The first thing is working out whether you need to replace your mattress or not. With most things its pretty obvious, they break or show signs of wear and tear, or just dont work like they used too. However, with a mattress although sometimes its obvious, too often, people grow comfortable and stay sleeping on a mattress long after its stopped giving them the proper support they need.

Common signs that a mattress needs replacing are when you wake up with numbness, or aches and pains and stiffness. Physical signs may include sagging, or lumpiness and the insides such as the springs may be exposed. Some people may also realize theres a problem with their mattress when they get a better nights sleep in another bed, such as when they stay in a hotel on a trip.

Although the quality of the mattress will determine how long it should be used for, generally speaking mattresses that are 10 years or older are not going to give adequate support.

Its also important to check the base of the bed, whether its a box spring / divan base, bedstead base or any other type of base, sometimes the problem can lie with the base not giving proper support to the mattress, rather than there being a problem with the mattress itself.

If you are still not sure not whether you need a new mattress Click Here to take the Bed MOT test, developed by the sleep council

Cost

Cost is a big factor for most people when considering a mattress. We always recommend spending as much as you can afford. People spend a significant amount of time in their beds and getting a good nights sleep has so many benefits. It is a good investment and worth getting the very best that you can. Each $500 investment in a mattress works out to less than 3c a night over the 10 year life span of a mattress.

Mattress Type

There are 4 main types of mattresses, they are: Coiled Spring mattresses, Pocket Sprung mattresses, Natural Latex mattresses and Memory Foam mattresses

Coiled Springs Coiled spring mattresses are the most common type of mattress and are designed so that the weight of the person is distributed evenly over the mattress. They are made of rows of springs connected together, forming a robust base which allows them to keep their shape. you can also check some of the best mattress buying guides and recommendation on mattress nova.

Pocket Spring mattresses -Pocket spring mattresses are generally thought of as the most luxurious spring mattresses. The springs are usually smaller and lighter and are individually wrapped in the mattress fabric. This has the effect of allowing them to work independently. It means they provide great support and prevent roll, so two people on the same mattress can sleep without rolling together.

Whilst spring mattresses are still the most common, the two other types of mattress are becoming much more popular due to the great support they offer as well as their other benefits. They are usually more expensive however:

Natural Latex Mattresses Latex mattresses were first developed over 75 years ago. The material has hypo-allergenic and anti-microbial properties that inhibit bacteria, fungi and dust mites. This means theyre very good for those people who suffer from allergies, or other breathing problems. The mattresses also provide great support for the body, neck and back.

Memory Foam Mattresses Memory Foam mattresses were first developed by NASA and are seen as the Rolls Royce of mattresses. They are designed to respond to body heat, weight and the shape of the person sleeping on them to provide perfect support. They have been proven to relieve back ache, painful joints and circulation problems.

Bed Base

There are 2 main types of Bed base, they are:

Box Sprung / Divan (in the UK) the box sprung base is normally upholstered in the same fabric as the mattress and reaches down to the floor, often there are also storage drawers as well

There are two types of box sprung bases, the first have sprung edge tops and the second have platform / solid tops. Sprung edge tops are the most luxurious. They have a sprung top that works in conjunction with the mattress to absorb shock and better fit to the contours of the body. This shock absorbing feature can help prolong the life of a mattress.

Solid or platform tops have a more rigid upper panel creating a firmer, more robust surface.

Bedsteads and bed frames These come in a wide variety of styles, from classic and four posters styles, right the way through to ultra-chic modern designs. They are normally made from wood, or metal and allow ventilation of the mattress, which is important to prevent condensation building up in the mattress, which can present problems to those with allergies, or asthma. Another advantage of bedsteads is that often they come flat packed, which makes them easier to get into, or out of a room.

The slats are either sprung or fixed. Sprung slats have some give in them that allows extra contouring so it can fit a persons body shape better working in conjunction with the mattress. Sprung slats will usually be the more expensive option.

Support

The firmness of the mattress is really more of a personal choice and comes down to whether someone sleeps better on firm, or soft mattresses. However, generally speaking the heavier a person is, the firmer the mattress should be. A firmer mattress will offer more support.

Size Of the Mattress

Size is another consideration, at the risk of repeating ourselves, we recommend the biggest size that the space that you have allows. This is especially true if more than one person will be sharing the bed. If there is more room the quality of sleep will be greatly improved by an increase in size. However, there is one caveat, in that you should not sacrifice comfort for size. Concentrate on getting the best quality of mattress first, and then the biggest size.

Looking after your mattress

Try not to roll or bend the mattress Especially if it is a spring based mattress. This will damage the springs and affect comfort, as well as the lifespan of the mattress.

Let it breath when it arrives This makes sure that any condensation, or smell in the mattress is allowed to evaporate. Ideally the mattress should also be allowed to breath for a few hours on a weekly basis for the same reasons.

Turn your mattress Turning the mattress every month or so is also a good idea. Mattresses become compressed as they are slept on and if this continues over a prolonged period of time they will stop giving optimum support. Turning them solves this problem. If turning a heavy mattress will be a problem for you then consider getting an easy care mattress, which is designed to not require turning.

Allow your body to get used to a new mattress Sometimes it can take a little while for a body to adjust to a new mattress, so be prepared to give it a few days if at first you encounter small problems with your new mattress.

Use a mattress protector This will keep stains off a mattress. It also protects the mattress from absorbing body moisture and dead skin. We can lose around a pint / 500ml of moisture and skin in a night and most of this is absorbed right into the mattress. This can cause the deterioration of the mattress as bacteria, microbes and fungi begin to accumulate which can affect its ability to give support, as well as potentially causing health and hygiene problems.

Mattress Buying Tips Conclusion

Finally, at All Mattress Reviews we obviously recommend reading mattress reviews to find out about all of the aspects discussed above when considering how do I choose a mattress. Trying a mattress in a shop is also a great idea; however, you cant always get a understanding of how a mattress will perform over the long term from a 5 minute trial. Once you have decided on a mattress, we also recommend shopping around as much as possible to find the best deals. Check out some of the best rated mattresses under $500.

There are lots of retailers out there and the price between the cheapest and most expensive can be quite significant, which is why its always wise to shop around to get the best deal possible.

As a general rule the best mattress deals are usually found online, as retailers are able to sell with much lower overheads on the internet.