Seven Tips for Mattress Shopping(page 1 of 3)

Our matress holds a king-sized responsibility to deliver a good night's sleep. Here's how to buy the right one.

woman's hand touching a mattress Scripps Networks Interactive One buyer's "squishy" is another buyer's "plush."

As the home's most-used furniture item — on average, we spend one-third of our lives in bed — our mattresses hold a king-size responsibility to deliver a good night’s sleep. On the surface, the formula for a good mattress set sounds simple. "We expect our mattresses to be comfortable and to provide the support our bodies need," says David Perry, executive editor for the weekly newspaper Furniture Today.

In reality, however, mattress shopping can be a lot trickier. "The biggest challenge is that it’s extremely difficult to quantify what that means," he adds. While one buyer’s "squishy" is another shopper’s "plush," Perry says the following universal advice applies when selecting a new mattress.

1. Take it for a test drive. While plenty of consumers purchase mattresses online, there’s a higher risk of dissatisfaction if you don’t experience it for yourself before you buy. "Make mattress shopping an adventure," Perry advises. "Challenge yourself to find the most comfortable mattress in the store, and spend 10-15 minutes on it. Roll around and get in the position you sleep in."

2. Don’t waste time counting coils. Because "coil count" has traditionally been a common buzz phrase for marketers, "coil count inflation" is now common. A bed might have a high coil count, but more coils don’t always make for a better bed. The bottom line? Don’t stress over it. "Most of the beds you see out there have plenty of coils," he says. "If you go in and ask how many coils there are in each mattress, you’ll wind up getting confused."

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