Does mattress shopping give you a major headache? You're definitely not alone. The sheer number of mattress types, comfort levels, designs, and materials on the market can make anyone's head spin. But don't worry, we're here to help you out.
In this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know about how to choose the right mattress for you. We'll touch on the types of mattresses available, comfort levels, sleeping positions, budgeting, and more. In just a few minutes, you'll know exactly how to select the right mattress. Let's get right into it!
Is It Time for a New Mattress?
Before you go through the rigamarole of choosing a new mattress, it's essential to ask yourself one question: do you actually need a new mattress?
There are certain signs that indicate it's time for a replacement, and here are the most influential:
- Your mattress is more than 7 years old.
- Your mattress is sagging or lumpy in certain areas.
- You feel generally uncomfortable after lying down in bed and can't find a good sleeping position.
- You prefer hotel mattresses or any other mattress that isn't your own.
- You notice lots of noise when you get into or out of bed.
- Your mattress is emitting an odor that you're unable to get rid of.
- Your allergies are worse when you're around your mattress.
- You wake up with back, neck, or other unspecified body pain.
- Your needs are changing, and your mattress is no longer comfortable.
If any of the above statements resonate with you, it's probably time for a new mattress. But don't worry, the process isn't nearly as daunting as it may seem at first. With just a little bit of research (and the information and tips we'll share in this article), you'll be able to find the perfect mattress in no time.
Get To Know Your Mattress Options
After deciding that it is time for a new mattress, your next step is getting to know the different types of mattresses on the market. In recent years, there's been an explosion of new mattress types and materials, so it's more important than ever to do your research before making a purchase.
Here are some of the most popular types of mattresses available today:
- Memory foam mattresses are made from layers of pressure-relieving foam that contour to your body. They're ideal for people who suffer from chronic body pain, as they provide excellent support and can help to relieve pressure points. They are also durable and long-lasting (10+ years). For most people, there's nothing that can compare to the comfort of a good memory foam mattress, much less gel memory foam mattresses (which keep you both cool and comfy).
- Innerspring mattresses feature a metal coil support system. These coils provide a bouncy feel that many people enjoy, and they're also very supportive. Innerspring mattresses come in a variety of comfort levels. However, you won't get the same level of body contouring with an innerspring mattress as you would with a memory foam mattress.
- Latex mattresses are composed of natural or synthetic latex. They are known for their bouncy feel and their longevity (10 years or more). Latex is also biodegradable and hypoallergenic, making it a godsend for people with allergies.
- Hybrid mattresses combine multiple mattress materials. They may feature a layer of memory foam or latex over coils, memory foam layers along with latex, or some other combination of materials. For that reason, it can be tough to pin down the feel of a hybrid mattress. However, the best of them are incredibly supportive and comfortable.
This is not an exhaustive list of mattress types, but it covers the most popular options. As you can see, there's a lot to choose from, and that's before we even get into comfort levels, sizes, and other factors.
Consider Your Sleeping Position
Your sleeping position is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a mattress. If you sleep on a mattress that's incompatible with your sleeping position, you'll experience all of the worst side effects of a bad mattress: body pain, tossing and turning all night, poor sleep quality, etc.
Here's a quick rundown of the different sleeping positions and which types of mattresses are best for each:
Side Sleepers: If you're a side sleeper, you need a mattress that's soft enough to provide pressure relief for your hips and shoulders, but not so soft that your spine isn't properly supported. The best mattress type for side sleepers is medium soft to medium firm memory foam - it delivers serious support right where side sleepers need it. Latex and hybrid mattresses may also work, but they just don't compare to memory foam for side sleepers.
Back Sleepers: It may seem like if you sleep on your back, you might have it easier when it comes to finding a comfortable mattress. However, back sleepers actually have very specific mattress needs. They need a mattress that's not too soft (which can cause the hips to sink too far down, putting the spine out of alignment) and not too firm (which can cause the back to arch uncomfortably). The ideal mattress for back sleepers is medium firm to firm memory foam or latex.
Stomach Sleepers: Sleeping on your stomach is hard on your spine, as it can cause the lower back to arch too far. For that reason, stomach sleepers need a mattress that's on the firmer side - medium firm, firm, or even very firm. Memory foam and latex mattresses both work for stomach sleepers, as long as they're on the firm side.
Consider Your Body Weight
Your body weight is another important factor to consider when choosing a mattress. Heavier individuals need a firmer mattress in order to prevent sinking. Lighter people can go for softer mattresses, provided that their sleeping position doesn't call for a firmer one. In general, people who weigh more than 225 pounds should look for a medium firm, firm, or very firm mattress,
What's Your Budget?
It goes without saying that mattresses aren't cheap. In fact, a high-quality mattress can set you back several thousand dollars. But that doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune to get a good mattress. There are plenty of affordable options out there - just zero in on your ideal mattress type and firmness and get to researching.
As a general rule, innerspring mattresses are the most affordable mattresses available. Memory foam mattresses are mid-range in price, and latex mattresses come in at a higher price point. Hybrid mattresses fall somewhere in the middle, though they can lean more toward the expensive end depending on the materials used.
Keep in mind that you usually get what you pay for when it comes to mattresses. Cheaper mattresses may need to be replaced more frequently, and they may not provide the same level of comfort and support as their more expensive counterparts. With that said, there are plenty of affordable mattresses that are still high quality - it just takes a little bit of time and attention to find them.
Do You Need to Test a Mattress Out in Person?
In the past, people had to physically go to a store and lie down on a mattress to know whether or not it was comfortable. Thanks to the internet, that's no longer the case. These days, you can order a mattress online and try it out in the comfort of your own home. Most companies offer a sleep trial period during which you can return the mattress for a full refund if you're not happy with it.
That said, some people still prefer to test out mattresses in person before they buy. If that's the case for you, go to a store that offers a wide variety of mattresses so you can try out multiple and get a feel for what you like and dislike.
The Importance of Customer Reviews
When shopping for a mattress online, it's important to read customer reviews before making a purchase. Customer reviews can give you a good idea of what to expect from a mattress in terms of comfort, support, durability, and more. Take individual comments with a grain of salt, as everyone's experience with a product will be unique. However, if you notice any trends, pay attention to them.
Other Things to Consider Before Choosing a Mattress
Along with the above factors, there are a few other things you should keep in mind before choosing a mattress. These include:
- The size of the mattress. If you already have a frame, take note of its size so that your mattress will fit. If you don't have a frame, measure your space to avoid bringing home a mattress that's too big or too small.
- What you'll be using the mattress for. Will you be using it for sleeping only, or will you also be using it for activities like working or watching TV in bed? Is the mattress for a guest room? That will determine whether a traditional mattress or a specialized one (RV mattress, air bed, etc.) is best.
- Whether you want extra features. Some mattresses come with built-in pillows, cooling technology, and other bells and whistles. Whether or not you want those features is entirely up to you.
Gel Memory Foam Mattresses Are a Safe Bet
Need a little guidance to help you decide? A gel memory foam mattress is always a safe bet. Gel memory foam mattresses check all the boxes: they're comfortable, cool, supportive, and durable. Plus, they're suitable for all types of sleepers - whether you sleep on your side, stomach, or back. But that's not all - gel memory foam mattresses are also reasonably affordable, making them ideal for anyone who's on a budget. Just ensure that the one you end up choosing is made with quality materials and comes with a lifetime warranty.
As you can see, there are several things to mull over before choosing a mattress. By taking the time to think about what your body needs for a good night's sleep, as well as what you want in your sleeping oasis, you can be sure to find the perfect mattress for you. And we hope that this article has given you the tools and information to do just that!
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