Buying a mattress used to be relatively straightforward. You were limited to what your local furniture retailer carried, and choosing a model was as simple as trying out a few options on-site.

Mattress shopping today is much more complicated. Not only are there more designs and styles, but you can shop at online stores that will deliver a new bed right to your door, sight unseen. How do you choose from such a wide variety of models and companies, and which mattresses are the best available right now?

There are several factors to consider when purchasing a new mattress. Balancing every consideration isn’t necessary, but understanding what to look for can help you shop smarter.

  • Price – No matter how highly rated a mattress is, buyers on a budget will be limited in their range of choices. It’s best to determine your price range before shopping, limiting your selections to the models that are affordable.
  • Warranty – Most people keep their mattresses for a long time, so purchase a mattress with at least a ten-year warranty to cover defects.
  • Return Policy – It’s difficult to know how a mattress will perform after a quick check in the showroom. If you get your mattress home and find that it doesn’t meet your needs, you will want the assurance that you can return or exchange it easily.
  • Store Models – Many people don’t realize that different retailers have their own versions of top-selling models. If you find a mattress that you love at one store, don’t assume that the specs are identical at a competitor’s location.

Today’s manufacturer’s make a variety of mattress types, and there is a broad range of quality among each product category.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are still very popular with buyers, making up the majority of mattresses sold. If you’re on a budget, innerspring models remain the most affordable options on the market. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort; Steel coil mattresses are highly engineered, and many brands encase the springs in gel, memory foam, or a pillow top for the best sleeping experience. These beefed up innerspring models are sometimes referred to as hybrids, and are top choices in this category.

  • Simmons Beautyrest Briana Luxury Firm – Considered a budget model, this mattress retails for around $1000, and you get a lot of bang for your buck. The steel springs are encased in foam, with several additional layers on top. Buyers also appreciate the stay-cool cover that resists heat retention for a more refreshing night’s sleep.
  • Sealy Posturepedic Hybrid Line – There are several models in this line, ranging from the Cobalt, which comes in under $1000, to the Gold, which is around $1600. Available at big box retailers like Sears and JC Penney, these are very accessible models. Features include encased springs with a memory foam top in increasing thicknesses as you upgrade.

Memory Foam

Buyers are consistently happy with quality memory foam mattresses, and this is a top-selling category. However, quality varies widely, and choosing a budget-conscious model could lead to disappointment. A mattress with lower density foam can fail to bounce back, retain heat and cause issues for people with back problems. Highly-rated options, however, get rave reviews among sensitive sleepers who need a lot of support.

  • Amerisleep AS2 – Comprised of four different types of foam, this medium-firm mattress is highly supportive and has open-cell foam to draw heat away from the body. Considering its many features and the 20-year warranty, the $1300 price tag is a pleasant surprise.
  • Tempurpedic Cloud Supreme Breeze – A higher priced mattress at $3500, the five layers of foam combine to offer support, breathability and comfort. This model gets consistently high reviews from buyers, and you can try the mattress for a full 90 days to make sure it’s the perfect choice for you.

Mattress-In-a-Box

The newest players in the market, these mattresses are delivered to your home compressed in a small box. They may not be robust enough for picky sleepers, but they are excellent options for most. Keep in mind that you will need to provide the frame and box spring.

  • Purple – Priced at just over $1000, this social-media favorite has two layers of foam, with a top comprised of an elastic polymer. You can try the mattress for up to 100 nights, and the company will arrange for donation if you choose to get a refund.
  • Sealy Cocoon – Despite its entry-level $700 price tag, the Cocoon has a lot of options. You can customize the firmness and upgrade the cover to cooling fabric. Like the Purple, you get a 100-night trial and complementary donation services if you decide it’s not for you.

There is a wide range of mattresses for any budget and all types of sleepers. If you keep in mind your priorities, you can find the best mattresses on the market that meet your needs.