're shopping for beds for your children, you can usually find a good twin mattress for under $1,000.
Should I invest in a box spring?
The name “box spring” can be a bit misleading, as not all of them actually have springs. In a nutshell, a box spring is a supportive base for your mattress. But do you really need one for your bed?
The short answer in most instances is yes. While there are some alternatives such as adjustable bases and even no base at all, box springs are designed to keep your bed level and elevated and to absorb shock. This is especially useful if you toss and turn in your sleep, as the box spring will help maintain the quality and longevity of your mattress. Plus, some manufacturers actually require that you use a box spring with your mattress to keep your warranty valid, so you may not even have a choice in that area.
Overall, unless you need and/or can afford to invest in an adjustable base, a box spring is a worthwhile investment for your bed.
How often should I replace my mattress?
With price tags set at hundreds of dollars and many costing upwards of $1,000 or more, a mattress is a serious investment, so it stands to reason that you won't want to replace it too often. Fortunately, most mattresses are built to last from seven to ten years, depending on the quality of the mattress and the materials used to make it. So how long is your mattress likely to last?
With average use, most mattresses have a lifespan of about eight years. The most durable types of mattress are memory foam, latex, and hybrid, which can last about ten years. Keep in mind that other factors such as having a large body type and sleeping with a partner can wear out your mattress faster. As a general rule, if your bed is already starting to sag or you frequently have back and neck pain when you wake up, it may be time to shop for a new mattress.
Overall, whether you're buying your first mattress or picking out a bed for a new home, this guide will help you choose the perfect mattress to help you get a great night's sleep. A mattress is an important part of any home, so make sure you take your time and do your research to find the best bed for your sleep needs.