First there are many sizes of
mattresses. Get the mattress that is the right size!
A twin (aka single) accommodates one person and is most commonly
used for daybeds, trundles, and children’s beds. A full grown adult
may find that a twin mattress is a tight fit.
Twin Extra Long
Most commonly seen in college dorm rooms, twin extra long mattresses
provide excellent length while at the same time saving space in
cramped quarters. The best selection of bedding is available in the
summertime before the school year begins.
A full (aka double) is the recommended size to comfortably
accommodate one adult. Two individuals might find a full size
mattress a bit snug, as each person will have much less than a twin
size mattress each. This size is perfect for a guest bedroom or in
A queen is America’s most commonly used mattress size. Equal in
length but not nearly as wide as the King, a queen is a great fit
for small master bedrooms. Crammed for space? Have narrow doorways
and staircases? Custom queen mattresses are also available with a
split box spring for easy moving.
A king (aka Eastern King) is quite a bit wider than a queen,
offering each sleeper the equivalent to a twin size mattress. This
bed is well-suited for a large master bedroom. This mattress comes
standard with two twin size box springs as a foundation.
The California King (aka Western King) is the standard size king on
the West Coast. The longest mattress by four inches, the California
King is comfortable and spacious for all adults. Comes standard with
two box springs.
Measure your available space if you are considering a larger
bed. Make sure you have enough to accommodate it
Form a Plan
For you to know how to buy a good mattress you first need to
know what you want and where you are going to shop for it. Here
is a sampling of questions to ask yourself before you you embark
on this task.
When They’re Together…
A mattress and box spring, that is. A new mattress should never be
placed on an old box spring. Not only might it void the warranty on
your new investment, but it can also decrease your comfort, the
overall support of the bed, and the life span of your mattress.
Innerspring vs. Foam – Which Do You
The materials that make up the inside of your mattress determine the
support your body gets throughout your sleep cycle. Whether you
prefer traditional innerspring, latex, memory foam, or even a
combination of both, you’re sure to find the mattress that’s perfect
Pillowtop, Euro Top, Tight Top (Oh My!)
Although the first 2 provide extra
layers of comfort while you sleep, there is a very distinct
difference between them. A “pillowtop” has visible layers of extra
cushion sewn on top of the mattress, and a “euro top” has the extra
layers of cushion sewn directly into the mattress. If you prefer
sleeping without the extra layers, a standard “tight top” mattress
is for you. Just keep in mind that you will get the same support on
all three types, so the decision on which top to choose is based
completely on your personal comfort preference.
Too firm? Too soft? Ahhh, Just Right
Do you relish the idea of sleeping on a stiff-as-a-board mattress?
Think that a firmer mattress provides the right amount of support?
Well, you could be right, but BEWARE! Although a firm mattress does
relieve your body’s pressure points and keep your spine aligned, a
too firm mattress could be too much of a good thing. In the same
respect, the thought of being enveloped in a plushy, cloud-like
mattress sounds like a dream come true. But, a mattress that is too
soft will not provide the proper support for your body, and may do
more harm than good. The key to this Goldilocks type game is finding
the mattress that is “just right” for you.
Put it in a Frame
What pulls all of these mattress factors together is a high-quality
bed frame. And with so many great choices to pick from, you’re bound
to find one that fits your style and price range. Wood or metal?
Wheels or no wheels? The choice is yours – but remember, center
support is crucial and highly recommended for Queen mattresses and
up. It will not only support the mattress and box spring to prevent
sagging and caving, but it will protect your warranty as well.
How Much is this All Going to Cost?
Well, that all depends on how much you value your sleep.
Let’s say you’re one of the good ones who get 8 hours of recommended
sleep every night. That’s 8 hours a day, 365 days a year, for an
average of 8 years, which equals over 23,000 hours spent sleeping on
your mattress! And considering the price range of mattresses is
tremendous (the average brand name Queen set can cost you anywhere
from $250 to upwards of $5000), you should buy the best mattress in
Sealy is always here to help. This, for example, is
meant to better your in-store experience. But first, peruse
our site and find a few mattresses that interest you. Print
them out. Then read this guide. Before you know it, you’ll
have mastered mattress speak and know what you need to for
your visit. Happy shopping.
The right bed begins with the
If you’ve had a positive experience somewhere, start
Make sure they offer the quality and the selection you
Dress comfortably so you can test many mattresses.
Bring your favorite pillow to replicate the proper sleeping
Know the dimensions of your current set (floor to top of
mattress). Know length and width as well.
Know your room dimensions for possibly purchasing a larger
set. You may decide to upgrade.
Be smart in-store
Start with a comfort / technology test on
Determine your comfort preference first. Try a plush and
firm innerspring mattress.
Next try other technologies if you are curious to experience
different feels, including memory foam and latex foam
mattresses. At this point, do not worry about the details of
what’s in the mattress.
Know four basic comfort
levels when you test
Each manufacturer may have different names, so choose
by your comfort preference. Remember: Comfort is different
for everyone. So try several different comforts when you’re
in the store. A good mattress should provide you with the
right support at every comfort level.
Ultra Plush–a very soft-feeling surface.
Plush–firmer than the ultra plush, but less firm than
Cushion Firm–firmer than an ultra plush, but softer than
Firm–the hardest of the cofort levels.
Found one you really like?
Ask about the product’s features and benefits.
Compare it to one of higher and lower price.
Learn the difference between like firmnesses but different
Buy the best mattress you can–if it passes your comfort
What to ask
What’s inside the mattress that offers proper back
and body support?
What’s inside the mattress that minimizes tossing and
If it’s an innerspring, insist that the coils be
twice-tempered. This helps the coils retain strength and
prevent mattress sag.
All mattresses must meet Federal Flame Retardancy
Purchase one that uses fabric and fiber for flame retardancy
versus one treated with chemicals.
Know the types of mattresses
Know the difference in the
coils inside an innerspring mattresses
Innersprings have many types of coils, which can
cause confusion. Here’s what you need to know. Four things
factor in to the support of an innerspring mattress.
Shape of the coil;
Thickness of the wire (The lower the number, the thicker the
Quantity of coils;
Tempering: Make sure the innerspring is twice-tempered to