Local stores near St. Louis aren't the only way to shop! You can also find name brands from online retailers and get them shipped right to your door!
A good quality mattress will last many years, but unlike a diamond - they aren't forever. A general rule of thumb is that you should consider replacing your mattress after 8 years or so. If you find yourself waking up with joint pain, have trouble sleeping through the night, or just aren't feeling rested after a night's sleep, you should definitely think about a replacement.
Weight and body shape are a major thing you should consider in your choice. Your experience with a mattress may be completely different than someone who weighs significantly more or less than you. In general, heavier sleepers will need more support from a mattress to be comfortable, than a lighter sleeper.
A high quality mattress isn't cheap, with prices ranging from a few hundred all the way to a few thousand dollars. How do you get the most bang for your buck? In most cases the answer is to choose an online mattress retailer. Physical retail locations have huge overhead, and the online sellers don't play on the same field. Since they all have great return policies, you should definitely try one out.