Mattress Buying Guide

    Purchasing a mattress online has distinct benefits. Customers have access to a huge range of options instead of being limited to what’s in stock at their local mattress store. 

    Related Topics (ads)

    1. Consider your budget

    A mattress is an investment in your sleep and you get what you pay for. With that being said, there are literally hundreds of brands to choose from and I think there is a comfy mattress for almost every budget. Here are the general tiers when it comes to bed:

    •  Budget (around $600 and below): There are several great beds that fall under the $600 mark after discounts. Beds like Allswell or Casper Element should last you several years. You can find the unicorn that offers both comfort and support, but is ultra budget-friendly. 
    •  Average (around $600 to $1,200): You'll find a majority of quality beds fall within this price category. These beds include Casper, Purple, Leesa and other top-dog brands who seemingly set the standard for pricing on bed-in-a-box mattresses. 
    •  Affordable luxury (around $1,200 to $1,600): Beds in this tier come with extra bells and whistles such as an extra supportive, dual-layer innerspring design or an active cooling cover. These are great values — they could be priced higher, but instead they go for fair prices. 
    • Luxury (around $1,600 and up): These are the TempurPedic beds and Purple Hybrids of the bedding world. They tend to be very thick, stacked with multiple comfort and support layers, and can include special added features you don't find with your every-day bed. 
    Related Topics (ads)

    2. Identify your primary sleeping position

    Think back to last night: Which position did you sleep in the most? That's important to consider when you're choosing a mattress because your sleeping position can help you determine how soft or firm your new bed should be. 


    Side sleepers usually feel most comfortable on soft to medium-firmness mattresses because they conform to the curvature of your hips and side without pressing into your joints. The less you weigh, the softer you'll want your mattress to be as a side sleeper. 

    Back and stomach 

    If you sleep on your back or stomach you'll likely fare best with medium to firm mattresses that offer accommodating support. Firm beds ensure your back and spine remain properly supported all night, as opposed to soft mattresses which can let your back droop into the bed and promote back pain. 


    If you think back and realize you sleep in every position, you have a couple of options. Pick the one you think you spend the most time in or opt for a middle-of-the-road option. Medium firmness levels offer enough support for back and stomach sleepers, and they have suitable pressure relief for side sleepers. 

    A significant number of brands construct their beds with medium firmness levels to accommodate a wider range of sleepers. 

    3. Take your body type into consideration

    Once you're familiar with your sleeping position, next is to factor in your weight or BMI. Weight distribution plays a part in how soft or firm you think a bed will feel. For example, a medium mattress will feel more soft to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but Olympic gymnast Simone Biles will likely think that same mattress feels a bit firmer than advertised. 

    Heavier individuals exert more pressure into a mattress, and as a result, have a more plush experience. So, if you weigh 250 pounds and sleep on your stomach, I'd suggest at least a medium-firm mattress. 

    People with larger body types should also look into hybrid mattresses. These are beds that include both foam and innersprings. Hybrid mattresses are much more supportive than all-foam beds because of their steel base layer. And in turn, that means they end up lasting longer. Though, if you weigh less than 200 pounds, most foam beds should work just fine for you in the long-term. 

    4. Determine the materials you like

    Memory foam isn't the only mattress material available nowadays. There's also polyurethane foam which is a lighter, more breathable, quicker-responding material. You also have latex foam, in natural, organic or synthetic form. Natural and organic latex is hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, while all latex foams are breathable, bouncy and sponge like. Latex foam offers more support, durability and airflow than both foams I just mentioned. Though, it can also be more expensive because of its various benefits. 


    Memory foam  Pressure relieving
      Feels like the bed is giving you a hug
      Can retain heat
      Provides resistance for combo sleepers when they switch positions
    Latex foam  Breathable
      Bouncy
      Durable
      Hypoallergenic (natural or organic)
      Antimicrobial (natural or organic)
      More costly
      All latex foam beds tend to be heavy
    Poly foam  Light and airy
      Open-cell design is more breathable than memory foam
      Not as durable
      Some can be cheaply made

    5. Do you buy in store or online? 

    You're probably familiar with regular ol' in-store mattress shopping — the process of laying on beds one by one until you find a good match. But how do you buy a mattress online? It's just the same as buying anything else online, shipped direct-to-consumer and rolled up inside a cardboard box. Each has their own benefits and setbacks. 

    If you shop in store, you get the benefit of hand-testing the beds yourself before you buy. Also, master hagglers might be able to talk a mattress salesperson down on the price of a new bed. 

    On the other hand, online brands know you're taking a risk by purchasing a bed over the internet so they sweeten the deal with additional perks such as free shipping, free returns, a lengthy free trial policy and a solid warranty to back your bed. It will be shipped directly to your door, either inside a box or hand-delivered via white glove delivery, taking the hassle out of transportation and additional costs.

    Regardless of how you choose to buy your new bed, you should always read mattress reviews. Both from experts and from customers who've tried the bed before. They will give you insight on how your prospective new bed will be to your average consumer, and speak the truth on any claims that might just be mattress marketing mumbo jumbo.