Ideas + Advice


Mattress Buying Guide

Discover the bed of your dreams with these easy tips on how to buy a mattress. 

How Do I Choose a Mattress Type?

One of the easiest ways to simplify the mattress-buying process and narrow down your search is through learning the basic definitions of each mattress type.

Memory Foam Mattress

A memory foam mattress is made completely with a soft, pliable foam material designed to provide durable support with a little give. Originally crafted to give astronauts safe and comfortable padding during missions to space, memory foam is renowned for its ability to contour without breaking down.

Innerspring Mattress

While small amounts of foam and wool padding are often incorporated into them, an innerspring mattress is always defined by a main system of layered metal springs and coils designed to provide a firmer feel. Some also feature individually wrapped springs – in which each coil works independently to provide targeted support.

Hybrid Mattress

A hybrid mattress is made with a combination of memory foam and innersprings designed to provide a balance between softness and support. Because it offers the best of both foam and springs, hybrids are one of the most popular mattress types currently available on the market.

How Do I Choose a Mattress Comfort Level?

mattress comfort level

Comfort level measures the degree to which how soft or firm a particular mattress feels, regardless of mattress type. For example, in a firm memory foam mattress, the soft, pliable foam may feel a little denser than a medium or plush memory foam mattress.

Plush Mattress

A plush mattress delivers a softer feel. Plush innerspring mattresses often feature pillow tops, looser coils and layers of wool, foams or other padding for added softness. In plush memory foam mattresses, the foam is often open cell (breathable), and less densely packed.

Medium Mattress

A medium mattress delivers a feel somewhere in between plush and firm. In innerspring mattresses, a medium comfort level is usually accomplished by incorporating pillow layers within the body of the mattress – or a pillow top on the surface – to balance out the tight support of the steel springs and individually-wrapped coils. A medium comfort level in a memory foam mattress will usually employ more densely packed layers of foams and gels.

Firm Mattress

A firm mattress delivers a more supportive feel through denser construction and less padding. Innerspring firm mattresses won’t use any pillow tops; more springs and tighter coils are added to the support layers, and any wool or foam padding within the body of the mattress is often switched out for gel or gel foam. Along the same vein, many firm memory foam mattresses rely on gel infusion and tighter packing to deliver the highest levels of support possible.

Which Is the Best Type of Mattress for Stomach Sleepers?

When you sleep on your stomach, your spine lacks an aligning surface on which to rest, making it easier to cave in under pressure. For stomach sleepers, anything other than high support can lead to tense muscles and improper posture, so go for maximum levels of density; a firm or medium innerspring will provide the strength to keep your spine in alignment, giving your muscles a chance to decompress – and you the chance to get the sleep you need!

You might like: Revive Blue Springs Firm, Revive Gel Springs Firm

Which Is the Best Type of Mattress for Back Sleepers?

If you sleep on your back, you want a mattress that balances support and comfort. While high firmness is imperative to keeping your spine in proper alignment, not enough give can encourage an unnatural sleeping posture and cause muscles to tense up. Your best bet is to look for a mattress that falls somewhere in between; consider a firm memory foam or medium hybrid for equal parts support and comfort.

You might like: Beautyrest Brayton Medium Hybrid, Beautyrest Katarina Innerspring Firm Pillow Top

Which Is the Best Type of Mattress for Side Sleepers?

Compared to sleeping on the back and stomach, sleeping on the side places more pressure on the hips and shoulders; because these joints ‘stick out’ more than others, a firmness level that is too high can make it feel like you are ‘digging into’ your mattress. If you sleep on your side, go softer. Consider a plush memory foam or plush hybrid mattress for a gentle give that contours to your joints without caving in.

You might like: Tempur-Pedic Cloud Supreme Breeze 2.0, iComfort Blue Max 1000 Plush

How Do I Choose a Mattress Size?

Mattress sizes are easy to measure, which means they are also easy to choose! While nothing beats physically trying out mattress sizes for yourself, getting acquainted with the exact dimensions and general recommendations for each size before you make a trip to the store can help narrow down your search and speed up the mattress-buying process.

(For an in-depth step-by-step guide on choosing mattress sizes, see the Mattress Size Guide.)

— Mattress Size Chart —

Mattress SizeDimensionsRecommendations
Twin Mattress 39"W x 75"L Recommended Height of Sleeper: <5’0”
Recommended Room Size: 6.5’ x 9.5’
Twin XL Mattress 39"W x 80"L Recommended Height of Sleeper: 5’0”-5’4”
Recommended Room Size: 6.5’ x 10’
Full Mattress 54"W x 75"L Recommended Height of Sleeper: 5’4”-5’8”
Recommended Room Size: 8’ x 10’
Queen Mattress 60"W x 80"L Recommended Height of Sleeper: 5’8”- 6’0”
Recommended Room Size: 9’ x 10.5’
Eastern King Mattress 76"W x 80"L Recommended Height of Sleeper: 6’0”-6’2”
Recommended Room Size: 10’ x 11’
California King Mattress 72"W x 84"L Recommended Height of Sleeper: > 6’2”
Recommended Room Size: 11’ x 12’

What Is Motion Separation?

While mattress type, comfort level and size all play a pivotal role in the amount and quality of sleep you get, there is another feature that isn’t discussed quite as often but can have just as big of an impact on the way you sleep: motion separation.

Motion separation is a mattress’s ability to prevent ‘motion transfer,’ an industry word for when the entire bed shakes every time one person moves. On a bed without motion separation, one person’s tossing or turning is likely to wake the other up. This can lead to a vicious, no-sleep cycle and ultimately impact your health.

Fortunately, there’s motion separation. In innerspring beds, motion separation is a system of individually-wrapped coils designed to move only when pressure is placed directly on top of them. In memory foam beds, motion separation is inherently built into the foam cell technology, which conforms only in areas of direct pressure (similar to the technology of individually-wrapped coils).

Because it is designed to prevent one person’s movements from waking another’s, motion separation is meant to improve the sleep quality specifically for those who share a bed with a partner.

In-Store Mattress Shopping Tips

Here’s everything you need to know about shopping for a mattress in the store!

How Do I Test out a Mattress in the Store?

  1. Wear comfortable clothing. Make sure your clothes are loose-fitting and comfortable. Stick to thin fabrics – don’t wear thick jackets or sweaters – to ensure you get an accurate idea of the mattress’s feel.
  2. Test each comfort level. To narrow down your search, try every type and comfort level (including innerspring, memory foam, hybrid, plush, medium and firm) at least once – even if it’s just for a brief second or two.  
  3. Take your time on your favorites. Once you get a sense of which comfort level and type you prefer, take your time testing them out. Lie on each model as you would normally sleep, and don’t be afraid to take a mini nap if you need to!

How Do I Get My Mattress Home?

Once you’ve found the perfect mattress, you don’t have to wait to bring it home, with Living Spaces’ same-day deliveries or pick-ups. If you choose to have your mattress delivered, the Living Spaces delivery team will also unload and set up your mattress in the room of your choice.

How Do You Return a Mattress?

If you’re not completely happy with the way your mattress feels, check to see if your mattress qualifies for a 90- or 120 day sleep trial; select mattresses come with a one-time refund policy. Simply return the new mattress – or exchange it for one better suited for your sleep needs!

How Do I Dispose of My Old Mattress?

If you are buying a new mattress, let us know at checkout if you need help disposing of your old mattress. We offer pickup and disposal services – at no extra charge!

Mattress Buying Guide: Editors' Picks

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.