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Mattress Buying Tips for First-Time Buyers

Young couple laying on top of new mattress

Mattress Buying Tips for First-Time Buyers

Young couple laying on top of new mattress

Buying a new mattress for the first time can be more than a bit overwhelming. Coils, memory foam, latex, and air all promise a night of wonderful dreams. How do you possibly find the perfect mattress when there are so many choices, price points and brands?

When you’re buying your first mattress, and you don’t know where to begin, follow these simple mattress buying tips for first-timers.

Set Your Budget

Before you head online or to the nearest mattress store, you need to set a budget. A mattress can be an expensive purchase, but it shouldn’t send you into a financial tailspin.

Many mattress companies and stores—including 2920—provide financing options to help make the purchase less of a punch to the budget. You can pay for the mattress over a period of many months, which—for many buyers–makes this large purchase a bit more manageable.

However, you still need to know how much you can reasonably afford to spend each month on those payments. Review your income and expenses to determine what you can comfortably spend each month for that new mattress.

Plan to pay in full? You need to know how much to allocate for a new mattress. If your budget is $1,200—and that’s how much you have stashed aside—stay away from any mattress choice that isn’t in that price range.

When you’re figuring out your budget don’t forget to take into account important things like:

  • You may need to take into account sales taxes at the time of purchase.
  • Do you also need to buy a frame or foundation?
  • Are there delivery or shipping charges?

Similar to buying a car, a mattress is a long-term purchase so make sure to weigh up the life-time cost of a quality mattress that you will use for 8+ years. The difference between an $800 mattress and a $1,200 mattress is only about 15 cents per day!

Know Your Size Needs

There are six main mattress sizes: Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King and California King. Before you go shopping, have an idea about what size mattress you need.

Those sharing a bed with a partner will need to purchase a Full or larger size. If you are shopping for a mattress for you or for the kids, a Twin or Twin XL size will be just fine.

Your budget will impact the size you select. King and California King mattresses are more expensive than smaller sizes. While the extra sleeping space is great, they might not be budget-friendly.

Any mattress size you choose has to fit into your room. Always measure bedrooms to see what size mattress (and bed) the room can accommodate. A King bed (and mattress) may overwhelm a small bedroom and leave little space for other furniture.

Your bed will typically be the dominant feature of a bedroom, but it should never take up the entire space. Measure the room and then figure out what mattress size is best suited to those dimensions.

A young man wakes up in the morning after a great night of sleep.

Soft, Firm and In-Between: Find Your Comfort

Everyone has a unique personal preference when it comes to sleep. Your sleep position may determine the mattress type you choose.

The main sleep positions include on the back, side, stomach, and the fetal position (curled up in a ball). How you sleep may exacerbate certain issues; back sleeping, for example, may aggravate sleep apnea.

Your sleep position may help determine the type of mattress you select. Support and comfort are important to a good night’s sleep, and each mattress composition—coil, air, memory foam, or hybrid—has benefits and downsides.

Foam mattresses, though, have become incredibly popular through the years for its ability to contort to the body. Not sure what type of mattress is right for you? Many stores let you lay on mattresses to test comfort but a 10 minute test in the store doesn’t compare to an in-home trial that most online mattress companies offer to ensure that it’s the right fit.

Go Online for Great Deals

Many mattress stores offer in-store sales, but don’t assume these prices are the lowest you can find. Instead, go online and do some research.

Typically, online mattress companies have a set price for their mattresses. While you might not see holiday sales, these prices often are comparable or even lower than in-store offers without having to do any negotiations.

Always compare and contrast prices to make sure you’re getting the very best deal. A mattress is an expensive purchase, so shop around.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, ask questions about the mattress types you’re interested in purchasing. Buyers should understand mattress warranties as well as any issues that could impact the longevity of the mattress.

There may be specific things about the mattress that a buyer needs to know before purchasing. Certain memory foam mattresses, for example, often shouldn’t be used with electric blankets set to a high heat.

Inquire about the mattress composition and how it supports the body, especially if you;re a heavier sleeper or a front sleeper. Buyers should ask about cleaning and care for the mattress, and how the warranty works (and watch out for pro-rated warranties with fine print that makes it more expensive to warranty the mattress than what it originally cost!).

Sleep on It

While you may be inclined to hit “buy” on the first mattress you find online, take some time to think about it. A mattress is a big purchase, and you should feel comfortable knowing you’ve made the right choice.

If you’re torn between sizes, brands or mattress types, sleep on it. Literally. Take some time to weigh your options before making a final decision.

However, if you are in a rush to finalize that purchase, be sure that the manufacturer offers a trial period. Again, online mattress companies should provide a timeframe that is designated as a trial—this means that if you don’t like the mattress, you can return it for a refund during that period.

Protect Your Purchase

When you’re purchasing your mattress, you may purchase protection for your mattress. No, this isn’t about mattress insurance—there’s no such thing! (well, there is, but it probably isn’t worth it!) Protecting your mattress means purchasing a protective cover.

A mattress cover is necessary to keep your mattress free from stains, spills and other daily grime. Your mattress warranty typically will not protect against stains and daily wear and tear; preventing this type of cosmetic damage is up to you!

There are many different cover options, but the best choice should wick away moisture, repel dust and feature antimicrobial protection. Your cover also needs to be soft and comfortable and shouldn’t detract from the features of your new mattress.

Buying a new mattress for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. There are many brands, prices and mattress types out there that it can be difficult to find the perfect choice. Set your budget, take your time, try out some different mattresses, and, most importantly, do your research to find the best prices and best options for you.

No matter what mattress you buy, though, it has to fit in your room. Break out the measuring tape, and size up your bedroom so you know what mattress dimensions to select.

If you find that you just can’t decide, the best advice is to sleep on it! Remember, many online mattress companies like offer trial periods and a 10-year warranty; so you can rest easy about that big purchase.

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