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How To Choose A Mattress- 3 Step Guide
Choosing a mattress is very important. People may see it as irrelevant, but this is where you spend almost one third of your life. A good mattress should be able to make you sleep comfortably and soundly. The importance of sleep is underrated and people find it hard to believe lack of good sleep can actually be the cause of accidents. Yes! Accidents do occur because the driver is busy sleep driving or dozing while on the road, this type of scenario can be avoided by a good sleep. Accidents are not restricted to the road alone, accidents can also occur at places of work like the construction industry or a factory where dangerous machines are used, when a worker is tired as a result of sleep deprivation, they can end up injuring themselves or other colleagues. Therefore the importance of sleep cannot be overemphasized.
Good sleep can be achieved by sleeping on a comfortable and good mattress. Imagine sleeping on a hard surface or a very stiff mattress, I doubt you will be able to sleep comfortably. You will end up waking up feeling sleepy and tired despite lying down. You require a good and comfortable mattress to enjoy a sound sleep.
However, mattresses are not only for sleeping, there are several other activities people can do on the mattress. Couples can make love on the mattress, you can relax on the mattress, watch TV or even read a book. All these activities are relevant to our lives and they all happen on the mattress. The fact remains, your mattress is a very important furnishing in the bedroom. There are different types of mattresses and they all have their different features and cost. They all perform differently depending on the type of sleeper. This article will help sleepers decide on the best type of mattress to go for, based on three important aspects of the mattress. They include price, comfort and materials.
There are several types of mattresses with a broad price range- You can buy a bargain mattress as low as $80 or go for as high as a $12,000 luxurious mattress. Obviously, between these two price ranges the difference in quality is wide. However, no matter the price, you can get a good mattress that will do the optimum job of providing comfort and support even though when compared to an expensive one it will lack certain amenities. One of the most important things to look at when buying a mattress is your budget, how much are you willing to spend on a mattress? Never buy what you cannot afford, don’t go broke trying to sleep on a luxurious mattress. There are good and comfortable mattresses that are within your price range. Settle for those ones, and if you can afford to buy a luxurious one, nobody is stopping you. After all there is no price tag to comfort in life. Everybody should be able to treat themselves within their financial capacity.
This is a vital aspect of a mattress customers should look out for when buying a mattress. Regardless of the price, all mattresses should be able to provide a level of comfort to sleepers. One thing is very obvious, you can never fall asleep if you are not comfortable, and even if in a scenario where you are very tired and you eventually fall asleep, you won’t enjoy the sleep because of discomfort. Comfort is not only affected by how cheap or how expensive your mattress is, it is also affected by the firmness option of your mattress. Firmness is one important feature of a mattress, and it has a direct effect on the comfort of sleepers depending on your sleeping position. The three common firmness options available for mattresses are soft, medium and firm option. Another firmness option is medium firm, but this is not very common among all mattresses. Before I dive into these firmness options and how they affect comfort of sleepers, I want readers to understand that, the type of material used in constructing a mattress is basically the reason behind the different firmness options.
Soft mattresses: This mattress provides sleepers with a soft feel. It has a sinking in feeling and this firmness option is mostly for side sleepers. Side sleepers will enjoy maximum comfort on a soft mattress because there won’t be too much pressure on the single point of the hip. The pressure will be distributed throughout the body. Stomach sleepers will not enjoy soft mattresses because the pressure from the stomach will make the mattress sink deeper around the stomach area, making the stomach sink deeper than the other part of the body. Soft mattresses also help sleepers that snore to reduce snoring. Snoring can be as a result of breathing problem and back problem. According to WebMD, lower back pain can be soothed when a sleeper’s spine stay aligned all night, this can be caused by stretching of the spine which is only possible when you sleep on the side. For snorers, the best mattress is the one that allows you to sleep on your side and slightly elevated. Therefore, soft mattresses are best for sleepers with back and snoring problem.
Medium mattresses: This may be the best type of mattress you can find. It can be used by all type of sleepers- back, side and stomach sleepers. Although it is most preferred by stomach sleepers, medium mattresses can be enjoyed by all type of sleepers. Sleepers with back and snoring problems can also sleep on medium mattresses, but they may not enjoy it as much as a soft mattress. This type of mattress is mostly preferred by sleepers that often change sleeping positions from time to time.
Firm mattresses: This mattress is for stomach sleepers. Unlike the soft mattresses where the pressure of the stomach will make the area sink more, firm mattress provides enough support. Back sleepers can also enjoy sleeping on this mattress. Sleepers with narrow hips will also enjoy sleeping on firm mattresses.
So again, everything comes down to a personal preference. These guides are useful in giving you a general nudge in the right direction but ultimately it will be what you decide upon that will bring you your ideal mattress. One thing you should also note when considering what feel is ideal for you is who will be sleeping on your new mattress? This factor is going to make a pretty substantial difference with the overall wear of the mattress and how long it will last you, comfortably.
I mentioned earlier, the type of material used in constructing a mattress determines its firmness option. Also, the type of material used greatly influences the quality, durability, texture and cost of a mattress. There are different types of materials that are used in constructing a mattress. The major materials used in the construction of a mattress include:
Foam: This is the major material used in all mattresses. There are different types of foam that can be used. The three major foams that are used in the construction of a mattress are Memory Foam, Poly-Foam and Latex Foam.
Memory Foam is a conforming “hugging” type of foam that has a slow response time and tends to trap your body heat giving it a warming feeling. It gives sleepers the sinking in feeling. Many manufacturers will add cooling properties, such as a gel foam, to offset the heat retention. Memory foam is the second most durable foam after Latex foam and will vary in both density and quality. One of the best features of memory foam is that it will help with relief on pressure points and help to distribute your weight more evenly and contour to your body.
Latex Foam: Foam produced by manufacturing sap from rubber trees or synthetic liquids, latex foam is highly responsive and reacts much like memory foam. Mattresses made from latex foam have earned high marks for owner satisfaction ratings and are heralded for their pain relief, motion isolation, comfort, and durability. Ideal for individuals with allergies, latex foam is naturally resistant to microorganisms. Highly breathable, latex foam discourages heat and moisture build-up, which allows the sleep surface to remain cool and inhibits growth of mold and mildew. Latex mattresses tend to be the most expensive mattress options on the market due to their being the most durable foam and from being naturally derived and complex manufacturing methods.
Latex foam can be manufactured through two different methods. The original method, called Dunlop, was developed in the late 1920’s and involves pouring liquid latex on a conveyor belt and slowly heating it then slowly cooling it. Talalay, a more complex production process, was developed years later, and it produces softer and more buoyant-feeling foam. This process involves pouring liquid latex into a mold, flash-freezing it, flash-heating it, and cooling it. Latex foam can be 100% natural, 100% synthetic, or a blend of the two.
Poly-Foam: Poly foam is a large brush stroke identifier that addresses many different kinds of foams that vary in quality, overall feel and materials used. Many poly foams are kind of a copycat foam as they try to mimic the feel or benefits of both latex and memory foam, but with less expensive materials. It’s kind of like cooking squirrel and calling it a steak. Poly-Foam is the least durable of the mattress foams and will usually be the least expensive- but also breakdown faster with daily use. If you are going to be purchasing a mattress with a foam density of less than 1.5 lbs./ft³ you should make sure that you understand that there will be a long-term decline in comfort with daily use. If it is a mattress that you are going to be using for a guest bedroom or RV, which gets less use, than you should be fine.
Coils: This is certainly one of the most popular and largely purchased types of mattresses. Coil/Innerspring mattresses will have one or more layers of coils that are typically made of steel that make up the support and comfort layer of the mattress. The coil/innerspring beds tend to be best for sleepers who prefer the traditional feel of a coil/innerspring because it provides a nice bounce, it has a cooling effect because air flows freely throughout the coils and will have a sturdy edge support (this also depends on the type and quality of the coils in the mattress).
If you are looking at a mattress that has a coil/innerspring core it is good to have some general knowledge about it. Knowing the coils count of a mattress can be an indicator of how the mattress will perform. Generally speaking, the more coils a mattress has the better the durability and comfort will be, but there is an exception to that. The Coil Gauge is just as important as the overall number of coils in the mattress. Coils gauge is the actual thickness of the coil which is just as large a contributing factor to quality as the coil count. The ratings for a coil gauge are- the lower the number the thicker the coil and the higher number the thinner it is. For instance, a 12 gauge coil will be thicker than a 15 gauge coil. Thus, a 12 gauge coil system with fewer coils can be more durable than a 15 gauge coil system with more coils. These lesser known facts are a good reason to know just what it is you are buying so that when you do purchase your mattress you have a more intimate knowledge of your bed and what to expect from it.
Hybrid: A hybrid mattress is one that utilizes both a coil system with the use of latex, memory foam, poly-foams and/or other materials. The idea behind these types of mattresses are to take advantage of the benefits offered by these materials and to lessen the disadvantages. For example, The Nest Bedding Alexander mattress is a hybrid that utilizes a gel-memory foam that provides ample support and pressure relief, and when coupled with their layer of SmartFlow air flow foam it also provides a cooler sleep and faster response where typical memory foams give you a stuck feeling and tends to trap body heat. Hybrid mattresses have quickly become a very popular choice for beds as they offer a myriad of benefits while minimizing cons.
With the wide variety of types of mattresses available it can feel a little overwhelming on how to make a choice. But with some diligence you will be able to decide which type of bed is going to suit your needs best and will help alleviate the stress of making the important decision of purchasing your next mattress.