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Mattress Buying Guide: How to Choose a New Mattress [2020]

by Diana Lamirand

Buying a new mattress today is nearly as complicated as car shopping. Both require consumers to research their options to find the right model, best fit and perfect price. We expect high performance every time we get into our bed (or car) and we want a quality product that will last, despite heavy use.

While test-driving a new mattress isn’t as easy as taking a new vehicle for a spin, Big Sandy Superstore simplifies the mattress-buying process by offering customers a free 120-Night Comfort Trial period to try out a new sleep system with the purchase of an approved mattress protector. Take the guesswork out of mattress buying and listen to your body instead, as it adjusts over several weeks. We want to make sure you get a mattress that provides you with the best sleep experience possible.

Woman and her Weimaraner dog on a split Tempur-Pedic mattress on an adjustable power base

Before taking home a new mattress to test, reference this handy Big Sandy Mattress Buying Guide for simple tips on how to choose the right mattress to meet your desired comfort level and physical needs, such as chronic back pain or restless sleep. While you’re doing research and shopping around online, browse our selection of bedroom collections, or take an interactive quiz on our website to see which mattress style best suits your sleep style, so you can finally get a good night’s rest.

Top 5 Sleep Issues and Your Mattress's Impact on Them

We all experience problems with sleeping at some point, whether it’s adapting to a new baby’s routine, adjusting to new work hours, or overcoming a stressful situation. How well you sleep impacts your health, stamina, and productivity and can even lead to more serious health concerns if your body and mind don’t receive enough time to properly restore and repair each night.

How well do you sleep? If you experience any of the following problems, it may be time to invest in a new, more comfortable, high-quality mattress from Big Sandy Superstore.

1. Tossing & Turning During Sleep

Tossing and turning at night is our body’s response to pressure points, and an indication we may need a more supportive mattress. If you’re waking up every hour to shift into a more comfortable position, your restless sleep may be caused by alcohol or caffeine consumption before bed, or simply a sign of too much stress. Chronic restless sleep may lead to more serious health concerns, such as sleep apnea or depression.

2. Lack of Back Support

Do you wake up every morning with stiff and sore joints or lower back pain? Do you feel unrested, despite trying to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night? The cause of your pain and fatigue may be due to your mattress and its level of firmness. Different sleeping positions require different mattress firmness levels for better sleep, from firm to cushion firm for a stomach sleeper to plush or pillow-top for a side sleeper.

3. Mattress Sagging

While you may choose to drive your favorite old clunker until it dies, most sleep experts recommend mattress replacement about every eight years. If you notice your mattress sagging in the middle or worn along the edges, and you’re waking up every morning feeling stiff and achy, it’s probably time to replace your mattress.

4. Partner Disturbance

Are you an all-position sleeper, but your partner is a stomach sleeper who becomes a back sleeper by accident every time you move and starts snoring? Turn your grumpy, sleep-deprived partner into a happier morning person by investing in a better bed and mattress that meets both of your needs. With mattress manufacturers making major enhancements to reduce motion transfer in recent years, Big Sandy offers a wide variety of options from America’s top 5 mattress brands.

5. Too Hot or Cold

Do you go to bed cold, but wake up hot and sweaty? Our body’s temperature as we sleep directly impacts how well we sleep, and the quality of our mattress plays a critical role in regulating the temperature to keep us sleeping soundly throughout the night. The best type of mattress to keep hot sleepers cooler include traditional spring mattresses, with pockets of coils to allow for better air circulation, or memory foam options with an added layer of cooling gel.

Mattress Comfort Level

Don’t know the difference between “cushion firm” and “ultra-plush” mattresses? How about the advantages of an innerspring mattress vs. memory foam mattress, or a hybrid memory foam spring vs. memory foam air?

 Furnished bedroom with a Stearns & Foster mattress on an upholstered bed

Backed by 60 years of experience, the highly trained and knowledgeable staff at Big Sandy Superstore can help you decipher the latest advances in mattress technology to narrow your selection and find the perfect fit. Come visit one of our showrooms to get personalized advice and guidance on improving your sleep situation, or read on to learn more about how your sleep preferences play into picking the perfect mattress.

Let’s start by assessing your sleeping position.

Best Mattress for Side Sleeper

Sleeping on your side causes weight to gravitate down, which can lead to shoulder and hip misalignment that causes pain or numbness, especially when you sleep with your arm under the pillow. The best mattresses for side sleepers to try are memory foam, hybrid, or traditional pillow-top mattresses with a little softness to keep your spine aligned throughout the night.

Best Mattress for Back Sleeper

While sleeping on your back is the healthiest way to snooze according to sleep science, it’s not necessarily the most comfortable. A back sleeper needs the most lumbar (lower back) support and a medium-firm mattress that supports the spine. We recommend trying a memory foam or hybrid mattress, and steering clear of traditional beds with only springs as they may be far too firm to properly support a back sleeper.

Best Mattress for Stomach Sleeper

Sleeping on your stomach requires the firmest support available, since too much give in your mattress can cause pressure and discomfort throughout the night. Try a firm mattress to keep your spine in proper alignment and your lower back supported. We recommend a memory foam or traditional mattress, ranging from firm to extra firm.

Best Mattress for All-Position Sleeper

An all-position sleeper may rotate through several sleeping positions throughout the night. Big Sandy recommends a medium-firm memory foam mattress, such as our Serta® Perfect Sleeper™ Elite Foam Queen Mattress. It provides a little give when you’re on your side, firm support when you’re on your back, and keeps your lower back comfortable when turning onto your stomach.

Mattress Types

With top mattress brands like Beautyrest by Simmons, Serta, Purple, Nectar and Tempur-Pedic, Big Sandy shoppers can sort our online catalogs by mattress type: innerspring, hybrid, memory foam, bed in a box, and latex. Each offers its own advantages for every type of sleeper.

Once you decipher your predominant sleep position, it’s time to pull back the covers on what each type of mattress offers certain sleepers.

Traditional

An innerspring mattress is traditionally constructed with coils and springs, and most are non-adjustable. Today’s models, however, are nothing like the ones you used to bounce on as a kid. Along with a sturdy innerspring core, many come with a pillow-top layer for added softness and individual pocketed coils to reduce motion transfer when sleeping with a partner.

>>Discover Traditional Mattresses

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses conform to your individual shape, using a combination of foams and gels for improved pressure relief. With recent advances in cooling technologies, such as our ultra-cool gel memory-foam mattresses, you’ll stay comfortable all night long.

>>Discover Memory Foam Mattresses

Hybrid Mattresses

A hybrid mattress blends the best of both worlds, by combining the strength and construction of a traditional mattress with the conforming comfort of a memory foam mattress. Hybrids utilize both memory foam and innerspring to offer unparalleled support.

>>Discover Hybrid Mattresses

Adjustable Power Base

Woman and man relax on their iComfort by Serta mattress and adjustable power base

Still sleeping on a standard flatbed frame, despite chronic back pain, loud snoring or other health issues that may benefit from slightly elevating your head or legs? Try an adjustable power base frame to reduce leg swelling, improve circulation, ease digestion and increase airflow while you sleep.

Do you dream of curling up under the covers to enjoy a rainy day movie or reading a book in bed without straining your neck or eyes? Our adjustable power bases are sold separately, fit a wide variety of mattress sizes and require no box spring.

Mattress Size

Mattress size matters, so know your preferences and take measurements of your bedroom before you buy. A king-size mattress can appear smaller inside Big Sandy’s open showrooms, as compared to taking up every square inch of your not-so-master bedroom when you get it home.

Twin Mattress

A twin mattress measures 39-inches wide by 75-inches long. It works great for a child or adult under 6 feet. They’re also great for daybeds, even if it’s repurposed into more of a cozy couch and not where someone sleeps every night now that your kid has outgrown it.

>>Shop Twin Mattresses

Twin XL Mattress

The twin XL mattress measures 39-inches wide by 80-inches long, making it 5 inches longer than a traditional twin. It’s a great option for someone who wants more legroom in a smaller space. With the length of a king mattress and the width of a twin, the twin XL offers ultimate adaptability.

>>Shop Twin XL Mattresses

Full Mattress

A full size mattress is ideal for individuals who like to stretch out in bed, but don’t require the extra legroom. It measures 54-inches wide by 75-inches long, and fits well in most average-sized rooms.

>>Shop Full Mattresses

Queen Mattress

By far the most popular mattress size, the queen size mattress measures 60-inches wide by 80-inches long. Most queen mattresses allow enough room for two people to sleep comfortably. To accommodate a queen-size mattress, your bedroom needs to measure at least 10-by-10 feet.

>>Shop Queen Mattresses

King Mattress

The king mattress measures 76-inches wide by 80-inches long and requires a minimum 12-by-12-foot space to fit comfortably with other bedroom furniture. King size mattresses work well for partners who love extra sleep space or share their bed with children or large pets.

>>Shop King Mattresses

California King

The California King mattress measures 72-inches wide by 84-inches long. It's narrower than a king, but a few inches longer. Sleepers over 6 feet tall fit perfectly in the California King, which requires a larger bedroom space, much like the traditional king.

>>Shop California King Mattresses

Ready to go mattress buying and feel some of these products in person? Call 888-610-2449 today to talk to one of Big Sandy Superstore’s product specialists, and we’ll have you sleeping soundly in no time.