Updated at: 11-05-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Getting enough sleep is widely acknowledged as one of the most effective methods for preserving and enhancing our health. Many people neglect the importance of a mattress and continue to sleep on a mattress that does not give adequate support and comfort.

Purchasing a new mattress is a significant financial commitment, but the benefits of greater sleep far outweigh the costs. You should use caution while making this or any other large transaction.

If you’re looking to learn how to pick a mattress, we’ve broken down the most important facts piece by piece. As a result of this advice, you will be able to pick the ideal mattress for your needs that will provide you with a restful night’s sleep every night.

Mattress Types

Your options for a new mattress may seem overwhelming if you’ve only just begun your search. You can get a sense of where you’re going by thinking about the different varieties of mattresses.

It is possible to classify nearly all mattresses into one of five categories: foam, innerspring (traditional), hybrid (modern), latex (traditional), or airbed (modern). The most well-known are innersprings, which have long been a fixture in homes across the country. Other mattress kinds, on the other hand, have become increasingly popular in recent years.

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By giving a more dynamic performance, these various types of mattresses have extended their market share. With the expansion of the online mattress market, they’ve also grown more affordable and accessible.

The essentials of each of these types can serve as a starting point in your search for the greatest mattress.

  • There are no springs in these mattresses, therefore they are composed entirely of foam. Side sleepers and couples can benefit from their excellent body contouring, pressure alleviation, and motion isolation. Memory foam is the most common type of foam utilized in these mattresses.
  • There are only a few layers to an innerspring mattress, which is supported by a coil-based support system. Innersprings, while providing some support, are generally lacking in the ability to alleviate pressure. As a result, they are more likely to wake up with a bouncy mattress and less effective motion isolation. To appeal to budget-conscious consumers, these items are more popular.
  • An innerspring support core and a large foam comfort system are the two main components of a hybrid mattress; Foam or latex may be used in the comfort layers, and a shorter layer of coils may also be included (called micro-coils). Depending on how they are constructed, these mattresses can be a good fit for those who sleep in a variety of positions since they offer a combination of bounce and contouring with moderate heat retention.
  • A mattress made entirely of latex rubber is referred to as an all-latex or true-latex mattress. To keep things simple, we’ll just call it a latex mattress from now on. Despite their moderately rounded shape, these shoes have excellent bounce and durability. Latex mattresses are popular with eco-conscious consumers since they are constructed with natural and organic latex.
  • Mattress: Mattresses are constructed with an air chamber as their core. With the stroke of a button, a pump built into the mattress may add or withdraw air, providing the ultimate in firmness flexibility for sleepers. Having the ability to customize the firmness level on each side of an airbed is a big draw for couples.

Firmness

The topic of hardness has already been broached, so I decided to devote an entire section to the subject. The firmness of a mattress can be described in two ways: as hard or soft as you like it. Determining the firmness of a bed (and the firmness you, the sleeper, require) may appear straightforward, but it’s actually rather difficult. That’s because the classifications of “soft,” “medium,” and “firm” are based on your own meanings of these terms and your own body type, weight, and size.

The fact that many customers confuse support with toughness complicates things even more. In order to create an appropriate distribution of pressure over the spine, a supportive mattress must be soft, medium-firm, or firm in firmness. The term “firmness” refers primarily to the bed’s physical “feel.” To summarize, mattresses of all hardness levels can be supportive.

When it comes to mattress firmness preferences, the average sleeper prefers a level of firmness between 4 and 7. Depending on their preferred sleeping positions, some people may prefer to sleep at the lower or higher end of the spectrum, as we stated before.

How to Choose a Mattress for Back Pain

Despite the many possible reasons of back discomfort, one aspect that should not be overlooked is an unsupportive mattress. Proper support can help avoid back pain, while the right mattress can assist alleviate discomfort for those who already have it.

Consider the nature of your back pain in addition to your other mattress demands and preferences when choosing a mattress for back pain. It’s possible to have back discomfort that lasts for a brief period of time and then disappear. Those experiencing this are said to be experiencing acute back pain. Chronic back pain, on the other hand, is a condition in which the pain lasts for an extended period of time. Injuries to the back can lead to immediate back pain, but it can also lead to a long-term condition.

Mattresses can provide short-term relief for people with acute back pain. Extra pillows or rearranging their sleeping position may be necessary in this situation. A firmer or softer mattress may be necessary for those who suffer from persistent back discomfort. Sleeping on a mattress that is comfortable and provides adequate pressure relief can help keep the spine aligned.

A person’s location of back pain may also play a role in determining the best mattress.

Lower Back Pain

L1-L5 are the five lumbar vertebrae that are most commonly affected by lower back discomfort. If you have back discomfort, you’re far more likely to see your doctor than you may think. The muscles and the spine itself might be harmed by bending and twisting this part of the back.

How to Choose a Mattress - Guide to Your Best Night's Sleep

A improper sleeping position might cause lower back pain if you sleep in it for a long period of time. If the shoulders and hips aren’t properly supported, the entire spine might be thrown out of whack. For back and stomach sleepers, it can be caused by a mattress that is either too soft or too hard, exerting pressure on the lumbar spine’s natural curve.

For the most part, side sleepers should opt for mattresses that are medium-soft to medium-firm in order to minimize the pressure points on their bodies. If you sleep on your back or stomach, you should search for a medium-firm to firm mattress with very little sagging.

Middle and Upper Back Pain

Middle and upper back pain is less prevalent than lower back discomfort. Reduced risk of injury from twisting movements due to more stable anatomical structures can be found here. It is important to see a doctor if you notice any discomfort in these places.

The upper or middle back might become tense due to improper posture. A pressure-relieving mattress that aids in spinal alignment will lessen your chances of experiencing this type of discomfort. The neck and upper spine can benefit from having a well-made pillow with just the appropriate amount of loft.

Sleeping Positions

You’re likely to fall asleep in what posture are you currently in? When you wake up, where do you find yourself?

When deciding on a mattress, knowing the answers to these questions might be really useful. Your sleeping position affects the areas of your body that need more support to keep your spine in proper alignment. That’s why finding a mattress that’s comfortable for the way you sleep might help you sleep better and avoid suffering.

Back Sleepers

Those who sleep on their backs put the most strain on their lower backs. It is possible for the upper back and lower body to sink in more than the torso if a mattress is excessively soft. This U-shape might cause tension. Having a mattress that is excessively firm means that the modest curve in the lower back won’t be able to be accommodated by it. Consequently, a mattress with light to moderate contouring is ideal for back sleepers who like a medium-firm mattress.

Side Sleepers

At the shoulders and hips, the broadest parts of the body, side sleepers feel the most pressure. When you sleep on a mattress that is excessively soft, your spine will be out of alignment with the rest of your body. When they sleep on an overly hard mattress, they’ll be more likely to misalign themselves. As a result, those who sleep on their sides prefer mattresses with a medium firmness level.

Stomach Sleepers

Those who sleep on their stomachs, like those who sleep on their backs, place the most strain on their lower backs. They do best on a firm mattress that prevents them from forming a U shape and doesn’t suffocate them when they lie face-down on it.

Combination Sleepers

Sleepers who use a combination of positions are said to be “combination sleepers.” They should pick a mattress based on the position in which they spend the most time. Medium Firm is your best bet if you can’t decide on a primary position. These people should also search for a mattress that is responsive and allows them to move around the bed easily.

How Much Do You Weigh?

The sinkage, hug, feel, cooling, and support of a bed can be greatly influenced by your weight, which is an important consideration when shopping for a new mattress.

In fact, depending on your weight and overall body shape, you may find that you need a specific sort of mattress to fulfill your individual rest requirements. There are a number of different weight classifications, so I’ll go through some of the greatest mattress options for each one.

People who weigh between 150 and 200 pounds are considered ordinary sleepers, while those who weigh more than 200 pounds are considered heavy sleepers (those who weigh 200 lbs. or more).

Light Sleepers

This does not imply, however, that light sleepers all fall within the same weight range (again, often at or below 150 lbs.). As a result, I’m going to offer mattress suggestions depending on the many sensations that these potential customers might be seeking.

  • As a light sleeper, you should have no issue landing on a soft mattress that has a firmness rating of 4-6/10. You’re less prone to sink through the materials than other sleepers, so you should be delighted with any type of all-foam bed, especially one with a memory foam comfort layer.
  • When it comes to the firmness of a mattress, lighter weight sleepers may find a mattress with a higher density or thicker top layer of foam to be uncomfortable. For this reason, I recommend that those who are lighter choose a mattress that is.5-1 firmness points lower than the feel they truly need to be comfortable. This is due to the fact that most medium-firm mattresses are graded based on their ability to support a person of average weight (typically around 180 lbs.)
  • A mattress with a firm feel (7-9/10 on the firmness scale) should be prioritized by lighter sleepers looking for a firm feel. However, a basic pillow top or quilted cover comfort layer could be best for them. Why? Because these people won’t sink through any upper layers of foam, they don’t need to be buffeted by underlying layers that are extremely supportive.

Average Sleepers

For this particular weight range (between 150 and 200 pounds), we’ll look at the varying stiffness requirements.

  • When it comes to stiffness, you’re in the same boat as those who like a softer feel (6-10/10). Lightweight sleepers can follow the same guidelines as those who weigh less than 150 pounds. For those who weigh more than 200 pounds, you’ll want to choose for an extra-plush mattress with a thick layer of foam at the top.
  • Average-sized sleepers should have no problem finding a mattress with a Medium Feel (5.5-7/10 firmness rating). You shouldn’t have a problem locating a mattress that’s suitable for a person of average weight that prefers a medium level of firmness. Medium firmness is often obtained when the layers of comfort and support are evenly distributed.
  • Your comfort layers should be reduced in thickness and your support layers should be thicker in order to have a firmer feeling mattress. In order to achieve a “firm” feel, medium-sized sleepers will need more support in the base than light sleepers.

Heavy Sleepers

Unfortunately, finding a comfortable mattress can be difficult for people who weigh more over 200 pounds. Even if many mattresses are designed for one sort of sleeper, it doesn’t mean there aren’t comfy options out there. As frustrating as this may be, there are a few ideas and tactics you can utilize to locate the perfect mattress for you.

  • In order to have a mattress that is softer than 4-6/10 on the firmness scale, you’ll want to go for a tall bed with thick layers of foam on top of a solid coil section. If you’re a heavy sleeper, you’ll want to make sure your mattress has at least 4-5 inches of foam on the top to allow you to sink deeper into your mattress.
  • I would maintain the top layer of foam thick, but cut it by an inch or two to achieve a medium-firm feel (5-7/10 on the stiffness scale). Heavy people may consider mattresses with a firmness rating of 7-8 instead of the industry standard of 6.5/10. For people who prefer a medium-firm feel, what other sleepers might consider firm should be just right.
  • You can get a good firmness level of 7 to 9 on the hardness scale by choosing with an innerspring mattress that has a cushion top layer. While there are lots of firm mattresses on the market, I’d recommend sticking to ones that fall anywhere between 8 and 9 on the firmness scale.

Pricing

Finally, we’re left with one more question: What is your budget? It’s vital to consider about this issue before you begin your search, because every consumer will have a different answer. If you’re looking for a bed that’s both comfy and affordable, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. There are, however, a few considerations to bear in mind.

  • There is no such thing as an ultra-luxurious mattress for less than $200, and you and I both know this to be the case. To put it another way, be realistic about your goals in light of the available resources. And don’t forget that there are many of affordable mattresses that are equally as comfy as their more expensive counterparts.
  • Do not be deceived by glitzy marketing for Name Brand, Shmame Brand. There’s no guarantee that a mattress is comfortable just because you see it all over the place. To summarize, don’t be swayed by clever advertising tactics; instead, do your homework and zero in on your unique sleeping requirements.
  • If you look closely, you’ll see a warranty offered by the retailer. This is one of the most straightforward ways to find a manufacturer that has a great guarantee. In many cases, the lifetime warranties of bed-in-a-box mattresses include repair or replacement of the mattress if it is ever damaged. Make sure you read the tiny print to learn how long your mattress is actually expected to last!
  • Avoid the High Season: If you’re on a tight budget, I suggest avoiding the high season. If you’re in the market for a new mattress, be on the lookout for big promotions around the holidays of Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.
  • There is a little-known fact about us here at Sleepopolis: We provide great deals all year long, even if you don’t use our site to buy a mattress. See whether your favorite mattress is on our special specials page!

What Type Of Mattress Do You Need?

This is the final step in the mattress-buying process, after we’ve covered some of the most significant considerations. I’ll go over the most popular choices in this category in the sections that follow. This is what they are like, and who could enjoy them the most will be described.

How to Choose a Mattress - Bed Buying Guide and Shopping Tips

Memory Foam

With their sluggish response to pressure and deep contoured hug, memory foam mattresses are a popular choice for anyone looking for a comfortable night’s sleep. It’s because of this that they alleviate pain in sensitive areas like the shoulders and hips.

The dense material has a minor drawback in that it traps and absorbs heat from the wearer’s body. People who have a tendency to sleep hot may find this a significant problem. In the modern era, however, most memory foam products are infused with cooling substances like as copper, gel, or graphite to alleviate this problem.

Best For: In my opinion, memory foam is best for sleepers who want to feel more “in” their mattress than “on top” of it. Side sleepers, in particular, may benefit from the material’s deep contouring hug as they press into the structure.

Sleepers who wish to feel more “within” their mattress rather than “on top” of it are best served by memory foam. If you are a side sleeper, you may benefit from the mattress’s deep contouring hug.

Sleepers who wish to feel more “within” their mattress rather than “on top” of it should go with memory foam. Because of the material’s deep contouring hug, those who sleep on their sides may find it more comfortable.

Latex

Latex foam is springy and energetic because it responds quickly to pressure. It’s also made from natural materials, so eco-conscious sleepers looking for an organic mattress may find it appealing. Natural cooling properties make it an excellent choice for those who sleep hot.

Latex is a good choice for a wide spectrum of sleepers, although I prefer it for those who sleep on their backs and stomachs. Latex foam’s natural bounce is ideal for these people, who must be able to move about and change positions easily. Its organic nature will likely appeal to eco-conscious sleepers as well, as previously indicated.

Worst For: Latex may not be the greatest choice if you require deep pressure relief in the shoulders or hips. You won’t receive the same level of comfort from this mattress as you would with a memory foam one.

Popular latex mattresses include the Plushbeds Botanical Bliss, Zenhaven, and Avocado types, all of which are available online.

Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses, one of the most common and commonly used mattress types, are springy, supportive, and firm. These beds are ideal for individuals who like a more classic, “old-school” look, thanks to their tall portions of steel coils.

It’s best for people who need a lot of support, like back and stomach sleepers, as well as heavier sleepers. Those who prefer a bouncy structure may also find them useful.

Innerspring mattresses aren’t going to help individuals who suffer from hip, shoulder, or back pain, therefore you may want to look into an other form of mattress.

If you’re looking for a mattress that relieves pressure points, check out our reviews of the best mattresses for back pain, shoulder discomfort, and hip pain.

These three mattresses are among the most popular innerspring mattresses on the market, and you can find them at any retail store or online retailer.

Hybrid

Foam and coils or springs are combined in a hybrid mattress, which is one of the most recent mattress varieties. It offers both pressure relief and support in one package! Innerspring mattresses have a more “unbalanced” feel, but memory foam mattresses do not.

A hybrid mattress is best suited to back and combination sleepers, however they can be used by any type of sleeper. These beds have a lot to offer these people, both in terms of assistance and mobility.

Hybrid mattresses aren’t always harmful for everybody because there are so many varieties on the market. If you are a side sleeper, you’ll want a hybrid with memory foam, whereas if you are a back sleeper, you’ll want a hybrid with latex.

DreamCloud, Leesa Hybrid, and Casper Hybrid are three of my personal favorites when it comes to hybrid mattresses.

How to Choose a Mattress for a Child

Children need a good night’s sleep. More sleep is needed by children than adults, and it’s crucial for their growth at all ages. Choosing a good mattress for your child’s bed is an essential part of ensuring that they get the rest they need.

Knowing how to pick a mattress for a child and how to pick a mattress for an adult have a lot in common, but there are also important differences to consider.

When purchasing a bed for a child, especially an infant who will be sleeping in a crib, parents place a higher priority on the child’s safety. The safety of the mattress is of the foremost importance when purchasing one.

The bed’s size is also different. Children, unlike adults, can outgrow a bed, so it’s important to consider the best mattress size for a child depending on their current age and projected future growth.

A child’s age will determine whether or not they can utilize a bed built for adults in a smaller size (Twin or Twin XL). Parental preference may dictate a mattress designed for youngsters. Adults can choose from a broader variety of mattress types, models, and brands when they shop for a new bed.

Another area where prices may differ is the price of a mattress for a child. Many children’s beds are smaller and thinner, which reduces the cost of the product. Some children’s beds, on the other hand, come equipped with a slew of extras and can cost as much as an adult mattress.

How to Choose a Crib Mattress

It is important to consider a number of factors while purchasing a crib mattress. Choosing a crib mattress should always begin with consideration for the child’s safety. crib mattress safety includes the following:

  • Assuring that the crib mattress complies with the CPSC’s requirements for reducing exposure to lead and other chemicals. This is important.
  • Verifying that the mattress in the crib fulfills the CPSC’s criteria for a full-size crib’s mattress size. You’ll need at least 27.25-inches by 51-inches. A maximum thickness of six inches is recommended.
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) can be reduced by using a firm crib mattress (SIDS).
  • Toys, blankets, and pillows should not be placed on top of the mattress. The danger of suffocation and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) can be minimized by removing loose and soft things from an infant’s cot.

Other aspects that affect the crib mattress’s ease and usability should also be considered:

  • A crib mattress that is easy to clean is a significant bonus because it’s nearly guaranteed that messes will occur. A waterproof cover (often made of vinyl) or a waterproof backing can be found on some baby mattresses. These characteristics make housekeeping considerably easier for many parents.
  • When it comes to cleaning the crib mattress, you’ll most likely have to raise it, therefore lighter mattresses like foam ones may be a better option for certain parents.
  • In terms of mattress type, foam and innerspring can both be employed to create a firm sleeping surface. Crib mattresses can be made from a variety of materials and components, some of which are eco-friendly.
  • A baby mattress with a reversible firmness design allows you to change the firmness of each side. Flipping the mattress over when your youngster outgrows its firmness can help you get the most out of your investment.

How to Choose a Mattress Topper

Consider a mattress topper as an option if your budget does not allow for a new mattress. While this method may not be as long-lasting or effective as a new mattress, it can still be useful if that isn’t an option.

Fitted sheets are placed on top of a topper, which rests on top of the mattress. When it comes to changing the firmness level of your mattress, this is the best tool for the job. The contouring, motion isolation, or bounce of a mattress topper may also be able to improve the comfort of your existing bed.

Only one material is used to make the majority of tops. Polyfoam and latex are examples of materials that can be utilized in mattress toppers. There are advantages and disadvantages to using each of these materials.

The same considerations apply when selecting a mattress topper as they do when purchasing a new mattress:

  • The way you’re lying down at night
  • When it comes to your physical appearance,
  • The level of hardness you prefer
  • You should choose the material that best meets your requirements.
  • Your spending plan

In the topic of mattress toppers, it is important to remember that your current mattress will play a role in determining the overall feel of your bed. A memory foam topper will not prevent motion from being transferred from a spring-like innerspring.

The Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best Mattress For You

In the end, if you decide to get a topper, it’s critical that you remain grounded in reality. A mattress topper isn’t as long-lasting as a brand-new mattress, and it won’t be able to revitalize an old one. Adding a topper to a worn-out and sagging mattress will only result in the topper also sagging.

Important Mattress Questions

What Is the Average Age of a Bed?

The first thing you need to do is answer this question. Why? If you’ve got a mattress that’s more than five years old, it may be time for a new one. Generally speaking, if you’ve owned your current bed for more than eight years, it’s time for a change. While this isn’t an absolute guideline, a good place to start is by checking in with your mattress and seeing if it’s doing its job of getting you to sleep well!

These data might help you understand the lifespan of your mattress, but the best way to know if it’s time to change things up is to listen to your body. Do you get fresh pains every morning when you wake up? Do you having a hard time sleeping because you can’t find a comfortable position? Rotating your mattress at least once a year should take care of any new dips you find. Yes to any of the following questions indicates that it may be time for a new bed.

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