Sleep is up there in the vaulted trifecta of health, right alongside eating well and exercising. And a major component of good sleep boils down to its vessel – A.K.A., the most-used piece of furniture in the home, the mattress.
Just ask science: Studies show the right bedding system can alleviate chronic issues ranging from back pain to stress. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all, miracle mattress. When it comes to bedding preferences, we’re all guilty of channeling Goldilocks: This one’s a bit too firm, that one’s far too soft. So how you find that one that’s juuust right?
Turns out, it’s kind of like finding your soulmate. It takes some self-reflection and perseverance – and then once you’re matched, a teeny bit of maintenance (ya know, to keep the romance alive).
Ready to find “the one”? Here’s how to find the best type of mattress for your own personal needs:
How to Find the Perfect Mattress
Look for a mattress that suits your sleeping style and preferences
Sleep on your side? Then you’ll do well with an innerspring mattress. Luckily, this type of mattress is the most common on the market – and the least expensive. Its core is made of steel springs, which support the structure and give it that trademark bounce.
If you’re a backside snoozer, you’ll drift off to dreamland faster with memory foam. This plush, enveloping mattress type is great for sleepers who don’t toss and turn. It’s also helpful if you suffer from back or joint pain.
If you sleep on your stomach, look for a firm top surface. An air-filled or latex mattress will provide crucial support to prevent you from sinking too far into the bed.
If you’re particularly sensitive to synthetic materials, consider opting for an organic mattress. Brands like Keetsa or Avocado Green use all-natural foams, rather than the petroleum-based types found in conventional picks.
Take your time when mattress shopping — and come prepared
Looking for that soulmate bed may feel like dating – but it shouldn’t be speed dating. If you’re shopping for a mattress in person (rather than online), give yourself enough time by setting aside an entire afternoon to make your decision.
Short of showing up in your pajamas, you should recreate your sleep environment as accurately as possible. Bring your pillow from home, and come dressed in loose clothing and shoes that slide off easily. When you find a potential mattress, set a timer on your phone – then give yourself 10-15 minutes to acclimate. If you tend to toss and turn, try different positions in the bed to test your comfort compatibility.
Once you’ve found your dream mattress, skip the hefty delivery fee by using Dolly instead. Our Helpers take care of the heavy lifting and delivery, so you can focus on getting ready for the best sleep ever.
Double check the trial period rules and return policy of your new mattress
Theoretically, the 30- or even 120-day trial most mattress vendors advertise is a fitful sleeper’s godsend: If you and your mattress aren’t a match made in hibernation heaven, then you can return it to the retailer sans strings, right?
In practice, however, it’s not always so simple. Some retailers, including Macy’s and Sears, charge a restocking or pickup fee (around 15% of the price) if you end up needing to return your mattress. When you’re shopping, ask for a thorough breakdown of the return policy to avoid getting hit with hidden costs if your mattress isn’t your soul mate.
Most online mattress retailers — such as Casper and Leesa — offer full refunds for returns, but you aren’t able to test the mattress in person before making the investment leap. Some online retailers also leave it on you to arrange shipping your mattress back, and trust us when we say getting the mattress back in the box is a lot harder than you’d think. Read the return policies online before investing in your dream-worthy mattress.
Seek out budget-friendly accommodations
Shopping for mattresses on a budget can be something of a nightmare – the high-end picks start upwards of one grand. If a luxury, custom-fitted mattress with all the frills simply isn’t in your budget, don’t fret – you can still get a good night’s sleep without shelling out a small fortune.
First, consider your timing: experts recommend mattress hunting near a big holiday, like Presidents’ Day, Labor Day, Memorial Day, or the Fourth of July, or during the month of May. Prices are often deeply discounted during these times.
If you’re not able to wait that long (or just need to settle for a budget mattress), you can still make your new cot comfy with customized add-ons. If you like sleeping on soft surfaces, for example, add a feather mattress topper (around $100). Got issues with certain spots in your springy bed? Cover them all with a mattress pad or egg crate (prices range from $25-50).
Either way, keep in mind that cheaper mattresses aren’t built to last for more than a few years – so you’ll have to replace it sooner than you would a pricier one.
How to Keep Your Mattress Comfortable for Longer
Make sure your mattress has proper support
You and your mattress: you’ve got each others’ backs. The right support setup will keep your mattress comfy for longer. Spring mattresses typically require box springs; memory foam ones need firmer, more solid support.
Also, consider investing in a mattress protector –not only will it guard against spills and accidents, but it also helps with allergies by reducing mold and dust mite buildup.
Know the proper way to clean your mattress
Most mattresses benefit from a thorough cleaning at least twice a year.
To clean your mattress, strip (and wash) the bedding. Vacuum all surfaces using the vacuum upholstery attachment; switch to the crevice attachment to tackle any nooks and crannies. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the mattress surface, and let sit (preferably for up to 24 hours, and in direct sunlight).
Stains are bound to happen — but the faster you’re able to remove them, the better. To lift liquid spills, first blot to remove moisture. Apply hydrogen peroxide and let sit for five minutes. Blot again, then sprinkle baking soda and let sit for a few hours. Brush off the baking soda, and repeat if necessary.
Keep your comforters, sheets, and pillowcases clean, too – all these affect the hygienic health of your mattress. Once a week is the ideal washing rate for bedding.
Flip your mattress every six months
You know you need to clean and protect your new cot – but how often should you flip your mattress? The frequency depends on its make. Innerspring mattresses should be flipped and/or rotated at a 180-degree angle a few times a year. Memory foam mattresses can be rotated less frequently – think every six months or so.
Find your dream mattress? Now get your dream delivery! Rather than lifting, lugging, and maneuvering your beloved new 100-pound bedroom fixture, schedule a Dolly pickup straight from the store. Our Helpers put the ZZZs in easy, and will deliver your brand-new bunk to your door. Schedule your Dolly today.
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