The biggest mistake you can make when buying a mattress – according to experts

Knowing how to buy a mattress (the right way) begins with this question – the answer will determine your sleep quality for good

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The process of buying a new mattress can often feel like a daunting task. It is widely known that you should find a mattress that is the right size and firmness for your lifestyle, room size, and body type. However, sleep experts have revealed one important factor that is important to finding the best mattress for you – but this step is often overlooked. 

If you're looking for how to sleep better, this common mistake could be the secret to a long slumber. Here's what you need to know before you choose your next mattress.

How to buy a mattress – the common mistake that could be stopping you from sleeping 

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'It can be easy to pick a mattress solely based on price or initial comfort; however, the biggest mistake you can make when buying a mattress is not taking your sleep position and comfort level into consideration,' says Elisa Regulski, a sleep health content specialist at Mattress Clarity

'You will have your mattress for 7-10 years, so it is important to make sure that it will support your spinal alignment and overall health,' the specialist explains – so it is important to get it right. 

Back sleepers and stomach sleepers

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Elisa says that back sleepers should look for a mattress with an average firmness level (6.5-7 on a 10-point scale), meaning a medium-hard level of support is best if you fall into this category. 

'There are certain mattresses that are designed with side sleepers in mind, and others where the firmness level is better for stomach sleepers,' emphasizes Miranda Garibaldi, a sleep health content specialist at Sleepopolis. However, stomach sleepers may need to consider an even firmer mattress. 'Stomach sleepers need more support, so they should look for a more firm mattress.' Elisa adds.  

Side sleepers  

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The majority of the population are categorized as side sleepers, but what kind of mattress should they choose? The experts suggest that plus and soft mattresses are best for side sleepers who hope to relieve pressure from their shoulders, hips, and knees. 

'Those with chronic injuries might also want to consider a mattress with pressure relieving properties, such as foam, to help reduce pain,' Elisa adds. 

If you categorize as a 'combination sleeper' (someone who alternates their sleeping position), then you may need to test your comfort levels to pick a perfect mattress for a good night's sleep. 'One great way to do this is by finding a mattress online with a sleep trial period, as it can take time to break in a mattress and determine whether it'll work for you,' Elisa says. 

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Will this bedroom idea change how you buy a mattress? We're never going to make the same mistake again.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.