Close this search box.

Questions to ask when buying a new mattress

Article navigation

Buying a new mattress can be complicated and time-consuming. But, asking a few key questions can make the process easier.

When shopping for a new mattress, gathering as much information about the type you intend to purchase is crucial. There are thousands of mattresses to choose from, but by asking a few questions, you will be well-equipped to make an informed decision.

Young man shopping for a new mattress asking questions 

Questions to ask before you shop for a new mattress

Before shopping for a new mattress, consider what you want from it. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your options.

What do you like or dislike about your current mattress?

People often replace mattresses because they may longer provide the comfort or support required. However, other factors like its size, whether you find it too warm or it makes a noise, can also prompt a change. On the other hand, you might appreciate certain aspects, like not needing to flip it over. Create a list of likes and dislikes about your current mattress to help you with your search.

What mattress size do I need?

Choosing the mattress size is straightforward if you’re keeping your existing bed base. However, if the base is old, it’s wise to replace it. Your new mattress may not be compatible with it in any case. 

Additionally, if you share a bed with a partner, consider upgrading to a larger one. Couples often sleep better in bigger beds and are less likely to disturb one another. It usually doesn’t cost much more to upgrade to a bigger bed.

How much can I afford to spend?

Setting a budget for a mattress can be difficult, given that we replace them only a few times during our lifetimes. If your budget is too low, you risk buying a mattress that lacks adequate support. It may also need replacing sooner than expected, costing you more in the long term.

Considering we spend a third of our lives in bed, investing as much as you can afford in a mattress is advisable. Spending £1,000 on a mattress averages to just 40 pence per night over seven years, which is less than the cost of a pint of milk or a loaf of bread. 

What you need to ask the store before buying a new mattress

When looking at different mattresses in a store, most questions should come naturally. However, here are some additional questions worth asking.

What sort of mattress is suitable for a bad back?

There is no single mattress that suits everyone. Your weight, height, preferred sleeping position, and personal preference affect the type of mattress you need. The ideal mattress for a bad back is one that you find comfortable and supports your body correctly. In general, the heavier you are, the firmer the mattress you need.

There are various types of mattresses to consider, and your choice will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Sprung mattresses remain popular. Coil springs are more affordable, but they feel bouncier and sleeping partners may disturb each other when they move in bed.

Pocket springs conform to the shape of the body, providing superior support. As each spring works independently, couples are less likely to disturb each other when they change sleeping positions.

Latex and memory foam mattresses adapt to your body, providing excellent pressure relief and improved circulation. Unlike sprung mattresses, they are single-sided and don’t need flipping. But, due to their dense cell structure, memory foam can sometimes feel warm to sleep on.

Will I feel my partner move in bed?

Your mattress choice can impact partner disturbance, a leading cause of poor sleep quality. The salesperson can advise you on which specific mattresses isolate movement so that you and your partner get a less disturbed sleep.

Another factor to consider is mattress size. Couples generally sleep better in bigger beds and are less likely to disturb each other. Testing various bed sizes with your partner in a showroom can help you gauge which size is most suitable.

How long does the warranty or guarantee last?

Most mattresses offer a standard one-year warranty against manufacturing defects and faulty workmanship. Some provide longer warranties, extending to five years or more. Though a lengthier warranty can provide extra peace of mind, reviewing the terms and conditions is crucial.

Mattress warranties do not cover daily wear and tear; specific exclusions or clauses may apply. For instance, some manufacturers may stipulate using a mattress protector with your new mattress or even void the warranty if the mattress isn’t properly maintained.

Additionally, warranties often depreciate over time, offering only a limited contribution from the manufacturer for repair or replacement costs.

Can you try the mattress on a similar bed base to the one you will be using?

The type of base you use with your mattress can affect how it feels and performs. A mattress can feel quite different on a sprung base compared to slats. Testing mattresses in a showroom on a base similar to your own will provide a more accurate sense of how it will feel at home.

What is the typical lifespan of the mattress?

When purchasing a mattress, ensuring value for money is essential. Mattresses typically last between seven to ten years. However, cheaper mattresses may have a shorter lifespan, while higher-quality ones tend to last longer. Ask the retailer about the expected lifespan of different mattresses. 

When does this promotion end, and are there any upcoming events where I might get a better deal?

Many shoppers are sceptical about mattress sales and promotions because they seem quite frequent. It seems when one sale ends, another begins. However, certain times of the year may be better to buy than others, such as seasonal events like sales, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.

It’s advisable to check with the retailer or salesperson how long the current offers are valid for and ask for a written quotation for your preferred mattress. This can help secure the initial price. That way, if prices increase when you’re ready to make a purchase, they may be able to honour the original price. If the retailer can’t honour the price, your quote may be useful elsewhere, especially if another store is willing to price match.

Is there room for negotiation on the price?

Don’t be afraid to negotiate or request a discount when shopping for a new mattress. Retailers might claim their prices are fixed, but many are open to negotiation. If they can’t lower the price, they might offer extras like free pillows or remove delivery and mattress collection charges.

Can you tell me about any financing options or payment plans?

A new mattress can be a significant investment, costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds. Fortunately, some retailers may only ask for a deposit when you place an order and allow you to pay the balance when the mattress is despatched.

Many retailers offer financing options where you can spread the cost of a new mattress over convenient monthly instalments. This usually involves a credit check, and it’s also important to check the terms and conditions in case there are additional costs or special clauses.

How do I get rid of the old mattress?

Once you’ve chosen a new mattress, there is often the problem of what to do with your old one. Many retailers provide a mattress disposal service, where they can remove your old mattress while delivering the new one. Some do this for free, while others may charge a small fee. So check with the retailer if they offer this service. Also, clarify what happens to old mattress to ensure it doesn’t end up in a landfill.

Who can I contact to check the status of my order?

If your mattress is on order and may take several weeks to arrive, knowing who to contact for status updates is helpful. Many retailers have a dedicated department for this purpose. They can communicate with you directly and, if needed, contact the manufacturer for further updates.

Once the mattress is in stock, the store will schedule a convenient delivery date. They may offer an estimated delivery time window closer to the date.

What happens if the mattress doesn’t fit into the room?

It’s advisable to measure your property before ordering a new mattress to ensure there are delivery issues. This is especially important if you’re considering a bigger bed. Also, be mindful that some mattresses are more flexible than others, so even if you’re replacing your existing mattress with a new one the same size, there are no guarantees it will fit into the room.

Check with the retailer to understand their returns policy regarding failed deliveries. Some may allow returns or exchanges with a small fee, while others may reject returns, placing the responsibility on the customer to check measurements before ordering.

What happens if I find the new mattress uncomfortable? Can it be exchanged or returned?

New mattresses may initially feel uncomfortable, especially if you’re used to your old one. Stores often recommend giving the new mattress time to break in. However, if you still find it uncomfortable after a while, it’s good to know your options and whether you can return it.

Certain manufacturers offer extended trial periods, but it’s important to understand their return policies fully.

Final thoughts

Purchasing a new mattress can be complex, so ensure you set aside enough time to choose the right one and ask plenty of questions to narrow down your options.   

Share this article

Picture of About the author

About the author

Tony Brown is the founder and creator of The Bed Consultant. His career in the bed industry began in 2002. After graduating from university with a degree in Business Administration, Tony joined one of the largest independent furniture retailers in the UK as a bed consultant. Tony has helped thousands of customers find the perfect mattress.

Learn more

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more about cookies.