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How to Choose the Right Mattress

Do you get better rest at hotels than in your own bed? Was your mattress sagging when you flipped it during spring cleaning? Does your body ache when you wake up in the morning? If you answered yes, it’s time to get a new mattress. Use this guide to choose the right mattress for your body type and apartment décor.

Size Things Up

Measuring 60“ wide by 80” long, queen-size mattresses are the most common size. Queen beds offer ample room for two people to share, fit through most doorways with ease and don’t take up too much floor space. King sizes are 16” wider than their queen counterparts, which comes in handy if you’re also sharing your bed with pets. But kings can make smaller rooms too cramped. California kings are narrower than standard king-size beds, but are 4” longer. If you are more than six feet tall, you’ll be more comfortable in a California king. This size also complements the lines of long, skinny rooms.

Find Your Type

There are three major types of mattresses: innerspring, memory foam and adjustable air. Each has its own pros and cons.


  • Usually least expensive
  • Changing positions while sleeping is easy
  • Sometimes bouncier than other types

Memory Foam

  • More comfortable for those that suffer from back pain and/or joint pain
  • May take a minute to remold to your body after rolling over
  • Sleeps warmer than other models

Adjustable Air

  • Typically most expensive
  • Able to adjust sides to different firmness levels

Go Shopping

Once you know what size and type you want, it’s time to hit the stores. Don’t let the salesperson pressure you into buying something more expensive. You can get a quality mattress for around $1,000. Certain selling features you’ll hear are actually myths. For instance, testing indicates that gel-infused foam doesn’t necessarily sleep cooler, nor does a firmer mattress with lumbar support always benefit back sleepers. Take your time and lie on each mattress for at least five minutes in each of your preferred sleeping positions. You may even want to bring your own pillow with you to truly get a feel for the bed.

Which type of mattress do you get the best night’s sleep on? Where did you purchase it? Share your buying advice in the comments below.