New mattress buying guide
A few things to consider when buying a new mattress.
- High-density memory foam is more durable and longer lasting than lower density foam.
- Consider a mattress with a removable, washable cover to keep things fresh.
- Look beyond the cooling gimmicks many mattress brands market.
- Make sure the return process works on your terms.
High density memory foam
Consumer surveys show that memory foam mattresses have the highest owner satisfaction in the industry. It was first used by Tempurpedic in the early 1990s, and is still the main selling feature of most high-end mattresses today.
Memory foam is also the most expensive part of a mattress, which is why many companies use less of it. Instead, they use layers of latex, conventional foam, or fluffy covers. They claim this is for “better bounce” or “better cooling”, but in fact it is to reduce their manufacturing costs.
Can you clean it?
Mattresses can get dirty – really dirty. Doesn’t it make sense that you should be able to wash it?
Zippers are often the most expensive single component of a mattress cover, which is why many brands still do not offer a removable and easily washable cover.
What if it's too firm or too soft?
If your mattress is too soft or too firm, some online mattress companies will offer you a free topper. This means you may spend $800 - $1200 on a new mattress only to cover it with a $50 topper from Amazon. It is a bad solution to the reality of mattress buying.
Buying online is certainly better than buying in a store, but most of the new online brands only offer a single firmness option, and you may be forced to settle for something that is not perfect.
Will it sleep too hot?
Foam mattresses sleep hotter than spring mattresses. The two best ways to reduce that heat build-up are airflow and moisture wicking.
Real airflow and moisture wicking technology are hard to design and expensive to produce which is why some companies tout chemical additives, blue chemical spray coatings, paraffin-soaked covers, and other concepts with no evidence that they reduce heat build-up through the night.
Other companies use low-cost alternatives, like low-density lofty covers (pillowtops). While this can sleep cooler, it separates you from the memory foam and can form body indentations quickly.
Return Policy — Is it really free?
“Free Returns” means that you get ALL your money back when you return your mattress (Novosbed invented this concept in 2009).
While most companies have followed our lead, some still charge restocking fees, or do not refund your outgoing shipping expense. They do this to deter you from returning your mattress, which means you may settle for something that’s not perfect, and they make more money.
In other cases, companies may ask you to find and organize a donation, and provide them evidence of it in order to qualify for a refund.