You spend around a third of your life in bed, making it the most commonly used item of furniture in your home. If it doesn’t fit your needs, your quality of sleep at night and health during the day is impacted. Here are three common mistakes people make when buying a mattress – and how to avoid making these mistakes yourself.

Not Asking for a Real Medical Opinion

If you have medical problems that may be worsened by your current mattress or aided by a different mattress, don’t rely on a mattress tag that says it is medically approved or “orthopaedic”. Ask your doctor what you need, whether it is a softer mattress or one with better support.

Don’t rely on a salesperson’s opinion, either, since they may be repeating talking points while knowing nothing about your actual health condition. Don’t put too much stock in friends’ and family’s opinions, too, because your situation is different to theirs.

Not Taking Your Time

Don’t choose a mattress based on the feel when you push on the side or sit on it for thirty seconds. Take the time to lay down on it for fifteen minutes as you would when you sleep. This gives your body time to sink past the pillow top and see how the underlying support structures like springs come into contact with your body.

Also, take the time to test each mattress instead of assuming all mattresses by the same manufacturer are the same. Don’t assume that if you like the expensive mattress that the cheaper mattress is similar since the cheaper one may create far worse pressure points or be much noisier when you lie down and get up.

Also, don’t assume that the trial period of the mattress sitting in your home is sufficient. After you’ve taken out or even had the old mattress taken away, it is very difficult to return it and if the mattress you are trying is stained or damaged, it becomes yours no matter how uncomfortable it is.

Another variation of this issue is not doing your research before buying a mattress or researching the store. Check a review site like Sleep Junkie before you try out different mattresses, so that you know the top few models you want to try, and which brands are best suited for your specific needs.

By investing a few minutes in initial research, you won’t have to literally test a dozen or more mattresses. You’ll also find out about issues that longer-term owners find like air bed pumps that fail after a few months, mattress springs that poke out after a year or two, or stain-resistant coatings that fail to do their job.

A Decision Based on Price

Don’t make a decision on price. Make the decision based on comfort, long-term health benefits, and quality. A cheaper, less comfortable mattress ends up costing you in other ways like pain relief pills, heating pads, or extra blankets you lay on the bed to add the padding it lacks. A quality mattress will last a decade or more whereas a cheaper one may need to be replaced far sooner. However, if you do the research properly, finding a good quality and affordable mattress shouldn’t be an impossible task.

Buying a mattress is a serious decision and buying the wrong one could affect your sleep and life quality. Make sure that you take your time and refrain from committing any of the mistakes outlined in this article if you want to make the right choice.