Choosing a mattress can become overwhelming especially due to the seemingly limitless options. This is more true if you’re experiencing neck or back pain, and choosing the right mattress can make a huge difference in your health.
In fact, when you purchase the right or perfect mattress, it gives you a good night’s sleep. This leads to plenty of rest and a feeling of stimulation when you wake up. When you sleep, this is the only time when your spine and whole body can completely relax. So when you have a back or neck disorder, optimum sleep is essential to its healing process.
If you’re looking for the perfect mattress for your overall health, or just simply want to have a good night’s sleep, then read further to know the type of mattresses and tips on how to purchase mattresses.
Is Time To Replace Your Old Mattress?
How would you know if the mattress you’re sleeping on is detrimental to your health? If you find yourself waking up in the morning with minimal low back pain and try to alleviate it by stretching, then you’re lying on an inappropriate mattress. Meanwhile, the right mattress doesn’t give you pressure, and it’s almost as if you’re floating on air.
The Six Types Of Mattresses To Choose From
There are six common types of mattresses you can choose from. Each mattress has its distinct features which can be very helpful for your back pains, health, and restlessness.
This is by far the most widely used mattress. Innerspring Mattresses support you with individually enclosed coil springs. Since coil springs are enclosed, it helps the bed withstand years of use and prevents them from popping out.
There’s a wide variety of materials on top of the coils for added comfort. This includes the latex, pillow, and memory foam.
Salespeople may attempt to sell Innerspring Mattresses and say that more coils means more comfort. However, that is not necessarily true. In fact, your body doesn’t really require a coil count above 390. There’s only minimal difference when the coils go beyond that count, so you wouldn’t notice it anyway.
Pros: It wouldn’t be difficult to find innerspring mattresses as they are plenty of them on the market. They range in fluffiness of pillow top, firmness, and price to fit your preference
Cons: In most cases, there’s no direct relationship between comfort and price. However, it would be wise to avoid buying a cheap innerspring mattress. If it doesn’t offer enough cushion and springs then its support is limited and you’ll likely find yourself waking up with an aching neck or back.
Exceptions: If you’re super overweight, then spring mattresses may offer a better, firmer support which will make it easier for you to get in and out of the bed. Firmer mattresses are good for people with back pain as well. However, spring-based mattresses provide comfort for everyone.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Growing in popularity, memory foam mattresses are made of layers of various densities of foam. These respond to temperature and weight, and are known for providing comfort since they contour to the shape of your body.
Pros: Memory foam minimizes pressure points and relieves pain as it molds to the shape of your body. It also absorbs your movement and weight shifts at night. So if you’re sleeping with your partner, then you won’t likely be disrupted by his tossing and turning.
Cons: Memory foam mattresses are temperature sensitive, molding and softening with your body heat and can make your body feel hot during the night. Also, memory foam mattresses are known to exude distressing chemical smell.
Conditions: If have you have chronic muscle pain or fatigue, then this type of mattress would work for you as long as you have no temperature issues.
Made from either synthetic or natural rubber, Latex Mattresses are popular for providing bouncy but very firm support which is uniform throughout the bed.
Pros: Experts would say that the best material is latex. It is very supportive and firm, but also provides the comfort like memory foam mattresses. However, unlike memory foam, latex mattresses push back which ultimately provides more support.
Cons: If you don’t like the feeling of a firm mattress, then this may not be the right one for you.
Conditions: A latex mattress or a latex mattress topper are both great for relieving neck and back pains since they offer the best combination of support and comfort.
No, this isn’t like the blow-up mattresses you offer your guests at home. Air mattresses are higher-end air beds which look like a standard innerspring mattress. However, they use air-filled chambers instead of coils. They also cover everything on top with a foam layer.
Patients with spinal cord injuries who spend longer time on the bed use this type of mattress. It can be adjusted so they don’t continue to press on the same areas of the body. This helps avoid breakdown in patients who are unable to move.
Pros: Air mattresses are perfect for couples who have huge differences in their individual preference for mattresses. The firmness of each side of air mattresses can be altered. So, if you like the side of your bed to be firmer than your partner, then the mattress can be adjusted for your preference. Meanwhile, like memory and latex foam, you may find air toppers for this mattress.
Cons: When people fail to adjust the firmness of the air bed, they may wake up with back aches. Less sophisticated air mattresses may pop up on the opposite end when you sit on your side. You may want multiple chambers to prevent this from happening.
Conditions: Air mattresses are very useful when sleeping couples have distinct needs. If either has back pain, then one side can be firmer than the other to provide better support.
Adjustable beds have the capability to elevate and bend at various angles. As a result, the mattress becomes flexible. You can have any type of mattresses on an adjustable bed such as latex, memory foam, or air. However, spring mattresses may be difficult to use since the springs wouldn’t handle the bending well.
Pros: If you have difficulty on getting in and out of the bed, or would like to watch television in bed, then adjustable beds help make your life easier. It allows you to move closer to where you want to be.
Conditions: If you have sleep apnea, then sleeping flat can make your condition worse. This cuts off airways and causes your tongue to fall into the back of your throat. Meanwhile, people who have acid reflux may also benefit from adjustable beds to help elevate their upper body. Moreover, adjustable beds are also great for people with back or hip pain and who have difficulties moving from lying to sitting up or standing position.
Sofa beds come in handy when you have guests over who are staying in. These mattresses tend to be flexible to fold and collapse into the sofa. It is also convenient to have a sofa bed, but it would be troublesome to find someone who babbles about their comfort.
Pros: They are very convenient, especially when you have limited space. However, experts haven’t found any advantages to health.
Cons: Sleeping on a sofa bed for a night or two is fine. However, this may be the worst kind of bed you may sleep on long-term. Sofa beds are usually very thin and have quite weak springs. It will only lead to an uncomfortable situation.
Conditions: Experts haven’t found any conditions which can benefit from a sofa bed. However, if you do have hips or back pain, then this bed will be extremely uncomfortable.
When Is The Right Time To Change Your Old Mattress?
Mattresses nowadays are built to last until the end. However, it wouldn’t be wise to keep your mattress that long. Your body changes over time, thus mattresses that was once your key to a good sleep may no longer provide its comfort a few years down the road.
Furthermore, mattresses accumulate dust mites, bed bugs, fungus and other germs that may aggravate allergies and affect your sleeping patterns. The best time to change your old mattress would be in 10 to 15 years time.
Experts say that the best bed for you is the one that feels most comfortable. There is no mattress that can refresh your body when it only gets five hours of sleep. So, you must have enough sleep regardless of the type of mattress you’re sleeping on.
12 Tips On How To Choose The Perfect Mattress For You
These 12 tips won’t guarantee that you’ll end up with the perfect mattress because everyone’s mattresses preferences and needs are distinct. However, these tips can help you make an educated choice.
- Do your research before going shopping. You can find helpful sources online which can provide relevant information. It would be wise to look for sources which do not sell mattresses. Look for health sources that can help you give an idea on what each type of mattress has to offer.
- Consult your doctor. Consult your doctor or physical therapist if you have a health condition. Ask about what they can recommend. They may not be mattress experts, but they know your symptoms and medical condition. From that point of view, they can give you some good advice.
- Watch out for publicity stunts. Mattress salespersons will label their mattresses as “medically-approved” or “orthopedic.” In fact, there are no official medical organizations that certify mattresses to support these claims. Mattresses may have orthopedic-friendly attributes, but no medical group has certified this.
- Do a test drive. When you’re shopping for a mattress, take the it for a test drive. Experts suggest laying on each mattress in your normal sleeping position. Do this for at least 10 to 15 minutes, and bring your own pillow! Don’t allow the salesperson to hurry you along or feel self-conscious. This is a big purchase, and failing to test it won’t give you a real feel for it. You will have better chances of getting the perfect mattress when you replicate it the way you’ll be sleeping on it. Meanwhile, couples should also test out the mattress together especially if they are picky.
- Be mindful that firm mattresses aren’t always good for your back. Before buying a firm or hard mattress, think twice. Research says that the best mattresses for hip or low back pain are medium firm mattresses rather than a hard or firm mattress. You should get a firm support but with a comfortable feel. Your personal preference determines the comfort you get.
- Not everyone likes pillow tops. If you’re light-weight, you wouldn’t really need a big thick pillow top mattresses since you don’t weight much to compress the foam or even touch the coils or support system underneath. On the other hand, if you’re larger/heavier, then you will feel more comfortable with an extra cushion.
- Adjustable beds are an excellent option. If you find more comfort in sitting on a recliner instead of lying down, then you may want to try an adjustable bed. It will allow you to elevate your head and knees slightly to alleviate pressure from the lower back. You may also have the same effect by using pillows.
- Inquire about trial periods or guarantees before buying. Most states allow retailers to provide a comfort guarantee. Ask the store for it before purchasing the mattress. Also, make sure that you understood the details, including shipment fees, if it includes an exchange or money-back guarantee in the event that you must return the mattress within a time period.
- Inquire about the warranty. Good mattresses should have a minimum of a 10 year non-prorated warranty and full replacement.
- Protect your mattress. Remember that mattresses are a huge investment so it must have some sort of waterproof mattress protector. Also, stains will make the warranty null and void.
- Check out all variations and options. Give yourself a comfort test. Ask them to let you try a firm, plush, and a pillow top in the same price point and brand quality. Lie on each one at least 10 minutes. Once you find the most comfortable mattress, ask to see more of that kind.
- Shop at a mattress store store. Salespeople at a store that specializes mattresses often have more knowledge on the whole subject of comfort and sleep. Look for a store which carries some major brands.
Get the best mattress possible for your health
Remember, it is your health, your mattress, and your money. It is worth all the time to know each type of mattress, research, and get the best mattress possible for your overall health and comfort. Keep an eye out for sales and try to negotiate shipping charges.