How To Buy a Mattress: 13 Simple Tips ( Guide )

Buy Mattress

Do you want to replace your mattress?

Are you having sleepless nights?

Do you wake up with pains and aches in the morning?

Does your mattress have lumps and bumps?

“Nothing is more important in Life, than  Good Sleep”.

Here are 13 simple tips you should consider to decide how to buy a mattress.

1. What is meant by Certipur US?

It is a certification program to confirm that mattresses made contains certified flexible polyurethane foam. Perfect foams that make you feel good and comfortable.

  Certified foams are those which do not contain: –

  • Ozone depletes-chemicals manufactured like halocarbon refrigerants, solvents, propellants and foam blowing agents (chlorofluorocarbon, halons). These are carried to the stratosphere thus causing ozone depletion and ozone hole causing: –
  • Cancer
  • Sunburns
  • Cataracts

Due to the thinning of the ozone.

This also causes harmful effects to animal and plant life. Even crops are affected by increased UV radiation.

  • PBDE’s,TD CPP or TCEP or TRIS flame retardants – Polybrominated diphenyl ethers and Trisphosphate are chlorinated organophosphate have chemicals used as fire retardants and pesticides and might be included in the manufacture of foams. An exposure to these components can lead to
  • Chronic diseases like Cancer
  • Neurodevelopmental issues in children
  • Mercury, lead or other heavy Metals– Heavy metals density is 5 times more than water and therefore gets accumulated in the body resulting in breakdown of
  • kidney
  • nervous system and
  • lungs

              Inhaling these can give toxic effects.

  • Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde can cause
  • irritation in respiration
  • Chest pain and coughing

Likely to cause

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Allergies in kids

Mainly used in the manufacture of household products.

Symptoms of having being exposed to these causes

  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Phthalates-commonly used to enhance flexibility, durability and to increase life of products. Mainly used in the making of vinyl mattress covers, for softening the plastic content.

Low VOC (volatile organic compound)-This chemical can easily mix in the air you inhale and tend to increase illness and can cause

  • Asthma
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Cancer
  • Kidney
  • Liver damage

An organic latex mattress can save you from VOC’s. The strong odor in some of the new mattresses are due to the release of VOC’s into the air.

Never opt for synthetic materials e.g. polyurethane foam mattresses.

Certipur US

2. What are the types of mattresses available in the market?

  • Organic Latex mattresses – made of 100% natural latex cotton and wool.
Organic Latex Mattress

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They do not contain

  • Synthetic materials
  • Fillers
  • Dyes
  • Chemicals or
  • Pesticides

What is natural latex?

Natural latex is derived from the milky sap in the rubber tree. This is later processed for latex foam mattress. The process is that of whipping up the rubber sap into froth and baking it. Some mattress has a blend of natural and synthetic latex which is created from polymerization of petroleum. This mix is to ensure better flexibility and firmness to the mattress.

However Organic latex come with a certification from (GOLS)Global Organic Latex Standard given only if the rubber tree had been grown organically, and no chemicals were involved during the entire process especially, no chemical fertilizers were used.

Organic latex mattresses ensure that we support an eco-friendly environment, no contamination is caused and completely safe for the family.

There are 3 categories of natural latex

  • Blended
  • 100% all natural
  • Certified Organic

Varying levels of firmness and comfort levels are accommodated for side, tummy and back sleepers.

Less dense and less heat generation occurs when compared to synthetic memory foam mattresses.

( NUVANNA Mattress – sleep cool, sleep supported )

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Advantages of Organic Natural Latex Mattresses

  • Made of non-toxic material and free from harmful chemicals so much safer.
  • The organic mattress is the best choice for those having allergies asthma.
  • 100% safe for babies and children.
  • Very much skin friendly.
  • Safeguards indoor air quality.
  • Eco-friendly and made out of biodegradable materials.
  • Regulates body temperature.
  • Contains fire resistant properties.
  • Longer life span and durability.
  • No fillers so comfort levels stay longer.
  • Innerspring mattress– These contribute to about 2/3 the sales from 1930. Each mattress is designed with coils and coil gauge for support padded with foams, fiber and additional springs.

These mattresses have to be accompanied with foam, fiber or memory foam for the reason of better comfort.

Of course these give better support but are less durable, prone to make sagging but economical. The when compared to other mattresses.

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Advantages of Innerspring Mattresses

  • More firmness is ensured by heavy individuals.
  • Better bounce provided due to coil support.
  • Retains less body heat, preferred by hot sleepers.
  • Wide choice available in the market.
  • Highly affordable.
  • Low foam content enables sleeping cooler.
  • Good spinal support given.

Who can opt for an Innerspring Mattress?

  • Heavy individuals
  • Partners who prefer bounciness.
  • Stomach sleepers get better spinal support.
  • People who require high level of firmness.
  • Hybrid mattresses-combines the concept of Innerspring with memory foam to enjoy the benefits of both concepts of complete support and maximum comfort.

You can enjoy the feel of complete pressure relief, as  well as experience the Innerspring Technology, Hybrid mattresses provide the perfect shape and give better contouring support.

Those mattresses with thin comfort layers cannot be termed a hybrid mattress.

Components of a Hybrid Mattress

  • Base foam Layer-Made of polyurethane foam with a density of 1 inch ensuring stability and extra padding to the mattress.
  • Coil layer-A 6 to 7 inches’ layer to contribute to the height of the bed, gives better support and less motion disturbances.
  • A comfort layer –density of 3-4 inches includes gel or copper substances to increase the cooling of the mattress.

Features to assess the quality of a hybrid mattress

  • Density– compressive capacity of the mattress, measured in per cubic foot. Range differs from 2.5 to 5.5.
  • ILD (indentation load deflection) this measures the firmness levels of the mattress. Higher the ILD firmer the bed. Range being 8-40 scales.
  • Gauge refers to the thickness of the coils. Higher the gauge thinner the coils. Range 12-18(thinner end).

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Advantages of a Hybrid Mattress

  • Supportive contouring provided.
  • Not much of heat retention.
  • Very bouncy without motion disturbances.
  • Better spinal alignment assured.
  • Better cooling enabled.
  • Greatly accommodates couples without noise or motion transfer problems due to the layers of foam.
  • Wide options of firmness to suit each one’s need.

Best Mattress For Side Sleepers Nolah Mattress

Might not be the right choice for heavy sleepers or those who are not very particular about firmness but prefer the ultra-plush feeling of a memory foam mattress.

  • Memory foam mattresses– referred to as the viscos elastic polyurethane foam, softens itself as a result of body heat and regulates the temperature.

Facilitates better air circulation. Additional chemicals enhance its viscosity and density.

Benefits of a Memory Foam Mattress

  • Durable-Very firm yet soft and sustains for years.
  • No motion disturbance –does not make any noise while you or your partner change your position during sleep.
  • Allergy guard-The fibers protects the foam by not allowing dust particles to enter the mattress.
  • Better breathing-A good memory foam mattress along with a memory foam pillow can fix your head and neck at the right height to help you breathe steadily while you sleep.
  • Improves spinal alignment-reduces backaches by providing proper spinal alignment.
  • Regulates the temperature –thus relieves your body aches by changing its temperature according to the pain points.

Great Mattress That Happens To Be Organic! Happsy Mattress

Gives an equal relaxing surface by relaxing your muscles to give you a comfortable sleep.

Might not be a good choice for sensitive people who are more prone to allergies or those who are more particular about cool sleep.

Common memory foam mattresses can release a chemical smell which can be avoided by airing out the mattress at least 24 hours before you put sheets on it.

One can always opt for a natural (organic) memory foam mattress made of eco-friendly materials to minimize discomfort.

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3. What is Mattress Firmness?

Firmness refers to how stiff you feel a mattress is when you lay on it. Mattresses are made of different foam layers and so their firmness layers differ based on the combination of layers they are made of. Too soft or too firm can both be unsuitable for resting, both in terms of heat regulation and body support.

An ideal mattress is one which has sufficient firmness to provide body support at the same time adequate softness to relieve the pressure points and proper spine alignment.

Best firmness of mattress depends on: –

  • Sleeping position-whether you are a side sleeper, back or on your stomach.
  • Sleeper with spine or back problem.
  • Breathing comforts.
  • If you are a heavy sleeper (increased body weight).
  • Whether you are a cold or hot sleeper.

Mattress comfort scale rated from 1 to 10

1 (too soft) –Sleepers who prefer the plush type high sinking of the surface can opt for this.

2-3(medium softness) soft medium support and adapts to body shape and average sinking.

4-6(Adaptable firmness support).

7-9(quite firm) Average sturdy and support.

10(very firm)-extremely hard and minimum comfort.

Either 1 or 10 on the firmness scale are not preferable.

Let’s compare the firmness scale based on 4 factors.

Support scale Support Comfort Price Durability
1-3 scale Adequate but not enough for overweight sleepers Shapes up to your body curves Premium quality material used leads to higher pricing Shorter life span high maintenance
4-6 scale Reasonable comfort and support level Not much of sinking but quite comfortable Medium pricing Above average durability
7-10 Maximum support. Great for heavier
(230 pounds or more) sleepers and persons with aches.
Hard to be comfortable Least expensive Highly durable

Which firmness would suit based on sleeping positions?

  • Back sleepers – 4 to 9 firmness scale is ideal as body weight is equally distributed.
  • Side sleepers – would definitely prefer a level of 2 to 6 enables proper spine alignment.
  • Stomach sleepers– preference is usually the medium firm mattress 5-7 in the scale.

However, the ideal mattress levels of bounce, quietness and firmness differs based on sleepers’ body weight and sleeping positions.

A combination sleeper might require a mattress with enough back support, comfort, pressure point relief for shoulders, hips when sleeping on his side.

Firmness Scale
Firmness Scale

The overall firmness preference for them will be based on what position you sleep mostly during the night.

  • Medium firmness preferred if you sleep mostly on your back.
  • Medium soft firmness is preferred if you have the habit of rolling and sleeping on your side.

What is meant by Universal Comfort?

  • The mattress with universal comfort suits most sleepers with a 5-7 out of 10 firmness scale.
  • 80% of sleepers prefer such mattresses.
  • These mattresses will work according to your body’s comfort needs.
  • They can handle weight, firmness, embracing comfort and mostly suits all sleepers.
  • Not much sinking at the same time good push back for heavy sleepers.
  • A perfect balance of plush and support.

4. What are the factors Couples should consider, while looking for a mattress?

Mattress has a great contribution to your sleep quality which might in turn affect your relationship, your work and your health.

Choosing the right mattress is based on the following factors

a. How different your sleeping positions are

b. Sleep timings

c. How frequently you move when you sleep

d. How heavy you both are

e. Height

f. What temperatures you prefer

g. If either of you are sensitive to noise

h. Night wakeups

  • Temperature – Don’t choose a mattress with high absorbency but with no air flow. This should cause excessive sweating.

Go for channeled foam and pocketed coils to enable absorption of heat at the same time provides enough ventilation and eliminates heat from both of you.

  • Level of firmness– If you and your partner prefer different levels of firmness.

But luckily you have options today, where you can set your preference on your side of your bed according to your choice.

  • Motion Disturbances – Choose a mattress that absorbs the movements of your partner rather than transferring those to your side.

This can be solved by a mattress with additional memory foam layers and built in inner coils.

  • Recreational movements– If you prefer a better bounce along with proper support at the same time avoid motion disturbances then a hybrid mattress can provide both of these preferences.

Mattress types based on couple types

To give both of you and your partner the quality sleep that you deserve here are a few tips to choose your mattress based on various criteria.

  • Weight– If you and your partner are in this weight range of over 200lbs to avoid bad support which might lead to backaches.

You can choose a mattress of at least 12” density foam which gives better durability, support and temperature regulations.

  • Different sleep schedules– If you and your partner have varying sleeping schedules like you might be staying up late or might go to bed after your late night shifts.

Both ways to avoid embarrassments of disturbing your partners sleep, a memory foam or hybrid with memory foam is ideal.

Memory foam mattresses provide maximum relief from motion disturbances.

  • Size– If you and your partner are of varying sizes then your needs, comfort levels also differ.

A versatile mattress which combines innerspring for support at the same time foam layers for comfort, pressure relief and body heat regulation is the right choice.

5. Which is the Ideal mattress for pregnant women?

The right mattress during pregnancy will be that which offers pressure relief and ultimate support and perfect motion isolation.

A memory foam mattress may prevent motion disturbances but at the same time getting out of a sunk mattress might prove difficult when you are pregnant.

These are the major conditions one has to look for: –

  • Sufficient density foam
  • Pressure relief
  • Complete edge support
  • Complete comfort
  • Responsiveness

Almost 50 to 70% of pregnant women suffer from back ache, due to the increasing weight of the fetus, either bending forward or backward can lead to acute lower back pain.

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If the mattress lacks support this can strain your back muscles, causing frequent shifts during your sleep and restlessness.

This additional increase in weight during pregnancy should be handled by your mattress.

The quality and quantity of sleep during pregnancy affects their labor.

Sleeping on the side especially the left enhances blood flow to the fetus, uterus and kidneys. Long hours of sleeping on your back should be avoided during this period.

6. How frequently should I replace my mattress?

There is no written rule as to how frequently should your mattress be replaced. But definitely every 8-10 years a change is mandatory.

Of course this period depends on the quality of maintenance, rotation and your sleeping strategies.

Indications to replace your mattress

  • Check your mattress for dents. This causes sagging and discomfort.
  • Alignment of spine is usually a S curve for back and stomach sleepers and straight for side sleepers.
  • Gap between the mattress and your body.
  • Lack of proper body support.
  • Chronic back pain.
  • Dust mites which cause allergies or asthma.
  • Weight loss due to inadequate sleep disturbances.

Though mattresses can stand structurally perfect for 20 years.

Still it’s always preferable to replace them every 10 years to ward off the slightest discomfort.

7. What are the important features to know to choose the right mattress?

a. Firmness levels– 2 to 5 firmness scale is recommended.

Weight Ideal firmness level
Less than 130 pounds 2-5 range
Between 130 and 230 pounds 4-6 range
Over 230 pounds 6-8 range
Sleeping position Firmness range
Stomach 4-7
Back 4-7
Side 3-7
Combination 4-6

b. Pressure Map– This depends on how much pressure is applied when you sit or lie on your mattress. Varies from person to person based on gender, body, weight, height etc.

An ideal mattress reduces pressure up to 80%.

c. Motion Transfer– Go for mattresses with motion isolation feature where all movements are restricted to that part of the bed which moves and not everywhere.

Mattress Type Poor Average Good
Innerspring   Yes  
Latex   Yes  
Memory Foam     Yes
Hybrid     Yes

d. Edge support– encasement around the frame to support the springs in innerspring mattress. Foam mattresses don’t need it.

No compression when you sit on the edges.

No falling off, No injuries.

Mostly suitable for heavy couples.

Ideally suitable for people with hip or back pain.

e. Sleep Trial– Check for this trial offer with easy return and money back options.

This is normally a 100-night trial.

Choose the mattress of your choice with the longest trial offer.

f. Warranty– Check for Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warranties to ensure the product is replaced or repaired without changing the buyer.

Types of Warranties

  • Written Warranty
  • Implied Warranty
  • Warranty of merchantability
  • Warranty of fitness.

Faults covered under warranty

  • Sink age
  • Breaking of coils
  • Undone seams
  • Irregular bumps

Faults not covered under warranty

  • Sagging within the minimum depth
  • Lumps due to long use
  • Color fading due to washing
  • Physical damages due to usage

g.  Free shipping and free returns

     Choose mattresses which offer free shipping and hassle free returns.

h. Heat Regulations– Mattress should have free airflow between layers. Your body  

temperature should be regulated, to give you comfortable sleep. Go for open mattresses.

i. Price-The price depends on the size, height, material, composition and durability of the mattress. Choose holidays or weekends and special occasions to buy your mattress to save on the cost and also to avail special offers. You can opt for stock clearances sales too.

j. Breathability

Has a very great influence on your health and performance.

This feature is now your mattress can

  • Allow easy air circulation
  • Handle moisture
  • Still be dry
  • Handle perspiration.

Try avoiding toppings of polyester, polyurethane foam or memory foam.

You can choose cotton or light weighted wool, to push away moisture and to give you a dry surface.

8. What is an Orthopedic Mattress?

What is it made of?


Open cell foam layer-enables perfect ventilation.

Zonal support transition layer ensures firmness.

Softer layer gives support to the lighter body parts.

Memory foam layer removes the pressure points from your body.

Base foam gives support to mattress construction.

Gives complete support to your back. Provides relief from backaches, arthritis and joint problems.

Memory Foam vs Orthopaedic Mattress

  Memory foam score /10 Orthopaedic score /10
Comfort 9.4 9.1
Softness 9.5 9.1
Cooling 8 9
Hypoallergenic 8.1 9
No odor 8.4 9
General Support 8.7 9.3
Eco conscious 8.5 8.9
Price value 9.4 8.8

9. Check for these offers when you buy your mattress

  • 0% EMI
  • Free pillow
  • Free delivery
  • White glove option
  • 2, 3 or 5-year warranty.

  • 100 or 365 day or night trial.
  • Easy return and refund offers.
  • Breathable Tencel Cover.
  • Certipur –US certified foam.

10. How to clean your mattress?

Cleaning your mattress is very essential to ensure that it is always fresh and healthy for you and to remove allergies, bacteria and odors.

This also helps in increasing the life and durability of your mattress.

Here are 10 tips to clean your mattress

  1. Take care to remove stains regularly with a mild detergent.
  2. Add a mattress protector for easy maintenance from odors and bacteria.
  3. Bedsheets should be washed in hot water every 2 weeks.
  4. Vacuum it every few months.
  5. Use baking soda to remove bad odors.
  6. Air out your mattress on sunny days for about 30 mins.
  7. Wear comfortable clothes and adjust the thermostat to avoid frequent sweating in the bed.
  8. Call a professional if you face a problem eradicating bed bugs.
  9. Wash your sheet weekly once in hot water.
  10. Change your pillow every 6 months.

11. How to repair your mattress?

Temporary fixing idea for a sagging mattress is to

  • Take 2 pillows
  • Lift your mattress
  • Put one side under each side of the mattress.
  • Put the mattress down and feel the difference.

More ideas

If your mattress is too soft you could put some ply between mattress and the box spring or bed frame.

Best idea would be a mattress topper.

Do mattress toppers really work?

Yes, they do the work exactly as that of a memory foam mattress.

Preferably a wool or a fleece mattress does the job more efficiently arising no allergies or itchiness. Of course they are very soft.

An extra layer on top of your mattress that gives both comfort plus protects your mattress.

You could choose among

  • Different levels of thickness.
  • Different price ranges.
  • Different materials.

Mattress toppers are

  • Much easy to wash.
  • Protect your mattress against stains.
  • Postpone the wear and tear of your mattress and sagging.
  • Easily transferable and compact enough to be carried while you travel.

A perfect combination to suit your budget could be a nominal priced memory foam mattress with a topper.

Types of mattress protectors available

  • Memory foam mattress toppers– A thin layer on the top of your mattress as comfortable as a memory foam mattress.
  • Egg crater mattress toppers – Bumpy foam surface as its name. Like egg box with a padded cover. Not as sophisticated as memory foam but quite flexible and cheap.
  • Wool or fleece mattress toppers – Less itchy softer but are quite expensive as natural.

Mattress toppers extends the life of your mattress and postpones its replacement.

 Although its recommended by the Sleep council to be done every 7 years.

Advantages of Mattress Toppers

  • Increases longevity of the mattress.
  • Extra support and firmness provided, both to your mattress and your back.
  • Motion disturbances are reduced.
  • You can postpone frequent mattress flipping.
  • Easy to clean and protects your mattress from stains and damage.

12. What are organic mattresses?

These are made of natural latex extracted from the rubber trees, organic wool and organic cotton from naturally grown plants without using chemicals or pesticides. No retardants.

Completely eco-friendly made from natural ingredients.

Completely safe and healthy.

Though quite expensive but really worth the cost with high quality materials.

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13. What are the common mattress Complaints and Warranties

Most common problem faced with mattresses is sagging after the few initial years of purchase.

You have to decide on the type of mattress you want based on your requirements.

Like latex mattresses are fully natural from the rubber tree.

Synthetic Latex is human made.

Blended latex has a combination of both of the above.

Some models have little latex and the rest fabric.

Jump back process with a memory mattress is quite slow when compared to latex which come back to their original shape faster.

Heavy Latex mattresses are quite heavy but very much durable. If you are a person to carry it around then you might have to give a second thought.

Pricing– This is high with a natural latex mattress when compared to synthetic latex. Acquiring one is simple as far as the delay is concerned.

Odor– This is more with synthetic latex mattress and with natural latex. But of course odor vanishes after a few days.

Motion Disturbances– Memory foam eliminates this problem and so is best suited for those who sleep with a partner. Performance comparatively lesser in latex mattresses.

To sum up latex go a long way with few constraints but it all depends on each ones’ preference to choose according to their convenience and requirements.

Sleep cool, Sleep sound and Wake up well rested”, Choose your right mattress.

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