Shopping for a new mattress can sometimes feel like shopping for a new car – sales people swoop down on the uniformed. Considering that we spend about 1/3 of their lives sleeping, it’s certainly worth it to do the research and learn how to choose a mattress that suits our needs. With the right mattress, you can shut down your system properly and reboot in the morning, enabling you to function optimally throughout the day.
Nobody likes waking up feeling like they transformed into a zombie over night, but a restless night can certainly make you feel that way. Obviously, the firmness or softness of a mattress is important, but there’s more to it than just that. Dr. Arya Nick Shamie, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center’s associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery, told WebMD that if a mattress doesn’t provide a person’s body with the proper support and alignment, it can lead to pain, discomfort and poor sleep. When a mattress is too soft, a person’s main pressure points aren’t receiving the right support. If it’s too firm, it can push too much on those pressure points. What is too soft for one person can be too firm for another. Additionally, certain health conditions or other factors should also be considered.
Types of Mattresses
The different types of mattresses available are plentiful, and they all tout their many reasons for being better than another type. But what’s good for the goose may not be good for the gander – each type comes with its own set of pros and cons. When people know how to choose a mattress that’s ideal for them, they’ll no longer feel like a George A. Romero character when they wake up – rather, they can feel refreshed and lively.
- Innerspring: This type is made up of coil springs that are individually enclosed. While these have been the most commonly used for some time, their construction quality has degraded in recent years. The cheapest coil mattresses should be avoided in particular as they typically don’t provide enough support, warns WebMD’s sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD.
- Latex: Latex mattresses offer various firmness levels and provide good support with bounce that is consistent throughout. Latex conforms to the body, relieving pressure points. Many people consider latex to be the ideal choice because they’re built well with minimal chemical contents.
- Gel: Gel has become an increasingly popular choice – it has similar characteristics to latex, offering the ideal amount of pressure without there being any pressure points. It can increase comfort and promotes a deep slumber. Gel is also completely non-toxic and won’t age or lose its elasticity.
- Memory Foam: Memory foam works much like latex, but is made of layers of different densities that respond to body temperature and weight. For people with muscle pain or chronic fatigue, this may be an especially good choice. However, due to its contents, memory foam can get quite warm.
When figuring out how to choose a mattress, keep in mind that a restful night of sleep is dependent on more than just the bed. The temperature of the room, or stress levels can play a big role in quality of sleep. That being said, a good mattress is at the core of healthy sleep promotion. While stress and room temperature can’t always be controlled to suit each person at all times, the right mattress can always be there, beckoning you to sleep the day’s cares away.