An Unexpected Valentine’s Day Gift

What To Consider When Choosing A Mattress

There are few things more aggravating than trying to make it through a busy day on a bad night's sleep. Whether it's a distractingly sore neck and back or difficulty concentrating on your tasks, if you're suffering because you don't sleep well, it could be time to look into a new mattress. If you have a good sense of what's uncomfortable about your current mattress, that will be a big help in choosing your next one.

A Lack of Support

When people think about back pain and mattresses, they often go for the firmest mattress they can find. But firmness is not the only consideration – after all, how comfortable is it to sleep on a firm wooden floor? Instead of focusing on firmness, focus on support.

Inner-spring mattresses come in a wide variety of firmnesses, which allows you to choose something comfortable to you. But when it comes to custom support, the way that latex and memory foam mattresses conform to your body is superior for pain relief. This conform-ability allows your body to stay flat in a variety of sleeping positions.

Uneven Support

If you're noticing that some areas of your mattress are firmer while others have too much give, this is usually the sign of an old or cheap mattress. While many of today's mattresses no longer need to be flipped periodically, they should still be rotated every few months; if you didn't do this, your mattress may also have worn into uneven patterns more quickly than expected.

Whatever kind of replacement mattress you get, be sure to rotate it according to the manufacturer's guidelines to help it last as long as possible.

An Overheated Mattress

Some older memory foam mattresses are known for retaining body heat. If this is your problem, then you have a few options. You can, of course, replace your memory foam mattress with a traditional inner-spring mattress.

However, if you are otherwise happy with the feel and support of memory foam, you should know that newer mattresses are designed to not retain heat the way older ones did. Look for memory foam mattresses that use open-celled foam (or are described as having open cells); this design helps air circulate through the mattress to keep heat from building up. Another option is a mattress with support gel, which has a similar effect.

Sharing a Bed

If the tossing and turning of a partner is disturbing your sleep, then look for a mattress that isolates motion. Inner-spring mattresses are not particularly strong in this area; for light sleepers, latex or memory foam are the best choices. Choosing a denser mattress will also help it absorb motion and keep you undisturbed through the night.

Lying on a mattress in a store for a few minutes can tell you how immediately comfortable it is, but look for stores that allow you to test a mattress over time in your home. The right mattress can have a huge effect on your quality of life for years, so it's not a decision you want to rush into.