Mattress Buying Guide: What to Consider When Buying a Mattress

Are you looking to purchase a mattress but aren’t sure which one to choose?

Your mattress can have a significant effect on the quality of your sleep. Seeing as 68 percent of Americans struggle with sleep at least one night per week, there’s a good chance that a lot of people are sleeping on uncomfortable and ill-fitting mattresses.

But how do you choose the right mattress?

Check out this mattress buying guide to learn what to consider when buying a mattress.

Consider the Material

One of the biggest things you need to consider when purchasing a new mattress is the material. Here are the materials you have to choose from:

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are known for being comfortable and fitting snugly around your body. This mattress material can help reduce tossing and turning at night, which is a major cause of poor sleep.

It also helps distribute your body weight evenly, so you don’t suffer from any painful pressure. However, memory foam emits a lot of heat, so it’s not the best choice for warm sleepers. Memory foam also has a “quicksand effect,” in that some people feel like they’re “stuck” when sleeping on this type of mattress.

Polyurethane Foam

This material is often used as a mattress topper, and it’s often referred to as the “egg-crate” foam. This material offers softness and support, and it’s usually affordable.

However, the price of polyurethane foam affects its quality, as this material doesn’t offer a lot of support.


You can find natural, synthetic, or blended latex mattresses. Latex mattresses are known for being durable and comfortable. Most latex mattresses last 20 years or more. They’re also eco-friendly, as latex is harvested from rubber trees.

These mattresses are also naturally cool, making them a great option for warm sleepers. However, latex mattresses are more expensive than traditional mattresses, but most of them come with a strong warranty of 10 years or more.


Innerspring mattresses contain metal coils. These mattresses are made of three parts: the foundation, core, and comfort layer. The bottom part, the foundation, is usually made of wool.

The core consists of the springs and coils, and the comfort layer consists of fibers or foam to make sleeping more comfortable. Innerspring mattresses are a popular choice for those who like a firm bed.

However, they don’t absorb motion, so if you or your partner toss and turn, this mattress material may not be the best choice.

Consider Your Sleeping Position

In addition to considering the material of the mattress, you also need to consider your sleeping position. Your sleeping position will determine the mattress firmness level you need.

Here’s what’s best for each position:

Side Sleepers

If you’re a side sleeper, you want the Goldilocks version of firmness level- something that’s not too hard and not too soft. If a mattress is too soft, you won’t get the shoulder and hip support you need.

If you a mattress is too hard, the firmness will dig into your sides and cause too much pressure. We recommend going for a mattress that’s between 3 and 7 on the firmness scale.

Back Sleepers

Those who sleep on their backs tend to struggle with sleep apnea and other sleep-related issues. However, skin specialists say that sleeping on your back is best, as it allows your skin to breathe, and it means your face won’t touch any harmful contaminants on your pillows that can cause clogged pores and acne.

Most back sleepers do best with a firmness level between 5 and 8.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers do best with mattresses that are a bit on the firmer side. If the mattress is too soft, your abdomen will sink into the fabric and you’ll throw your spine out of alignment.

There’s also the possibility that sleeping on your stomach will put pressure on your internal organs, which can result in neck and back pain. Typically, a medium to firm mattress is best for stomach sleepers. Look for a mattress that’s between 6 and 9 on the firmness scale.


Another major consideration when purchasing a new mattress is the size. Mattresses come in six standard sizes:

  • Twin mattresses
  • Twin XL mattresses
  • Full or double mattresses
  • Queen mattresses
  • King mattresses
  • California king mattresses

Twin and Twin XL mattresses are only meant for one person. Full and queen mattresses can fit two people, or one person with a pet. King and California king mattresses can easily fit two adults and a large pet.

To figure out which mattress size is right for you, you first need to measure your space. If you have ample room and sleep with a partner, we suggest going with as big of a mattress as possible, as then you don’t have to worry about disturbing one another when sleeping.

Just keep in mind, however, that the bigger the mattress, the more expensive it’s going to be.

Consider Your Weight

Last but not least, don’t forget to consider your weight when choosing a mattress.

If you have a petite frame and you weigh under 130 pounds, then a soft to medium mattress will likely be best for you. If you weigh between 130 and 230 pounds, then a medium-soft to medium-firm mattress will be best for you, as these mattresses can offer the perfect balance of firm support and soft padding.

Those who weigh more than 230 pounds should opt for a firmer mattress that offers strong support and minimal padding. You can check out Nolah mattress reviews to find the mattress with the right firmness level for your size.

Mattress Buying Guide: Are You Ready to Purchase a Mattress?

Now that you’ve read this mattress buying guide, it’s time for you to purchase a mattress. Soon enough, you’ll see how much your mattress can impact the quality of your sleep.

For more sleep-related news and tips, check back in with our blog.