You’re tired. You’re cranky. Your joints are stiff, and your neck is tight. It is officially time for you to toss your old mattress and start shopping for a new one.
You may have been in this predicament before, only to give up when the time comes to choose the new mattress. With so many options, it’s natural for decision fatigue to set in and stop you in your shopping tracks. Before you know it, you’re right back where you started: tossing and turning on a mattress that should have been out on the curb months ago.
While feeling indecisive is entirely understandable, it’s no reason for you to continue to suffer. It’s essential to get one that will work best for your needs. Here’s how to pick out the best mattress for you:
The Right Support for Your Body Type
You might be tempted to pick a firmness level out of a hat or plop down on a friends’ mattress and say, “yup, this works!” That would be a mistake, however.
It’s vital to consider your personal body type before committing to a mattress. Weight plays a significant role. Someone who weighs over 200 pounds will receive completely different support than someone who weighs under 150 pounds.
When you’re shopping, remember that firmness levels do matter, but factoring in your body type does as well. “Medium firmness” will feel different to someone twice your size than it does to you.
Since you’re shopping around, consider your height as well. If your feet have been hanging over the edge of a standard twin mattress, upgrading to a full size won’t offer much more comfort since they are the same length. In this case, you would need to pick out a queen-size mattress or larger.
Your Position Plays a Role
Even if you’ve been tossing and turning, you probably settle into one of the most common sleeping positions: side, back, or stomach.
If you’re a side sleeper:
You’re putting additional pressure on your hips and shoulders in this position, so your mattress needs to have a little give. A softer mattress that contours to your body is best.
If you’re a back sleeper:
Your spine needs extra support to stay properly aligned if you sleep on your back. Choose a firm mattress to maximize your comfort.
If you’re a stomach sleeper:
Sinking into your mattress while laying on your stomach will quickly lead to back pain and overall discomforts. It’s essential to avoid a too-soft mattress if this is how you fall asleep.
Most firmness is rated on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the firmest. While 5-7 seems to be the sweet spot for most people, it’s best to test the mattress out for yourself.
Not only can the firmness vary somewhat between mattress companies, what feels hard or soft to one person will feel different for another. The firmness scale is a great guideline, but nothing beats lying down and seeing what it feels like for you.
There are several types of mattresses out there, but these three are the most common that you will be choosing from:
This traditional mattress design contains a system of coils and springs inside to create support. The space between the coils can allow for airflow that hot sleepers will love, and this type is usually an affordable option.
Innerspring mattresses do not provide the same contouring benefits as other kinds, though, so side sleepers might opt for something different.
These mattresses are well known for conforming to the body and relieving pressure on the joints. They can also be hypoallergenic.
On the other hand, some memory foam mattresses trap your body heat, making staying asleep more difficult. They are also very heavy and might have an unpleasant odor at first.
Suppose you’re torn between the traditional cooling appeal of innerspring and the pressure point relief of memory foam. In that case, a hybrid mattress will combine the best of both worlds.
Sleeping alone vs. with a partner can completely change your mattress shopping experience. If you share your bed with someone, you might have to compromise on firmness and other features to find what works for you both.
You’re now ready to make a decision but remember the importance of experiencing the mattresses in person and working with a salesperson who can competently answer all your questions. To find your perfect match, heading to your local, family-owned shop is your best bet.