Match Your Mattress to Your Lifestyle
Sleep effects virtually every aspect of your life, and a good night’s sleep starts with the right mattress. However, when it comes to mattress options, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. From mattress size and comfort level to construction material and bed frames, there are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for a mattress to match your lifestyle. Finding the right mattress can be a daunting task, but with a little research and guidance, you can find the perfect bed for you. We’re breaking down the various options to consider when shopping for your next mattress.
Mattress Comfort Levels
The comfort level of a mattress is how soft or firm it feels when you lie on it. As a general rule, larger bodies need more support than smaller bodies do, and therefore benefit from a firmer mattress. Smaller individuals may opt for a plush mattress since 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. While there isn’t a universal system of measurement to determine the comfort level of a mattress, there are three general categories of firmness to consider.
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 can aggravate or even cause back pain, so it’s important to spend a few minutes testing the mattress before buying.
Also called pillow top mattresses, cushion firm mattresses are the choice of people who need some support, but find a firm mattress uncomfortable. Commonly called a pillow top mattress, a cushion firm provides a balanced blend of support, softness, and comfort.
Plush mattresses are the softest, with cushioned upper layers that conform to the body’s natural contours. A plush mattress has more of a cradling effect and are often chosen by stomach sleepers.
The right mattress size depends on your height, weight, and if you sleep with a partner.
Twin mattresses are the smallest size of all standard mattresses, measuring approximately 38” wide by 75” long. A twin XL is 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. Queen beds are a popular choice for both bedrooms and guest rooms.
King size mattresses are 16” wider than queens, measuring 76” x 80”. A good choice for larger-bodied people and sleepers who tend to spread out, king beds provide the same sleeping surface as two twin mattresses pushed together.
California Kings 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 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 300 for twin and full mattresses, 375 for queens, and 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 resists bedbugs, mites, mold, and allergens, and are 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 uses a patented foam formula that responds to the body‘s temperature, weight and shape for truly personalized support and comfort. 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.
Bed Frames and Foundations
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
Box Springs 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 bed frame. 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 like 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, or watch television in bed. Sit ‘n Sleep recommends taking a close look at our premium SmartLife adjustable systems – a superior alternative to mattress systems like Sleep Number.
Regardless of the type, size, or comfort level that interests you, you’ll find a full range of mattress and bed frame options 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.