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What to Look for in a Mattress – A Comprehensive Buying Guide

With so many options available on the market, we understand that replacing your mattress with the right one can get very confusing. This is especially true if you suffer from back or neck pain as the right and wrong mattress can actually make or break your day.

So, instead of having to stress yourself out while navigating between websites and debating which mattress is suitable, here are a few pointers you can consider while on the hunt. By the way, while putting this article together, I came across an   covering all the different types of mattresses for a variety of purposes.

Types of Mattresses

Before walking into any store, you should first familiarize yourself with the types of mattresses available and how they are constructed. Different types of mattresses offer unique features that we will discuss below in hopes of making your research and selection a little easier.

Memory Foam

As the name suggests, these mattresses are made of 100% memory foam and they are known for their great support, pressure relief, and body contouring properties. However, one downside to such mattresses is that the bed does get hot. The foam tends to absorb heat and has little ventilation capability causing many to “sleep hot” at night. Nonetheless, more advanced foam mattresses now come designed with superior cooling properties to offer a much more comfortable sleeping experience compared to traditional memory foams.


This is a different type of foam mattress but instead of memory foam, this is made exclusively from latex. Latex mattresses are known for their cooling properties and comfort thanks to its great responsiveness, bounce, and cooling effects.


Coils, also known as innerspring mattresses, are one of the most popular and widely used mattress types. These mattresses often come with one or more layers of spring coils to provide better support and comfort. Modern coil mattresses also vary in number, type, and layers of coils to provide enhanced durability and support to suit a wide variety of sleeping preferences.


Combining latex, memory, polyurethane foams, coils, and/or other material, hybrid mattresses are specially designed to maximize benefits from different types of mattresses without the common disadvantages that come with them. One such example is a latex and Sleep Republic hybrid mattress that delivers great bounce, cooling, and responsiveness you’d get from latex foam while its memory foam works to ensure sleepers experience great pressure relief and support as well.


Instead of just a stiff mattress, adjustable beds give you the ability to change the sleeping position of the mattress. Whether you prefer to sleep with your feet elevated or inclined back, adjustable mattresses give you a wide range of motions to achieve that perfect night’s rest. Some even come with the option to vibrate, heat, and/or massage sleepers into a deeper slumber.

Mattress Support

One of the most important factors in picking out the right mattress is proper support. You will need a mattress that can push up on your body to counteract your body weight without feeling stone-hard and uncomfortable.

You need to make sure you get a mattress that keeps your spinal cord in a straight line regardless of sleeping position. The mattress must come up to support the curves and arches of your body as you sleep on your back, side, or stomach. Remember to get a mattress that can contour to the shape of your body to hold it in its neutral alignment for a well-rested sleep.

Mattress Firmness

The mattress firmness is defined as how hard or soft a mattress feels to you. However, this is very subjective, and it depends on everyone’s own definition of soft, medium, and firm feel. Furthermore, different body weight, type, and size can also play a role in how a mattress feels to a person.

However, many tend to confuse support with firmness. A firm mattress does not necessarily mean it offers good support. As discussed above, a well-supported mattress means it is able to keep your spine in proper alignment without creating uncomfortable pressure points. Sleeping on a mattress that does not offer adequate support will cause you to wake up sore or in pain.

Firmness, on the other hand, relates to how comfortable a mattress feels. To test for comfort, you need to make sure that the mattress is not so hard that it can cause pressure to your body. This will cut off blood circulation and pinched nerves, causing you to switch positions frequently throughout the night.

If you frequently change sleeping positions, you will end up with a night of fragmented sleep, making it more difficult for you to get into deeper stages of sleep. This means you’ll wake up feeling tired despite getting 8 hours of sleep. When trying out the mattress, you should try to lie in one position without moving around for a few minutes. If you can comfortably do that, then you’ve found a good mattress.

Motion Separation

If you’re a light sleeper and share your bed with a partner, you would want to get a bed with minimal motion transfer. A mattress that is too bouncy will wake you up when your partner gets in or out of bed at night. To decide whether the mattress has good motion isolation, you should test the mattress with your partner and have them switch positions and move around the bed to see how much motion you feel.

Trial Periods and Warranty

Many online companies offer a trial period, guaranteeing fuss-free returns within a certain time frame if you end up unsatisfied with their product. Since you don’t get to physically check out the bed as you would in-store, this option gives you the chance to test the mattress out before committing to it.

Another thing you should verify before making the final purchase is to verify the warranty for the mattress. Generally, a good mattress comes with a minimum of 10-year full warranty to ensure customers don’t get a defective product that breaks down after a couple of uses.


A mattress is an important investment that has a direct impact on your health and quality of sleep, hence it is crucial for you to take the time to find a mattress that is just right for you. Hopefully the article today has provided you with sufficient information and factors to consider when picking out a new mattress.