The Exchange has chosen top brands like Serta, Sealy, Simmons, Beautyrest, Tempur-Pedic and others to provide you a variety of affordable styles. All mattresses are available for direct home delivery via Many styles are also on display in select Exchange locations.

Whether you are buying a mattress for the first time or replacing a mattress, this short, simple guide will help you make a smart decision. This guide walks you through such topics as:


Sleep Style


A restful night's sleep, and the resolve to meet the next day with energy and enthusiasm, can depend on a comfortable mattress. And although comfort is a very subjective sensation, general Sleep Style can affect your mattress choice. Following are a few factors that may help in your selection, based on your Sleep Style.

The Side Sleeper

To promote the spine's natural alignment and to alleviate stress on the hips and shoulders, a Side Sleeper's mattress should be soft enough to accommodate the body's contours, yet still be supportive. The Side Sleeper usually prefers a surface that conforms to the body's shape, with the medium to soft comfort level that is found in memory foam or in the pillow top of another construction.

The Back Sleeper

Although the pressure a Back Sleeper's body feels is more evenly distributed than in the other sleep styles, the focus of the Back Sleeper's mattress should be directed at the lower back. This region calls for medium to firm support, although a mattress that is too rigid can aggravate the spine and cause discomfort. A firmer mattress provides the needed support.

The Stomach Sleeper

A Stomach Sleeper may want to sink into softness, but actually a medium to firm mattress will allow the person to float off to a comfortable night's sleep, avoiding days of back pain and bad posture. A mid comfort range will reduce pressure on the back, hips, knees and neck, while keeping the spine in a natural alignment.

The Combination Sleeper

This sleep style describes a majority of people who move from one position to another during the night. So the Combination Sleeper should take care to accommodate this movement by selecting a mattress that contours to side sleeping but offers support when in a prone position. A variety of mattress types, including innerspring and foam, can suit the Combination Sleeper.


Mattress Size


Bigger is better when selecting a mattress size. You and your partner may fit on a queen-size mattress, but you'll be glad if you allow room to toss and turn without disturbing each other. Other things to consider: How much bedroom space do you have? Don't forget pets that sleep with you or children that may occasionally join you in bed. Also consider height. Do you need extra length for someone over 6 feet tall? A growing teen? Or, perhaps more width will ensure the most comfortable sleep experience.

Sizes may vary 1" to 2" depending on manufacturer.


Comfort & Feel


For comfort and feel, first consider the mattress type; then, focus on the comfort level and construction features. Feel free to test mattresses at your local Exchange, then order online at We suggest you lie on the mattress for at least five minutes to see how it feels. Make sure the mattress supports all body points, paying particular attention to the spine, lower back and hip area, while delivering the comfort you want.

Be open to new styles; they may surprise you. The innerspring is the most popular, but don't let that deter you from testing other types of mattresses. For example, if you live in a warm climate, you might consider a mattress that produces cooling comfort at night, such as a gel memory foam mattress. With today's wide array of types, comfort levels and construction features, you're sure to find the mattress of your dreams!


Mattress types


Traditional Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are made of coils of wire or springs. When testing mattresses at your local Exchange, compare the coil counts. Higher coil counts create a more supportive mattress and the wider the coil, the sturdier the mattress. Pocketed coil mattresses are better than wrapped coils, but are usually more expensive.

To cushion and insulate the body, today's innerspring designs are covered with layers of padding constructed of upholstery fabric, various fibers or foam. Some mattresses feature zoned support to accommodate the needs of various parts of the body. To ensure the proper intended support, these mattresses should not be rotated.

Foam & Memory Foam

Foam and memory foam mattresses contour to the shape of the body and minimize pressure points at the head, shoulders and hips. They should still provide the desired support and will last longer than innerspring mattresses since springs can wear out faster. Most memory foam mattresses are single sided so there is no need to flip them.

Memory foam mattresses are made of polyurethane and may be described as visco-elastic foam. Visco-elastic memory foam is temperature sensitive, conforms to the body and distributes pressure according to body heat and weight.

Gel memory foam mattresses include a layer of gel or gel-enhanced memory foam to move heat away from the body and provide a cool sleeping environment. These types of mattresses require no flipping.


Hybrid mattresses combine a coil spring base topped with a layer of foam to deliver the supportive properties of an innerspring design with the conforming characteristics of foam. The amount of memory foam can vary. Hybrid mattresses with thinner layers of memory foam resemble innerspring mattresses more closely. Thicker layers of foam provide more of the cushioning characteristics of memory foam. Considering the combined advantages of two popular technologies–innerspring and memory foam–could make the hybrid mattress the one for you.

Adjustable Air

A design innovation, adjustable air mattresses have evolved to address three key factors in a favorable sleep experience: support, posture and comfort. A special air chamber construction, combined with a base support layer and a top comfort layer, creates a dynamic design that can be adjusted to fit the unique contours of each individual sleeper. Adjustable air mattresses can put the sleeper in control of personal sleeping posture, relieve pressure and reduce stress.


Comfort Levels


Comfort terms are not uniform across all brands so it can be difficult to compare your comfort options. Two basic top designs are Firm and Plush, each of which may have several variations. Comfort level can also be supplemented by special constructions like Euro Top and Pillow Top. So many comfort levels might make you uncomfortable! And because comfort can be totally subjective, testing actual mattresses or paying close attention to online options can help in determining the comfort that's perfect for you.

Comfort Tops

Includes Standard Top, Cushion Firm, Firm & Contouring, Ultra Firm, Luxury Firm, Luxury Cushion Firm, Extra-Firm, Firm Tight Top. For those who want stiff support, your best option is a firm, innerspring mattress. The greater the density of the spring coils inside the mattress, the firmer the mattress. If you find the firm mattress too firm, you may want to try a plush top mattress.


Includes Ultra Plush, Soft & Supportive, Luxury Plush, Extra-Plush, Plush Tight Top.

If a cushion firm mattress isn't soft enough, you may want to consider one of the plush mattresses. It will have a narrow layer of soft cushioning on top of a firm mattress. A plush mattress is a good compromise between firm and pillow top. If you already have standard sheets, they will probably fit the depth of a plush mattress. A plush top mattress can save on the often higher prices of the comfort constructions.

Comfort construction

Include an array of variations: Cushion Firm Euro Top, Plush Pillow Top, Soft Super Pillow Top and many more, which vary by brand.

Euro top:

A Euro top mattress has an extra layer of quilted padding on top that creates a soft cushion. The cushion has a gusset, giving it a boxy appearance, that is attached to the mattress. Constructed of foam, fibers or a foam/fiber combination, the Euro top can add two to four inches to the height of a standard mattress.

Pillow top:

A pillow top mattress will give you that soft sinking-in feeling while still providing support. Pillow top and super pillow tops are like sleeping on a cloud. Both types will help absorb the tossing and turning of a sleeping partner. Note: Avoid getting a low-priced pillow top. Put your money toward a good pillow top or add your own mattress topper later. Also, check the depth of your sheets to make sure they fit a pillow top mattress.

Super pillow top:

A super pillow top mattress has an even thicker pillow top for extra cushioning and can reduce partner disturbance even more. Make sure you get deep-pocketed fitted sheets for a super pillow top.





The traditional foundation is usually a box spring measuring approximately 9 inches high. Sometimes called a high-profile foundation, it is the choice of those who enjoy a high bed, especially when used in combination with a Euro top or pillow top mattress.

Low profile

A design that sits closer to the floor, the low profile foundation is usually a box spring measuring approximately 5 to 6 inches high.

Adjustable base

Available in a range of models, an adjustable base allows you to change the position of your bed, customize your comfort and add convenience to your sleep experience. Operated by remote control, some adjustable bases modify the position of the head of a bed; others adjust both the head and the foot. A split adjustable base lets sleep partners each control their individual comfort level. It is a great option for those who like to read, watch television or use a laptop in bed; or for people with special medical needs.

Platform beds

Most platform beds do not need a foundation; a mattress only is required. However, many people who have platform beds prefer to add a low profile foundation to their mattress, if their bed design allows that option.


Special Concerns


Disabilities & Medical Issues

Many health concerns can affect your choice of mattress. So you may wish to discuss how a mattress choice can influence your health with your medical advisor. The following suggestions may prove helpful but this information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. But, if any of the conditions listed are an issue, here are a few tips that may help you in the mattress selection process:

Allergies, Asthma and Breathing Problems:

Many mattresses feature hypoallergenic materials in an attempt to create a better sleep environment for people who suffer from allergies, asthma or other breathing issues. You also may find that a washable mattress encasement could help protect you from allergens. People with pulmonary problems may also benefit from the upright positioning an adjustable base provides.

Arthritic, Muscular and Back Pain:

Stress relief, pain alleviation and comfort may be provided by a memory foam or adjustable air mattress. An innerspring mattress with a memory foam layer or pillow top may also work.

Lack of Mobility:

An adjustable base added to a split or flat mattress can help getting in and out of bed, as well as getting comfortable to read or watch TV.

Nerve Damage:

When an ability to move and react to the environment is compromised, a dynamic mattress like an adjustable air model can relieve pressure and create a more comfortable sleep space.

Nighttime Heartburn and Acid Reflux:

A flat sleeping position can cause stomach acid to travel to the esophagus. By elevating the upper body, a person prone to heartburn or acid reflux at night may experience relief with the addition of an adjustable base to their mattress.

Skin Problems:

A dynamic and cool sleep surface, like adjustable air or gel-infused memory foam may help alleviate skin conditions and bed sores.


Due to a medical condition or simply an individual's personal body temperature, heat can be alleviated during sleep with some kinds of memory foam and with the addition of gel to a mattress.

Extra Weight

Larger individuals should pay special attention to the support, durability, thickness and cooling properties of a mattress.

Motion Transfer

Couples should take care to choose a mattress that can accommodate each person's sleep style and that minimizes the motion transfer that can occur when one partner's sleep is restless. Due to its conformability, memory foam may be a good choice. Likewise, individuals who sleep with pets or children should be aware of a mattress's ability to reduce motion transfer. And, of course, any combination of sleep partners should first make sure that a mattress offers enough room for all.




Before you drift off to dreamland atop your comfortable new mattress, consider the accessories that will complete your sleep experience.


A great selection of materials and designs is available to meet your comfort needs. Some pillows are designed for specific sleep styles and others are infused with temperature-regulating materials like gel. Our selection includes regular pillows plus contour and body pillows for medical needs. We also have pillow protectors designed to help with allergies and moisture control.


Soft and breathable sheets enhance the comfort of your new mattress. Blankets, bedspreads and comforter sets add warmth and infuse a welcoming retreat feel into your bedroom. The Exchange stocks cozy down comforters as well as bedding collections in a variety of decorative styles. Add a coordinating sheet set in 200 to 750 thread count cotton or fleece and sateen, and an electric blanket for a comfy night of sleep.

Mattress pads

Protect your investment with a quality mattress pad. Some styles feature added layers of gel or soft cushioning to increase your comfort even more. Mattress pads can be heated, waterproof, hypoallergenic and even bed bug resistant. Add a gel topper for an extra layer of coolness in summer.




Generally, the better the mattress, the longer the warranty. Warranties run up to 10 years and typically cover defects in workmanship and materials. Mattress warranties are issued by the manufacturer and vary from one to the other, so read them carefully before you buy.