If you think buying a mattress is an easy task, most probably, you haven’t bought one yet. Because, trust me, it ain’t as easy as it appears.
And, given the numerous options in the market, figuring out the right mattress is hard enough.
But what is the reason behind all this? Lack of the right information. Taking a decision is not as important as taking a well-informed decision.
And that is what this post will help you do – take a well-informed decision, so that you don’t have to suffer later. Even before you buy a mattress, you need to have answers to certain questions. Here, we talk about those questions, and their answers.
How Do I Know If I Need A New Mattress?
This is the most basic of questions. And the most important. Well, if I don’t even know if I need a mattress, how am I going to buy one? There are two factors that you can consider –
1) Is your mattress more than 7 years old?
The average mattress in India is designed to last for about 7 years, and if your mattress is nearing or has crossed this mark, it’s time to rethink. You might have to get a new mattress.
Innerspring or open coil mattresses often last around 5-7 years. Memory foam mattresses can last anywhere between 10-15 years, but this applies largely to the mattresses in the high-end range. Latex mattresses are the most durable, and they have a lifespan of about 15 years.
2) Are you able to sleep comfortably on your current mattress?
Yes, mattress lifespan is an important criterion against which you decide if you must keep your mattress or not. But what’s more important is your comfort level. If you aren’t feeling comfortable sleeping on your mattress, it is definitely time to consider a new one.
How do you feel when you wake up? Do you feel recharged or still tired? You get
disturbed throughout the night? Or does your back ache when you wake up in the mornings? All these could be some of the questions you can consider. And if you gave a yes to any of the questions, getting a new mattress is imperative.
What Is The Ideal Size?
Alright. So you have decided you need a new mattress. Great. Now comes the next challenge – the size. The dimensions of certain sizes could slightly vary from brand to brand, but, more or less, they would only be similar.
The following questions can help you figure out the ideal mattress size for you:
- Do I share my bed with someone?
- Do I have kids?
- How tall am I?
- Do I have pets?
- Can this mattress fit into my room?
- How do I usually sleep? Do I toss and turn around a lot?
And following are the standard mattress sizes in India:
Single bed – 75 x 36 inches
Twin bed – 75 x 39 inches
Double bed – 75 x 54 inches
Queen size bed – 78 x 60 inches
King size bed – 78 x 76 inches
A king size mattress usually works well for couples. This is because of the sufficient amount of space the mattress offers. And, even according to what research says, couples with enough sleeping space between them are more likely to stay committed and secure in their relationships.
A queen size bed can do wonders when it comes to enhancing your guest room. This is because it works wonderfully well both for couples as well as singles. Or, if you have a pet, it gives the extra space to cuddle your little pet. Even if you have ideas of working from home, a queen size bed can always act as a makeshift office.
For teens and kids, you can go for either a single or a twin bed. Research says that children need about 8-11 hours of sleep every night. And when the quality of the bed is supreme, it only benefits children in the long run.
And The Ideal Mattress Type?
Earlier, it was coir mattresses that ruled the market. Every other Indian household had a coir mattress, and of course, that was all anybody knew. But as time progressed, so did technology. The turn of the millennium saw great advancements in technology, and other new types of mattresses entered the scene.
Here, we talk about the different types of mattresses in the Indian market, and who each type is meant for:
Rubberized Coir Mattress
This is a very well known mattress type in India. This mattress is manufactured by processing coconut coir fiber with latex solution. The reason being coir fiber alone doesn’t have resilience by itself, unless it is processed with the latex solution. The resultant mattress feels firmer and offers so much more comfort.
If you are someone who wants a firmer mattress that fits in your budget, you can go for mattresses in this category.
A top mattress in this category – Duroflex Crown Lush
The mattresses in this range use a steel spring/coil support system. The springs/coils are either connected to a single unit or are encased in individual pockets. The innerspring is covered with some foam padding to offer better comfort. The more the number of springs/coils, the better the distribution of weight. And hence, this results in better comfort and support.
This category mostly comprises of entry-level mattresses that can be used for both comfort and support.
A top mattress in this category – Springwell Comfort Collection
These mattresses use one or more types of foam as their support system. This foam can be memory foam, PU foam, or even latex foam. The mattresses in this range are known for their body-contouring properties. They adjust to the shape of your body and offer optimum comfort. They don’t develop depressions unlike a few other mattresses, and hence, last long.
If you are someone who prefers comfort and doesn’t mind spending a little extra, this range of mattresses can have a lot of options for you.
Some people prefer foam. Some people prefer springs or coils. But then, there are a few others who like to have the goodness of both. If you are one of them, hybrid mattresses are what you need to check out.
These mattresses contain a steel coil/spring support system, topped with one or more types of foam. The foams used in these mattresses could be that of PU, memory, and latex.
A top mattress in this category – Restonic Comfortcare Hybrid Signature
Pillow Top Mattress
A normal mattress with an additional layer sewn into the top of the mattress. This offers additional comfort and renders a cushion-like feel to the mattress. A pillow top mattress can be of various types – innerspring, memory or PU foam, latex or even hybrid. Its USP is the additional comfort layer that enhances comfort to a great extent.
A top mattress in this category – Tempur Original Supreme
This type of mattress contains gel either in the mattress’ upholstery layer or the support system, or both. There are a number of technological applications that go into the making of a gel mattress, where gel is added to the foam. These mattresses offer great comfort, but what makes them unique is their cooling properties and heat dissipation features.
Though not a mattress type, an adjustable bed does change the way your mattress works. If you take a stationary bed (how most beds are), they are just that – stationary. You can’t change the positioning or orientation of the mattress the way you want. But with an adjustable bed, you have that option.
You can elevate or lower various parts of the sleeping surface according to your convenience. An adjustable bed is usually powered by a motor. Some advanced beds in this category can even vibrate and massage the sleeper.
If you are going for an adjustable bed, you need to keep one thing in mind – you must also go for a mattress that is adjustable. For example, most foam mattresses are adjustable. The best way to go about this would be to enquire at the store if the mattress you are going to purchase would be suitable for an adjustable bed.
There are also airbeds and waterbeds. These use chambers as their support systems, and don’t need a mattress at all. But since we are talking about mattresses alone in this post, we haven’t extensively covered airbeds and waterbeds.
Where Can I Buy A New Mattress?
You have realized that you need a mattress, and have finally figured out the required size and type. Now comes the big question – where do you buy your mattress from?
There are various options – you can either buy your mattress from any physical store (like most people do), or buy it online (an emerging trend), or pick it up from a factory outlet (has a different set of benefits).
Each option has its own set of pros and cons. No option is right or wrong – it all depends on the individual’s choice.
Buying from a physical store
This is the traditional way of purchasing a mattress. You go to the store, choose what you like, try it out, and make the purchase.
- You will have sales representatives and experts, who can help you with the required information immediately.
- You will get a hands-on feel of the mattress.
- Can be expensive due to numerous retail markups.
- There can be the inconvenience of having to travel to the store, especially if it is located far away from your place.
- Sales representatives can sometimes get overwhelming.
A few mattress brands that have physical stores:
An emerging trend. Everyone is now inclined towards online shopping. Traveling to a physical store is slowly going out of fashion, at least in the case of daily utilities.
- You have the convenience of making a purchase right from the comfort of your home.
- You can think and decide at your own pace, as there will be no sales representatives who might overwhelm you or try to make you a hard sale.
- You might have some additional discounts/offers too.
- No possibility of touching and feeling the mattress before buying.
- As there would be no sales representatives, it might be a little difficult to get the required information right away.
A few mattress brands that sell their products online:
Buying from a factory outlet
A factory outlet can either be online or offline. This is a totally unconventional way of purchasing anything. Certain companies have eliminated the middlemen, and have started selling their products directly to their customers. In terms of price, this could simply be the best way to go. As there are no mediators, there wouldn’t be any unfair markups. You would, in fact, be getting a better quality product at a much lower price.
- Best price
- Better quality
- 30-100 nights guarantee (offered by most direct selling enterprises)
- Most established brands don’t follow this process. So, if you have a favorite brand that manufactures the kind of mattress that you like, you might have to put in more money.
A mattress brand that acts as a factory outlet:
Picking The Right Mattress
Whatever your mattress is made of, whatever the brand, and whatever the price, there are a few common factors that can help you pick the right one. These factors are of prime importance. They are very basic, and if something goes wrong here, you might have a hard time sleeping on your mattress.
The first in the list is comfort. For obvious reasons. You might be a side sleeper. Or you might prefer sleeping on your stomach. Whatever it is, if you aren’t comfortable with your mattress, your money is only going down the drain.
The best way to check if a mattress is comfortable for you or not is by trying it out. If you have a 30-100 nights trial period, nothing like it. But if you don’t, ensure you lie on the mattress for at least 20 minutes when you go to the store to pick it up.
Online purchases mostly have a replacement policy, but you may not be able to check your comfort levels before placing an order. In such a scenario, consult an expert or a friend who has already made a similar purchase.
Next comes durability. How long is your mattress going to last? Because if it is not going to last long, no point in spending so much. Materials like cotton or coir are the most durable. In addition to the material, durability also depends on how the material is woven in the first place.
Even before you place an order, observe the cross-section of the mattress if possible. For example, a spring mattress usually has an outer padding and a middle padding (that are composed of foam). Underneath the middle padding is the insulation padding that is placed directly on the springs. This insulation padding is made of mesh or fiber, and it enhances the durability of the mattress to a great extent.
A durable mattress usually has several layers or different types of foam. You can talk to the sales representatives/customer care service and check this before placing an order.
The next factor is support. If your mattress doesn’t offer proper support, it might be detrimental to your body in the long run. This support usually depends on the coil count and construction. In addition to coils, what makes the mattress offer great support is the padding. Another question you can ask is if the mattress has sufficient padding as this makes the mattress all the more durable.
Then, we have foundation. The foundation of a mattress extends its life and even offers extra support to the mattress. A foundation generally consists of a wooden or metal frame with springs. Very few mattress companies offer a foundation along with a mattress at a discounted rate. But otherwise, it is always advisable to purchase a foundation along with your mattress. Doing so would benefit you in the long run.
What Kind Of A Sleeper Are You?
You have the seen the basic factors a good mattress must have. But, before you go ahead and make the purchase, there is one more question you need to ask yourself.
What kind of a sleeper are you? Or, in what position do you generally prefer sleeping?
If you sleep on your stomach, you can probably go for a mattress that is in the neutral to firmer range. This is because when you sleep on your stomach, you are putting your spine at an improper angle. Having a firmer mattress gives you better support and keeps your spine properly aligned.
[Read: Best Mattress For Back Pain]
If you are a back sleeper, like most people, a neutral to slightly firm mattress is ideal. Here, the primary requirement would be to support your lower back. Hence, the mattress shouldn’t be too soft (as there would be no support at all) or too firm (can put stress on your back).
If you prefer sleeping on your side, you need a softer mattress. This is because when you sleep on your side, your body is not a straight line, but a contoured structure. Hence, you need a mattress that conforms to these contours and gives you a comfortable sleep. In this case, foam mattresses would be the best option.
[Read: Best Mattress For Heavy People]
Trial Periods And Warranty
A trial period, as the phrase suggests, is the period within which you can try the mattress and check if it suits you. Very few mattresses offer trial periods in the first place. And of those, very few offer a risk-free trial period – wherein you can purchase the mattress and use it in the given period, and if you aren’t satisfied, you can return it for a 100% refund.
Coming to warranties, make sure you know the exact terms of the warranty before you make the purchase. Most importantly, you must know what constitutes a defect for which the mattress company is offering a replacement.
A Few Mattress Myths You Must Know
When you are new to purchasing a mattress and go to people for advice, you get opinions. And you get lots of them. But most of them are just myths and hardly have any truth in them. Following are a few such common myths you might encounter –
The more the number of coils, the better.
In general, a good innerspring mattress has about 600 to 1,000 coils. It is not just the number of coils, but even the thickness of the gauge metal that makes a difference. Certain mattresses might have more number of coils, but with a thinner gauge metal. There are also numerous coil variations – some of them being Bonnell, individually pocketed springs, etc. No specific variation is superior to another.
Gel offers a cooler sleep.
Gel does offer cooler sleep, but there’s a catch – it has to be one of the top layers. Certain mattresses that claim to have cooling gel have it beneath other layers, and this doesn’t have the desirable cooling effect.
The more the foam layers, the better the bed.
Foam does make the mattress better, provided it is thick enough. Most innerspring mattresses that claim to contain foam have just a thin layer of it above the springs – and this doesn’t make a big difference.
One size fits all.
Think of it again. How can one mattress feel the same for a kid and a heavy adult? It wouldn’t. This is a growing trend amongst mattress companies. They remove the complex variations of their mattresses and emphasize how one mattress can be suitable for all – which obviously is not true. One must consider the preferred sleeping position of the sleeper, the difficulties (if any), the age and weight of the sleeper, etc. before going ahead to purchase a mattress.
Putting It All Together…
With the information you have, you can now make the right purchase. You will no longer be intimidated by those aggressive salesmen as now you have the power – the right information, which will help you take the right decision.
Just keep these final thoughts in mind –
– Keep in mind the 3 Ss – softness, support, and size. It so happens that most people prioritize the pricing over these 3 factors, only to complain later. Never make that mistake. If the 3 factors are in place, putting some extra money would only be worth it.
– Test first. Even before you finalize, test the mattress thoroughly. Lie down on the mattress for at least 15 minutes. Though this may not give you the accurate feel, you will be able to check the comfort and breathability.
If you are purchasing online, this may not be possible. But, otherwise, make it a point to test the mattress before you buy it.
– Ask about the trial period and warranty. Ask questions and confirm if they mean what they seem to mean. You must ensure you know the exact terms and details. Always double check.
Buying a mattress is not a complex science. Having the right basic knowledge and asking the right questions can be enough! Let us know how this post has helped you. Do leave your comments in the box below.