How To Buy The Perfect Mattress


I’ve got a Princess and the Pea sitch. You know the fable – poor princess can’t sleep because future mother-in-law places a pea under her mattress as a test. My issue is not a judge-y in-law, it’s the sleep part. 

Lately, my mattress has been giving me grief. It’s lumpy and saggy and I feel every inch of it! Translation, I have a hard time getting to dreamland and, upon waking, I’m achy and tired. Is it time to go mattress shopping? I reached out to who confirms what I’m thinking  – when a mattress loses its shape, becomes unsupportive, or develops any permanent malformations, it’s time for an upgrade.

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Why a good mattress matters

Because good sleep is subjective, it’s best to start with a few measurable objectives, what Sam Prochazka, CEO and founder of, calls “the sleep platform” i.e. the surface that supports your body with comfort and care. “It is paramount for shoppers to begin their better sleep journeys at its foundation and ensure their sleep platform is not the obstacle between them and great sleep,” he says.

That means thinking about the mechanics of your sleep, ensuring your sleep platform offers pressure point relief and good spinal alignment, he says. 

Once you’ve figured that out, you’ll know that any lingering sleep issues aren’t mattress-related and you can start thinking about other contributing factors, like sleep hygiene habits or restless partners.

Sounds cool, but how does one actually analyze sleep mechanics? According to the sleep experts at, there are two things to consider: Sleep position and body weight. 

I’m a back sleeper, therefore support is key to maintaining proper spinal alignment. Oh, now I understand the achey-wakey start to my day. FYI: Stomach sleepers also fall into this category – spinal support is important.

But if you’re a side sleeper, the team advises staying away from the extremes of hard or soft. If your body sinks in too much or too little when side sleeping, it may not relieve pressure points on your neck, shoulders, and hips.

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Get the support you need

As for body weight, here’s how it comes into play. Generally speaking folks under 150 pounds, don’t sink as deeply into a mattress, so one on the lower end of the firmness scale is probably best. On a scale, you’re looking at about a 3/10 (10 being the firmest) to no firmer than a 6/10.

If you weigh in around 150 to 200 pounds, a medium to medium-firm mattress will suit you, so look for one that falls between 4.5 to 7 on the firmness scale, he says.

Heavier sleepers, over 200 pounds, should consider a medium-firm to firm mattress, staying within a 6 to 10 firmness rating.

For most of us, a new bed is not an insignificant purchase. The good news is most online mattress companies offer risk-free trial periods that take some of the worry out of the commitment. Before you buy, check the warranty offer for that added peace of mind.

Once you find your perfect sleeper, maintaining it properly is key to extending its life, which includes things like making sure you’ve got a compatible base, i.e. no wire or metal frames which can contribute to premature sagging. It’s also helpful to rotate your mattress every quarter and to use a mattress pad so that the fabric stays pristine.  

As for me, I settled on the Logan & Cove Luxury Hybrid Pillow-Top Mattress and I haven’t looked back! What I love most is that the pillow-top layer helps me fall asleep – it’s like floating on a cloud – and the actual mattress supports my spine well so I wake up without aches. It’s my new perfect sleep partner – and it comes without peas or petty in-laws!

FLEETSTREET editors review products by sampling, and the content outcome is a true reflection of the writer’s experience. Read for more info.