What Everyone Ought to Know Before Shopping For Mattresses
If you've grown tired of waking up every morning feeling like you went 10 rounds with your mattress during the night and lost then it's probably time to go shopping for a new mattress.
There have been some changes to mattresses over the years adding pillow tops and memory foam to name two. But some things about mattresses never change. You want a mattress that is comfortable, supports you properly and will last a decade or so.
First a word about durability. A good mattress set will last for about a decade, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should keep it in commission for that long. While the set may still look good after 20 years, that doesn't mean it is still capable of providing the comfort and support you need. Bear in mind that a higher quality mattress will generally last longer than its cheaper counterpart. That's not always true, but it's a good place rule of thumb. Remember, a mattress set is not the place to cut corners. Buy the best set your budget will allow.
Next, examine the comfort the mattress provides. If you're someone who likes a mattress that's as hard as rock, go for it. But don't think that you will only get the proper support by sleeping on a rock-hard mattress. Today's mattresses are designed to provide firmness and support on the inside, and plush comfort on the outer layers. Luxurious fabrics and rich pillow tops can make the even the firmest mattress feel comfortable.
Another major concern should be getting a mattress set that provides the right amount of support. You want adequate support every place your body comes into contact with the mattress. So when it's time to buy a mattress, you need to take off your shoes and lie down on the mattress. Stay there long enough to sense the support it will give you. When you're lying on your back, is your spine basically aligned as if you were standing up? It should be. The lack of support for different body parts is why you wake up with back pain.
To understand your mattress, you need to know what is providing the support. It comes from the innersprings, a foam mattress and the box spring.
Most mattresses are made with innersprings. These are coils made of tempered steel placed in a variety of patterns. On top of the coils are insulation and padding, so you get the benefits of the springs and the comfort of the padding. Some mattresses claim to be better because of the number of coils, but it's really the quality of those coils and the padding that make the biggest difference.
Some mattresses are made of foam either solid foam or layers of foam glued together. An advancement in foam mattresses came from NASA in the 1960s with the discovery of memory foam. Originally created to improve the safety of aircraft cushions, memory foam was temperature sensitive hence the name 'temper foam.' In 1991, one mattress company marketed the 'Tempur-Pedic' mattress and its popularity has soared since then. Today, memory foam mattresses are more expensive than conventional mattresses, but their fans say they are worth the extra investment.
Underneath a foam or innerspring mattress is the foundation also called the box spring. While the box spring doesn't get much attention, a good one is just as important as the mattress. The mattress and its box spring are sold as a set for a good reason. The two are designed to complement each other. It is never a wise move to try to use an old box spring under a new mattress. The effect will not be the same as the one you tried out in the showroom.
Now the only choice you have left to make is the size of your mattress. If you sleep with a partner, invest in a queen- or king-sized bed. Here is a brief description of the different mattress sizes available:
Choosing a mattress merits careful time and consideration. Use the tips and info above to make the most informed choice possible, and reap the many benefits of a restful night's sleep.