Health and Beauty

A Good Night’s Sleep: Tips for Choosing the Best Mattress for Your Needs


A lot of factors come into play when it comes to getting a restful night’s sleep, and they all need to be aligned for optimal shut-eye. But, addressing the most basic building blocks is the first place to start, and this is where your mattress comes in. If you are waking up with aches and pains, chances are this is the culprit. Take a look at any store selling this essential product, and you may feel overwhelmed with choice. Here are some tips for choosing the right one for your needs.

Do Some Online Research

If you are reading this post, then you are probably already doing this.  There are many sites on the web which provide a wealth of information. Do not just use it to look at different mattresses, use it to get a better understanding of the factors to consider when choosing a mattress. Learn about the different materials, and the types of bedding recommended for your specific health issue. The more you learn, the better the chance of choosing a mattress that is best suited for your needs, whether your concerns are health-specific or just sheer comfort.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you have a specific health problem, like sleep apnea or lower back pain, discuss options with your doctor. Even though he is not a sleep expert, he can provide valuable information that will inform your purchase.

Level of Firmness

The level of firmness is a primary consideration when choosing a mattress. While super-firm mattresses have always been suggested for easing low back pain, recent research suggests otherwise. While a too-soft mattress will not properly support your pressure points, one that is too hard will exert too much pressure—both produce the end result of back pain. One study from Spain found people with long-term back pain saw the most improvement when sleeping on a medium-to-firm mattress, compared to harder and softer mattresses, which would rate about a 5.6 on a scale of one to ten.

Types of Mattresses

Inner spring mattresses are still the most popular—the individually enclosed coils keep the bed in tip-top shape for years upon years. More coils will equal more comfort, but the benefits top out at about 390. Beyond this, you will probably not feel much of a difference. These mattresses are widely available, range in firmness and come in plenty of price ranges. Because of the wide variety, most people can find one they will be comfortable in, but they may be particularly good for overweight people.

Memory foam mattresses conform to the shape of your body, and for this reason, are known to be particularly comfortable. This contouring reduces pressure on various parts of your body, reducing back pain. The foam absorbs movement, meaning you are less likely to be disturbed by your partner’s movements throughout the night. Because they are temperature-sensitive, memory-foam mattresses may feel hot during the night. People with muscle pain, chronic fatigue or who just have a plain old hard time getting comfortable at night would do well with this type of mattress, provided you do not have any issues with getting excessively hot.

Latex mattresses are known for being firm, yet offering a level of comfort similar to memory foam. Because they push back, these mattresses can offer more support, however. The firmness and level of support is great for sufferers of back pain. But, if you prefer a softer feel, this may not be the best choice.

Air mattresses have air-filled chambers instead of coils and have foam layer on top. Because the level of firmness can be adjusted on each side of the bed, they are a great choice for couples who have different preferences.

Testing Your Bed

When testing mattresses at the store, give yourself at least 15 minutes, experimenting with various positions. It can take that long to get a true feel for the comfort of the mattress. Spend the most time in the position you sleep in most.

About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about all things related to health and wellness; she recommends learning more about the Sleep Number bed.

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