Sleep is essential: a poor night’s sleep obviously affects mood and energy levels, but it also plays an important role in everything from the creation of memories to immune system function. Start every day right by creating a bedtime dream team with the right mattress and box springs, adjustable base, or platform bed to wake up rested, refreshed, and ready to take on the day.
The part of a bed that has the most obvious impact on sleep is the mattress. Whether it’s a traditional innerspring mattress, a memory foam mattress, or a hybrid of the two, one of the most important qualities in a mattress is that it is supportive and keeps the body—particularly the spine—in proper alignment during sleep. While it may seem like a firm mattress would be the most supportive mattress, this isn’t necessarily true; a too-firm mattress may actually cause misalignment. The ideal mattress for a given individual depends on their preferred sleeping position. People who sleep on their side or back typically need the give of a plush mattress to hug the body’s natural curves and prevent pressure points. For those who sleep on their stomach or back, a firmer mattress keeps the torso and pelvis from sinking too deeply into the mattress. Mattresses with a medium level of firmness are good for all types of sleeping positions. While this information is a good starting point, nothing can replace visiting a store and test resting the mattresses.
Box Spring, Adjustable Base, or Platform Bed
While mattresses get all the glory, there’s always a partner helping them feel the way they should: a set of box springs, an adjustable base, or a platform bed. Box springs (also called foundations) are the most traditional support for a mattress. They come in two heights: a standard 9” height, and a 5” low-profile height designed to work with thicker mattresses.
A more luxurious alternative to a box spring is an adjustable base, which gives sleepers the ability to adjust the elevation of the head and foot of the bed to find the most comfortable position for them. Adjustable bases provide great support for people who like to read, watch TV, or work on a laptop in bed.
Lastly, the right kind of bed frame can totally eliminate the need for box springs or an adjustable base. A platform bed has slats that are closely spaced to properly support the mattress on its own, leading to a more modern minimalist look. As an added bonus, many platform beds also offer storage drawers in the footboard, making them a great option for those who are short on space.
Understanding the difference between a mattress’ firmness and support; the relationship between levels of firmness and sleeping position; the importance of test resting mattresses; and the different box springs, adjustable bases, and platform beds that help mattresses feel the way they should are all key components to assembling a bedtime dream team.