Totally overwhelmed when buying a mattress

I have to buy a new mattress and I’m totally overwhelmed by this. So many choices, so many options and at the same time when I test some mattresses in a showroom they are all ok and I realize that at first most of them will perform ok but only after a year or two the problems will start to show. I find it hard to pick something in the jungle where all of them seem very close. In the past I’ve read many posts on this forum and although my knowledge is better now I still can’t pick a mattress and don’t know which one is good. I would faster pick a $40,000 car than a mattress. I’m terrible at buying a mattress. Maybe somebody can help me here.

At the same time I’ve read a lot of reviews online and I’ve noticed that the owners of those sites are getting paid affiliate fees for pushing those mattresses so they are essentially like commissioned salesman pushing their links with referral codes to Amazon and other direct sellers. Their opinion is very bias, I don’t want to rely on those.

My budged is $500-600 Canadian Dollars for the mattress alone, no foundation needed. This budged will buy a mattress from one of the known manufactures like Serta, Sealy and others. I know that those major brands don’t have the best reputation here but any better mattress from other manufacturers is over $1,000. I’m looking for a Queen size. I sleep on my back, stomach, and sides, I’m skinny build and I have a little bit of a spine issue, so I think those very firm mattresses are not for me. Also the full memory foam mattress that is hot and wraps around me doesn’t sound good either.

So now within that price range I’ve narrowed it to the following traditional spring mattresses, some have decent specs but again I’m not an expert:

So that’s what I have so far, unless somebody have some other suggestions from other manufacturers.

You may ask why am I buying at Sears, well those prices you see there tend to vary a lot especially on the weekends and I’ve seen significant discounts on those mattresses to the point that it would fit my budged. I know there is not much information about the density of the foam there but at least they post info about thickness of layers and spring count.

Now, if I go outside of my budged a little I found some latex mattresses, that maybe of interest:

Ikea Morgongava, but users report terrible smell from this one.

Ultimate-Dreams 10 which is 3" latex

LUCID 10 Inch Latex Foam Mattress, which is again 3" latex, but it’s made in China… hmm

I know Phoenix is the man here,… any help with narrowing it down further is very appreciated. Perhaps you see some good mattress here that stands out or that you would recommend from each group latex and traditional springs?

Thanks in advance

Hi Enzy,

While I can certainly help with “how” to choose … It’s not possible to make specific suggestions or recommendations for either a mattress, manufacturers/retailers, or combinations of materials or components because the first “rule” of mattress shopping is to always remember that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and there are too many unknowns, variables, and personal preferences involved that are unique to each person to use a formula or for anyone to be able to predict or make a specific suggestion or recommendation about which mattress or combination of materials and components or which type of mattress would be the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, or PPP (Posture and alignment, Pressure relief, and your own Personal preferences) or how a mattress will “feel” to you or compare to another mattress based on specs (either yours or a mattress), sleeping positions, health conditions, or “theory at a distance” that can possibly be more reliable than your own careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in step 4 of the tutorial) or your own personal sleeping experience (see mattress firmness/comfort levels in post #2 here).

I’m not sure what you’ve read since you found the site but the first place to start your research is the mattress shopping tutorial here which includes all the basic information, steps, and guidelines that can help you make the best possible choice … and perhaps more importantly know how and why to avoid the worst ones.

Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you’ve read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best “match” for you in terms of “comfort” and PPP that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn’t turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the “value” of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

Again nobody can speak to how any specific mattress will “feel” for someone else or whether it will be a good “match” in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP because this is too subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences, sensitivities, and circumstances and you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress but outside of PPP (which is the most important part of “value”), the next most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability which is all about how long you will sleep well on a mattress. This is the part of your research that you can’t see or “feel” and assessing the durability and useful life of a mattress depends on knowing the specifics of its construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label or how a mattress feels in a showroom or when it is relatively new so I would always make sure that you find out information listed here so you can compare the materials and components to the quality/durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

None of these provide any meaningful information about the quality and durability of the materials inside the mattress.

All the major brands such as Sealy/Stearns & Foster, Simmons, and Serta all tend to use lower quality and less durable materials in their mattresses than most of their smaller competitors that will tend to soften or break down prematurely relative to the price you pay which is why I would generally suggest avoiding all of them completely (along with most of the retailers such as Sears that focus on them as well) regardless of how they may feel in a showroom along with any mattress where you aren’t able to find out the type and quality/durability of the materials inside it (see the guidelines here along with post #3 here and post #12 here and post #404 here).

Any “fake” sale prices certainly wouldn’t be a reason to consider them. You can read more about the “fake sale prices” that are common in the industry that are meant to create a false sense of urgency in post #5 here. I would treat these types of sales as a red flag because good quality and value mattresses sold by many manufacturers that use higher quality materials in the same budget ranges are available available every day of the year.

Both of these use good quality materials that meet the minimum quality/durability guidelines that I would normally suggest relative to more average weight ranges (around the lower 200’s or less) and the Myrbacka would also be suitable for higher weight ranges as well.

The Morgongava also uses high quality materials and there are no lower quality materials or weak linksthat would compromise the durability or useful life of the mattress relative to any weight range.

While most people don’t seem to have an issue with the smell of the Morgongava … I have also seen some comments from a few people that have complained about it. In some cases this may be because some people are particularly sensitive to the smell of latex or wool and in some cases it may be because some of their mattresses have a stronger smell than others. It may be worthwhile going to an Ikea store and “sticking your nose” into the mattress to see if you are one of the few people that is sensitive to the smell.

There are no lower quality materials or weak links that would compromise the durability or useful life of this mattress either relative to more average weight ranges although I would add a “slight caution” for those that are in higher weight ranges because of the 1.8 lb polyfoam base layer.

The description doesn’t include the the type and blend of the latex or the density of the base foam in the mattress so I can’t make any meaningful comments about it in terms of durability although the top layers of the mattress is generally the weakest link in a mattress and any type or blend of latex would be a good quality and durable material.

As you mentioned there is always some additional risk and uncertainty involved in buying a mattress that is made in China or other imported mattresses that may be subject to longer periods of compression during shipping and storage that can sometimes affect the durability and useful life of the mattress (see post #6 here).

Again it’s not possible to make to make specific suggestions or recommendations for someone else. I or some of the more knowledgeable members of the site can help you to narrow down your options, help you focus on better quality/value choices that are available to you either locally or online, help you identify any lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress, act as a fact check, answer many of the specific questions you may have along the way that don’t involve what you will “feel” on a mattress, and help with “how” to choose but only you can decide which specific mattress, manufacturer, or combination of materials is “best for you” regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label or whether anyone else has the same needs and preferences, criteria, or circumstances or would make the same choice.

If you let me know your city or postal code I’d be happy to let you know about the better options or possibilities I’m aware of in your area.

Outside of any local options that may be available to you … if you are also looking online then some of the better online options or possibilities I’m aware of that ship across Canada are listed in post #21 here.

In its simplest form choosing the “best possible” mattress for any particular person really comes down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in that are in a budget range you are comfortable with and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses and then …

  1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of “comfort”, firmness, and PPP … and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or “fine tune” the mattress and any costs involved if you can’t test a mattress in person or aren’t confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

  2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering relative to your weight range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress.

  3. Comparing your finalists for “value” based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.


Phoenix thanks for for all the information, you have some valuable points there. By the way I’m in Mississauga which is just west of Toronto.

Hi Enzy,

Subject to first confirming that any retailer or manufacturer on the list that you wish to visit is completely transparent and to making sure that any mattress you are considering meets the quality/value guidelines I linked in my previous reply … the better options or possibilities I’m aware of in and around the GTA area (which includes Mississauga) are listed in post #1 here.

A forum search on Mississauga (you can just click the link) will also bring up some comments and feedback from other forum members in the area as well.