The South African Society of Sleep Medicine reports that between 30 – 40% of adults experience insomnia every year, so choosing the right mattress for your bed is a pretty big deal.
Two out of the six types of insomnia can be directly attributed to the kind of mattress you’re sleeping on, and considering that you spend a quarter of your life on your bed, choosing the right mattress is vital to your sense of overall well-being.
Be aware that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll:
- Get sick
- Increase your risk of cancer
- Make your brain fuzzy
- Lose your libido
- Put on weight
- Stand in line for Diabetes and
- Lose your lovely looks.
To say the least.
Now granted, your mattress is not the only thing that’ll keep you up but it is a biggie.
But buying a new mattress can be nerve-wracking with so many types to choose from – how do you know which one’s going to be best for your needs?
We’re about to simplify your life: check out these five pointers to choosing a mattress that rocks [you to sleep]:
Side sleeping is one of the most common sleeping positions, but because it is a lot more “curved” than other positions, pressure relief becomes essential.
It is not advisable for your shoulders and hips to take the strain every day because of the way you sleep!
When you side sleep, indented areas between your body and the mattress are formed.
These indented spaces need support that a combination of individual pocket springs and natural latex provide so that the weight is spread more evenly to avoid pain from pressure from sleeping on your side every night.
On your back
Although this is the recommended sleeping position (but it is known to increase snoring and sleep apnea), most people don’t find it comfortable, but that could also be because of the wrong choice of mattress.
As with side sleepers, those who sleep on their backs will need the support from individually pocketed springs and natural latex in order to prevent back pain.
Many people who sleep on their tummies do so to avoid back pain, but it’s the least recommended position because it places tension on the neck from sleeping with your head turned to the side.
If this is you, choose a mattress that is either medium-firm or medium-soft; it has to be firm enough for support, but not so firm that it’s uncomfortable or so soft that you sink in
#2: Body temperature on a mattress
Getting hot in the sack is best left for you-know-what, but getting hot while you sleep is going to create restlessness.
What the mattress is made of will either keep you comfortable or increase body temperature.
Now, if you’re the type of person that is always cold, you won’t need to worry about this, but if you’re a hottie and often wake up uncomfortably warm, you’ll need breathability; a mattress that allows for circulation unlike the old spring mattresses which don’t (although a combination of pocketed springs and natural latex does).
Look for breathable foam or natural latex, pinholes or breathable covers made from polyester cotton.
#3: Mattress Comfort
It can be tricky to choose the right mattress, especially if your partner has different needs to yours, but the most comfortable mattress is the one that’s going to address the needs of both of you.
Individual pocket springs offer pain relief from arthritis and chronic back pain and a combo of natural latex and zoned springs are good for non-transfer of movement, so if you have a squiggly partner, look out for this type of mattress.
Innerspring mattresses are outdated and do not offer the best spinal support. However, individual pocket springs are excellent for spinal support.
Hybrid beds, like the Genie mattress, combine two or more support systems, like individual pocketed springs, natural latex or high density. These offer the best of both worlds: sturdy support as well as comfort.
Natural Latex mattresses are durable and supportive. As your weight pushes down the elasticity of the natural latex gently pushes back to give you the ultimate support while aligning the spine in a way that other beds don’t usually get right.
Memory Foam mattresses aren’t the best choice as you sink into them, creating a “memory well” of your body shape which is uncomfortable when you move and adds to the fact that it retains heat from your body. Getting hot and sweaty in the sack is best left for you-know-what, but getting hot while you sleep is going to create restlessness.
#4: Weight and shape
If you are heavier than the average person, you need to take into account that you may need a firmer mattress, especially if you sleep on your side.
If you’re considered obese, it’s probably wise to invest in a bed that is specially designed for your weight.
The shape of your body is also an important consideration because some people need more “filling in” than others. While a lighter, flatter body needs a thin and firm layer, a curvier person needs a more plush covering.
#5: Sleepless in Seattle?
Two-mattress systems are ideal if you’re sleeping with the enemy, aka, a partner who does not share your traits because although it’s still classified as one bed, each side is controlled by the other person.
So if you share a bed with someone who gets hot but you get cold, or when they move around a lot but you stay in one position the entire night, it can create disturbances that make for a poor night.
Two-mattress beds eliminate disturbances because each body controls their own side, but the bad news is that you’re going to pay through your nose for it.
Before nodding off…
So in summary, these are the pointers to remember when shopping for a new bed:
- Your sleeping positions
- Your body temperature
- Comfort level of mattress options
- Your weight and shape
- The behaviour of the person sleeping next to you