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Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to your health and well-being. A well-rested person is a happier person, and a crucial part of a good night’s sleep is a good mattress. Anyone with experience in purchasing a mattress knows that they can be both expensive and difficult to transport. Online mattress stores are popping up all over the internet to help buyers avoid these problems and enjoy a quality mattress at an affordable price.
Mattress-in-a-box services conveniently deliver the mattresses right to your door, and often at a price lower than one would pay at a traditional brick and mortar store. Since you can’t test online mattresses out before you buy them, online reviews are the primary source to help you decide. And, many online mattress stores event give you a certain period of time to try your mattress out and allow you to return it if you are not comfortable.
Each mattress company has a unique focus through which they make their presence in the competitive online mattress market. Some emphasize the use of all natural and eco-friendly materials. Some offer specific customization options so you can get the exact mattress your body needs. Some utilize unique materials, such as copper, and back their methods up with sleep science. As a customer, it can be difficult to decide which product is right for you, so knowing your sleep needs, as well as the offerings made by each company is important in making the right selection.
Key considerations for purchasing mattress from online retailers
In finding the mattress that fits you best, examining the key features of each is important. Taking the time to do in-depth research into what kind of mattress will most accommodate your needs will be beneficial in making your purchasing decisions, as no mattress fits each person the exact same way.
Here are some things you should consider in shopping for your mattress online:
From rock hard to super soft, the firmness of a mattress is one of the most important qualities in a mattress you’ll love. Much of what we associate with comfort in a particular mattress is directly related to how soft or firm a mattress feels. Having a mattress that fits your body and sleep style can be the difference between waking up feeling refreshed and strong or sore and in pain.
One thing to remember is that “firmness” is usually a term used to describe the uppermost layer of a bed, while the actual support is in the middle and lower layers. Any mattress that is well-made will offer support, whether the top layer feels firm or soft, so even a bed that may feel very soft, may actually have a very sound support system below.
A variety of factors will therefore play into what your ideal firmness level should be, including sleep position, weight and overall health, not to mention general personal preference on whether you prefer a soft or firm feel as you sleep. It’s also important to keep in mind that not one firmness level will fit every person equally well. In searching for a mattress, you want one that has your preferred balance of comfort and support. Sleeping comfortably is often a matter of whether your spine, hips, and shoulders are properly aligned, and which pressure points on your body are most often in contact with your mattress. This often depends largely upon one’s usual sleeping position:
- If you sleep on your side, you’ll want a soft to medium firmness. This will accommodate your hip and shoulder while still providing support for your lower back. It will also help to prevent numbness and tingling for those side sleepers who tuck their arms under their head or side.
- If you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll need a medium firmness, although often, more firm is better. Stomach sleepers often have more pressure in the hips and pelvis, as these are the points that support most of their weight. A firmer mattress will help to discourage the hips and pelvis from sinking lower than the shoulders and creating an unnatural curve in the spine.
- If you lie on your back, a mattress that is more firm will ensure your back and hips are supported and your spine is properly aligned, although back sleepers do have the advantage of having the most range in firmness, because pressure is more evenly spread across various pressure points while they sleep. As a result, back sleepers can often find comfort on soft, medium, an firm mattresses alike.
Beyond sleeping position, body weight is also an important consideration. Depending on your weight, you may want to consider factors like sinkage, feel, temperature control, and support. There is certainly no “perfect” mattress for each body type or weight, but considering these factors can be helpful in making an informed decision and ending up with a mattress you’ll enjoy. If you are:
- A lighter sleeper (150 pounds or less): You likely won’t sink as deeply into the mattress, which can make denser mattresses with thick top layers a bit uncomfortable. A mattress with a medium firmness and a lighter density top might be a great fit for you.
- An average sleeper (150-200 pounds): You’re considered to be the ideal weight for enjoying a variety of mattresses, as most mattresses are designed for average sized sleepers. In this case, you can simply choosing a firmness that feels good and offers support for your sleeping position.
- A heavier sleeper (200 pounds or more): Heavier sleepers put more pressure on their mattresses, and will likely sleep better with a denser mattress, that offers a greater level of firmness and more support.
In a nutshell, it’s important to select a mattress firmness that offers sufficient support, without creating extra pressure, and which helps to evenly distribute your body weight. An additional consideration is whether or not you sleep with a partner, as you may each need different firmness levels depending on your body weight and sleeping position. In that case, a medium firm mattress may be an ideal compromise to suit both partners.
Lastly, for those having a tough time deciding between firmness levels, it’s usually better to choose the more firm option, as mattresses tend to weaken over time and you can always add on a mattress topper.
Beyond assessing your choice of mattress for size and firmness, you’ll also need to consider what material you want your mattress to be made out of.
- Innerspring mattresses offer a range of firmness and are generally cost-effective. These mattresses use a steel coil support system, and the spring shapes as well as number of coils can vary. The innersrping is covered by padding materials, which can include various foams, fiber, sometimes additional layers of smaller steel springs. Generally, the greater number of coils, the more supportive the mattress tends to be. Innerspring mattresses are the most widespread and familiar types of mattresses, although they can also be susceptible to causing pain in pressure points.
- Memory foam mattresses use a high-density polyurethane foam as a support system, and form to your body to reduce pain and pressure points. They also are good with longevity and isolating motion. Yet, they are known to sleep warmer than innerspring mattresses. Key things to look for in memory foam beds include density and thickness of layers.
- Pillow-top mattresses have an additional layer of upholstery sewn into the top of the mattress, almost as if pillows were placed on top of it. This layer can be made from a variety of materials, and typically offers a softer feel when sleeping.
- Latex mattresses work like memory foam in that it forms to your body, but they can also spring back. The latex can be made from plant or petroleum-based materials.
- Gel mattresses use a foam that contains gel in either the mattress’s support system, upholstery layers, or both. The gel foam offers customers varying comfort, feel, and heat distribution features.
- Specialty foam mattresses use one or more types of foam as the support system. The foam can be polyurethane, memory, or latex, and can contain gel or other materials. This type of foam can be created in a variety of shapes and densities depending on customer preference.
- Hybrid mattresses combine a steel coil support system with one ore more types of foam for a feel that can be both supportive and soft at the same time.
Mattress purchase considerations
Is free shipping offered?
When making a big purchase like a mattress, having quick and free shipping provided by the company is a great bonus to look for. Check out if the online mattress company you’re looking into offers this perk. If so, you can either pocket the extra money, or spend what you would normally have paid for shipping on a higher-quality mattress that will offer an even better night’s sleep.
What is the mattress warranty and trial period?
In looking for mattresses, you should also pay attention to their warranty policy and whether they have a trial period. Many mattress companies offer a free 30-90 night trial, in which you can try out your mattress and be confident that it gives you that great night’s sleep that you need. This extended free trial is important as it allows time for your body to adjust from your old mattress to the new one. It also allows for enough time to notice any significant changes in your quality of sleep and health. Most importantly, you can be assured that if the mattress doesn’t fit your needs, be you can return it for free and select an option that is a better fit.
Do you know someone who has purchased a mattress online? Talk to them. Ask them about their shopping experience, the factors they considered, and the brands they looked into possibly purchasing. Your friends will usually give you their honest opinion about what it was like to purchase a mattress from an online source. Ask them about all steps in the process of buying the mattress – from browsing online to ordering to receiving and setting up the delivery. Often the best source of information is first-hand knowledge from someone who’s just been through the same process.
What did 3rd-party reviews say?
Like recommendations from your friends and family, reviews which can be accessed online or in other publications can also shed light on the truth behind ordering a mattress-in-a-box. While you should remember not all reviews should be taken as absolute truth, reading both positive and negative reviews can help you determine and think through which online mattress you should go with.
How long will you have the mattress?
The length of time you’re hoping to keep the mattress should also be a factor in determining which mattress selection is best for you. If you’re looking for a short-term option that you won’t need for a long time, a cheaper mattress with lower-quality materials is the savvy financial decision. However, if you’re hoping to keep the mattress for years and years, using it until it is no longer comfortable, you’ll want to invest in a more expensive but higher quality mattress.
What is the total cost?
Purchasing a mattress online has many benefits – including often lower prices than what you can find in brick-and-mortar stores. Brick-and-mortar stores often have significant mark-ups to cover the cost of distribution and retail space. By choosing to purchase a mattress online, savvy customers can avoid some of these additional costs. Today, with so many online options, prices are more competitive than ever, and customers can usually find a mattress choice whatever your budget may be. Even so, it’s always important to keep in mind that the quality of the mattress tends to be associated with the price.
Less expensive mattresses are often made with lower-quality materials. They may not last as long because of the materials or the method of manufacturing. Cheaper mattresses also may be less effective at relieving and preventing pain that other mattresses may emphasize.
More expensive mattresses are usually made with higher quality materials or in a more eco-friendly manufacturing process. They may include materials specially designed to alleviate pain and emphasize comfort. Mattresses can be seen as an investment – you get out what you put in, and that starts with a fair evaluation.