Guide to Mattress Shopping

Feeling overwhelmed and confused by the different kinds of mattresses out there? Know your basics and what you should look out for when mattress shopping in this guide that breaks down all the fluff.

Updated on December 17, 2017 14:12 pm

Xiangyun Lim (Alexa)

Mattress shopping can feel like buying insurance with the sheer number of brands and types, coupled with sales pitches you’re not sure whether to trust. Online reviews can cause further confusion as there is no one-size-fits-all solution―what works for others may not for you.

It's crucial to equip yourself with the right knowledge for a savvy mattress shopping experience. For this guide, we went undercover as customers into various sleep boutiques and departmental stores to suss out these tips and tricks.

Being a Savvy Customer

1. Do your homework. Lots of it! That means researching necessary information and asking yourself what your needs and preferences are. Savvy shopping not only saves time, but also cuts through any potential hard-sells or sales pitches that are not of value.

2. Have a sense of the kind of mattresses you prefer. A good tip is using hotel room beds as a gauge. The more luxurious the hotel room, the softer and higher the beds tend to be (and vice versa)―take note of which beds left you waking up refreshed (or aching).

3. Go in with a budget. This helps narrow down the choices and field attempts by salespeople selling unnecessary add-ons and extra accessories.

4. Visit both sleep boutiques and departmental stores, though the former may save you from being overwhelmed by too many brands and types.

5. Pricing does not correlate with quality sleep. What you pay is what you get...but only up to a certain point. Additional costs usually stem from different technologies and branding, which may not be what you need.

6. Every individual has their unique needs and preferences. Different sleeping positions work better with varying mattress firmness and pillow heights. Those suffering from backaches and medical conditions will also need to pay attention to other factors. These factors can help guide the choosing process, but ultimately, each bed should be personally tested and tried.

7. This applies to children. Remember, a child’s body weight differs from an adult. This means that It is crucial to have your child try the bed out him or herself.

8. If a store is willing to negotiate, it probably means that the display price is overpriced. So if you’re shopping at authorised distributors and have a specific model you want, compare prices between different sleep boutiques and distributors for the best deal.

9. Be careful of bundle deals, especially if they include bed frames. The frame might be of a low quality that will undermine your mattress quality.

10. Don’t rush! Take at least 15-20 minutes to lie on each bed, more if need be. Try different sleeping positions, and even consider bringing your own pillow and bolster.

Determining Your Needs

First things first: How do you sleep?

What You Need To Know About Mattresses

A mattress basically is about two things: Support and Comfort.

How to determine if a mattress has the right support for you:


What to look out for while shopping:

In A Nutshell

  • It’s important to note that there is no single mattress type or style that works for everyone.
  • Recommendations and reviews can guide but not dictate.
  • Pricing is not everything—a mattress that costs $2,000 can suit you better than a $20,000 one. Take time to equip yourself with adequate information, and be prepared to test beds to find the one for you (ladies, wear pants!).

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