Any time you make a big purchase, it's worth asking for recommendations from people you trust. You may be able to avoid difficult retailers if you ask around before hitting the stores. Find out what stores people trust in your area and see what products your friends recommend.
Once you're in the store, don't pick a mattress based on the way it looks. Remember that you'll take it home and cover it with sheets, blankets and pillows, so it doesn't matter if it's blue, gray or striped -- you're not going to see it very often. This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget when you're in the store and all the beds are bare and uncovered. Instead, pick your mattress based on the way it feels. You'll most likely have this product for several years, so you want to buy something comfortable.
You also want look for sales. Some mattress stores have big blowouts on holiday weekends, so you may want to time your shopping trip accordingly. Even if a store is advertising major discounts, though, you'll still want to be aware of the average, non-sale prices so you know if you're getting a good deal or not. Sure, that tag may say it's 40 percent off regular retail, but it's really only a 15 percent discount on the price they were advertising just the week before.
You should also dress appropriately for mattress shopping, and that means leaving your fancy clothes at home. You don't need to walk into the store in your pajamas, but it's a good idea to wear comfy garb. If you wear a pair of tight jeans or an office-ready skirt that doesn't resemble anything you normally sleep in, you may not get an accurate sense of how the bed feels. It also helps to wear shoes that you can take off easily. The more you're dressed for bed, the easier it will be to imagine yourself sleeping on each mattress.
Of course, some online retailers offer great deals on mattresses, so you might want to make your purchase over the Internet. While you may find a good sale online, remember how important it is to try out your new mattress in person. Therefore, if you're interested in buying via the Web, you should still consider visiting some mattress stores beforehand so you can be confident that you're getting a comfortable, quality product. You can also look for retailers that offer trial periods so if you're not satisfied with your purchase, you can return or exchange it (though you may have to pay for shipping fees).
Regardless what mattress you decide to buy, have fun, don't stress and -- most importantly -- rest easy!