When the time comes to buy a new mattress the sheer array of options available to you can be totally overwhelming. Instead of getting bogged down in details, keeping these three things in mind can help you choose the right mattress for you.
Firmness vs. Support
If you’re looking to buy a new mattress, there’s a good chance you’re replacing an old mattress. Over time even the best quality mattresses break down: the top comfort layer compresses and just doesn’t feel like it used to while the core of the mattress loses its support and sags. While it may seem like a firm mattress is the opposite of a worn-out, sagging mattress, this isn’t true. The ideal mattress for everyone is a supportive mattress, not necessarily a firm mattress. A supportive mattress keeps your body—particularly your spine—in proper alignment while you sleep. Depending on your preferred sleeping position, a firm mattress may actually cause you to sleep in a misaligned position, so having the correct support is very important.
Your Preferred Sleeping Position
Your preferred sleeping position determines which level of firmness may be best for you. If you sleep on your side or back, a plush mattress has enough give to hug your body’s natural curves and prevent pressure points. If you sleep on your stomach or back, a firmer mattress will keep your torso and pelvis from sinking too deeply into the mattress. A medium mattress is good for a range of sleeping positions including sleeping on your side, back, and stomach.
Test Resting is Key
While you can use your sleeping position as a starting point for figuring out which mattress is right for you, there’s no substitute for visiting a store and taking the mattresses for a test drive. Lie down on the mattress in your normal sleeping position and spend 10-15 minutes trying out the mattress. This gives you enough time to move beyond your first impressions and really see how the mattress feels and what effect it has on your body.
Remembering that you’re looking for a supportive mattress that works with your preferred sleeping position will help you narrow your options as you test rest mattresses and ultimately choose the best mattress for you. Also remember that your new mattress needs the right supportive foundation to work best, so it’s generally best to replace your box springs when you replace your mattress.