Did you know that the average person spends around 26 years sleeping over the course of their life? They spend another seven years lying in bed, trying to fall asleep. Since sleep is known to boost mental health, physical wellbeing (including immunity and fertility), and we spend nearly a third of our lifetime snoozing, finding a great mattress is a worthy investment.
Do I Really Need a New Mattress?
Generally, mattresses last five to 10 years, depending on the material. According to Sleepopolis pillow top mattresses last around seven years total, innersprings/coils eight, hybrids and memory foam 10, and latex 12.
Even if your mattress isn’t near its expiry date, there could be other signs it needs replacing. If you sleep better when you’re on a hotel mattress than at home, your mattress feels sunken or lumpy, or if you’re routinely waking up with a stiff, sore back, it’s probably time to look for a new one.
What Medical Professionals Say
A mattress that will minimize pressure points in key areas like your back and shoulders is going to help your comfort levels and allow you to sleep better. Dr. Leigh Hanke, Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedics at Yale School of Medicine Women’s Health told Women’s Health Magazine, “The general concept when thinking about buying a mattress is that low back pain can be alleviated by supporting your back with a mattress that is on the firmer end of the spectrum rather than softer or squishier.”
Don’t Rush It
If your current mattress is letting you down it can be tempting to head over to your local furniture store and make a quick decision, hoping for immediate relief. Don’t end up with buyer’s regret! When you decide it’s time to invest in a mattress and you’ve made your short list, go and try out the mattresses for at least 10 minutes to determine that you aren’t feeling any pressure or pain. A properly supportive mattress will not create pressure points, period.
Finding the Right Firmness to Properly Support Your Weight
When exploring this facet of mattress shopping you can use your weight range as a good starting point for looking for the right fit. Most beds are built for people with an average weight of 180lbs, so those who are significantly lighter, say under 150 pounds, may want to go with a lower than average firmness rating of three to four for a softer mattress. People weighing 150 to 200 pounds should begin looking for a mattress with a standard five to six rating of firmness. People weighing more than 200 pounds may find that they have more pressure points and want to avoid a softer mattress because it makes them sink. They should try a mattress with a slightly above average firmness rating of six plus. Additionally, a mattress that is more than 12 inches thick will provide additional support.
When You and Your Partner Can’t Agree on a Mattress
Everyone has unique support needs and people sharing a bed don’t always agree on what feels best to sleep on. The good news is, you don’t need to compromise. For those who can’t align their mattress choice with their partner look no further than the Sprout Zip N Link which allows you to combine two singles, but still XL mattresses. This lets you share a bed, but not sacrifice any comfort.
Which Type of Mattress is Best for You?
While it’s best to try out the different types of offerings available to see what works best for you, there are some general trends that you might find helpful as a jumping off point.
Latex – If you’re a hot sleeper and need to cool down, a latex mattress may be best for you. Latex mattresses are known for bounce and comfort.
Pocket Coils/Innerspring – If you sleep on the edge of the bed, and want better support, a pocket coil mattress may work for you. This traditional mattress provides a great bounce. The more coils in the mattress, the better the support offered. Side sleepers may find that innerspring provide better pressure relief than other mattresses, whereas stomach sleepers like the firm, hugging support. People who either are restless sleepers or share a bed with a restless sleeper should try an innerspring bed to avoid disturbing each other.
Memory Foam – Is best for those who want body shaping contour, support, and pressure relief in their mattress. Some side sleepers say that the body shaping contour of memory foam provides the proper support for sound sleep. The hugging quality of this mattress is also said to be worth trying for stomach sleepers.
Pillow Top – Those who want extra cushion and softness in their mattress, look no further! Pillow top mattresses are sold in coil, latex, memory, or hybrid materials.
Hybrids – This is a combination or ‘the best of all the worlds’ of mattress types and is said to minimize the drawbacks of any type of mattress. These provide a combination of cooling, comfort, support, and bounce. It’s suggested that back sleepers look for a middle of the road, firm mattress to meet their needs.
Those who are prone to allergies are best to look at foam or latex mattresses since they are antimicrobial and resist both mold and dust mites.
Are you concerned about the use of chemicals in your mattress? Consider foam mattresses that are certified by CertPUR-US (Insert link). Mattresses made with natural materials like silk, cotton, wool, and latex, and are vegetable-dyed are a safe bet.
People suffering from back pain who need the most possible support should try a mattress made up of memory foam, latex, or a hybrid mattress to ensure maximum support.
Before Heading Out
Remember that price doesn’t mean quality, but also that this is not a place to cut corners. Your sleep and health literally depend on it! Shop sales and work with what works for you and your budget. Saving up and paying a little more for a mattress that’s just right will keep you happy and comfortable longer, resulting in a lower cost per sleep for your mattress. For those looking for a King or California King sized mattress, expect a price tag of at least one third more than for standard Double or Queen-sized mattresses.