MattressFirm Logo
Bed Basics
Bed Basics

Why You Won't Find a One-Size-Fits-All Mattress

A family sitting together enjoying their time on a bed.
Cory Roy

So, your mattress search is on. Where do you begin? Your friend highly recommended a memory foam bed, and your parents swear a hybrid mattress is the only way to go. But before you run off to buy the mattress everyone says is perfect, you may want to step back and ask: Is the bed that's perfect for them the right match for my body? Despite popular belief (thanks, one-size-fits-all promotions), there isn’t a single mattress that suits everyone’s sleep needs and preferences. Here’s why—and how to find your perfect one.

Why Picking a Mattress Is a Personal Experience

Picking a mattress based on others’ opinions might be perfect for their body, but is it perfect for yours? Choosing the wrong one can exacerbate the issues you already have with sleep. When you’re shopping for a mattress, you should reflect on your own experience. Do you sleep hot? Do you toss and turn? On the other hand, what do you like about your mattress? Maybe you know you love a certain material like memory foam, or your mattress is already cooling enough, and you want to make sure your new one is, too.

We spoke to one of our highly trained Sleep Experts®, TreSun, who noted, “We are all built differently and have different needs to address…one specific mattress will not cover all the needs of everyone.” That said, you can save time by keeping those recommendations in mind when shopping and discussing with your Sleep Expert® to see if any of them are a good starting point. “Outside recommendations should be welcome,” TreSun says, “but always remember that we each have specific needs.” Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a mattress.

Sleeping Positions

Your sleeping position will play a big role in your final decision on choosing the right mattress. For example, a side sleeper could benefit from a mattress with a little more “give” that can conform to the curves of your body, specifically on your side. If you’re a back sleeper, you’ll want a firmer bed that can help with spinal alignment and provide proper back and lumbar support so you can wake up refreshed. Of course, there’s no one specific mattress for each sleeper—most of us sleep in a variety of positions throughout the night. Your Sleep Expert® can help you compare beds and see which suits you the best.

Material Preferences

A big part of the overall comfort of your mattress comes down to its material makeup. With so many options to choose from—memory foam, latex, innerspring and more—it’s easy to default to what you’ve heard through word of mouth, whether that’s a friend telling you memory foam is the only way to go, or your coworker (who’s always full of energy) saying they will only sleep on a hybrid. TreSun reminds us that “a recommended mattress is only addressing the need your friend/family [member] thinks you have.” At the end of the day, the only person who knows what you need is, well, you! And that’s what our Sleep Experts® are here for. To help break things down and piece together the puzzle of materials with your sleep goals in mind.

Sleep Issues

Everyone has sleep issues, and sometimes they’re out of our control. Maybe it’s a bad day keeping you up at night (trust us, we’ve all relived that embarrassing moment at work) or worrying about that presentation coming up the next day. A mattress might not resolve that stress, but it sure can help! Some sleep disrupters like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome may be eased with specialized mattresses that target those conditions.

According to Yale Medicine, “37 million Americans report snoring regularly.” So, if you’re frustrated over your partner’s snoring, the right mattress can help you both. The perfect bed will target those aches or pains keeping you up at night—for example, an adjustable base can help elevate part of your body, which can help with circulation. TreSun insists, “Sleep disruptors are, in their very nature, so much of a subjective idea. Telling someone about your pain, snoring or reflux is a great way to begin to narrow your options down based on their experience and what worked for them.”

Health Consideration

Nobody knows your body better than you. Another reason to take outside mattress recommendations with a grain of salt is that you’re the only one who truly knows how you sleep. We don’t share every detail of our body, health and mind with others, so how would they know what’s best for us? If you overheat, you’ll want to explore a cooling mattress. If you have back pain, you’ll want a mattress with specific technologies that can help. Targeting those problems that are unique to your body can help you find the perfect bed for restorative sleep. “When you find a mattress that is tailored to your needs, you can see the effect on your entire day,” TreSun adds.

Firmness Levels

When it comes down to individual preferences, few things make more of a difference than firmness levels in a mattress. Finding the right balance for personal comfort is vital, and that decision comes down to you (with Sleep Expert® guidance if you need it). If you know exactly what you’re looking for, great! Just make sure it’s not based on random advice you got from a friend who doesn’t even know how you sleep. During this part of your journey, you’ll want to test out different beds based on not just your sleep position but also your sleep disruptors, sleep goals and personal preferences. Trying a variety of mattresses, from plush to firm and everything in between, and spending enough time on them to get a sense of how you'll feel after eight hours is the best way to find the right one for you. And trust us—when you know, you know.

Price vs. Quality

It’s the big question: How much do I want to spend on my new sleep setup? When quality matters, but price is a big factor in buying the right bed, how do you balance the two? Your ideal mattress will be right for your body and your budget. While getting everything you want in a mattress is the goal, your Sleep Expert® can help you prioritize the features and sleep needs that should be of utmost importance. Then, you can go through some preferences that you’d love but wouldn’t miss if it wasn’t in your price range. That’s another reason why you should look beyond outside recommendations—it's rare to find someone with your exact sleep priorities and budget. Getting the best of both worlds isn’t out of reach, but it can require some thinking (and sometimes, bargain hunting).

Mattress Size

One major point to consider is finding the right size bed. If you’re in a dorm, your mattress size might be restricted to a twin or twin XL. If you sleep next to your partner, you’ll probably want a bigger bed (sometimes the dogs and the kids need room to pile up, too!). Measuring your space and taking your needs into account is important so you can come to a store with an idea of what size mattress you need. Coming to a store with an idea of what size mattress you need is helpful. And if you don’t know where to start, there’s no pressure because our Sleep Experts® can break it down for you.

One Size Does Not Fit All: Final Considerations

All in all, finding the right mattress—the “goldilocks”—comes down to a combination of factors. How you sleep, what keeps you up at night, your goals and your preferences all play a role in your sleep journey, and that’s why our Sleep Experts® are so vital to the process. They have a highly specialized, nuanced perspective that can put your preferences and needs together to find your perfect match. So, while it’s great to keep in mind the mattresses you’ve heard are great, nothing beats seeing and trying them yourself. Swing by a store so you can get matched to your perfect bed—and sleep at night.

Shop Our Favorite Mattresses