Experts agree that getting enough sleep and maintaining good sleeping habits is one of the key ways to look after your health. And that makes sense, when you think about the fact that we spend a substantial amount of our life sleeping.
Most adults need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep per day, with a slight variation according to age and health. If you also read or watch TV in bed, the amount of use your mattress gets goes up even more.
The fact that we spend so much time using our beds means it’s sensible to invest in a quality mattress. Doing so will not only help to give you good quality sleep, it will also hopefully mean you don’t have to replace it as often.
When choosing a mattress, there are lots of factors to consider before you make a final decision. Foam or springs, soft or firm, standard, or maybe a multifunctional fold out bed? With so many products on the market, it’s easy to get confused!
Here’s a quick guide to the key areas you should think about when it’s time to buy a new mattress.
Which mattress type?
Let’s start with the 5 most common mattress types currently available on the market.
Foam mattresses are made entirely from foam. They don’t contain springboards, and the foam simply ‘hugs’ your body. In recent years, memory foam mattresses have become very popular, with their innovative technology adapting to your body to provide the highest comfort levels. Foam mattresses are often recommended for side sleepers.
Latex mattresses are made from naturally formed latex, so they’re an excellent choice if you’d like to make an eco-conscious purchase. Latex is also recommended for people who get hot in bed, as the material can provide a cooling feel to the body. The natural bounce of latex enables an easy transition between sleeping positions, without making you sink into the mattress.
Innerspring matresses are a popular choice, and have historically dominated the bed market. The bouncy string structure provides the ideal combination of firmness and support, which is suggested for sleepers who tend to rest on their back or stomach. The supportive design also makes a sprung mattress an ideal choice for heavier people; however, this might not be the right option for you if you suffer from pressure point problems.
Hybrid mattresses are relatively new to the industry, and comprise a blend of foam and springs. They’re a great choice if you’re searching for a mattress that will give you some pressure point relief, but also provide sturdy support to the body.
Airbed mattresses are an excellent choice for couples who share a bed and want different firmnesses on each side. This type of mattress allows you to pump air in and out, providing tailor-made support. Airbed mattresses do tend to come with a heftier price tag, due to the unique technology.
How often should you change your mattress?
The general advice on how often to replace your mattress is every 8-10 years.
Regardless of this timeframe, if you notice that your mattress is impacting on the quality of your sleep, has sagged in some areas, or is causing you to wake up with sore muscles, it’s probably time to consider buying a new one.
What is your sleeping position?
The sleeping positions you most often rest in will definitely influence the type of mattress that works best for you.
This might not be something you’ve paid attention to before, but to find the perfect bed to suit your needs, you should work out your preferred sleeping position. Over a period of a few days, jot down the position you were in when you woke up. This might be different when you stir during the night to when you wake in the morning, so try to remember as much as you can. Any information you can collate will help you make a good mattress choice.
What firmness suits you?
In the complex world of mattresses, one firmness doesn’t fit all. There are numerous options, based on how soft or hard a specific surface might feel for you. Generally, mattress firmness is classified into 3 categories.
On the softer side of the spectrum, mattresses can be classified between 3-6/10. This level of firmness is good for light sleepers who are also lighter in weight. This level of softness will make you sink, but it will also provide a smooth and cosy sleeping environment.
Medium firm mattresses are classified between 6-7/10. They provide the perfect balance between a soft structure and the support you’d expect from a harder mattress.
A firm mattress is in the region of 7-10/10. This is a good option for heavier sleepers. A firm mattress will provide the strength and sturdiness your body requires, rather than making you sink and providing you with little support.
The only way to really work out which mattress firmness works best for you is to lie on them. You should always try to test out a mattress before you make a purchase. It’s also a good idea to read mattress guides and reviews to help inform your decision. Finally, remember to set a budget before you start looking at products; it’s easy to get carried away!
A quality mattress can be a significant investment, and naturally you want to get it right first time. Consider these areas at the start of your search and you’ll be well on the way to finding the perfect mattress to provide you with a good night’s sleep.
What’s your top tip for choosing the perfect mattress?