Buying a mattress may seem like a simple thing, but choosing the right one can actually be quite tricky, since there are various things to considers including materials, size, as well as your sleeping posture and physical attributes. Also, many people don’t know when they should replace their mattresses. Generally, a quality mattress serves for approximately a decade. But a quality mattress bag increases its life by protecting it from debris, humidity, spills, and allergens.
However, the age of the mattress isn’t the only factor – there may be other signs such as indents or lumps, or if you’re still tired after a good night’s sleep, that indicate it’s time for a new mattress.
Things to Consider when Selecting Your Mattress
Your search for the right mattress should start with your own body type and sleeping habits. Comfort is the key and different individuals favor different mattress types, so let’s take a look at each of these.
Depending on your budget and the level of firmness you’re looking for, you can choose from a variety of mattress types including innerspring, latex, and memory foam.
These mattresses have a traditional design featuring internal steel coils, making the mattress firm. They are ideal for people who sleep on their back or stomach, as an innerspring mattress will keep your spine aligned.
The durability and firmness of the mattress will depend on the coil gauge or thickness. Normally, this is classified on a scale between 12 to 15, with the lower the number indicating a firmer and more durable mattress.
Coil count is also important. For a quality Queen size mattress, 400 is the minimum coil count you should look for.
Latex is the prime component of organic mattresses and is extracted from rubber trees. The natural resilience of latex produces a familiar bouncy feel and prevents you from sinking into the mattress. If you’re an eco-conscious consumer, you should consider a latex mattress.
Talalay and Dunlop are the most common types of latex used to produce mattresses. Talalay latex is softer whereas Dunlop latex is denser and firmer. However, you are unlikely to feel the difference between the two by simply laying on them.
- Memory Foam
Memory foam is known for relieving stress and tension. These mattresses easily adapt to your unique body shape and make you feel lighter by taking weight off your pressure points. If you are a side sleeper and want the feeling of being cradled, memory foam is the ideal choice for you.
Since they relieve pressure off hips and shoulders and put less stress on your spine, memory foam mattresses are also a good choice for anyone suffering from back pain. Thanks to their motion isolation design, you will not be disturbed when the person sleeping next to you moves.
The bottom layer of memory foam is multi-layered firm foam to ensure durability, while the top of the mattress is made of softer foam to ensure comfort. The problem with memory foam is that it traps heat which can be uncomfortable during the summer, so look for models with built-in cooling solutions.
These mattresses are a combination of Innerspring, Latex, and Memory Foam. The bottom part is made of coils and latex whereas the top is memory foam. They are heavier and more expensive and feel more like memory foam since it forms the top layer.
Adjustable mattresses are generally the most expensive type of mattress because can adjust the firmness level of these mattresses by controlling the pressure in the built-in air chambers. They are ideal for couples who prefer different firmness levels.
Firmness Levels and Sleep Positions
Firm, Medium Firm, Medium, and Soft are the most common terms used to describe the firmness levels of mattresses. Generally, medium-firm and medium are ideal for most sleep positions.
- Stomach Sleepers
If you sleep on your stomach, you should look for a firm mattress since it is not good for the pressure points to sink down too much in this position.
- Side Sleepers
Most of us are side sleepers and this position is typically recommended by doctors as it is least likely to cause back pain. Medium-firm and soft mattresses are ideal for side sleepers since these firmness levels keep the spine aligned, while a firm mattress can put pressure on the shoulders and hips of side sleepers.
- Back Sleepers
Back sleepers should go for medium firmness to properly align their spine. If the mattress is too firm or too soft, spine alignment could be disturbed.
If you rotate between different sleeping postures, go for a medium-firm since it is suitable for most sleep positions.
In addition to mattress type, firmness level, and sleep position, don’t forget to consider your weight and body type. If you are overweight, a firm mattress will suit your body because it will stop it from sinking too much.
On the other hand, soft mattresses are ideal for lighter bodies. A firm mattress will not allow lighter frames to sink enough to take off the pressure on the shoulders and hips.
Evolution in technology continues to bring new features such as motion isolation, adjustability, and built-in cooling. These add-on features can be valuable, depending on your budget.