The average person spends 26 years of their lifetime asleep. That’s a significant chunk of time. So now think about how much you invest in your sleep—namely your mattress. When’s the last time you replaced it? Has your current bed seen the better part of a decade? Is it an unsupportive, uncomfortable hand-me-down? Here’s a good rule of thumb: “If you routinely wake up sore, stiff, or have a saggy mattress, it’s time to shop for a new one,” says Shelby Harris, licensed psychologist and sleep specialist based in Westchester, NY. Considering some of us will spend more quality time with our mattresses than a significant other, it’s time to pony up.
Mattress shopping has changed drastically over the years. People are less apt to buy mattresses from a brick and mortar (or trust a salesperson), opting instead to buy a bed in a box online (trusting buyers’ reviews). Things is, there are an overwhelming array of options from an ever-increasing number of brands.
Luckily there are tools at your disposal to make the process a bit less harrowing. If you’re more of a traditionalist and hate the idea of buying a bed without sampling it in-person first, try SleePare. It has all the latest mattresses (even from online-only brands) in a brick-and-mortar store so you can try a bevy of them out before buying—plus an exhaustive list of mattress reviews and comparisons online. Note some brands let you personalize mattresses, too, using results from a sleep quiz (see: 5 Ways to Know If a Personalized Mattress Is Right for You).
One of the main things to keep in mind is, well, keeping an open mind. While you might like the idea of retreating to a cushy-soft bed that more or less swaddles your body, memory-foam mattresses can exacerbate low-back pain. You might not be able to determine the best bed for your sleep style, preference, and comfort in the first 10 minutes—or the first 10 days either. Thankfully most online companies have good return policies, Harris says, so don’t get discouraged if you need to return your mattress after a few weeks.
What’s more, roughly everyone falls into four sleep personas: the popsicle, the furnace, the overthinker, and the knot, according to Bed Bath & Beyond. A heated mattress pad, cooling sheets, a weighted blanket, and an adjustable pillow, respectively, can all be conducive to making your bedroom a sleep oasis. Just note: “If you have chronic sleep problems and a mattress change isn’t helping, a sleep specialist can better evaluate other issues that might be contributing to your poor sleep,” Harris says.
To help you on the hunt for your next bed, our editors tested some of the best new mattresses on the market.
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