Dug up this old article from Slate Magazine. Granted that this piece was written a few years back, a lot of its advices still ring true even today. It’s a pretty comprehensive piece, one that covers not just mattress buying per se, but also other concerns a shopper normally carries with choosing a mattress. Here are just some of the advices given in the said article:
On choosing the best brand:
Innerspring mattresses, particularly the Big S’s (Simmons, Serta, Sealy), dominate the market. But how to choose among Serta and Sealy, Stearns and Foster, and King Koil? Or for that matter, between the Simmons Beautyrest Exceptionale Lenore and the Simmons Beautyrest Do-Not-Disturb Royalty Ultra? Ignore brand names. They’re meaningless. Just pay attention to comfort.
In determining how firm a mattress should be:
You sleep on coils because they’re softer than the floor, but you still want good, firm coils, but then you put foam padding on top to soften the coils, but you still want the foam to be dense, and then finally you put a strong box spring underneath for just a tiny bit of give. All this shuttling back and forth on the scale of firmness—why not just start with the firmness you like, and then stop?
On alleviating back pains:
Firm mattresses are best if you get acute back spasms, but for regular back pain your mattress doesn’t make much difference. Back pain has a lot to do with how you’re built, but not a lot to do with your mattress.
Get more insights from this article.
Photo also courtesy of Slate Magazine.