Guide to Selecting the Right Mattress

It is important for us to get good sleep to maintain and improve our health. One of the huge factors in our ability to sleep well is the quality of the mattress that we use. However, a lot of people overlook the importance of choosing a good mattress, and many still keep using one that fails to provide enough comfort and support.

A new mattress might be an expensive investment, but getting a high-quality one may help unlock your ability to sleep better. Since it is considered a major purchase, it is important to ensure that you choose wisely. Buying a mattress is not a simple task, especially today when almost every mattress out there touts that it is the best or the most comfortable to use. In addition to that, every mattress looks quite similar on the outside as they hide the materials inside that may or may not support their claims.

Just because a mattress is perfect, soft, or firm for one person doesn’t mean it is the same for everyone else. If you are looking for a good mattress that you can use to make your sleeping experience more comfortable but don’t know where and what to look for, we are here to help you. In this post, we are giving you a guide to selecting the right mattress.

Types of Mattresses

different mattress materials

There are different factors that you need to consider when it comes to choosing a mattress. To help you, let us start with the different types. The most common types of mattresses that you can find in stores and online are memory foam mattresses and innerspring mattresses. But there are also some that include additional constructions to provide consumers a variety. Below are the different types of mattresses that you may encounter:[1]

Types of Mattresses

Memory Foam Mattress

mattress made of memory foam

This type of mattress offers the best pressure relief as they conform to the body and take the weight off from pressure points. According to some users, lying on foam beds is like being cradled. Memory foam mattresses are also great for side sleepers or people experiencing back pain, as they can help promote proper spine alignment by decreasing stress on the hips and shoulders. In addition to that, memory foam mattresses may also help with motion isolation, which will make you less likely to feel your sleeping partner move.

Most memory foam mattresses have multiple layers with firmer foam on the bottom for support and durability, while the top is made of softer foam for comfort. However, the only downside when it comes to memory foam is that it traps heat easily. But some brands offer memory foam mattresses that have built-in cooling features to prevent the user from overheating.

Below are some examples of memory foam mattresses to help you choose:

Amazon Basics Memory Foam Mattress: This mattress has a top memory foam layer that is designed to provide a medium-firm feel while giving support for any sleeping position. It features breathable holes in the second layer and a wavy surface on the third layer to circulate airflow better. It is a durable mattress that may provide optimum comfort when you sleep.

Lucid Memory Foam California King Size Mattress: This mattress has a 10-inch firm feel that is ideal for side, back, and stomach sleepers that need more support and less sink. It is also infused with gel memory foam that regulates temperature while conforming to the body. It is comfortable to use and easy to set up.

Latex Mattress

mattress made of latex

A latex mattress may feel a bit similar to memory foam, but it is more resilient or bouncy, and it feels firmer with less sinking in. It is made using natural latex from rubber trees, which may be used in organic mattresses. Latex mattresses are ideal for people who are eco-conscious. However, it is more expensive compared to memory foam.

When shopping for a latex mattress, there are two popular types. One is Dunlop, which is usually denser. The other one is Talalay, which is softer. But some note that they do not even feel the difference between the two.

Below are some examples of latex mattresses to help you choose:

Pure Green Organic Latex Mattress: This mattress is supportive and strong enough to help alleviate pressure points. It is filled with organic latex foam and has a quilted cover made of organic cotton and wool. No assembly is needed when using this mattress.

Ultimate Sleep Premium Dunlop Latex Mattress: This mattress features premium Dunlop latex layers for durable support and a comfortable experience. It comes with a premium micro-lux cotton blend fabric cover. Its base foam support is non-fatiguing and highly resilient.

Innerspring Mattress

independent pocket springs for mattresses

This type of mattress is made of steel coils, which makes it firmer and bouncier. Innerspring mattresses are great for back and stomach sleepers as it has a firmer surface to keep the spine aligned.

When shopping for innerspring mattresses, it is important to consider both coil gauge and coil count. The coil gauge tells how thick the steel is. It usually ranges from 12 to 15, with the lower number pertaining to firmer and more durable steel. Coil count, on the other hand, tells the number of coils in the mattress. Those that are high quality have at least 400 coils in a queen-size mattress. There are also pocketed coils available, wherein each spring is wrapped individually instead of being webbed together for targeted support.

Below are a few examples of innerspring mattresses to help you pick:

Zinus Innerspring Mattress: This mattress has plush microfiber quilting, and it features a durable innerspring. It is a supportive traditional spring mattress that is ideal for petite sleepers and kids. It has a 6-inch base layer of heavy-duty steel innerspring. It offers both support and comfort with a hint of softness for a more comfortable sleep.

Vesgantti Full Mattress with Pocket Spring: This mattress has a 7-zone pocketed innerspring construction. It provides enough support while conforming to the body to release pressure. It offers a balanced sleep experience for all types of sleepers. The innerspring of this mattress work independently of each other with better motion isolation, less noise, and longer service life. It is also designed with a breathable knitted fabric cover and multiple layers of foam to enhance airflow circulation and dissipate body heat. It is not too firm and not too soft to meet most people’s sleeping preferences.

Hybrid Mattress

a hybrid mattress

This type of mattress uses a combination of memory foam or latex and coils, which is best if you can’t decide whether to get a foam mattress or an innerspring mattress. Hybrid mattresses have become more popular in recent years. Most of the time, coils are placed on the bottommost part for support, while foam sits on top for comfort and pressure relief. They also feel very similar to foam beds. But note that hybrid mattresses are heavier to set up and are more expensive.

Below are some examples of hybrid mattresses to help you choose:

Signature Design by Ashley Chime Plush Hybrid Mattress: This mattress has layers of padding on top along with individually packed innerspring coils for a more comfortable sleep. It is designed with gel memory foam, upholstery grade comfort support foam, and 360 coils for maximum lumbar support. It will provide you with the soft, cozy comfort that most people crave when they go to bed at night.

Novilla Gel Memory Foam and Innerspring Mattress: This mattress features an individual pocket coil spring system that keeps isolating motions from other people sleeping next to you. It can help balance your body weight, keeps spinal health, provides support, and relieves pain. It is a good mattress for all types of sleepers. It is also equipped with gel memory foam and high-density foam that stabilizes sleep temperature. It has a top pillows mattress that provides a dual-edge system to enforce the edge innerspring firmness, body contouring, and protection of the mattress.

Adjustable Air Mattress

An adjustable air mattress has an inflatable layer topped with foam. This type of mattress allows the sleeper to adjust it to the desired firmness level with the use of an electric pump that is attached to the bed. Some even come with a remote, while others can be adjusted using a smartphone app. Most adjustable air mattresses will allow you to inflate each half of the bed individually. This means that if you and your sleep partner prefer different firmness levels, this type of mattress can be good for you.[2]

Below are some examples of adjustable air mattresses to help you pick:

Night Air Adjustable Air Mattress: This mattress comes fully expanded with little setup or expansion time needed. It features precisely calibrated computer technology that allows you to adjust it in single-digit increments from 1 to 100. It also comes with two wired digital LCD hand controls for individual adjustment for each side. It includes a quiet pneumatic air pump compressor that helps adjust each side of the bed separately. The mattress is also made of gel memory foam for targeted contouring support with cooling comfort.

INNOMAX Luxury Support Air Bed Mattress: This air-adjustable mattress is made with a premium damask that is finely designed in a gusseted pillow top design with tack and jump quilting for durability and comfort. Its anatomic layer optimizes support to provide zones with comfort. It also has a moisture barrier backing that is easy to clean and protects the internal parts of the mattress. It is big enough for two people to have a comfortable sleep at night.

Different Firmness Levels of Mattresses

Most of the time, mattresses are described as soft, medium, medium-firm, or firm. The most popular mattresses are medium to medium-firm as they suit various needs. It is also important to consider your sleep position and body type when it comes to choosing the firmness level of your mattress. Take a look at the chart below for more information:[3]

Firmness Scale Firmness Level Best For
1-2 Extra Soft Side sleepers below 130 pounds
3 Soft Side sleepers below 130 pounds



Medium Soft

Side sleepers below 130 pounds and side sleepers below 230 pounds
5 Medium Back and side sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds



Medium Firm

Sleepers between 130 and 230 pounds and side sleepers more than 230 pounds




Side sleepers more than 230 pounds; back and stomach sleepers more than 130 pounds
8-10 Extra Firm Back and stomach sleepers with more than 230 pounds


Sleep Position

woman sleeping on her side

Below are the different types of sleep positions and the best firmness level of mattress suitable for each of them:[1]

Side Sleepers: This is the most commonly favored position by a lot of people. It is also one that doctors usually recommend to avoid back pain. The recommended mattress for side sleepers is soft to medium firmness levels as they help in keeping the spine aligned. If the mattress is too firm, side sleepers may end up putting too much weight on their hips and shoulders.

Stomach Sleepers: For those who like to sleep on their stomach, a firmer mattress is more suitable. This way, no pressure points will sink too far in your position.

Back Sleepers: For back sleepers, a medium-firm mattress is ideal. It’s because if the mattress is too soft or too firm, you may risk not having proper alignment.

Combination Sleepers: For people who sleep in different positions, it is better to choose medium firmness when buying a mattress. It can support your various positions when you move around at night.

Body Type

There are two types of bodies, which are lightweight and heavyweight. Below are more information about the best types of mattresses for these body types:[1]

Heavy Body Weights: For people with heavy bodies, a firmer mattress is recommended, as more weight means more pressure on the bed. Too much pressure may cause the bed to sink

 in and risk the alignment of your spine, which can lead to back pain. The best mattresses for heavy weights are those that are specifically designed for people more than 250 pounds.

Lightweight Sleepers: For people with smaller frames, a softer mattress is ideal as they are not putting much pressure on the bed. If they use a mattress that is too firm, they will not sink in enough to relieve pressure on the joints.

It is important to factor in both your sleep position and weight when it comes to deciding on the firmness level of the mattress you are planning to purchase. Brands also sometimes describe the firmness of their mattresses on a gauge of 1 to 10, having 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. But it is still important to test the mattress based on your personal comfort and preferences.

Mattresses for Different Sleep Concerns

man on a bed experiencing back pain

In addition to choosing a mattress based on the type and firmness level, it is also important to consider any specific needs that you may have. It’s because some people may have issues when it comes to sleeping, such as back pain and other sleeping concerns. Below are examples of some common concerns and what to look for with each:

Hot Sleepers

If you are a hot sleeper, you may benefit from using a cooling mattress as it can help you stay at a comfortable temperature throughout the night. There are various factors that may contribute to night sweats, and a mattress will not make them disappear magically. The right type of mattress can help alleviate hot sleeping.

Take note that not all cooling materials are the same. Among the different types of mattresses, memory foam tends to be the worst offender for trapping heat. Therefore, finding a mattress with the right cooling features may help. Below are a few examples of the most common cooling features that many mattresses offer:[1]

Built-in cooling technology: These mattresses often have embedded metal particles, such as gel, copper, and phase-change technology, in order to draw heat away from the body. Metal and gel can both help prevent overheating. However, their cooling effects are usually less noticeable in real use. Phase-change technology, on the other hand, can store and release heat. Therefore, it is the best choice when it comes to all-night temperature regulation.

Cool-to-the-touch materials: There are cooling covers for mattresses that you can use that feature an instant chilling effect. These can draw in heat fast. However, they will not stay cool overnight.

Breathable Materials: Choosing innerspring and other hybrids that have more coils than foam will allow for more airflow compared to mattresses that are made with pure foam.

Electric Cooling: There are also some mattresses with plug-in options that use water or air in order to cool the bed. These are good when it comes to keeping your mattress continuously cool. However, these mattresses are high maintenance and have added components to incorporate, such as a cooling unit next to the bed.

Back Pain

Back pain is also among the common issues that a lot of people are struggling with. The recommended mattress for those with back pain should have at least some foam to relieve the pressure. A medium firmness level for support and spine alignment is also ideal. Even though there is an underlying condition that is likely causing back pain, the use of the right mattress can be helpful in alleviating discomfort. In fact, based on studies, the right mattress can help improve pain, stiffness, and sleep quality by up to 60%.[1] Below are more information about choosing a mattress for different types of back pain:

Lower Back Pain: When you have lower back pain, it affects the bottom five vertebrae in the lumbar area. It is the most common type of back pain and among the leading reasons Americans visit their doctor.[3] Spending long hours in a bad sleeping position may cause lower back aches. It may also be caused by using a mattress that is either too soft or too firm. Therefore, it is better to look for mattresses that are soft to medium firm, which can provide cushion to the impact points and avoid back pain.

Middle and Upper Back Pain: These back pains are far less common as the anatomy in these regions is more stable, which reduces the likelihood of sprains and strains from twisting movements. But poor posture may also create undue tension in the middle or upper back. Choosing a pressure-relieving mattress that contributes to spinal alignment can help reduce the risk of experiencing middle and upper back pain. In addition to that, using a quality pillow may also help ensure that the neck and upper spine have enough support.[3]

Different Mattress Sizes to Choose From

bed with a single mattress

Another factor that you need to consider when choosing a mattress is the size. There are a few sizes of mattresses to choose from. In general, if you sleep with a partner, you need to pick a larger mattress size for more comfort. But remember that a larger mattress will need larger-sized bedding, including the sheets and pillows. This means that it is associated with additional costs. To give you more ideas, below are the standard mattress sizes:[2]

  • King: 76 x 80 inches
  • California King: 72 x 84 inches
  • Queen: 60 x 80 inches
  • Full / Double: 53 x 75 inches
  • Twin XL: 38 x 80 inches
  • Twin: 38 x 75 inches

The size of the mattress will mainly depend on your personal preferences, as well as the size of the room that you have.

Other Construction Features to Consider When Choosing a Mattress

man choosing a mattress in the store

There are certain specifications about how the mattress is made that are not a priority for some people when shopping. But taking these features into consideration may play a big role in your satisfaction when you purchase a mattress. Below are some of the other construction features that you may consider when choosing a mattress:[1]

Construction Features to Consider When Choosing a Mattress

Motion Isolation

If you or your sleeping partner moves around overnight, it may be beneficial for you to pick a mattress that will not let you feel the movement of each other. This will help in keeping you both sleeping soundly. Foam beds can cancel motion better than innerspring mattresses. In particular, luxury foam beds can do the best job when it comes to motion isolation. Below are a few examples of mattresses that offer this feature:

Sweetnight Gel Memory Foam Mattress for Motion Isolation: This mattress is designed with exclusive foam that has four layers and three zones that adapt well to the size, shape, and weight of the body for better support. It is also great for people who sleep with their partners with its motion isolation technology, providing sound sleep even when moving a lot at night.

Amazon Basics Hybrid Mattress with Motion Isolation Springs: This mattress has a gel-infused memory foam top layer that helps regulate body temperature. It also has individually-encased steel coils that add support and motion isolation for a comfortable and undisturbed sleep. This mattress may also help alleviate joint strain and reduce pressure on the body while you rest.

Modular Firmness

Sometimes, sleeping partners have different preferences when it comes to mattresses. If this is the case, choosing a split mattress with interchangeable firmness levels is a good choice, particularly if you like a traditional mattress rather than an adjustable one.

Edge Support

One of the common complaints of people about their mattresses is that they sink in at the sides. This is an uncomfortable experience, especially if you sleep near the edge of the mattress. It may also be difficult to sit on the side of the bed. Most low-cost beds and all-foam mattresses that ship in a box usually have less edge support. If you are looking for mattresses with edge support, below are some examples to help you choose:

Linenspa Hybrid Edge Support Mattress: This mattress has a contouring comfort of memory foam and a durable, bouncy feel of steel springs. It is made using durable materials to provide you with good sleep. It has multiple supportive layers, helping it provide the right amount of support. It also has edge support, making it comfortable even when you sleep or sit at the edge of the mattress.

Joyride Sleep Mattress with Extra Firm Edge Support: This mattress has three thick lines surrounding it, giving you excellent support. Even when you roll over in bed, you don’t need to worry about the edges sagging. It is made of memory foam, high-density support foam, and individually pocketed springs for maximum support for your body.

Mattress Height

In addition to the size of the mattress, it is also important to consider its height. Selecting a taller mattress that is 14 inches or higher can usually provide you with more layers of foam, which feels more luxurious to lie on. But a shorter mattress can be easier to set up and may cost less. A lower mattress also makes it easier to put on fitted sheets. The height of the mattress will depend on your personal comfort and preferences.


Selecting a mattress indeed takes a lot of time for research and decision-making. But when you are able to pick the best mattress that will cater to your needs and preferences, what you will get is not just a good mattress but also better sleep, which is beneficial for your overall health. Buying a good mattress is a good investment as you use it every night to sleep and relax. We hope this post helped you learn more about selecting the right mattress.


[1] Sachs, L. (2022, September 1). The right way to shop for a new mattress, according to experts. Good Housekeeping. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from

[2] Consumer Reports, E. (2022, December 7). Mattress Buying Guide. Consumer Reports. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from

[3] Noyed, D. (Ed.). (2023, February 15). How to choose a Mattress. Sleep Foundation. Retrieved February 22, 2023, from