How to Choose the Best Mattress for You
They say you can’t put a price tag on a good night’s sleep. After a night or two on a stiff or lumpy bed, just about anyone who values a decent night’s rest would quickly agree. So how do you go about actually picking the right mattress for your lifestyle? In recent years, there’s been a bumper crop of new mattress technologies and options, making it tough to decide which mattress is right for you. Don’t fret! We have a few tips that will help you find your ticket to Dreamland.
Why the Right Mattress Matters
You can’t have a good night’s sleep if you don’t have a good mattress and good sleep is very much connected to good health. Lack of sleep can result in an increase in stress, moodiness, and poor attention. Higher risk of health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease have also been linked to lack of sleep. Beside getting a worse night sleep, the wrong mattress can also lead to back pain and, if it's a particularly old mattress, could trigger allergies from a buildup of dust mites. So, making sure you’ve got the right mattress is not a job to take lying down — though you’ll get to lie down eventually.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Mattress
Mattresses come in all types of materials and sizes, here are a couple of key factors to keep in mind when you're making your selection.
Soft vs. Firm
Are you looking for a firm mattress that offers maximum support or a soft mattress that has more of a cradling effect? As a rule of thumb, larger individuals tend to sleep better with a firmer mattress because of the better support they offer a larger build. Smaller individuals may opt to try a soft mattress because they don’t have as much weight to displace. Also, if you find you have chronic back pain, a firmer mattress may help relieve pressure from the hips and lower back.
Related to the soft vs. firm question, it’s important to consider what kind of sleeper you are. If you sleep on your back most nights, you're going to have different mattress needs than someone who sleeps on their side or stomach. In general, a back sleeper often gets better support from a slightly firmer mattress whereas a side sleeper does better with a mattress that has more sink so they can be cradled slightly when they sleep.
If you run hot when you sleep, this is definitely something you should consider when purchasing a new mattress. Many mattresses offer materials and technology that provide for additional airflow and cooling— a worthwhile investment if you get overheated at night.
Did you know that your height can help determine which bed size you should have? The general rule of thumb is if you are taller than 5’5”, you need a queen or larger. A full mattress and smaller are made for people shorter than 5’5”. You will also want to consider if you have a sleeping partner or whether you plan to have one in the next seven years or so. And of course, the size of your bedroom determines just exactly how big you can go.
You can find a mattress for all budgets, so having a sense of what you’re able to afford is necessary for making the right selection. However, while saving money is great, it shouldn’t be your top priority. Instead, make comfort your main goal as you’ll want to enjoy the mattress you select for many years. Don’t choose a mattress just because it costs less. By doing so, you may get stuck with many years of back pain and decreased sleep quality or end up needing to make a second purchase to get the mattress you need.
Types of Mattresses
Historically the most popular choice, the innerspring mattress has a spring zone in the bottom and a comfort layer on top that can be made from various foams and fibers. The type of materials used in the comfort layer determines the firmness of the mattress. For the innerspring system, coils can be individually wrapped which reduces the amount of motion transferred between coils. Or, they can be open coils which transfer more motion and tend to wear more quickly. Many brands make hybrid mattresses which combine memory foam and innerspring technologies. Innerspring mattresses are great for their breathability and can feel especially cool for a hot sleeper.
Memory foam mattresses are made from Visco elastic and can provide both comfort and support without the aid of coils. Memory foam has the added benefits of being able to conform to a sleeper’s body and respond to their body temperature by softening under warmth. Memory foam is also great at reducing motion transfer between sleep partners so when one person tosses the other doesn’t turn. They have a great cradling feel for sleepers that like a little sink.
Latex mattresses have been growing in popularity over the last few years as they have declined in price. Their unique construction allows the latex to instantly respond to the body and provide a high level of comfort while helping to promote proper spinal alignment. These qualities allow latex foam to act as a support system in lieu of a traditional innerspring. Latex mattresses are great for allergy sufferers because they are hypo-allergenic and do not accumulate dust mites. Latex mattresses are also known for staying cool and for having excellent breathability.
Don’t Forget These Crucial Mattress Shopping Tips
Try out the mattresses you intend to purchase, but don’t just lie down and pop right back up. Plan to spend 5 to10 minutes laying on the mattress to allow your body to adjust to the new surface. You’ll want to turn over, move around and try out your normal sleeping positions. Try out many different brands and styles including memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid mattresses. Don’t be afraid to test them all! It’s where you’ll be sleeping for the next eight years. And if you’re buying online fear not! Most online mattresses can be returned if they’re not right for you.
Read the Label
Pay careful attention to the mattress label, especially if you have trouble with allergies. By reading the label you’ll find if there are any hidden allergens and whether a mattress is hypoallergenic to decrease dust mites, mold, and bacteria.
Bigger isn’t Always Better
Many people are easily tricked by the thickness of a mattress, thinking the thicker the mattress, the more comfortable it will be. This isn’t necessarily true. You can’t base the comfort of a mattress by the way it looks. Again, you’ll need to try the mattress out first, whether it be standard size, pillow top, or memory foam.
Read the Return Policy
As purchasing a mattress is a big investment, be sure to read the return policy. Although a mattress may have seemed comfortable in the store, after a few nights you may discover it isn’t the right mattress for you. Don’t get stuck with the wrong mattress for the next 8 years. Find out if you’re able to return the mattress should you discover it isn’t your ideal fit.
Now that you’ve identified the factors necessary to pick a mattress, have at it! The right mattress for you is just a click away at our Sit n Sleep online store. Or, if you’re still unsure, visit Sit ‘n Sleep and try their bedMatch technology to let science determine the right bed for you!