One of the best ways to improve your health is by getting consistent, good-quality sleep.
Adults need the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep to improve concentration, improve social interactions, and reduce the risk of acquiring diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
A practical move towards sleeping better is by getting an excellent mattress. If your mattress is sagging or if you are experiencing back pains, it is time to replace it.
However, shopping can be confusing. There are many kinds available – latex, memory foam, water beds, innerspring, adjustable base, and memory foam gel mattress.
According to the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), consumers expect to keep a mattress for an average of 8.9 years. And 96% are convinced that comfort and support are the most important considerations in buying a mattress.
The right mattress is a health investment. How do you know which one is most suitable for you?
Here are six factors to consider.
The firmness levels and their equivalent scale ratings are:
- Extra Soft (1)
- Soft (2-3)
- Medium Soft (4)
- Medium (5)
- Medium Firm (6)
- Firm (7-8)
- Extra Firm (9-10)
If you usually sleep on your side and back, choose firm mattresses over conforming types. For slide sleepers, however, softer or conforming mattresses provide better support.
Another consideration is body weight. If you are on the weighty side, a firm mattress is your best bet. A soft bed is ideal if you are lighter.
The weight groups are:
- Light (less than 130 pounds) – choose Soft, Medium Soft, and Medium
- Average (130 to 230 pounds) – choose Medium Soft, Medium, and Medium Firm
- Hefty (More than 230 pounds) – choose Medium Firm, Firm, and Extra Firm
Couples with different firmness requirements may want to consider dual-firmness mattresses wherein each side has different firmness settings.
Soft, conforming mattresses have reduced airflow around your body, trapping more heat than firmer mattresses.
Innerspring (coil) mattresses are preferable for a more refreshing night’s sleep. The amount of space between springs allows for maximum air circulation, keeping the temperature down.
Since mattresses can be a considerable investment, the average lifespan of different mattress types will help you decide.
- Innerspring – 7 years
- Waterbed – 7 years
- Pillowtop – 7 years
- Air beds – 8 years
- Latex – 10 years
- Memory foam gel mattress – 10 years
Density indicates how tightly packed the foam is inside. High-density mattresses, which provide excellent back support in any sleeping position, will be more comfortable than those will less foam density.
As a guide, high-density foam mattresses weigh around 75kg per cubic meter while a low-density one ranges from 40-45kg per cubic meter only.
Aside from comfort, high-density mattresses are more durable.
Memory foam mattresses conform to every inch of the sleeper’s body, providing superior support and comfort for every body type.
Another advantage is its motion isolation feature, wherein one sleeping partner’s movements do not affect the person beside him/her.
One drawback, however, is that memory foam retains heat. Fortunately, the memory foam gel mattress has gel beads with cooling properties.
Most mattresses vary in width from 5 inches to more than 15 inches.
Your body weight can dictate your preferred thickness. Heavy people are more comfortable with thicker beds.
Whatever mattress you choose – whether innerspring, latex, or memory foam gel mattress –
ensure good health by aiming for those that provide the comfort and support necessary for a good night’s sleep.