(NewsUSA) - A mattress is one of the most important purchases you'll ever make. You spend approximately one-third of your life in bed and how well you sleep can affect your health and well-being. But shopping for a mattress can be confusing for even the wisest consumers. Here are seven mistakes to avoid when you're ready to shop for a mattress that will help you get the best night's sleep possible:
1. Buying too small. Especially if you're sharing a bed, you should buy at least a queen-size mattress. A healthy person moves 40 to 60 times a night and makes lots of full-body turns. For sound sleep, you need freedom of motion. A full-size mattress, for instance, only gives each partner about the same width as a crib!
2. Being too shy to try. When you shop, wear shoes you can easily slip off and comfortable clothes so you can lie down for a solid five to 10 minutes in your preferred sleep position. Finding a mattress that feels right is a personal choice. Taking the time to truly experience whether the mattress feels good to you is well worth it.
3. Confusing firmness with support. Gone are the days when a mattress had to be hard to provide adequate support. Look for a mattress that allows your spine to maintain its natural alignment while you're lying down. A supportive mattress can have various types of upper-layer comfort, from very soft to not-so-soft.
4. Not reading reviews or getting referrals. Furniture stores, department stores, sleep specialty shops and online e-tailers all sell mattresses. Ask friends and family for referrals.
5. Trying to comparison shop. Model names vary from store to store, and many retailers offer certain models exclusively, so comparison shopping can be frustrating.
6. Forgetting to ask about return policies. Particularly if you buy a mattress online, you won't have the chance to try it out, so read the reviews, carefully check return and shipping policies - and be certain there's good customer support should a problem arise.
7. Assuming the foam is certified. Check to be sure your mattress contains conventional or memory foam that has been certified by the not-for-profit CertiPUR-US certification program. That's your assurance that the foam meets rigorous standards for content, emissions and durability, and has been analyzed by independent, accredited testing laboratories.
The organization's website has a directory of participating companies and brands at www.certipur.us.
A little prep work before you start mattress shopping will go a long way in helping you rest easy - in every sense of the word.