By now, you likely realize how important your mattress is for a consistent, good night’s sleep. If your mattress is old or if it doesn’t support you properly, you could suffer ongoing head, neck, back, and shoulder pain, and be forced to deal with inconsistent sleep patterns.
Buying a new mattress is the ideal solution, but with so many mattresses available these days, it’s hard to know where to begin. The short answer is that everyone needs something a little different, but how can you evaluate which mattresses are “right” or most appropriate for you?
Factors for the Perfect Mattress
While shopping for a new mattress, pay close attention to these important deciding factors:
- Firmness. Mattress firmness is one of the most important factors to understand, and one of the most complex. If you slept on a plank of wood, you could consider that to be the highest possible level of firmness. If you slept on a literal cloud, that would be the lowest level of firmness (or the highest level of softness). Most people prefer something in between, but some people prefer a harder, firmer mattress, while others prefer something more cushioning, with more give. Most mattresses are rated on a firmness scale between 1 and 10, with 1 being extremely soft, 2-3 being soft, 4-6 being medium, 7-9 being firm, and 10 being extremely firm. While many people use firmness and support interchangeably, support is only tangentially related; it’s entirely possible to find a firm mattress that is not supportive or a soft mattress that is supportive.
- Texture. You may also consider the texture of your mattress. While you’ll likely put a cover and sheets on your mattress before sleeping on it, you may still be able to feel the baseline texture of the mattress when laying on it. Most mattresses have some seams or patterns, and some will provide a different “feel” than others. This is mostly a subjective factor, and one you may not notice unless you’re looking for it.
- Material. Different types of mattresses are made of different materials. For example, old-fashioned innerspring mattresses use metal springs as their main mode of support, while memory foam tends to be more popular these days. You can also find air mattresses, which rely on air-based inflation to provide support, or water beds, which use free-flowing water. Many research efforts have tried to identify and justify the “best” mattress here, but it’s hard to form a reasonable conclusion. Modern mattresses tend to be designed with higher-quality materials and do provide better all-around support, but beyond that, it’s hard to pick an absolute winner because so many variables play into the quality of your sleep. Ultimately, this boils down to personal preference; many people prefer memory foam or gel-based mattresses, but there are also people who naturally prefer innerspring varieties.
- Size. The size of your mattress will also play a role in how well you sleep, whether you realize it or not. You may have existing limitations, such as a bed frame of a specific size that you don’t want to get rid of, and of course, the price of your mattress is going to go up with each size, in order. Some rarer sizes may make it difficult to find appropriately fitted sheets, but that won’t directly impact your sleep quality. As you might suspect, bigger beds tend to be better for most people, especially if you’re sleeping with a partner; more room means you’ll have more flexibility to stretch out and adopt different positions during the night. You may also have a higher subjective feeling of comfort or coziness.
- Longevity. Some mattresses are going to last longer than others. This is due to a variety of factors. For example, some types of mattresses take more wear and tear over time, like innerspring mattresses, and will need to be replaced quicker. Some mattresses are manufactured with more attention to quality, so they’re naturally going to have a longer lifespan; this is why it’s important to select a high-quality mattress provider. It’s recommended that you replace your mattress every 10 years, if not more often, but it’s a good idea to look for a mattress that’s going to stay strong and keep supporting you for that full stretch.
- Adjustability. Most mattresses are not adjustable. However, some mattresses can be adjusted in terms of both position and firmness, and some mattresses offer varying adjustments for both the left and right side of the bed, allowing you and your partner to get different sleeping experiences. Many consumers will not feel the need to get an adjustable mattress, but if you find yourself trying to get different sleeping positions or desiring different levels of firmness on a regular basis, or if you and your partner strongly disagree on what makes the “best” mattress, they may be right for you.
- Price. Finally, you’ll want to consider price. Your budget may be a limiting factor here; if you’re working with a strict upper limit, there isn’t much you can do to extend it. However, in the mattress world, you definitely get what you pay for. If you want to get a better-quality mattress, or one with a higher chance of lasting for many years, you’ll need to be prepared to pay a little more. The price you ultimately pay will vary enormously based on the features you want.
Note that while your mattress is one of the biggest contributing factors to the quality and quantity of your sleep overall, it isn’t the only contributing factor. If you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, you may also want to look into your environment and personal habits. For example, reducing noise at night, cutting out caffeine, exercising regularly, and managing your stress and anxiety are all helpful strategies.
Ready to Learn More?
It’s a good idea to do some research and see what types of mattresses are available before you make your final decision. At Perfect Cloud Mattress, we have a wide selection of mattresses available, so take a look at our selection and learn more about how you can start sleeping better today!