According to a research, we spend a third of our life sleeping. At this time, the mattress is the closest thing to us than anything else. Since we cannot be able to adjust our behavior or sleeping position at night, we entirely depend on the mattress. Therefore, you need to be sure that you can count on yours to give you the best night.
An uncomfortable mattress negatively affects your sleep, and we are well aware that poor sleep quality has major implications on our general health. If you wake up with a shoulder, back or neck pain, then your mattress is the culprit. Keeping your spine well aligned while asleep is key to preventing or reducing muscle and joint pain.
Moreover, a mattress plays a role in regulating the body temperature at night due to stifled airflow as you sleep. Therefore, a mattress that cannot regulate heat can negatively affect your sleep.
(Source: Consumer Reports)
Assessing Your Sleep Situation
To determine if you need a new mattress, think about how long you have used it. If it more than 12 years, then you certainly need a new one as it is probably beginning to break down.
If you have a spring mattress, even a tiny wear and tear impairs its function hence the need to replace it. For example, if your mattress has 60 springs in its length and just three or four stop working, then it will be harder to compress hence jeopardizing your health. However, a foam mattress is more forgiving because it has thousands of tiny air bubbles that adjust to the pressure your body puts on the mattress, whether you move around all night or sleep in one position.
Besides the age of your mattress, lie down on the mattress and note how you feel. Does it feel like you are lying on a wooden board? If so, then your mattress is only giving support to your shoulders and hips leaving the spine unaligned and unsupported.
Conversely, a mattress that feels too soft also leads to discomfort and interrupts your sleep. Though you may feel like you are sleeping in a hammock, your shoulders are sunken and your spine unsupported which will lead to less enjoyable sleep. These both instances mean that it is time to buy a new mattress.
However, buying a new mattress is an exhausting process. Not only are there a plethora of options to choose from but there is also the individual preferences and needs that vary not to mention the cost that goes as high as thousands of dollars.
If you are in this situation, here is a mattress buying guide to help you make an educated choice.
1. Consider The Type Of Mattress
There are different types of mattresses, which depend on your requirements and taste. The main types are
· Open Spring Mattress
This is also known as a continuous coil or open coil mattresses. They contain a long piece of metal wire coiled into many springs and a border rod to provide structure and maintain the shape of the mattress.
An open spring mattress is a great value your money. They are lighter than other models which make them easy to turn, but they are less supportive hence ideal for guest rooms and children beds where they will be replaced regularly or are occasionally used.
· Pocket Spring Mattresses
This mattress type is luxurious than others. It is made of small springs housed in numerous pockets of fabric meaning each spring moves independently providing more support compared to open spring mattresses.
You can purchase soft, medium or firm versions depending on your taste and preference and they are more breathable than latex or memory mattresses. If you always get hot at night, this is the ideal mattress type for you. Also, pocket spring mattresses are a great option for a bed for two people as the separate spring caters for the different weights and needs and minimizes the risk of rolling towards your partner at night.
However, they are quite heavy to turn and can be filled with materials such as lamb’s wool that may trigger allergies.
· Memory Foam Mattress
These mattresses are made from memory foam which is a moldable material that responds to weight and temperature. This means it absorbs your weight hence relieving pressure off your muscles and joints and molds to the shape of your body.
However, not everyone is comfortable with a sinking mattress, and it tends to get warm. But it is perfect for anyone suffering from back pain or looking for support as it aligns your spine horizontally when sleeping in any position.
· Latex Mattresses
As the name suggests, this mattress type is filled with latex form which is a breathable material, so you will not overheat when sleeping. It is also durable, and it is a great option for asthma and allergies.
However, it may feel a bit solid at first, so it is suited for those who prefer a firm bed. Usually, Latex mattress is heavy hence difficult to turn and a low-quality version develops dents and lumps with time.
2. Mattress Firmness
The firmness of a mattress affects the quality of your sleep. As mentioned earlier a mattress that is too hard or too soft lead to discomfort. The type of firmness depends on your sleeping position, weight and height. Here is a detailed look at what level of firmness is best for what type of sleeper.
· Soft Mattress
This mattress is best suited for side sleepers or if you continuously change positions at night. This is because your sleeping position already relieves pressure from the joints, muscles, and spine, so you are just looking for a mattress that molds the natural position of your body.
· Medium Soft
This mattress is recommended for people who continuously change their position throughout the night as it provides more support and molds the position of the body.
· Medium Firm
This mattress if best for back sleepers as you will only require little back support which this level of firmness offers.
This mattress type is ideal for those who suffer from back pain, are over 210 pounds or sleep on their front. This is because it does not allow you to sink into it as you sleep which leads to back problems.
3. Sleeping Position
Your sleeping position also determines the right mattress for you. The right mattress should be able to offer support to your whole body as you comfortably sleep.
· If You Sleep On Your Side:
You will want a mattress with a surface that offers a lot of pressure relief or the ability to disperse while confirming your shape and supporting your body weight.
Mattress with fluffy toppers or memory foam mattresses has the most pressure relied on while a firm mattress offers the least. The innerspring mattress offers more pressure relief than latex or foam mattress. It is best to test the mattress while lying on it for a few minutes to get how it feels.
· If You Sleep On Your Stomach:
A mattress with a firm top surface with providing you with the best support. Consider purchasing a latex, air-filled or innerspring mattress.
· If You Often Sleep On Your Back:
With this sleeping position, you will want something to support the middle of your body, a surface that supports and keeps your spine in healthy alignment. Any mattress type can work just fine but you should test each to see what feels best you’re your body.
· If You Have A Partner That Turns Continuously:
Consider buying a dual chamber air filled mattress, latex, memory form or an innerspring mattress with pocketed coils.
All these mattresses have great motion isolation, but they could be less comfortable due to their reduced forgiveness against one’s movement.
· If You Have A Mismatch Of Preference With Your Partner:
An air filled mattress with dual chambers is perfect for you. In case the top comfortable is not as comfortable, you can add a separate topper.
· If You Tend To Overheat When Sleeping
Temperatures affect your sleep. It is not limited to the outdoor temperatures. The heat setting of your mattress and also affect the quality of your sleep. A mattress topped with latex or foam will absorb your body heat especially if most of your body sinks in and the mattress is very soft.
You can also use a removable feather mattress topper or fiberfill than can be removed during the cold season and washed when it gets dirty.
· If You Have Allergies
Go for latex or foam mattresses as they are both antimicrobial and resistant to mold and dust mites. If you choose an air topped fiberfill or an innerspring mattress, be sure to encase with an allergen resistant mattress cover to keep irritants away.
· If you cannot decide what exactly you want:
Go for hybrid style mattresses that combine memory isolation of memory foam with the buoyancy of innerspring mattresses. Though more costly, the combined features of the two mattress types can satisfy varying sleeping style and partner disputes.
4. Consider Size
Choosing the size of your mattress depends on the amount of space available, whether or not you share your bed with another person and your personal preferences.
The basic mattress sizes are a twin, full size, king, queen and California King. These sizes are designed to suit specific purposes and particular people. Your height also plays an important factor in determining the right size of the mattress as well as the size of your bed. The mattress you purchase should fit perfectly in your bed.
5. Customized Mattresses
In case you cannot find the perfect mattress that meets your needs and requirement, companies such as Helix will build a customized mattress based on your needs. Though customized mattresses are pricier, they are ideal for a person with certain health problems.
It is important to determine how much you are willing to spend on a mattress so that the salesperson can direct you to the mattresses within your price range.
The cost of mattresses ranges from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. As a general rule when buying mattresses, you get what you pay for, but you should not incline more on the price as some fairly priced mattresses are of high quality while and more expensive mattresses have lower quality. Be sure to choose a model that suits your needs and within your budget.
To determine how much you should spend on a mattress, take your single day’s pay and multiply by 8. The result indicates how much you should spend on a mattress that will last for about eight years.
In case you have a limited budget, you can buy a mattress topper to help make your current mattress more comfortable hence increase the quality of your sleep. Mattress toppers have the same quality as a mattress, they relieve pressure on the muscle and joints, align the spine and relieves body pains.
7. Warranty And Money Back Guarantee
Most mattress manufacturers do offer a limited warranty, but some manufacturers may include up to five years. Before purchasing a mattress, be sure to check if it has a warranty so that you can replace or exchange it.
Some manufacturers go ahead and offer a money back guarantee. In case you purchase a mattress, and it does not perform as expected, you can send it back and receive a full refund of your money. It is always a good idea to read the fine print of all money-back guarantees., usually there are time limits. (90,100, or 120 days)
8. Test The Mattress
Ultimately, what feels good is what you should purchase. Once you get different mattress within your need and budget, test the mattresses by laying on every side-right side, left side, stomach and on the back for at least 10 minutes to get a real feel of it. Do not allow the salesperson to hurry you as you are about to make a big purchase.
Couples should test the mattress together before taking the plunge, after all, if you sleep on a good mattress, you will have fewer interruptions at night, and good sleep translates to better health.