They may not be things you think about every day, but you probably have some beliefs about mattresses that aren’t true. Sometimes, salesmen promote these as a way to make more money. Other times, the information is simply outdated, or true of some mattresses and not others.
If you’re looking for a mattress, it’s important to know the truth about them, since you’ll sleep in your new bed every day. Here are some common mattress myths and the facts about them.
Mattresses Last Up to 20 Years
While you often can sleep on a mattress for up to 20 years, that’s not the best idea for your body. The Better Sleep Council recommends replacing any mattress that is over 7 years old. This is especially true if you are waking up in pain, find yourself sleeping better away from home, or you can see visible damage to your mattress.
Your New Mattress Will Feel Good Right Away
Just like with a new pair of jeans, it can take some time to break in your new mattress. In fact, the right mattress for you may not feel comfortable right away. This is why many mattress companies now offer extended trial periods. Take advantage of these periods and try as many beds as you need to find the right one for you.
You Need to Buy a Box Spring
Box springs were invented back when mattresses were much thinner and offered significantly less support. They were made for use with coil spring mattresses and the traditional metal bed frames. Now, they don’t always do much except make your bed higher.
Whether you need a box spring or not depends on the type of bed you are buying and the type of foundation you are putting it on. Most mattresses do need a solid foundation that gives relatively equal support over the surface of the mattress. This can be the foundation of a platform bed, a box spring, or even the floor. Before you buy, research the type of mattress you are getting and how to support it for the longest life and most comfort.
If you want a box spring, you can also use your old one, if it is still in good condition and is compatible with your new mattress. The two components don’t always wear out at the same rate, so check your box spring separate from your mattress. If it doesn’t show any signs of damage, reuse it and save your money.
Note that some mattress manufacturers still require you to buy and use the box spring that they sell along with your mattress, in order to keep your warranty valid. Make sure you have read and understood your warranty, so you can make a wise choice about whether or not to buy a box spring.
You Should Never Remove the Tag From Your Mattress
Once you have bought your mattress, you can absolutely remove the tags. It’s only illegal to do so before the mattress is purchased by a consumer. If you think you might return the mattress, though, leave the tags on, as some manufacturers require their presence to maintain your warranty.
These tag rules are based on old laws designed to protect the consumer. Back in the day, mattresses were sometimes filled with material that was unsanitary, old, or unsavory for most customers. The government solved these problems by making manufacturers state, explicitly, what was inside each mattress and refused them the right to remove those tags before the consumer could read them.
You Should Buy Your Mattress at a Brick and Mortar Store to Try it Out
While it’s fun to go to a mattress store and try out all the beds, lying on a bed for 15-20 minutes isn’t going to tell you all that much about it. After all, sometimes you lie in the same position for hours at night. Since you can’t actually sleep overnight on the mattresses in the store, going in and trying them out isn’t going to help you very much.
As mentioned above, some mattresses won’t feel good right away. If you try out a mattress for a few minutes and it isn’t comfortable, you may dismiss it not knowing that, after a few weeks, it would be perfect for you.
In addition, many of the rising online mattress brands have superb trial offers. Some of them will let you use the mattress for a whole year before you decide whether or not to keep it! This gives you ample chance to use the mattress as it is intended, to fully break it in, and then to figure out whether or not it will work for you.
The More You Pay, the Better Quality Mattress You Will Get
Sometimes, this is true. However, it’s not always the case. Some brands or lines of mattresses cost more simply because there’s a prestige factor that goes along with owning one. You don’t need to spend more on these unless you care a lot about the brand name of your bed.
Other times, a more expensive bed might be right for one person but not for another. Just because a material costs more does not necessarily mean that it will work better for you. While it’s important that you understand the differences in material that cause one bed to be more expensive than another, you still have to enjoy sleeping on the bed. If the material won’t work for your body, it doesn’t matter how much the bed costs.
Latex Mattresses are All-Natural
While latex mattresses are often marketed as healthier and better for the earth than traditional beds, the issue is a little more complicated. Natural latex absolutely falls into these categories, but synthetic latex is made from ingredients that contain petroleum and other chemicals. In addition, almost all latex is treated with chemical fire retardant before it is sold in mattress form.
The issue is even more complicated because most latex beds are a combination of the natural and synthetic types, and a bed only has to be 30% natural to be labeled as such. If having an all-natural bed is important to you, be sure to do your research about the company and the materials they use in their latex mattresses.
Now that you know the truth, you are ready to buy your new mattress. Remember to take your time shopping, know that there is no one mattress that is right for everyone, and be willing to send back mattresses that don’t work for you. Your care and attention to this process will help you find the mattress that you need in order to achieve the best sleep of your life.