That can be tough to determine in a quick test-drive at the mattress shop. One hint: you can change positions up to 40 times while you sleep, so shift, turn, and try out multiple arrangements of limbs. Still, the best way to avoid mattress remorse is to sleep on the one you’re considering—preferably for several nights in a row. That may explain the growing popularity of hotel mattress-purchase programs, which have cropped up in hotels from the Ritz-Carlton to La Quinta. You slept soundly every night of a weeklong trip? Bring the bliss home by buying the identical mattress. If that’s impractical, you should find a dealer with an exchange policy that gives you a week or more with a mattress before you commit (many do).
An easier question to answer than “how firm?” is “how big?” If you’re often joined in bed by kids, dogs, and his-and-her laptops, when a king-size bed (76 inches wide) might be right for you. But we’re fans of the 60-inchwide queen, because it better fosters a couple connection. Yes, each of you sacrifices eight inches of elbow room, but that means you’re always within snuggling distance. Remember, we’re talking a third of your lives. You shouldn’t be at each other’s throats. You should be in each other’s arms.