Choosing the right mattress type for you
Here are a few guidelines to follow when shopping for a mattress.
Air Filled Mattresses
As far as support is concerned, air-filled mattresses offer just the right type of padding since they can be customized to your liking. Unlike a box spring set or a traditional mattress, this model is equipped with an air-filled core instead of wood framing and metal springs. Depending on the mattress model, the core can either consist of one single air-filled compartment or several air pockets. When choosing your mattress, bear in mind that air-filled ones have been shown to largely reduce pressure points since your body weight is evenly distributed over the entire surface. This type of mattress additionally optimizes a feeling of weightlessness which can promote relaxation.
There are still a few drawbacks when it comes to this model. When shopping for your mattress, remember that air-filled ones provide less support than foam or spring units, which can be an issue for elderly people. Over time, these mattresses tend to leak air which means that you might need to occasionally adjust and refill them.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Originally designed by NASA, the memory foam mattress is a solid favorite for anyone who prefers a lot of support. Highly endorsed by physiotherapists, chiropractors and physicians, memory foam mattresses can easily adjust to your body shape, consequently relieving the pressure points.
When choosing your memory foam mattress, don’t hesitate to sit or lie down on it first because these mattresses are available in different degrees of firmness.
Memory foam mattresses have also been known to provide adequate support to the legs, knees, shoulders, back and neck while reducing spinal pressure. This model is a definite option to consider if you’re choosing a new mattress because it additionally boosts blood circulation.
On the flip side, however, buying a memory foam mattress may not be your best option if you’re sharing your bed with someone else because this model tends to mold to your body shape, resulting in uneven surfaces across the mattress. Memory foam also absorbs body temperature which can be an issue for anyone who prefers to like down on a cooler surface.
If you’re shopping for a new mattress, don’t hesitate to test innerspring models as well. Bear in mind that there are different types of innerspring mattresses. These normally consist of three different layers:
- Upholstery: This refers to the upper mattress layer which is traditionally made of fibers or foam. In most cases, the upholstery is thick and quilted to deliver optimal comfort.
- The Foundation: This is the innerspring mattress’ main structure and provides support to the spring layer. It is commonly made of wool.
- The core: These types of mattresses have a base which consist entirely of springs that boast various levels of thickness.
Innerspring mattresses are ideal for anyone looking for a firm surface. In fact, if you’re looking for a cheap but good-quality mattress, this might just be the model for you. Best of all, they are constructed in such a way so as to last for several decades and consequently have a longer lifeline than other types of mattresses. They also tend to maintain their shape and are extremely resistant to wear and tear. Still, it is important to remember that these mattresses do provide the ideal conditions for dust mites because their layers mainly consist of fiber and wool. Innerspring mattresses are also on the heavier side, which might be an issue as far as cleaning is considered.
Levels of Firmness
When choosing a mattress type, it is additionally important to consider its level of firmness. The most popular choices are latex, firm and plush mattresses. Of course, the best way to choose what level of firmness works best for you is to actually try out the mattress. Opting for a firm mattress can actually optimize a neutral-spine position, which will largely minimize aches and pains. These types of mattresses are best suited to elderly or overweight individuals who will derive largely from the added support. Firmer sleep surfaces have also been shown to help people suffering from joint aches since these mattresses allow the veins and arteries to relax, hence boosting circulation. If you suffer from sleep apnea, it’s highly recommended to go for harder mattresses because they stop your lower back from sinking into the surface, which in turn allows you to breathe in more oxygen.
While most people need a few days to get used to hard mattresses, softer ones provide instant comfort as soon as you stretch out on it. Still, the soft surfaces do encourage your back to collapse which can be detrimental to oxygen absorption, causing snoring and potential sleep apnea. This is why some people choose to go for plush medium mattresses which can provide just the right balance as far as the degree of firmness is concerned.
Review and Compare
When choosing the right mattress type for you, it is equally important to take the time to properly compare various models beforehand. As tempting as it is to buy the first comfortable mattress that you try out, bear in mind that this is a long-term investment so don’t hesitate to draw parallels between the prices, levels of comfort, degree of firmness and the likes. It is always a good idea to read as many reviews as you can prior to buying your mattress, which will undoubtedly help you make the best choice.
Consider your Bed Type
This is the one factor which is often overlooked when choosing a mattress. However, since the bed provides support to the mattress, your bed should directly influence the type of mattress you opt for. Antique metal or wrought iron beds, for instance, cannot properly accommodate thinner and soft mattresses at the risk of being acutely uncomfortable. These types of beds are more suited to heavy spring mattresses since they provide a thick layer between your body and the metal bed slats. On the other hand, contemporary platform beds go extremely well with plush and softer mattresses.
Of course, since there is no way to test the mattress directly on your bed before buying it, do ask about comfort guarantees when buying a new mattress. These guarantees are offered by several stores and enable you to exchange the mattress after a certain number of weeks if you’re unhappy with its comfort level. In these cases, remember that your body needs at least 10 to 15 days to adjust to a new sleeping surface. Don’t hesitate to inquire about the warranty policies and conditions before you buy a mattress in order to familiarize yourself with the conditions of purchase beforehand.