6 Essential Factors to Consider When Buying a Mattress
What you sleep on is one of the most important factors in how you sleep. To sleep better, invest in not just a high-quality mattress but one that meets your personal sleep needs. A mattress is a significant purchase, both in terms of money and the impact on your sleep and health. It’s worth taking the time to do research and weigh your options. As you do, here are some of the most important factors to consider.
1. Mattress Stores or Online?
Gone are the days when you had to go to a mattress or furniture store to buy. Online options have exploded in recent years, so you have a choice. If you need to try something before you commit or have very particular sleep needs, a store might be a better option. If time or travel are issues, shop online.
2. Mattress Type
With the growth of online mattress companies has come a surge in variety. You have a lot of options:
- Traditional innerspring mattress with box spring
- Memory foam
- Hybrid, a mix of foam and coils
- Adjustable mattresses
A traditional innerspring mattress and box spring set is firm and bouncy. Memory foam is softer and allows you to sink in more. Latex is somewhere in between. A hybrid mattress has foam on top of coils, so you get pressure point relief with added support from the coils.
3. Firmness and Sleep Position
The firmness of a mattress is partly personal taste but also dictated by your preferred sleep position. Side sleepers do best with medium-soft firmness to keep the spine aligned. If you sleep on your stomach, go softer to avoid sinking too deeply. Medium is best for back sleepers for adequate back support.
4. Mattress Materials
What a mattress is made of matters. If sustainability is important to you, for example, you can find an organic mattress. Materials also impact comfort. If you sleep hot, memory foam isn’t the best choice as it tends to trap heat. Also, consider allergens. Certain materials collect more dust, dander, and mold than others.
5. Mattress Size and Cost
Generally, the bigger the mattress, the better night’s sleep you can expect, especially if you sleep with a partner or pets. A California king is 72 by 84 inches, while a full is just 53 by 75 inches. That’s a big difference.
Choosing a size that meets your comfort needs may mean balancing it against cost and space. A larger mattress costs more. A smaller room may not fit a king-sized bed. Get the largest bed you can fit and afford. You can generally get the best price on a mattress during holiday weekends.
A mattress is just the first step, the base, in creating your perfect new bed. You can also add a mattress cover, mattress protector, pillows, sheets, and covers. Pillows are particularly important. They provide support and comfort nearly to the same degree as the mattress.
These are the most important factors to consider when building a new bed for optimal sleep. Also essential is how you prepare yourself for sleep. With the perfect mattress in place, consider optimizing your bedtime routine with tools like BetterSleep. Use meditations, gentle exercises, music, stories, and more to get your best night of sleep yet.
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