So I really need to buy a bed (I've had the same futon for two years, and it is horrible.) I'd like a full/queen that could safely hold two people, and will give me room to sleep all octopus-like. I've been looking at some online retailers that sell foam mattresses, which seem nice, especially since they're on the cheaper side, which is important. Any advice on this big purchase? Dos/don'ts? Anything is welcome. I'm hoping you can be the adultier adult I need on this.
The last two times I bought a mattress, I just went to Ikea and tested all of theirs until I found one I liked, then had that one delivered, so I may not be the best person to advise at this point :D I don’t know if you know that most mattresses you buy, you’ll also have to buy a box spring to go underneath it (basically a stable mattress base, which sometimes costs as much as the mattress and is very heavy). Ikea mattresses don’t require box springs, just a slatted wooden base that costs about $30, which makes them very cheap indeed on top of being inexpensive to start with – but it also means that if you’re buying a bed frame it should be an Ikea frame, and while they do have some very inexpensive frames, that of course will add to the cost. And if you are counting on delivery to bring you your mattress, there are places that have much cheaper delivery than Ikea. Some furniture places will deliver free if you’re buying over X amount, which honestly, with mattresses you usually are.
But since I haven’t bought a mattress anywhere else in 10+ years, I am of limited use regarding purchasing elsewhere :D I don’t know if there are now mass-market mattresses that don’t need a box spring; I know from endless podcast advertising that when you buy a Casper mattress you don’t get a box spring with it, but I don’t know if that’s because they like to ship in small boxes and expect you to have one, or because you don’t need one. (Also this is not an endorsement of Casper mattresses, I have no idea what they’re like, they’re just advertised on every damn podcast I listen to.)
So I think question one, when buying a mattress, should probably be “will I also need a box spring?”
Question two would probably have to be “How comfortable will this be to sleep on?” Because having slept on spring and foam (my current mattress is foam), I don’t really notice much difference between the two, but I know that other people have very strong preferences. Your best way of figuring this out is probably to find a local mattress store and go test some mattresses out; this will also give you a good idea of whether you want a Full or a Queen (I used to own a full, now own a queen, and while I love having a mattress that size, I probably only use about 2/3 of it). You don’t have to buy at the store, just use it to test size and whether you like spring or foam better. I sleep on an extra-firm, which I bought by mistake, I should have bought the regular-firm, but I kind of love the extra-firm now.
Some mail-order-only mattresses, where there’s no showroom or anything in which you can test them, have a “trial period” setup where you get usually something like 100 days to see if you like their mattress, and you can return it if you don’t. I suggest that if you go with a company that has one of these options, which is not a bad way to go, maker sure you google around a little to check that returning it isn’t an impossible task – sometimes “trial period” style returns are made deliberately impossible so that you’ll give up and keep the thing even if you don’t like it.
I hope this helps!