Saying that a good night’s sleep is imperative for good living is hardly an overstatement – after all, research has shown that quality sleep can produce positive health benefits for our heart, weight and mind, and also helps to improve performance at work. Therefore, getting a good mattress is definitely a solid first step towards making the most out of your nighttime slumber!
With the dazzling array of mattresses available in stores today, we can hardly blame you for feeling overwhelmed. For starters, always look for a mattress that supports your body in a neutral position, ensuring that your head, shoulders, back and heels are in proper alignment. The trick is to find a mattress that is not too hard and not too soft – a mattress that is too firm can easily push your body out of alignment; on the other hand, a mattress that is too soft would not be able to provide the proper support for your body. If you have existing back problems, studies have shown that medium-to-firm mattresses can have better effects on your condition than soft mattresses.
Image: Nature’s Rest
Experts recommend that we should always test out a new mattress before committing to the purchase. Instead of just doing a cursory lie-down, sleep on the mattress in the position you normally would at night. If you can, bring your own pillow for the test! It is best to replicate as accurately as possible the circumstances of your nighttime slumber, so as to help you determine if the mattress is the correct one for you.
Some of the most common types of mattresses available today are as follows:
Innerspring mattresses, as their name suggests, contain spring coils that help to support your body during sleep, and are probably the most widely used mattresses around. The pro is that these mattresses usually come in a wide range of options (in terms of firmness, number of coils etc) to cater to your different needs. In general, be mindful to steer clear of innerspring mattresses with a low coil count as they might not offer sufficient support for your body.
Memory foam mattresses have been gaining in popularity in recent years and it’s not difficult to understand why. These mattresses are made from foams of different densities, and are famously comfortable, as they mould their shape according to your body’s contours. Another pro is that they absorb movement (no more disturbances from tossing and turning!), which gives you a more peaceful night’s sleep if you’re sharing the bed with your partner. However, a con is that memory foam mattresses tend to make you feel hotter, as they fit so well with your body’s contours.
Latex mattresses are usually made from natural or synthetic rubber, and are a great option for people with back problems. This mattress offers the best of both worlds – it is firm and supportive, but also contours well to one’s body shape (similar to a memory foam mattress). It also goes one up on the memory foam mattress by “pushing back” against the body, providing greater support in the process.