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5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying a New Mattress in 2020

by John V. Schultz

Maybe yours has springs popping through the fabric. Maybe it resembles a ski slope in the way it dips and sags. Or, maybe it’s just time for an upgrade. 

Regardless of the reason, we’ve all been there—scratching our heads trying to figure out how to choose a mattress that will last, fit our budget and most importantly, be comfortable to sleep on.

Sleep is essential, and it’s important that your body is supported during the sleep cycle so you can feel better both physically and mentally. That being said, your choice in a mattress might be one of the most important decisions you make this year—no pressure.

Whether this is your first time buying a mattress, or you’ve bought many throughout your life, this mattress guide has something for everyone. There is a lot of information out in the world about how to choose the best mattress, so what we’ve done is condensed it into the top five most critical questions that you should consider when entering the mattress buying market:

mattress buying guide for neck and back pain, restless nights

1. Do you need a new mattress?

Chances are that if your body is telling you that you need a new mattress, you need a new mattress. Here are a few signs that it's time to kick your current mattress to the curb:

Deformities in the mattress itself

This is the most tell-tale sign that you’re ready for a new mattress. Deformities can manifest as depression areas where you sleep, creating dips and sags all along the mattress (no matter how much you rotate it), and allow springs to poke through the fabric (ouch!).

Hate the feel of springs? Check out our memory foam or gel memory foam mattresses.

Neck and back pain

Body pain in general after a night of rest is also a good indicator that it's time to make a change for your sleep health. After several years of sleeping on a mattress, the fabric gives way, creating a poor support system for the curve of your body, inadequate spinal alignment and almost no pressure relief.

Restless nights

Aside from any medical conditions that may bar you from a good night's rest, a beat-up mattress can also be a barrier between you and your eight hours of bliss. The springs might creek every time you move, the fabric might make your bed a sauna by trapping heat, or your mattress might be hard to shift in throughout the night.

Sick of sleeping hot? Check out our new Tempur-Breeze cooling mattresses to sleep up to eight degrees cooler, or a pair of Bedgear cooling sheets.

budget friendly mattress John V. Schultz Erie

2. How much are you willing to spend?

We’re going to be honest with you: buying a mattress is an investment. But, besides the money involved, it's an investment in sleeping better, feeling better and being able to focus on what’s important in life. Having a higher quality of sleep means living a higher quality of life.

That being said, you shouldn’t feel like you have to break the bank when you're out buying a mattress. Be honest with your sleep expert about your budget, and they’ll help guide you towards the mattress best for you and your wallet. Also, keep your eye out for special financing deals and vendor promotions!

mattress best for kids and pets John V. Schultz Erie

3. What kind of space are you working with?

There’s nothing more frustrating than buying furniture, a mattress or appliance to figure out it doesn’t fit your space. You want to buy a mattress that is large enough to comfortably fit you and/or a partner, while also fitting into your bedroom or apartment. Here’s a quick breakdown on the different mattress sizes out there:

Twin (38 x 75): This is the standard bed that you most commonly see in children's rooms once they graduate from a crib. It can comfortably house school-age children all the way up to average height adults. Twin beds are a great option for those very small bedrooms that are more spatially challenged.

Twin XL (38 x 80): The Twin XL is differentiated from the twin mattress because of the extra five inches of space that it offers. You usually find these in college dorms — making them a great option for someone with a small bedroom, but desires a little bit more legroom to stretch out!

Full (54x75): A full-size bed is a good option for anyone with a bit more bedroom space, and enjoys having a lot more room to spread out on the bed. A full-size mattress is ideal for couples who can’t quite squeeze a queen into their room.

Queen (60X80): Queen size mattresses are top sellers for both singles and couples. If you have the space, they really offer a great size for sleeping comfortably, as well as make a wonderful canvas for decor such as bedspreads, throw pillows and plush throw blankets.

King (76X80): King size mattresses are considered by many the height of luxury. For those that can afford the space, it’s an investment that pays for itself by having plenty of room to sleep. Parents, couples and pet owners—you’re in for a treat if you invest in this size mattress!

*Pro-tip: Split King (76x80): These are two Twin XL mattresses on separate bases. These are great for couples who have different preferences in terms of mattress type, but still want to sleep together. Pair it with a split adjustable power base to end arguments over snoring, reduce leg swelling, improve circulation, ease digestion and increase airflow while you sleep.

California King (72x84): California King mattresses are differentiated from the regular king because they are narrower. Trading in the width of the bed for a few extra inches of length can make a big difference for the tall, and for those with unusual bedroom shapes.

Along with the size of your mattress, you might also want to consider your preferred thickness. Lower-end mattresses tend to have thinner layers of fabric, while luxury brands have more complex layers of advanced technology that thicken up the mattress and provide a superior level of support.

mattress best for snoring John V. Schultz Erie

4. What type of sleeper are you, and do you have any medical conditions that require a specialized mattress?

Believe it or not, how you sleep influences the type of mattress you should buy. Here’s a quick run-down on pairing mattresses with sleep patterns.

Back: A back sleeper needs the most lumbar, or lower back, support to ensure their back and hips are properly aligned throughout the night. A medium or firm memory foam or hybrid mattress is recommended to support the spine. Steer clear innerspring mattresses, as they’re too firm to properly support a back sleeper.

Stomach: Sleeping on your stomach requires the firmest support available. Most people carry a majority of their weight in the hips, meaning that if you sleep in this position, your hips sink deeper into the mattress. A firm mattress with a good line of support running through the middle helps keep your spine in proper alignment and your lower back supported. A firm memory foam, innerspring or pocketed coil mattress is recommended for stomach sleepers.

Side: Sleeping on your side causes you to put more weight on a narrower part of your body, causing it to gravitate down, leading to easy shoulder and hip misalignment that can cause pain. Look for a mattress that is softer to combat the pressure of weight on your hips and shoulders, such as a soft memory foam hybrid or pillow top mattress.

*Pro-tip: When it comes to mattresses and sleep, one size definitely does not fit all! Be sure to visit our sleep shop to take a “test drive” of the mattress you anticipate buying to make sure it correctly supports you in your sleeping position!

mattress buying guide Erie John V. Schultz

5. So, what type of mattress should you buy?

Pocketed Coil: This is a more advanced version of the innerspring mattress, where each metal spring is wrapped in a fabric sleeve. This sleeve allows for each spring to depress independently of each other. These mattresses are great for people who want a mattress that will hug their body, but without that “stuck” feeling that memory foam can sometimes give.

Euro Top: Very similar to the pillow top mattress, the euro top mattress adds another layer of padding to an innerspring mattress. The key difference between the euro top and pillow top is in how they are constructed. Pillow top mattresses have an extra layer of cushioning stitched right on top of the mattress, whereas the extra layer in a euro top mattress is underneath the mattress cover to create a uniform appearance.

Pillow Top: This mattress works really well for side sleepers that don’t like gel or memory foam (hey, they’re not for everyone). Pillow top mattresses take the traditional innerspring mattress and add another layer of padding at the surface for extra-soft comfort.

Innerspring: These mattresses are internally supported by metal springs, and are the most common type of mattress available. You can assess the quality of this type of mattress by looking at how many coils are in the mattress. The number of coils matters because this impacts how well the mattress will conform to your sleeping body. Innerspring mattresses are a good option if you tend to get warm through the night, and they suit any sleepers that are looking for firmness and support.

Memory Foam & Gel Memory Foam: Memory foam and gel memory foam mattresses are great for sleepers who typically move between sides of the bed. These mattresses conform to your individual shape through a combination of foams and cooling gels to improve pressure relief and keep you comfortable for a deeper night’s sleep.

Hybrid: This mattress combines two or more types of mattress styles to create a mattress, such as an innerspring mattress paired with a gel foam mattress. These mattresses can be good for sleepers that have multiple sleep styles because they support multiple areas of the body.

*Pro-tip: Take advantage of our 120-night sleep trial! Sleep trials allow you to bring the mattress home and test it out for four months in order to ensure that it is the best fit for you. Feel confident in your mattress purchase and ask one of our sleep experts about our sleep trial details.

John V. Schultz Erie adjustable bases and mattress

Bonus: What about underneath your mattress?

Often when you buy a new mattress, you might question whether or not you need to also buy a new box spring or a base. Obviously, if you’re sizing up you need to match your new mattress size—but what about if you suffer from chronic back pain, loud snoring or other health issues that could be eased with lifting your head or legs?

Sleeping on a completely flat surface can cause you to wake up feeling stiff and achy. Upgrading your sleep with an adjustable power base not only grants you the freedom to sit up in bed while you binge-watch Netflix but to also have a more relaxed and comfortable night’s sleep.

Adjustable bases are also proven to help with snoring (every couple’s worst fight) by improving nasal airflow, making it easier to breathe.

They also allow for a level of independence at night, granting you the freedom to comfortably sit upright with your laptop while your partner sleeps flat, or vice versa. Adjustable bases allow you to customize your sleeping experience to have a lasting, positive effect on your health and get a better night’s sleep.