With the amount of time that people normally spend on their beds, buying a new one should be carefully considered. Like any other major purchase, your goal is to find something that will serve you well for a number of years. Today, we share straightforward answers related to shopping for a new bed. When should I replace my mattress? Ideally, mattresses should be replaced at least once every seven years. Like any other furniture, mattresses also get worn out with constant use, which means that after a while, the surface will not be able to support you as well as it initially did. Of course, this seven-year recommendation will vary; you may need to replace your mattress much sooner if it has been subjected to more stress such as being jumped on, or being used very frequently. Correspondingly, beds that are only occasionally used (such as those you may have in guest bedrooms) should sustain less wear and tear. When is it time for a new mattress? Regardless of how long youve been using your current mattress, it may be time for a new one if you consistently notice any of the following: (1) you wake up feeling tired and achy but it improves for the rest of the day; (2) you have noticed that you are not just sleeping as well as you did a year ago, all things being equal; (3) your mattress has visible signs of wear and tear such as sag, lumps, uneven surfaces; (4) you observe feeling much more refreshed upon waking up when you’ve slept in another bed. What is the ideal mattress size for two people? When it comes to sleeping surfaces, you have to make sure that you have enough space especially if you are sharing a bed with another person. There should be enough space so that both of you can stretch out full length with your hands behind your neck without touching the other person at all. Also, there should be at least a foot of free space from the soles of your feet to the edge of the bed. Is a firm bed better than a soft one? There really is no right answer for this question, simply because the “better” bed depends on the sleeper who will be using a bed. Firmness, like other mattress specifications, really comes down to preference. However, the rule of thumb is that the more you weigh the firmer and thicker your mattress should be in order to be able to cushion you well. Those with bad backs may benefit more from medium-firm mattresses rather than hard ones. People have complained that memory foam mattresses tend to feel hot; is this true? Memory foam mattresses have a unique density which allows it to closely hug the contours of the body. Because of this, the earlier generations of memory foam mattresses did tend to trap body heat. However, as memory foam mattresses have become more popular for the last thirty years, manufacturers have greatly improved the ventilation of memory foam. Newer versions are now just as comfortable and cool as other types of mattresses such as pocket spring mattresses or latex foam mattresses—with the added advantage of superior support.