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Mattress shopping tips

Kristin Bustamante is a writer and editor who loves her craft. When she's not hunkered down at her computer, she's playing with her family, enjoying the outdoors or experimenting in the kitchen.

How to pick the perfect mattress

Ah, wedded bliss! Once you've decided on a design theme for your master bedroom, it's time for one of the most important bedroom decisions: choosing a mattress you both love for a good night's sleep. 

Newly married couple on new mattress

Maybe you lucked out and found a mate who loves to sleep just like you do. On the other hand, maybe you're a sprawler and he's a snuggler. Whatever your sleep sitch, keep these buying guidelines in mind when choosing a mattress as a couple.

Size matters

Size in the bedroom is a big deal -- at least when it comes to your mattress! A queen-size bed will give the illusion of more space, especially in small bedrooms. A king-size mattress will give you extra space for Sunday-morning snuggles with the kids. Consider your master bedroom size, lifestyle and sleep style when selecting a mattress size.

Mattress type

Does your mattress pass the SLEEP test?

The Better Sleep Council offers the following points to keep in mind when choosing a new mattress.

The SLEEP Test

  • Select a mattress.
  • Lie down in your sleep position.
  • Evaluate the level of comfort and support.
  • Educate yourself about each selection.
  • Partners should try each mattress together.

According to the Better Sleep Council, the most common type of purchased bedding uses the support of tempered steel coils. However, the council advises consumers against judging the quality of a mattress solely based on the number of coils it contains, as a high coil count doesn't necessarily mean a better product.

The numbers do matter when shopping for a solid foam mattress. Higher-density foam will retain its shape better than a less dense model. Just how do you find the right mattress for your sleep style? Shopping at a reputable mattress retailer is a must -- sales associates are trained to help people match mattresses to their sleep styles. IKEA has an interactive online tool that factors in your sleep position, body shape, weight and firmness preference to provide mattress options that best fit your sleep style.

Meeting in the middle

On your old mattress, meeting in the middle was caused by worn-out support and, as the mattress sagged, literally meeting in the middle night after night. Now that you're buying your first mattress as a couple, it's time to meet in the middle with a compromise. Find a mattress that is as close as possible to what you both like and make additional tweaks by using mattress pads and pillows. If you want a mattress that's super-soft, consider buying a pillow-top mattress; buying a pillow-top mattress cover and adding it to your existing mattress; or purchasing a foam mattress topper for a combination of support and softness.

Pillow pointers

If you're having trouble getting a good night's sleep on your mattress, the culprit may be your pillow. Choosing the right pillow for your sleep style can make a huge difference. The most common of all sleep styles, side sleepers, generally need a soft, plump pillow. Back sleepers, on the other hand, typically enjoy a firmer pillow. Specialty molded pillows are also available to provide additional back, neck and shoulder support.

quick tip

Don't put a new mattress on an old box spring. The Good Sleep Council recommends buying the complementary box spring for the mattress you choose, as they are designed to work together. The mattress you tested in the store was most likely on top of its matching box spring.

More bedroom tips

How to keep your mattress smelling fresh
How to make your bed super-comfortable
6 Ways to add sex appeal to your bedroom

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