Bedtime or sleeping time should be relaxing, comfortable, and happy. One big factor in achieving these goals is choosing the right mattress. Mattresses have different firmness levels, materials or type of foam used, and components. Considering your comfort level, height, weight, sleeping position, and whether you have a sleeping companion or not is important to ensure that you select the right mattress for you.
Below are some helpful tips when choosing the right mattress for your needs.
Know the Best Mattress Firmness For You
First and foremost, one important criterion you should use when buying a new mattress is firmness. While this term is commonly used by manufacturers, retailers, salespeople, customers, and reviewers, you'll rarely read a nuanced discussion about mattress firmness.
Firmness refers to a way of describing the mattress' feel in terms of comfort. The firmness of a mattress relates to important issues, such as comfort and support. Also, it affects sleeping, love-making, and motion transfer. That's why you need to choose a comfortable mattress with the right firmness or plush feel, that offer a smooth transition and balanced sleep.
Firmness is a subjective feeling. It means that a firmness level can be comfortable to you but not to your partner. That's why it's important to test the mattress in the store before buying by lying down and doing your common sleep position. One important point you have to remember is that firmness is different from support, wherein the latter means how well your mattress supports your spine or promotes adequate spinal alignment.
Here are the descriptions of various mattress firmness:
- Extremely soft: It's considered the maximum soft firmness level with plenty of sinks. The extremely soft plush is rare.
- Soft: It’s described as quite soft having a plush with a definite sink.
- Medium: It's a common firmness level offering a middle-ground with more limited sink and some plushness.
- Firm: It's a harder mattress with limited sink and softness.
- Extremely firm: This mattress firmness level has no softness, sink, or plushness, which is a rare type of mattress firmness.
Identify the Best Mattress Features and Technologies You Need
Every year, there are new mattress technologies being released. Advanced features can raise the prices of mattress quite a lot. Here are some mattress features and technologies you might want to consider when you’re shopping for a new mattress:
- Adjustable Beds: This feature makes mattresses easily adapt to any sleeping position. In the past, adjustable beds are only available in medical facilities which aid in the faster recovery process of patients. Today adjustable beds are popular because people have demanding needs when it comes to sleeping due to a hectic and more stressful lifestyle. Adjustable beds have intuitive control and the sleeper can be manipulated in several zones. You can also elevate the head part, legs, or both areas simultaneously, which are highly recommended for people with limited mobility.
- Dual Coil System: This feature promotes a zoned sleep system, providing targeted support for a tailored sleeping experience.
- Silver-infused Foam: Silver has antimicrobial properties, and mattresses, like Neoluxe Vantage Silver, are infused with silver so you have peace of mind that you're sleeping in a clean and bacteria-free mattress. Watch the follow video to learn more about this mattress.
- Copper Infusion: Copper provides breathability or proper airflow to the mattress, drawing heat away from your body. A mattress layer that is copper infused makes heat transfer easier. It helps regulate your body temperature to help counteract sleep sweats. Also, copper is hypoallergenic and has antibacterial properties, so you enjoy sleeping in a cleaner mattress longer. Because of the natural properties of copper, copper-infused mattresses are beneficial for health.
- Sleep Sensors: Mattress sensors can track sleep. This feature measures your heart rate, breathing intervals, and the number of times you get up at night. Mattress manufacturers create mobile apps to help their customers track their sleep and teach them how to improve sleep.
- Lights and Heating: You can buy a mattress with illuminated bedding or light sensors so you'll have under-the-bed illumination for safety when getting up at night to go to the bathroom. Heating also promotes good blood circulation by heating your feet with the heat emitted by this technology.
- Adjustable Firmness: Air mattresses offer this feature, so you can choose and adjust the best firmness level you need. Sensors or remote controls are used to simply activate the air pump to adjust the firmness of the mattress according to the needs of your body.
Learn How Mattress Firmness Can Influence Support and Sleeping Positions
Before shopping for a new mattress, you should learn how the firmness of a mattress can affect your sleeping position and proper support and how it relates to spine support and sleeping positions:
- Softest (Levels 1 to 3): Because of the softness of this firmness level, the foam closely conforms to the body, relieving pressure points and keeping the spine aligned. It’s highly recommended for side sleepers because they have more pronounced pressure points, particularly in the shoulders and hips. But the flip side is that many people feel that it provides too much contouring and sink which induce excessive spine curvature.
- Medium (Levels 4 to 6): This firmness level offers the best support because it provides enough body contouring. Also, it reduces pressure points without excessive sinking. With a medium-firm mattress, spinal alignment is best maintained. Almost all types of sleepers tend to do well with this mattress firmness level.
- Firm (Levels 7 to 10): This mattress-firmness level offers sufficient support even if it doesn't provide deep body contouring properties offered by softer mattresses. Firm mattresses still have adequate cushioning to prevent pressure points. Some stomach and back sleepers find this firmness prevents the abdomen from sinking deeply into the mattress.
Consider Your Sleeping Position
When choosing the right mattress for you, it's important to consider your sleeping position. For side sleepers, they have exaggerated pressure points, particularly at the hips and shoulders. That's why you need to consider buying a slightly softer mattress to cushion these pressure points, keeping the spine in the correct position.
Back sleepers tend to sleep in a position that is good for the spine. However, they don't need support around the lower back, making sure that the lower back's natural curve doesn't get exaggerated in all directions. That's why back sleepers choose a mattress in the 4 to 7 range in terms of firmness level.
On the other hand, stomach sleepers should avoid buying mattresses with too much and excessive sink. The abdomen and pelvis usually sink as compared to other parts of your body, putting your body in an unhealthy shape. Most stomach sleepers get the most support and comfort from mattresses in the 4 to 7 firmness level.
People who are considered combination sleepers are those who regularly sleep in two or more positions. Get the best results by choosing a medium-firm mattress (or 4 to 6 range). A medium-firm mattress can provide comfort in different sleeping positions and superior flexibility.
Consider Your Weight When Choosing the Right Mattress
Mattresses also respond to your body weight and pressure. Your weight can influence how your mattress feels, and it affects the firmness level you need to get a restful night's sleep. If you weigh less than 130 pounds, choosing a mattress closer to the softer end of mattress firmness scale is a good idea. It's because a very firm mattress offers much contouring for a sleeper at this weight. They benefit from pressure point relief with a more plush mattress firmness (levels 2 to 5).
For sleepers who weigh 130 to 230 pounds do best with levels 4 to 6 or medium-firm mattress. At this mattress firmness level, there's enough cushioning. It creates a supportive and comfortable sleep surface without the risks from a firmer or softer design.
Sleepers weighing more than 230 pounds sleep well to a firmer mattress design which ranges from 6 to 8 on the mattress firmness scale. Heavier people tend to put more pressure on the mattress, and the level of sink becomes exaggerated on soft mattresses. With a firmer model of a mattress, it gives cushioning without risking the comfort layer of the bottom which offer sufficient support.
Choose a Comfortable Mattress For Your Back Pain
Make your bedroom a more comfortable place to stay by upgrading your mattress. You're likely sleeping on a wrong mattress if you have developed chronic back pain. Poor sleeping posture and an inappropriate firmness level of the mattress may affect your comfort level and may cause chronic back pain. That's why it's high time to replace your old mattress with a new one.
Chiropractic treatment and choosing the best mattress can help in addressing sleeping and back pain problems. Because comfort and firmness levels are subjective, it's important to test the mattress if you're buying in a physical store or check reviews if you're buying online.
It's best to take advantage of online mattress stores or sellers offering a money-back guarantee or returns policy for buyer's remorse. In that way, you can always return the item within the buyer's remorse period if you're not comfortable or satisfied with the mattress you just bought.
If you have back pain, medium-firm latex mattresses or memory foam are better choices. These sleep surfaces don’t force your spine to curve in unnatural positions. Memory foam allows your body parts to sink while still providing good support in body areas needing it.
Choosing the Right Mattress When You're Pregnant
Nausea, heartburn, back pain, and anxiety are common during pregnancy which adds to discomfort and trouble getting restful sleep. Hormonal changes can lead to leg cramps, sleep apnea, and snoring.
That's why you need to invest in a high-quality mattress for superior comfort and undisturbed sleep. When you're planning to get pregnant or if you’re pregnant, it's important to select the right mattress that’s best for your condition.
Here are some tips when choosing the perfect mattress to use during pregnancy:
- Choose a comfortable mattress that offers great body support and extra cushioning, so your body can rest faster, especially at night.
- The great choices of mattress materials include latex, memory foam, and hybrid, adjusting according to the body's natural body shape even after you’ve just given birth. These materials reduce back pressure and the tension and pressure on your shoulders and knees when you side sleep.
- Pregnant women are either cold or hot sleepers. Choose a mattress with cooling technology if you're a hot sleeper for a more comfortable sleep. Look for 'gel-infused memory foam'. Also, an open-cell structure feature will promote proper air circulation through the mattress to help regulate body temperature, avoid sweating and help you cool down.
- Medium firmness is also recommended for pregnant women because of increased nighttime urination or nocturia. This condition is normal during pregnancy because the growing fetus tends to put pressure on the bladder which increases the frequency of urination. Medium firmness offers easy access so you can easily get out of bed with less effort. A too-firm mattress can hurt your back while a too-soft mattress can get you to sink, making it harder for you to get out of bed.
- Durability and good motion transfer should be considered when you’re planning to buy a new mattress for pregnancy. The growing fetus inside the womb adds weight to the mattress, along with the mother’s extra weight as a result of pregnancy. That’s why a mattress should provide good support.
Where to buy
Once you apply the tips mentioned above, you'll be able to choose the right mattress depending on your comfort level and sleeping position.
You can off course try one of the many online 'bed in a box' suppliers such as Koala, Sleeping Duck and ecosa however you may decide it is best to use retailers with physical stores to find Australia's favourite beds & mattresses. If you go into a store you can try out the mattresses and either buy then and there or online later.