First Grown Up Mattress – Beginners Guide

If you’re anything like me, you spent all of your childhood and teenage years on a hand me down mattress. When one sibling or cousin got a new mattress, you got a new mattress too but it just so happens to be there old mattress.

Now since you’re an adult making adult money you’re considering a new mattress – but you have no clue on what to buy. So many options that you’re left more confused than when you started.

I want to show you some helpful tips and even some things I learned when I went through the same thing. At the end of this guide, you’ll have a better understanding of what mattress you should get and what to avoid as a beginner.

What Size Do You Get?

You’ve probably been sleeping on a twin or twin xl size mattress. You also might have been like me and not have a clue what twin, queen, king, and all the other sizes mean when you are looking for your first mattress.

If you don’t have a clue here is a picture to show you the sizes of all types of mattresses in inches.

Do you go with the queen since that is what everyone gets or do you live a little and get the king to, well, feel like a king?

The answer is simple. Go with the king if you have the room and if you don’t go with the queen. I’ve had many tell me that a king size mattress destroys relationships, but that is so much nonsense that I had to write about it here. Go with the king; you’ll thank me as the extra space is so nice especially if you have dogs or cats that sleep with you in bed.

What Thickness?

Once you get past the queen or king size debate, you might notice that the mattresses come in different thicknesses.

Great, it’s even more complex now.

Good news, it’s not that hard to pick the correct thickness. It’s so simple that if you just don’t know what to get then get the 10-inch thick mattress. That’s the goldie locks of thickness.

If you’re a back sleeper, then the 8 to 10-inch mattresses would be ideal for you.

If your a side sleeper the 10 to 12 inch would be better for you.

What about the 12+ inch mattresses? The thicker the mattress, the plusher it will be. It can get crazy when you have an 18 inch or more thickness as those sizes are only for looks or if you need the bed to sit up higher.

I often tell people to stay with 10 to 12-inch mattresses as you can’t go wrong. There won’t be much of a crazy difference in feel if you go to the 20+ inch mattress beside the feeling of having to jump into bed (literally).

Buy Online?

The great thing about living in today’s world is that you can buy mattresses online. I know this sounds crazy at first especially if you never bought a mattress before but it does make sense.

The problem with buying a mattress at a mattress store is about the same problem of buying a car. You have to shop around, go to different stores, try many models out, get hassled by a sales guy, and you eventually break down and settle. Not a fun thing.

If you buy online you don’t have to leave your home. You can easily compare different models to each other. But the biggest perk is that you can see what real people say about the mattress in the reviews.

Not only that but you’ll find buying online to be more affordable. Online retailers don’t have the overhead of owning a store, and they have more competition because it’s easier to shop around. You the customer are the clear winner when buying online.

What Do You Buy?

The trickiest part when you’re a beginner to mattress buying is picking one. There are so many models and features to consider that it’s plain old confusing.

Having all these options is a good thing. Everyone needs are different and having many types of mattresses to choose from is ideal.

But what if you want a clear-cut answer? For that, I say try looking at the Zinus Green Tea Mattress.

If you’re fearful of buying a mattress online, then you should check out the Nectar Mattress that we did a review on here. The warranty and trial period will surprise you!

More Options? Feel free to check out…

  • Leesa
  • Tuft & Needle
  • And the many more across the web

What Bed Frame?

The bed frame you get is also important. You’re probably going from a smaller bed to a larger one now, and you’ll need a bed frame that will work for the new mattress.

I recommend getting a metal platform bed frame like Zinus 14 Inch Elite SmartBase Mattress Foundation (Amazon Link Ad). Metal frames hold up better to the stress and platforms work the best for memory foam mattresses.

Other Things To Know

You’ll have a few more things you need to know about when buying a mattress that I wanted to save towards the end.


If you buy a mattress online, it will come compressed in a box. This is to make shipping easier and it’s also easier to get in your home. You will need to allow any memory foam mattress you get to inflate for 48 hours before sleeping on it. I know this sucks but its better to give up 2 days for years of use out of your new mattress.

Memory Foam vs. Latex

The standard is memory foam nowadays, but if you want something that is a step above memory foam, then a latex mattress is the answer. But latex can cost more then memory foam but its so worth it especially if you’re coming from a spring mattress.

Box Spring

I would advise you not to get a box spring for your memory foam mattress. Box springs are old tech, and many of the modern platform bed frames don’t need them. Box springs nowadays are pointless unless you like really tall beds.

Mattress Protector

Go ahead and get a mattress protector, you would be crazy not to. And no they’re not like the old style ones they have come a long way. I use a mattress protector on my mattress and even did a real-world spill test on mine too. You get the mattress protector not only for the warranty aspect of it but to keep the mattress looking new for as long as possible. You sweat and will spill stuff in bed, and you don’t want to sleep on those stains for the whole life of the mattress, do you?