If you dread a vacation to Mattress Firm or Macy’s, know which you have more options than ever before before-department and specialty stores are no more the default destination for mattress shopping. Great mattresses at fair prices are available at warehouse clubs and through online retailers-and your competition is merely getting ultimately more intense.

We test queen-size mattresses (60 inches wide by 80 inches long) because they’re the most frequent size purchased. (For your reference, the other standard dimensions are king, 76×80 inches; California king, 72×84; full, or double, 53×75; and twin, 38×75.)

We subject each mattress to a battery of tests, including owning a practically 310-pound roller over each one 30,000 times to simulate eight to a decade useful. Still, there’s much to learn even before you begin shopping. Here’s the journey to an excellent night’s sleep.

Mattress Myths
Common claims that haven’t organized in our tests:

The More Coils, the Better
The better innerspring models we test have 600 to at least one 1,000 coils. But regardless if one mattress has more coils than another, the coils could possibly be manufactured from thinner-gauge metal. You’ll also hear about coil variations such as for example Bonnell (hourglass type), continuous wire, and individually pocketed springs. None of these is inherently superior.

Gel Offers a Cooler Sleep
Over fifty percent our innerspring mattresses (noted inside our mattress ratings) have a layer of gel-infused foam that’s claimed to supply a cooling effect, though it’s worth noting that ten percent of the mattresses with a gel-infused layer still retain warmth. Overall, our tests have proven that innerspring mattresses containing gel did have a tendency to sleep slightly cooler, however the reverse was true with gel-infused foam beds.

Check Our Mattress Ratings
JUST FORGET ABOUT Comparison Shopping
If you want a mattress at one store and have elsewhere for something similar, you’re apt to be steered toward a same-brand mattress claimed to really have the same construction, components, and firmness. Mattress makers offer some lines nationally, however when those brands can be purchased through major chains such as for example Macy’s or Mattress Firm, they’re typically exclusive to those chains. And manufacturers don’t publish a directory of comparable mattresses. So use our ratings as helpful information, and insist on the complete make and model that scored well inside our tests.
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Mattress Shopping Tips
Lie Down
When possible, lie on any mattress that you’re considering. Wear loose clothes, and shoes you can slip off. Make your self comfortable, and shoo away the salesperson if you’re feeling pressured. Salespeople should expect you to invest some time. Spend at least 5 or ten minutes on each side and on your own back (your stomach, too, if that’s a recommended sleeping position). Panelists who took beds home for a month-long trial rarely changed the judgment they formed following the first night. Shopping on the internet or at a warehouse club? Tryouts aren’t usually a choice, so checking return policies before you get is extra-important.

Check Return Policies
Make certain the store offers a complete refund or credit toward another mattress. Return periods, categorised as “comfort guarantees,” range between a week or two to 120 days. Some retailers, including Macy’s and Sears, charge a 15 percent restocking fee. Some sellers provide free pickup if you need a refund or an exchange, but otherwise, you’ll need to purchase it-or cart the mattress to the store. Macy’s, for instance, charges an $85 pickup fee. And you’ll be in charge of any damage.

Try to Haggle
Once you’ve settled on a model, make an effort to bring the purchase price down. Many businesses, such as for example warehouse clubs, have fixed prices and won’t budge. But also for retailers that do negotiate-particularly specialty chains-huge markups permit them to lessen prices by 50 percent or even more throughout their frequent sales. Our recommendation: Any moment of year, insist upon a sale price you’ve seen for the mattress you understand you want, and don’t hesitate to walk out in the event that you feel you’re obtaining a raw deal. While it’s just a little tougher to negotiate online, you may still find ways to save.

Don’t Be Bullied Into Investing in a Box Spring
You might not require it. If your box spring isn’t broken and continues to be structurally sound, consider keeping it and saving cash (roughly $150 to $300 for a queen-size). One caveat: Some brands need you to buy their box spring to get full warrantee coverage. Many foam manufacturers recommend a platform base or strong slatted wood foundations.

Understand the Warranty
It can range between 10 to 25 years and covers only manufacturing defects such as for example sagging and loose or broken coil wires. Coverage is generally prorated, and therefore it decreases as time passes.

On Delivery Day
Never accept delivery without inspecting the mattress (and the box spring, if you buy one) for stains and other damage. Also be certain that the mattress includes a label that states “all-new material” before you send the driver on his way. If it’s not there, refuse delivery. And keep it on afterward when you have to file a warrantee claim later on. In the event that you bought a bed-in-a-box, inspect the mattress once you unroll it. Call customer support immediately if something is apparently wrong with the mattress or whether it’s dirty. Have a few images together with your smartphone in case the client service representative requests proof the damage.