You won’t be able to tell which models and brands are long-lasting and comfortable if you spend five minutes looking at them on a busy show floor.
We can help determine the best mattress size for you and how to save up to 50% on your next purchase.
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How to choose the right mattress
Comfort is subjective. Understanding the differences between mattress types and firmness for a double sleigh bed will help you narrow down your options when testing a mattress in a store.
What should the firmness of a mattress be?
All it comes down to the position you prefer for sleeping.
- Firm – If you sleep on your stomach, a firm bed will align your spine.
- Medium – If you lie on your back, this will support your spine, back, and neck, while keeping you comfortable.
- Soft – This is great for sleeping on your side, as it contours and supports your curves.
Be aware that the firmness claims of most mattress retailers don’t always match the actual bed. When we test mattresses, we do body support and stability testing. Check out our mattress reviews for more information.
A soft mattress is best for side sleepers.
Which type of mattress is the best?
- It all depends on what you like. A spring mattress may support your spine, while a foam mattress might feel a little too firm.
- We discuss the pros and cons of each type of mattress, as well as the price range.
Which size mattress should you get?
Manufacturers and retailers recommend that you buy the biggest bed possible for your space. The mattress should also be at least 10-15 cm longer than the person who will be sleeping on it.
How to test a mattress at a store
Take your own time. Most people require seven to nine hours of sleep each night. This experience can’t be replicated by a few minutes of resting on your back. You can lie down for as long or as little as you like, but you shouldn’t stay there all night.
Roll about: Get in and out the bed by sitting up, sitting down, or rolling over. Comfort is based on ease of movement. If the mattress is too hard, it will be more difficult. It will also feel uncomfortable on your hips or shoulders if it’s too soft.
Use slats or a base to sleep. A soft mattress that has been placed on slats, or on a hard surface will feel different than one that is resting on the ensemble base in the shop.
Bring your partner. If you share a bed regularly, or every night with someone, ask them to move in the bed. Pay attention to how your partner moves when you move in bed.
Do not shop tired: If you are already sleeping, all the mattresses will feel great!
Ask the salesperson to leave. While they may seem friendly and helpful, we are not able to relax when someone hovers around.
Questions about the display model. The mattress that you try in-store could have been displayed for two days, two or three weeks, and hundreds of customers might have tried them out. This can affect the sag, firmness and support of your mattress.
Find out if the manufacturer offers a comfort guarantee. Most manufacturers won’t provide a guarantee for comfort so it’s unlikely that you can return it. However, some brands do offer a comfort guarantee. It’s worth asking. For more information, jump to Can you return a mattress
Lift it: Lift the display model up to determine the weight. You may have to transport or flip your mattress if it is too heavy.
Be patient when purchasing a mattress in-store. Don’t be afraid of asking the salesperson for help.
How to find the best mattress deal
- The price is often negotiated by retailers. You’ll be ripped off if your price is lower than RRP.
- The following tricks were used to reduce the price of most mattresses we tested.
- Don’t miss a sale – These sales are regular and can reduce the price by up to 50%
- Shop in store: Generally, deals are better in-store than online.
- Haggle – We have rarely seen a salesperson willing to cut a few hundred dollars from the asking price, even during an actual sale.
- Buy in bulk – We got better discounts when we bought two beds at once. This is useful if you are refurnishing your house.
Think about exclusive ranges: Snooze, Forty Winks, and Fantastic all stock exclusive brands. These brands are more popular with salespeople than third-party brands, according to our research. When we expressed an interest in purchasing a Sealy, Snooze offered us a better deal on their Madison range.
How to haggle
Even if you aren’t confident, haggling can be difficult. To take advantage of savings, you don’t have to be smooth-talking, wheeling or dealing.
After some back-and forth with salespeople, this question was asked:
“What is the best thing you can do?”
That’s it. Or at least a version of it. You’re not there to buy; they’re here to sell. They won’t throw you out just for asking. You don’t have to do much to save money on mattress mark-ups.
What is a mattress in a box?
This mattress was introduced to the market by an attempt to reduce the eye-watering price tags on mattresses that were sold in brick-and-mortar shops.
The online mattress industry is called Mattress-in-a Box (or “bed in a box”) and it’s a solely online business. By selling directly to the customer, manufacturers can deliver compressed mattresses right to your doorstep. They are vacuum-sealed and deoxygenated, so they can be shipped in a box. The mattresses expand slowly once opened to their full size (single or double, queen, etc.).
These mattresses are generally less expensive than traditional mattresses. A queen-sized mattress will cost you around $1,000, whereas a regular instore mattress can run thousands. We found that a $1000 mattress can be as comfortable as a $6000 mattress and lasts as long.
Although these mattresses are generally good value, they might not be right for everyone. Every person’s ideas of the perfect mattress may differ. These mattresses are more likely to be made of foam or foam-like materials that spring mattresses. If you prefer the feel and comfort of traditional spring mattresses, a mattress in a box may not suit you.
These mattress-in-a box brands offer a 100-day trial period and warranties of up to 15-years to help with the anxiety that comes with buying a mattress online. You can return the mattress if you aren’t satisfied with it.
Sleeping Duck, Ecosa, Ecosa, and Avatar are some of the brands that have been successful in this market.
Do you prefer to buy a mattress in a box or visit a store?
Online purchasing a mattress-in-a box has many advantages. You can also test the mattress before you buy. This is a convenient and cheaper option. You can return the mattress for a full refund if you aren’t satisfied with it. This makes it less risky and gives you more freedom to choose another brand.
The pressure of selling in stores is much higher. Salespeople hover and you won’t get more than five minutes of sleep before they return to bother you. Once you’ve purchased the product, you can’t return it. Our test results showed that many sales tactics are shady. The advertised firmness is not the same as the tested firmness.
However, you cannot try the product before purchasing in-store. Although mattress-in-a box brands offer a 30-day trial, returning it can prove difficult. Stores offer a wider range of brands under one roof, which allows for direct comparison. They also stock multiple materials and build types, such as memory foam, spring, and latex. If something is defective, there’s a clear point of return and you can bargain.
Brands selling online-only mattresses-in-a box brands need a lot consumer faith. It’s up to you to believe that the product will live up to its promises. You can’t even try it without spending your hard-earned cash. Most mattress-in-a box models are made from foam with few hybrid or spring options. You have very few options if foam is not your thing.
What should the life expectancy of a mattress?
No matter what mattress build or material, you should replace it every eight years. Our support measurement tests simulate eight years’ use. Besides manufacturer guidelines, there are many other indicators that you should be aware of.
Comfort and feeling are the most important factors. It’s time to replace your mattress if it feels uncomfortable, has large lumps or is sagging. It’s possible to feel aches and pains after sleeping for a few hours.
- Give it a good rub every once in a while. We shed hair and skin every day. All this can seep into your mattress over time.
- If it’s getting stale or has permanent stains, replace it. A vacuuming once in a while is a good idea.
- Take care of your mattress
Is it necessary to rotate or flip my mattress?
- Most mattress manufacturers agree that your mattress should be rotated at least once every two weeks.
- Spring (coil & pocket): Three to six months
- Foam and memory foam, hybrid, latex, for six months
It extends the lifespan of your mattress by reducing wear and tear. This can help you to sleep better, as it prevents a single point of sagging from developing over time.
Flipping mattresses is no longer possible as many models come with a pillow top or a specific top and/or bottom layer. It’s best to consult the manufacturer’s website. However, as a general rule, foam mattresses and spring mattress with a pillow top don’t need to be flipped since they have designated top- and bottom layers (such as memory foam above and regular foam below). The bottom layer is not intended for sleeping. You can flip spring mattresses that do not have a pillow top or bottom layer at least once every six months.
Cross-sectional diagrams are used to identify which models are suitable for flipping. Ask someone to help you flip your mattress. It’s awkward, heavy and sometimes difficult.
Are you looking for a mattress protector or a mattress encasement?
The mattress protector is basically a fitted sheet that protects the bed and keeps it fresher for longer. Protecting the mattress from dirt, hair, and skin flakes can help prevent staining and damage. Most protectors also contain material that will stop sweat and spills from getting through. Some claims that it can also stop allergens and dust mites.
Mattress protectors have not been tested by us so we cannot make any claims about brand or model effectiveness. Also, we can’t comment on the effectiveness/ineffectiveness of different materials and if your body will react to them in any way.
A mattress protector can be a good investment. Protectors can help keep dirt, oil, and other liquids from the mattress. They are also much more easy to clean than the mattress. The extra layer can also help with warranty claims. Stains are not covered by mattress warranties. This is often used to invalidate the warranty for other reasons. If you have to file a claim, a mattress protector will help prevent this from happening. This shows that you took extra precautions to protect your purchase.
A mattress protector is a good investment. They are also relatively inexpensive at $100. A protector can be used with an electric blanket. Most manufacturers agree that placing the protector on top of the electric blanket is the best way to keep it safe.
Is it possible to place a mattress on the ground?
If you have any preexisting conditions, putting your mattress on the ground will not cause any problems. If you have any concerns, consult your doctor before you try it. The hard surface could put more pressure on your body than a bed base. It is not clear if a floor or a mattress base is better for your health and quality of sleep.
The lack of ventilation between your bed and the base can cause other health problems and decrease the lifespan of your mattress.
Fluff, dirt, and bugs can all be found on floors. You are also much closer to the gunk, which can then get stuck under a mattress placed on the floor. During the night, any hair, skin, and sweat that has gotten soaked through your body will seep through the mattress and remain there.
These buildups can cause mould, infestation or even bacteria growth, depending on the surrounding environment. Particularly vulnerable are areas that experience high humidity and extreme heat. This will not only put your health at stake, but it can also cause mattress damage.
Yes, you can place your mattress on the ground. However, it is best to purchase a base. You can leave your mattress on the ground, but make sure to clean underneath it.
Can you return a mattress
You can make a warranty claim for your mattress
This can be difficult because arguments about comfort, faults, and so forth can be subjective or part of “normal wear and tear”.
While most mattresses come with a 10-year warranty, there are often restrictions and conditions in the small print.
SleepMaker is one example. Their warranty does not cover manufacturing defects. However, it will not protect against reasonable dipping (25-35mm), comfort concerns due to product selection and heat problems. These terms are only a few of the many gray areas that consumers may find themselves in.
Our research into spring mattresses revealed that advertised firmness and actual comfort levels rarely match. This would not be covered by a SleepMaker warranty. These terms are not exclusive to SleepMaker. They are one of the most upfront brands regarding their claims process.
Traditional retailer returns a mattress
If you buy from a retailer, it is your responsibility to make the right buying decision, even if the practices of the company are questionable. It can be difficult to get a refund under the general consumer protections because mattresses are used in the same way as headphones, clothes, and other items.
They generally cover unfit-for-purpose, which is unlikely to include:
- Size (mattress is not the right size for your base)
- After prolonged use, there is a slight sagging
- Mishandling or misuse can cause damage
- smell, general wear and tear (i.e. Stains
Be persistent if you feel you were sold a defective product. There is a way to return the product. You can make a return in these cases by citing the ACCC Repair and Replace Consumer Guarantees.
While Aldi and IKEA are considered “traditional retailers”, they offer similar trial periods to mattress-in a-box brands. Aldi will not pick up your mattress if you decide to change your mind. Also, it can be difficult to transport the mattress back to the store.
The frame of one of the mattresses that we tested arrived with rust. This is a valid reason to return the mattress.
Returning a mattress in a box
Most bed in a boxes brands offer a free trial period. If you aren’t satisfied with the mattress, you can return it for a full refund. Most mattresses returned are donated to charities.
To be eligible, however, you need to adhere to the following terms:
Duration – Make sure to apply for a return/refund within the allotted time.
Minimum usage period: Many mattress brands have a minimum period of use before you are eligible for a refund. This allows you to take the time to evaluate the mattress.
Damage – A mattress cannot be returned if it is damaged, sunk or stained. You should treat your mattress like fine china. Keep it away from food and drink, and make sure it is clean when you go to bed.
Protection Almost all brands require that you use a mattress protector during your free trial.
To find out the terms and conditions, visit the “free trial page” on the company website
You may have to pay a fee if you return the product after the free trial.
Metro areas major cities, urban centres and other places are eligible for free returns almost in all cases.
In rural and regional areas, about a third (of the brands we examined) charge a pickup fee if you are not in the metro area.
Service dependent: Companies will send their own team, a courier or representatives from the charity they have partnered with to pick up the mattress. If the brand is unable to make it to your location, you may need to arrange your own courier. This will increase your costs. This is typically done during the return process.
Sometimes, brands will charge an exchange fee in addition to the pickup cost.