How to Buy a Mattress
What to look for when buying a mattress goes beyond the size and how it looks
You’re going to spend an average of up to 30,000 hours over a 10 year period on your mattress
(that’s 1/3 of your life) so you need to get it right!
To find a mattress that’s comfortable, lay on it in the store and don’t be embarrassed, nod off.
If you do, then you may have found the right one for you!
[IMAGE VIA SEALY]
There’s no scientific consensus on what makes a good mattress.
It’s highly subjective as we are all different shapes, sizes and weight.
People around the world sleep comfortably on
straw mats, hammocks, futons, waterbeds, airbeds and all types of mattresses.
Decide on a budget first and make comfort your key decision-maker.
In addition, find out if your retailer allows you to return the mattress
if you don’t feel comfortable on it.
Most retailers allow returns only when the mattress has defects.
So be 100% certain that the mattress you purchase is the correct one for you.
Which mattress type is right for you?
WebMD have an article on how to pick the perfect mattress where they
discuss the qualities of innerspring, memory foam & latex.
This is an extract from that article.
Innerspring mattresses are still by far the most widely used.
They support you with coil springs, and in most built today, each coil is individually enclosed.
This helps the bed weather years of use and prevents the coils from popping out of the mattress.
On top of the coils are a wide variety of materials added for comfort, from pillow to latex to memory foam.
It’s all a matter of preference.
Salespeople may try to sell you on the idea that more coils mean more comfort,
but that’s not necessarily true, Breus and Shamie say.
“You don’t really need a coil count above 390,” Breus says.
Beyond that, the difference in feel is so small it would be difficult to notice.
Pros: There are plenty of innerspring mattresses on the market from which to choose.
They range in firmness, the fluffiness of the pillow top,
and in price to fit nearly every preference and pocket book.
Cons: There’s no direct relationship in most cases between price and comfort,
but Shamie suggests steering clear of the cheapest innerspring mattress.
If there aren’t enough springs and cushion to offer you proper support,
he says, you’ll likely wake up with an aching back.
Conditions: For someone who is very overweight, spring mattresses may offer a firmer support,
making them easier to get in and out of, Breus says.
Firmer versions are good for people with back pain.
But spring-based mattresses can be comfortable for almost anyone.
Memory foam mattresses are growing in popularity.
They are made of layers of different densities of foam that respond to weight and temperature,
and are known for comfort because they contour to the specific shape of your body.
Memory foam toppers are also available.
Pros: By moulding to the shape of your body as your weight shifts through the night,
memory foam reduces pressure points, and relieves pain.
Memory foam also absorbs movement, so if you sleep with a partner,
you’re not likely to be disturbed by his tossing and turning.
Cons: One of the biggest complaints with memory foam mattresses is that because
these mattresses are temperature sensitive, softening and molding
with your body heat, they can make you feel extremely hot during the night.
Breus also says memory foam mattresses have been known to emit
an unpleasant chemical smell.
Conditions: “If you have a hard time getting comfortable,
if you have chronic fatigue, or some type of muscle pain,
then a memory foam mattress would work well for you,
assuming you don’t have temperature issues,” Breus says.
Latex mattresses are made from either natural or synthetic rubber,
and are known for providing a very firm, bouncy support that is uniform throughout the bed.
Pros: “Quite frankly, I think one of the best materials is latex,” Breus says.
He likes it for being very firm and supportive, but also for providing
comfort similar to memory foam.
Unlike the memory foam mattresses, however, Breus says latex pushes back,
ultimately providing more support.
Cons: If you don’t like the feel of a firm mattress, latex is probably not the right choice for you.
Conditions: Either a latex mattress or latex mattress topper is great for relieving back pain
because they offer the best combination of comfort and support, Breus says.
When should you replace your mattress?
Manufacturers and chiropractors recommend that you replace your mattress every 10 to 13 years.
Using the same one for too long can cause back & neck problems, not to mention hygiene risks.
Some obvious signs you need a new mattress are annoying peaks, dips or lumps,
or if you wake up stiff.
If it’s uncomfortable, interferes with your sleep or leaves you with a backache,
it’s definitely time to act.
Another reason for regularly renewing your mattress is that your needs change as your body ages.
As you age your body will appreciate softer padding to support and protect pressure points.
But don’t confuse softer padding with a soft, saggy bed.
The underlying structure should be firm enough to support your spine as it gradually
loses strength and flexibility.
You may also experience difficulty moving around & getting in & out of a bed that’s too soft.
Some things you can do to add more life to your mattress
Regularly turn your mattress over and rotate it end to end.
Alternate the flipping and turning so that both sides of the ‘top’ and ‘bottom’
of the mattress get equal wear.
[IMAGE VIA MARTHA STEWART]
Some manufacturers recommend turning or rotating every two weeks
for the first three months, then every two or three months thereafter,
while one-sided mattresses only require rotating.
How to clean your mattress
[IMAGE VIA GOOGLE]
Use a mattress protector to keep your mattress clean.
Don’t wet your mattress; only use a vacuum cleaner for cleaning.
If you must wash it, use soap, cold water and a damp cloth and rub gently.
Dry thoroughly to avoid mildew (try a hair dryer or place in the sun).
How to care for your mattress
Don’t use the handles to lift or carry the mattress.
They’re not designed to take its weight, and should only be used for positioning it.
Don’t fold the mattress.
Try to bend it as little as possible when carrying it around corners.
Don’t put a new mattress on a saggy, broken-down base.
If you often sit on the edge of your bed (to tie up your shoes, say),
try to avoid sitting in the same spot every time.
If you want a trampoline or crash mat, buy one
(no wonder my mother wouldn’t allow me to jump on my bed!)
Sealy have a quiz you might like to take to determine if it’s time to purchase a new mattress
How do you feel?
1. Do you wake up with aches & pains after a full night’s sleep?
2. Do you feel like you might roll out of bed?
3. Would you & your partner be more comfortable if you had more space?
4. Are you aware of lumps or hollows when lying on your mattress?
5. Would you be embarrassed if your friends saw your bed
without the sheets?
Does your mattress?
6. Feel resilient & comfortable?
7. Have a supportive, matching foundation?
8. Look well upholstered and is it quiet?
9. Offer you the comfort you really want?
10. Have an age of less than 10 years?
Give your bed one point for each YES to questions 1-5 Bed score of 8-10
one point for each NO to questions 6-10.
There’s no time to lose. Bed score of 5-7
You need a good new bed immediately.
It’s time to think about replacing your bed before it becomes an obstacle to healthy sleep. Bed score of 1-4
Try the feel of a new bed at your preferred bedding retailer – you may be surprised by the difference!
You should do this test again in a year’s time.
Meanwhile, do try a new bed next time you’re near a bedding retailer.
How much sleep do you really need?
A good night’s sleep, along with diet and exercise, is vital to a balanced and healthy life.
| Newborns (0-2 months)|| 12-18 hours|
| Infants (3-11 months)|| 14-15 hours|
| Toddlers (1-3 years)|| 12-14 hours|
| Pre schoolers (3-5 years)|| 11-13 hours|
| School age children (5-10 years)|| 10-11 hours|
| Teens (10-17 years)|| 8.5-9.25 hours|
| Adults|| 7-9 hours|
[SOURCE: NATIONAL SLEEP FOUNDATION]
[SOURCE: WEB MD]
Heather Dale has written the following on back, side & stomach sleeping
Sleeping on your back
Pros: This position is great for balancing out your body weight & keeping
your internal organs aligned.
Just be sure to keep a pillow under your knees to help maintain proper alignment of your back.
Cons: Not the best position for snorers, since this may make their snoring worse!
Sleeping on your side
Pros: Lying on your side in the fetal position with your knees bent and a pillow
between your legs is said to take stress off your back.
What’s important is that you use a pillow that will keep
your head in a neutral position so that your head
won’t drop and affect your posture.
Sleeping on your left side reduces heartburn pain and is best
when you’re pregnant since it increases blood and nutrient flow to your baby.
Cons: There aren’t really any since this position follows the natural curvature of the spine.
Sleeping on your stomach
Pros: If you have lower back pain, occasionally sleeping on your
stomach can relieve pressure on your disc spaces.
Cons: Sleeping on your stomach is a big no-no.
According to Terri Trespicio, senior editor of Body+Soul Magazine,
“sleeping on your stomach flattens the natural curve in the lower back
and keeps your head turned to one side all night,
which distorts the alignment of the spine in your neck.
” This position can also exert unnecessary pressure on your nerves which
will cause pins and needles when you wake up.
On a Personal Note
As a stomach sleeper for most of my life, I recently changed to a side sleeper, all in the name of vanity!
I was looking at my face in a magnifying mirror and noticed that the lines on the right side of face
(where I lay on my pillow) were far more prominent than the left.
It has taken several months but I now sleep through the night mainly on my side.
As for the wrinkles – only time will tell.
Let’s end this blog with something light hearted
850 people in New Orleans were knocked back onto mattresses in human dominoes
to break a world record
click here to see the video
Follow up after posting blog
Sealy who kindly sent me the bed quiz for this blog has sent through
the following update on their mattresses.
Almost every mattress is now single sided and with technology advancements in beds
you no longer have to turn our beds, but you are still required to rotate them.
Our beds have lift right handles which support the weight of the mattress and should be used
to rotate the mattress or position it on the bed base (foundation).
Sealy Posturepedic mattresses have a unique technology called a Unicase edge
support to stop the mattress from buckling when you sit on the edge of it.
Thank you Sealy for this update.
I hope you have a fabulous week
Yours in Style – Kim x
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