All kinds of things can affect your sleep and its quality. From neurochemical fluctuations to the amount of light in your room at night, there is a wide range of potential issues, including your bedding. Here are five tips for choosing the right mattress for your sleep needs.
- Research Mattress Types
There are many types of mattresses on the market, but it's unlikely every type will be suitable for your sleep needs. The most common types of mattresses are foam, innerspring and hybrids of those two, but you can also choose an air or water mattress. Foam mattresses are typically made of memory foam, latex foam or polyurethane foam. Innerspring mattresses are the stereotypical mattress type, filled with steel coils covered in padding. Hybrid mattresses combine the flexibility of innerspring mattresses with the comfort and support of foam.
- Get the Right Base for Your Mattress
Not only do you need to get the right mattress, but you also need to choose the correct base to support the mattress. For the most part, you'll choose either a box spring or foundation for your mattress, but there are some exceptions, such as futons, which don't necessarily require bases. Box springs keep the mattress off the floor and allow for better airflow, shock absorption and give. However, they can be heavy, cause the mattress to sag as they age and cannot be used for memory foam. Foundations don't offer any give, but they do provide better support and are suitable for any mattress type.
- Choose the Best Type for Your Body
Your body is the ultimate decider of which mattress is likely to best suit your sleep needs. Body type, sleep style and support or pain relief needs all influence your mattress choices. People who are taller than six feet shouldn't opt for full or twin mattresses. Your weight and how that weight is distributed will likely impact your decision regarding the firmness of your mattress. Generally, the more you weigh, the firmer the mattress you want. Your sleep position also influences your firmness and support needs. Side sleepers need softer mattresses, while those who sleep on their backs or stomachs tend to require firmer ones. If you have back pain, you should also look for firmer mattresses that offer better support.
- Determine Whether You Need To Shop In-store
Traditional mattress shopping involves going to a brick-and-mortar store, discussing your options with a sales associate and testing out various sample mattresses. This is usually still the best option because you can physically feel the mattress before you buy it and you can ask the sales associate any questions you have directly. However, online shopping is becoming increasingly popular for mattresses due to options that come with trial periods. A trial period allows you to try lying and sleeping on your mattress for far longer than you would be able to if you sampled it at a brick-and-mortar store. Whichever way you choose to purchase your mattress, make sure it comes with a warranty and be aware of the accessories you need to purchase along with it.
- Think About Extra Features That May Benefit You
Modern mattresses come with many additional or optional features that can further improve or support your quality of sleep. If you share your bed with someone else, you may benefit from a motion isolation feature. This feature allows you and your partner to each sleep soundly even when the other person moves around. Another useful feature is temperature regulation. Mattresses that incorporate temperature control are generally meant to ensure the sleeper is able to stay cool. This type of mattress may come with built-in gel infusions or air cells or with a mattress cover that utilizes technology such as stay-cool fabric.
The surface you sleep on can have a huge effect on how easily you fall asleep and how good or bad the quality of your sleep is. Sleep needs are also highly personal, which means there is no one mattress that works for everyone.
Here is the good news: mattresses have trial periods. Take advantage of the hunt for a mattress by doing your homework and purchasing from a store or online that has an easy return policy. Some offer trial periods up to a year if you are not fully satisfied.
To discover if there are underlying causes to your lack of sleep, contact the Alaska Sleep Education Center for a free 10-minute phone consultation. And if you live in the state of Alaska, our board-certified sleep specialists can even make a Home Sleep Test work for you by calling us today .