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Updated: January 23, 2024

How to Choose a Mattress (2024): Mattress Buyer’s Guide

Robb Collins

Are you in the market for a new mattress? If so, this is an exciting time for you! But understandably, it can also be an overwhelming one. 

After all, there are so many mattress options available today, all boasting different price points, features and benefits. With such a vast selection, it’s often difficult to know exactly where to start. 

That’s where this handy guide comes in. Below, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about selecting your perfect mattress

What this guide covers

We’ll go over important criteria like materials, firmness preferences, budget, and much more. And in doing so, we’ll eliminate all that guesswork so you can make the most informed choice possible.

Read on as we help simplify the entire mattress shopping experience for you. Prepare for many years of blissful sleep ahead!

How Do You Know When You Need a New Mattress?

You might have had your current mattress for only a few years—or even more than 20. So how do you know when it’s the ideal time to buy a new one? 

One of the biggest parts of determining when to buy a new mattress is how you’re currently sleeping. After all, the quality of your sleep plays an incredibly important role in your overall well-being:

SIGNS YOU NEED A NEW MATTRESS

  • Wear, tear, and squeaky springs. Even the best mattresses deteriorate over time. You may notice sagging and lumps or feel (and even hear!) coils beginning to poke into your body. Ouch!  
  • You regularly wake up with stiff or sore muscles. Bodies change over the years. As you age, you will likely need more support for your back, shoulders or hips than your current mattress offers. 
  • Your immune system is worsening. Certain mattresses can be havens for dust mites and allergens. This can cause or aggravate uncomfortable symptoms in people who have allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions.
  • Any movement interrupts your (or your partner’s) sleep. “Motion transfer” refers to the ability to notice when your sleeping partner moves. An older mattress will often have higher motion transfer. This can be highly disruptive to quality sleep. 
  • Changes in weight. Have you added a new sleeping partner since you bought your current mattress? Or a pet who sleeps next to you? Perhaps you yourself have gained a few pounds. Regardless, your mattress may no longer be durable enough to sustain additional weight. If you’re seeking a comfortable sleep and proper support for all parties, you may need an upgrade. 

How much should you spend on a new mattress?

As you begin shopping, you’re going to see an incredibly wide range of prices across different retailers. And—especially in physical stores—those prices tend to fluctuate on a regular basis. 

From $400 to $4,000 and even more, understanding mattress prices can be confusing—not to mention frustrating. How much should you budget for? Moreover, how do you know when you’re getting a good product for your hard-earned money? 

Here are a few insider tips:

  • First, assess your budget comfort level. Price can vary on a wide range of factors including brand, size, construction materials, and any bells and whistles for added comfort and support. Before you consider any of those things, start simply by determining what price point you’re most comfortable with. After all, the right mattress should give you relief in both your body and bank account! 
  • Don’t base your decision only on price. Given the importance of a good night’s sleep, you don’t necessarily want to go for the cheapest mattress option out there. Often, you get what you pay for in terms of materials and craftsmanship. Less expensive mattresses tend to be thinner, with fewer layers of material. If your mattress is cheaply made, you’ll just be out shopping again sooner than later. 
  • Read reviews. With over 200,000 mattresses sold to date, Douglas has lots of reviews you can read! Use the filter and sort tools to read about what real customers have to say about the features you are most interested in.

Take the Douglas Original as an example. It features multiple layers of state-of-the-art foam, cooling gel technology, pressure point relief, and motion isolation properties. That’s a lot of premium-level value for a mattress with prices starting at just $599. 

The key takeaway? Even if you have a lower budget, you should still be able to get a great mattress that meets your needs.

Great Canadian Mattresses

Delivered right to your door

BEST SELLER
10" HEIGHT

Douglas Original

Our original best-selling mattress. A balanced mix of cooling, support, and cushioning at a great price.

Cooling
Pressure-Point Relief
Motion Isolation

Starting from

C$599 Shop Now
POPULAR UPGRADE
11" HEIGHT

Douglas Alpine

The Douglas Alpine mattress offers increased cooling, pressure-point relief, and motion isolation.

Cooling
Pressure-Point Relief
Motion Isolation

Starting from

C$799 Shop Now
PREMIUM CHOICE
12" HEIGHT

Douglas Summit

The ultimate version of the Douglas mattress, taken to the upper limits of cooling, comfort, and support.

Cooling
Pressure-Point Relief
Motion Isolation

Starting from

C$999 Shop Now

Ensuring Proper Support for Your Sleep Position

Woman sleeping in a bed fitted with Douglas Egyptian Cotton Sheets

Another key to selecting your ideal mattress is ensuring it provides proper support for how you sleep at night. 

Remember, we can hold the same position for a very long time when we’re in bed! As such, laying on a mattress with less-than-ideal support can result in prolonged pain and stiffness for your neck, back, and other parts of your body.

Whether you tend to sleep on your back, side, or stomach, different levels of firmness can help provide a more comfortable, higher-quality slumber.

If you are a …Type of mattress support you needType of firmness to look forMattresses to avoid
Back sleeper

Your mattress must help align your spine. However, it must also be cushioned enough to keep your shoulders, hips and lower back comfortable.
Medium-firmStay away from mattresses that are too soft, or that do not provide ample support.
Stomach sleeper
Look for a mattress that provides hip support while keeping your spine in neutral alignment.Medium-firm to firmSteer clear of mattresses that may create excessive sinkage around your midsection.
Side sleeper
Buy a mattress with cushioning that eases stress on your shoulders and hips. Generally, side sleepers need more pressure relief from their mattresses than back or stomach sleepers.Medium-firmAvoid mattresses that are overly cushiony. This is because the gravitational pull can put additional strain on your spine.
Combination sleeper (i.e., you rotate positions through the night)Your mattress should be versatile enough to support multiple positions. Ideally, it will also absorb motion transfer.Comes down to personal preference, but a medium-firm is a safe bet in terms of firmnessDo not purchase a mattress that is too soft or too firm. Since you will be switching up positions all night, you need something that will provide support no matter what.

Just-right firmness, no matter your sleep position

The medium-firm Douglas mattress is crafted to promote properly balanced support and spinal alignment, with just a bit of spring. Each of its layers is made from 2-7 inches of state-of-the-art, Canadian-made foams and components.

So, whether you’re a back, side or stomach sleeper, you should not feel any dips or lumps as you switch or hold positions. Rather, the Douglas molds to and relieves key pressure points—providing you with a more consistent, higher-quality sleep.

Which Mattress Type Offers The Best Sleep?

Here at Douglas we’re a little biased – we think that the innovative memory foams we use in all of our mattress are the best in the business. Three layers of high-quality foam help keep you cool, deliver perfect bounce, and provide balanced pressure-relief every night, all year round. But as you do your research, it’s important to understand the different makeups of mattresses. The good news? The industry is chock-full of products constructed to suit virtually any lifestyle and comfort need. 

Below, we focus on three of today’s most popular and commonly used mattress types.

InnerspringFoamHybrid
How it feelsWith its bouncy coils, you will feel more like you’re sleeping “on” your innerspring mattress versus “in” it.Slowly contouring memory foam will make you feel cradled, cushioned, and enveloped by your mattress.You will feel cushioned, but not experience as much “sinkage” versus what a memory foam mattress provides.
SupportInsufficient contouring could lead to pressure points. The materials do not conform to your body shape, potentially leading to quicker onset of back pain.Provides targeted cushioning and relief to areas that bear the most weight and pain. Memory foam mattresses also help realign your neck, spine, and hips while providing even weight distribution across your body.Because hybrids, like our sister brand Logan & Cove, provide limited bounce-back and adjust quickly when you switch positions, they can provide enhanced joint and back support.
Cooling FeaturesWith its coil structure and other components, innerspring mattresses naturally create a breathable and consistently cool sleeping experience.Memory foam can hold onto body heat. However, higher-quality memory foam mattresses often include built-in cooling technology (including cooling gels).Because of its coil support system, hybrid mattresses tend to sleep cooler than all-foam models. Many hybrids also include additional cooling gel technology.
Motion IsolationLimited. The coils used in innerspring mattresses have some give, which transfers motion from one side of the bed to the other.Excellent. Memory foam absorbs and prevents any motion transfer across the mattress. Also a very quiet material, you will never hear creaks or squeaks.Excellent. Despite having coils, thick foam comfort layers help mitigate motion transfer—making hybrids much better at isolating movement than innerspring mattresses.

Douglas – The Trifecta of Sleep Comfort

Douglas’ award-winning memory foam mattresses provide a balanced trifecta of cooling, support, and cushioning. Whether you select the 10” Original, upgrade to the 11” Douglas Alpine, or go with the premium 12” Douglas Summit. Our highly popular base model, the 10” Douglas Original, includes the following layers:

1 – Cover: Douglas CoolSense®

2 – Top Layer: 2” Luxury ecoLight® Cooling Gel Foam

3 – Transition Layer: 2” Premium Elastex® Foam

4 – Base Layer: 6” Motion Isolation Support Foam

Getting the best bang for your buck isn’t just about price and comfort. It’s also about receiving a top-notch customer experience – not just pre-sale but for years after your purchase. 

As you shop for your mattress, here are a few other considerations to factor into your decision:

Cost and Speed of Shipping

Some retailers will charge you extra for mattress delivery – and then make you wait weeks for it to arrive. Meanwhile, some retailers are the exact opposite – offering free shipping plus quick delivery to your door, often within a few days. This is especially helpful if you want to save a bit of money – plus get your new sleeping experience started sooner than later. 

Length of Trial Period

It can take several weeks – sometimes even months – to adjust to a new mattress. But believe it or not, some retailers will offer up to an entire year-long trial period! This gives you an ideal amount of time to properly decide if your mattress is giving you the quality sleep you need and deserve. Ultimately, the longer the trial period, the better. 

Ease of Returns and Refunds

Trustworthy mattress brands offer hassle-free returns, free pick-ups, and speedy refunds with no hidden stipulations. Just ensure you keep your packaging materials handy until you’re certain of your mattress purchase. That’s because some companies require them back if you decide the item isn’t for you. 

Warranty Term and Wording

Your mattress should provide high-quality sleep for years to come. So, look for a mattress with a lengthy warranty—ideally within the 10-15-year range. That way, you can be sure your purchase won’t let you down any time soon. Also, do your due diligence by reading any fine print upfront. That way, there will be no surprises if any unexpected defects occur. 

Corporate Reputation

Before you buy a mattress, take time to research the brand or retailer in question. Look at industry achievements, awards received and of course what customers are saying. All these factors will help you determine which mattress is best suited to your needs. Plus, you’ll feel more reassured that you’re dealing with a reliable company.

Get to Know Douglas

Not too soft, not too firm. Just right. Douglas’ foam layers work together to provide a firmness that’s suitable for all sleeping positions. Whether you sleep on your back, stomach, or side, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.

Cooling Cover

Douglas’ machine-washable CoolSense® cover draws heat and moisture away from the body, giving you a cooler sleep.

Gel Memory Foam

Douglas’ ecoLight® cooling gel foam gently cushions your shoulders, hips, and back for ultimate support and comfort.

Superior Motion Isolation

Douglas has a calm and relaxing sleep surface. The premium foam layers absorb and neutralize movement before it has a chance to travel across the bed and interrupt your sleep.

When you invest in a Douglas Original, Douglas Alpine or Douglas Summit mattress, you can expect a stellar customer experience that includes:

As soon as your new mattress arrives at your door, you get 365 nights to try it out. If between nights 30 and 365 you decide the Douglas isn’t right for you, just contact us for a full refund. Simple!We manufacture Douglas in Canada and source all foam, fabric, and packaging from Canadian suppliers. This has the added benefit of letting us avoid the carbon footprint related to international transportation!Every Douglas Original mattress is protected by a 20-year warranty and a complete satisfaction guarantee.

Happy Shopping!

Hopefully, shopping for a mattress no longer seems as overwhelming as when you first started this guide. 

You now know when to buy and what to budget for. You also understand what level of firmness is best for supporting your sleep position. You’ve learned how popular mattresses stack up against one another where comfort is concerned. Plus, you’re now aware of how traditional and online retailers operate—and how to ensure your customer experience is an amazing one.

Heavenly

I don't want to get up in the morning! The bed is very affordable, super easy to set up and extra bonus points for being made in Canada.

Alison H.
Vancouver, BC
No More Back Pain

I think I got my mattress just in time. My back has never felt better! Great service, quality, and fast shipping. Thanks!!

Karly W.
Edmonton, AB
Great Mattress

Sleeping on this bed for a couple weeks now and I love it. It's firm and supportive and I can't feel my dog moving around on it at night.

John H.
Toronto, ON
Can't Believe I Hesitated

We've had our new mattress for almost six months now and in hindsight I can't believe I hesitated even a little bit [...] I haven't slept this well in years.

Mark K.
Estevan, SK
Perfection

Whenever we go away I can't wait to get home to my amazing Douglas mattress! So supportive, no pressure points and never even feel my husband turn over! LOVE LOVE!

Jessica S.
Tecumseh, ON
Best Sleep Ever

My husband and I both LOVE our Douglas mattress. It's like sleeping on a cloud [...] It's the perfect amount of firmness and after half a year on it, it's just as good as day 1.

Stephanie L.
Montreal, QC
1 / 5
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