June 15, 2018

Losing sleep over the idea of choosing a new mattress? You're not alone! With hundreds of models, materials, and brands to choose from, replacing your old mattress can be downright exhausting - not to mention intimidating! Your mattress is arguably the single most important piece of furniture in your entire home. The average person spends a full third of their life in bed, and your choice of mattress will have a significant impact on your health, well-being, and yes... your wallet. It's totally normal to want to make the right choice!

To make matters even more complicated, the ideal mattress is an extremely personal decision. One person's luxurious bed of clouds is someone else's backache waiting to happen! Luckily, we've created a great mattress buying guide designed to give you all of the tools and information you need to make the right decision for you. Read on to learn about when it's time to retire your old mattress, the different types of mattresses, what to look for based on your personal preferences and sleeping habits, and more. 

Is It Time For A New Mattress?

One of the most important things to consider when you're thinking of buying a new mattress is the age of your current one. The average mattress has a lifespan of about 8 years, with some lasting a year or two longer or shorter than that depending on their materials and how well you take care of them. If it's been longer than 8 years since your last mattress purchase, you should definitely consider replacing it. You should also replace your mattress if it's visibly in worse condition than the day you bought it. Your mattress shouldn't have any obvious lumps, tears, stains, sloping, or general wear-and-tear.

If you're still not sure, consider these questions:

  • Do you ever wake up with back pain?
  • Do you ever wake up feeling tired or wake up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason?
  • Do you ever find it difficult to fall asleep?

If you answered yes to any one of those questions, it's probably time to consider whether a bad mattress is impacting your sleep. Studies have shown that sleeping on a new bedding system can reduce back pain, increase the quality of your sleep, and reduce stress - and you deserve the best.

What Size Mattress Do I Need?

Mattresses come in a variety of standard sizes, from Twin all the way up to California King. These are the standard sizes (in inches):

Size Length x Width
Twin 38x75
Twin XL 38x80
Double 54x75
Queen 60x80
King 76x80
California King 72x84

As a general rule, you should choose the largest mattress you can to fit your body as well as the size of your room. For the best quality sleep, you want a mattress that is large enough to accommodate you and your partner (or pets!) without disturbing each other's sleep, plus room to spread out if you get too hot during the night.

Children can comfortably sleep in beds that are Double sized or smaller, while most adults prefer Queen or larger. Choose a King-sized bed if you sleep with a partner and like your space, or a California King if you're taller than average or just like to spread out!

What Type Of Mattress Should I Choose?

There are dozens of types of mattresses out there in a wide variety of materials - so many, in fact, that sorting through them all can feel pretty overwhelming! However, most of the mattresses on the market today will fall into one of four categories:


Innerspring mattresses are the most common type, and the one you're probably most familiar with. Metal coils form the main support system in these types of mattresses, though the amount of coils and the strength they carry can vary a lot from model to model. They tend to wear out more quickly than other types of mattresses, and can have issues with sagging after just a couple of years. Generally speaking, the more coils the bed has, the more support it will give you. You should look for springs that are individually wrapped to prolong your mattress's lifespan. 

Good for: people who like the traditional feel of coils, people who want a "bouncy" bed, and people who want an affordable option that will help them stay cool.


Latex mattresses are firmer than memory foam and very durable. Latex mattresses are the longest-lasting mattresses on the market today, but they can come with a hefty price tag. Known for their cooling and comforting qualities, latex mattresses are available in a variety of levels of firmness. However, latex mattresses can feel very firm even in their softest versions, and can be quite heavy making them difficult to turn. As a result, they can develop lumps and sags over time due to your sleeping patterns. One major drawback to a latex mattress is that the latex foam is not environmentally friendly. Recently, soy-based foams have entered the market which perform just like latex without the negative environmental effects.

Good for: people who like a firm mattress, people who want foam without the typical "hug" found in memory foam, and people who struggle with their temperature at night.

Memory Foam

Memory foam is an interesting material - as it heats up, it gets more flexible so it conforms to your body when you lay on it. Memory foam mattresses are designed to bend to the contours of your body, relieving pressure and providing support where it's needed. As a result, they are very popular with people who struggle with back pain! Memory foam tends to "hug" your body when you lay on it, which unfortunately can cause it to "sleep hot".

Good for: people with back pain, people who like their bed to "hug" them, and people who share a bed with a partner or pets.


Hybrid mattresses are made from a combination of coils, foams, and other materials to maximize the benefits of each type of mattress and eliminate the drawbacks. By combining the best qualities of each type of mattress, the materials can work together to create the ideal sleeping environment.

For example, the LunaZen mattress contains three layers: a combination of pocket coils, soy-based foam, and Zen-M memory foam. It is designed to combine the great bounce and structural support of pocket coils with the cooling and responsiveness of latex, and the pressure relief and comfort of memory foam. Our mattress is designed to circumvent the temperature problems that can come with memory foam, is more cost-efficient than a full latex mattress, and has enough support with the coils underneath to keep you from sinking in too much. Because there are two layers of foam on top of the coils, it doesn't suffer the durability issues of a typical innerspring mattress!

Good for: people who want the best of both worlds without shelling out an arm and a leg, people who want a good all-around mattress for different sleeping styles, and people who have had negative experiences with full foam mattresses.

How Firm Should My Mattress Be?

Mattresses come in a wide variety of textures, from very soft to very firm. Firmness is a matter of personal preference, but you should keep your sleeping position, weight, and any special circumstances in mind when you're making your choice. Try not to confuse support with firmness - whether your mattress is very soft or very firm, your head, neck, and spine should be in alignment when you lay down and you shouldn't feel any pressure in sensitive spots like your hips, shoulders, or lower back. A firmer mattress doesn't necessarily mean a more supportive one!

Above all else, you need to choose a mattress that feels comfortable to you! Here are a few guidelines to help you make your decision:

  • Side sleepers should consider a mattress that is soft-medium firmness. If firmness is measured on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the most firm, most side sleepers will prefer a mattress in the 3-6 range. That's because you need a mattress that will conform to your body when you're sleeping on your side to keep your spine in the proper alignment without creating pressure points. A mattress that is too firm or too soft will create issues like soreness or back pain.
  • Back sleepers can consider a firmer mattress. Back sleepers tend to move around less during the night, so it's essential that your mattress provides enough support to keep your back in alignment all night long without too much sinking in. When back-sleepers sink into their mattress, it can cause soreness in the neck and shoulders. Most back sleepers will prefer a mattress in the 4-7 range of firmness.
  • Stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress. If you can't break the habit of sleeping on your stomach, you need to consider a mattress that will keep you supported equally across your entire body. With most of the pressure on your torso at night, it's even more essential to keep your spine in alignment. Stomach sleepers should look for a mattress that is between a 5 and 8 in firmness.
  • If you share a mattress with another person or pets, consider whether movement on the bed will disturb your sleep. Firmer mattresses tend to transfer motion more than softer mattresses do. When in doubt, choose a mattress that is slightly softer.
  • Your mattress should keep your spine in alignment without creating pressure points. Otherwise, you will wake up feeling tired or sore - that's not good at all!

When you're trying out a mattress for the first time, lay on it and relax for at least 20 minutes before making a decision about whether you like the firmness or not. Some materials take time to conform to your body.

The LunaZen mattress is designed with a "universal comfort" firmness in the 4-6 range, making it the ideal choice for most sleepers. We know that purchasing a mattress online without the chance to try it in-store can be intimidating. That's why we offer a 100-night trial period with every purchase! If you're unsatisfied with the LunaZen mattress, we will take it back and donate it to someone in need!

The Mattress Buying Cheat Sheet

We know: it's a lot of information to take in! Here are the main takeaways that you should consider when you're ready to replace your old mattress:

  1. When in doubt, replace it. If you mattress is more than 8 years old or has any visible signs of wear and tear, it's probably time to replace it. Studies have shown that a new mattress can drastically improve the quality of your sleep and your stress levels during the day!
  2. Choose the largest mattress that your bedroom can handle. You want to have room to spread out without disturbing anyone who might be sharing the bed with you. Plus, it just feels nicer! 
  3. Choose a high-quality mattress made of durable materials. It's the most important piece of furniture in your home, and you want it to be durable and comfortable for years to come. This isn't the place to reach for a bargain option.
  4. Choose a hybrid mattress made of a combination of foams and coils for the best of both worlds. They tend to be more supportive, more comfortable, less hot, and more durable than full-foam or full-coil mattresses.
  5. Choose a mattress that isn't too soft or too firm to keep your back supported. You shouldn't feel any pressure points when you lay on your mattress - your whole body should be supported equally.
  6. Above all else, choose something that you find comfortable. Try out several models if you can and shop around! If you decide to order online, choose a company that offers a trial period like LunaZen's 100-night sleep satisfaction guarantee. You don't want to be stuck with a purchase you're unhappy with!