A good’s night sleep is sometimes all we ever wish for. It would help us power through the day and get things done without feeling tired or sluggish. It would also help reduce our stress and in turn, provide better nights of sleep and increase our productivity.
There are lots of benefits of sleeping well, that’s why a lot of people do whatever they can to achieve a satisfying night of sleep. They incorporate a routine to their lives, limit screen usage 2 hours before bed, reduce liquid intake before hitting the hay, and set up a pleasant, sleep-encouraging environment.
When it comes to sleep-encouraging environments, one of the most straightforward factors to control is your mattress. The right mattress will surely help you achieve a good, deep sleep.
This article is a comprehensive guide that will tackle the ins and outs of how to choose a mattress based on the following tips and steps.
We’ll be discussing the significant factors that you should consider before you choose your mattress. These are the things that should heavily influence your right mattress of choice. We’ll also be discussing tips and tricks that will help you choose what beds are best from all your options.
What to consider when shopping for a mattress
There are lots of things to consider, to find out what mattress is best. For this particular guide, we decided to focus on the significant factors that affect most mattress buyers.
When should you buy a new mattress
The lifespan of a mattress largely depends on its construction, manufacturing, usage and care. However, the Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every 7-10 years. So if your bed is way past that lifespan, and you can see visible effects of wear and tear, it’s probably time to buy a new one.
Take note, though, that latex mattresses are highly durable, and memory foam mattresses fair well when it comes to durability. In contrast, innerspring mattresses are less durable than other types of mattresses and would need to be replaced more frequently.
Where should you buy a new mattress
There are two options where you can buy a new mattress: the store or online. There’s no option that is better than the other—it’s merely a matter of preference and circumstance. With that being said, we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of each option.
Aside from the most obvious reason that online shopping is safer nowadays, with the ongoing pandemic, it will allow you to have an insight to the feedbacks of previous buyers. This quality is absent with physical stores as you won’t be able to read reviews of other buyers.
The feedbacks section of online stores will exceptionally be helpful to you, as it will confirm or negate the advertisements of the sellers. After all, not all things are precisely as advertised. Through the comments section, you can gain unbiased and truthful information about the mattress that you are buying.
Online shopping for mattresses will also offer a wider variety of options. It is more convenient and stress-free as you can buy the mattresses without driving to multiple stores just to get a wide number of options.
The disadvantage, though, is that online shopping will only be through words and pictures. You have to trust the reviewers’ word for it because you won’t be able to feel and sample the mattresses in person.
The great thing about buying through a physical store is that you are able to feel and test the mattress physically. It’s the good old traditional route of lying down in mattresses in the store and seeing which mattress fits your fancy.
The demerit is that you’re only really sampling the mattress, and it’s probably not a good way of testing the long-term performance of the mattress. This can be solved if you are incredibly confident in lying down on mattresses by the store and have ample time to spend on each mattress. But even then, it still won’t be enough.
We encourage you to lie down on each mattress according to your sleeping position. Don’t lie back-down if you’re a side sleeper. Don’t rest side-down in a pose if you’re a back sleeper.
The first thing that you should do is to set a budget. How much are you willing to spend for a mattress? That price range should already be decided even before you walk into a store, and get persuaded to buy a mattress that is way more expensive than the amount that you can afford.
A new mattress can range up to thousands of dollars, and you need to be incredibly smart with your purchase. A mattress is an investment, and you need to consider its durability, firmness level, level of comfort and support, as well as thickness and softness to determine which mattress is the best for you and your budget.
Here are some pointers to remember when it comes to buying a mattress relative to your budget:
- Don’t go for the cheapest mattress
You do not want to buy a mattress that is dirt cheap, especially if you are buying online. These are probably low-quality mattresses that will sag and tear over just a few months. They are also apparently made with toxic materials and will provide poor quality of sleep.
- Don’t immediately go for the most expensive option.
While it’s not recommended to buy the cheapest mattress that you find quickly, it’s also not a wise idea to be buying the most expensive mattress in the store. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the more expensive a mattress is, the better your sleep will be. Some mattresses are expensive but hard, like latex mattresses. Some beds are costly, and well-constructed but do not last for a long time.
- Keep in mind the features of the mattress.
New mattress technology has brought us the goodness of mattresses with different styles and features.
Generally speaking, featured mattresses are more expensive than regular mattresses. These could be hypoallergenic mattresses if you are allergy-prone, adjustable mattresses that can be modified to better adapt to your sleeping position, pillow-top beds that have a raised top to serve as the pillow. There are also cooling mattresses for hot temperatures.
Type of mattress
The type of mattress should be one of the preliminary factors that you should already think about, even before going to the store or browsing through catalogues and online listings. This will help to narrow down your options immediately, and to save you the money trouble of being overwhelmed from a ton of mattresses.
You have to make an informed decision, to make sure that you are making a choice that you will be satisfied with.
- Memory foam
Memory foam is extremely popular and widely used in the mattress industry. You’ve probably sampled a lot of them, and your present mattress is perhaps even made of memory foam. This is because it creates a sinking sensation, that will envelop your body and make you feel snug and comfortable in bed.
As the name suggests, memory foam can “imprint” the contours of your body, and tuck it away into memory. It is perfect for pressure relief and provides comfort and support.
The problem with memory foam, though, is that it traps heat. And it’s not a very forgiving mattress material for the summer.
The gel is the solution that counters the heat that is trapped within the memory foam. It is often mixed with other materials (like memory foam) for a cooling effect with the mattress.
Gel, unlike memory foam, will quickly cool and take on the temperature of its surroundings. This is what will produce a cooler temperature for your mattress.
Innerspring mattresses used to be the fad, in earlier decades. But it’s quickly been replaced by memory foam and air mattresses.
The main reason why innerspring mattresses are no longer accessible is that they are not durable and do not fare well in the long-term. However, it was initially favoured because of the comfort it provides, as well as the bounce effect that it has.
Some other disadvantages that pushed innerspring mattresses off the popular charts are the following:
- The bouncy quality is something that other people find to be uncomfortable.
- They are prone to sagging and allergens.
- They are incredibly noisy because of the springs.
Latex mattresses are more expensive, as they are challenging to manufacture and they are incredibly durable. There are different types of latex, according to the amount of natural latex that it has. The more latex within the blend, the more expensive the mattress will be.
Latex has the same benefits as memory foam. However, it provides these benefits to a much lesser effect. While it is favoured for comfort, as well as body contouring, memory foam does it better.
If you’re looking for more natural mattress options, opt for natural latex mattresses that are more naturally made and contain fewer chemicals than memory foam mattresses.
The hybrid mattress type is a mattress that is made with the combination of memory foam and latex. The top 2 inches or more is made of latex, while the bottom layer that faces the bed is made of the more durable latex.
The top layer that is made of memory foam will provide comfort and excellent pressure relief, while the bottom layer latex will ensure that your mattress will last for a long time.
There are also gel and innerspring hybrid mattresses that provide the sturdiness and bounce of the coils while ensuring a cooling and breathable mattress experience.
Airbed mattresses are incredibly fantastic for inconsistent sleepers. If you don’t have a set sleeping position or preference, we recommend airbed mattresses for you. You can easily adjust the softness and level of firmness of the bed by simply adding more air into a chamber of the airbed mattress.
Airbed mattresses can last for up to 8 years until a replacement is needed. This is especially the case if you’ll take good care of your airbed mattress.
Regular airbed mattresses have at least 2 air chambers. Others have 4 or more chambers. The more chambers that your airbed mattress has, the more you can control the firmness of each section.
Your sleeping position
This is the perfect time to ask yourself—what kind of a sleeper are you? Are you with the stomach sleepers who lie in bed face-down? Are you with the side sleepers who prefer sleeping on their right or left sides? Or are you more reasonable, like the back sleepers?
Unbeknownst to many, your sleeping position matters to know the best mattress for you.
- Stomach sleepers
It’s incredibly unhealthy to be one of the stomach sleepers. It puts a strain to the head and the neck and will cause back pain. A lot of health professionals discourage this sleeping position.
If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, however, and find great comfort in it, a mattress that has a neutral firmness level with excellent breathability is highly recommended as well. The neutral firm mattress will provide enough support for your stomach, and the breathability will allow continuous oxygen flow while you sleep.
- Side sleepers
A mattress with a medium-soft firmness level is the one that is recommended for side sleepers. It’s also encouraged to make sure that your mattress is thick and soft enough to provide the right amount of pressure relief on your arm and your shoulder. A thick and soft mattress will prevent you from waking up with sore arms or shoulders.
The right mattress for a side sleeper largely depends on your body weight. Generally speaking, the heavier you are, the thicker and softer your mattress should be.
- Back sleepers
If you are a back sleeper, here are the criteria that you should be looking for: provides a significant level of comfort and support, stable with medium to medium-firm firmness level, and has great pressure relief to prevent back pain.
Most mattresses are designed for back sleepers, and it’s mostly recommended that back sleepers get memory foam mattresses because they’re perfect in alleviating pressure in the pressure points of a back sleeper.
Mattress quality and factors
Here are the following factors that should serve as your criteria when buying your mattress:
- Firmness level
You want something firm enough to provide the right amount of support but is soft enough that you have an ample amount of comfort. When looking into the firmness scale, a mattress that hits within the 5-7 range is perfect. Too firm can lead to back pain.
As a general rule, don’t trust firmness labels too much, as they are usually inaccurate. Trust the online reviews or your gauging instead. This is the purpose of testing mattress sin physical stores.
- Softness level
Like the firmness of the mattress, the softness should also be within the medium to the medium-soft range. Softer doesn’t necessarily mean better for mattresses. You want something that is not too soft that there is no provided support for any parts of your body. You also don’t want something that is too hard that it is no longer comfortable for you.
Like with the firmness of the mattress, it is best to test the softness of the mattress yourself. If you can’t, make sure to read the reviews intensively.
- Level of comfort
When there is one thing to consider about buying a mattress carefully, it is the level of comfort. The more comfortable the bed is, the better your sleep will be. A comfortable mattress will also help you fall asleep quickly, and provide better chances of satisfying, uninterrupted sleep. A comfortable mattress will also reduce the chances of getting back pain.
Here’s an important rule that is often overlooked: the size of your mattress should be perfect for the size of your bed. If you already have a bed, it is best to check the labels to confirm its actual size. This will help you buy the perfect size mattress for your bed. If you are buying a matching bed, make sure that the sizes of your bed and mattress are right for each other.
Aside from the factors that we have listed above, your personal preferences should also be taken into consideration when buying the best mattress for you.
If you are one of those who prefer a bouncier bed, opt for an innerspring mattress that has a significant number of coils. The number of coils will provide a good amount of bounce and support. Most beds now come with pocket springs instead of innerspring and combine memory foam and the springs being classed as a hybrid bed.
While it is recommended to have a firmness level that is within the 5-7 scale, there are still those who prefer a firmer bed, rather than a softer one. In Asian belief, especially, a firmer bed is believed to relieve back pain better than a harder bed.
- Different levels of firmness
Some sleepers prefer different levels of firmness throughout the bed, for different parts of their body. These are people who put pads or pillows under their legs if they prefer a softer surface in that area. We recommend personalized Airbeds for people who prefer sleeping like this.
A cheaper alternative for Airbeds is multi-zone beds that have built-in different firmness level at different zones that correspond to different parts of the body.
This is a comprehensive guide that will help you determine which mattress is best for you and your bed-mate (if you have one). We tackled the different kinds of materials and mattress types, as well as the factors to keep in mind when shopping for your new mattress.