FAQs How to Choose the Best Mattress for Your Needs

Published on June 4th, 2013 | by tmgadmin

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How to Choose the Best Mattress for Your Needs

Information and advice on beds is what we do, and often we will see people ask or search for the best mattress. However, everyone experiences and defines comfort differently, which can make it difficult to recommend a mattress as best for the general population. Your age, size, body type, sleep preference and health all make a difference when looking for the best mattress for comfort and support. One way to narrow down your search is by looking at specific needs or concerns that may be benefited by specific types of beds and mattresses. Thus in this article, we will tackle the question of “What’s the best mattress?,” by offering advice based on the most common questions we see regarding best mattress options.

What’s The Best Mattress for…

… preventing or relieving pressure points?

Pressure point relief concerns are best addressed with a memory foam mattress of medium density (4.0 to 5.3 lbs). The cellular structure yields to pressure and is able to provide even support throughout the length of the body as it conforms to curves and distributes weight evenly without losing its ability to provide support. Latex beds can also offer effective pressure relief, and all three have been used in medical industries for reliving pressure sores. Innersprings are not the best mattress options for those with pressure concerns, as the metal springs push upwards while gravity pulls you down, compressing padding materials and skin in between.

… preventing or relieving back pain?

Back pain sufferers, both general and lower, respond well to the resilient support provided by latex mattresses and memory foam mattresses. These two types allow the spine to decompress, elongate and align while providing full-body support. Traditionally doctors have recommended that firm models are the best mattress options for people fighting back pain, but recent studies have shown medium-firm may be a better choice for pain prevention.

… staying cool at night?

Some people naturally sleep hot and keeping cool can be essential to getting quality rest. Spring beds and water beds to rate lowest on heat complaints, but have other issues one must weigh. Newer formulations of plant-based memory foam have proven to be more breathable (Cargill), though gel options seem to perform similarly to traditional memory foams, with about 10-20% of people complaining about heat. Natural all-latex beds also receive fairly low rates of complaint regarding heat.

… reducing acid reflux symptoms?

Sufferers of acid reflux/GERD or edema can find considerable reduction of symptoms when using an adjustable bed.  Health professionals often recommend people with this condition sleep with their upper bodies slightly elevated, but pillows and wedges can be cumbersome and disruptive to sleep. With adjustable base beds, endless personalized levels of elevation help users change positions as needed with the touch of a button. As far as mattress options, latex and memory foam tend to work best as they prove most durable and flexible.

… reducing fibromyalgia symptoms?

People with fibromyalgia often have trouble sleeping do to increased sensitivity and pain. The ideal bed for this condition would offer a plush surface and a support core that does not exert pressure, but still supports alignment. For this, a memory foam mattress would prove ideal. However, in reviews and forums, many people complain simultaneously of hot sleeping, so you may also want to consider a cooler version (open-cell, medium density, and/or plant-based) or supplement the memory foam bed with a cooling pad.

… someone with dust/household allergies?

Allergy sufferers can find relief by swapping old spring beds with more hypoallergenic mattresses such as memory foam and latex. These styles should still be encased with protective covers to protect against staining and critters, but the combination also provides protection from dust mites which are the leading cause of household allergies and a contributor to asthma symptoms. The cellular nature of foam does not offer large, moist open spaces hospital to mites unlike spring beds.

… someone concerned about bedbugs?

As bed bugs continue to ravage hotels and homes across the country, people who travel frequently or live in heavily affected cities are often concerned about bringing this problem home. Infestations are difficult to treat and may require a total replacement of bed and linens. While no mattresses are 100% immune to these creepy critters, memory foam and latex provide fewer places these bugs can hide. Practicing smart traveling tips can be a lifesaver, like carefully inspecting rooms, not unpacking at hotels or leaving luggage on the floor, and not unpacking inside the house if you suspect exposure. In addition, you can also use a “mattress encasement”, which is 360-degree cover with impermeable zippers. These keep stains, molds, mites, and bugs out of your bed, but must be used before the problem arises.

… my sleep position?

  • Side – medium to plush beds with at least 4″ of contouring material to accommodate hips and shoulders.
  • Back – medium to firm beds tend to offer the best option for back sleepers, as the goal is supporting the natural curve of the spine, and not allowing hips or shoulders to sink further in.
  • Stomach – firm beds are ideal for stomach sleepers, as you want to prevent your lower body from sinking own and exaggerating the lumbar curve.

… someone who likes super-firm beds?

People who prefer the firmest of firm beds may find the best mattress options to be firm latex or spring beds. Other types of mattresses may offer too much yield or conformity to yield an ultra-firm feel. Spring beds will however be more likely to sag and lose support quicker than a good quality latex bed.

… someone who likes super-soft beds?

The comfort of extra soft support, likened to a cloud, can be the best mattress for some, though it is not often recommended due to lack of support. For someone who likes their bed as soft as possible, we would suggest plush memory foam or a memory foam or feather topper above a medium mattress. If you still notice aches and pains on an ultra-soft bed, consider trying a firmer model as your body may be lacking support.

… people who prefer green and natural products?

Chemical free and eco-friendly lovers will be enthusiastic about 100% natural latex mattresses which are created using sustainable practices and healthy materials. Liquid latex is collected using methods which do not harm the rubber trees planted specifically for the purpose of latex production. There are manufacturers available that do not use any toxic chemicals and also incorporate organic materials in the cover layers. We suggest 100% natural latex beds with organic covers, like natural Talalay latex mattresses from Astrabeds.com.

… couples with opposite needs?

Couples face unique problems when choosing the best mattress as each person may need different levels of support from their bed. For those with drastically different needs unable to reach a middle ground, there are mattress options that allow for dual customization, like some latex mattresses. In king size beds, you may also be able to use two separate Twin XL beds of similar heights side-by-side. Adjustable beds with split sides can also offer a solution when one person needs to sleep with their chest or legs elevated.

… for young children?

Parents often wonder what the best mattress is for their kids’ health and comfort. Often pediatric specialists recommend firm beds to offer support and prevent kids (especially toddlers) from too far sinking in, and because smaller bodies will not have the pressure point issues that adults face. If health or elimination of chemicals is a concern, natural latex beds can offer a good option compared to traditional beds, though some may consider these too pricy for a growing child’s room.

A Few More Tips on Getting the Best Mattress

  • Research a wide variety of types. Innersprings are most common, but rated as least comfortable.
  • Don’t restrict yourself to the major showroom brands – there are many more options out there, and specialty mattresses tend to rate higher, and often have better comparative value.
  • Look for an option with a good return policy, as beds can feel quite different once you sleep on them for a few weeks.
  • For more on mattresses, see our Memory Foam Mattress Buying Guide and Latex Mattress Buying Guide.

Choosing the best mattress for your needs will require you to identify what you want and expect before shopping.  We provided some suggestions to get you started, but reading reviews and researching the advantages of different types of beds will also prove important to getting the best mattress.

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