vibrantly colored, bohemian style room with new mattress set up on adjustable base

When was the last time that you woke up feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the day? If you regularly roll out of bed tired, sluggish, and wishing you could hit the snooze button one more time, your mattress may be to blame. Getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important factors that can improve the way you feel in the short term and your overall health in the long run. 

It's no surprise, then, that the quality and condition of your mattress can have a major impact on how well you sleep night after night. Unfortunately, too many homeowners put off buying a new mattress. What you may not know is that shopping for a new mattress is an experience in self-discovery as you think (and dream) about your personal sleep habits.

If your mattress isn't doing you any favors in terms of providing comfort and support, don't postpone replacing it with one that does. The trusted design team at Star Furniture can help you navigate the many mattress options available today so that you find the perfect one for your unique sleep needs. Here are the five critical questions to ask yourself before buying a new mattress.

Question 1: What is My Sleeping Position? 

When it's time to pick out a new mattress, it's common for homeowners to  consider their options based on the way the mattress feels. There's no question that this is an important part of mattress shopping, but it's certainly not the only one. The first thing to consider before you begin reading online mattress reviews or trying out mattresses in a trusted furniture store is to identify your preferred sleeping position. Knowing how you sleep at night is the first step in understanding which areas of your body need extra support and comfort. 

The best way to determine your preferred sleeping position is to pay attention to how you're lying down when you fall asleep and wake up. Are you on your back, stomach, or side? If you lie primarily on your back, chances are that a lot of pressure gets put on your lower back while you slumber. For this reason, it's important to avoid a mattress that's too firm that won't accommodate the natural curve of the spine. Likewise, a mattress that's too soft won't give enough support, which can lead to aches over time. Instead, back sleepers should look for mattresses with medium support with moderate contouring, such as this one.

Like back sleepers, stomach sleepers also tend to put pressure on their lower spine, especially as their back is forced into a U-shape with mattresses that are too soft. Firm mattresses are best for stomach sleepers, such as this one; be sure to choose one that doesn't feel too hot as you lie face down on the mattress. Side sleepers experience pressure on their shoulders and hips. Mattresses that are too firm may be uncomfortable while ones that are too soft can cause your spine to be misaligned as you sleep. Medium support mattresses are the best option for side sleepers, such as this one.

Question 2: What Firmness Level Do I Need? 

If you think that every mattress is created the same, think again. Mattresses come in a variety of firmness levels, which essentially means how firm or soft they feel. To help categorize the comfort and support of a mattress, a firmness scale from 1-10 is used. Ultimately, the mattress that you find to be comfortable may not feel the same way to another individual. Comfort is, after all, an individual preference. Still, the firmness scale can group together certain types of mattresses so that you can narrow down the ones that are best for you. Here's what you need to know about mattress firmness before you begin shopping for mattresses:

  • Plush: Plush mattresses are known for their luxurious softness, making them ideal for side sleepers who require extra cushioning for their shoulders and hips. They conform closely to the body, providing excellent pressure relief and a sensation of being cradled, which can be beneficial for individuals with joint pain or pressure points.
  • Medium: Medium firmness mattresses strike a perfect balance between softness and support, making them a versatile choice suitable for a wide range of sleepers. They provide enough firmness for back and stomach sleepers to maintain proper spinal alignment, while still offering sufficient softness for side sleepers. This level is often recommended for couples with different sleeping preferences, as it caters to various needs.
  • Firm: Firm mattresses offer optimal support and are particularly beneficial for back and stomach sleepers, as they help maintain a neutral spine position. They are also a preferred choice for heavier individuals who may need extra support to prevent sinking. Firm mattresses are less likely to develop sagging over time, making them a durable option that can withstand years of use.

While the firmness chart can be beneficial in helping point you in the right direction of which mattress would be best for you based on your weight and preferred sleeping position, it's not foolproof. At the end of the day, the mattress that is right for you is the one that you find to be most comfortable. The best way to find the one that feels good to you is to try it out for yourself in a trusted furniture store, such as Star Furniture. Rather than lying down on the mattress and quickly hopping off of it, be sure to stay on the mattress for at least 10 minutes, changing positions along the way, to ensure that you get a good idea of whether or not you find it comfortable and supportive.

close-up shot of female hand testing the firmness of a dark grey colored mattress

Question 3: What is My Budget? 

When considering furniture investments that offer exceptional value for your money, nothing surpasses the benefits of a quality mattress. After all, you'll undoubtedly use it every single day. For this reason, investing in a quality mattress that feels great, provides the support your body needs, and will last for years without breaking down is essential. Once you have started shopping for mattresses, you'll quickly notice that they can vastly range in price. While some cost hundreds of dollars, others can exceed a couple thousand. To help you stay within range of your particular budget while still meeting your unique sleep needs, the Star Furniture team is here to help you set a realistic budget when shopping for your ideal mattress. Here's what you need to know:

  • The most affordable mattresses are typically made from all foam or innerspring. They can range anywhere from $600-$1,000 for a queen. While they're a more cost-effective option than other mattress types, they tend to break down more quickly.
  • Mid-range mattresses can be made from all foam, innerspring, or a combination of materials. They typically cost between $1,000-$2,000 for a queen and use materials that are better quality than low-range mattresses, giving you a longer lifespan.
  • Luxury mattresses use high-end materials, including latex. They provide superior comfort and hold up well to wear and tear. These are usually priced around $2,000 and up.

Just as no one can tell you which mattress is the best suited for your unique comfort needs, only you can determine what an appropriate budget to spend on your mattress looks like. It's important to remember that you get what you pay for in terms of quality, comfort, and durability. It may be worth spending a bit more than you initially anticipated to get the good night's sleep you deserve while preventing the need to replace your mattress again after a year or two of use. 

Question 4: Do I Have Any Specific Health or Allergy Considerations? 

While investing in a quality mattress can play a role in preventing you from experiencing health issues due to poor or uncomfortable sleep in the future, the right mattress can also help you manage the health conditions you have currently. If you have a health issue that can be impacted by the type of mattress you have, be sure to keep your specific needs in mind as you shop. 

For many people, a major concern when shopping for a new mattress is reducing back pain. If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, you're not alone. While your outdated or uncomfortable mattress may be contributing to the severity of your discomfort, the good news is that a mattress with medium support will likely provide the comfort you crave along with the right amount of support to keep your back properly aligned while you sleep. It's best to avoid firm mattresses that won't allow your back to naturally bend as well as soft mattresses that fail to provide adequate support.

Another common health concern that is worth considering when purchasing a new mattress is allergies. If you're sensitive to certain allergens, the last thing you need is your mattress contributing to watery eyes, sneezing, and any other uncomfortable symptoms you may experience. Fortunately, there is a large variety of mattresses available on the market that are composed of hypoallergenic materials that can allow you to sleep in comfort without making your allergies worse. Looking for mattresses that are organic or green will ensure that your mattress is free from harsh chemicals that could irritate your allergies. To be sure that a mattress truly is organic or eco-friendly, look for the proper certifications, including GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards) or CertiPUR-US.

Question 5: What Size and Type of Mattress Do I Need? 

If you've recently been mattress shopping, you know that there are countless options to choose from. Along with coming in lots of different sizes, mattresses are also composed of a variety of materials, depending on the desired comfort level, support, and special features. Knowing what the common mattress terminology means will help make your mattress shopping experience go as smoothly as possible. Here's what you need to know about the most common sizes of mattresses:

  • Queen: These mattresses are the most common size, 60" x 80". They offer ample room for two average-sized adults to sleep comfortably next to one another while leaving plenty of space to move around in bedrooms big and small.
  • King: These mattresses measure 76" x 80", the equivalent of putting two twin beds side by side. These provide extra sleeping rooms and are ideal for tall individuals or those who sleep with their pets.
  • California King: These mattresses offer the ultimate sleeping experience. Measuring 72" x 84", you can spread out without worrying about encroaching on your partner's space. This mattress size is perfect for taller individuals - no more feet hanging off the edge of the bed!

The material that makes up your mattress will determine how soft or firm it feels, how much support it provides to your pressure points, and how well it holds up over time. Here are some of the most common types of mattress materials:

  • Memory Foam: This special type of foam is made to envelop the natural curves of your body when you lie down, providing a personalized level of comfort that other mattress materials simply cannot replicate.
  • Innerspring: These mattresses offer outstanding support and tend to hold up better than other mattresses. They're made from a layer of coils that are located at the center of the mattress with a comfort layer on top (commonly made from foam). 

Additional Considerations 

As you search for mattresses online and try them out for yourself at Star Furniture, you may notice other features that you hadn't considered before. Some of these include:

  • Temperature Regulation: If you or your partner are a hot sleeper, look for a mattress that can help you stay cool while you slumber, such as one made with specialized cooling gel.
  • Motion Transfer: For light sleepers who don't want to be disturbed every time their partner rolls over, stick with mattresses that offer minimal motion transfer.
  • Longevity: To ensure that your mattress lasts for years to come, be sure to choose one that has good edge support, which can prevent the sides from prematurely sagging.
  • Adjustable bases: An adjustable mattress base offers the convenience and comfort of customizable sleeping positions, allowing you to find the perfect angle for enhanced relaxation, better support, and alleviation of various sleep-related issues.

Find Your Perfect Mattress at Star Furniture

Shopping for mattresses isn't the time to randomly choose one that looks good or is on sale. On the contrary, it's well worth your time and effort to do your research and consult the experts at Star Furniture to ensure that you get the right mattress for you. Asking yourself these five questions before bringing a new mattress home is the best way to make sure you find a mattress that helps you get a good night's sleep for years to come. Visit us online to start your mattress shopping journey today!