One of the most critical pieces of furniture (and maybe even the most important) that you can have is a quality mattress. However, it can be difficult to buy a mattress. The significant financial investment, confusion over all of the different types that are available, pushy salespeople – they all add up to the shopping experience being overwhelming. However, it is still true that a good mattress is beneficial for your spine. In order to make your shopping process easier, we are providing some important mattress basic in this guide to help you be a more informed consumer.
The following is a brief rundown of the most common kinds of mattresses that can provide your spine with support.
The most popular kind of mattress in the U.S. is the innerspring mattress. These mattresses are comprised of padding as well as steel coils (300 to over 1,000 individual coils). This type of mattress can be firm or soft depending on what kind of padding and coil are used.
Some salespeople might try to convince you that a mattress having more coils means it is a better product. However, things are not that clear-cut. Since innerspring mattresses are so popular, and because there are so many models that are available in this category – you should test drive this type of mattress by checking it out in the store and lying on it for 5 minutes at least to determine how it feels.
Specialty foam mattresses (polyurethane, latex, and memory foam)
Foam is used by specialty foam mattresses (either a combination of different types or one single type of foam) to provide support and contour to your body. Polyurethane, latex, and memory are some of the main types of foams that are used in mattresses. Foam is a very flexible material that has the ability to mold into various thicknesses and shapes, to adapt to the individual needs of many different consumers.
Although they are grouped into one category, foam mattresses actually vary a lot. For example, foam memory is perfect for molding and contouring to the shape of your body. Memory foam is excellent for individuals who suffer from chronic pain who have a hard time falling asleep. Just be aware that these mattresses do lock in heat.
However, latex is best for providing firm support. If you suffer from back pain it is an excellent choice.
Air foam is similar to memory foam, only it’s infused with air. It provides a solidly responsive and temperature-neutral feel, with the bounce you might find from latex or coils. It’s cleanly made with no harsh chemicals and is relatively newer to the market.
Many people who suffer from back pain understand hat the pain sometimes “moves.” It may be on your shoulder one day, and then the next day in your lower back. One of the fastest-growing types of mattresses is adjustable beds (that include the base and mattress) that provide a solution for individuals who experience different types of pain.
This kind of bed lets you adjust different parts of the bed (lower, raise, bend, elevate) to allow you to position yourself on a given day that will be the most comfortable for you. Most adjustable beds have dual functionality as well, which means your side of the bed can be adjusted in a different way than your partner’s side of the bed.
An air mattress, like an adjustable bed, provides a custom level of support and enables each person to adjust for firmness. This kind of mattress is not the same thing as the portable air beds that are used for camping. An air mattress has an air chamber that is covered with cushioning. Therefore, it looks similar to a traditional bed. So if your partner and you like having different firmness levels, this type of mattress that can be a great option.
Extra padding is included in pillow-top mattresses to cover the top part of the mattress and provides an extra layer of softness and comfort.
This type of mattress has foam along with steel coils that innerspring mattresses also use.
Mattress Buying Tips
Are you ready to shop for a new mattress? Check out the following 5 tips:
Tip 1: Keep in mind that there isn’t any such thing as a “perfect” kind of mattress for neck and back pain: the best kind of mattress is whichever one feels the most comfortable to you. You might have heard that a firm mattress is the best type for back pain. It is true that a firm mattress definitely helps to support your spine. However, if you select a mattress that’s too firm, you might end up sacrificing some comfort. Search for a mattress that conforms to the natural curves of your spine and helps your spine stay aligned once you are laying down.
Tip #2: In terms of the best time to purchase a mattress, National Sleep Foundation, from May through September every year is when new models of mattresses hit the stores, so the best time for getting a great deal is a Memorial Day sale.
Tip #3: Don’t skimp when buying a box spring. The weight and stress of the mattress are absorbed by the box spring, and it’s a great idea to buy the box spring that has been designed to work with your mattress. Using old foundations, no foundations, or mixing box springs and mattresses can reduce the durability and level of support of your mattress.
Tip #4: Consider the height of your bed. Mattresses are available in various thicknesses, so think about who your bed height will be changed by a new mattress. To figure out if your bed is the proper height, sit on the edge of your bed. Your bed is the proper height when your feet are flat on the floor with your knees lined up with your hips. Your bed’s too high if your feet are not reaching the floor. Your bed’s too low, then your knees are over your hips.
Tip #5: Know when you should splurge on extras: Pad, protectors, and mattress encasements can help to extend your mattress’s life, and protect it against dust mites and staining. Those items have various price points and levels of protection, so it is worthwhile doing research to figure out which products will best meet your needs. Another thing you may want to consider is a mattress topper. It will provide you with an added layer comfort that is not that expensive.
Is Your Mattress Old And Worn Out?
Since mattress varies a lot in terms of type, quality, and price, and there isn’t any set rule in terms of when your mattress should be replaced. Replacing a mattress every 7 years is a common recommendation, but the following are some other things that you might want to consider:
The warranty: If the warranty has passed on your mattress, you may want to think about buying a new mattress.
Appearance: If your mattress looks worn (springs poking out, dipping in parts), it is time for you to purchase a new one.
How it feels: Did your mattress feel great when you first bought it, but lately you are feeling restless and achy in the morning? That could mean that it is time to replace your mattress.
If you’re interested in a change, check out these bed in a box reviews.
The Best Sign That You Have The Proper Mattress
With all of the different price points, accessories, and mattress types, it can be overwhelming to shop for a new mattress. You might be wondering if the mattress you are sleeping on is the best one for you. Using this basic question to determine if you bought the right mattress: How great do you feel the next morning? You most likely are sleeping on the best mattress if you wake up feeling refreshed, and your neck and back feel good.
Amila Gamage Wickramarachchi is the founder of this blog where she shares her parenting and lifestyle experiences. She is an engineer and a trainer who works in the construction industry. She is the founder of Sihela Consultants.(www.sihelaconsultants.com)