How to look for and find the best mattress … for You! *** READ FIRST ***
Select your desired MATTRESS SHOPPING TUTORIAL version
This is the most detailed and comprehensive version of the three versions with the complete 5 steps involved in making the best quality/value mattress choice.
There is a great deal of information in this tutorial and while I listed the shorter summary version first for those in a hurry, I would encourage the reading of the last and more detailed version like you would a good book rather than “study” it. Too much technical information that you “study” in too much detail can quickly lead to “information overwhelm” and “paralysis by analysis” and too little information can lead to a blind purchase and buying a mattress that is either low quality for your budget range or poor value. Both can lead to poor choices.
I would start by reading the complete tutorial itself to get a general sense of the steps involved and then going back and reading the linked pages that it includes. The goal is not to turn you into an “expert” but to provide you with enough basic information that you can recognize when you are dealing with an expert who already knows what you would otherwise need to learn and can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision and has your long term best interests at heart. There is little point in learning what they have taken years to learn and already know and are happy to share with you
Read the Comprehensive/Complete Tutorial
… For those who want a less detailed, FAIRLY SIMPLE, 5 step fast-track Mattress Tutorial…
Read the Comprehensive/Condensed Tutorial
While this is the shortest and simplest version of the three tutorial versions for those in a hurry. I am urging anyone reading it to at least scan through the complete tutorial version for the most accurate and best results. Too little information can lead to a blind purchase and buying a mattress that is either low quality for your budget range or poor value.
Read the Concise/Summary Tutorial
Read the brief overview below before deciding which version of the Mattress Shopping Tutorial serves you best.
- Status Quo ~ Mattress Buying an Introduction
- The crux of Mattress Shopping
- Select your tutorial version…
Status Quo ~ Mattress Buying an Introduction
Buying a new mattress is one of the most important purchases you can make only a few other things will have as big an effect on your overall well-being over the next decade or so. Unfortunately … for most people, a mattress is a completely blind purchase and the vast majority of consumers know little to nothing about what really makes a good quality mattress or what to believe about the many claims and confusing, conflicting, and even misleading information they are exposed to. Most “typical” salespeople also know very little about the quality of the materials in the mattresses they sell and are trained to sell mattresses using marketing techniques and “stories” they have been taught instead of specific and accurate information that gives consumers a way to make more meaningful comparisons and choices.
If you start to ask for meaningful, factual information from most retailers about the quality of the layers in their mattresses (such as foam densities) … especially for major brands (the ones that you will see advertised) … you will usually see eyes start to roll or glaze over as they realize that you probably know more about mattresses than they do. There are very few major purchases that are as blind as a mattress or where the salespeople know so little about what really makes a good quality product. An hour or two spent on this site though reading some of the basics can give you more meaningful information than most of the salespeople in the mainstream industry that sells mattresses.
The crux of Mattress Shopping
A mattress is only as durable as its weakest link and knowing that every layer of your mattress uses good quality materials that are appropriate for your budget and weight/BMI range is one of the most important parts of buying a good quality/value mattress. You can’t “feel” quality or durability because even the lowest quality materials can be very comfortable in the highly managed environment of most mattress showrooms. The quality or durability of a mattress can only be predicted if you know the details about what is in the mattress and have a way to know what these details mean or someone to “translate” them for you. Many foam materials such as memory foam or polyfoam have higher quality/foam density and more durable versions and lower quality/density and much less durable versions even if the actual type of material and how it feels is the same (see the mattress durability guidelines article)
The good news though is that there are some steps you can take to greatly shift the odds in your favor of finding a high-quality mattress that fits your needs and preferences (what I call PPP or Posture and alignment, pressure relief, and Personal preferences) and has much better value than what you will find if you only “follow the advertising” or shop for major brands at mass-market retailers or chain stores. The “secret” is knowing where to look and what to look for.We are each unique in our needs and preferences. As one of our members recently wrote in the forum thread "mattress choice ~ an editorial " … there really are no shortcuts … only ways that you can eliminate the frustration, confusion, and “information overwhelm” of mattress shopping and perhaps … with the right help … turn it into a pleasure.
So for those who want the best possible quality and value and want to find and work with “mattress experts” that have the experience, knowledge, service, and integrity to give you good information and help you find your “perfect” mattress … the steps in the Complete Tutorial are for you. The time you spend reading them, the confidence they will give you, and the time and money they will end up saving you …. will help you more than anything else you could do when you are first starting out with your mattress research.
There are many “needs” and many “preferences” in a mattress purchase and the Mattress Forum post #4 outlines the ideal “end result” of a mattress purchase that is “perfect” for you.
Mattress shopping self-help tools
Select your tutorial version…
MATTRESS SHOPPING TUTORIAL ~ Overview