The quality of your sleep can have a huge effect on your energy levels and overall mood. Even when your mattress isn’t causing you any aches or pains, it may still cause problems that negatively affect the way you sleep. From different types of mattresses to the recommended firmness, find out which mattress may be the right choice for you.
Find out how to choose a mattress that will be comfortable in the long run, based on a few simple rules that chiropractors and orthopedists agree on.
Types of Mattresses
From innerspring (coil) mattresses to memory foam, latex and air beds, there’s no clear winner when it comes to the type of mattress you should choose. The best way to make an informed decision is to discover the pros and cons of each type, but still keep an open mind when it comes to how the mattress “feels” when you test it.
Pros and Cons of Innerspring Mattresses
The most widely sold type of mattress, the innerspring uses indivisually enclosed coil springs and a cushion on top, which can be anything from memory foam to latex. When you’re wondering how to choose a mattress, pay attention to the coil count, but don’t think bigger is always better. 390 is generally the figure that gives you the best comfort without having to pay extra for more coils.
Pros and Cons of Memory Foam Mattresses
While memory foam mattresses can mold to the shape of your body for maximum comfort, they can also overheat you during the night because they lack the air circulation of coil spring mattresses. They’re usually recommended for people who experience muscle pain or chronic fatigue on innerspring mattresses.
Pros and Cons of Latex Mattresses
Offering more firmness but still very comfortable, latex is the way to go if you’re wondering how to choose a mattress and you’ve already crossed innerspring and memory foam mattresses on your list. The back support can also help with muscle pain.
Pros and Cons of Air Beds
Replacing the coils with air-filled chambers, air beds are very different from blow-up mattresses and they allow to a different firmness level on each side of the bed. Leaving the choice of firmness to the buyer isn’t always good, since many people tend to keep them soft, then develop back pain.
How to Test a Mattress
Whether you’ve made up your mind to get a certain type of mattress or not, remember that looks can be deceiving. Thicker mattresses may look more comfortable, but if they aren’t right for you they won’t improve the quality of your sleep.
Don’t let salesman convince you that trying out a mattress is a very short process. Chiropractors recommend that you test a mattress in the store for 10-15 minutes, with your own pillow. The better you replicate your own sleeping conditions, the higher the chances you won’t make a hasty and bad decision.
Lie down on the mattress in the position you normally sleep and get a feel for it. If you’ve chosen the right one, you shouldn’t feel any pressure.
When in doubt on how to choose a mattress based on firmness, always choose a firmer one, since you can soften it with a cover much easier. If you buy a mattress that’s too soft, you’re more likely to experience back pain and you can’t make it firmer.
How to Analyze Your New Mattress
Before making a purchase, always ask for the store’s return policy. Usually, it take a few nights to get used to your new mattress, but a 30 or 60-day trial period is better, since you can experience some symptoms of mattress issues only after a couple of weeks.
Pay attention to your energy and comfort level every morning after you wake up. After your body has adjusted to the new mattress in 3-4 nights, you shouldn’t feel worse in any way than when you were using your previous mattress.
When in Doubt, Ask a Specialist
If you have back pain or other health issues that may be impacted by your mattress, always consult a chiropractor or orthopedist before buying a new mattress. They might be able to recommend certain brands that other patients have found satisfactory or give you important information on the needs of your body.
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