How To Choose A Mattress For A Baby

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How to choose a mattress for a baby

Getting Started
Choosing a crib mattress might seem like a boring task but it’s one that warrants careful consideration. The mattress is as important as the crib, and we recommend buying the best one you can.

Why does it matter? For one thing, your baby will spend a lot of time in his crib. It might seem hard to believe, especially when you’re getting up to feed a fussy baby in the middle of the night, but infants sleep up to 18 hours a day.

You’ll want to make sure the mattress fits properly in the crib you’ve selected without gaps that could pose a danger to your baby. And the mattress should be firm. A soft one can conform to the shape of your baby’s head or face, increasing the risk of suffocation or even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
There are two general types of crib mattresses: foam and innerspring. Both types—if they’re good quality—will keep their shape well and provide excellent support for infants and toddlers. There are differences, though. Foam—usually made from polyurethane—tends to be lighter (about 5 to 13 pounds) compared with an innerspring mattress (about 15 to 30 pounds). So although you’ll probably be lifting just a corner at a time when changing your baby’s sheets, it might be a bit easier with a foam mattress. Foam is also less springy and therefore less likely to be used as a trampoline when your child is older. Still, innerspring crib mattresses are more popular in the U.S., possibly because most adults sleep on innersprings, too.

Look for Quality
Whichever type of mattress you chose, look for quality. The cheapest foam and innerspring mattresses have thin vinyl coverings and edgings that can tear, crack, and dry out over time. As prices increase, coverings tend to be thicker, puncture-resistant, reinforced double or triple laminates, or very fine organic cotton. An innerspring mattress that has more or better-gauge steel and better-quality cushioning will weigh more. The same goes for a foam mattress that’s made of denser, better-quality foam.

Still, you don’t have to spend a fortune or try as many mattresses as the Princess and the Pea to get a good-quality one. A mattress that costs between $90 and $200 will generally serve your baby well. Prices for foam and innerspring mattresses are comparable, ranging from $50 to $400 and up. (The more expensive ones are made with organic cotton or natural latex.) Low-priced models (less than $90) might be too soft and flimsy. Higher-priced models tend to be firmer and therefore safer.

You Can’t Tell a Mattress by Its Cover
With a mattress, almost everything that matters is on the inside. Some crib mattresses feel great in the store but begin to falter once your baby starts to use it. We’ve learned that you can’t depend on sales staff, even at reputable retail outlets, to give you accurate information. One told us, quite convincingly, that innerspring mattresses were better than foam because foam tends to "break down" after 18 months. Twenty-five years ago that may have been true, but not anymore. "A top-quality foam crib mattress will hold up just as long as an innerspring crib mattress with normal use," says Dennis Schuetz, director of marketing for the Colgate Juvenile Products Company, a manufacturer in Atlanta. That’s because foam crib mattresses have become much more durable.

Hit the Stores
Once you get a sense of options in different price ranges, you should go to a store to see what a quality crib mattress looks and feels like. One place to start? The label. Manufacturers are required by law to reveal what a mattress is made of. Don’t buy one from a manufacturer or retailer that doesn’t tell you this with in-store information, displays, or online specifications. In fact, you should be able to find out the components of each layer. And when you push down on a mattress, your hand should spring right up. Schuetz says the biggest mistake parents make is picking a mattress that’s comfortable for them. It’s better to pick a crib mattress that’s harder than you would like it to be. "If it feels good to you, it’s too soft for your baby," he says, adding that babies need more support than adults.

Buy New
Buy a new crib mattress, if possible. For one thing, it ensures that the mattress is sanitary. If you buy a used mattress or accept a hand-me-down, you won’t know for sure how it was cared for or stored. Mold can grow in improperly stored crib mattresses, and bacteria can fester on the surface from liquids (diaper leakage, spit-up) that weren’t properly cleaned up. If you buy a new one for your first child and keep it clean, you can use it for your next child if you store it in a dry environment and it stays firm.

Use a Cover
Use a tightly fitting, washable waterproof mattress cover to protect the mattress and keep the baby’s sleeping environment as clean and sanitary as possible.

Test the Fit
By law, all full-sized crib mattresses must be at least 27 1/4 inches by 51 5/8 inches, and no more than 6 inches thick. If you can, shop in a store that displays crib mattresses on the selling floor, and check the fit by putting it inside a sample crib before you buy it. If you can squeeze more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib, the mattress is too small.

Don’t Worry About Warranties
Some mattresses offer warranties for one year, seven years, or even a lifetime. Don’t be swayed by a long warranty, and don’t pay extra for a mattress with a warranty. "Warranties are mostly a marketing tool to entice the consumer to spend more," Schuetz says. In general, you can expect a quality crib mattress to last as long as you’re going to use it as long as the cover doesn’t rip or tear.

We have not tested any of these crib mattresses.

The Best Baby Crib Mattresses

Best Parent-Approved Crib Mattress

Moonlight Slumber Crib Mattress

Why we picked it

  • Bed bug and dust mite resistant
  • Easy to clean with a damp cloth or sponge to quickly remove messes
  • Made with non-toxic materials for a safe, healthy sleep

Best Designed Crib Mattress

Nook Crib Mattress

Why we picked it

  • Designed for both infants and toddlers with a dual-sided sleep system
  • Made free of harsh chemicals and toxins to keep your baby safe
  • Waterproof, flame resistant crib mattress with machine washable wrap

Best Infant to Toddler Crib Mattress

Colgate Dual Firmness Crib Mattress

Why we picked it

  • Fights snugly into standard cribs to reduce risks and sleep hazards including the baby’s arms and legs getting stuck
  • Designed to meet both infant and toddler sleep needs with dual-sleep sides to fit both infant and toddler beds
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

The Best Baby Crib Mattresses

A full security system may be the peace of mind you and your loved ones need to sleep better.

5 Best Baby Mattresses of 2019

  • Moonlight Slumber Crib Mattress –Best Parent-Approved
  • Nook Crib Mattress –Best Designed Crib Mattress
  • Colgate Dual Firmness Crib Mattress –Best Infant to Toddler Crib Mattress
  • Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed –Most Green Materials
  • LULLABY EARTH Baby Crib Mattress –Easiest Mattress to Clean

Compare Top Baby Mattresses

1. Moonlight Slumber Crib Mattress

Our take

This Moonlight Slumber crib mattress grows with your baby to the toddler stage with a dual-sided sleep system. The mattress is made with high-density foam for infancy stages and certified CertiPUR-US foam. Simply clean this mattress with a damp cloth to easily wipe away any messes without leaving any stains. It’s designed without flame retardants and is made with double-stretch knit fabric for a long-lasting crib mattress.*Although Moonlight Slumber’s website does not list polyurethane as an included material, Safety.com experts contacted a Moonlight Slumber representative who confirmed that polyurethane is a material used for the mattress to be waterproof.

Stand-out features include

  • Designed for both infants and toddlers with a double-sided mattress
  • Includes SafeSewn seams to be dust mite and bed bug resistant
  • Waterproof, flame resistant and hypoallergenic

2. Nook Crib Mattress

Our take

The Nook Sleep Pebble Air is an all-in-one crib mattress that doesn’t require a mattress pad or cover. Its light-as-a-feather design keeps the mattress breathable to help your baby sleep comfortably. The mattress includes zinc guards to protect your baby against any built up germs for a clean and safe mattress. The Pebble Air comes in three colors to find the best fit your nursery design.

Stand-out features include

  • Designed for both infants and toddlers with a dual-sided sleep system
  • Made free of harsh chemicals and toxins to keep your baby safe
  • Waterproof, flame resistant crib mattress with machine washable wrap

3. Colgate Dual Firmness Crib Mattress

Our take

This Colgate crib mattress fits all standard cribs and toddler beds. The light and airy mattress design make it easy to flip when your infant grows into a toddler. It’s made with sustainable plant oils and meets safety requirements from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) to keep your baby safe from flammable materials.

Stand-out features include

  • Designed for both infants and toddlers with a double-sided mattress
  • Made with Certified Organic cotton mattress cover and CertiPUR certified safe foam
  • GREENGUARD GOLD Certified to be free of harsh chemicals

4. Newton Baby Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed

Our take

This Newton Baby light crib mattress is made with 100 percent recyclable materials. It’s designed to fit most standard cribs for a light, safe sleep. The Newton mattress uses Breathe-Thru Technology to reduce the risk of suffocation and breathing carbon dioxide by allowing the mattress’ air to flow freely. This mattress comes in four colors to best fit your nursery design.

Stand-out features include

  • Designed with an air core for air to easily pass for a light, breathable sleep
  • GREENGUARD GOLD Certified to be free of harsh chemicals
  • Designed with a washable 3D spacer cover to reduce the worry of stains or mold while allowing air to flow freely

5. LULLABY EARTH Baby Crib Mattress

Our take

The Lullaby Earth crib mattress is flat with firm edges to fit standard cribs safely. It’s made to allow air to flow 360-degree under your infant with ease. The crib mattress is created with firm edges to avoid your baby from getting stuck in the space between the mattress and crib frame. Simply wash the removable mattress pad to remove any messes without any stains left behind.

Stand-out features include

  • Designed with 3D fabric to allow mattress air to flow freely
  • GREENGUARD GOLD Certified to be free of harsh chemicals
  • Waterproof and flame resistant crib mattress

6. Milliard Crib Mattress and Toddler Bed

Our take

This long-lasting Milliard crib mattress is designed with five inches of high-quality foam to avoid it sinking over time. It includes a mattress cover that easily wipes away stains and messes. The mattress was made with your infant’s safety in mind – free of toxins and harsh chemicals for safe and serene sleeping.

Stand-out features include

  • Designed with a density of 28D to keep your infant from sinking into the crib mattress and prevent SIDS
  • Includes a removable, waterproof cover to protect your crib mattress
  • Waterproof and flame resistant crib mattress

7. Safety 1st Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress

Our take

Safety 1st designed this lightweight crib mattress with high-quality foam to prevent your infant from sinking while sleeping. The mattress is water and flame resistant to keep your baby safe and sound while sleeping. This mattress comes in three colors to best fit your nursery design.

Stand-out features include

  • GREENGUARD GOLD Certified to be free of harsh chemicals
  • Includes a 100% vinyl mattress cover that easily wipes away stains and messes
  • 5-year limited warranty

8. Sealy Toddler and Baby Crib Mattress

Our take

The Sealy crib mattress uses 150 steel coils and border rods to fit your crib for your baby to sleep safely. The mattress is designed with four layers for a firm, safe slumber. It includes a waterproof mattress cover to withstand water, moisture and mildew.

Stand-out features include

  • GREENGUARD GOLD Certified to be free of harsh chemicals
  • Uses lock-stitched binding to protect the crib mattress from odors and stains
  • 10-year warranty

9. Graco Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress

Our take

This Graco crib mattress is made with five inches high-quality foam. It’s made with a polyurethane foam base for light and airy sleep. It’s made free from chemicals including phthalates and lead for a safe crib mattress that works for both infant and toddler growth stages. Graco’s crib mattress fits into a lightweight box to easily unpack for your convenience.

Stand-out features include

  • Designed for both infants and toddlers with a double-sided mattress
  • Includes a removable, waterproof cover to protect your crib mattress
  • GREENGUARD GOLD Certified to be free of harsh chemicals

10. Dream On Me Crib and Toddler Bed Mattress

Our take

This Dream On Me 2-in-1 crib mattress is easy to clean messes and stains with only warm water and soap. It’s designed for both infants and toddlers with six inches of firm foam and one inch of light and comfy foam for newborns to sleep happily and safely. The crib mattress cover is waterproof and hypoallergenic to reduce the worry of mold and mildew over time.

Stand-out features include

  • Meets Federal Flammability Standards by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • GREENGUARD GOLD Certified to be free of harsh chemicals
  • 15-year warranty

11. Beautyrest 2-in-1 Crib and Toddler Mattress

Our take

The Beautyrest crib mattress uses 231 high-quality coil springs for a night of safe, firm sleep. Flip the mattress when your baby grows for toddlers to sleep safely with foam. The mattress is hypoallergenic to reduce the worry of mold and mildew in the mattress. It also includes a fire resistant wrap to protect the mattress and your baby.

Stand-out features include

  • Designed for both infants and toddlers with a double-sided mattress
  • GREENGUARD GOLD and CertiPUR-US Certified to be free of harsh chemicals
  • Includes a woven, waterproof mattress cover with a stain-resistant design

12. Kolcraft Infant and Toddler Crib Mattress

Our take

The Kolcraft Pure Sleep crib mattress is designed to grow with your infant to the toddler years using a dual-sleep design. It’s made with 150 high-quality coils to avoid the common concern of your baby sinking into the mattress. This mattress’ design makes it easy to clean with a damp cloth to remove and messes or stains for your baby to enjoy their sleep.

Stand-out features include

  • GREENGUARD GOLD and CertiPUR-US Certified to be free of harsh chemicals
  • Includes a breathable, easy to clean waterproof cover to protect your crib mattress
  • 10-year warranty

13. My Green Mattress Crib Mattress

Our take

This Emily crib mattress is made with a natural, 100% organically processed, and made with eco wool. The mattress can easily be flipped to prevent too much wear and tear on one side for a long-lasting crib mattress. It’s free of polyurethane foams to avoid the risk of your infant being exposed to toxins and harmful chemicals during sleep.

Stand-out features include

  • Made with Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) cotton and 150 high-quality coil springs
  • Lead-free certified by the UL Laboratories for a crib mattress free of harsh chemicals
  • 10-year warranty

14. Babyletto Non-Toxic Crib Mattress

Our take

The Babyletto Pure Core mattress was designed with your baby’s safety in mind. It is a vegan, non-toxic crib mattress free of flame retardants or dyes. The mattress has both a firm and soft side to match your baby’s sleep needs from infant to toddler growth stages for many nights of free of harsh chemicals when sleeping.

Stand-out features include

  • Designed for both infants and toddlers with a double-sided mattress
  • Includes a vinyl-free, removable, easy to clean waterproof cover to protect your crib mattress
  • 10-year warranty

15. Naturepedic Dual Firmness Crib Mattress

Our take

The Naturepedic crib mattress uses 150 heavy-duty coils for infants to have firm support while sleeping. It includes square corners for your baby to sleep safely without risk of arms or legs getting stuck in tight corners. The crib mattress is made from a GOTS-certified brand that only uses GOTS-approved materials for your baby’s safety.

Stand-out features include

  • Made with 100% USA organic cotton fabric and GOTS-certified materials
  • Designed for both infants and toddlers with a double-sided mattress
  • Square edges for the crib mattress to fit tightly and securely into any standard crib

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Showing 15 of 15 products

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Crib Mattress

Use a waterproof cover

Your crib mattress cover should be waterproof to resist any accidents or spills that are common with babies. If the mattress or mattress cover is not waterproof, there’s an increased likelihood of mold or mildew building over time from the retained moisture. Mold can lead to health issues especially if your baby has asthma or allergies. Even if your mattress is designed to resist moisture, regularly inspect the crib mattress appearance and smell.

Best Crib Mattresses of 2020

Choosing a crib mattress can be confusing. Here’s what to know to have your baby sleeping like, well, a baby.

During the first few months of life, your baby will spend more time asleep than awake—although it won’t always seem that way! Part of getting your little one to sleep soundly is creating a good sleeping environment.

In this article:

What Are the Types of Crib Mattresses?

There are different types of crib mattresses to choose from, but what matters most is getting a quality one. Which type you end up buying is more a matter of personal preference. Here are the options:

Innerspring mattresses:This traditional mattress type has steel coils inside, which makes it resilient and sturdy. Above the coils, innerspring mattresses have layers of different cushioning materials, such as polyester, cotton or foam.

You’ll see innersprings described by their coil count (that’s the number of steel coils in the mattress; the more coils, the more supportive) and steel gauge (the thickness of the coil; the lower numbers are thicker). Some models also have metal border rods that provide stability around the edges.

Innerspring mattresses can be pricey, especially if you’re looking into higher coil count. Reliable brands range from $80 to $300. These mattresses also tend to weigh more (something to consider for when you have to change crib sheets in the night).

Foam mattresses:These are typically made from polyurethane, a foam resin. Foam mattresses can be a great choice because they’re lightweight and durable, and are also usually the least-expensive mattress option.

When choosing a foam crib mattress, you want to make sure it’s resilient. Test this by pressing your hand on the mattress and seeing how long the surface takes to regain its shape (the faster, the better).

Also, look for a mattress that has a higher density, which makes it firmer. You can test this by how heavy it is (denser mattresses are typically heavier) or by squeezing the sides of the mattress (you won’t be able to press that hard on denser models).

Double-sided mattresses:2 for 1! These mattresses have a firmer infant side and a softer side that is more appropriate for toddlers who still use a crib or convertible toddler bed. Just flip it over to give your tot a softer, more comfortable mattress.

Keep in mind though, these models might be more expensive than some infant crib mattresses. And, you’ll have to remember to place the correct side of the mattress facing up when you’re changing the crib sheets.

How to Choose a Crib Mattress

Crib mattresses are similar to adult mattress, but with a few special considerations. Here’s what to look for in a crib mattress:

  • Firmness:Crib mattresses are firmer than adult ones in order to keep babies safe and to support growing bones while they sleep. Make sure the mattress is rated for infant use.
  • Waterproof:Crib mattresses should have a vinyl or polyethylene surface to make them waterproof and resist mold. If yours is fabric be sure to use a waterproof cover.
  • Fit:The mattress should fit snugly against the frame. You shouldn’t be able to fit more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib. If you choose a mini crib or bassinet, the same sizing rules apply.
  • Materials:Some parents prefer mattresses made from natural and organic materials to avoid chemicals used in standard mattress production. (Note: No health effects have been evaluated yet).

Crib Mattress Safety Guidelines

Obviously, your baby’s safety is a top priority. Here are a few safety basics to keep in mind when choosing a crib mattress:

  • Avoid second-hand if possible:Because of the dangers associated with mold and bacteria, it’s best to avoid a used mattress, especially if you don’t know the history of the product. Reusing one from another one of your children? Make sure there aren’t any openings in the waterproof cover where mold could’ve taken root.
  • Keep the crib empty:Although they look lovely, pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals and blankets shouldn’t be in a baby’s crib. That’s because they can wind up covering your baby’s face and be a suffocation hazard. Keep it to a fitted sheet only.
  • Place baby on their back:The safest sleeping position for your baby is on the back. It reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is the leading cause of death in the first year of life.
  • Check before you flip the mattress:If you have a double-sided mattress, check with your pediatrician to see if the time is right to flip it over to the toddler side. Most parents make the switch when their children are about 12 months old.

Do you think this content is helpful? Let our editors know!

How We Chose Our Best Crib Mattresses

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the products they love the most. We took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best crib mattresses.

How to choose the best mattress for your baby

First published on Monday 1 August 2016 00:00 BST Last modified on Friday 17 May 2019 , 16:14 BST

Lucy Dimbylow

All parents long for a good night’s sleep, and choosing the right mattress for your baby’s bed could help make it a reality.

When you’re buying nursery furniture for babies and toddlers, ensuring that you pick a decent mattress will help to keep your baby cosy and comfortable overnight, and will also ensure that he’s sleeping safely, reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death.

How much does a cot mattress cost?

There are four types of mattress for your baby’s bed.

The cheapest is foam, followed by sprung or coiled, then pocket sprung, and finally – and most expensive – natural fibre.

Moses basket and crib mattresses range from around £8 to £30, while mattresses for cots and cot beds cover a scale from £20 to £450 or more.

What are the different types of cot mattress?

Of the four types of baby mattress, foam mattresses are the most economical buy.

They’re usually made of a single layer of foam, which should be 8-10cm thick for comfort, with a waterproof fabric cover that can often be unzipped and machine-washed so it’s easy to keep clean.

Some have ventilation holes at one end, although this isn’t necessary.

They’re a good-value option, but can make babies feel rather clammy and sweaty in bed; your baby’s weight may also lead to a permanent indentation developing in the spot where he sleeps.

Sprung or coiled mattresses are made up of coiled springs arranged vertically next to each other inside the mattress.

These are then topped with foam or felt, and all encased in a fabric mattress cover, which usually has one waterproof, wipe-clean side.

They’re a little more expensive than foam mattresses, but are firmer and tend not to mould to your baby’s shape.

However, the springs can sometimes be felt through the surface of the mattress, which could compromise your baby’s comfort.

You can get mattresses made to measure if your cot is an unusual size, but this can work out as quite an expensive option.

Pocket sprung mattresses are also filled with springs, but they’re enclosed in individual fabric compartments.

They’re comfortable, supportive and hold their shape well, but they are among the most expensive mattresses on the market.

Finally, natural-fibre mattresses are filled with fibres such as coir (coconut fibres), coated in latex rubber for extra durability.

These mattresses don’t get deformed by your baby’s weight so they generally last a long time, which could make them a wise investment if you’re buying a cot bed that converts to a junior bed that your baby can use for several years.

The natural fibres also let air circulate so your baby doesn’t get so hot and sweaty.

However, they are expensive and aren’t as widely available as other types of mattress.

Some baby mattresses have a hypoallergenic covering that can be unzipped and machine-washed.

This helps to prevent allergic reactions caused by dust mites, pet hair and other allergens.

Baby mattresses come in different sizes to fit Moses baskets, cribs, cots and cot beds, but it’s important that you carefully check the dimensions before you buy.

Not all baby beds are regular sizes – for example, cots come in standard and continental sizes – and it’s essential that you buy a mattress that fits the bed snugly to prevent your baby getting an arm or leg trapped between the mattress and the side of the bed.

You can get mattresses made to measure if your cot is an unusual size, but this can work out as quite an expensive option.

What you need to know about cot mattresses

Cot mattresses should meet the safety standard BS 1877-10:1997, so always check this out, especially if you’re buying online from a lesser-known retailer.

It’s also advised that you always buy a new mattress with a waterproof cover for your baby’s bed, even if you’re using a second-hand Moses basket, crib or cot, as this will help to protect against SIDS.

Checklist

  • Foam mattresses are the cheapest sort of baby mattress but don’t hold their shape well.
  • Sprung and pocket sprung mattresses are better at keeping their shape but more expensive.
  • Natural fibre mattresses are good quality and stay in shape but are the priciest type.
  • Always check dimensions to ensure the mattress is a good fit in your baby’s bed to prevent injuries.

Read on:

This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small amount of money if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase from Amazon. All our articles and reviews are written independently by the Netmums editorial team.

How To Choose a Mattress in 5 Easy Steps – The Definitive Guide

I think you will agree with me when I say that choosing the right mattress is no easy task?

First, you have to dispose of your old one and then go through a tedious process of selecting a new bed that will serve you well for years to come.

And having couple dozen options, manufacturers and handful types and materials doesn’t help, does it?

Luckily for you, you canfind out exactly how to pick a new mattressand most important thing to consider.

Table of contents (use it to jump to a certain section)

If you are in a hurry jump to our conclusion and summary.

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Step 1: Do You Really Need A New Mattress?

Many people change their beds after just a few years, and that’s perfectly fine if you can afford it. The fact is, it’s not a small investment, so take a moment to determine do you really need a new.

Generally, after seven or eight years you will most likely need a new mattress. Of course, it depends on the quality and material (we will cover the types and materials later in this article). And if you feel back or neck pain it might, your bedding is a good place to start.

Here is the average mattress lifespan in years based on material and type:

Step 2: Determine your Budget

A bit of personal backstory here…

Several years back I went to a store and purchased amattress priced at $2500which was not even the most expensive one there. During the first year or so it was perfect, and I felt rejuvenated, and I slept like a baby during that time.

But, something happened.

My new and awesome mattress started sagging and losing support and needless to say my back and neck suffered.

Another two years had passed until I decided to buy a new oneonline at $850and this is the same one I’m using today after three years. Back to reality.

Not anyone will have the budget to walk into a store and buy something for several thousand dollars. Luckily, these days there are manyonline optionsyou can choose from rangingfrom $500 to $1200. There are also Black Friday bed deals (and Cyber Monday) that can result in additional savings as well.

Don’t get confused here. More money does not mean better quality. If you think that some of these online options are somehow worse than in-store ones, you are badly mistaken.Stores tend to inflate the prices as much as 1000%.

Here are some guidelines for you:

  • Don’t always go with the cheapest option you find– This is a rule of thumb for most products you buy online. Spending less than $500 for a queen mattress simply because it means lower durability, more toxins and lower sleep quality in general.
  • Higher Price does not mean Higher Quality– I bet you know this one, but it’s worth mentioning.
  • Go with $1000 range for Queen size– This is usually where you will find the best bang for your buck.
  • King / Cal King will cost slightly more– I would increase the budget for King and California King to $1400-1500 as you will have many more choices in that range.
  • Now that you have your new budget set, I’m guessing you are asking yourself“what type of mattress is best for me?”Let’s dig in.

Step 3: Choose Your Ideal Type and Material

Ok, so this is where most people will go with their personal preference rather than anything else. If someone says “latex is the best,” I would not take this as final until I read other opinions and test it myself. Here are the most common options you will find these days.

Innerspring (Coils)

This is the most traditional form of the mattress, and as of late, it’s received a bad rap. However, it is important to understand the potential benefits you could receive from going the traditional route, as well as the reasons why this option has lost its luster.

An obvious pro to purchasing a bed with springs is that it is one of themost affordable optionson the market, due in part to a decrease in demand and also in part to so many other options that have the potential to be more comfortable andbetter for overall health.

Another consideration is that these mattresses are known to last for decades. Spring beds are exceedingly durable. Being that the springs are typically made from different types of metals, they tend to keep their shape for many years.

Additionally, being that they are the most traditional style, they are also the most familiar. People recognize and understand what they are getting when they purchase a bed with springs. There is no guess work with this option like there may be with memory foam or other newer options.

The last notable advantage to this style of bed is that, because of the amount of space located between the springs, this option allows for the most circulation of air. This flow helps to keep the temperature down, allowing for acooler night’s sleep.

Example of the coil mattresses structure

Ideal for: People who want strong support, durability, cooling and great bounce. It also has an excellent edge support.

Latex

These mattresses are known for their fantastic cooling and comfort. Latex has a good bounce, responsiveness too.

Authentic latex foam is made from a tree called Hevea-Brasilenis tree, specifically from the white liquid extracted from it. Latex is harvested, and when the excess water is removed, you end up with raw material fantastic for various products, bedding systems being one of them.

It’s also great because you don’t get off-gassing and odors like with memory foam products.

Example of the latex bed structure

There are two types to choose from:

  • Natural – More healthy option and environment-friendly. But it’s also more expensive so expect to pay around $2000 for a good natural latex mattress
  • Synthetic – Made by mixing synthetic polymers with natural tree sap. Less expensive of course but less healthy in turn.

Latex is best forpeople who want good cooling, responsiveness, and bounce.

Memory Foam

Memory foam was first developed in the 1970’s by NASA as a safety material for seat cushions to protect pilots and passengers during plane crashes. Since then, the material has blossomed into the burgeoning product employed by virtually every mattress maker.

Example of the memory foam bed structure

Why has it become so popular? The answer is that it is said to provide superior comfort and support for the entire body. Anyone who’s pressed their hand into this material immediately understands its appeal.

Memory foam uniquelyconforms to every inch of the bodythat is pressed into it. When you lift your body from the material, it slowly regains its original form, essentially making it perfect for every body type and every sleeper.

Another unique property of memory foam is itsmotion isolationcapabilities. You may have seen those commercials with a lady jumping on a mattress with a glass of wine at the other end. Miraculously, the wine doesn’t spill.

The wine doesn’t spill because the energy from jumping is not transferred to other parts of the mattress. This translates to better sleeping for partners, because the tossing and turning of one does not affect the other, a feature that is not found among any of the other options on the market.

One of the most common issues that people experience is that thematerial retains heat. If you are someone who requires a cool night sleep, the memory foam option may not be the best choice for you. While the manufacturers are coming up with new and better ways to keep the heat down, the jury is still out as to whether or not they’ve succeeded.

Ideal For: People who want body shaping, contour, pressure relief and good support.

Hybrid

The hybrid mattress is an unusual combination of both traditional spring and memory foam. Providing the best of both worlds, this option offers the contouring and lack of motion transfer of foam coupled with the support of springs.

Structure of the hybrid bed- example

The term “hybrid” is very loosely used to describe the combination we just mentioned. However, the amount of foam for these beds varies widely depending on the level of firmness desired. Some options employ less than 1.5 inches of foam, lending to the fact that they more closely resemble that of a traditional spring bed rather than the more modern memory foam option.

To find the most optimal version of a hybrid, it’s best to choose the one that hasclose to 3 inches of foam. Anything above that, and you might as well forego the springs all together.

One negative aspect of these beds is the fact that they are one of the more expensive offerings you’ll find. Purchasing one of these could put you in the multiples of thousands of dollars, a significant investment, but a worthy one if you plan to enjoy it long term.

Good For: People who want best all around product with good support, bounce, cooling and pressure relief.

And now the three less common but still important types:

Adjustable

These beds offer a unique ability tochange the sleeping positionbased on your preference. You can elevate the head or feet giving you more options than traditional products. These beds provide extra comfort for people suffering from chronic lumbar pain or just want to be slightly elevated to prevent snoring. They do look ugly though most of the time.

Perfect for: People with certain medical conditions like snoring, older sleepers and people with lower back pain.

Pillow-Top

These are usually coil, latex or memory foam beds buthave a layer of soft material sewn into the cover to make it more comfortable. These are also considered more luxurious and usually cost a bit more than standard options.

Good for: People who prefer more padding and softer feel.

Waterbed

A rather weird option, but sometimes very fun especially if you love waterbed sex. Some of the most common reasons for opting in for this type is a backache and arthritis relief. These beds are also great for people with allergies.

Good for: People with back pain, arthritis and allergies and anyone looking for something less conventional.

Step 4. Determine your Ideal Sleeping Position and Firmness

Most of us have a unique way of sleeping every night. No matter if you sleep on your side, stomach or back, or even if you switch throughout the night you will have to consider and choose the ideal type of bed based on your preference. So, take a moment and think, what’s your favorite sleeping position because that determines theideal firmness of your new bed.

The most important factor for back sleepers is firmness and support. If your mattress is too soft, your body will sink and cause back pain. You will need one that’s soft enough to provide pressure relief but still provides enough support. On a scale of 1-10, the perfect range would be 5-7.

According to The Better Sleep Council, only roughly 15% of people are back sleepers. Being that you are unique, it’ll take a special mattress to offer you the night’s rest you are seeking.

It’s the consensus that memory foam mattresses provide the highest level of comfort for people who sleep on their backs. This is because it provides adequate contouring to the spine while maintaining a longevity of proper support and structure.

Many people who often sleep on their sides, endure discomfort and pain in their hip joints and shoulders.It’s usually due to unsuitable bedding.

It’s advised that you go with a bit softer option than for a back sleeper as these they provide for an equal distribution of pressure while you’re sleeping on your side.

Ideally, you want to choose a mattress with firmness level of 3-6 (out of 10) which falls undermedium soft.

Stomach

This is considered the worst sleeping position. The most important thing for stomach sleepers is to provide equal distribution of weight across your entire body as your torso will apply most pressure. If the mattress is too soft (not enough support) your spine will curve causing back pain.

You will want to look for something in 5-7 range, which falls undermedium to medium-firm. The good thing is that most options are in this range.

Step 5. Consider your Weight as a Factor

On first glance, you might be asking yourself,what does weight have to do with choosing a mattress?

The truth is, support, hug, feel, sinkage and even cooling will depend on your body type and weight. Another harsh truth is that there is no “best” mattress for every one of us.


Let’s take a look at the following guidelines how to choose an ideal firmness level based on your weight:

  • Light (Less than 150 pounds)– You will want a medium firm bed around5-6 firmnessthat doesn’t sink too much. If you are lighter than 150 lbs, you can even go with four since most beds are rated for average sleeper of 180lbs.
    If you want a softer feel or if you are a side sleeper you can opt for 3-4 firmness range. These are soft orplush options.
  • Average (150-200 pounds)– Like with the previous category you can choose industrystandard of 5-7, providing perfect support and comfort.
    Some sleepers will want to opt for more softer beds, and that’s perfectly fine, just go with 3-5 range if you sleep on your side and you are all set.
  • Heavier Person (200+ pounds)– Heavier people can cause more pressure points on their back, and ideally you want to choose a firmer option to adjust for sinkage. If you are having problems with cooling, you ought to consider coil mattresses.
    Ideally, choose a thick (12”) or thicker bed. This will provide good support and soft feel.

How to Select the Right Mattress for You – Summary

Hopefully, you have finished reading the above but even if you haven’t these five steps will ease your task of choosing a mattress for you or your family.

  1. Do you need a new mattress?– If your current bed is over eight years old, I’d consider replacing it no matter what. If you are having trouble sleeping or experiencing back or neck pain I would start searching.
  2. What is your current budget?– Don’t go with the cheapest option you find. Aim for $700-1200 range for a standard queen size bed (see top options). Of course, if you are buying smaller ones for your kid or teenager, the price will be considerably lower. Don’t spend less than $400 though. The quality drop-off is huge.
  3. What are your ideal type and material?– This is hands down the biggest challenge. Memory foam offers good contour and hug but sleeps hot. Traditional coil ones provide good bounce and cooling and are generally more durable. I recommend foam or hybrid to most people except for heavier sleepers who should opt for innerspring.
  4. What’s your preferred sleeping position?– This determines your ideal firmness level. On a scale of 1-10 (one being soft and ten being very firm), back sleepers will want to opt for a medium firm (4-7), side sleepers for more softer option (3-5) and stomach sleepers will need more support to avoid sinking (6-7 range).
  5. What’s your body type and weight?– Lighter sleepers (150lbs or less) will want a 1-2 points softer mattress to get the same feel like an average (180lbs) person. On the other hand, if you are a heavier person you will need more support and thicker mattress to support the weight.

Author: Sleep Advisor

Our team covers as many areas of expertise as we do time zones, but none of us started here as a so-called expert on sleep. What we do share is a willingness to ask questions (lots of them), seek experts, and dig deep into conventional wisdom to see if maybe there might be a better path towards healthy living. We apply what we learn not only to our company culture, but also how we deliver information to our over 12.7M readers.

Sleep research is changing all the time, and we are 100% dedicated to keeping up with breakthroughs and innovations. You live better if you sleep better. Whatever has brought you here, we wish you luck on your journey towards better rest.

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