Selecting the right mattress is a long-term investment in your health and wellness. Getting high-quality sleep can impact your productivity levels, pain levels, immunity, blood pressure, and overall happiness. As such, this decision is worthy of your time and dedication to detail.
If you’re in the market for a new mattress, use these practical steps to help you find the right one for your sleeping routine.
Consider Your Sleeping Position
The first thing to consider when choosing a mattress is your sleeping position. Side sleepers, back sleepers, and stomach sleepers require different support options and firmness levels when selecting a bed.
Back sleepers tend to benefit from a medium-firm mattress that offers support and comfort. By using a firm mattress that has a little give, the bed will fit the natural contours of the spine. A firmer mattress can also keep everything in alignment to improve circulation and keep airways open— a vital consideration for snorers.
Stomach sleepers also benefit from a firm mattress to prevent their spine from caving, causing low back pain.
Side sleepers need more contouring and support to fit the curvature of their body and reduce pressure points. These sleepers benefit from a softer mattress.
Knowing what you need for your preferred sleeping position is a great starting point for choosing a mattress.
Know the Various Options
Beyond the firmness level, there are endless mattress options to choose from. You can see a larger comparison of the different types and how they impact your body on thesleepdoctor.com. Some of the standard mattress types include:
a). Memory foam – soft support while contouring to the body.
b). Innerspring – traditional coils and support.
c). Latex – similar to innerspring with more bounce.
d). Gel – similar to memory foam with cooling properties.
e). Hybrids – a combination of any of the above.
There are pros and cons to each type of mattress, from firmness level to durability to price. Take some time to evaluate which type of mattress is best for your needs.
Evaluate Your Body Temperature
While most people overlook this consideration, it’s essential to identify your general body temperature and heat sensitivity when purchasing a mattress. If you’re someone who tends to run hot or experience night sweats, the right mattress choice can help offset these effects.
Gel cooling mattresses reduce heat radiation and improve breathability to keep you cool at night. Conversely, memory foam mattresses tend to get quite warm due to their insulating effects. Making the right material choice can ultimately impact how well you sleep.
Know Your Support Needs and Challenges
Other things to consider when evaluating your sleeping routine and mattress needs are what challenges and conditions you face. If you’re an athlete who trains heavy, you might need the added comfort of a softer mattress. However, if you’re a heavier individual with sleep apnea, a firm mattress could be better for your health.
Consider Your Bed-Sharing Situation
If you share a bed with another individual, you’ll also need to take their individual needs into account. For example, a mattress with low motion transfer could be important if you have different body sizes or sleep schedules. You might also have to compromise on the firmness level if you have different sleeping positions.
Set Your Budget
Once you determine your baseline needs, set a budget to guide your selection process. It’s a myth that the more expensive the mattress, the better the quality. There are plenty of high-quality options at varying price points.
Use customer reviews and comparisons to determine which mattresses that fit your needs hold their value the longest.
Be Mindful of Marketing Techniques
Try to look beyond the marketing gimmicks and techniques that businesses use to push sales. A common tactic is to add medical jargon, such as “doctor-approved” or “orthopedic.” There is no regulation on using these terms and no process in place to receive “approval” from medical professionals.
Another thing to watch out for is the terms used to describe the mattress firmness. Many companies use words like “soft” and “plush” to make their product seem welcoming when they’re at the same firmness level as other mattresses. Additionally, firmness levels can mean different things to different businesses and individuals.
Evaluate the Warranty and Return Policy
Laying on a mattress for a few minutes before buying it isn’t the best way to determine if it’s right for you. It can take a couple of weeks to know if you’ve made the right choice. Look for a mattress brand with a strong return policy and warranty backing up their product.
With these simple guidelines, you can find the best possible mattress to suit your sleeping routine.