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Mattress Shopping 101: Signs It’s Time & What Kind to Buy

Sleep experts say that we spend about one third of our lives sleeping, which is probably more time than we devote to any other activity. And if you’re like us, you cherish every hour of rest. Taking care of your mattress – and knowing when to buy a new one – will keep you from missing out on optimal sleep and all the health benefits associated with it.

A mattress’s age, the quality of sleep it provides, and your personal health concerns all play major roles in determining when it’s time to move on to a superior sleeping arrangement. In this article, we’ll explain a few signs that it’s time to replace your mattress, as well as how to choose one that suits your personal needs.

Knowing When It’s Time

First, it’s important to take an inventory of any health issues that are affecting your quality of sleep. Have you recently been diagnosed with arthritis or sleep apnea? If so, it’s essential that your mattress is helping rather than hurting your condition. If your mattress has been around for a while, it’s likely that it’s not providing you with optimal comfort.

The National Sleep Foundation says that while there is no strict rule about when to replace your mattress, most of them have a lifespan of about eight years. Finding worn or sagging spots in the middle or at the edges of your mattress typically means your bed surface has seen its better days, and will often lead to stiffness and discomfort upon waking. Nights of tossing and turning or waking up when your partner moves are other signs it’s time to find a new sleeping surface.

Do you always feel tired? Do you expect your best nights of sleep on business trips or vacations? In addition to physical signs of wear and tear, it’s time to get a new mattress if you sleep better away from home, or if you prefer to sleep on your sofa. If any of these things sound familiar, you’re not meeting your full potential for restful sleep.

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to move on, the following tips will ensure that you purchase the mattress that best suits you.

bella bedroom

Buying a Mattress

The first step in buying a new mattress is understanding your personal sleep needs. The mattress that is best for your neighbor may not be best for you. Due to age and body type, each one of us has different sleeping requirements that change over time. To begin, try the Better Sleep Council’s mattress shopping quiz – it’s a great way to determine your priorities before entering a mattress store.

Once you’ve assessed your needs, you’ll need to actually spend time shopping! Your mattress should feel comfortable to you, which means you’ll need to search for the right fit. While it’s not ideal, enduring the awkwardness of laying down in a mattress outlet will pay off. Sleep educators suggest trying out any mattress for at least 15 minutes before deciding to buy it. 

Consider your budget and bedroom space. Before you buy a mattress, it’s important to know which sizes will fit in your bedroom. If you’re unsure about the specific dimensions of a mattress size, the Better Sleep Council has created a comprehensive guide. And if you’re pinching pennies, don’t worry! Expensive mattresses aren’t necessarily good mattresses. The Mattress Nerd has created a great mattress buying guide that includes standard prices, negotiation tactics, and shopping outlet recommendations so that you can get the most comfort for your buck.

Now, Start Sleeping Soundly

There comes a time when all mattresses have served their noble purpose and must be left behind. If you know when to say when, we guarantee you’ll be catching better z’s in no time – and who doesn’t want that?