Looking for a mattress? Choosing a mattress isn’t as easy as simply drawing one from a hat. There are many different features, types, and materials available. There are many factors to take into account when buying a mattress, and most people have no idea where to begin, simply jumping from store to store having a lie down. This guide will help you find the best mattress for your needs, covering everything from budget, different mattress options, and what to do when you and your partner just can’t seem to agree.
When looking for a mattress, you need to purchase one that is as expensive as afford. A mattress is extremely important for our posture and comfort while sleeping, and by going with something a little pricey you’ll not only notice better quality, but you’ll also find that your mattress lasts longer, is more comfortable, and is better suited to your needs. Even if you’re just buying a mattress for a spare bedroom or guestroom, having a decent mattress will ensure that your guests or relatives get a decent night’s sleep.
Work out what your budget is and how much you’re willing to spend, then stick with it. If you’re only willing to spend $1,500 then be stern and stick with that price. There may be better mattresses that are more expensive, but only choose what you can reasonably afford. In saying that, be as generous with your budget as possible so as to ensure you purchase the best quality mattress.
Research and looking around
One thing that many people are afraid to do when looking for a mattress is properly test them out. We don’t mean going to a store in your pyjamas with a blanket and having a nap, but you should definitely make sure you properly test the mattress out.
The easiest way to do this is to lie down on them. Don’t be afraid to put your shoes on the beds, as stores will usually have protection on the mattresses around the area where your feet go. If needed, just take your shoes off!
If you have a partner who’ll be sharing the mattress with you, make sure they come along with you and test it out as well. If you both move around, you’ll be able to feel what kind of disturbance the other person might experience, and see how well it can handle your weight. Be sure to also turn over on the mattress, as this is something we’ll often do in our sleep. It will take extra effort to turn if the mattress is too soft, so be aware that your movement may be restricted while sleeping and you may need a mattress that is firmer.
Researching stores before you set out will also save you a lot of legwork. If you check out mattress store sites online and see what they have on offer, you’ll be able to narrow down your search quickly. Some stores stock different brands, ranges, and models to others, so it’s a good idea to have a good look at a few. If you find there is a good sale on a particular mattress of interest, be sure to be as quick as possible in making the purchase as many stores will only keep a handful of sale items in stock.
Remember, while one mattress may be perfect for you, it could be awful for your partner. Test more mattresses and take a look at our section on What to do when you disagree if you find yourself having trouble coming to a compromise.
Things to look for
When looking for a mattress, the first thing to consider is the price. Once you know your budget, take a look at mattresses within the top end of your budget and work your way down. Remember, a salesman will also want to try to upsell items such as mattress protectors, pillows, and manchester, which you may or may not even need. If you don’t need these items, leave them out and use that money to invest in a better quality mattress.
Mattresses are sorted into categories depending on how firm or soft they are. You’ll see them labelled as Extra Firm, Firm, Plush, or Ultra Plush. You may also find firm mattresses with extra cushioning within a pillow top, making them softer yet still firm enough for those needing a good support while sleeping. Test the different types and get a feel for what makes them firm or plush, and what is more comfortable for you. Remember to try to replicate the movements you normally make while sleeping.
How to know the best type for you
So you know there are different types of mattresses based on firmness and softness. But which one is best for you? It’s a bit easier to determine this by looking at the way you sleep.
- Tummy sleeper – If you predominantly sleep on your stomach, a firmer mattress will help keep your spine aligned while you sleep. Although not an ideal sleeping position health-wise, a firm mattress will help to alleviate any issues you may have while sleeping in this position.
- Back sleeper – If you sleep on your back most of the time, a medium-firm mattress is best. A moderate firmness will help to support your back, spine, and neck while still keeping you comfortable.
- Side sleeper – You’ll need to look at a mattress that’s a little softer if you sleep on your side. Sleeping on your side means that you need support amongst the curves of your body as you sleep, which a soft mattress will be able to do for you.
Continuous or open coil
These are generally one of the cheaper types of mattress, however some of the premium models can cost thousands. A continuous coil mattress is made up of a single piece of wire looped into strings, while an open coil mattress is made of single springs fixed together by a single wire.
- Pros – Usually more affordable than other types of mattresses. They are also generally lighter than other types of mattresses, so it will be easier to turn over or move.
- Cons – This type of mattress is not responsive to your body, as the springs generally move as one unit. This also means that your movement will likely interfere with a partner’s sleep.
The most well-known memory foam mattress is the Tempur, which was originally developed and designed by NASA. Memory foam mattresses are topped with a layer of memory foam or temperature-sensitive viscoelastic material.
- Pros – You will generally feel your weight being absorbed by the mattress, which will definitely help to relieve pressure points in the body. This will also help to increase circulation.
- Cons – Because the mattress is close to your body most of the time, you may feel as though it warms up your body quicker.
Latex mattresses mould to your body’s shape. Natural latex is a white liquid produced by rubber trees. Latex mattresses comprise of a network of millions of ultra micro-cellular structures distributed evenly amongst the entire mattress, promoting natural breathing and durability.
- Pros – Latex is a great option for allergy sufferers as it doesn’t harbour dust mites. It’s a durable and breathable material, and the way it contours to your body relieves pressure points, relaxing the muscles and allowing for optimal posture.
- Cons – Some people find these mattresses a little too firm for their liking due to their sturdiness.
Up to 3,000 springs are sewn into individual fabric pockets to make up this type of mattress. This is one of the more popular mattress choices.
- Pros – Body weight can be evenly distributed across the mattress, which works well for couples of different body sizes. The mattress is breathable due to its open-spring construction.
- Cons – This type of mattress can worsen allergies in some people. It can also be hard to move for certain sleepers, and it’s quite a heavy mattress.
Latex vs memory foam
Latex and memory foam mattresses are both quite distinct, but what are the best features of each and what sets them apart?
|The way it feels|
|Latex mattresses will conform to the shape of your body, and provide a feather-like, weightless feeling. Your weight is dispersed evenly across the span of the mattress and it provides a buoyant feeling that is quite unique.||Memory foam curves to your body, and the heavier areas of your body sink further into the mattress than other areas. Memory foam has a dense, stable, and comfortable feeling that doesn’t push back against your body.|
|Reduce tossing and turning|
|The buoyant, feather-like pressure relief absorbs your body weight, naturally eliminating painful pressure points.||Memory foam helps relieves pressure from certain points on the body, reducing the amount of times you may toss and turn throughout the night.|
|Which is more comfortable?|
|It’s hard to argue the fact that the way that natural latex contours to your body shape, relieving pressure points and providing the perfect support for ideal posture throughout sleep makes it a more comfortable option. Coupled with its allergy relieving properties and natural materials, it’s easily the best choice for those who want their body to truly relax while sleeping.|
When you’re sharing a bed with another person, it’s rather unlikely that you’ll both want the same kind of mattress, of the same firmness and material. If you do, however, then you’re extremely lucky to have such an intuitive partner who can save you a lot of mattress shopping time! Different sizes, shapes, and weights of mattresses can make the buying decision even harder for some couples, as they both might need different kinds of support.
So what are some common reasons that couples disagree over mattresses? And just what can you do when there’s a clash in opinion?
a. Different tastes
So one of you wants a firm mattress, while the other prefers something a little more plush? It’s not the end of the world!
- Solution #1 – Latex mattresses can offer two different levels of firmness on each side, thus accommodating two different needs
- Solution #2 – Add a topper to one side of the bed under the fitted sheet. This may make the fitted sheet sit a little unevenly due to the different heights, but could be enough to make one side of the mattress softer for the plush mattress fan
- Solution #3 – A less popular option is to have two single mattresses sitting next to each other on the one frame. This way each individual has a mattress that suits their needs while still being able to share the same bed frame with their loved one.
b. You feel smothered in bed
Maybe one of you wants to snuggle all night while the other prefers being left alone. What’s a person to do?
- Solution #1 – Buy the largest possible mattress size that will fit into your room. Queen size mattresses are the most popular option for couples who need some extra room to stretch and flail around while sleeping
- Solution #2 – If you have a large bedroom, a King size mattress will allow for an extra 23cm for each person to sleep. Make sure you measure the space you have available beforehand, and account for room to walk around all areas of the bed.
c. One of you is hot while the other is cold
We all hate it when our sleeping buddy wants to sleep with a huge doona and we wake up sweaty throughout the night.
- Solution #1 – Purchase a blanket or doona that has different weights on each side. One side will be denser and therefore warmer
- Solution #2 – Purchase a mattress that is breathable and won’t make either of you overly warm while sleeping.
d. You have different schedules
Perhaps one of you rises early every morning, disturbing the other’s sleeping pattern. No worries!
- Solution #1 – Avoid a spring mattress as movement is often felt by the other person when one moves
- Solution #2 – Choose a latex mattress, as movement is often absorbed a lot better by latex, allowing one person to keep sleeping while the other gets up to begin their day.
e. You have different sleeping positions
As mentioned earlier in the article, the best mattress for you can depend on the position in which you sleep. So what happens if you and your partner have different sleeping positions?
- Solution #1 – One of the easiest ways to resolve this issue is to choose a mattress with different comfort levels on either side. One side can be firmer than the other to allow for different needs
- Solution #2 – A sleep number bed may be a good option, depending on your budget. After a consultation you’ll be able to have different levels of comfort on either side of the mattress, suiting each person. This is especially useful if you think you may want to switch sides of the mattress at some point, as you can just change the number on the mattress depending on the side on which you’re sleeping
- Solution #3 – The less popular option is to have two separate mattresses sitting together on the one base. You’ll be able to have a mattress suiting your needs while your partner can have one for theirs.
Because everyone has different needs, not all of your guests are going to want the same kind of mattress. However you’re likely to have a budget, and don’t want to purchase a mattress that’s too expensive when it will only be used for the occasional visitor. Here’s some advice for choosing a mattress that will be comfortable for all types of guests, without breaking the bank.
What kind of mattress should you get?
Although everyone has different needs, buying a latex or memory foam mattress is your best bet as they both have the highest satisfaction rating amongst mattresses. So it’s likely to be the best, universally comfortable, mattress for your guests.
How firm or soft should you buy?
It’s best to buy a mattress that’s more on the firm side. That way you can add a mattress topper that can soften the mattress if need be. If a guest arrives who wants a firm mattress, simply remove the topper to make it a little firmer.
What size should you buy?
You should go for a mattress size that is suitable for the size of the room in which it will be. As you may generally have couples staying over, the smallest size to consider should be a double bed and mattress. If space allows, buy a Queen size mattress. If you have a large guest room, the best option is to buy a King size bed. This means that no matter how a couple sleeps, or however large they may be, they’ll have enough room to sleep either snuggled up or as far from one another as possible.
Is it just for guests?
Not necessarily. If you or your partner comes down with the flu you may want to avoid sleeping next to them to allow for a rest and ensure you don’t get ill yourself. You can sleep in the guest room if your partner is snoring or you need to wake up early in the morning and don’t wish to be a disturbance. So when looking to purchase a mattress for your guest room, be sure to buy one that you wouldn’t mind also sleeping on yourself.
Not all latex mattresses were created equal. Some mattresses have extra features that others may not.
Natural vs Synthetic
Some mattresses will be labeled as latex but may not be completely natural. It is common to find latex mattresses that are comprised of both natural latex from rubber trees as well as synthetic latex. If you’re looking for a green option, be sure that your mattress is made of 100% natural and pure latex.
When buying a latex mattress, look for a mattress that is designed simplistically. Some mattress designs may have zones and cut up designs that provide ‘extra features’ without really offering anything extra in terms of comfort. The best choice is to choose a latex mattress that is pure and simple, just a latex mattress.
Breathable outdoor cover
The outer cover of your latex mattress shouldn’t be overly thick, and should be made of a breathable material such as a wool blend, that also has no chemical fire retardants. You don’t want an outer covering that is so thick it separates you from what you’re really buying – a latex mattress. You want to be as close as possible to the mattress itself.
Look for a solid warranty while shopping. A reputable dealer will provide an extended warranty for their product because they believe in it and stand by what they sell. A solid warranty and guarantee on the product for at least 10 years is suitable enough and shows that the dealer is prepared to stand by their product.
Ready to make the right choice for your posture and relaxation?