Which Mattress Is Best for You?
We all know a good mattress plays a crucial role in getting restful sleep, but many people may be holding on to their old mattress because they don’t know if it’s time for a newer one. Combined with room temperature, light levels, and noise factors, the comfort range of your mattress is an important factor in whether you will wake up refreshed or in pain, so it’s worth getting right. Here are some basics about what you should look for when shopping as well as a rundown of popular mattress styles to help you choose the best type for you.
The Ultimate Goal
Here’s how a mattress is supposed to work: Ideally, your head, shoulders, hips and feet are all in alignment and supported as you lie on the mattress. An older mattress that’s too soft does not offer the correct support, and one that is too firm can lead to . People who tend to have back trouble do better with a medium-to-firm mattress, studies have shown. Even if you aren’t prone to back pain, mattresses that are too hard can put pressure on some of your body parts, leading to discomfort.
When to Start Shopping
When you are laying on your current mattress, you should feel equally supported throughout your body, almost as if you are floating. If this does not describe your experience, it could be time for a new mattress. Of course, any mattress that’s sagging in the middle or has a flat pillow top is likely to be due for a replacement as well. The general life of a mattress is about 10 to 15 years. When you start shopping, be prepared to spend a while. You should lie on any potential mattresses for at least 10 minutes, and bring your own pillow to better replicate the experience you have at home. If you tend to sleep on your side, do that in the store.
The vast majority of us have an innerspring mattress in our homes now. Individually wrapped coils support the length of your body, and most are topped with some sort of padding. They range in firmness levels, prices, and cushiness. Innersprings are a solid choice for just about anyone, though people with back issues should lean toward the firmer versions.
Mattresses usually are made with either , which is very soft, or , which is decidedly firmer. Memory foam mattresses are very comfortable, but they may not offer enough support for many people, and lots of users complain they get too hot. Still, the popularity of memory foam is on the rise. Latex foam is a hit among consumers who want a firm, springy surface that still offers some of the comfort features of memory foam.
Air mattresses feature many of the same mechanics as the innerspring versions, but the coils are filled with air instead of springs. The selling point here is that each partner can adjust the firmness of his or her side to specific comfort levels that may be significantly different. It’s crucial to look for versions that have multiple air chambers, however.
These mattresses can be made with foam or air coils, but the main feature is that the whole mattress or just one side can be angled upward. The ability to position the head of the bed allows users to watch TV more easily or may help apnea sufferers who may struggle in a flat surface.