Any mattress that helps you sleep comfortably and wake up feeling refreshed, without pain and stiffness, is the best mattress for you. Unfortunately, there is no single mattress that works for all people, so finding your perfect mattress can be a challenge. Everyone’s bodies adjust to mattresses differently, and all have a preference to the firmness. Here is an easy guide to explain the various options you have to choose from.
Mattress Size: What size is appropriate for my room and situation?
Let’s start with the simple option first: size. Picking the size of the mattress should be the first thing you do. Take into consideration the size of the sleeper as well as the size of the room this mattress will be in.
Twin (38”x 75”)
This mattress is best for one adult or child. The twin can easily fit into small spaces, such as a child’s room, dorm room or guest room. There are certain bed frames like daybeds that typically use twin mattresses.
Twin XL (38” x 80”)
Similar to a twin, but offers a little more length. This is a better choice for a taller individual looking for a comfortable mattress that also fits a smaller space. These are also commonly found in dorm rooms.
Full (54” x 74)
Can sleep one or two, but is the smallest option for doing so. This is a step-up in width from the twin, but is still a good option for smaller spaces.
Queen (60” x 80”)
This size will sleep two individuals comfortably. A queen mattress offers more wiggle room than a full and is the most popular choice of mattress sizes. This mattress fits nicely in larger bedrooms. A queen mattress is also available with split box springs, making it easier to maneuver through narrow stairwells, elevators or door frames.
King (76” x 80”)
Want more room? A king mattress is 16” wider than the queen, offering a comfortable amount of room for two individuals to move around without disturbing the other. This mattress is commonly used in master bedrooms and also comes with a split box spring, which makes it easier to manage when moving.
California King (72” x 84”)
The California king is 4” narrower than the king, but it is 4” longer in length, making this a better option for taller individuals. This is a spacious two person sleeper that is commonly used in master bedrooms. The California king also comes with a split box spring for easy moving.
Sleep Positions: Does my preferred sleep position influence the type of mattress I should choose?
Side sleepers tend to want a softer sleeping surface. This allows for their shoulders and hips to receive extra cushioning and will help avoid painful pressure points in those areas.
Stomach sleepers often desire a slightly firmer sleeping surface so that they can keep their spine in proper alignment and prevent their back from bowing in too much.
Back sleepers generally prefer a firmer surface to provide extra support and resistance in their lumbar spine (lower back).
Mattress Comfort: Do I prefer a firmer or softer mattress to sleep on?
This is the firmest mattress choice for sleepers who crave a hard feel.
A firm mattress has a harder feel and holds its shape while you sleep so you won’t sink into the weight of your body. This solid foundation is perfect for those who need maximum support. Individuals who tend to sleep on their back typically prefer this type of mattress.
A cushion firm mattress is a “happy balance” between conforming support and deep down back support. This mattress provides additional comfort & cushion on the surface, and although it’s mostly firm, there is a little bit of extra padding for additional comfort.
These mattresses are softer and ideal for individuals looking for a cushioned, cradling sleep surface. These are most popular with individuals who are smaller and lighter with less weight to displace and require less support. Although plush mattresses offer maximum cushioning, they are still manufactured with a strong, supportive interior core.
Like the plush, this type of mattress is perfect for smaller-build individuals that require less support than a larger person. Although ultra-plush mattresses offer maximum cushioning, they are still manufactured with a strong, supportive interior core. Ultra-plush mattresses often have several inches of high-quality comfort materials, often made with a blend of memory foam and latex.
Mattress Type: What support system will offer me the best night’s sleep?
The inside of the mattress is just as important as the outside. How it’s constructed determines the level of support that you experience when you lay down for a good night’s sleep. Different types of mattresses are made with different types of support systems.
This is one of the most popular types of mattresses. A common innerspring mattress consists of two components: an innerspring unit for support and upholstery layers. They are widely available and come in a variety of firmness and comfort levels to suit personal preference.
Individually Wrapped Coils or Pocket Coils
Individually wrapped coils are a popular coil support system. They provide individualized comfort by contouring to your body. They also do not transfer motion so you can sleep undisturbed even if your partner moves at night.
Combining an innerspring system with high density specialty foam layers, a hybrid bed sets you up with the comfort and pressure relief of specialty foam, plus the traditional support of an innerspring system.
Memory Foam or Specialty Foam
This mattress type is taking on more and more popularity. Memory foam was first developed by NASA to ease pressure on astronauts during lift-off. As it turned out, the unique way this foam conforms to an individual’s body and spreads pressure to reduce pressure points made it an ideal sleeping surface. While these mattresses contour to the shape of your body, they are also designed to absorb any movement while you sleep, so that any motion on one side of the mattress will not be transferred to the other.
Mattress Construction: What type of construction is right for me?
There are two popular types of mattress construction and both are offered in plush and firm mattresses. The construction of your mattress is dependent on your personal preference.
A pillow top mattress looks like a pillow is lying on top of the surface of the mattress. Pillow top mattresses feature additional padding stitched on top of the mattress. This soft top layer offers a bit more comfort, cushioning and padding, while still promoting proper alignment and support the body needs.
The standard design with all-over stitching patterns compresses each layer of padding & cushioning into one interconnected design, giving it a firmer feel.
Mattress Protectors: Do I need a mattress protector to protect my health and investment?
Antimicrobial is the general term for any product or ingredient that kills or inhibits bacteria, viruses, or molds. As we sleep, our bodies give off heat, excrete fluids, and shed old skin and hair cells. These particles make their way down inside our mattress and pillows – creating an atmosphere that is warm, humid, and rich in decaying organic matter… the exact environment where harmful microbes flourish. Antimicrobial fabric prevents prevent the growth of harmful microbes inside your mattress.
These are specially designed to prevent allergies. Usually this type of mattress is tightly sealed to prevent dead skin and body oils from penetrating the mattress and attracting dust mites, along with other microscopic organisms that can cause allergic reactions. Other options are hypoallergenic pads/covers that will also protect your mattress and prevent allergies.
Stains and moisture can ruin your mattress, and even if you are exceptionally careful with your sleep essentials, the average human perspires up to two liters of moisture a night that can leave unexpected stains. Stain-resistant pads/covers will protect your mattress from stains caused by both unexpected spills and human perspiration. A stained mattress could void the warranty on the mattress.
Mattresses are difficult to clean and should never come into contact with moisture. If the mattress is not kept dry, then mold and mildew may form. The best way to keep a mattress dry and clean is with a waterproof pad or cover. This is good solution for those who experience bed wetting or who would like an added layer of protection against spills. They not only guard against stains and odors while impeding the entrance of moisture, but they also keep the mattress free from allergens and dust mites. This helps to prevent bacteria growth inside the mattress.
A mattress encasement fully encloses either the mattress or box spring instead of above the actual sleeper like a regular pad or cover.
Types of Mattress Encasements:
- Mattress Encasements for Allergies: For chronic allergy sufferers, there is no better solution than full mattress and box spring encasements. There are many options that offer protection from allergens such as dust, dust mites, dead skin, pet dander and pollen. A typical mattress cover cannot prevent allergens from your mattress from coming in contact with you.
- Mattress Encasements for Bed Bug Protection: People all over the world are concerned over the growing outbreak of bedbugs. While a mattress encasement will not protect your home from a bedbug infestation, it will effectively lock them out of your sleep system. Only total encasement mattress protectors with a locking zipper provide protection against bedbugs.
Foundations: What is the benefit of a box spring or adjustable bed base?
Unless your mattress will be laying on a platform bed, you will need one of the following foundations:
Box Springs or standard foundation: The box springs take a lot of the nightly wear and tear and contribute to the overall comfort and support of your bed. Never put a new mattress on an old foundation. When you purchase your new mattress, you must purchase its matching foundation – the two are designed to work best together. In fact, buying the mattress without its matching foundation could affect the terms of the warranty.
Adjustable or Power Bases: An adjustable base allows you to customize your mattress position by using a remote control to independently adjust the head and foot of the bed for maximum comfort. Adjustable bed bases are compatible with most innerspring and foam mattresses. There are many benefits of having an adjustable bed, which can be inclined to help with everything from back and neck problems to managing acid reflux issues. The ability to turn a bed into a lounge chair makes it a very attractive choice for those who enjoy watching TV, playing video games, using tablets, or reading in the bedroom When you are shopping, be sure to find out whether the mattress you prefer is adjustable-friendly.
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