You know that lack of rest makes you one grumpy and slow person. It affects your health, your memory, and your looks in an unspeakable manner. Fatigue is also a major cause of the more than 100,000 auto accidents and 6,400 fatalities in the U.S. every year.
One in every three adults in the U.S. is short on sleep.
If you aren’t sleeping well, it’s probably time to swap out your mattress. Experts recommend changing your mattress every 7-10 years. And you should do it more often if you aren’t getting the rest you need.
There are hundreds of choices. How do you find the one that is perfect for you? And the bigger question, how do you find an affordable mattress that you’ll love?
Solving Your Sleep Problem
Resting well can be difficult if you aren’t comfortable. Unlike baby and toddler sleep disruption, adults often suffer from distraction, discomfort, or worry preventing a good night’s rest.
A new mattress isn’t going to make your stress go away or turn off your screens for better sleep, but you are going to be a whole lot more comfortable! You can spend anything from $99 to more than $1000 on a new mattress. So what goes into the price difference?
Pick a Mattress Type
The amount of use you’ll get out of your mattress depends on the quality and type of it. The type of mattress you choose makes a difference.
An innerspring mattress contains steel wire coiled springs to support and distribute your weight evenly across the mattress. A high-quality innerspring mattress can last 10 years or more, especially if regularly turned over end to end or side to side to distribute wear.
Hint: Despite what the salesperson says, the NUMBER of coils does not noticeably affect wear, but more coils can be more comfortable than fewer. The WIRE GAUGE (thicker is better) is a better predictor of mattress lifespan.
Foam mattresses might last a decade to 15 years. It depends on their material quality and care. Watch out for the heat retention qualities of memory foam, as many people find them too warm.
Hint: Don’t pay extra for special materials. Viscoelastic foam has been around since the 1960s. It is long-lasting and proven to prevent bed sores.
Choosing an organic mattress? The lifespan of a latex mattress varies. Although hypoallergenic synthetic latex is available, all natural latex is a popular choice. Many mattresses have a 20 to 25-year life.
Hint: Double-check the warranty. Some mattresses might have little to no replacement value if they wear out prematurely.
These aren’t the groovy, sloshing bags of the 1970’s. Waterbed mattresses come in two types: the traditional type of vinyl waterbed mattresses contained in a waterproof liner in a frame, or the soft-side mattress encased in a foam box and sealed like a conventional mattress. They can last 5 years to 10 years with proper care.
Hint: No longer the popular choice, waterbed mattresses may have a steep priced when you find them.
Hybrid and Pillowtop
A hybrid mattress is a combo of foam and innerspring mattresses. The most common configuration is a layer of foam, coiled spring supports, then another layer of foam. These are often the most affordable mattress type.
A pillowtop is additional padding between you and your mattress. The extra cushion layer can shorten your mattress’ lifespan, as you cannot flip the mattress to even out wear on the coils. The lifespan of the padding can also be shorter than that of the mattress and leave you with uneven lumps and dips.
Hint: A hybrid or pillowtop mattress might need replacement after just 6 years. The durability depends on the quality of the base foam and the coils.
Hard or Soft Option
One factory’s “extra firm” might be a mere “medium” to a different mattress company. There are no standardized measurements of firmness. Find the mattress that suits your sleep habits best based by trying it out.
Hint: Mattresses labeled softer might not be more comfortable, and harder ones might not be long-lasting.
Save on Sizes
Hint: You don’t have to buy a new box spring every time.
If you purchase the same size mattress as your current one, you shouldn’t need to change the foundation. Sure, the fabrics covering the box spring and the mattress won’t match, but who sees them? Use the money you saved to buy a mattress cover and a dust ruffle if it bothers you.
If you downsize your mattress, you gain a few square feet of floor space in your bedroom and reduce your costs. A California King is the same size as two standard twin beds together. Downsize to a queen and gain room for a dresser or two.
Hint: Queen size beds are the “standard size” of the market. They are often the “floor model” or “sale item.” The price difference between a Queen and King is often 50% or more.
Finding An Affordable Mattress Just Takes Research
Do your homework. A common trick of the mattress industry is to make comparison shopping difficult. The same manufacturer might make just three mattress types but label 30 or more distinct models to ship to different stores.
Consider trying out mattresses for 15 minutes or more. If you can’t spend the time in a store doing that, get your mattress from a place with a generous return policy so that you can try it out and send it back if it isn’t comfortable.
Know what you want in a mattress and negotiate for that, not a certain brand name. The same strategies you use for grocery shopping will work to your advantage. Always keep your budget in mind.
Summing It All Up
Finding an affordable mattress that you love is a challenging project but will be a worthwhile investment in a good night’s sleep. Saving money on a quality mattress is a good investment. Leave a question or comment in the box below!