How to find the best mattress for a good night's sleep
You'll be sleeping on your mattress for years, and your comfort (and ability to get a good night's rest) will affect your quality of life. That's why it's important to get the best mattress you can afford. Here are simple tips on how to choose a mattress that gives you the best value for your money.
KNOW YOUR PREFERENCES
Some people like their mattresses to be firm and solid. Others like a little bounce. It's a personal choice, and different kinds of mattresses cater to these individual preferences. There are four kinds of materials: innerspring, foam, latex and those that are filled with air. Each give you a different kind of experience.
GET A BOUNCY BED WITH AN INNERSPRING MATTRESS
These mattresses have metal coils. The thinner coils (generally size 18) compress very well for a mattress that compresses tightly and adjusts to your weight. This is best if you're sleeping alone, because you'll feel every movement.
If you're sharing a bed, are a light sleeper, or are on the heavier side, look for thicker coils about the size of 12 to 14. You should also look for a mattress that has pocketed coils (or, in layman's terms, covered with fabric so any movements are cushioned and less likely to wake you up).
You don't want to feel the coils against your back, so padding is important. Mattresses will usually have a fiberfill or foam layer. The best ones will have high quality quilting and materials so you feel that you're sleeping on a bed of clouds. It's worth paying for this extra comfort, but if you're on a budget pick a mid-range mattress and then invest in a mattress pad when the lining starts to wear down.
GET STRONG SUPPORT WITH A MEMORY FOAM MATTRESS
Memory foam mattresses are firmer and give better support. This is the best mattress for people with back problems, or elderly who will have trouble getting up from a softer, sagging bed. While others may find this mattress a little hard and uncomfortable, they do wake up with less aches and pains. A pillow and layers of luxurious linens can help compensate - you still feel you're wrapped in comforting softness, but your body is supported from head to toe.
You can find memory foam mattresses for every budget, but the best gauge of quality is the thickness and density. Mattress thicknesses range from two to six inches. If you're ready to spend, get a mattress with a density of 5 pounds per cubic foot.
Memory foam is a little pricier than other mattresses. If you're on a strict budget, consider getting another kind of mattress and investing in memory foam pillows or bed accessories. However, always take firmness into consideration if you have health problems that require extra back support. The difference in your comfort and quality of life is worth the extra investment.
IF YOU HAVE ALLERGIES, GET A LATEX MATTRESS
Latex offers a combination of bounce and support, so if you want springback and some degree of firmness this can be best mattress for you. Another strong reason to go for latex is that the best high quality latex mattresses - made of natural, long-lasting fibers -- are resistant to mold and dust mites. If you have sensitive skin or have a history of asthma and allergies, this can save you from restless nights of itching and wheezing.
Latex mattresses come in a very broad price range, with materials that have various density and softness. Test different mattresses and see which ones are closer to your preferences.
IF YOU WANT TO COMPLETELY CUSTOMIZE YOUR MATTRESS, GET AIR-FILLED CHAMBERS
You like your mattress soft and comfortable; your partner wants it firm. An air-filled rubber chamber mattress gives you completely control on how much air it contains in each section. Just remember that these won't equal the benefits of a mattress that is purely made of memory foam, spring coils or latex, but under the circumstances it is a convenient compromise that will help you and your partner get a good night's sleep.
With this overview on mattress materials, you have a general idea on how to pick the best mattress for your needs and preferences. However, it's important to do other research: once you know what kind of mattress you're looking for, do compare prices and weigh pros and cons. A good mattress will last you for years. With the right choice, that's years of a good night's sleep - and waking up refreshed.