Replacing your mattress can be exhausting. Navigating the stores and websites, debating between foam and springs, and determining how much to spend can leave you feeling like you need a good nap.
You want that luxury feel when you fall into bed every night. If you think that fabulous beds are merely the stuff of dreams, think again. With the right elements, you can create an unbelievably cozy bed to serve as your sanctuary each and every night.
You spend a lot of time (about a third of your day) on a mattress, so choosing which to buy is an important decision.
Side, Stomach or Back Sleeper? Goal – a Good Night’s Sleep
If you sleep on your side – You’ll want a surface that will support your body weight, and conform to your shape. Innerspring may have more pressure relief than some foam or latex mattresses, but a soft foam mattress or one with built-in pressure relief points around the shoulders and hips can work for side sleepers, too.
If you sleep on your stomach – The last thing a stomach-sleeper probably wants is an enveloping memory foam — it would feel smothering! Instead, a firmer bed will provide the best support. Consider a firm foam, dense innerspring, or air-filled mattress.
If you sleep on your back – You’ll want something in the middle — a surface that supports, but has some give so your spine is kept in a healthy alignment. You’ll find happiness with any of the mattress types, but you should do your best princess-and-the-pea impression to see what feels best to you.
If you have back pain – Memory foam and/or latex is best for those with back pain since it molds to your body for support.
If your partner tosses and turns all night – Consider an innerspring mattress with pocketed coils, or memory foam, latex, or a dual-chamber air-filled mattress. Medium-firm picks will all have good “motion isolation.” But remember, these models could actually be less comfortable on the body of a restless sleeper, as there’s little forgiveness against one’s movements.
If you and your partner’s preferences don’t match – The air-filled mattresses with dual chambers can help. Each person can have a side customized based on their needs.
Great Bounce, Cooling, Strong Edge Support – Coils, Innerspring
One of the most popular and widely used mattress types – Coil (aka innerspring) mattresses have one or more layers of spring coils (generally steel) that provide the support and comfort. As technology advances, the number, types, and layers of coils change. A larger number of coils typically means better comfort and support.
Coils are extra-durable, but individual “pocketed” coils, each covered with fabric, reduce the ripple effect that happens when someone on one side of the bed moves.
Pillow-top or Plush-top
Innerspring mattresses typically have either a fiberfill or foam outer layer, covered in quilted ticking of soft material either stuffed or sewn into the cover. But even if you want an ultra-plush feel, don’t be swayed by a thick-looking pillow top as it can compress over time.
It’s often best to choose a firmer, well-quilted mattress, and then cover it with a replaceable mattress topper.
Do you prefer a firmer Base – Memory Foam
Memory Foam options have less spring and offer more pressure relief, with great support and body contouring. To determine quality, look at the density and thickness of the foam, which will determine how deep you’ll sink.
The newer, online mattresses generally use several different layers of foam. They usually have heavier foam on the bottom for support and lighter, cooler kinds on the top for comfort.
Memory Foam is good option for sleepers who want a more pronounced hug than many hybrids or latex mattresses offer.
If you sleep hot – Manufacturers can get carried away with claims about cooling properties, especially when you consider all the layers (protectors, toppers, sheets, etc.) that go on top of the mattress. That said, foam or latex can hold in body heat, especially if they’re very soft and a lot of your body sinks in. Newer technology helps alleviate this issue and you can always accessorize your bed with toppers and sheets that offer cooling benefits.
Latex – If you have allergies
Foam and latex are both inherently antimicrobial and resistant to dust mites and mold. If you opt for innerspring or air topped with fiberfill, be sure to encase it in an allergen-resistant cover to keep irritants at bay.
Built exclusively from latex foam, these mattresses are known for their cooling properties and comfort. Latex is known for its great responsiveness, comfort, bounce and cooling.
Some savvy manufacturers make a hybrid-style mattress that combines the buoyancy of an innerspring core with the motion isolation of memory foam. It’s a best-of-both-worlds option that can satisfy many partner disputes and sleeping styles.
Constructed from a combination of latex, memory, polyurethane foams, coils, and / or other materials, these mattresses usually are designed to maximize certain benefits, while also minimizing certain cons. For example, a latex + memory foam hybrid is able to deliver great bounce, cooling, and responsiveness via the latex, but also provide great pressure relief and support from the memory foam.
Best for sleepers who want the best of all worlds. Great bounce, support, comfort, and cooling. A good all around option that is a very good choice for the majority of sleepers.
As the name suggests, these beds offer the ability to change the sleeping position of the mattresses, usually by elevating the feet and inclining the back. Some of these even possess the ability to vibrate, heat, and/or massage the sleeper.
Sleepers who have specific needs would benefit from an adjustable foundation. These needs typically come from certain medical conditions, older sleepers, snorers, chronic lower back pain, among other scenarios.
If you like to change it up
Consider an air-filled mattress, like Sleep Number, which has a remote that controls how much air is inside. Two side-by-side chambers allow you and your partner to customize the mattress firmness separately.
There are also foam mattresses (like the ones from Layla) with soft and firm sides, so you can just flip it over as needed, and modular designs that let you move around the springs on the inside.
Mattress in Box
Laying down in the store isn’t the only way to go anymore. New mattress-in-a-box companies have won over thousands of customers with convenient shipping and free trial periods. Online mattress buying has seen a serious boom, but it’s not right for everyone.
Wrap it up – I’ll buy the ….
A big mistake is rushing the decision by quickly lying down on many different mattresses to find the one that feels best. If you’re going to invest in a mattress, take the time to recline for a while (at least 10 minutes) and make sure you don’t feel any pressure or pain.
When you find the right combination, you can crawl into bed after a long day, into a seriously comfy, cozy bed fit for royalty for a great night’s sleep.