By Mila Sanchez

There are many goals that one hopes to accomplish as an adult, like buying a brand new car, landing a great job, and purchasing a home. For many millennials, though, a lot of these goals have not been within reach — crushing student debt, stagnant wages, and an ever-growing cost of living have seen to that. Due to the seemingly inaccessible nature of these traditional and lofty goals, many of our adult life goals have become a bit more reserved, like being able to take a trip overseas and being able to afford rent at a place that’s not in a shady part of town.

Right now, a reasonably accessible goal for me is to invest is an adult mattress. What do I mean by adult? I mean many things, like, not just the cheapest thing I could buy right out of high school and not a twin-size mattress...

That’s right, I’m an adult person with a twin-size mattress. As someone who has contentedly remained single in my adult life so far, I have never really needed a bigger bed … and many would argue that the reason I want a bigger bed now is dumb *cough*my parents*cough*. Basically, I have a giant 2-year-old German Shepherd who has recently decided that he wants to sleep on the bed with me. While the jury is still out on whether or not you should let dogs sleep in bed with you, I’m all for it. But an 80 pound dog and a 5’ 6” human on a twin-size bed is not a fun time. We need more room!

He’s a big boy

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Since a mattress is such a big purchase, and something that most people expect to last a while — at least 5 to 10 years — I want to be thorough in my decision. There are many things to consider when buying a new mattress, like preferred firmness, price, size, durability and materials used in production, and various other aspects. Everyone has different needs when it comes to what they want in a mattress and what they will focus on in their research to help them make a decision.

For me, I’m looking for these things in a mattress:

  • Full size — my new room is only 10 x 10, and I want to make sure I still have some walking-around space.

  • Certifications addressing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and use of non-toxic materials, such as CertiPUR-US®GREENGUARD, and STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® — I have read about the dangers of off-gassing from mattresses made with a host of chemicals in their foams and for flame-retardant purposes — and whether or not it’s true, I don’t want to take any chances.

  • Good for stomach and side sleepers —  I sleep either on my side or stomach, and while I know it’s bad to sleep on your stomach, I just can’t help it most of the time.

  • Less than $1,000 — I’m looking to invest in a good quality mattress, and I have some money saved up, but I am still a poor millennial with a massive amount of student loans and making less than the cost of living in my city. So, $1,000 is the absolute most I am willing to spend out of my savings.

  • Trial period — since I’ll be ordering online and won’t get a chance to feel the bed in person before ordering, I want to make sure I can return the mattress relatively hassle free if necessary.

The Purple Mattress

Have you seen the Goldilocks commercial where they use the “raw egg test” to show why their bed is the best? Well, they did their advertising duty, and I was hooked; I’ve been wanting a Purple bed for over a year, so I just assumed that once I moved into a new place, I would get that mattress. Well, now that the time has come and I can finally buy a mattress, I’m not so sure.

After some research and reading through reviews, it turns out it’s not great for people who are stomach sleepers and side sleepers. Several Amazon reviews revealed that people who were side and stomach sleepers experienced back and shoulder pain, as well as their arms falling asleep frequently. But still, the Purple Bed retains a 4.5 star review and carries the CertiPUR-US® certification for their foams and a Greenguard certification for their mattress covering — still could be a good bed for someone, but probably not me.

The Puffy Mattress

In researching mattresses, the Puffy mattress came up a lot, and the website boasts being a winner of the Sleep Cupid Best Mattresses of the Year for 2017. At the time I was looking at it, the full-size mattress was on sale for $800, so definitely within my budget, though on the higher end. It also has the CertiPUR-US® certification, a lifetime guarantee, and is made when you order it and is delivered within 6 days to ensure it’s fresh and not packed for too long.

This all sounded really great, but it didn’t take much for me to discover that it is not good for stomach sleepers. The site itself says that it’s more suited to back and side sleepers, and while I do sometimes sleep on my side, I tend to default to my stomach. Additionally, many reviews have mentioned that there is no support when sitting on the side of the mattress, something I tend to do often, like when putting on my shoes when getting ready, so that could get annoying real fast. But overall, it seems like a solid mattress, but once again, not quite for me.

Tuft & Needle Mattress

Tuft & Needle either spends A LOT on advertising or they have an excellent SEO team, because it always came up on the front page of my Google searches when googling online mattress companies. And really, from what I can tell from my research, it seems like a fairly decent mattress at great price — only $475 for the full-size mattress, making it the most affordable option I came across. It also lists on the site that the mattress is GREENGUARD certified, as well as CertiPUR-US® and STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®. It all sounded great, but a few things put me off from choosing this mattress.

First of all, many of the reviews I read reported a strong off-gassing smell coming from the mattress upon opening it that lingered for a couple of days; this made me a little wary of the validity of the non-toxic nature of the mattress. That, paired with info on the site warning not to come in contact with the fire-retardant layer just made me a little uneasy, whether it’s warranted or not. But, for people looking for an affordable, decent quality mattress, and aren’t overly-insane-worriers-over-probably-non-issues like myself, I think Tuft & Needle could be good option.

One especially great thing about this mattress is that if you decided not to keep it during your 100 night trial, the return process involves donating it to a local charity and Tuft & Needle issuing a full refund upon receiving the donation receipt. That’s a pretty rad return policy.

Loom and Leaf

This is another mattress company that kept popping up on the first page of my Google searches. Loom and Leaf is a mattress made by Saatva mattress company. The Loom and Leaf mattress is Saatva’s springless memory foam mattress, and it comes out at the higher-end of my price range at $949 for their full-size mattress. Additionally, they are the only company of the mattresses I looked into that charged for delivery, and at $99 for delivery, that would bring the total to $1048 — just out of my budget.

It seems like a solid mattress, but it only comes in firm and relaxed firm. As a side and stomach sleeper, I’m looking for a medium firmness/softness, so that, combined with the higher price, put it out of the running for me. But for those who like a firmer mattress and can afford the higher price, one thing that Loom and Leaf offers that stands out is a 120 day trial time, so you can try it out for just a bit longer than the rest. It also 4.8 out of 5 on Google Customer Reviews, so they have a lot of satisfied customers.

Plush Bed

This bed was actually a result of 2 weeks of searching for different online bed companies, and it just happened to show up listed on a website that compares hundreds of different mattresses. I clicked into it, and my initial reaction was that it’s pretty expensive — like $2,000+ expensive. As I kept looking I found some more affordable options, and just happened to be looking at their website on Black Friday, while they were offering a seriously awesome deal — $1,250 off and free pillows, mattress cover, and sheets — making the mattress $749, well within my budget (not sure if they offer significant discounts regularly, but seemed great at the time!). The site says that all of the mattresses are GREENGUARD, CertiPUR-US® and STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® certified, so those were also plus points for me.

This is the mattress I ultimately decided to purchase — mostly due to the sale and certifications, and being completely exhausted from all the options out there … there are too many! I ordered it Black Friday weekend and it should be here in about 6-9 days, as it’s made to order. I’m already having a bit of buyer’s remorse after discovering that they use polyurethane in the mattress — something I was trying to avoid, and don’t know how I missed it — but after all this research, it seems like that’s an impossible thing to do with a budget below $1,000. Luckily they give a 100 day trial, so if I detect off-gassing, or for any reason don’t like the mattress, I should be able to return it for a full refund. 

I researched for almost 2 weeks, and the mattress companies above are just the ones I considered the most. I felt a little rushed in my final decision because I’m moving to a new place with a new roommate and just figured I would use the opportunity to get a new mattress rather than dealing with moving my old one; now that we are actually in the process of moving in, I need a bed like NOW. People told me that combining households with a new roommate would be the difficult part, but that’s actually been relatively easy. Who knew I could be so stressed out with what should be a simple mattress purchase, but I was. We’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out. Fingers crossed, everyone!

Have you purchased online mattresses before? What did you choose, and how did it turn out? Any tips for me? Let us know in the comments!




Mila Sanchez is a writer and recent graduate with a BA in English Linguistics. Her ambitions include traveling the world, studying languages, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax. Connect with her onTwitter and Instagram!