Losing sleep over choosing a new mattress? I created the following mattress guide to help make this decision process easier for you. The most important factors involved in choosing a new mattress have been highlighted below.
How to Choose a Mattress Firmness
Mattress firmness is one of the key characteristics to consider before you make a purchase. Finding the right level is critical for your good night’ sleep. If you select a unit which is too soft or too firm, you are unlikely to sleep well, and you could even start experiencing issues with your back.
When buying a mattress, there are literally thousands of choices. Having options is great, but when deciding on just one bed that will be comfortable and suit your needs, an endless selection can make it more difficult to narrow down your choices.
One of the most important considerations when deciding on a mattress is comfort. A lot of what we identify as “comfort” relates to how soft or firm a mattress feels, and beds can range from very soft to very firm. Think of soft and firm as two ends on a spectrum and every degree on this spectrum is referred to as the “firmness level” of a bed.
Why Does it Matter?
The firmness of the mattress is a fundamental characteristic which is quite critical for the decision-making process. Not only will it determine the overall level of comfort but it’s also going to have a serious impact on the support of the bed as well.
This is something quite critical. The firmness has an impact over almost every important characteristic that your mattress is defined by. From the comfort and support to the overall performance of the unit, everything could be associated with its firmness.
The Importance of Proper Support
While most people equate a firm mattress with being more supportive, this is not exactly true. There is a difference between firmness and support. Support comes from having your spine in the proper alignment.
For example, if you are a side sleeper, you’ll need to allow your mattress to conform to your body. Having your hip and shoulder sink into the bed slightly while your core is elevated will allow your spine to be in perfect alignment. This will help you fall asleep faster and sleep through the night easier.
Having the softest bed possible may seem like the ultimate goal, but don’t be fooled. Proper support can help rid your aches and pains. If your body is properly supported throughout the night, you’ll wake easier because your body didn’t have to strain itself to be comfortable the entire night.
Mattress Firmness Levels
Mattress firmness is something that most people only need to think about once every several years when they purchase a new mattress, but without a proper understanding of mattress firmness levels, that shopping experience can be bewildering and frustrating. What does “medium-soft” really mean as compared to regular old “soft?” Is there really a big difference between “medium-firm” and “firm?” Are there advantages to specific mattress firmness levels?
We’ll help break down the different categories and describe them to familiarize our readers with how each firmness level feels. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of purchasing each mattress firmness level – another important aspect of making your final decision.
- Soft: Softer mattresses have less responsiveness, and the sinking effect can make people feel like they are ‘fighting’ their mattress.
- Medium-firm: These mattresses are considered the best for sex, thanks to a good balance of bounciness, comfort and noise control.
- Firm: Less motion isolation and more bounce makes firm mattresses better for sex than soft ones, but these can also be uncomfortable and somewhat noisy.
In addition to firmness, you should also consider mattress components when judging whether or not a particular model is well-suited for sex. Innerspring mattresses, for example, tend to be noisier and bouncier. Latex and foam mattresses, on the other hand, are usually quieter but can also cause discomfort due to sinking.
How to Choose Your Mattress Firmness
Buying a mattress is an important decision, as most people typically spend anywhere from 7 to 9 hours a day in bed. When thinking about how to choose mattress firmness, consider the following factors and tips:
- Sleeping Position—Obviously, there are quite a few things that you would want to account for when you buy a bed, and your sleeping position is definitely one of the main ones. It is critical that you make sure that everything is handled as per the highest standards when it comes to it. The difference in your spinal alignment in all three sleeping positions is particularly dramatic, and it needs to be accommodated conveniently. This is something quite important.
- Spinal Alignment—Sleeping comfortably often depends on whether your spine is properly aligned. When standing or sitting, your spine is supported because you are subconsciously controlling your posture. When you lay down but are awake, your muscles are still engaged, so your alignment is maintained. However, when you fall asleep, your muscles relax, and your body relies on the sleeping surface to maintain alignment. If you’re sleeping on a surface that doesn’t naturally support your back, you may wake up with aches and pains as a result.
- Back Pain Issues—If you have problems with back pain, make sure to stay away from mattresses that are too soft, as these may cause further problems due to lack of support. Medium-firm to firm mattresses are generally recommended to keep your spine aligned and supported correctly.
- Sleeping Partner—Depending on your body weight and sleeping positions, you and your partner may need different firmness levels, but it can be difficult to sacrifice your comfort. A medium firmness mattress can be a good compromise to satisfy both partners.
- Weight—Obviously, one of the critical things to consider is your weight. Different people would apply different pressure to the mattress. The most important thing that you want to consider is the pressure relief and the spinal alignment which it derives from. Your mattress needs to feel very well, and it needs to make sure that your entire body is perfectly aligned. This is the only way to prevent unwanted and highly unpleasant pain.
- Tendency to Sleep Hot—Finally, sleepers who overheat at night should be aware that memory foam and other softer comfort layer materials tend to trap heat. If you need a softer mattress but struggle with keeping cool as you sleep, look for a mattress that’s designed for optimum temperature control.
Remember, it’s your mattress, your back, and your money, so it’s worth the time to research it and get the best mattress possible. Keep an eye out for specials and sales, and always try to negotiate delivery charges.