How to Choose the Right Mattress: Factors, Tips & Testing

If you often wake up with aches and pains or find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, the problem might be your mattress. Choosing the right mattress can make all the difference in your sleep quality and overall health. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this article, we will discuss how to choose the right mattress for your needs.

When it comes to choosing the right mattress, there are several factors that you need to consider. Here are a few tips that can help you make a more informed decision:

1) Determine your preferred sleeping position – Knowing whether you sleep on your back, stomach, or side can help you choose the right level of firmness and support.

2) Consider your body type – Your weight and body shape can also play a role in the type of mattress that is best for you. A heavier person may need a firmer mattress for support, while a lighter person may prefer something softer.

3) Decide on your budget – Mattresses can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so it’s important to determine how much you can afford to spend before you start shopping.

4) Test out different mattresses – Don’t be afraid to lay down on multiple mattresses to see how they feel. Many stores offer a trial period, so take advantage of it to ensure you choose the right one.

By taking these factors into consideration, you can make a more informed decision about which mattress is right for you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mattress

Choosing the right mattress is a big decision. After all, it’s where you’ll be spending a third of your life. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one is right for you? There are several factors to consider when choosing a mattress, including size, type, firmness level, your sleeping position, and the materials and quality. Each of these factors plays a role in determining the comfort and support you’ll get from your mattress. In this section, we’ll explore each of these factors in depth to help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the right mattress for you.

1. Mattress Size

Choosing the right size mattress is essential to ensure a comfortable sleep experience. Here are the standard mattress sizes to consider:

  • Twin (38 inches by 75 inches)
  • Twin XL (38 inches by 80 inches)
  • Full/Double (54 inches by 75 inches)
  • Queen (60 inches by 80 inches)
  • King (76 inches by 80 inches)
  • California King (72 inches by 84 inches)

When choosing the right size mattress, consider the size of your bedroom, the number of individuals who will be sleeping in it, and your preferred sleep space. A king-size bed may seem appealing, but it may not fit comfortably in a smaller room, and a twin may not be suitable for a couple.

2. Mattress Type

Choosing the right type of mattress is also essential for a good night’s sleep. Here are the most common mattress types and their features:

  • Innerspring: These mattresses have a coil support system and are typically more affordable. They also offer more bounce and have a traditional feel.
  • Memory Foam: These mattresses are made of a foam that molds to your body’s shape, providing excellent support. They’re also great at isolating movement and pressure points.
  • Latex: These mattresses are known for being very durable and offering excellent support without contouring to your body as much as memory foam.
  • Hybrid: These mattresses blend the features of innerspring and foam mattresses. They often have a coil support system with a layer of foam or latex on top.
  • Pillow-top: These mattresses have an additional layer of cushioning on top of the mattress for added comfort.

Consider your personal preferences, budget, and any specific needs such as back pain or allergies when choosing a mattress type.

3. Firmness Level

The firmness level of a mattress can greatly affect your comfort and sleep quality. The level of firmness is subjective and can vary depending on personal preferences and body type. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right firmness level for your mattress:

  • Body weight: Heavier individuals may prefer a firmer mattress for better support, while lighter individuals may prefer a softer mattress for greater comfort.
  • Sleep position: Side sleepers typically prefer a softer mattress to alleviate pressure on their hips and shoulders, while back and stomach sleepers may prefer a firmer mattress for better spinal alignment.
  • Injuries or conditions: Those with back pain or other chronic conditions may benefit from a firmer mattress for added support.
  • Personal preference: Ultimately, it’s important to choose a firmness level that feels comfortable and supportive for your individual needs and preferences.

When shopping for a mattress, it’s helpful to try out various firmness levels to determine which feels best for you. Many retailers offer a trial period, allowing you to sleep on the mattress for a certain period of time to assess its comfort and support.

4. Sleeping Position

Consider your sleeping position when choosing a mattress to ensure proper support and comfort. Different sleeping positions require different levels of support to maintain proper spinal alignment. Here are some tips for choosing a mattress based on your sleeping position:

  • Side sleepers: Choose a mattress that is soft to medium in firmness. This will provide adequate support for your hips and shoulders while allowing them to sink in slightly. Look for a mattress with good pressure relief to prevent pain and discomfort.
  • Back sleepers: A medium-firm mattress is best for back sleepers as it provides ample support while keeping the spine in a neutral position. Look for a mattress that contours to the body while maintaining support to prevent lower back pain.
  • Stomach sleepers: A firmer mattress is ideal for stomach sleepers to prevent the hips from sinking in too much, which can cause lower back pain. Look for a mattress that provides adequate support while maintaining a comfortable sleeping surface.
  • Combination sleepers: If you switch positions frequently throughout the night, look for a mattress that provides equal support for all sleeping positions. A medium-firm mattress can be a good compromise for combination sleepers.

Remember to try out different mattresses to determine which one feels most comfortable for your sleeping position.

5. Materials and Quality

Choosing high-quality materials is essential for a comfortable and long-lasting mattress. The main materials include foam, latex, coils, and fabrics. When assessing the quality of a mattress, consider factors such as density, type, and durability.

Foam mattresses are made of polyurethane and come in different densities. Higher density foam is more durable and provides better support. Latex mattresses are made of natural or synthetic latex and are known for their durability and hypoallergenic properties. Innerspring mattresses have coils that provide support, and the quality of coils can affect the durability of the mattress. Higher-gauge coils are generally less expensive but also less durable.

When assessing mattress quality, check for certifications such as CertiPUR-US, which indicates that the foam has been tested for harmful chemicals and meets environmental regulations. Look for a mattress with a high-density foam or high-gauge coils for durability and support. A mattress with quality materials will ensure a comfortable and supportive sleep.

Here are some of the materials and features you should look for in a good mattress:

  • CertiPUR-US certified foam
  • Latex foam for durability and comfort
  • High-density foam for better support and durability
  • High-gauge coils for durability and support
  • Quilted or pillow-top cover for added comfort
  • Hypoallergenic materials for those with allergies

When it comes to choosing a mattress, do not compromise on quality. A high-quality mattress with the right materials will provide a comfortable and supportive sleep for years to come.

How to Test a Mattress Before Purchasing

Once you have considered the various factors and chosen a mattress that seems like a good fit, you need to test it out to ensure that it’s the right one for you. Testing a mattress before purchasing it is crucial, as it allows you to assess its comfort, support, motion isolation, and noise level. However, many people may not know what to look for when testing a mattress. In this section, we will provide you with some useful tips and tricks to help you assess whether a mattress is right for you.

1. Lie Down on It

Lie Down on It:

When testing a mattress, the most important thing to do is to lie down on it. Take your time, and don’t be afraid to really get comfortable. Stay in your preferred position for a few minutes to see how the mattress feels. Here are some other things to consider when testing a mattress:

  • Check for Comfort and Support:

Make sure the mattress is comfortable for you. Look for a mattress that provides good support while still feeling soft enough to help you relax. If you feel like you’re sinking too much into the mattress, it might not be the right fit.

  • Assess Motion Isolation:

If you sleep with a partner, you’ll want a mattress that isolates motion. This means that you shouldn’t feel your partner’s movements when they toss and turn throughout the night.

  • Check for Noise:

Make sure the mattress doesn’t make any noise when you move around. Squeaky springs or creaking sounds can be distracting and interfere with your sleep.

2. Check for Comfort and Support

When testing for comfort and support, pay attention to how the mattress feels under your body. You should feel supported without any pressure points. A good mattress conforms to your body shape without you sinking too deep into it. Make sure the mattress reacts reasonably quickly to your movements, so you do not feel like you’re stuck in one place. Here are some additional points to consider when testing for comfort and support:

  • Check if the mattress allows for even weight distribution
  • Ensure that your spine is in a neutral position
  • Make sure that the mattress provides enough support for your back and hips
  • Look for a mattress with enough cushioning around pressure points, such as shoulders and hips
  • Ensure adequate edge support, especially if you share the bed with a partner

Overall, the mattress should strike a balance between comfort and support. It should be firm enough to support your back and maintain a neutral spine position while being comfortable enough to feel like you are sleeping on a cloud.

3. Assess Motion Isolation

If you share a bed with a partner, motion isolation is essential for a good night’s sleep. Motion isolation refers to the mattress’s ability to absorb and minimize motion transfer, preventing disruptions when one person moves. To assess motion isolation, try the following methods:

  • Ask a partner to move around while you lie still to gauge how much motion transfers to your side of the bed.
  • Place a glass of water on the mattress and have someone move around to see if the water moves or spills.
  • Look for mattresses with foam layers or pocketed coils that can absorb motion and reduce noise.

A mattress that isolates motion well is an excellent choice for light sleepers, couples, or those who often wake up due to their partner’s movements.

4. Check for Noise

When testing a mattress for noise, consider the material and construction. Innerspring mattresses may produce noise from the coils, while foam mattresses may have a slight hiss from the foam adjusting to your movement. To check for noise, move around on the mattress and pay attention to any sounds. Additionally, consider the mattress base as it may also contribute to noise. A sturdy foundation or box spring can help reduce any noise from the mattress.

Here are some additional tips when selecting the right mattress:

  • When choosing a mattress, consider your budget. Prices can vary greatly, and it is important to determine how much you are willing to spend to get the best quality level of comfort and durability. While purchasing a high-quality mattress may be an investment, it is one that can help improve your overall health.
  • When purchasing a mattress, review the store’s return policy and warranty. Understanding the terms and conditions will help ensure that you are satisfied with your purchase in the long run.
  • Reading reviews from other customers and getting recommendations from friends and family can help you make a more informed decision when choosing a mattress. Look for reviews from customers who have similar sleeping habits and preferences and consider their experiences before making a purchase.

Additional Tips for Selecting the Right Mattress

Choosing the right mattress can be a daunting task, with so many options available on the market. You want to find a mattress that will provide you a comfortable and restful sleep, while also accommodating your personal preferences and budget. In addition to the factors discussed in the previous sections, such as size, type, firmness, sleeping position, and materials, there are additional tips to keep in mind when selecting the right mattress. This section will provide you with some useful tips and considerations to make the process of finding the perfect mattress a little easier.

1. Consider Your Budget

When considering a new mattress, one of the most important factors to consider is your budget. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so it’s essential to set a budget that you’re comfortable with. Here are some things to keep in mind when budgeting for a new mattress:

  • Set a realistic budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend, and stick to it. Keep in mind that a good mattress is an investment in your health and well-being.
  • Shop around: Research different brands and models to compare prices. Look for sales, discounts, and promotions to save money.
  • Consider financing options: Some retailers offer financing or payment plans that allow you to pay for your mattress over time.
  • Factor in the cost of accessories: Don’t forget to budget for accessories such as pillows, sheets, and a mattress protector.

By considering your budget and shopping wisely, you can find a mattress that meets your needs without breaking the bank.

2. Review Return Policies and Warranties

When purchasing a mattress, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the return policies and warranties offered. While testing a mattress can provide insight, sleeping on it for a few weeks is necessary to determine if it fits your needs. Return policies vary by the retailer, with some offering a full refund within a certain timeframe while others may charge a restocking fee. It’s also important to keep the mattress in good condition with no stains or damage. On the other hand, warranties can offer protection against defects, sagging, or other issues. Look for a warranty that offers adequate coverage, such as 10 years or more.

Here are some other considerations when reviewing return policies and warranties:

  • Understand the conditions of the return policy, such as the timeframe and whether the mattress must be in its original packaging.
  • Check for any exclusions in the warranty, such as damage caused by improper use or cleaning.
  • Inquire about the process of filing a warranty claim and any fees associated with repairs or replacements.
  • Some retailers may offer a trial period, such as 30 or 60 days, during which you can return the mattress for a full refund.
  • Consider purchasing from a retailer with a good reputation for customer service and support.

By reviewing return policies and warranties, you can make an informed decision and protect your investment in a new mattress.

3. Read Reviews and Ask for Recommendations

Reading reviews and asking for recommendations from friends and family can provide valuable insights into the mattress buying process. Online reviews from verified buyers can offer honest feedback on a mattress’s comfort, durability, and other important features. Look for reviews that mention factors relevant to your sleeping needs, such as back support or motion isolation.

When asking for recommendations, consider those who have a similar body type and sleeping habits to yours. They could provide valuable insights into what type of mattress worked best for them and what to look out for.

Here is a list of websites and sources for mattress reviews and recommendations:

Remember to take reviews and recommendations with a grain of salt and consider your own needs and preferences before making a final decision on a mattress.


How do I know which mattress is best for me?

The best way to choose a mattress that works for you is to first consider your sleeping position. Are you a side sleeper? A stomach sleeper? A back sleeper? Different positions require different levels of support and firmness. Also, think about any physical ailments or health issues you may have that affect your sleep. For example, if you have back pain, you may want to look for a firm mattress that offers extra support. Lastly, take advantage of any trial periods or return policies offered by mattress companies. Sleep on the mattress for a few weeks to see if it works for you before committing to a purchase.

What are the 3 best mattresses?

The answer to this question is subjective and can vary based on personal preferences. However, according to various independent reviews, the following three mattresses have consistently ranked high in terms of comfort and support:

1) Casper Wave Hybrid Mattress

2) Purple Hybrid Premier Mattress

3) Saatva Classic Mattress

It’s important to note that before investing in a new mattress, it’s recommended to try it out in-person or take advantage of trial periods offered by mattress companies to ensure it meets your individual needs and preferences.

Is it better to sleep on a hard or soft mattress?

It ultimately depends on personal preference and comfort. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Some people may find a soft mattress to be more comfortable and supportive, while others prefer the firmer support of a hard mattress. It is important to assess your own needs and preferences when it comes to the type of mattress you sleep on. Additionally, factors such as age, weight, and any existing injuries or conditions should also be taken into consideration. Ultimately, the best mattress for you is the one that allows you to achieve restful and comfortable sleep each night.


In conclusion, choosing the right mattress is essential for a restful and comfortable sleep. Understanding the different factors to consider such as size, type, firmness level, sleeping position, and materials can help with making an informed decision. Testing a mattress before purchasing is also crucial to assess comfort, support, motion isolation, and noise level. With additional tips like budget consideration, reviewing return policies and warranties, and reading reviews, finding the perfect mattress becomes a less daunting task.

Ultimately, the key is to prioritize personal preferences, needs, and budget. By having a clear understanding of these factors, the process becomes less overwhelming. A good-quality mattress is an investment that can last for years, providing the much-needed support and comfort for restful sleep. So, remember to take your time, consider your options, and don’t be afraid to test out different options. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the right mattress for a better night’s sleep.


Carmen is a dedicated sleep enthusiast with a passion for helping others find their perfect mattress and achieve a restful night's sleep.

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