Sleeping well affects virtually every aspect of your life, and a good night’s sleep starts with your mattress’ size, comfort level, construction material and underlying support. A sleep system that’s compatible with your lifestyle, body size and physical condition can improve the quality of both your sleep and overall well-being.
Mattress Comfort Levels
Sleeping on the right mattress is essential to resting well and awakening refreshed. Factors to consider when choosing a mattress include your physical condition, preferred sleeping position, history of back or neck pain and allergies, all of which can be alleviated by choosing the right mattress and foundation.
- Firm Mattresses offer maximum body support. They’re usually preferred by people with back and neck problems, since they help relax the lower back muscles and keep the spine aligned. An overly firm mattress, however, can aggravate or even cause back pain, so it’s important to spend a few minutes testing before buying.
- Cushion Firm Mattresses, which are also called pillow top mattresses, are the choice of people who need some support, but find a firm mattress to be uncomfortable. Cushion firm mattresses offer a balanced blend of support, softness and comfort.
- Plush Mattresses provide the best of firm and cushion firm mattresses. Their soft, cushioned upper layers conform to the body’s natural contours, providing just enough support to relieve pressure on the back, neck, shoulders and arms. They’re often chosen by people who sleep on their backs or sides, although stomach sleepers may find they need more spinal support than plush mattresses
- Ultra Plush Mattresses offer a near-perfect balance of comfort and support. The spine is kept properly aligned, while the soft upper layer gently cushions the hips and shoulders. They’re often preferred by people who sleep on their sides, as well as restless “toss and turn” sleepers. Stomach sleepers, however, may find ultra plush mattresses lack the support to keep the spine from sagging, which can result in morning backache.
People come in various shapes, weights and body types, which is why mattresses come in different sizes.
- Twin Mattresses, the smallest size of all standard mattresses, are approximately 38” wide by 75” long. Twin mattresses also come in an XL size, which are the same width but 5” longer than a standard twin. Twin mattresses have plenty of room for a child or smaller adult to sleep comfortably. They can be used with bunk beds, trundle beds, day beds and hideaways, and their small footprints make them especially well suited for rooms where space is tight.
- Full Mattresses, at 53” x 75”, are the same length as a twin, but 15” wider. It’s possible although somewhat cramped for couples to sleep comfortably on a full mattress. As with twins, full mattresses also come in XL versions that are 5” longer to accommodate taller people.
- Queen Mattresses are the most popular size sold. At 60” wide by 80” long, there’s plenty of room for two people to sleep comfortably. Queens are a popular choice for both bedrooms and guest rooms.
- King Mattresses are 16” wider than queens, and are great for both larger-bodied people and sleepers who tend to spread out. At 76” x 80”, king size mattresses provide the same sleeping surface as two twin mattresses pushed together.
- California King Mattresses are 4” longer than standard kings, but are also 4” narrower, so they’re most often used where length is more important than width. California Kings are a good choice for couples where one or both are tall enough to need the extra length.
The most popular materials used to construct mattresses are innerspring coils, memory foam and latex.
- Innerspring Mattresses, being affordable, are the most popular mattress type sold today. They’re built using a series of 250 to 1,000 steel coils covered with a padded upper layer of fabric or foam. Higher coil counts translate to greater support, so avoid innerspring mattresses with low coil counts. Generally speaking, the minimum number of coils should be at least 300 for twin and full mattresses, 375 for queens and at least 450 for king size mattresses.
- Memory Foam Mattresses contain a polyurethane filling derived from a formula originally developed by NASA. Heat from the sleeper’s body softens the foam and gently molds it to his or her natural contours, while evenly distributing the body’s weight for better support. When the sleeper shifts positions or leaves the bed, the foam returns to its original shape. Memory foam mattresses resist bedbugs, mites, mold and allergens, making them an excellent choice for allergy sufferers and asthmatics. Memory foam mattresses also absorb motion, so nighttime tossing and turning won’t disturb a sleeping partner.
Tempur-Pedic use their patented foam formula in mattresses that respond to the body‘s temperature, weight and shape for truly personalized support and comfort. Being a low-resilience material, Tempur-Pedic’s memory foam absorbs motion far better than conventional coil spring mattresses, which make them a great choice for couples, since nocturnal tossing and turning won’t disturb a sleeping partner.
- Latex Mattresses are arguably the healthiest, eco-friendliest and most long-lasting mattresses sold. Made from either natural or synthetic rubber, latex mattresses have a dense, heavy core system that makes them ideal for heavier-bodied sleepers. They also provide the support needed by back and shoulder pain sufferers to rest comfortably. With proper care, quality latex mattresses will last 15 years or more.
There’s more to sleeping well than a mattress’ size, comfort level or construction material. The underlying foundation is just as important for sleeping well as the mattress itself.
- Box Spring Foundations are wooden frames containing a series of heavy gauge wire coils that support innerspring and memory foam mattresses. The mattress and box spring are placed on a wood or metal bedframe such as the Knickerbocker Freedom Frame that keeps them off the floor. They’re not recommended for use with latex mattresses, however, due to the extra weight.
- Platform Beds are one-piece, low profile frames with closely placed lateral slats that support the mattress. The mattress is placed directly on the platform, which eliminates the need for a box spring or foundation support. Platform beds are the most versatile of the support options and work with all mattress types, although they’re best when used with foam mattresses.
- Foundation Beds are similar to platforms in that they’re both one-piece, low profile mattress supports. Although they look like box springs, foundations are flat surfaces used simply to hold mattresses rather than distribute the sleeper’s weight and absorb shock and motion. The growing popularity of memory foam mattresses has resulted in many people choosing foundation beds over platforms or box springs.
- Adjustable Beds are multi-hinged, motorized platforms that allow sleepers to find the perfect position for comfortable sleep at the push of a button. The benefits of adjustable beds include improved circulation, relief from lower back pain, less neck and shoulder tension and reduced swelling of the feet and legs. Adjustable beds are also great for people who like to eat, read, work or watch television while in bed.
Regardless of the type, size and comfort level mattress and foundation that interest you, you’ll find a full range of choices at any Sit ’n Sleep mattress superstore. Our knowledgeable sleep consultants will help you select a combination that will have you sleeping comfortably and soundly for years to come.