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Mattress Buying 101: Everything You Need To Know

Why should you get excited over mattress-buying? It’s boring, they all seem to look the same, and it stays on your bed frame for the entirety of its lifetime. It’s not like you can wear a mattress or drive it around the neighborhood.  In fact, many people seem to think either of two things: that mattresses are just a one-size-fits-all kind of thing, or that it entails a lot of technical research around terms like ergonomics, thermal heating, firmness, and control.  

Simply put, mattress-buying is complicated, and people usually don’t know where to start, what to look for, or what makes a good mattress in the first place. No fret, Emma’s here to help.  With science and a sleep expert team to back our claims, this beginner’s guide to better sleep is where we’ll teach you how to choose a mattress fit for you, and what factors to consider when you’re on the go for mattress shopping. 

1 How Soft Would You Like Your Mattress To Be? 

Firmness is measured by how much you sink into the mattress. This is not parallel to the support a mattress gives. In fact, firmness is subjective, and when picking the right mattress, your preference on a mattress’ firmness level will determine your quality of sleep. So, what makes a mattress one-of-a-kind? We suggest a mattress that is properly zoned and can simultaneously support your body in different areas. A mattress that has just the right balance of firm and support can really determine the quality of your sleep and help get rid of body aches and pains easily. 

At Emma, our memory foam Original mattress is engineered and designed to support all types of bodies and sleeping styles. It’s ergonomically efficient so that our zoning technology customizes each mattress– creating full-body support. Our Emma mattresses are also in the medium-firm range, meaning they can support heavier loads without sinking too much as well as carry lighter loads that distribute weight and reinforce support evenly. So, imagine sleeping in cloudy comfort with just the right amount of reinforcement! Shop Emma Original here

2 Size Does Matter

You may not need to wear a mattress, but size is still a very important factor when it comes to mattress buying. Whether you live in a small space good for one or have room to stretch and roll, ensuring you wake up feeling good, energized, and ready at the start of each day is heavily reliant on good sleep – and whether or not your mattress fits your lifestyle. Here are the typical sizes available for mattresses:

  • Twin (38in x 75in): Best for single sleepers who are children, teens, or anyone under six feet tall. If you’re playing for the NBA or walking down tomorrow’s runaway… you may have to consider something a bit bigger. 
  • Twin XL (38in x 80in): 5 inches could mean everything for growing children or teens. Or, if you know, you want a little more room. 
  • Full (54in x 75in): This mattress is suitable for singles or couples looking for something compact yet comfortable. However, if you’re taller than the average American (above 6ft) you may want to stay clear of the foot-hanging-from-the-edge sleep experience. 
  • Queen (60in x 80in): Perfect for the master or guest bedroom, this is the best size for couples who like to cuddle with extra space. 
  • King (76in x 80in): Best size for maximized space and comfort,  if you’ve got room to spare or a child that loves to sleep in between you two, then this is the perfect mattress for you. 
  • California King (72in x 84in): If you’re Rihanna, this mattress is perfect for you. But if you aren’t, but still prefer a big bed with a ton of space for yourself and your partner, then this is the best size for you, regardless. 

Don’t worry about size either, here at Emma, our mattresses come in all of the sizes mentioned above. Check out our Size Guide here

3 Swipe Right If It’s Your (Mattress) Type!

With firmness and size down, it’s time to review what types make up your preferred mattress!

There is no right or wrong mattress type, because like we said, it’s all up to your personal preferences for sleep quality and comfort. Whether you’re looking for something more sturdy and firm, or want something plush and pliant but still not saggy, a few mattress types you could consider are:

  • Foam: Made with a combination of different foam types, foam mattresses are bouncier and can absorb large amounts of pressure, and can limit motion transfer (a.k.a less disruption when tossing and turning). The Emma Original is made out of memory foam and performs well with limiting motion transfer. Shop the Emma Original here.
  • Hybrid: Combining both springs and foam into one mattress, Hybrid mattresses are supportive and plush. Our ACT Hybrid has revolutionary graphite-infused foam engineered to keep you cool whilst simultaneously supporting your body with 300+ pocket springs made to contour your body and relieve body tension and pressure from head to toe. Shop the ACT Hybrid here
  • Latex: This mattress uses a rubber-like material that provides a firm but comfortable sleeping experience similar to memory foam.

Sleeping Styles Matter!

If your mattress isn’t the right one, you’ll find yourself tossing and turning all night just to find that sweet spot. Believe us when we say,  you don’t want that. Our Emma sleep experts and scientists found that the way we lie in bed plays an important role in that it can affect our quality of sleep. So, when it comes to finding a mattress that fits you, we suggest getting a mattress that gives adequate support for any sleeping position:


  • Back Sleepers: Sleeping on your back (supine position) is comfortable for many sleepers but care should be taken, though, to ensure that the spine is properly aligned. People who snore or suffer from sleep apnea should avoid sleeping on their back, as this position promotes upper airway collapse. So for those who rest on their backs, best to look for a mattress that supports your lower back to relieve lower back pain.

  • Side Sleepers: Sleeping on your side has been found to be particularly beneficial as it reduces back pain, and facilitates the removal of waste from your brain (amazing, right?). Sleeping on the side, however, could cause intense pressure in the shoulder and neck area if not properly supported by your mattress. That’s why, if you’re a  side sleeper, it's best to get a mattress that provides appropriate support at different body segments to straighten your spine while you sleep.


  • Stomach Sleepers: In general, sleeping in the prone position is not recommended as it puts strain and pressure on the spine. In fact, if you’re feeling a bit of back pain and neck pain, it may be because you sleep on your stomach. If possible, we recommend finding a mattress that’s more firm to keep your spine and head aligned better. A firmer mattress will help work your body’s natural flexibility and help to avoid morning aches.


What if you’re a little bit of all? How can you possibly monitor all your sleeping positions when you’re well…fast asleep? Well, we recommend finding a mattress that can fit and adapt to any sleeping position or pattern. Our suggestion? The Emma Original is revolutionary in the sense that it’s customized to adjust to your shoulder, hip, and knee zones, creating full-body support. With over 100 supporting points, our adaptable foams contour your body across different sleeping positions.

5 Money and Mattresses

Mattresses are a big investment. In fact, our research has shown that all together, we spend approximately one third of our life sleeping. It is for this reason that grabbing some shut-eye is critical, and mattresses are a big part of that!  Mattresses could range from $300 to $3,000, and the quality does vary with the price. Another big factor that affects the price is mattress thickness. So you’d want a mattress that’s just around 10-12 inches thick as standard firm support. Here at Emma, our mattresses are of premium quality at a competitive price without varying thickness.

The Emma Original, which is perfectly 10 inches thick, ranges from $649 (Twin) to $1,299 (California King); whereas our ACT Hybrid ranges from $1,349 (Twin) to $1,699. Engineered to get you from slumber to party, our mattresses are scientifically engineered to help you fall asleep faster, rest and restore deeper, and wake up stronger without the variance in quality. Plus, we grant you a 100-night trial, free delivery, and free returns! 

Engineered To Get You From Slumber to Party

Shopping for mattresses has never been this easy and with Emma, we make sure your buying process from start to end isn’t complicated! So what’re you waiting for? Our mattress collection comes in all shapes and sizes, so take your pick. Visit or click here to shop Emma mattresses today.