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Consumer Reports Mattress Buying Guide 2013: What You Need To Know For A Better Night's Sleep

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A good night's sleep is worth a million bucks, but a mattress doesn't have to cost a fortune.

In Consumer Reports' latest buying guide, the organization tested 12 mattresses from companies like Ikea, Sealy and Costco, and found that some of the more expensive ones actually weren't exactly top-notch, while those with a lower price-tag didn't always mean low quality. For example, the $1,200 ComforPedic Loft Crestwood Luxury Plush was ranked lowest, while the $780 Beautyrest Glover Park Firm Pillowtop was the best in conventional, innerspring mattresses.

But the biggest discovery? That the descriptions used to label a mattress' firmness mean nothing. "The only way to determine if the cushiness and the firmness is right for you is to lie down on the bed and try it for yourself," said Consumer Reports Expert Shopper Tod Marks. "Don't get seduced or sucked into terms like 'ultra-plush,' 'super-plush,' even 'cushion-firm.' They aren't standard terms and vary from mattress maker to mattress maker.

Still though, where can a shopper start? We think the BetterSleep.org offers a good list of what you should look for in a mattress, such as testing in your sleep position. And in a previous buying guide, we found that mattresses with continuous coils offered the most comfort.

Head on over to Consumer Reports for even more eye-opening findings. In time meantime, click through our slideshow to find out the effects of sleep deprivation.

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