“Firm” Is Relative
Every manufacturer has different standards of “firm,” “medium,” and “soft,” so you can’t always determine the density through labels. Always test out a mattress before buying it, and don’t make a decision based solely on the tag.
Related: 10 Things to Know Before You Set Foot in a Mattress Store
Prices Are Negotiable
Buying a mattress is a lot like buying a car. Prices vary greatly, and you can—and absolutely should—negotiate. Decide on a budget before you start shopping, and stick to it. Given the vast number of mattresses on the market, you’re bound to find something in your price range. Plus, most stores will match a lower price you find elsewhere.
Related: 10 Things You Never Knew Are Negotiable
Price Doesn't Indicate Quality
Just because a mattress is more expensive doesn’t mean it’s better quality. While most mattress companies have luxury options for customers who desire top-of-the-line products, the best mattress for your specific needs might be on the cheaper side—and there’s nothing wrong with a bargain!
Related: 12 Ways Your Home Can Save You Money This Year
Consumers Can Get a Trial Run
All consumers should test out mattresses in the showroom. But lying on a bed for five minutes in your street clothes in a busy store during broad daylight won’t give you an accurate sense of the product. See if your retailer offers a 30-day trial that allows you to exchange the mattress if you’re unhappy.
Related: 9 Inventive Ways to Build an Extra Bed
Buying a Mattress Takes Time
Buying a new mattress isn’t a transaction you can complete during your lunch break. Finding the right product takes time, effort, and careful consideration. Expect to spend at least an hour on your first mattress store visit, and don’t worry about walking out without a purchase. You’ll probably need to visit several stores and compare options before you’re ready to pull the trigger.
Related: 10 "Under $10" Buys for Your Best-Ever Bedroom
Measure Your Space First
Ensure that you’re getting the right mattress for your bedroom. Queen- and king-size beds work well for couples, but not all master bedrooms can comfortably accommodate a king. Measure your space before heading out to the store so you can make the best choice for your bedroom. Note also that if you're upgrading to a larger mattress, make sure the route to the bedroom can accommodate the bigger size, paying particular attention to any stairways and sharp turns the new mattress will need to navigate.
Related: 21 Ways to Make a Small Bedroom Big
You Can Buy Online, But Be Careful
Homeowners with a preference for Internet shopping can purchase a mattress online, but there’s one major downside: You can’t try it out beforehand. If you decide to buy this bedroom staple virtually, protect your investment and your long-term comfort by choosing a site with a free return policy.
Related: Skip the Store: 9 Things Always to Buy Online
Not All Warranties Are Created Equal
Before buying a mattress, make sure you clearly comprehend the warranty. A full warranty completely covers repair and replacement, while a prorated warranty typically offers less coverage over time. If, for example, your mattress has a 10-year full warranty plus a 10-year prorated warranty after that, you’ll be reimbursed for only a portion of the repairs after 10 years. What’s more, normal wear and tear typically isn’t included in a warranty.
Related: 10 Surprising Ways You Can Void a Warranty
List Prices Are Fake
If you’re shopping for a mattress in a department store, you’re likely to find the retail price to be drastically higher than the offered price. That’s because department stores falsely inflate prices to trick consumers into thinking they’re getting a deal. Understand that you’ll be able to secure that same lower price at any time, and don’t fall victim to whatever “sale” a company is running.
Related: 8 Sneaky Ways to Furnish Your Home for Less
You Don’t Need a Box Spring
Although you need a support system underneath your mattress, it doesn’t have to be a box spring. Instead, consumers can choose to put a mattress on a platform bed, foundation, or even the floor. Any method of support will ensure that you don’t void your warranty, no matter what the salesperson says—but always read the warranty yourself!
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Pillow Tops Aren’t Necessary
Pillow tops add an extra cushiony layer of comfort to a mattress, but they can cost a pretty penny. You can achieve the same level of comfort for a fraction of the price by buying a high-quality standard mattress, then adding a thick mattress topper.
Related: 9 New Ideas for Shared Bedrooms
A Good Mattress Is Worth the Splurge
While mattresses run the gamut in quality and price, we recommend buying the best you can afford. After all, people spend one-third of their lives sleeping, and a good night's rest helps the body re-energize. It’s not necessary to buy top-of-the-line luxury varieties, but always opt for a high-quality product, and treat your mattress like the serious investment it is.
Related: 8 Things New Homeowners Waste Money On
Make Good Choices
Still feeling a bit intimidated about having to buy a new mattress? Read these 10 additional facts before you go to the mattress store. And when you do finally get your brand new mattress, don't make these mistakes that add to the wear and tear.
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