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Mattress Buying Guide

Buying a mattress doesn’t have to be confusing. By doing some research, you can find a great new one without getting overwhelmed by all the options. Before you start shopping, it’s a good idea to check out the space for your bed, the height you’d like it to be and how much you’d like to spend. This guide is designed to offer some helpful ideas to make your mattress search go as smoothly as possible.


1. Size


Mattresses come in many sizes, each meeting different lifestyle needs. While it’s important to try out mattresses in the store for comfort, it’s also good to think about what size is the best option for your room and home.

Click here for more details on standard mattress sizes.





A twin mattress is the smallest mattress size but they’re a great option for pre-school to pre-teen children, especially if they share a bedroom.


Recommendations: Twin size is a great choice for anyone who wants to maximize their space. Plus, there are always tons of great bedding options for a twin.


Twin XL

Twin XL

The twin XL offers several more inches in length, but is still a great option for growing teenagers/young adults or good for people who need more room to stretch out.


Recommendations: A twin XL is ideal for taller individuals, those who live in tight spaces and is also a popular choice among students in college dormitories. Don’t think this is object but the subject.  Who would be most appropriate.






A full size mattress is 15” wider than a twin so it works great for a sleeper who wants some extra room. It’s a great way to have extra comfort in bed without taking up much space in the bedroom.


Recommendations: Parents often choose a full size for teenagers. They might also choose a full size for younger children, for a more comfortable place to rest when reading together at tuck-in time.





Queen mattresses are about 6” wider and 5” longer than a full, click here to see the difference between queen and full mattresses. These added inches can make a difference in comfort level, especially for couples. For the box spring, you can choose either a single foundation or you also have the option of splitting the box spring. This works well for older houses or apartments and helps make moving the foundation much easier.


Recommendations: The queen is good for guest rooms, master bedrooms and for couples who prefer extra room. It’s also a great choice for single sleepers who like to sprawl.




The king size is about 18” wider than a queen, click here to see the difference between king and queen. It’s like a couple having their own twin bed for space, but being able to sleep in one large bed together. The box spring is split, so there are two twin XL box springs making up the foundation.


Recommendations: A king size mattress is an excellent choice for couples who want maximum personal sleeping space. It also accommodates that time on Sunday morning when children – or pets – may pop into bed. Keep in mind, it’s always a good idea to break out the tape measure before you purchase to check room dimensions and get an accurate idea of space in the room.


California King

California King

The California King mattress is approximately 4” narrower and 4” longer than a regular king. The box spring is split, so there are actually two California King box springs.


Recommendations: A California King is great for people who want additional room at their head or feet to really be able to spread out and be comfortable. Many athletes choose California Kings, as they enjoy the space.



2. Comfort


The best test: head to a store and lie down on a few mattresses. If you share a bed, bring your partner along with you. Wear comfortable clothes, grab a pillow and most importantly, lay down in your usual sleep position. Mattresses vary in the way they support different sleep positions, so it’s a great idea to try a few out for comfort.




Offers substantial support for those who sleep on their stomach or back.

shop firm mattresses

Extra Firm

Best for those who need extra support in a wide array of places.

shop extra firm mattresses


A great choice for those who usually sleep on their side.

shop plush mattresses

Ultra Plush

Ideal for cradling & supports with a pillow-like softness.

shop ultraplush mattresses


3. Construction of mattresses


Quality rest is essential. People sleep better, suffer less back pain and experience fewer symptoms of stress when sleeping on newer beds. Mattresses are made with a variety of materials and technologies to support the broad array of consumers’ needs, tastes and budgets. Matching comfort needs with the right product is a subjective process. Here are some great types of mattresses to check out when shopping:




Innerspring mattress

Innerspring Mattress

An innerspring mattress uses a steel coil support system. Mattress spring shapes, design, coil gauge and number of coils can vary. The greater the number of coils, the more points of support a person will have. The innerspring is covered by padding or upholstery materials, which can include various foams, fiber and additional layers of smaller steel springs.



Hybrid mattress

Hybrid Mattress

Want to blend different types of support technology all in one comfortable package? A hybrid mattress combines a steel coil support system with one or more types of foam, such as polyurethane foam, memory (or visco elastic) foam, or latex foam, as well as foams that contain gel or other materials.



Memory foam mattress

Memory Foam Mattress

Memory Foam gets its name from its ability to "remember" its original form and slowly return to it after being compressed. Memory Foam (or visco elastic foam) mattresses have high-density polyurethane foam in the support system, in the upholstery layer, or both. This foam contours closely to the shape of the sleeper - providing great support and pain/pressure-point relief.



Air bed

Air Beds

An Air bed mattresses has an adjustable air chamber as its support system. The air chamber of a residential air bed is covered by padding or upholstery materials, which can include various foams and fiber. Air beds allow you to adjust the firmness and usually allow each side of the bed to be controlled separately, in order to meet the individual and changing needs of couples.




4. Features


Gel mattress

Gel Mattress

Gel mattresses have a type of foam that contains gel in the product’s support system, upholstery layers, or both. Specialized technology adds the gel is added to the foam. The gel foam offers consumers different comfort, feel and heat dissipation features.


Hybrid mattress

Pillow-Top Mattress

Pillow-Top mattresses provide an additional upholstery layer sewn into the top of the mattress. This layer can be made from a variety of fiber and foam materials. The extra layer of comfort is an added benefit for those looking for an especially soft-yet-supportive mattress.


Gel mattress

Tight Top

Tight Top mattresses use inner coils to provide deep-down support. Many have luxuriously and inviting covers so they definitely offer seamless comfort along with uncompromising support.

Pillow top mattress


Outlast (used on some Sealy & Sterns & Foster products)

Outlast technology in fabrics helps to manage heat and moisture to offer a comfortable environment for sleeping. It balances the temperature underneath the covers to reduce overheating. Outlast can be found in a wide variety of products, from comforters and mattresses to pillows and blankets.

Pillow top mattress

ThermoCool (used on some Serta products)

ThermoCool fabrics are basically designed to help regulate your body temperature. How? It’s smart technology can actually decide when to keep you cool and when to warm you up. Made from smart fiber cross sections, ThermoCool is comfortable, fast-drying and is designed to truly give you relaxed rest.


Pillow top mattress

Easy Refresh (used on Tempur-pedic products)

Introducing Easy Refresh. It’s a soft, top cover that zips right off the mattress. So, now it’s incredibly easy to wash mattress bedding. Designed with such great durability, you can have peace of mind that your new bedding will not only be comfortable, but easy to care for.


5. Foundations, box springs & bases


A foundation (box spring) enhances the durability and comfort of your mattress. Lack of support can cause structural damage to your bed set, which may invalidate your warranty and affect your ability to return or exchange the mattress. Keep these things in mind as you choose your box spring:



Regular foundation

High- or low-profile foundations

  • The high profile measures 9", while the low profile is 4 1/2"
  • If you’re using a standard steel bed frame, these frames sit 7 1/2” off the floor.
  • What is the height of your headboard/footboard? Many mattress sets may hide the ornamental elements of your bed if placed on a high-profile base.
  • Measure the combined height of your current mattress set and how it compares to the measurements listed on our product specification pages.


Adjustable base

Adjustable Bases

If you like to read, watch TV or work in bed, an adjustable base allows you to customize your mattress position with a remote control. Adjustable bed bases are compatible with most innerspring, foam and air mattresses. Since flexing causes extra wear on the mattress, choosing a quality mattress is very important. Be sure to find out whether the mattress you prefer is adjustable-friendly.




Ordering the right quantity

King and California king mattresses require two box springs. Make sure to order the right type and number of box springs. If you have any questions about which box spring is right for you, a store associate or our call center associates (1-800-697-3277) are ready to help you.


6. Brands at Sears





A mattress manufacturer that started in 1931, is an international company and industry leader in innovation and customer satisfaction. Its sleep systems offers the finest in Specialty brands with cool and comfort gel layers and/or coil support technology found in the iComfort®, and iSeries® mattresses.





Beautyrest® has spent over 89 years relentlessly focused on making mattresses that revolutionize sleep. The brand remains on the cusp of new and bold by bringing rejuvenated legendary products, transformative luxury, and intelligent support to find the mattress that’s just right for you. Beautyrest Black®, Beautyrest Recharge® and Comforpedic IQ and brands to watch for.





History. Heritage. And an undying dedication to helping the world sleep better. Lie on any Sealy mattress and you’ll find the comfort you want and support you can trust. Sealy Posturepedic®, Sealy OptimumTM and the new Sealy Posturepedic® HYBRID are its specialty luxury brands with the first in cooling gel foam technology.




Stearns & Foster®

Handcrafted for over 167 years. Stearns & Foster® offered the first luxury mattresses.  With details like fine fabrics, ornate top-stitching exacting standards, the brand yields a product built to last and stand the test of time.  





Their first mattress, made with TEMPUR® material, was a dramatic departure from any other mattress on the market – a reinvention if you will.  The brand strives to deliver your best night’s sleep with body-conforming, temperature-regulating innovation in their Tempur-Cloud, Tempur-Contour and Tempu-Choice.



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