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Buying a mattress can be difficult, especially these days, when you can't necessarily get into the store to try one out ahead of your purchase. Plus, a myriad of concerns—like being a hot sleeper, needing more or less support, or wanting an option that will fit on your existing box spring—can all be important factors to consider. To help you make the correct decision, we spoke with two mattress experts who shared a few questions to ask yourself before buying your next mattress.  

Does temperature matter?

If you're a "hot sleeper," or someone who gets sweaty overnight while they sleep, Trisha Chamberlain, the owner of Mattress Mania in Las Vegas, says that you may want to shop for a gel memory foam mattress with an innerspring. "Tests have shown that mattresses with innerspring coil units sleep slightly cooler," she says. "The reverse is true with gel-infused foam mattresses without coils." According to Chamberlain, the coils will let your mattress breathe. Additionally, look to nature to help beat the heat at night. "Natural materials like wool and cotton have natural thermoregulating properties," notes Jessica Hann, the Vice President of Brand Marketing at Avocado Green Mattress. If temperature matters, consider mattresses made from these materials.

Do you want (or need) a box spring?

If you're shopping for a new mattress, and your existing box spring is in good condition, Chamberlin says you should go green and spare it from the landfill. "If your box spring isn't broken and is structurally sound, consider keeping it and saving yourself anywhere from $150 to $300," she says. "Older box springs are typically made with heavier steel than newer ones." Not all mattresses, however, will need a box spring. Newer hybrid options, for example, come with their own innerspring units which become too bouncy when placed atop a box spring. "Most manufacturers will let you know if the mattress requires a box spring," adds Hann.

Can you test your mattress out at home?

We used to walk into a store to test out several mattresses before purchasing one, but that isn't always an option in today's world. If you're in the market for a new mattress, but can't get into the store to test one, Hann says to do your research from home. "Seek out unbiased reviews, like Consumer Reports, or verified reviews on company websites," she notes, adding that it's just as important to determine whether the mattress you're considering is suited for your preferred sleep position and firmness level.

Does the mattress come with a trial?

Better yet, "select a mattress with at least a one-year sleep trial so you aren't locked in, in the event you need a comfort adjustment," Hann continues. There's good news on this front—many bed-in-a-box brands, including Avocado, come with these types of return policies. This is arguably one of the most important aspects of this process, especially if you can't try before you buy.

Can you shop local?

If you're on a budget, Chamberlin says you can score great deals by looking outside the box—or, more accurately, outside of the big box store. "Check out all the mattress stores in your area," she suggests, adding that you should look for a name brand liquidation store, like the ones she runs. There, you will be able to find mattresses that have been marked down up to 75-percent.


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