We can relate.

When we bought our first house, along with it came our first opportunity to create a real guest room with a real bed. That means no futons, no air beds – just an actual full-sized mattress, probably supported by a box spring, on a good frame. Slathered all over that opportunity, we found the pressure to choose a mattress that our guests would love, along with a heaping helping of anxiety that we’d fail, dooming our guests to back pain and ultimately mediocre memories of visiting us.

We constructed the bed frame during our first week in the house. Then it went un-slept-on for months while we searched for the perfect mattress – one that would make every friend and family member feel swaddled in a cloud while receiving a biologically ideal degree of support.

Giving up perfectionism.

Here’s the thing about the perfect…anything. It doesn’t exist. There’s no way you can anticipate the needs and preferences of everyone who will ever hunker down at your house. Nor will every recipient open and complete your Google survey. It’s on you to make this decision. We understand that choosing a mattress – even/especially for a guest room – can be daunting. Whether your budget is large or small, you want to be over-the-moon happy with any purchase that lasts a decade or more. On a smaller scale, it’s kind of like a car. Fortunately, with a mattress, you can take a month-long test drive and still return it.

How does anyone decide?

Even with the best return policy in the industry, nobody wants to manage multiple mattresses going in and out of their house. Here’s how to be sure you’re making the right decision even if you’re buying a mattress online.

Find – and then trust – your opinion. Admit it. It may not be for you, but you’re shopping for a mattress. It’s not a looks-good-on-paper kind of purchase. Take the opportunity to get out there and try a few beds. Dedicate an afternoon, invite a friend, and have fun with it. Once you’re in a mattress store, you’ll start eliminating options at both extremes pretty quickly. You can see all the size options in real life and hone in on the options that make sense.

Be thoughtful – within limits. Do choose the size of your mattress to be as accommodating as possible. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis by trying to cover every possible preference. Very few people can spring for a California King or an adjustable bed for a hard-to-please friend, but you may be able to up the comfort factor by upgrading from a Full to a Queen, provided your guest room provides adequate space.

If you want, ask for a few opinions. There are likely a handful of special people who visit far more frequently than anyone else. If their comfort is important to you, consider asking just those few people about their preferences. If they’re all firm-mattress people, you’ll have a great starting point. If they’re all over the map, you’ll know how to accessorize.

Think flexibility. It’s easier to augment softness than support. If you err on the side of a more supportive mattress, you can quickly and affordably add an egg-crate or pillow-top for guests who prefer more cushion. It’s also easier to accommodate fewer people on a larger bed than more people on a smaller bed.

Accessorize liberally. Mattresses don’t leave a lot of wiggle room. Sheets, pillows, and blankets do. Make a variety of these available so that your guests can personalize their comfort. The room-perfecting options can be expanded with adjustable blinds, aromatherapy with a variety of essential oils, or a white-noise machine.

Accept help. If you’re struggling with your decision, use the available resources. The sleep experts at A Goodnight Sleepstore are available during business hours in-store throughout the Carolinas and online throughout the continental United States. Just start a chat or give us a call (1-855-GO2SLEEP) to get answers to your toughest mattress questions.

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