How to Buy a Mattress

So you're tossing and turning, your body aches, and you can't sleep.

It sounds like it's time for a new mattress. The good news is that technology has given you more choices as to the type of mattress you want, so if you are tired of pulling the mattress out from the sofa every night, here are some steps to buying yourself a better night's sleep.

Determine the correct size of the mattress; single, double, queen or king. You may have a beautiful iron bed frame and have to get the proper size mattress to fit it, or you may be a student moving into a 9-by-11 room. If you are redecorating, decide whether the other furniture in the room will be designed around the bed, or whether the size of the mattress has to accommodate the furniture.

Decide if you want a traditional box spring mattress, an air mattress that allows you to adjust the firmness, or a Tempur-Pedic mattress made from special materials that conform to the shape of your body.

Review your budget and decide how much you can afford. If you can't afford both the type of mattress and size you really want, then maybe buying a smaller size will do. If size is more important to you, then you may have to buy a less expensive brand.

Shop and compare. If your bed is not falling apart, wait for a sale. Sometimes stores need to get rid of inventory and will offer a great mattress at 1/2 price.

Buy your bed with cash or a credit card, or work out a payment plan with the store. Then arrange to have it delivered. Ask the store if they will remove the old mattress for you. If you are buying a special mattress that requires set-up like an air mattress, make sure that will be done for you when the mattress is delivered.


  • A mattress is a major investment. Purchase it in person unless you are absolutely positive you know the brand, model and firmness that you want.
  • Remember you will need to buy sheets and pillow cases, blankets, a bedspread or coverlet and possibly a dust ruffle if you are changing the size of the mattress. A mattress pad is also a good idea to protect your new investment.


  • If you feel you are being pushed too hard by a salesperson, walk out and find another store. Don't let them sell you 100 percent cotton sheets at a store that mainly sells mattresses. They will probably be overpriced and you can find a better deal someplace else.
  • Before you buy, ask about the guarantee and what the store's policy is should the mattress have a problem and need to be returned.
  • Make sure you have instructions for the proper care of your mattress.