Buying a new mattress is no small matter. There are tons of options out there, and if you are not educated in the art of mattress choices, then you might find yourself sleeping on a $2,000 waste of money. In this article you will find some easy to follow pro tips on choosing the best mattress for your needs.
Health and comfort above all else – the art of choosing a mattress
Mattresses are a relatively new invention. Back in 17th century only a chosen few had access to mattresses, while the rest of the population slept on straw or firm wooden framed beds. Today, most, if not all, have access to first class mattresses and can choose from numerous types and materials to suit their personal health needs.
- Get to know your body
The biggest issue most people are facing with their mattress hinges on the fact that they do not pay attention to their body up until the point where pain starts developing. Uncomfortable sleeping positions, most often due to the wrong mattress, may lead to hip and joint pain, muscle cramps, morning fatigue and quite a lot more.
Our advise is – don’t ignore the signals of your body learn to listen to its needs. Humans are on the apex of evolution and their bodies have evolved through intelligence. Trust your innate intelligence and be more mindful in the morning – if you are feeling muscle pain or joint issues, then you might be sleeping on the wrong type of mattress.
- It should fit your health needs – contact your doctor
In order to determine the type of sleeping mattress you should go for, you must first learn about your health needs. Do you have a pre-existing condition? What sort of issues are you more prone to? Should be using a firmer sleeping mattress or does your body need a softer support?
These are important questions that need to be addressed in order to determine what sort of mattress material and make you should go for.
There are generally 3 most common mattress types:
- The spring mattress
- The memory foam mattress
- The combined memory foam-spring mattress
The material they are made of also provides a certain level of comfort (or discomfort if you go against your body’s preference).
It’s generally understood that spring mattresses provide a more cooling effect during sleep, while memory foam mattresses tend to heat the body up. If you prefer a cooler feel, then going for a certain make of a mattress which fits the comfort level you prefer.
- Memory foam follows the contour of your body
Memory foam was designed to follow the contours of your body, providing equal support to all relevant areas. This type of mattress may come in different surface materials which either provide a cooling effect or keep the heat which your body produces – either way, you should probably check the specifications of the mattress you have chosen.
The varying memory foam mattress materials are not universal, but rather have been designed to fit a firmer or softer support. People with joint pain may experience more relief if they sleep on a soft mattress, or their particular condition might respond better to a firmer, more supportive mattress type.
- Spring mattresses provide a nice bounce and a firm support
Spring mattresses have come a long way in the past decade or so. In the nineties they were notorious for the lack of comfort and the occasion spring popping out of the casing. Nowadays you can get yourself a great spring mattress which will support your every movement with an unmistakable firmness.
However, one of the biggest downsides to spring mattresses is that they do not provide any particular spots with less support. This means that your body mass is not as equally dispursed throughout the surface of the mattress.
In cases of hip pain, complete discomfort alleviation will be achieved if there is little to no pressure on the affected area. With a spring mattress you get unilateral support for each spot, meaning that if you are side-sleeper, you spine may get additionally strained during sleep – further causing more pain in the morning.
- Combined mattresses may be the ticket
Combined memory foam and spring mattresses provide the best of both worlds. A hard and stable center supported by coils and springs and a soft and accommodating top layer of memory foam.
Due to the combined use of technology, these mattress types tend to be more expensive than the other choices, however, for certain particular cases, they may prove the right choice. Again, you can choose the type of memory foam – firmer or softer – which can additionally add to the comfort.
- It should allow your body to breathe
We touched upon this in one of our previous points, that some materials provide a warmer feel, while others will have a cooling effect on your skin. There are particular cases where a mattress is best to have a neutral feeling to it, preserving both a natural skin temperature, and giving enough ventilation to the sleeper as to avoid sweating and turning during the night.
The key to a comfortable sleep, is feeling adequately cooled, but not chilly as this will cause you to shiver and occasionally wake up to better regulate body temperature. Get to know your mattress – if you are a warm blooded individual you might have more success with a memory foam mattress with a cooling affect.
- Gives you enough room to have a partner
Even if you have the Cadillac of mattresses, if it does not allow you to cuddle with your SO, then what’s the point of having it? Your priority is to have a mattress which can accommodate you and your partner and give you enough room to move and get comfortable during the evening.
Some people tend to find one position comfortable, while others change positions during the night as they get deeper into REM sleep. Get something with sufficient room for two people. You should probably also test the mattress together – it might be a fun day out.
- It has orthopedic qualities
There are many companies that will claim they have a medically approved mattress, however, there is no such institute or medical clinic which officially certifies mattresses for medical use. However, there are mattress types with orthopedic-like qualities which provide enough support for your body without disrupting blood flow from one part of your body to another.
The biggest issue with most mattress types is that they are not specifically designed for your body, which means that there might be some deviation in user experience.
Orthopedic materials are such materials which have been tailored specifically to your body’s needs. Such is the case with doctor-prescribed shoes which compliment the function of your foot in a specific and personalized manner.
- It actually alleviates the pain for your body
Again, we come to discussing marketing and the problems it stems. There are companies which will promise a 100% pain-relief guarantee, however, there is no certain way to know for sure that a mattress will help you with pain.
The lest a properly chosen mattress can do for you, in cases with severe injuries and hip pain, is to not add to the pain or make the situation worse. If a company claims that it can give you exactly what you are looking, chances are they are lying to you and trying to take advantage of your situation.
The best results for pain relief is the appropriate amount of medical treatments, medication and a good mattress, however, there is no singular mattress that can do the work of a medical professional.
- It comes with a good warranty
Mattress companies and stores will try and persuade you that their warranty covers it all, but will omit the fine print details. These details may include removing the tag, how the mattress should be used and what sort of damage or circumstances the warranty does NOT cover.
Buying a $2000 mattress for a king-sized bed is not a cheap investment so you better get it from a store with an honest warranty policy and upfront replacement in case of mattress issues.
Read the fine print, ask questions and take your time, don’t rush into buying something that someone is telling you it will fit great. You are the one who is going to be sleeping on it, they will be the one counting their profits to the bank.
Make sure that the warranty covers the most common problems with mattresses and that it’s not only limited to factory issues. If it’s a spring mattress get to know their most common issues and seek for a warranty that covers those exact issues.
Summing it all up
We’ve come to the conclusion that the best mattress is one chose for your specific needs. In order for you to know what those needs are, you must first consult your doctor and pay attention to the signals your body is giving you. After that, the choice is easier than you may think.
You like a firmer feel to the mattress, but you need equal support – get a memory foam mattress with firm latex topping. You feel better sleeping on a cloud, but you doctor recommends firmer support for better spine alignment? Then go for a combined spring and memory foam mattress with a softer latex topping.