When furnishing your home in Vallarta, the three items you should invest in are a well-made sofa, long-lasting outdoor furniture, and an incredibly comfortable mattress. This knowledge comes from over ten years of experience owning a furniture store in Mexico. For those who faithfully read my column (thank you!), you know I am a big fan of the brand Palliser because they make the most comfortable sofas in this country. Next week, I will write about a new option for well-made outdoor furniture and will not empty your wallet. It also does not need replacing every couple of years. In this article, I am going to focus on mattresses.

Have you ever wondered why your feet always hang over the end of the bed in Mexico but never back home north of the border? Well, ponder no more!

Most people are unaware that mattress sizes differ around the world. Mattresses manufactured in Mexico are shorter and broader than American and European mattresses. This size variance is not enough to impact sleep quality, but you will notice something is a little off. So, if your feet seem to hang off the end of the bed or your sheets do not quite fit, the conundrum is solved!

For those who are taller, worry not. American sizes are available in Mexico, although they are considered a special order. Special order means that you will pay more for an American size than a Mexican size mattress. The approximate increase in price is about 10%. Prices for mattresses in Mexico are about the same price as what you would pay north of the border. If you go this route, remember that your headboard and bed base also need to be American size. Most beds and bed bases in Mexico are not available in American sizes. Double-check the mattress's dimensions, as well as the headboard and bed base, so that you do not get stuck with mismatched pieces.

According to the President of Sealy's manufacturing plant in Mexico, American size mattresses made up less than 2% of their total annual mattress sales. Some mattress superstores keep two to three American size mattresses in inventory; however, you may need to sacrifice any features you may want in return for getting it right away. A special-order mattress can take up to two or three months. Manufacturing plants adjust all their machinery to produce these particular sizes. To make it cost-effective, they wait until they have a large enough order to warrant the time it takes to adjust all their machinery.

Bed sizes in Mexico are king, queen, matrimonial (equivalent to full) and Individual (equal to twin). California King is also available here; however, it is also considered a custom size.

As for materials, the two most popular options are the coil/pillow top and memory foam mattresses. Depending on the type of support you prefer, mattresses with pocketed, offset, or continuous coils are available. Many also come with a pillow top so that you can have firm support yet softness at the same time.

Memory foam mattresses are adaptable and great if your partner is a restless sleeper. I have had both types of mattresses in my home in Vallarta Nayarit for about ten years, both priced in the mid-range. No rusted coils. No mold or mildew. The question of which is better comes down to which one feels better when you lie on it.

The only way to select the right mattress is to try before you buy. It never ceases to amaze me when people say they will buy a mattress at a big box store where you cannot test them. I recommend buying at one of the Mexico mattress superstores. Unlike big box stores, you will be able to test it out. Unlike department stores, you generally pay less. And many of the mattress superstores include the delivery, saving you money.

Many brand names in the US and Canada are also available in Mexico. If you plan to shop for your mattress north of the border and then purchasing it when you arrive in Mexico, heads up! Although retailers here will likely have the same mattress with the same features, it will have a different name. Along with the name, write down the features so you can find the equivalent version here.

Mattresses should be professionally cleaned at least once per year to get out the dirt, dust particles and germs. If you rent your home when you are not using it, you might consider doing the deep cleaning more frequently. The harsh climate, including salty ocean air, sand and dust particles, and body sweats and oils, means that you should consider changing your mattress sooner. To get the most from your mattress investment, remember to ask your property manager or maid to assist you with turning it over every month as well as flipping the corners. A life span for a mattress is generally 10 to 15 years.

A good night's sleep is worth every penny. Do not pinch them when buying your mattress.

Need a good mattress (and bed) in 48 hours, or less so you can stay in your new condo in Vallarta? Email me at For inspiration, ideas and tips about furnishing your home in Puerto Vallarta, join our FB Group: Mexico Furniture and Decor