We all know the story of the Three Little Bears and the girl who tested each of the beds before finding the one that fit her "just right." But for many people, finding the perfect mattress is an enigma, even though as a nation, we spend about a third of our lives in our beds.
"The mattress is quickly losing its tag as a commodity, and people are starting to appreciate how it can make a difference in how they sleep and feel the next day," says Pete Bills, senior director of Sleep Innovation at Select Comfort. "Besides your house and car, buying a mattress is the third biggest purchase [decision] of your life."
As consumers have become aware of the importance of their mattresses, demand for better products has increased. And quality as well as price is on the rise. Today, there are myriad mattresses choices. We've profiled six companies to guide you to a product that fits your needs. But before you decide, read on to find out what you should look for when shopping for your new bed.
Determine whether you need a new mattress. First, strip off all the bedding and examine the sleep surface. Is there a hollowed-out spot where you normally sleep? Is the fabric covering worn? Did you add a foam pad or mattress cover a while back to soften the surface? Do you wake up with joints popping and limbs tingling? Have you gained or lost weight in the last few years (including through pregnancy)?
If you said yes to any of these, you probably don't remember what a good night's sleep feels like, and you need a new mattress. "In most cases, people suffer with their mattresses for three or four years before they actually replace the things," says Adrian Jones, director of sales for Hypnos U.S. "We're a lazy society."
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