6 Secrets to Buying a Mattress on a Budget

A shocking 45 percent of Americans say that poor sleep has affected their daily life in the last week. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re not sleeping enough; it means that when we do sleep, we don’t wake up feeling rested or we wake up with unexplained aches and pains. Our overall health is completely tied to the quality of our sleep. People who are short sleepers (get less than seven hours of sleep every night) were more likely to be obese, physically inactive, and addicted to cigarettes and alcohol.

If you’re struggling with poor sleep — both quality and quantity — you should start by improving your sleep hygiene, the habits and practices necessary to have a good sleep. A good sleep routine should start during the day by limiting naps to 30 minutes and avoiding caffeine, nicotine, and foods that are hard to digest before bedtime. The next step is creating a more restful sleep environment.

One of the best ways to do this is through your mattress. Most people spend an average of seven to eight hours every single day on their mattress. That’s 34 percent of your day! If your mattress is old and uncomfortable, it’s probably time to replace it.

Mattresses Can Be Affordable!

A good mattress is definitely an investment. However, considering you spend 34 percent of your day on it (not counting Netflix binges), it’s worth spending the money to get a good product.

There are a lot of mattress companies now that are moving out of brick-and-mortar stores and operating entirely online. These companies can offer great mattresses at a lower price point than traditional retailers and often offer convenient free delivery. Ideally, you should buy a new mattress every five to 10 years, depending on which type of mattress you own.

Tips for Finding a Great Mattress

Buying a new mattress might feel overwhelming, but it’s really easy if you’re willing to take the time to research and compare your options. A little bit of research, plus consultation with friends and family can save you tons of money in the long run.

To help, here are some other tips to help you find a great mattress.

1. Do your research

One of the most important things to do before setting foot in a retail store is to do your research. There are a lot of options out there, ranging in price from $100 all the way up to $5,000+. Take into account all of your preferences, then do some research into the best models on the market and their price point. There are a lot of buzzwords in the mattress industry and not all these potentially expensive features will actually improve the quality of your sleep.

At this stage, try and determine which type of mattress interests you. Innerspring, memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses are currently the four most popular types.

2. Ask your doctor

If you have any health issues that affect the way your body moves, you may want to consult your doctor to see whether they have any advice on your mattress purchase. Depending on your condition, there may be a mattress that works best for you. Although your doctor isn’t a furniture expert, they’ll be able to give you some advice on your purchase from a health perspective.

3. Watch out for costly gimmicks

There are a lot of buzzwords out there that are being used to upsell mattresses to people who want to believe these features add value. There’s no medical or oversight organization that regulates the terms “orthopedic” or “medically-approved”, so these extra features that cost you hundreds of dollars extra may not actually do anything at all.

If you have a specific medical condition that you need to accommodate, it’s best to ask your doctor for their advice or do some research on the best mattresses for that specific condition. That way, you’ll know that the features you’re paying for are worth the extra money.

4. See if you can save money on the size

When you start shopping for a new mattress, that’s usually the right time to evaluate the size of the mattress that you have and see whether it works for you. A huge king-sized mattress might have been great when you had a bunch of young children in the house, but maybe you don’t need a bed that’s so massive anymore. Mattresses get more expensive the larger they get, so if you can comfortably downsize, it’s a good way to save a couple hundred dollars.

You’ll also free up more space in your bedroom. However, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to get a new frame (unless yours is adjustable), so budget accordingly.

5. Try it out

Once you’ve done your research and have pinpointed a type of mattress that you think you’ll like, the next thing to do is try them out. It feels awkward, but the best way to do this is by going into a mattress store and lying on the mattresses for a few minutes.

Don’t get up too quickly though. You’ll need a good 10 to 15 minutes of reclining on the mattress to see whether it works for you. Lie in your favored sleep position, get up, read a book, sit on the edge — do everything you would usually do on your mattress at home. It’s a big investment, and you don’t want to risk losing upwards of $1,000 on a mattress that you don’t really like.

If you’re purchasing from an online-only retailer, ask around to any of your friends and see if they’ll let you come lie on their bed to test it out.

6. Ask about trial periods

Whether you’re buying a mattress in person or online, the most important aspect of the purchase to consider is the company’s return policy. A mattress is a huge investment. As such, many people struggle to determine whether a particular mattress is right for their sleep needs when they’re lying in a store full of strangers. Most online mattress companies and many of the brick-and-mortar retail brands have generous return policies — sometimes up to 365 days. The average is around 90 days.

Signs You Should Buy a New Mattress

There are several well-known signs that indicate your mattress may be worn out. Visible sagging, especially on areas where you or your spouse regularly sleeps, is typically how most people realize that it’s time for them to purchase a new mattress. Innerspring coil mattresses squeak as they age and can disrupt sleep. If you have a memory foam or latex mattress, a sign that it’s getting old is when the imprint of a body takes a longer time to go away. This sagging and indentation can cause you to sleep in an incorrect position, which may lead to aches and pains. Another, more subtle way to tell if your mattress is getting old is if you just don’t feel rested after waking up.

Investing in a new mattress may seem daunting, but with a little bit of research, you’ll be able to purchase a mattress in no time. If you’ve been living with poor quality of sleep, you owe it to yourself to buy a newer, more supportive mattress.

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