Whether you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress for ages or starting to experience back pain, getting a good night’s sleep on a quality mattress is important. Proper sleep can support overall wellbeing and ensure you are ready to tackle each day to the fullest. While this may seem like common knowledge, individuals continue to make mistakes when buying a mattress, which can ultimately lead to back pain, poor quality of sleep, and other health concerns. Studies suggest that over 80% of adult US citizens suffer from acute or chronic back pain, something that can be avoided with the right mattress.
Here is a guide to the few essential things to consider before buying a mattress, the different types of mattresses on the market, and the biggest mistakes you should avoid when making a purchase:
What To Consider Before Buying A Mattress?
Before buying a mattress, you need to consider your individual sleeping preferences and how mattresses are tailored to suit a variety of people. Between a mattress’s firmness and your desired sleeping position, let’s take a look at the top two things to consider before buying a mattress:
How Firm Is The Mattress?
Typically, people have assumed that a firmer mattress equals a better quality of sleep and minimized risk of developing acute or chronic back pain. That, however, is not the case anymore with the advent of superior mattress technology, such as cooling gels and Posturepedic designs, that provides soft support that is arguably better for proper back health. That said, each individual’s required firmness will depend on their preferences concerning their sleeping position as well as the state of their posture and physical health. By enforcing good posture habits and choosing the right mattress firmness for your needs, you will be on the journey to a new you thanks to a better night’s rest and less back pain!
What is Your Preferred Sleeping Position?
Mattresses are designed to accommodate all sorts of sleeping positions, from side to back to stomach. There have been reports suggesting certain sleeping positions correlate with back pain, meaning that the first step to improving your sleep quality is adjusting to better sleep positions as per authoritative guidelines. The second step is basing your mattress purchase on the sleep position that you end up sticking to. The following scale from one to 10 (with 10 being the firmest) will help you make an informed purchase in relation to your preferred sleeping position:
- Side sleepers require softer mattresses within the range of 5.5 to 6.5.
- Individuals that sleep on their backs should consider solid medium-firm mattresses falling in the firmness range of 6 to 7.
- Those that sleep on their stomach would be wise to purchase a firmer mattress within the 6.5 to 7.5 range.
Understanding The Different Types Of Mattresses
Each type of mattress offers unique benefits and, based on your required firmness or sleeping position, there may be a mattress style you lean towards more. Beyond personal preferences, it would be in your best interest to be well aware of the different types of mattresses on the market and how these mattresses may support back health. Here is a look at the most popular options on the market today:
A traditional foam mattress constructed on top of a layer of round coils is called an innerspring mattress. Pocketed coils and better motion isolation have improved the quality of these outdated mattresses, however, they still fail to provide proper back support.
Memory Foam And Latex
These are arguably the best mattresses for back pain as they support, contour, and mold to mesh with an individual’s specific body shape. They cradle one’s curves, support pressure points, and help promote spine alignment for better sleep and back support.
Typically regarded as a camping bed, airbeds have recently evolved into more elaborate products that provide similar support to memory foam and latex mattresses. Firmness can be adjusted easily to cater to varying individual needs over time.
A combination of either a coil or air-base and plush memory foam or latex top makes for a decent hybrid mattress that offers quality back support and sleep aid. It is best to look for hybrids that have sufficient layers of memory foam for best performance.
Besides the type of mattress itself, many people fail to recognize that your daily health habits play a large role in affecting your sleep and back health. Coupling the right mattress type with a quality sleep aid is one of the most effective ways to support your sleep health and reduce the risk of acute or chronic back pain. For those who lead demanding and stressful lifestyles, ensuring you manage your wellbeing and anxiety will also positively impact your quality of sleep.
The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Buying A Mattress
With an understanding of the different mattress types on the market and your required firmness based on your sleeping position, you can confidently begin your hunt for the perfect mattress. When doing so, you should consider a few of these key mistakes made by most individuals seeking a new mattress so that you do not end up making them and regretting your decision. After all, mattresses should last years and only the best ones tailored to your unique preferences will support your wellbeing and help minimize acute or chronic back pain.
Purchasing Without Testing
These days, buying a new mattress is as efficient as opening up your web browser, visiting a virtual storefront, clicking purchase, and waiting for your delivery to arrive. That said, online shopping is a big no-no when it comes to buying a mattress. It is imperative that you head to a brick-and-mortar store and test drive mattresses if you want to find the right fit. Descriptions are rarely ever accurate, meaning the only way you will get a true representation of a mattress’s advertised firmness is by lying on it yourself.
Being Influenced By Friends And/Or Reviews
Unfortunately, mattresses are just something you cannot buy based on friends’ recommendations or online reviews. This is because every individual has unique firmness and sleeping position preferences as well as body types and states of wellbeing. In line with the point above, the best way to determine the accuracy of a friend’s comments or reviews is by trying the mattress out yourself. If you do wish to go by recommendations, then be sure to still follow the step above.
Failing To Look After The Mattress
Buying a mattress is part of promoting better sleep and supporting back health but it does not end there. You need to look after and maintain your mattress to ensure its longevity and subsequent superior back support for longer. A mattress topper or protector may come at an additional cost, however, they will provide an additional protective layer that keeps spills, stains, and indentations away from your mattress for longer.
Choosing Brands Without Proper Customer Support
Mattresses should be purchased based on the quality of customer support provided by the company. At this point, a return policy is the biggest indicator of a brand’s ability to live up to its advertising claims. After all, a return policy protects the consumer from potential damages or a product’s failure to provide quality results. Always buy from a brand that has a decent return policy as this showcases their confidence in their mattresses.
With an understanding of what to look for in a mattress, knowledge of the different options available to you, and ideas on some detrimental mistakes that many consumers make, you can make an informed purchase next time you head out mattress shopping. By getting your hands on and body onto a quality mattress as well as sourcing a quality sleep aid, you can improve your quality of sleep, support your energy levels throughout the day, and minimize the risk of acute or chronic back pain.