The mattress business is booming with new and more innovative brands coming up by the day. They come with a hefty price tag and the promise to give you a good night sleep. They offer hybrid mattresses, cooling gels and customized sleep settings which can be confusing when you’re trying to buy a mattress. We all need somewhere comfortable and cozy to sleep in so the demand is always high. That’s why there are so many mattress stores. It’s a basic needs market. Here is a mattress buying guide that will make it a lot easier for you to make the right decision.
First things first, what are indications that you need a new mattress?
- Age of the mattress
If your mattress is between 7-12 years old, it’s time you got rid of it and got a new one. This, however, depends on your budget and pain tolerance.
- Sagging and body impressions
Did you know that you should rotate your mattress 2-4 times a year? If you don’t, you end up with a huge crater in the middle of your mattress or with one side of your mattress wearing off faster than the other. If your mattress is sagging without any weight on it, ditch it and get a new one because you are sleeping on a compromised mattress.
Get a foundation that is solid and doesn’t have any give to it. It must meet the criteria of your mattress warranty.
- Aches and pains
If you are experiencing lower and upper back pain, it might be your mattress that is causing it.
Types of mattresses
- Memory foam mattresses
This type of mattress is becoming more popular in recent times. It has a durable plastic substance (Polyurethane) that responds to the pressure and heat of your body and is supposed to conform to it. You tend to sink in the mattress when you lie on it which makes it harder to turn. Another disadvantage is that it has this plastic smell when new and it feels hot when you sleep on it The good thing about this mattress is that you can’t feel the movements of your co-sleeper, therefore, there are fewer sleep interruptions.
- Natural Latex
It’s made using serum from rubber trees then processed in two methods which are either Dunlop which is firmer or Talalay which yields a softer mattress and hence more expensive. Most manufacturers will use both methods to layer a mattress and create a more customized feel.
- Synthetic latex mattresses
They are less expensive than natural latex mattresses but they are blended with other chemicals.
- Adjustable air mattresses
These ones allow you to control the firmness of your mattress. However, these are not the plastic ones you throw on the floor while camping. Adjustable mattresses are the kinds that are filled with pockets of air called air bladders surrounded with foam. Many come with added material like foam or jell tops for extra comfort. They are most suitable for people with neck and back pain and those with arthritis. They are also great for side and back sleepers. You can customize half of the side of the bed to any level of firmness you want at any time with a remote control while lying on the bed. The foam support that divides the two sides may be uncomfortable to roll over. Before you buy it, test how quickly and quietly it adjusts. Adjusting the firmness may disrupt your partner.
- Innerspring mattresses
It has steel springs coiled inside the mattress. Many manufacturers of this classic type of mattress are offering hybrid models adding several inches of cushioning, foam or padding or jell infused foam layers above the inner springs. This type of mattress is better than the others for side sleepers. They are easier to move on compared to memory foam mattresses because they offer more bounce. On the downside, some models can transmit bounciness making you feel the movements of your partner.
Mattress Buying tips
- Choose a mattress that’s firm yet still comfortable
You want a mattress that will support your spine but still allow it to maintain its natural curve. A mattress that too firm may be more durable but less comfortable and may end up giving you back pain and spine issues.
- Bring your pillow from home
You want to feel how nice it will feel when you take that mattress home. Your pillow will help you make a better decision.
- What type of sleeper are you?
If you are a back sleeper, ensure that the mattress you intend to buy meets the curve of your lower back.
For side sleepers, your hips and shoulders should be pressure free and not sink in too far. This can throw your spine into an uncomfortable shape. Try rolling into a different position and note if it’s easy. Tell someone else to lie next to you and move around to be able to know how if you’ll feel their movements.
- Observe if you feel any aches or pains
Lie on the bed for about 15 minutes and observe how you feel. If you feel pain at your happiest point ie elbows, waist or along your collar bone, then that mattress is too firm. Aches, numbness or tingling means that the mattress is too soft for you.
- Check for roominess
The largest mattress is the king at 76X80 inches. California kings are not as big as kings but they are longer at 72X84 inches. Queen size is 60X80 inches, full or double beds are 53X75 inches and twins are 38X75 inches.
Those are the basics that you need to know when you’re buying a new mattress. Remember that mattress choice is a highly personal one so choose what you feel is best for you and your partner. This is a long term investment because you’ll have the mattress for years so choose wisely.