A mattress is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make. You spend approximately one-third of your life in bed and how well you sleep can affect your health and well-being. But shopping for a mattress can be confusing for even the wisest consumers. Here are seven mistakes to avoid when you’re ready to shop for a mattress that will help you get the best night’s sleep possible:
- Buying too small. Especially if you’re sharing a bed, you should buy at least a queen-size mattress. A healthy person moves 40 to 60 times a night and makes lots of full-body turns. For sound sleep, you need freedom of motion. A full-size mattress, for instance, only gives each partner about the same width as a crib!
- Being too shy to try. When you shop, wear shoes you can easily slip off and comfortable clothes so you can lie down for a solid five to 10 minutes in your preferred sleep position. Finding a mattress that feels right is a personal choice. Taking the time to truly experience whether the mattress feels good to you is well worth it.
- Confusing firmness with support. Gone are the days when a mattress had to be hard to provide adequate support. Look for a mattress that allows your spine to maintain its natural alignment while you’re lying down. A supportive mattress can have various types of upper-layer comfort, from very soft to not-so-soft.
- Not reading reviews or getting referrals. Furniture stores, department stores, sleep specialty shops and online e-tailers all sell mattresses. Ask friends and family for referrals.
- Trying to comparison shop. Model names vary from store to store, and many retailers offer certain models exclusively, so comparison shopping can be frustrating.
- Forgetting to ask about return policies. Particularly if you buy a mattress online, you won’t have the chance to try it out, so read the reviews, carefully check return and shipping policies – and be certain there’s good customer support should a problem arise.
- Assuming the foam is certified. Check to be sure your mattress contains conventional or memory foam that has been certified by the not-for-profit CertiPUR-US certification program. That’s your assurance that the foam meets rigorous standards for content, emissions and durability, and has been analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories.
The organization’s website has a directory of participating companies and brands at www.certipur.us.
A little prep work before you start mattress shopping will go a long way in helping you rest easy – in every sense of the word.