Buying a mattress doesn't have to be complicated. When it comes to choosing a mattress, there are essentially three major decisions to be made. You'll need to decide what type of mattress is right for you, what softness level you prefer, and what size you want.
When choosing a mattress type, you'll be considering what kind of materials and construction lie "under the hood" of the mattress. Our Mattress Types Guide explains in detail what the most commonly sold types of mattresses are made of and what the benefits and drawbacks are for you and your body.
You'll also choose a softness level, meaning how much padding or layers of "comfort" your mattress has—and what those layers are made of. We'll give you a rundown of the levels of softness available, including what different kinds of padding are made of, how they're likely to wear over time, and how to tell if a particular softness level is right for you.
Probably your easiest decision concerns the mattress' size. The four most common sizes, king, queen, full, and twin, are described here, along with their exact measurements. We've covered the less common sizes too, in case a less standard size is the best option for you.