9 Questions to Ask When Buying a New Mattress

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Whether you’re new to sharing a home with your partner or you’ve been sleeping in the same bed for years, mattress shopping as a couple can challenge your relationship. Many couples assume that they will end up with a bed that isn’t quite right for either of them or that one person will have to forego restful sleep for their partner. That’s not a sacrifice we think anyone should have to make. So, to help you and your partner make your dream of finding the perfect mattress a reality, we’ve gathered research-backed sleep insights so that you know what questions to ask when buying a mattress to help you and your partner make the right choice.

There are several general questions to ask when buying a mattress before your purchase. As you consider each option as a couple, you and your partner will want to keep additional questions in mind. We’ll start with the general questions and then tackle the issues that are specific to couples.

General Questions to Ask When Mattress Shopping

Even when you’re an experienced mattress shopper, this process can be confusing. There are many, many mattress types and technologies, so cross-shopping is difficult at best. What’s more, most people have very different mattress needs from their partners, due to body type, medical conditions, sleep schedules and plain old comfort preferences. Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve got your back. Literally.

1. Who Can We Contact for Support After Our Purchase?

Before you even start shopping and asking specific mattress questions, make sure you know how this retailer takes care of their customers. Buying a mattress is a big commitment. You’re going to have questions or concerns as you set up and experience your mattress in real life. It’s important to know where to turn when this happens. If you have a question or concern after your new mattress arrives, is there someone who can help you? Who do you call—the retailer or the manufacturer? What kind of help can they give? Ask for names, email addresses and phone numbers of contacts, and remember to ask the representative to be as specific as they can be. If you don’t get a clear answer, you’ll know that this mattress retailer may be difficult to reach if you have any problems with your purchase.

2. What Happens if We Sleep on the Mattress and It Isn’t a Good Fit?

This is one of the most important questions to ask when buying a mattress because traditional showroom mattress shopping isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. In a collaborative report by RTI International and Duke University, researchers found that the average 10-15 minutes people spend testing out a mattress in a showroom setting makes a person less likely to choose a mattress that gives them a restful night’s sleep than if they took home a random mattress. This is just one of the reasons you need to know which mattress questions to ask before you start shopping.

Researchers of the same Duke sleep study found that the key ingredient in a restful night’s sleep is catching Zs with little to no tossing and turning. Moving around at night is a sign that you’re not getting high-quality sleep and it stops your body from being able to rejuvenate. You know what we’re talking about—you wake up in the morning with a serious bedhead, a crick in your neck and the feeling that you were doing CrossFit in your sleep. And the day goes downhill from there.

In a traditional setting, it has been hard to find a mattress that melts you and your partner’s body into a deep, restful sleep. You each respond differently to firmness levels and mattress technology. A great night’s sleep for both of you is out there, but identifying the right mattress takes time and real-life experience, not to mention a great return or exchange policy. Some mattress brands and retailers will let you try the mattress for a no-risk trial period—like every one of the ground-breaking isense adjustable mattresses—so take advantage of that benefit.

3. What Is the Return, Exchange and Refund Policy?

Get a copy of the company’s return and refund policy—including who is responsible for transporting the mattress for repairs or returns. Do you pay and arrange for shipping or do they? You don’t want to be stuck with a damaged mattress and a company that says, “Sure, no problem. Just bring it on into the factory and we’ll take care of that for you.” If you or your partner work full time and don’t have the time or means to bring the mattress in during regular working hours, you’ll have a hard time getting the problem fixed.

4. What Are the Terms of the Warranty?

This is also a good time to ask about the terms of the warranty. The legalese in many warranties can be confusing, so don’t be shy about asking questions about the exact terms. Warrantees can often be voided if you don’t properly care for the mattress or fail to place it on the correct base, so understand what you need to do to ensure you’re protected.

5. How Do We Take Care of Our New Mattress?

Some mattresses have specific care instructions. Ask these technical mattress questions about the kind of maintenance the bed needs:

  • Will we need a mattress protector?
  • What is the recommended way to clean your new mattress?
  • Are there specific instructions for moving mattresses?

The decorative handles on many mattresses are actually adjustment handles and aren’t meant for bearing the full weight of the mattress.

6. Is the Bed Adjustable if We Need Different Support in the Future?

For most brands, the answer is “no,” but for you to have confidence in your purchase, you should be able to adjust it after you get home, easily, any time you want. This is an especially important question to ask when buying a mattress because it turns out that there is no universal firmness level to reduce tossing and turning at night. Each person is different and what makes you sleep like a motionless rock (yes, in a good way) may make your partner spend all night moving around in restless sleep limbo.

Your mattress needs may change over time, too, depending on your lifestyle and other factors in your overall health. As a follow-up question, ask how easy it is to make these adjustments. Do you use a remote control or an app on your device, or do you have to use a control pad on the mattress?

Questions to Ask When Mattress Shopping as a Couple

Now that we’ve covered questions to ask the retailer, you need to know what questions to ask when buying a mattress when you’re ready to sign on the dotted line or click “complete order” from an online retailer. Let’s continue the list with a few more mattress questions just for you and your partner.

7. Do We Have Similar Sleep Needs?

You might not know the whole answer to this multifaceted question until you’ve shared a bed for a while, and that’s OK. It’s likely to change over time. By sleep needs, we mean the factors that lead you and your partner to have a comfortable and restful night’s sleep so that you’re energized and healthy every day.

  • Does your partner roll back and forth restlessly when the bed is too soft?
  • Do you need a mattress you can sink in to like a cloud?
  • Does one of you experience seasonal joint pain and need to adjust the firmness depending on the weather conditions?

It’s very unlikely that you and your partner need the same sleep conditions to wake up rested. That’s not an insurmountable incompatibility—it just means you need a mattress both of you can personalize.

8. What Type of Mattress Do We Need?

This is another question to ask before buying a mattress that, unfortunately, gets overlooked by couples. Often times, we go straight for the comfort test without thinking about the technology behind what we need. But choosing a mattress based on you and your partner’s sleep needs comes down to selecting the right kind of mattress. These are the three most popular types of mattresses:

  • Latex Mattresses: When you need an affordable and durable mattress, consider latex. Made from natural or synthetic rubber, latex mattresses give you great support and hold their shape after every night of sleep. They literally bounce back and can be an eco-friendly option.
  • Memory Foam Mattresses: Raise your hand if you want your mattress to feel like a hug. That’s not cheesy—it’s restfulness. Memory foam is made from layering different densities of foam so that your body gets both support and plush comfort.
  • Innerspring Mattresses: For several decades, mattresses have combined spring technology with layers of foam or cushioning. Because the coiled springs respond to your bodies’ movements individually, innerspring mattresses like our isense Revive - Hybrid Premier mattress are a great choice for couples who need extra support.

9. What Changes in Sleep Needs Do We Expect Over the Life of This Mattress?

This mattress question might sound like it’s more for you than it is for the mattress itself, but it will influence how you see your new bed as a long-term investment. It’s time to have an authentic conversation about your lifestyle and health at this point.

  • Do you expect your need for joint support to change?
  • Are you or your partner planning to be pregnant in the next few years?
  • Do either of you have a career that requires you to be on your feet for most of the workday (or sitting at a desk for hours at a time)?

All of these factors will affect your sleep quality over time—for better or worse.

Most mattresses are manufactured to last approximately 10 years, and you’ll want a mattress that can adjust with your life. So, even if you’re satisfied with your quality of sleep now, make sure you choose a brand that answers “Yes!” to question 6, because you have many more adventures ahead of you.

We’re confident that when it’s time to take this important step with your partner, you’ll get the answers you need from isense, the first and only mattress designed specifically for couples. Wherever you do your mattress shopping, we hope that knowing the key questions to ask when mattress shopping will help you put your comfort and quality of life first. Your happily ever after starts with a good night’s sleep every single night.

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