7 mistakes people make when buying mattresses – and how to avoid them

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Sleeping well is critical to your overall health and wellbeing, and sleeping on the best mattress for your body is a surefire way to get the restful sleep you deserve. But not everyone gets it right – in fact, here we summarize seven common mistakes people make when buying a new mattress and how to avoid them.

We’re sharing this with everyone who purchases the Black Friday mattress deals so it will be easier for you to make the right choice for you. Whether you are looking for a comfortable and rocking memory foam mattress or an innovative mattress in a box, read on now to find out the most common pitfalls when buying a mattress and what to do instead.

1. Straight to the cheapest mattress

We love great Black Friday deals, but when it comes to mattresses, cheap doesn’t always mean better. Very cheap mattresses are usually made from a single piece of foam that has very little support and is unlikely to give you a good night’s sleep. These beds are also not built to last, which makes them a false economy as they will need to be replaced much more frequently.

What to do instead
There are many top sleeping brands out there that make affordable mattresses and these don’t cost much more – a few hundred dollars / pound will easily get you a more supportive and comfortable new bed.

Plus, there are plenty of mattress sales year round – and not just Black Friday – so you can usually find discounts on a number of popular beds. Here are some of the most impressive offers right now …

2. Buy without a mattress test

Buying a mattress without a trial period is a big no-go and unnecessary in today’s bed market. Why are probationary periods important? Because whether a mattress fits your body can only be assessed after at least three weeks of sleep (this is how long your body needs to get used to a new bed).

What to do instead
Most sleep brands now offer a risk-free trial period (these range from 100 to 365 nights) during which you can test your new mattress at home. If you change your mind during the trial period, you can return it for a refund.

However, you need to keep it in pristine condition so we recommend using one of the best mattress protectors for this.

3. Ignoring advice on sleeping positions

We all move in bed to some extent, but most of us usually have one or two sleeping positions that we are most comfortable in. The most common sleeping positions are stomach, back, and side, with combination sleepers alternating between all three.

A common mistake when buying mattresses is buying a bed that is not suitable for your dominant sleeping position.

What to do instead
Back sleepers typically sleep better on a medium-firm mattress to keep their spine in line, and hybrid models are ideal here. Belly sleepers should choose an innerspring or hybrid with high spirals that provide firm support to keep shoulders and hips in line.

A man in a blue t-shirt sleeps on a white pillow

(Image credit: Getty)

Side sleepers put a lot of pressure on their joints, so a softer memory foam mattress offers great comfort and the much-needed pressure relief.

Combination sleepers are a bit more demanding because they need a mattress that is soft enough to take pressure off your shoulders but firm enough to support your hips. A medium strength latex or hybrid should meet the bill.

4. Forget the degree of hardness

While firmness is subjective, there are some general rules that you should follow regarding your body weight and your choice of mattress. without sinking too deep into it.

If you ignore these, you may have a bed that is too soft to properly support your body or so firm that you wake up in pain every morning (and cannot sleep through the night).

What to do instead
If you weigh less than 150 pounds, you can try a softer mattress or a medium to medium firm model, as long as it has a thick layer of comfort and a pillow top. For sleepers weighing between 150 and 200 pounds, medium-firm beds should provide good overall body support.

If you weigh over 200 pounds, look for a firmer mattress with coils and springs combined with thick layers of foam and a decent pillow top. This is how you stay supported.

5. Not knowing the main types of mattresses

Another common mistake is not to get a basic understanding of the different types of mattresses before shopping. There are four main types that you are likely to come across, but if you don’t know how each will suit you, you may not be picking the right one for your sleep.

What to do instead
Memory foam beds offer a cozy, swaying effect, full-surface pressure relief and good movement isolation. They are often cheaper than hybrid models and are therefore suitable for all budgets and sleeper types, including couples.

A young family of four lies together on a king-size mattress

(Image credit: Getty)

Traditional innerspring beds combine spirals with soft padding and are usually even cheaper, although they don’t last as long. Latex mattresses are naturally cooling, springy, and durable, but they can be a bit of a hit and miss when it comes to isolating motion. Latex models are often found among the best organic mattresses, as well as those that last much longer than average.

Finally, hybrid pocket springs combine with a variety of materials including memory foam, latex, and gel to provide great levels of support and pressure relief. They’re also very breathable, which means they’re good for hot sleepers.

6. Skim the small print

Even when buying from a trusted brand, it’s important to check the fine print before parting with your money. For example, some manufacturers offer free shipping but charge returns.

Guarantees should also be fully checked so you know what will and will not be covered after the trial period ends. For more advice, see our guide on how mattress guarantees work.

What to do instead
Make sure you know exactly how the mattress will be shipped to you, if the company will charge you for a return if you change your mind during the trial period, and what warranty terms apply.

We also recommend checking the return policy fully as almost all sleep brands state that the mattress must be in perfect condition before accepting a return. Others won’t take the mattress back, but instead donate it to a charity and refund you your money.

7. Skip user reviews

Reading useful user reviews along with expert reviews of mattresses can give you a general insight into what the bed is like for sleeping. In addition, you can get an idea of ​​the customer service offered, what really happens during the returns process and how you as a customer can be treated.

What to do instead
Not all user reviews should be taken as gospel, so we recommend staying open as you read. However, they can give you a hands-on look at the brand as well as the mattress you are about to buy.

Expert reviews often include a summary of user reviews as well as their professional opinion on the mattress in question. Here are some of ours to get you started:

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