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How To Make A Mattress Softer

A few ways you can make a firm mattress softer and more accommodating.

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Did your new bed turn out to feel more like a bench than a cloud? Don’t worry, we have some tips for you to make your mattress softer and more comfortable.

Introduction

So you made the mistake of testing mattresses at the end of a long day, when anything would have been comfortable as long as you were off your feet. Now your bed has arrived and it’s too firm. Or maybe you switched up sleeping positions to your side, and now you need a mattress that will accommodate for your arm instead of pressing against it and giving you a dead limb to wake up to in the morning. Or maybe a partner moved in and they need a softer bed to sleep on. Whatever the reason might be, rest assured there are plenty of simple options to soften your bed up.

Let’s first talk about the reasons why having a softer mattress can be so important, and then we’ll go over some options for making your bed softer.

Why Firmness Level Is Important

Keep in mind that when we mention firmness in our Slumber Yard mattress reviews, we are doing so in a relative manner. Firmness is a term that is largely dependent on weight and body type. The more one weighs, the more they’ll sink down into a mattress and then the softer it will feel for them. Same goes for petite individuals, but just the opposite—the less you weigh, the more you’ll find yourself laying on top of the mattress, instead of in it. Because of this, petite people may have a harder time than others finding a soft-feeling mattress.

With some select mattresses, though, we’ve found that heavy individuals will actually sink through the comfort layers of the bed and end up laying more on top of either the poly foam or coil base layers, which will make the bed feel quite firm. This is a sign that you need a thicker, more supportive mattress.

Sleeper type is also super important when taking into consideration the firmness level of your mattress. Back and stomach sleepers usually need a firmer surface that will support their hips and shoulders to keep their spine in a neutral alignment. If the bed is too soft, back and stomach sleepers might find their hips sinking too deep in the bed, which makes the spine arch. Side sleepers will need a softer mattress that will be more accommodating for their hips and shoulders. If you sleep on your side on a mattress that is too firm, it will constrict the blood flow in the arms and hips, which can leave them feeling tingly or even cause you to lose feeling.

Many people find a soft mattress to be much more comfortable than one that is on the firm side. This can be extra important for those with conditions like scoliosis or fibromyalgia. Considering we spend a third of the day sleeping, which adds up to us spending almost a third of our lives sleeping, we should do so in comfort. Also, keeping the spine in proper alignment, whether sleeping on your back or on your side, is very important for the overall health of your body. Keep this all in mind as we talk about the different options you have when it comes to softening up a mattress.

Options For Softening Up Your Mattress

Break it in.If your bed is new and feels too firm, it may just need more time to break in a bit. Just like new shoes need to be worn in, so does your mattress. You can break it in by simply sleeping on it night after night like you normally would, or if you want to speed up the process, you could literally walk around your bed for a couple minutes a day. You could even have your kids (or borrow your sister’s kids) come and jump on it to soften it up quicker. Most mattress companies state that it can take up to 60 days to break in a new mattress. Novosbed won’t even accept returns before the first 60 days, and then offers to send you a Comfort+ Kit (a free foam topper) if you feel the firmness of the bed isn’t soft enough for you.

Try to break the mattress in quicker

Check your trial period.More often than not, online mattress companies will have trial periods where you can test out your new bed in your own home before you fully commit to it. Most often companies offer a 100-night trial period, but some brands have extended trials. Nectar, for example, offers a year long trial period. If you got your mattress recently, check and see if it’s still under its trial period because it might be eligible for a free return and refund, and most companies will come and remove the mattress for you, as well.

Flip or rotate your mattress.If know your mattress is flippable, try out the other side. Some mattress companies like Layla have different firmness levels per side, so the other side of the bed may be softer for you. Also, we always recommend rotating your mattress seasonally to prevent against sagging or permanent indentations. When your bed has permanent indentations, it can mean that the comfort layers of the bed are compressed, making them feel firmer. Try rotating it so that the heavier parts of your body like your hips and shoulders are in different spots. Keep in mind that sagging and impressions can be a sign it’s time to get a new mattress, though.

Warm it up.Some common mattress materials, like memory foam or airy polyurethane foam, can be temperature sensitive. Much like how memory foam allows your body to sink into the foam as it absorbs your body heat, a warm room will help the whole bed to soften up. Try adjusting your thermostat, using a heated blanket, or switching to flannel sheets to warm things up.

The warmer the memory foam bed is, the softer it will appear

Get a mattress topper.There are tons of great options on Amazon, and they’re much cheaper than getting a new bed altogether. There are different types of mattress toppers available that can add extra pressure relief or body contouring. We specifically recommend a thick memory foam topper, a goose down topper, or a wool topper for a softer feel. Be aware that egg crate style toppers can sometimes have too much texture and can annoy sensitive sleepers. You could also get a mattress pad, but toppers are thicker and more plush.

If all else fails, get a new mattress.Like we talked about in the intro, the firmness level of your mattress is very important for your spinal health. Having a bed that’s worn out, sagging, or much too firm can lead to body stiffness or trouble sleeping, which can lead to other issues. If these tips and tricks offered aren’t helping, it can mean it’s time to just get a new bed. Feel free to take our Mattress Finder Quiz if you need some help figuring out which bed might be best for you.

Best Mattresses for the Money – Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Mattresses Considered
Hours of Research
Sleep Experts Consulted

Quick Overview

Mattress prices vary significantly from brand to brand, ranging anywhere from less than $150 to more than $5,000. However, the average mattress (depending on the materials used) costs between $1,100 and $2,000 in a Queen size. This represents a serious financial investment for most households – particularly if the bed does not perform as well as expected.

Best Mattresses for the Money
  • Best Mattress Under $600 (Editor’s Pick) – Tuft & Needle
  • Best Mattress Under $600 (Runner-Up Pick) – Casper Essential
  • Best Mattress Under $1,000 (Editor’s Pick) – Layla Mattress
  • Best Mattress Under $1,000 (Runner-Up Pick) – Nectar
  • Best Mattress Under $1,500 (Editor’s Pick) – Loom & Leaf
  • Best Mattress Under $1,500 (Runner-Up Pick) – DreamCloud

There are several factors to consider when choosing a mattress based on price. One is durability; the average mattress needs to be replaced every seven years, but many mattresses fall short of this benchmark while others exceed it.

Other variables to take into account include pain and pressure relief, motion isolation, temperature neutrality, and noise potential. To ensure they choose the right mattress, customers are urged to take advantage of sleep trials; these offers allow them to test out the mattress in their home for a set length of time (typically at least 90 nights) and then return the bed for a full or partial refund.

This guide looks at strategies first-time mattress buyers can use to find beds that have below-average price-points and determine if a costlier mattress is worth the extra expense. Below you’ll find our picks for the best-value mattresses available in three different price ranges: less than $600 (extremely rare); less than $1,000 (somewhat rare); and less than $1,500 (fairly common but still low-priced). Our choices are based on verified customer and owner experiences, as well as intensive product research and analysis.

Please note:for these price-based categories, the amount refers to Queen-size mattresses or smaller; King, California King, and other larger sizes may exceed these price ranges.

Our Top 6 Picks

  • ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial (Tuft & Needle)
  • 10-year warranty
  • Very good motion isolation
  • Close conforming and pressure relief

  • ‘Medium Firm’ (6)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Isolates motion well for couples
  • Great price for a Casper

  • Flippable with dual firmness (4, 7)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great motion isolation
  • Close conforming and pressure relief

  • ‘Medium Firm’ (6)
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Close conforming and pressure relief
  • Sleeps cooler than most foam models

  • Multiple firmness options (5.5, 8)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Excellent motion isolation and conforming
  • Free White Glove delivery

  • Medium Firm (6.5)
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Close conforming and pressure relief
  • Good motion isolation

Best Mattresses for the Money – Reviewed

Best Mattress for Under $600 (Editor’s Pick) – Tuft & Needle

Highlights

  • ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5)
  • 100-night sleep trial (Tuft & Needle)
  • 10-year warranty
  • Very good motion isolation
  • Close conforming and pressure relief

Tuft & Needle Mattresses are available to Tuck readers at the lowest price

Best for Under $600 (Editor’s Pick) Overview

The T&N Mattress from Tuft & Needle is exceptionally low-priced. The bed is currently sold for $595 in a queen size. The T&N is an all-polyfoam bed featuring a 3-inch comfort layer with a ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5) feel. This surface is optimal for sleepers weighing at least 130 pounds, particularly side and back sleepers. A 7-inch high-density foam base reinforces the bed and provides exceptionally sturdy edge support compared to other all-foam models.

The mattress also isolates motion transfer very well and does not make any noise when bearing weight. These two factors make the T&N suitable for couples who experience sleep disruptions due to movement or noise.

Another advantage is better-than-average temperature neutrality; the top foam layer is infused with charcoal and cooling gel, which can be beneficial for naturally hot sleepers.

Tuft & Needle offers free shipping to customers in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 100-night sleep trial and a 10-year warranty.

Good for:
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Couples
  • Those who normally sleep hot on foam beds

Best Mattress for Under $600 (Runner-Up Pick) – Casper Essential

Highlights

  • ‘Medium Firm’ (6)
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 10-year warranty
  • Isolates motion well for couples
  • Great price for a Casper

Get the Casper Essential mattress at the lowest price.

Best Under $600 (Runner-Up Pick) Overview

Rarely do you get a mattress from an online brand as well-known as Casper for under $600, but the Casper Essential makes this possible. An all-foam budget option from Casper, the Essential provides the basic Casper experience at an exceptionally low price.

The Casper Essential’s first comfort layer is made of low-density polyfoam. This material will moderately conform to the body and is a bit more breathable than higher density foams like memory foam. Under this is a medium-density layer of memory foam that helps provide the pressure relief characteristic of Casper mattresses. The Essential’s support core is made of 7.5 inches of high-density polyfoam, which is substantially supportive for a mattress in this price range.

The result of this high-value construction is a versatile all-foam mattress that provides a moderate degree of pressure relief and support. Additionally, it excels in motion isolation and produces minimal noise, making it a great option for couples.

The Casper Essential comes with a 100-night sleep trial, so you can try before you buy. Additionally, it comes with a 10 year warranty and ships free to the contiguous US and Canada.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers in the light and average groups
  • Couples
  • Those on a budget

Best Mattress for Under $1,000 (Editor’s Pick) – Layla

Highlights

  • Flippable with dual firmness (4, 7)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great motion isolation
  • Close conforming and pressure relief

Click the link and use the following code to save $110 off a Layla mattress: TUCK

Best Under $1,000 (Editor’s Pick) Overview

The Layla, priced at $899 in a queen size, is our Editor’s Pick for the Best Mattress under $1,000. This memory foam bed is a standout for several reasons. For one, the mattress has a flippable design; one side is ‘Medium Soft’ (or 4 on the 1-10 firmness scale), while the other side is ‘Firm’ (or 7). This makes the mattress suitable for any weight group, as well as sleepers whose firmness preferences fluctuate. The mattress is exceptionally lightweight for easy flipping, as well.

Both sides of the Layla contain layers of copper-infused memory foam, which conforms to sleeper’s bodies for targeted pressure relief and offers improved spinal alignment for side sleepers. The copper element also increases blood flow, which can be beneficial for sleepers with poor circulation.

The softer side has an extra layer of convoluted polyfoam for added cushioning and the shared support core – made of high-density polyfoam – helps maintain an even surface on both sides.

The Layla is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty; both are significantly longer-than-average for any mattress, let alone one at this price range. Layla ships mattresses for free within the contiguous U.S., as well.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Those with fluctuating firmness preferences
  • People with poor circulation

Best Mattress for Under $1,000 (Runner-Up Pick) – Nectar

Highlights

  • ‘Medium Firm’ (6)
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Close conforming and pressure relief
  • Sleeps cooler than most foam models

Get a Nectar mattress + 2 Pillows for the lowest price available

Best Under $1,000 (Runner-Up Pick) Overview

Though it measures 11 inches thick – slightly thicker than the average mattress – the Nectar memory foam mattress features four individual layers that offer a comfortable, pressure-free sleep experience for most. The mattress is currently sold in a queen size for $799, making it exceptionally low-cost compared to other memory foam beds.

The comfort system includes layers of gel memory foam and standard memory foam that conform closely without excessive hugging. The Nectar is ‘Medium Firm,’ making it ideal for sleepers who weigh at least 130 pounds, as well as lighter individuals who prefer firmer surfaces that don’t conform as much.

The mattress has a dual-layer support core that helps reinforce the mattress and prevent sinkage at the edges (a common complaint among all-foam bed owners). Additionally, the Nectar has a cotton-lyocell cover that allows it to sleep quite cool.

In addition to its low price, the Nectar is backed by a 365-night sleep trial – one of the longest trials available anywhere – as well as a lifetime warranty.

Good for:
  • Every type of sleeper (side, back, stomach, combination)
  • Sleepers in the average and heavy weight groups
  • Back pain sufferers
  • Those who tend to sleep hot on foam beds

Best Mattress for Under $1,500 (Editor’s Pick) – Loom & Leaf

Highlights

  • Multiple firmness options (5.5, 8)
  • 120-night sleep trial
  • 15-year warranty
  • Excellent motion isolation and conforming
  • Free White Glove delivery

The Loom & Leaf Mattress is available to Tuck readers for $100 off

Best Under $1,500 (Editor’s Pick) Overview

The Loom & Leaf by Saatva – a memory foam mattress – is our top pick for beds sold for less than $1,500. The mattress is currently priced at $1,499 in a Queen-size, but it offers better pressure relief, more resilient support and more consistent temperature neutrality than many of its higher-priced competitors.

The Loom & Leaf is constructed with gel memory foam and standard memory foam comfort layers that hug the sleeper closely without sagging to provide good pain and pressure relief.

Two firmness options are available, ‘Medium’ (5.5) and ‘Firm’ (8), which should accommodate most sleepers regardless of their weight or preferred position. The Loom & Leaf also provides better sleeper and edge support than most other foam models, thanks to its thick support core made of high-density polyfoam.

Another advantage is temperature neutrality. The thermogel infusion in the top layer, along with the breathable organic cotton cover, allow the Loom & Leaf to sleep exceptionally cool.

Like other Saatva mattresses, the Loom & Leaf qualifies for free White Glove delivery anywhere in the contiguous U.S. The mattress is backed by a 120-night sleep trial and a 15-year warranty, both of which are longer than average.

Good for:
  • Side and back sleepers
  • Pregnant women in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Couples
  • Those who normally sleep hot on foam beds

Best Mattress for Under $1,500 (Runner-Up Pick) – DreamCloud

Highlights

  • Medium Firm (6.5)
  • 365-night sleep trial
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Close conforming and pressure relief
  • Good motion isolation

Get $200 off a Dreamcloud mattress with this code: TUCK

Best Under $1,500 (Runner-Up Pick) Overview

Many sleepers prefer hybrid mattresses because they provide a good balance of cushioning, support, and air circulation – but unfortunately, most models are fairly expensive.

The DreamCloud is a notable exception. Priced at $1,299 in a queen size, the mattress offers a complex comfort system consisting of three memory foam layers, as well as a latex transitional layer for added support. The bed is ‘Medium Firm’ (6.5), with moderate yet consistent conforming that targets high pressure areas without becoming saggy or uneven.

The DreamCloud also offers great edge support. The pocketed coil support core is encased in high-density foam for added reinforcement; this helps maintain an even sleep surface and minimizes sinkage around the edges where people normally sit. The DreamCloud is also suitable for hot sleepers due to strong airflow throughout the support core.

The DreamCloud ships for free to customers in the contiguous U.S. It is backed by a 365-night sleep trial and a lifetime warranty, both of which are considerably longer than average.

Good for:
  • Back and side sleepers
  • Sleepers in all weight groups (light, average, heavy)
  • Back pain sufferers
  • Those who tend to sleep hot

Buying Guide – How to Shop for a High-Value Mattress

Buying a new mattress represents a significant financial investment for most shoppers. Mattresses sold today are typically priced between $800 and $1,500, but some models may cost up to $4,000 or more. However, many high-quality mattresses are available at much lower price-points.

This page will look at available mattresses that are a bang for your buck — high-quality materials and top-rated performance at a relatively low price-point. To compile our lists, we relied on product knowledge, brand reputation, and customer ratings generated from thousands of authentic mattress reviews. We’ve broken up our models into three price range categories:

  • $500 or less
  • $501 to $1,000
  • $1,001 to $2,000

Furthermore, each price range is divided into mattresses that areprimarily sold online, and those that areprimarily sold in brick-and-mortar stores.

Below you will find detailed descriptions of all mattress models we have selected for these price ranges. But first, let’s discuss some considerations shoppers should make when searching for low-priced mattresses, as well as expected costs for different mattress types.

Important Factors for Choosing an Affordable Mattress

Finding a mattress that suits your sleep needs and preferences requires a great deal of product research, as there are many factors to consider in addition to price.

First, let’s look at mattress construction and performance factors that can help inform your mattress-buying decisions.

Firmness:Firmness refers to how soft or firm the materials in the topmost comfort layer feel beneath a sleeper’s body. There is no ‘correct’ firmness rating. Some sleepers prefer the more rigid surface of medium-firm or firm mattresses, while others feel most comfortable on a mattress rated as soft, medium-soft, or medium.

Knowing your preferred firmness level is key to finding the right mattress model, and we recommend testing out several different options. Some mattress models are available in multiple firmness ratings to accommodate shoppers with different options. Additionally, a handful of manufacturers offer ‘dual-firmness’ mattresses for couples with differing firmness preferences.

Support/Less Pain:Naturally, the supportiveness of a mattress is directly tied to its support core, or the components located beneath the comfort layer. The most supportive mattresses maintain a level surface that helps keep the sleeper’s spine straight. Mattresses that sag in the middle offer the least support, and can cause undue amounts of back, neck, and shoulder pain.

Conforming/Pressure Relief:Mattresses made of materials like memory foam and latex are designed to form cradle-shaped impressions around sleeper’s bodies. This contoured feel can alleviate pressure points along the spine, particularly in side-sleepers.

Other mattress types, such as innersprings, do not conform as closely, and may not provide the same level of pressure relief. If you tend to experience pressure, then a close-conforming mattress may your best option.

Durability:The average mattress will perform for up to seven years before it needs to be replaced. Some mattress types, such as innersprings and memory foam models, are associated with shorter lifespans, and tend to develop sagging and indentations in the sleep surface after a few years of use.

Other mattress types, like latex and airbed models, can perform for eight years or longer if properly maintained. Company history also plays a role in estimating the lifespan of a mattress; some models are touted for longevity, but since their manufacturer has only been in business for a couple of years, it’s impossible to know just how long they will actually perform.

Edge Support:Innersprings and hybrids are often reinforced with high-density polyfoam around the perimeter of the support core. This helps prevent sinkage at the edges of the mattress where people tend to sit or get out of/into bed. Mattresses made from foam or latex are rarely reinforced, and tend to offer little to no edge support.

Motion Isolation:Mattresses made of foam or latex often absorb movement and isolate it to confined areas of the sleep surface. This can cut down on nighttime disruptions whenever someone gets out of bed or shifts positions, and may be beneficial for couples who sleep together.

Innersprings and hybrids, by comparison, absorb and isolate motion to a much lesser extent.

Temperature Neutrality:Some mattress materials — most notable memory foam — can be ‘heat traps’, absorbing high levels of body heat from sleepers and causing them to feel uncomfortably warm during the night.

Other mattress types, such as innersprings, usually sleep much cooler. If you tend to sleep hot or warm, then temperature neutrality should be a key consideration.

Responsiveness/Sex:Mattresses with responsive surfaces, including innersprings and some hybrids, tend to be bouncier and, as a result, better for sex. Memory foam and latex mattresses respond much more slowly. This can cause a sinking sensation during sex that some couples liken to ‘fighting the mattress’.

Noise:Innersprings and hybrids tend to be fairly noisy due to their metal parts, and airbeds with electric components may produce noise as well. Memory foam and latex mattresses, on the other hand, are virtually silent when bearing weight.

Additionally, here are two individual body type and sleep preference factors that can help you determine which mattress is best for you:

Sleep Position:People who sleep on their back tend to be the most flexible when it comes to mattress selection. This position naturally aligns the spine and distributes weight equally. Other positions require more scrutiny. Side-sleeping, for instance, is not conducive to spinal alignment. As a result, side-sleepers require mattresses that offer enhanced support for the neck, shoulders, back, and hips. Otherwise, they tend to develop pressure points.

Stomach-sleepers, on the other hand, tend to sink more deeply into their mattress. These sleepers require a mattress that is firm enough to keep their spine aligned, but also soft enough to provide a comfortable cushion for their chest and stomach.

Body Weight:People who weigh between 130 and 230 pounds are considered to have an average weight. Those with average and below-average weights tend to feel most comfortable on mattresses rated between soft and medium. Anything firmer may not offer enough conforming and pressure relief.

People with above-average weights may feel more comfortable on mattresses rated medium-firm or higher. Soft sleep surfaces may not provide enough support for their heavier frames, and this can lead to added pain and pressure.

Mattress Types and Costs

The price-point of a mattress is usually — but not always — linked to the mattress type. Generally speaking, innersprings and foam/memory foam models tend to be much cheaper than latex, hybrid, or airbed options. This section features a breakdown of pricing factors for each of these different mattress types.

Innerspring

Innersprings are the most widely sold mattresses today, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all industry sales. They get their name from the steel springs used in their support cores.

Comfort layer:Most innersprings have one to two layers of polyfoam in the comfort layer. Some may also feature memory foam or latex, but any mattress with more than two inches of these materials is technically considered a hybrid.

Support core:The support core will be constructed with a layer of steel springs evenly spaced to distribute sleeper weight, and often a base polyfoam layer as well. These coils are measured using gauge, or thickness; the lower (or thicker) the gauge, the longer the overall lifespan. Four types of coils are used in today’s innersprings:

  • Bonnell coilsare hourglass-shaped. The gauge is variable; some are high, or thin, while others are low, or thick.
  • Offset coilsare also hourglass-shaped, but at least one end is hinged for enhanced weight support. Offset coils tend to be lower-gauge.
  • Continuous wire coilsare arranged in straight lines. They tend to be medium- or high-gauge.
  • Pocketed coilsare spiral-shaped and encased in fabric. These coils are typically found in hybrids, and tend to be high-gauge.

Price factors:Coil type tends to play a role in innerspring pricing; bonnell and continuous wire coils are usually found in cheaper models, while offset and pocketed coils tend to be found in pricier models. Coil gauge can also play a role, since lower-gauge coils often last longer than higher-gauge ones.

Coil count may also be used to justify higher prices, but there is little correlation between high coil counts and high customer satisfaction (or the inverse, low coil counts and low satisfaction ratings).

Average price:The average queen-size innerspring costs between$900 and $1,100.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses have become a popular mattress choice in recent years. Also known as viscoelastic polyfoam, memory foam conforms closely to sleeper’s bodies for enhanced spinal alignment and pressure relief. Over time sleepers form semi-permanent impressions in the sleep surface for a contoured fit, hence the name ‘memory’ foam.

Comfort layer:The comfort layer must include one layer of standard or specialty memory foam. Specialty memory foam includes gel memory foam, plant-based memory foam, and copper-infused memory foam. Polyfoam layers may be present in the comfort system, as well.

Support core:In most cases, the support core will be constructed from high-density polyfoam. This material is used to properly support the sleeper’s weight, as memory foam is not as supportive and would sink too deeply on its own.

Pricing factors:Foam density can be a cost factor. This refers to how much weight the mattress can support, and is measured in pounds per cubic foot (PCF). Memory foam density falls into three categories:

  • Low-densitymemory foam measures 3.9 PCF or lower. It retains its original shape quickly and does not offer as much motion isolation or pressure relief. As a result, it is normally found in less expensive mattresses.
  • Medium-densitymemory foam measures 4 PCF to 5.9 PCF. It retains it shape somewhat slowly, and provides moderate motion isolation and pressure relief.
  • High-densitymemory foam retains measures 6 PCF and higher. It retains its shape quite slowly, but conforms closely for targeted pressure relief and excellent motion isolation. High-density foam is often found in expensive mattress models.

Average price:The average queen-size memory foam mattress costs between$900 and $1,200.

Latex

Latex is a natural substance extracted from the rubber tree. Some mattresses primarily feature natural latex, while others feature high concentrations of synthetic latex, which is made from petrochemicals. The latex used in mattresses conforms closely for targeted pressure relief, making it comparable to memory foam. Latex mattresses are among the most durable mattresses sold today, with an average lifespan of eight years.

Comfort layer:A mattress must have at least two inches of latex to qualify as a true latex mattress. These models may also have polyfoam layers, but many only have latex in the comfort system. The latex used in mattresses is made via two different processes:

  • TheDunlop processrequires the latex to be stirred, molded, and stem-baked. The material tends to be heterogeneous, with sediment gathering at the bottom and a lighter, frothier material rising to the top. As a result, it can be somewhat bottom-heavy.
  • TheTalalay processrequires the latex to be vacuum-sealed, frozen, and baked. It is softer, lighter, and more homogenous than Dunlop latex.

Support core:The support core of a latex mattress may be made of latex, as well. In most cases, it will be Dunlop latex, which tends to be more supportive than Talalay latex. If the support core is not made of latex, then it is usually made of high-density polyfoam.

Pricing factors:Generally speaking, Talalay latex is more expensive than Dunlop latex. In addition, latex mattresses fall into one of three types based on how much natural/synthetic latex is used:

  • Natural latexfeatures at least 95% natural latex, but chemicals are needed to create the latex foam.
  • Blended latexfeatures at least 30% natural latex.
  • Synthetic latexfeatures 100% manmade latex with no natural components.

Average price:The average latex mattress costs between$1,600 and $2,000.

Hybrid

The term ‘hybrid‘ refers to mattresses with at least two layers of latex and/or memory foam in the comfort system and a coil-based support core, which is usually pocketed coils. Many sleepers feel that hybrids represent the ‘best of both worlds’ between innersprings and foam or latex models.

Comfort layer:As stated above, the comfort system must have at least two inches of latex and/or memory foam. Polyfoam layers may also be present, as well as microcoils.

Support core:Nearly all true hybrids sold today have pocketed coil support cores. They may also feature base polyfoam layers.

Price factors:Hybrids with multiple memory foam and/or latex layers tend to be priced much higher than those that meet the bare minimum for the comfort layer requirement. Pillow top models have extra padding at the sleep surface, and this too can drive up the price-point. However, pillow tops are also associated with shorter lifespans and sleeping hot.

Average price:The average hybrid mattress costs between$1,600 and $2,000.

Airbed

Airbeds are designed with individual air chambers in the support core. Most feature adjustable controls that owners can use to change the feel of their sleep surface; these controls may be manual, remote-controlled, and/or programmable using smart apps. Airbeds are fairly rare and tend to be expensive, but they can last for eight years or longer if properly maintained.

Comfort layer:The comfort layer of an airbed is usually constructed with at least one layer of polyfoam, although some high-end options feature memory foam or latex.

Support core:Airbeds sold today have at least two air chambers, but some may have up to six or more.

Pricing factors:A general rule-of-thumb: the better the technology, the more expensive the airbed. Models with remote or smart-app controls tend to be the priciest, whereas those with manual controls may be cheaper.

The number of air chambers can also affect the price, since a higher number of individual chambers usually means the comfort is more isolated to different areas of the sleeper’s body.

Average price:The average airbed costs between$2,000and$2,400.

When is the Best Time to Buy a Mattress?

Most mattress companies hold sales around major federal holidays, including President’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, and Veterans Day. Additionally, there are major shopping days, both online and in-person, on Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Sale periods differ by brand, but it is usually best to begin looking for deals up to a week before the holiday.

How Much Could Buying a More Durable Mattress Save You?

There are a few ways to look at the value of a mattress based on lifespan. Here is one.

Let’s say there’s one bed selling for $1,299 with a lifespan of about 6 years, and another selling for $1,499 that lasts about 8 years. Let’s say you decide to buy one of the two, over and over for 30 years.

The more affordable option will save $200 each time a new mattress is needed, about $600 minimum.

The first mattress will need to be bought about 5 times over that period for a total of $6,495. The more expensive option will need to be bought 3 times for a total of $4,497, which is an eventual difference of about $2,000. Subtract the amount saved from going for an affordable option, and the lower cost option still costs $1,400 more in the long run.

Lastly, it is important to consider the hidden costs of shipping and old mattress removal with each mattress purchase, which could add on a few hundred dollars and hours of your time. The more times you need to purchase a mattress, the more you will have to pay these extra costs.

How Can I Extend the Lifespan of my Mattress?

Much of what will keep a mattress going for longer boils down to regular care and maintenance. Washing and exchanging bedding on a regular schedule (we recommend every 1-2 weeks for most sheets), combined with an occasional cleaning of the mattress cover every few months will go a long way. Rotating the mattress a few times a year will help to spread out natural wear and tear across the mattress.

When it comes to the day-to-day, treat your mattress gently and with care. If possible, try to use the bed only for sleeping and avoid exposing it to strenuous activity such as jumping on the bed.

How To Make A Mattress Firmer

A few ways you can make a soft mattress firmer and more supportive.

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Before we begin, let’s first firm a few things up (get it). All jokes aside, this post is designed to be a helpful guide for you to firm up your existing mattress. Let’s get to it.

Why You Might Need A Firm Bed

There are many reasons why you might need a firmer mattress. Your bed may have simply arrived a little softer than expected. Also, some mattresses tend to get softer with time, as you break them in. If you have a back injury or some back pain, your doctor may have recommended that you sleep on a firmer surface. Or maybe your partner moved in, and they need a firmer mattress. Whatever it is, we’re here to help.

Let’s first go over some reasons why having a firmer versus a softer bed can be so important, and then we’ll talk about some options for making your mattress firmer.

Why Firmness Level Is Important

When we talk about firmness here at the Slumber Yard, know that we are doing so in a relative manner, as firmness is a term that is relative to weight. Basically, the less you weigh, the more you lay on top of a mattress, sofa, or any other surface for that matter. When you’re laying more on top of a surface, instead of sinking down in it, it will feel firmer to you. Because of this, petite people might find more mattresses feel firm to them.

On the opposite end of spectrum, the more you weigh, the more you sink into a mattress or other surface. Because you’re sinking down into the material more, the surface will feel softer. Heavier people might find more mattresses feel softer to them, and may have a more difficult time finding a firm enough bed. In some cases, though, we have found that heavier people will sink right through the comfort layers of a mattress and will settle more on the poly foam or coil base layers, which actually make the bed feel firmer. This isn’t good for your spine though.

Your sleeper type is also important when considering the firmness level you need in your mattress. Side sleepers tend to need a softer mattress that will accommodate their curves, instead of fighting against them and possibly limiting blood flow. Back and stomach sleepers will need a firmer mattress that will keep their spine in proper alignment while they sleep. Back and stomach sleepers shouldn’t have their hips or shoulders sinking into the bed too much, as this will cause the spine to be in an arched position, which can lead to back aches or other problems.

Plank is a firm mattress

Having a firm bed can also be better for your health. Remember, you sleep on your mattress for (hopefully) eight hours every night. Over the course of a lifetime, that’s a third of your life spent sleeping. Keeping the spine in proper alignment, whether sleeping on your back or on your side, is very important for the overall health of your body. This study even explores the concept that firmer bedding can reduce back pain, improve sleep quality, and decrease overall stress.

Keep all this in mind as we explore the different options you have when it comes to making your mattress more firm.

Options To Increase Firmness

Trial period.Many online mattress brands have trial periods, so that you can really get to know your new mattress before you commit. Most companies offer a 100-night trial period, but others, like Nectar for example, have year-long trial periods. Check to see if your mattress is still within its trial period, because you might be able to return the bed for a full refund, and most of the time the company will come remove the mattress for you, also free of charge. You could also try contacting the company and see if they can help you. Novosbed will even send you a Comfort+ Kit, which is a free foam topper, if you feel the firmness of the bed isn’t quite right for you.

Try placing your mattress on the floor.If that makes it feel firm enough for you, you could either go for a cool college kid vibe and leave it there, or you can try slipping some plywood boards between your mattress and the bed frame. This will add some extra firm support and possibly harden your mattress.

Check your box spring.Box springs can wear out with prolonged use. When they lose their strength, they provide less support for your mattress than they should, which in turn may make your mattress feel softer. Replacing a box spring is usually much less pricey than replacing a mattress, and can help to harden up your bed.

Replace the worn out layers.More and more companies are manufacturing their mattresses with different layers of material, so it’s easy to switch out the ones that are more damaged. This is also a more affordable way to make your mattress firmer. Just make sure your mattress has a removable mattress cover and you’re not

Dampness.Your bed can become soft from absorbing moisture from the air. This is common in humid areas or if you live close to the beach. If you think this might be the problem, just take your bed and lay it in the sun, and let it dry out for the day. This should not only firm up your mattress, but the sun should also kill off any bacteria, mold, and germs that may have occurred from the dampness. If you’re super worried about a contaminated mattress, you can also pay for a professional cleaning, but make sure to try this first.

Mattress topper.I know, you’re probably thinking, aren’t mattress toppers suppose to make beds softer? But there are tons of great mattress toppers you can find on Amazon that will make your bed firmer. We suggest a dense memory foam or a latex one. Latex is a natural foam material made from the sap of rubber trees, and its known to be pretty firm and responsive. They have synthetic latex options, as well, which are usually cheaper. Toppers are usually around 2”-6” thick, so they can make your bed decently thicker, or just a little bit thicker, if that’s what you prefer. Also, mattress pads tend to be thinner and make mattresses softer, so look specifically for a topper.

Consider your room temperature.Some materials, like 100% memory foam or airy polyurethane foam, can be temperature sensitive. If you leave them in a cold room they We’ve even heard of pure memory foam freezing solid if left in a super cold climate! Try adjusting your thermostat in your bedroom to a lower temperature, or even leave a window open and get the fan going and see if that firms up your bed a bit. Likewise, a warmer temperature might make your bed softer.

Rotate or flip your mattress.Sometimes simply rotating your bed so that the heavier parts of your body lay in different spots can help. We always recommend that, no matter what kind of mattress you have, you rotate it seasonally to help prevent against sagging or impressions. If your bed is two-sided, you can also try flipping it to make it firmer. Just double check first that it’s a flippable mattress. Some beds, like the Plank for example, come with two different firmness levels on each side. If there aren’t different firmness levels, the unused side will still often be firmer.

Nest Flip is a double-sided mattress

If all else fails, get a new mattress. As we explained above, the firmness of your bed is very important for your spinal health, and to prevent against body aches and stiffness. This is especially true for strict back or stomach sleepers. Also, having a worn out bed that’s been around too long is just not great for your body. If you’ve had your bed for over 10 years and it’s much softer than when you first got it, it might be time for a new mattress anyway. You can check out our list of Best Firm Beds or Best Beds for Back Sleepers if you want some help figuring out which bed might be best for you.

How Ford Makes Money

Global instability and falling car sales force Ford to change it up.

Ford Motor Co. (F), founded in 1919 by Henry Ford, is one of the world’s most iconic companies and has been among its largest for decades. The company has remained a long-standing component of the S&P 500 Index, despite the index’s uncommonly high turnover rate. Ford was the only major U.S. automaker to emerge from the financial crisis without having dipped into the public well to stay viable.

Key Takeaways

  • Ford is one of the oldest auto makers still in existence, with a global presence and a number of well-known brands and models.
  • Ford makes a majority of its income from producing and selling cars to consumers.
  • The company is interested in expanding its offerings to include electric vehicles and driverless cars.
  • Ford also generates profit from its leasing and financing arms that provide consumers with car loans and lease agreements.

Ford’s Current Outlook

Despite its impressive history, the past five years have been tough for Ford. During this period, the company’s stock has trended downward from $17.4 in August 2014 to a low of $7.4 in December 2018. Aside from global auto market uncertainty, this trend is attributable to various additional factors. in 2016, car-sales U.S. began falling as vehicles got more expensive. Ford has performed poorly in international markets including Europe, South America, and particularly in the Asia-Pacific. Finally, Ford has been slow to react to increasing demand for hybrids and electric vehicles.

More recently, a catastrophic fire at a Michigan-based magnesium plant disrupted Ford’s supply chain in May of last year. This forced the company to halt production of the Ford F-150, its best-selling car, for over a week. This disruption, coupled with reports of negligence at the plant, caused Ford’s stock price to fall over 35% by the end of the year. And sure enough, Ford’s Q4 2018 earnings report reflected the hit. The automotive company reported a net income of a mere $0.1 billion that quarter, down from $2.4 billion in Q4 2017.

Despite a bump in Ford’s stock price in the first two quarters of 2019 from $7.4 to $10.25, Forbes projects the company’s revenue will shrink 1.1% in 2019. When it released its 10-K and annual report on January 23rd, Ford had a market capitalization of $32.77 billion, a current ratio of 122% and a return on equity (ROE) of 14.41%. Last year, Ford’s Automotive sector shrank from 8.1 billion EBIT in 2017 to 5.4 billion in 2018.

The Business Model

According to its annual report, Ford saw a 2.23% bump in total revenues in 2018. However, the company’s net income fell by 51% YoY and its adjusted EBIT fell by 27% YoY. These losses are largely attributable to a significant drop in sales volume. The auto manufacturer sold about 6.6 million vehicles in 2017 and only 5.9 million in 2018, the largest drop in sales since the financial crisis. Ford’s business is split up into three segments: “Automotive,” which is by far the largest, “Ford Credit” and “Mobility.” Ford’s Automotive segment earned $5.4 billion EBIT in 2018. Mobility lost $674 million EBIT in 2018 and Ford Credit earned $2.63 billion EBIT in 2018.

  • Ford sold 5.9 million vehicles in 2018, down from 6.6 million in 2017.
  • Last year, Ford’s net income fell 51% YoY.
  • Forbes projects Ford’s revenue to shrink by 1.1% in 2019.
  • Ford’s stock price has trended downward since 2014, from a high of $17.4 in August 2014 to a low of $7.4 in December 2018.

Automotive

Ford makes the majority of its money by selling cars. It sells vehicles wholesale to dealers and distributors in the world’s five major geographical segments: North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific. Although Automotive revenue rose by about 2% in 2018, the segment’s EBIT shrank by a third YoY, from $8.1 billion in 2017 to $5.4 billion in 2018 according to annual reports and 10-Ks. Ford also lost market share in all five geographical segments.

North America is bar far the company’s biggest market, where it maintains a 13.4% domestic market share. Ford’s relative success domestically is its biggest buffer against its poor performance in international markets. In 2018, Ford earned EBIT of $7.61 billion in North America, up slightly from about $7.26 billion over the same period last year.

Ford’s international segments are more problematic. As an international company, Ford is at the mercy of the growing instability of the international monetary system. Inflation, tariffs, currency movements and unfavorable exchange rates have made Ford’s international dealings more difficult and are partly to blame for the company’s performance shortfalls in recent years.

In 2018, Ford lost a whopping $1.8 billion EBIT in the Asia-Pacific YoY. 84% of this loss stemmed from the Chinese market. Ford’s losses in China are attributable to a confluence of factors, including a slowdown of China’s economy and increased prices resulting from the trade war between the U.S. and China, which has made it more expensive to import cars from the U.S to China and vice versa. The prices of some of the raw materials Ford imports from China, like steel an aluminum, have also risen because of increased tariffs. In the long run, however, it is important to keep in mind that growing prosperity in a nation with four times the population of the U.S. means growing demand for goods. Current headwinds notwithstanding, U.S. corporations like Ford still stand to benefit from this demand, particularly when it comes to expensive goods such as automobiles.

In Europe, Ford lost $765 million EBIT in 2018 and $971 million in 2017. In addition to the growing international instability, these losses, according to Ford, are largely due to the chilling effect of Brexit. In South America, Ford lost $678 million EBIT in 2018, slightly better than its $735 million a year ago. Ford’s showed its greatest improvement in the Middle East and Africa segment, where it lost only $7 million EBIT, up from a $246 million loss in 2017.

The trade war between the U.S. and China has raised the cost of Ford’s raw materials like steel and aluminum.

Ford Credit

Ford Credit is a Ford subsidiary that offers a variety of automotive financing products to dealerships and individuals. These products allow dealerships to purchase new inventory and to increase their capacities, and allow dealerships to offer clients financing for purchasing and leasing automobiles without having to leave Ford’s business ecosystem. Ford Credit is available in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Ford earned $2.63 billion EBIT with its Ford Credit segment in 2018, up from $2.31 billion in 2017. 2018 was the segment’s highest full year EBT in eight years. However, this upward trend may not last much longer as car sales continue to decline. Ford Credit’s ROE, which fell from 22% in 2017 to 14% in 2018, forecasts the segment’s coming decline.

Mobility

Ford’s Mobility segment is essentially the company’s R&D division for self-driving cars and the software required for such cars. And since the company is not yet selling any of these cars, this segment doesn’t produce any revenue.

Ford increased its investment in this segment by $375 million in 2018.

Future Plans

This year, Ford has begun what it calls a “global redesign” to become more agile and less bureaucratic in the face of an auto industry destabilized by increasing competition, uncertainty and technological innovation. As Ford CEO Jim Hackett told investors in October, this redesign aims to slash $14 billion in costs by 2024.

The number of white-collar jobs Ford plans to slash in 2019.

Layoffs

Ford plans to cut roughly 10% of its salaried staff by August of this year, with its managerial staff taking the biggest hit. This move will eliminate 7,000 white-collar jobs and supposedly save the company $600 million a year. Ford touts these layoffs as part of its new, innovative strategy, but demurring analysts see them as a desperate cost-cutting measure.

Bigger Cars

In January, Ford announced it had earmarked 90% of its global capital allocation through 2023 for a company-wide shift to pickups, SUVs and commercial vehicles. This means that over the next four years Ford plans to phase out its sedans and other smaller cars. In recent years, Ford’s biggest vehicles have been its best sellers. In the U.S. Ford sells more F-150s than any other car, and in Europe it sells more Kuga SUV’s than any other car. Ford’s van sales are also strong in Europe. With these stats in mind, Ford’s shift to a portfolio of larger vehicles makes sense. The company is sticking to its biggest guns.

1 million

Ford F-150s sold in North America in 2018.

Autonomous Vehicles

As evidenced by Ford’s Mobility business segment, the company is increasing its investment in self-driving cars. This is certainly a forward-looking initiative on Ford’s part, but a breakthrough autonomous vehicles will not, in all likelihood, come soon enough to be the boon Ford needs.

Hybrids and Electric Vehicles

In January of 2018, it announced plans to invest $11 billion in electric vehicles, much higher than its previous target of $4.5 billion. With this investment, the company plans to roll out 40 electronic vehicles by 2022. 16 of these will be fully electric and the rest will be plug-in hybrids.

In April, Ford invested $500 million in Rivian, a Michigan-based electric vehicle start-up that sport two models, a five-passenger pickup and a seven-passenger SUV, with 400-mile ranges. As part of the deal, Ford will build an electric vehicle using Rivian’s technology. This investment came two months after Rivian secured a $700 million investment from Amazon (AMZN).

Key Challenges

A Destabilized Auto Industry

As outlined above, many of Ford’s challenges are macroeconomic in nature and affect the auto industry as a whole. For at least the last five years, central banks in many developed markets have tightened their monetary policies as governments deficits remain high. The U.S. Federal Reserve, for example, has raised its interest rates nine times since 2015, four times in 2018 alone. This tightening has increased volatility in developing nations, as exemplified by recent currency devaluations in countries like Turkey and Argentina. Such volatility has negatively impacted the global financial flows of companies like Ford. Recent rises in the prices of commodities like steel and aluminum have also raised costs for Ford, and the perpetually volatile price of oil further heightens uncertainty for Ford’s business.

In recent years, demand for cars has also fallen short of projections in key markets like North America and Europe and particularly in China. As Ford outlines in its annual report, these excesses have increased costs for auto manufacturers who have ramped up their capacities to meet perceived future growth. In China, for example, the auto industry witnessed excess capacity at 78% in 2018. Ford predicts to see an excess capacity of 47 million units, on average, until 2024.

Excess capacity leaves auto manufacturers with fixed costs and no way to cover them.

Increasing Competition

Auto manufacturers’ scramble to capitalize on the massive Chinese market has led to a spike in competition in the industry. This, coupled with falling demand and the rise of Chinese companies like Chery Automobile Co. and BYD Auto Co., has increased pressure on companies like Ford to keep prices high.

The rising demand for hybrids and electric vehicles, spurred by the rise of companies like BYD and Tesla (TSLA), has also increased competition and put pressure on established auto manufacturers to make their cars more efficient and technologically advanced.

$91 billion

The amount Volkswagen has pledged to invest in electric vehicles.

Late to the EV Game

While Ford’s 2019 announcement to invest $11 billion in electric vehicles is promising, the company may be left behind by competitors on this front. Toyota Motors (TM) announced in June that it was accelerating its plans to roll out nine new electric vehicles. It previously planned to release these models beginning in 2025, and now plans to start next year. In February, Volkswagen AG (VLKPF) announced bold plans to invest a total of €80 billion ($91 billion) in electric vehicles, including €30 billion ($33.5 billion) over the next five years. The German company says it wants to put 50 new electric vehicles on the road by 2025. It is unclear whether Ford’s relatively modest strategy or Volkswagen’s bold strategy will win out. But if the likes of Volkswagen and Toyota are right about the coming demand for electric vehicles, Ford will be left in the dust.

A good mattress can go a long way to ensuring you get a good night’s sleep.

Finding a mattress you find comfortable and suits your budget can be tricky.

Five minutes of feeling things out on a bustling show floor won’t help you figure out which brands and models are comfortable and long lasting.

We can help you work out what type and size of mattress is best for you, and even how to save 50% or more on your next purchase.

Looking for mattresses?

We’ve tested to find you the best.

How to choose a comfortable mattress

Comfort is subjective, but understanding mattress firmness and the differences in mattress type will help you narrow the field when it comes to testing a mattress instore.

How firm should my mattress be?

It all comes down to your preferred sleeping position:

  • Firm: If you sleep on your stomach, a firm mattress will keep your spine aligned.
  • Medium: If you sleep on your back, it’ll provide support for your spine, back and neck while keeping you comfortable.
  • Soft: Great for sleeping on your side because it’ll support and contour your body’s curves.

But be warned: we’ve found that most retailers’ firmness claims don’t match the bed being sold. We do body support and stability tests when we test mattresses, so check out our mattress reviews to see what we found.

If you’re a side sleeper, a soft mattress will support your body’s curves.

What type of mattress is best?

It really depends on your personal preference. For example, you may find a spring mattress supports your spine while a foam finish feels a bit too solid.

We explain the pros and cons, and price range, for the different types of mattresses.

There are two types of coil mattresses:

  • Continuous coil mattresses are made from a single piece of wire looped into springs.
  • Open-coil mattresses are made of single springs fixed together by one wire.
Price
  • $400 to $10,000*
  • They’re usually lighter than other options.
  • Typically cheaper.
  • Can wear out quickly.
  • Because the springs move as one unit the mattress is less responsive to your body.
  • Any tossing and turning is likely to disturb a partner.
  • Springs can rust.

* Typical retail for a queen-sized mattress.

Topped with a layer of temperature-sensitive viscoelastic material, aka memory foam.

Price

Pros

  • Absorbs your weight as you sink in, taking pressure off your joints and increasing circulation.
  • Can mould to the shape of your body.
  • No risk of rust (if foam only).

Cons

  • Can make you feel "encased".
  • Can feel too solid and dense (not springy). Not likely to please someone wanting a softer, more cushioned night’s sleep.
  • Can get warm easily due to limited air circulation.
  • Can be cumbersome to move due to their weight and heft.

* Typical retail for a queen-sized mattress.

A blend of natural and synthetic latex that moulds to body shape.

Price

Pros

  • Durable and breathable.
  • Better for people with allergies.
  • Doesn’t gather dust mites.

Cons

  • Has a solid feel, so they’re not likely to please someone wanting a softer, more cushioned night’s sleep.
  • Can be cumbersome to move due to their weight and heft.
  • Cheaper versions can get lumpy after a time.

* Typical retail for a queen-sized mattress.

Has up to 3000 springs sewn into individual fabric pockets.

Price

Pros

  • Good air circulation.
  • Firmness can be set by tweaking spring tension (by manufacturer).
  • Good support by distributing your body weight evenly.
  • Can support two people of two different body weights well because the springs are separate.

Cons

  • Can be heavy to turn, as they’re filled with natural materials, such as lambswool.
  • Natural materials can exacerbate allergies.
  • Springs can rust.

* Typical retail for a queen-sized mattress.

These combine elements of memory foam and spring mattresses. They have the same pros and cons.

What size mattress do I need?

Retailers and manufacturers recommend buying the largest bed your room can accommodate, and the length of the mattress should be at least 10–15 centimetres longer than the tallest person sleeping on it.

SizeMeasurements (W x L)
Single92 x 187cmSingle extra long92 x 203cmKing single106 x 203cmDouble137 x 187cmQueen153 x 203cmKing183 x 203cm

How to test a mattress instore

  • Take your time: Most people need seven to nine hours sleep a night. A couple of minutes on your back won’t come close to replicating this experience. Lie down for as long as you need – though you probably shouldn’t spend the night.
  • Move about: Roll over, sit up, get in and out of the bed. Ease of movement contributes to comfort. It will take more effort if the mattress is too soft, and will feel uncomfortable on your hips and shoulders if it’s too firm.
  • Sleep on slats (or a base): Make sure the bed base in the shop is similar to the one you have at home. If you have fixed slats or a hard surface, a soft mattress will feel very different on top of that, rather than the ensemble base it’s resting on in the shop.
  • Bring your partner: If you share a bed with someone regularly or every night, bring them along and ask them to lie in the bed and move around. Be aware of how the bed moves on your side when your partner moves.
  • Don’t shop tired: All the mattresses will feel great if you’re already sleepy!
  • Ask the salesperson to leave: While they may be friendly and helpful, few of us are able to really relax when someone is hovering around.
  • Ask questions about the display model: The mattress you test in store could have been on display for two days, two weeks or even two months, with hundreds of customers potentially trying them out over that period. This will affect sag, firmness, support and so on.
  • Ask if there’s a comfort guarantee:Most manufacturers don’t offer a guarantee on comfort, so you probably can’t return it if it doesn’t feel right. That said, there are a few brands that do, so it always pays to ask. Jump to Can I return a mattress? for more info.

Take your time when buying a mattress in store, and don’t be afraid to ask the salesperson to leave you to it.

How to get the best deal on a mattress

Retailers leave a significant amount of wiggle room in the price. In fact, you’re getting ripped off if you settle for RRP.

We shaved at least half and even two-thirds off the asking price while shopping for most of the mattresses in our recent tests by using the following tricks:

  • Wait for a sale: They take place regularly and can bring the price down by as much as 50%.
  • Head in store: Deals are generally better instore than online.
  • Haggle: We rarely encountered a salesperson who wasn’t willing to shave a few hundred dollars off the asking price, even during a sale.
  • Buy in bulk: Our discounts improved when we bought at least two beds at once, which may be handy if you’re refurnishing a house.
  • Consider exclusive ranges: Retailers such as Snooze, Forty Winks and Fantastic stock exclusive brands. We found that salespeople are much more inclined to sell these over third-party brands. Snooze, for example, offered us a much better discount on their exclusive Madison range when we expressed interest in buying a Sealy.

Retailers leave a significant amount of wiggle room in the price. In fact, you’re getting ripped off if you settle for RRP.

How to haggle

Haggling can be tricky, particularly if you’re not overly confident. But you don’t need to be a smooth-talking, wheeling and dealing sort to take advantage of potential savings.

After a little back-and-forward with salespeople, we asked this question:

  • "What’s the best you can do?"

That’s it – or some sort of variant.

Remember, you’re there to buy, they’re there to sell. You’re not establishing a lifelong friendship, and they’re not going to throw you out for asking.

Mattress mark-ups are so high, you don’t need to do much when it comes to saving money, which is why this question works.

Should I buy a mattress in store or online?

Bed in a box is an online only mattress industry. Manufacturers cut out the middleman by selling directly to the consumer, and they deliver compressed mattresses to your door in a box, hence the name. Once opened, the mattresses slowly expand into the full size (single, double, queen etc).

  • As well as being a cheaper, and much more convenient, almost all brands let you assess the mattress after purchasing.
  • If you don’t like it, you can return it for a refund, making the purchase more or less risk free.

However, this does not mean online shopping is always the best option.

Buying your mattress instore

  • Can try before you buy.
  • Opportunity to haggle.
  • Lots of options from multiple brands in one place.
  • Point of return if faulty.
  • Many types available.
  • Generally no trial period (some exceptions such as Forty Winks).
  • Can’t change your mind once it’s used.
  • Shady sales practices (e.g. tested firmness doesn’t match advertised firmness).
  • Sales situations can be high pressure.
  • Need to take it home or pay extra for delivery.

Buying your mattress online

  • Delivered to your door.
  • Cheaper.
  • Trial period (e.g. Koala allows 120 days, no questions asked returns).
  • Can change your mind.
  • No pressure to buy.
  • Sold at set price. No ability to haggle.
  • You need to buy the mattress before trying it.
  • Forced to trust manufacturer claims regarding firmness, comfort etc.
  • Can be harder to return (than a traditional retailer).
  • Mostly limited to foam mattresses (small number of spring mattresses available)

Trial period

Bed in a box brands however, offer home trial periods that range from 30, to more than 100 nights. If you’re unhappy with your purchase, you can exchange the mattress for a different model (if available), or a full refund.

  • It takes a few nights, minimum, to adjust to a new mattress.
  • You aren’t forced to speculate and make a snap decision that you may later regret.
  • You may come to like a bed that initially felt uncomfortable. This is another reason why our out of the box comfort results are not the defining scores in our test.
  • It significantly reduces the financial risks involved.

See our mattress reviews to find out how long the different retailers give you to try the mattress at home and still return it.

Can I return a mattress?

Making a warranty claim on your mattress

This can be tricky, because arguments regarding comfort, faults and so on can be considered subjective, or part of ‘normal wear and tear’.

And while most mattresses have a 10-year warranty period, the small print is often overflowing with restrictions and conditions.

Take SleepMaker for example. While their warranty covers manufacturing faults, theywon’t protect against:

  • a reasonable level of dipping (25–35mm)
  • comfort concern as a result of product selection
  • heat issues.

These are just some of the terms, but they illustrate the grey areas consumers can find themselves in.

As our investigation into spring mattresses found, advertised and tested firmness rarely match up, and it’s likely that your purchase may not be as comfortable as you expect.

However, this wouldn’t fall under a warranty claim in SleepMaker’s case. These terms aren’t exclusive to SleepMaker. In fact, they’re one of the more upfront brands when it comes to outlining their claims procedure.

Most mattresses have a 10-year warranty period, but the small print is often overflowing with restrictions and conditions

Returning your mattress (traditional retailer)

The onus largely falls on you, the buyer, to make the right purchase if you’re buying from a retailer, even when the industry practices are questionable.

Because mattresses are used in the same manner as clothes, headphones etc., getting a refund under general consumer protections can be difficult.

These generally cover unfit for purpose, which isunlikely to include:

  • comfort
  • size (mattress not fitting your base)
  • reasonable sagging after extensive use
  • damage due to misuse or mishandling
  • smell and general wear and tear (i.e. stains).

If you truly feel that you’ve been sold a faulty product, be persistent. You can make a return.

One of the mattresses we bought from our test arrived with rust around the frame. This is reasonable grounds for a return.

Returning your mattress (bed in a box)

Almost all bed in a box brands offer a free trial period. You can return the mattress for a refund within this time, if you don’t like it. Returned beds are typically donated to charity.

However, you must adhere to these general terms to be eligible:

  • Duration: Make sure you apply for a refund/return within the allocated period.
  • Minimum use period: Brands also specify a minimum usage period before you’re eligible for a return, so you can take time to properly assess the mattress.
  • Damage: You won’t be able to return a mattress if it’s damaged, sunk, stained, torn etc. It’s worth treating your mattress like fine china, keeping it well away from food, drink and so on, and making sure you’re clean as a whistle when it’s time for bed.
  • Protection: Almost all brands specify that you must use a mattress protector during the free trial period.

Check the "free trial" page on the company’s website to find the specific terms

The so-called free trial period may incur a return fee depending on where you live, and how the manufacturer handles returns.

  • Metro areas:major cities and urban centres are eligible for free returns in almost all cases.
  • Rural and regional areas: about half of the brands we looked at charge a pickup fee outside metro locations.
  • Service dependent: companies will either send their own crew, a courier, or a representative from their charity they’ve partnered with to collect the mattress. You may have to organise your own courier if the brand can’t make it to your location, which will result in additional costs. This is usually determined during the return process.
  • Occasionally, you’ll encounter brands that charge an exchange fee, on top of the pickup costs.

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