If it’s been several years since you shopped for a mattress, you may be surprised to learn that buying a mattress online has become commonplace. It might sound crazy, but it’s true. More people than ever are purchasing beds they’ve never slept on, and, what’s more, they love them!
Since finding the best mattress online is a little different than finding a bed in a brick and mortar store, we’ve put together this guide on how to pick the best mattress. We’ll outline how to shop for various sleep types, discuss the most common mattresses types available, and talk about the advantages of buying online.
Features for Your Sleep Type
Not all bodies and sleep styles are created equal. When beginning the search for the best mattress online, you should know what your particular sleep type is. Knowing what your sleep habits are—whether you sleep on your back, side, or stomach, for example—will drive your search and help you concentrate on specific mattress characteristics.
The National Sleep Foundation affirms that sleeping on your back is the best sleep position because this style aligns your spine and neck in a neutral position. Sleeping on your back also potentially reduces unwanted problems like back pain and acid reflux.
Back sleepers should aim to find a mattress that relieves weight on their joints and pressure points but doesn’t sag. The best way to achieve this is with a medium firm bed to keep the spinal cord in proper alignment.
Side sleepers have the potential to experience aches, pains, and even injuries related to the pressure sleeping on their side causes to the hips and shoulders. As such, side sleepers are a group that must choose their mattress with the utmost care.
The safest bet for individuals who get their best night of sleep in this position is a soft mattress that relieves pressure on the hips and shoulders. The best bed for side sleepers is a foam mattress, which lets the body sink into it and releases tension. Foam is a material that is up to the challenges of keeping these sleepers in proper alignment.
Did you know we lose body heat at night? Our pillow, bedding, and mattress then absorb this heat, which can be problematic for people who produce lots of body heat because it causes them to sleep hot.
Your mattress is one of the main factors influencing how hot you’ll feel in bed (aside from natural body chemistry, bed firmness, and weight), and certain materials are better at circulating air and dissipating body heat than others.
If you have problems with sleeping hot, your mattress should be what’s known as temperature neutral—neither hot nor cold. Spring mattresses are often the best choice, as the ample space between the coils allows for adequate airflow and prevents the bed from retaining too much heat.
If you are restless at night, or if your partner is, you need a bed with excellent motion isolation. Motion isolation refers to the bed’s ability to contain motion where it’s happening. When a mattress offers exceptional motion isolation, your partner shouldn’t feel you moving or getting out of bed, and vis versa.
Memory foam perfect is known for these capabilities, and so is latex, which is why this type of bed should be your first consideration if you’re tired of your partner’s nighttime movements. Hybrid mattresses can also be a good choice, as long as they’re not too bouncy.
Heavy sleepers have a different set of considerations. They need a bed to support their weight, especially their abdomen and hips. Firm, thick beds usually work best to relieve pressure points, keep the spine aligned, and prevent sagging, thereby ensuring a great night’s rest for people who weigh more.
Types of Mattresses
Now let’s take a look at the most common mattress types. Most people buy one of these four, though there are other less-popular styles (like waterbeds) we won’t discuss.
As you might have guessed, a hybrid mattress is a mix of two bed types. In the battle of foam vs. spring, manufacturers decided a blend of these two materials would make a comfortable bed, and they weren’t wrong. Springs generally make up the foundation of these beds, and memory foam provides a plush top layer for added comfort.
Hybrid mattresses are a fantastic choice for individuals who enjoy the hugging sensation of memory foam but still like to have a little bounce from the innersprings in their bed. It’s a good compromise for couples that are divided between memory foam and spring.
A great example of a hybrid bed is the Luma mattress, which is a combination of 13.5 inches of natural latex and pocketed coil.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Memory foam mattresses have shot to popularity in the last few years. This material has traditionally been a more expensive one, but its rise in popularity is partly due to the emergence of online bed in a box companies that have made this costly material accessible to the general public.
Memory foam mattresses use polyurethane foam in their design, which is denser and more viscous than latex foam. Many people enjoy this material because it conforms to the body and provides support where needed, giving the sensation that the bed is hugging you.
The construction of most memory foam mattresses is similar. It generally includes a memory foam comfort layer on top of a foam base, though companies are playing with design and adding layers to achieve the most comfortable mattress. They’re generally suitable for all kinds of people, including back, stomach, and side sleepers.
The options for memory foam are plentiful nowadays, and pretty much anyone can find a bed to meet their needs. Nectar is an excellent example of a popular memory foam mattress choice that you can read more about in our Nectar mattress review.
Latex mattresses use latex foam as the primary support system. You may be wondering what the difference between latex and memory foam mattresses is, since they both use foam. The answer is quite simple.
While they both offer a similar sleep experience, latex foam has a much faster bounce back time. If you stick your hand in a latex mattress, it springs back to its original position much faster than memory foam, making it more responsive and more comfortable to do certain things like turn over or get out of bed.
A fantastic example of a latex mattress is this favorite from Zenhaven.
Coil or Innerspring Mattresses
Lastly, we have the most popular and traditional mattress type: the coil or innerspring bed. Everyone’s probably slept on this type of mattress, and you can likely conjure up an image of it effortlessly.
Innerspring mattresses employ a steel coil support system, which is covered by padding. The more coils in the bed, the more support it provides. This type of mattress is much more responsive and springier than its foam counterparts, and you rest on top of it instead of in it, like you would on memory foam.
Like memory foam, the options for fantastic innerspring mattresses are endless. Saatva offers a luxurious spring option, which you can read about in our Saatva mattress review.
Why Buy Your Next Mattress Online
It may go against everything you know about beds, but there are many reasons why you should buy your next mattress online.
Online mattress companies tend to be cheaper since they don’t typically run a physical store. By not maintaining a brick and mortar location, these companies can keep operating costs down—savings that they then pass on to their customers.
You Can Try It at Home
Buying online also has the considerable advantage of letting you try your new bed in the best possible place: the comfort of your home. Sleeping on it for several months allows you to truly gauge mattress performance, something lying on it for ten minutes in a store can’t do. Plus, this practice gives your body a chance to adapt to a new bed.
To make buying a mattress you’ve never seen less risky, online bed companies all offer lengthy no-strings-attached trial periods with simple return processes. It’s easy. If you decide the bed you’ve purchased isn’t right for you, the company facilitates either its return or donation to charity, and you often get a full refund.
Lastly, there’s something to be said for the ease of shopping from the comfort of your own home with no salesperson breathing down your neck. Not to mention, fantastic promo codes abound that save you even more money.