Although you might not always realize it, the quality of your mattress has a major impact on the quality of your sleep.
It’s simply not possible to get a good night’s rest without a decent sleeping environment.
The problem is, though, the mattress industry has done an amazing job of convincing the world that we should all be paying an arm and a leg to get a high-quality mattress.
The good news?
That’s flat-out false.
Here’s what you need to know about how to get a good night’s sleep without having to spend too much on your mattress.
Online vs Brick-and-Mortar Stores
To begin, we’ll first need to get a good understanding of the difference between online and brick-and-mortar mattress stores.
You’re probably most familiar with physical mattress showrooms.
We all know the drill – you go over to the store, and pretty much the minute you walk in, you have some sleazy salesman breathing down your neck, trying to sell you the most expensive mattress in the entire building.
The salesman is probably working on commission, so he has an incentive to get you to spend more money than you should.
Even if he’s honest, though, the store itself is having to charge overhead fees just to keep the lights on and their employees paid.
Put it all together, and it’s not hard to see how a lot of these mattresses get away with charging people thousands of dollars – often for sub-par products!
Thankfully, there is a way out.
Over just these past couple years, a huge number of mattress companies sprung up around a game-changing new sales technique.
To cut down prices, these companies have gone entirely online.
This gets rid of all the middlemen that come with brick-and-mortar showrooms, allowing you to pay as little money as possible to get your much-needed sleep.
What’s It Like to Buy a Mattress Online?
Now, you might be a little wary at first about buying your mattress online.
The feel of a mattress is a very physical thing, and not something you can understand by just looking at some pictures.
But the thing is, online mattress shopping comes with two key advantages.
Other People’s Reviews
First of all, you’re not alone in this whole process.
Here at Mattress-Guides.net, for instance, we’ve taken the time to compile customer reviews on just about every online mattress manufacturer out there today.
If you want to buy, say, a Purple mattress, you can just click that hyperlink and find what other customers have had to say about their experiences, along with a couple expert comments from our staff.
It’s true, you don’t get the full experience of getting to lie down on your mattress before you buy it.
But a lot of mattresses don’t even get fully broken in until you’ve had them for at least a few weeks anyway, so the thirty seconds you spend lying on the mattress in the showroom probably won’t even tell you that much.
Another advantage to getting your mattress offline is that you can hear about people’s long-term experiences with the bed, so you won’t be in for any nasty surprises down the road.
Mattress “Trial Periods”
Another major advantage to buying online is that most major mattress manufacturers have some seriously generous “trial periods.”
The mattress company gives you a certain amount of time – usually around 100 days – during which you can, if you want, return your mattress for a complete refund.
Many mattress companies won’t even charge you for the amount it costs to ship it back, while other companies will charge a small shipping and handling fee.
Some companies, such as Nectar, have trial periods as long as 365 days – giving you a full year to decide whether or not you want to stick with your purchase.
All things considered, taking your mattress shopping online isn’t nearly as high-risk as you’d think!
How Much Should a Mattress Cost?
So now, the big question: just how much does a high-quality mattress cost?
On the lower end of the spectrum, we have products like the Zinus 10-Inch Green Tea.
This product sells for less than $300, which is about as inexpensive as you could hope for while still getting a decent sleep.
If you’re looking for something slightly higher-quality, though, one of our top-reviewed luxury mattresses is the Nectar Sleep, which goes for less than $800.
A step up from even that, our absolute highest-rated mattresses are somewhere around $1000 for a queen – which is still a pretty good price, all things considered.
The only real reason you might want to go for anything pricier than that is if you’re in the market for an organic mattress.
These products, which are made entirely from plant- and animal-based products, can sometimes get up to about $1500, on the high end.
That’s for a seriously top-notch organic product, like a PlushBeds Eco Bliss.
Keep in mind that all these prices are just estimates, and they’re likely to change with time.
At certain points of the year, for instance, Mattress-Guides.net gets access to all sorts of exclusive discounts that can drop your mattress price tag by hundreds of dollars.
The best times to buy are around big sales holidays like Memorial Day and Black Friday.
Designing Your Ideal Sleep Environment
In addition to buying a high-quality mattress, there are a number of other ways you can go about improving your sleep environment.
Most sleep experts recommend treating your bedroom as something like a cave: cool and dark.
Your body temperature and your sleep are surprisingly closely linked.
Although during the day, your core temperature is usually around a steady 98.6º, it actually starts to decrease as it gets towards evening, hitting a low sometime in the wee hours.
To help your body out, most sleep experts recommend keeping your bedroom around 65ºF when you’re settling down for sleep.
In addition to temperature, light levels can play a major role in the quality and quantity of your sleep.
One of the most important hormones involved in sleep is a chemical called melatonin.
Melatonin production is closely linked to the levels of light in your environment – so if too much light is getting into your bedroom, your brain isn’t going to be producing this hormone at the levels you need.
More than that, though, light is just bad for sleep in general.
It makes your body think it’s morning, and people exposed to even low levels of light while sleeping tend to get lower-quality sleep in every possible way.
They get to sleep later, wake up sooner, and have more interruptions throughout the night.
Creating a Sleep “Buffer Zone”
In addition to crafting your ideal bedroom space, most experts also recommend creating a sort of “buffer zone” between the rest of your day and your sleep.
Ideally, this buffer should be around an hour and a half of sheer relaxation time.
Here are a couple tips.
Start With a Shower
A great way to start off your hour and a half buffer zone is with a nice, hot shower.
The heat of the water causes your body temperature to raise slightly above its normal levels, which triggers a cooling response.
When you come out of the shower, your body’s cooling mechanisms will work with your naturally dropping core temperature.
This means that when it’s finally time to hit the hay, your body will be right where it’s supposed to be!
Take Some “You” Time
After your shower, take the rest of your evening to just relax.
No emails, no stressful housework, no tense conversations – just pure “you” time.
Make some tea, read a book, listen to some music, meditate, write – whatever you want.
There are, however, a couple things you should avoid.
First of all, steer clear of any bright lights, since these will cut down on melatonin production.
Unfortunately, this applies to almost all electronics, too.
The blue light produced by most modern LED screens has a particularly damaging effect on melatonin output, so most experts recommend avoiding all TV, smartphones, tablets, etc. during this cool-down period.
Finally, as a more general rule, you should also avoid lounging on your bed as much as possible until you lie down to sleep.
Your brain should associate your bed with pretty much nothing except sleep and sex.
Conclusion: Getting the Best Mattress Deal
As you can see, getting a good night’s sleep shouldn’t have to depend on spending a huge amount of money on a mattress.
High-quality products are out there for surprisingly affordable prices, and you should never let some sketchy salesperson talk you into paying more than you need to.
You don’t have to choose between empty pocketbook or lousy sleep.
Impossible as it might seem, you really can have it both ways!