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Buying a Mattress This Weekend? Make Sure You Do These Five Things First

What do Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Presidents’ Day have in common? They’re all national holidays, of course, which for many of us means extra time off to spend with family and loved ones. But they’re also prime times for sales. Lots and lots of sales. One of the hot-ticket items? Mattresses!

Whenever there’s a big holiday, especially if it falls on a three-day weekend, mattress promotions are sure to follow. Not all sales are created equal, though, so we wrote a guide on the best time to buy a mattress. If you’re tempted to pull the trigger this weekend—whether on a Saatva or any other mattress purchase—make sure you do these five things before handing over your credit card number.

Check the size (including height)

Mattresses come in a dizzying array of sizes, from twin XL to California king. It’s easy to confuse the options, so pay attention to mattress dimensions. A twin XL is five inches longer than a regular twin, for example. A California king is four inches narrower but five inches longer than a standard king, so it’s better for taller sleepers. Make sure your room can comfortably accommodate the mattress you choose—a queen, for example, fits best in rooms at least 9’x11′ (leaving at least two feet of walking space around the sides). If you plan to use an existing platform or bed frame, measure that, too. Finally, don’t forget to take mattress height into account. You’d be surprised at how often people set up their new mattress and foundation, only to find that the setup is too high or too low for their nightstand or headboard, or for them to get in and out of bed easily.

Don’t forget about the box spring, foundation or base

So you’ve bought a mattress—great! Do you have anything to put it on? If not, remember to factor this into your budget. Whether you opt for a box spring, a foundation, or an adjustable base, your mattress needs to rest on something (even if only to fulfill the terms of the warranty). As we discuss in our guide on box springs vs. foundations, either one can provide the necessary support. If you chose a platform base with slats, check to see whether your warranty requires a specific amount of spacing between them. Some foam mattresses require either a solid support surface or slats no more than four inches apart.

Make sure your sheets fit

This might seem obvious, but not all sheets will fit your new mattress, even if they’re advertised for the same size. Mattress heights vary, so your sheets might end up stretching too tight or bunching up because they’re too big. If you buy a tall mattress (say at least 14″ high) it may require “deep pocket” fitted sheets, which have extra elastic around the corners. If you get a mattress topper, that will affect your fitted sheets too. The mattress manufacturer might make sheets designed specifically for that mattress, so consider those if they seem like good value.

Avoid delivery surprises

Not everyone has the will or the means to lug a king-sized mattress to their own doorstep or up several flights of stairs. Make sure you understand delivery policies. Will you be charged for delivery? How quickly can you get your mattress? Will the company deliver at a convenient time for your work schedule, or on weekends? How about setup and removal—will they take away your old mattress and, if so, will they charge for that too? The answers to these questions will inevitably influence your decision, no matter how good the mattress itself is.

Read the fine print

All mattress manufacturers should have a fair, clearly stated warranty. They should also offer a generous trial period (at least 30 days, but preferably 90 or more) and a reasonable return policy. It’s common to offer a 10-year warranty for a mattress, so be wary of anything less. The company should offer to collect, recycle, or donate the mattress should you choose to return it. There may be a charge for this, so remember to ask (in case the fee is not clearly advertised). Finally, as noted above, the warranty may have fine-print stipulations such as slat spacing, so make sure you don’t run afoul of hidden requirements.

Find Your Perfect Mattress Match with Saatva


Here are more important mattress fine print policies you need to know about before buying a new bed.