The best mattress for a good night’s sleep
Sleep deprived? Wake up because your sleep thief may be lurking under your covers – your mattress. You spend a lot of time in bed and how well and how long you sleep affects everything in your life. The trouble is, most of us don’t equate our sleep health with our overall health and when we do connect the dots, buying a new mattress is a big, expensive deal – and it’s not something you can afford to make a mistake on.
For most people, comfort is the decision maker but support, durability and health issues are equally important.
It’s time to go mattress shopping if you answer yes to any of the following questions:
- You wake up with achy muscles a few times a week
- You sleep better away from home
- Your mattress’ best feature is the lumps and/or valleys that cause you to roll into you partner
- The fabric on your mattress is worn or torn
- Your mattress 7-10 years old?
“Finding the right mattress isn’t about searching out the highest-tech brand or spending the most money,” writes Stephanie Watson on WebMD. “Instead of focusing on price and brand name, think about what you want in a mattress.”
If it’s been a while since you bought a new mattress, read through our top 3 tips and learn how to test drive a good night’s sleep before you buy.
Concentrate on comfort
To truly know if a mattress is right for you, lie down on it. One manufacturer’s firm is another’s medium/firm – or extra/firm. Pick a focus point – your shoulder, lower back or your hips – and gauge how the mattress feels at that spot. And then lie on it like you lie on your mattress at home. A side sleeper needs extra cushioning in the hip and shoulder, but a back sleeper may need additional lumbar support. There’s no magic mattress that’s best for everyone, but visiting a mattress retailer will help you feel your way to a better night’s sleep.
Hint: If you share your bed with a partner, test mattresses together and discuss what feels good and why.
The difference between supportive & firm
My mother told me the best way to protect my spine was to sleep on a mattress that resembled a butcher’s block. A firm mattress is not necessarily a supportive mattress though. A medium to firm mattresses will likely buffer pressure points better, which allows your muscles to relax and aligns your spine naturally. Your spine is curved naturally and supporting those curves will rejuvenate and revitalize you.
Hint: Ask the sales person lots of questions and be honest about pain issues you’re currently experiencing. The more information you provide, the quicker you’ll find the right mattress for you.
Discuss durability expectations
How long do you expect your mattress to support you? Like all products, your mattress will gradually (over time) lose the ability to buffer pressure points and support your spine properly – that’s natural wear and tear. The Better Sleep Council recommends buying a new mattress every 5-7 years and offers a handy mattress shopping tip sheet.
Remember, a mattress warranty protects against defects in workmanship and materials, which age a mattress faster and must be addressed by the store that sold you the mattress. If you’re not a warranty/receipt keeper, it’s time to start.
Hint: Read mattress reviews online – but maintain perspective. Some review sites are filled with competitors bashing each other, which isn’t helpful to consumers. Visit their social media sites and ask members of their communities for first-hand advice.
- Mattress buying tips
- Best mattress for a bad back
- What’s a latex mattress?
- What’s a hybrid mattress?