I’m a Mattress Tester and Here’s What to Look for in Presidents’ Day Sale


As a professional mattress reviewer, my friends and family often turn to me for expert advice when buying a new bed. They will often ask me what is the best mattress, but I will answer them with several personal questions, such as: “What is your sleeping style?” and “What sleep issues are you looking to address?”

This is because the right mattress for one person will be different for another. Thoroughly testing a wide range of mattress brands and types over the past few years has given me and other Tom’s Guide mattress testers an in-depth understanding of how personal preference influences a mattress purchase. new bed.

With Presidents’ Day mattress sales in full swing, it’s a great time to grab a bargain…but only if you know what to look for. And while substantial risk-free trial periods have become standard among bed-in-a-box brands, you’ll still want to do your homework to make a good choice from the start.

So before you browse through this year’s Presidents’ Day sales, here are seven things to look for when shopping for a new mattress. Plus, I’ve highlighted three great mattresses to look out for in the sales, as they’re comfortable, great value, and suitable for all sleepers. Here they are…

Top 3 mattresses to buy during the Presidents’ Day sale

What to look for when buying a mattress on Presidents Day

1. Comfort for your sleeping style

Understanding your typical resting position is key to determining the level of firmness you’ll need for optimal pressure relief, proper alignment, and overall comfort. Here’s what to consider based on the three most common sleep styles…

  • side rails want to keep their shoulders, hips, and knees aligned, so a medium or medium-soft mattress will hug those areas. Anything too soft will compress the spine, and a firmer bed will put too much pressure on the hips and shoulders.
  • Dorsal crossbars should look for a medium-firm mattress to maintain neutral spinal alignment while supporting the hips and shoulders. A soft bed will cause the spine to dip in a “U” shape; a firm mattress will not conform to the natural “S” shape of the spine.
  • Stomach sleepers better is a medium-firm mattress that will lift the hips so that they are aligned with the spine. A soft mattress will cause the hips to dip too low, and anything too firm will impede the natural curve of the spine.

A woman is sleeping happily with her arm raised on a comfortable white mattress

(Image credit: Getty)

Mixed sleepers who tend to shift positions throughout the night should choose a mattress that suits their dominant sleeping style. If you don’t have one, a medium-firm mattress will be your best bet for full support.

2. Support for your body type

A heavier sleeper with a broad build will benefit from something different than a lighter, smaller individual. Here’s a quick look at what to look for in current mattress sales based on body type and weight…

  • Sleepers under 130 lbs. work well with a softer mattress. Anything too firm will limit pressure relief as there will be minimal contouring of key pressure points.
  • Sleepers between 130 lbs and 230 lbs will go well with a medium-firm mattress that will provide the ideal amount of pressure relief without an uncomfortable sinking feeling.
  • Sleepers over 230 lbs. may look for a firmer mattress that will provide adequate support for the back, shoulders and hips. A soft or semi-firm mattress will yield too much.

Mattresses can typically support up to 500 lbs of body weight; Of course, this varies by make and model, so check the specs carefully before buying. There are mattresses made specifically for tall sleepers, like the Avocado Green Mattress (starting at $1,099) that supports up to 700 lbs.

3. Pressure relief

Pressure relief is related to the previous two points, but it is a crucial feature to consider as it can have a huge impact on your sleep quality and overall health.

Your mattress should take enough pressure off your shoulders, hips, and back. Inadequate support in these areas can lead to restlessness, pain, and even loss of circulation. Again, your sleep style and body build will greatly influence the type of mattress that will provide the ideal level of pressure relief.

A woman stays awake in her bed at night because she is too hot to sleep

(Image credit: Getty)

4. Temperature regulation

Do you tend to wake up sweating, whatever the season? If you’re concerned about temperature regulation, a cooling mattress will be your saving grace.

This specialized mattress is made up of one or more layers made with gel-infused foam and/or proprietary cooling technology. The top cover is usually constructed of copper, cotton, or another breathable material. Combined, these elements work together to dissipate body heat, improve air circulation and wick away moisture.

5. Motion Isolation

If you’re sharing a bed with someone, you’ll want a mattress with excellent motion isolation. The less movement felt on either side of the mattress, the more undisturbed you will be when your partner toss and turn or get out of bed before you.

Hybrid and memory foam mattresses are becoming as adept as spring mattresses at limiting the amount of movement. However, if you and your partner are far apart when it comes to sleeping habits, a split mattress is a solid compromise. They cost more, but they could transform your sleep.

6. Edge support

The edge support allows you to sit or sleep right up to the edge of your bed. A mattress with poorly supported edges will sag and create discomfort in your back and hips if you sit up or cause you to roll out of bed when you sleep.

The edge support also maintains the overall stability and support of your mattress by creating a solid structure around it so that you are properly secured no matter where you lie. Full foam beds tend to be weak in this area, but coils and hybrids are more likely to provide above average edge support.

A couple tests out a new mattress

(Image credit: Getty)

7. Trial period and return policy

It takes your body about 21 days to get used to a new mattress, so look for one with a risk-free trial of at least 30 days. The standard trial period among the best boxed mattress brands is 100 nights, but some companies, like Nectar, WinkBeds, and DreamCloud, offer sleepers a full year’s trial, which is useful for knowing how a mattress behaves with the seasons.

If you’re not happy with your new mattress, you can return it for a full refund. In many cases, the company will come and transport the mattress and usually donate it to charity afterwards.

Read the terms and conditions of any return policy so you’re not surprised by moving costs or necessary criteria (like needing a waterproof fabric cover – our best mattress protector guide can help). Also read customer reviews about the quality of customer service to get an idea of ​​how smooth or (cumbersome) the return process is.

You’ll also find plenty of other mattress accessories on sale this Presidents Day, including the best mattress toppers for instant comfort and support, and bedding essentials including pillows, sheet sets, and comforters. Now is the perfect time to invest in better sleep.


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