Getting the proper sleep you need, with the right mattress, can help boost your mood, energy & concentration. That being the case, you'll need to make sure you select the best mattress for yourself. A mattress choice is a highly individualized shopping decision. The right mattress for one person may be a source of discomfort and lack of sleep for another. Yet while there is no right or wrong when it comes to comfort, there are plenty of other things you should know to look for when buying a new mattress.
1. Put comfort first.
Don't fall into the common trap of thinking the brand name and price tag will tell you how comfortable the mattress is. The primary requirement of a mattress is that it will be comfortable for you. If it does not meet that need, then it is not suitable, no matter how cheap or expensive it is. You certainly don't want to spend thousands of dollars only to find that the mattress leaves you feeling unrested. Instead, find a mattress which feels comfortable to your body. This depends on several things, such as the firmness, composition, and size of the mattress
2. Which mattress material type is best?
There is a wide array of different mattress types made of different materials, each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. While the choice is ultimately up to you, here you will find a brief description of some of the different types of mattresses.
Innerspring with metal coils are the most common but this does not mean they are best. Innerspring mattresses
can cause allergies and will eventually compress over time and thus sag. Furthermore, if the parts are not of the best quality, the springs can be noisy and/or uncomfortable. There are also talks and discussions, especially online, about metal spring coils mattresses attracting and amplifying electro-magnetic radiation (EMR)
that is harmful to our human body. Just do a search online on the word 'mattress antenna
' and you will find many write-ups relating to this topic.
Memory foam sounds good but is over-hyped. Memory foam
can feel quite hot (an unwelcome sensation in a warm climate) and can also give off a chemical odor as they are made from polyurethane with additional chemicals increasing its viscosity and density. Memory foam can also tend to have body indentations on it over time. This type of material, visco-elastic foam, recovers slowly which means you have to expend more energy when you turn over in bed.
A latex mattress is an excellent choice of material.
Latex mattresses are made from naturally elastic latex rubber. They, therefore, do not have any springs. The block of latex rubber used for the mattress is a natural product, derived from the sap of Hevea Brasiliensis, the rubber tree. A latex mattress
offers superb comfort and softness, easily conforms to your body shape and weight, yet its elasticity delivers the correct back support
you need and keeping your spine naturally align. Allergy and asthma sufferers can breathe easier knowing that a latex mattress is naturally anti-dust mite and mould resistant
without use of chemicals.
The durability of latex is also one of its big advantages as a mattress material. A latex mattress is longer lasting than other mattress materials and will function for a long time without a loss of support or shape. Ventilation is another advantage: latex in any case has a natural structure of open cells, and furthermore latex mattresses are made with small pinholes on the top and bottom for additional air flow. This factor is very important in the warm humid climates found in Singapore.
Their excellent body pressure distribution properties result in latex mattresses being recommended by professionals who deal with musculoskeletal problems, such as osteopaths, physiotherapists, and chiropractors. Even if those ailments don't apply to you, you are certain to still appreciate and enjoy the natural pressure relief of lying on a latex mattress after a busy day.
3. The correct size for you.
Consider first whether or not your current mattress size works for you. Shopping for a new mattress gives you the opportunity to change to a different size, and this will be an especially welcome relief if you feel restricted by your current size of the mattress. Take note of your height which will correspond to the length of your mattress. Your weight will also determine the firmness level you require.
Sleeping alone or with a partner
will obviously have a big impact on the size of mattress you need. If you sleep alone, then a single, super single, or queen size mattress are the most usual choices. In contrast, if you sleep with a partner, then a queen or king size mattress is necessary. A king size mattress is designed specifically for two people and for a master bedroom and is really the best choice for couples. No matter what size of mattress
you are considering, if you sleep with a partner then ideally you should both visit the showroom together to test out different sized mattresses.
4. The right thickness.
Currently, thick mattresses are popular, often because they appear more luxurious. However, don't fall into the trap of thinking that thicker is automatically better. How the mattress feels is more important than how it looks. As discussed earlier, comfort (your comfort) is the focus here. Of course, you may find a thick mattress to be comfortable, in which case this may be the right one for you. Regardless, when you find one that feels good, ask to see a cutaway if one is available so that you can see how it's constructed and what materials you may be sleeping on. Some of these materials may be metal springs, padding, polyurethane foam layers, felt and non-woven fabric. It's not always clear what the quality of the materials might be, and this would depend on the manufacturer, of course.
There are a surprising number of disadvantages to having a thick mattress, which you should be careful to take into account when shopping. Firstly, a thick mattress tends to be quite heavy, which can become a problem when you are flipping it. This is particularly an issue if you are purchasing a larger size mattress, such as a queen or king size. Another problem of a thick mattress is that it may make your bed too high, and in terms of appearance, this would be a big decorating flop.
Unfortunately, all too many mattress manufacturers use thickness purely for its visual effects on the buyer, giving the impression of added luxury. Instead, ask yourself how your body feels when you lie on the bed. Find the mattress which actually feels the most comfortable, and not merely focus on the appearance of it.
5. Your bed base is important.
Did you know that even the best mattress, if placed on a sagging bed base, will sag too? You certainly don't want to spend time and money purchasing the perfect mattress only to have it function poorly because of a poor bed base. The type of base you have will play a huge role in determining how your mattress feels and functions.
The different types of bed bases:
Platform top: This is a base with a solid top but no springs. It consists of a layer of padding on top of a wooden frame. Some will also come with no padding, just a flat wooden plank on top of the wooden frame. Using fewer materials and less labour, it is an inexpensive option. As a result of its lack of springs, a platform top base will give a much firmer feel to the bed. Apart from that, just like a sprung edge bed base, it does not allow for proper air circulation.
Fixed slatted base: Instead of one solid surface, a fixed slatted base has horizontal wooden slats (usually pine) which are fixed inside the frame. While it does not provide any additional 'give' or benefit to the bed, it will allow for air circulation below the mattress, letting it breathe.
Sprung slatted base: The wooden slats on a sprung slatted base have an outward (or rather upward) curve which allows this type of base to offer some natural bounce. These slats will offer some 'give' to your profile at points which have the most pressure. For larger sized beds, double spring units are used with one set of sprung slats on each side, with support from a central rail. This system avoids roll together and offers less disturbance when one person gets out of bed or moves around.
Why it's best to purchase an adjustable sprung slatted bed base together with a mattress.
For the ultimate sleeping experience, an adjustable sprung slatted bed base is the way to go with a new mattress. This is because the softness or firmness of the base can be changed according to your preference with an adjustable slatted bed base. Therefore the overall feel of the bed can be tweaked to perfection. It also allows for changes over time or during lifestyle changes (for example, temporarily making the bed feel softer during illness or firmer during pregnancy) - something which purchasing just the mattress alone will not do.
Furthermore, if sleeping with a partner, the softness or firmness of an adjustable sprung slatted bed base
is something which each partner can adjust differently on his or her side of the bed, according to individual preference. Thus a customized sleeping setup is possible, even with one mattress. Additionally, an adjustable sprung slatted base allows for good airflow and proper ventilation below the mattress, preventing mildew and allowing the proper hygiene you desire.
6. Lie down to test whether you want a soft, medium or firm mattress.
There is no right or wrong here; it depends on your preference. You can't let yourself be guided by the firmness labels on the mattress because these are not regulated terms and vary from one brand to another. For example, one brand's medium firm may be equivalent to another brand's extra firm. Lying down really is the only way to test out the softness or firmness of a mattress.
Be aware that for the sake of your body, you won't want a mattress that is too soft or too hard. Too soft of a mattress is harmful to your spine due to a lack of sufficient support, resulting in poor sleep posture and back pain. On the other hand, too firm of a mattress for your body can cause soreness from pressure points and can also stop your body from maintaining the natural curvature of the spine while asleep. Therefore you will need to find a balance between comfort and firmness when you test out a mattress.
Bringing a friend along may help you determine whether your spine maintains its normal alignment when you lie on the mattress. Remember, it's your spine which has to be normal - the surface of the mattress is allowed to curve. Ask your friend to see whether your spine is mostly neutral or naturally aligned when you lie down. If the mattress causes your spine to sag or curves a lot in one direction, look for a mattress with a different firmness.
Take your time: lie down for about 15 minutes on each mattress. Test out different positions during this process; lay down on your back, your left side and your right side. Spend the most amount of time in your normal sleep position. Does your back feel supported? And are you comfortable? Do you feel any pressure point, especially when you lie on your sides? A reputable mattress shop will allow you to take your time and not rush you through this process.
Also, feel free to ask questions and consult the bedding specialist in the shop. In contrast, a salesperson may only be interested in selling the mattress, whereas a bedding specialist will have a lot of knowledge about the products, composition, differences, and so on.
7. Stay away from allergens.
Whether or not you have allergies, you should be careful to read the label of the mattress to make sure its materials are not causing allergies. Those with allergies will need to be especially careful about this. But even if you do not suffer from allergies, you'll want to be careful of such materials for hygiene reasons: you are certain to prefer to avoid dust mites, mould and certain bacteria residing in your mattress, even if you're not actually allergic.
A mattress which comes fully enclosed in a removable, washable outer cover is ideal
. In this way, the sheet and mattress covers can be washed, ensuring your mattress itself stays clean. Some of these good quality covers can even handle high washing temperatures of up to 95 degree Celsius
to remove any bacteria. If the mattress cover cannot be washed, then, at least, look for one that can be removed completely and send for dry cleaning.
8. Don't be swayed by brand names.
It may come as a surprise to know that most of the available mattresses on the market are made out of parts which all come from the same few manufacturers. For example, the coils, fabric, foam, latex and so on tend to be made by just a few different companies. Thus, a particular brand name or a higher price tag will not necessarily equate to better quality.
Instead, it's better to ask the salesperson where the main parts of the mattress come from, including the country in which they were made. Also, you should request to be shown certificates of proof that the mattress has passed a quality control test, or conforms to an International Standard.
It's more important that the mattress is made from an established manufacturer, has passed some sort of strict quality control standard, and that its parts are of good quality, rather than what the price tag says. Also, you'll want to make sure that the mattress is sold by knowledgeable salespeople and the store offers good customer service.
9. A warranty is a must!
Don't buy a new mattress without a warranty: no matter how good the deal seems to be, you'll regret it later. If the company can't stand behind its product with a warranty, there's a reason for it: the product won't last. The length of the warranty is important - it should be 10 years or longer.
10. Try it out at home.
Go to a mattress or bedding shop which lets you have an in-home trial. This is where you can sleep on the mattress in your own home, for up to 100 days. If you are not satisfied, the shop will let you change the main mattress core for a softer or firmer mattress. This is really the only way you can be certain of ultimately selecting the best mattress for you.
Shopping for a new mattress is one of the most significant purchases you can make from a comfort standpoint since you will be spending one-third of your time or life sleeping. Enjoy this opportunity to shop for the perfect mattress for yourself! Your improved well-being, comfort and most importantly, enjoying a good night’s sleep every night is well worth it.