Find a mattress for your specific needs
Always ask about the return policy before you buy. A mattress is a significant investment, and you don’t want to get stuck with a bed that is uncomfortable for you for years in the future because the retailer had a bad return policy. The best sort of guarantee will let you try out your new mattress for 30 days without any risks.
How to find your new mattress
When mattress shopping, there are three main types of mattress to choose from: foam, innerspring, or adjustable. Everybody has different needs, including sleep position, so there isn’t anyone “correct” mattress. The general rule of thumb is that stomach sleepers need a substantial mattress, side sleepers need a soft bed, and back sleepers require something in between soft and firm.
Here are a few other things to think about when choosing your mattress:
- If you like a “bouncy” mattress, that feeling is associated with an innerspring mattress. If you sleep with a partner, you might want an innerspring with a pocketed coil so that one partner’s jostling in bed isn’t felt by the other person all night long.
- If you prefer a pillow top, try not to be charmed too much by an innerspring mattress with a pillow top. In time, the pillow tops can become compressed and offer very little to your night’s rest. Consider choosing a medium-firm to firm mattress with quilting, and get a replaceable bed or pillow top that can be replaced when it wears out.
- For a firm base, you can choose memory foam. Newer memory foam options have multiple layers of foam, with an ultra-firm layer at the bottom.
If you wish you could afford a sleep number bed but can’t, there are foam mattresses available with one soft side and one firm side. If you like a variety of softness levels, this might be the answer for you.
Side sleepers usually need a soft mattress to cushion key pressure points on the hips and shoulders. There are foam mattresses that have more firmness in areas that your shoulders and hips won’t be positioned in and allow excellent support all around.
If you have a restless partner, an innerspring with pocketed coils or a dual-chamber air-filled mattress might be the choice for you. Memory foam or latex might also help isolate movement on the opposite side of the bed.
If you and your sleep partner have opposite tastes in mattresses, this can pose a complex problem. Some companies can custom make a mattress with two different sides (besides sleep number), or an air-filled mattress with dual chambers might be the ticket.
Sleep positions made easy
Most people choose their mattresses based upon sleep positions.
The basic guidelines are as follows:
- A stomach sleeper generally needs a firm mattress to keep the back from arching in the wrong places and causing back pain.
- A side sleeper needs a very soft bed because the shoulder and hip dig deep into the mattress during the night.
The softer mattress will prevent areas of pressure on the skin, leading to muscle pain or even skin breakdown. Someone who sleeps on their back needs some firmness but potentially may need a softer mattress than a stomach sleeper. It may take some experimenting to decide which mid-range mattress a back sleeper needs.
Whether you choose a brick-and-mortar store on an online retailer, such as Big Fig Mattress, knowing what you need is an essential first step in mattress shopping. Online retailers offer fewer options, which can be a good thing with mattress shopping. Mattress stores can offer a dizzying number of choices, which is hard for people who have trouble deciding. The thing that physical stores have is allowing you to try out their wares before buying. Make sure you lay on your potential future mattress at least for ten minutes before deciding to buy.