Where should you start your mattress shopping journey?
Is your mattress 8 years old – or older? Sleep better away from home than you do in your bed? Wake up with back, shoulder or neck pain – more than once a week? Might be time to consider buying a new mattress.
But where should you start?
A new mattress can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the brand, construction, style and size. There are as many varieties of mattresses as there are brands of cars. And when it comes to buying a new mattress, a poor investment can lead to wasted money and more sleepless nights – not to mention more mornings with that darn aching back.
But you’re smarter than that. You’ll do your research, scroll through reams and reams of online reviews – digital guerrilla exploration at its best. But can reading online reviews help you make smarter buying decisions? Do you know what to look for in a mattress review? Do you know how to sort the helpful, relevant reviews from competitors playing dirty or consumers bent on killing every brand they buy from?
If you’ve never visited a mattress review site, you might be amazed at the jungle out there. From verified third party reviews to paid review blogs to sites dedicated to the debasement of every mattress brand on the market, there’s something for everyone. Weeding out the useless and nasty from the truly helpful is an art.
Learn how to sift through online mattresses – discarding the noise and homing in on what matters
These tips will help you weed out the poor review websites from the helpful ones.
- Look for balance – A good review website will display a healthy mix of happy customers and those with complaints. A mattress is a unique and intimate purchase and every mattress brand will have customers on both sides of the satisfaction scale. What happens after the initial complaint is where you can get insights on customer service patterns with each brand.
- Find the middle zone – Reviews that gush sunshine roses are as unhelpful as those that are filled with profanity and threats to the brand. The middle-of-the-road reviewers can offer you deeper understanding on the mattress they bought, their satisfaction and how the company dealt with complaints.
- Stick to your preferences – While mattresses are – at their core – simple white rectangles, what’s inside them are as different as a what’s inside a Lexus versus a Kia. Zero in on what you’re looking for in a mattress: latex, memory foam, innerspring or hybrid. And read mattresses with those components – more on that in a minute.
- Read the “About Us” page – Understand if you’re reading truly unbiased reviews by consumers or one blogger who may be making an income based on clicks to the page. If it’s a blogger, according to the FDA, they need to disclose any monetary relationship between themselves and the brand. FYI, if one blogger reviews 20 mattresses each year, s/he is clearly not giving any of the mattresses long enough of a trial – it can take as long as a month for the body to adjust to a new mattress.
- Ignore “Best of List” mattress articles – Best of lists are usually brand-sponsored or at the very least, driven by advertising dollars, which means the only way a brand gets onto that page is by paying to be there. Hardly unbiased.
- Study the numbers – 5 stars from 200 people is slightly less credible as 4 stars from 700 people, right? Enough said.
- Read the narrative – One reviewer’s negative rant might be your pot of gold. If reviewers state that a mattress was firmer than expected and you’re looking for a firm mattress, harvest that data for your upcoming mattress shopping trip.
Concentrate on your preferred mattress type and then brand
Once you’ve found a mattress review site that offers a healthy balance of reviews, it’s time to focus on the type of mattress you’re considering buying. While there’s a wide range of materials that go into the construction of a mattress, there are some common components and mattress recipes.
What type of mattress are you shopping for?
- Innerspring mattress review – Watch for patterns in the reviews you’re reading. Which brands garner higher satisfaction for support, comfort and longevity? A supportive mattress is not necessarily a firm mattress and useful mattress reviews will help you find the brand that offers satisfaction in all 3 areas.
- Memory foam mattress review – This type of mattress is popular for consumers with joint or back pain and those looking for pressure point relief. Be mindful of temperature fluctuation complaints.
- Latex mattress review – Consumers who like latex mattress prefer a buoyant mattress. Unlike a memory foam mattress that allows you to sink into it, a latex mattress allows you to sleep on it. Understand those differences when reading through reviews – some complaints may be because the consumer bought the wrong mattress.
- Hybrid mattress review – Hybrid mattresses are taking the world by storm, but quality and construction can vary wildly. Understanding how the different components of these mattresses work together to solve your unique sleep challenges is key to finding the one right for you.
- Adjustable mattress review – These are not your grandparent’s mattresses any longer. They’re perfect for people with mobility issues, sleep apnea, acid reflux – and even snoring. And if you like to work on your laptop or watch Netflix from bed, they’re worth a second look.
When you’re done researching, the best thing you can do is test a mattress yourself
Time to shop. Grab your pillow and bring your sleep partner. A mattress feels different with the weight of two people on it. Why bring your pillow? Testing the mattress with your own pillow makes it easier to focus on the mattress – rather than a different pillow each time you lie down.
What’s the cost of a good night’s sleep? If you spent $2,000 on a new mattress (for example) and slept comfortably on that mattress for 7 years, the cost of healthy sleep would be $1.27 per night – less than the cost of a Starbucks coffee in the morning…