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A significant number of people lack proper sleep for several reasons. Whether you’re suffering from back pain or restless leg syndrome, mattress quality can predictably determine sleep comfort. If you wake up stiff or tired, you should consider swapping out your mattress.
Studies show that a medium-firm mattress that can be custom inflated (self-adjusted) is optimal for improving sleep quality and spinal alignment. Warm temperatures also help with sleep.
While looking at a mattress buyer’s guide, we advise choosing styles that fit this description and adjust accordingly by using recommendations based on personal characteristics.
How to Choose the Perfect Mattress
Don’t shop online or head into your local retailer before considering your preferred sleeping position, body type, chronic pain, or overall costs associated with buying a mattress.
Most people either sleep primarily on their back, side or stomachs. Combination sleepers will move between two positions or all three. Your sleeping position can play a large part in why you’re experiencing chronic back, shoulder, or neck pain or poor sleeping patterns.
- Back Sleepers should choose firm foam or mattresses that combine coil and foam.
- Side Sleepers need soft mattresses or memory foam to protect their hips.
- Stomach Sleepers require firmer foam mattresses that support the spine.
- Combination Sleepers need medium-firm mattresses. Avoid memory foam.
Weight or circumference can impact the way your body lays out on top of the mattress. For example, a 120-pound person will find a firm mattress much firmer than a 220-pound person.
Someone with an hourglass figure may contort their spine to meet the bed if they sleep on their side because there’s a large gap between themselves and the mattress. However, flat or straight body shapes don’t require a mattress that excels in weight distribution.
Here are other metrics that may determine your mattress purchase based on body type:
- Smaller/Lightweight Sleepers: Softer mattresses with less dense foam.
- Heavy/Above Average Sleepers: Thick mattresses with high-density foam.
- Average Body Weight Sleepers: Medium-firm with memory foam.
- Curvy Body Shapes: Firmer comfort support layers and uneven distribution.
- Average Body Shapes: Average comfort layer and average firmness.
- Flat or Straight Body Shapes: A thin comfort layer with few pressure points.
If you’re experiencing chronic pain, that’s a major red flag that your mattress cannot support your spine in its natural position. If you continue to sleep on your bed, it’ll only get worse.
Persistent back pain can be elicited with a very firm mattress, but medium-firm mattresses offer the most benefits for improving sleep quality and reducing back pain. Use a medium-foam mattress if you experience pressure point pain in your joints, muscles, hips, and shoulders.
Mattress prices vary widely depending on several key factors, like the following:
- Construction Location: Foreign mattresses are cheaper but not always well-made.
- Materials: High-quality natural and organic fibers are more expensive than synthetic.
- Brand: Certain well-known luxury brands will come with a heftier price tag.
- Type: Foam mattresses are cheaper, and hybrids are the most costly.
Quality and cost aren’t necessarily one for one, as several brands offer cheap queen-sized mattresses made from the best materials. On average, you’ll find queen-sized mattresses for $600-$1,500, but there are “no-frills” options for $300-$600 online.
Not everyone requires a luxury mattress, but you likely won’t sleep well on a poorly made bed. Shop for a mattress based on longevity, as a decent bed should last for 8-10 years.
Besides what’s mentioned above, you should also consider mattress type, firmness, support, pressure relief, body contouring, mattress height, motion isolation, temperature regulation, and off-gassing before settling on your purchase. Research each company you plan to buy from.