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Mattress Buying Guide
Mattresses are the most important piece of furniture in any home. We use our mattresses the most. With constant studies recommending 8 hours of a sleep a night, we spend a third of our day in bed and in turn, we will spend about a third of our lives on our mattresses on average. It may not be given much thought or consideration on a daily basis, but a mattress is vital to our everyday lives. Like most consumer goods and products nowadays, there are a bevy of choices and options designed to sell more goods. A mattress is no exception.
Like most, I value a good night’s sleep. You may have heard this before, but a good night’s rest begins with a good mattress. Today, mattresses are offered in a wide range of options making it a little difficult to decide on the right mattress. At the same time, more options mean there has to be a mattress that best suits your needs. It’s time for a new mattress when you don’t experience a restful night’s sleep or if you wake up sore and tired. There are many reasons to buy a new mattress aside from normal wear and tear. It can be an upgrade to another comfort level, change in size, moving to a new home, or perhaps you need an extra one. Whatever the reason, there are certain considerations when buying a new mattress.
Types of Mattresses
The most prevalent attribute of mattresses are the size which come in different names.
Comfort & Support
These are the two main features a good mattress will provide. Mattresses need to have the right amount of support and comfort. There have been studies in ergonomics that concluded that medium-firm mattresses provide a better support for back pain. Comfort is a very subjective thing. When it comes to mattresses there are those who require a softer frame of support and those who require a firmer bed.
Purchasing a New Mattress
A mattress is one of those big purchases we have to make once in a while. Prices can vary significantly with some lesser quality mattresses that can run a mere $100 or so. While some premium options can run well over $1000 and more. It really depends how much value a good night’s rest is to you.
One of the downsides in buying a mattress online is the inability to test the comfort level. However, online stores gain a distinct advantage of not having additional overhead fees that typical brick and mortar stores have. Therefore, online merchants can offer more competitive rates.
Early renditions of mattresses contained straw or feathers. Modern mattresses contained metal springs for a long time and within the last three decades, newer options have gained momentum on the market. Gone are the days when mattresses are merely metal springs or worse. Today mattresses offer many comfortable options.
A traditional offering, inner spring mattresses are typically constructed with metal coiled springs as a foundation.
Also known as memory foam, this material provides a softer level of support with some give. Memory foam is also commonly referred to as viscoelastic polyurethane foam. In a manner of speaking, polyurethane is a type of polymer that is squishy in nature and typically used to make things that need cushioning, like mattresses. This material is good for folks who suffer from back pain, but this material can also retain some level of heat making it warmer than other options.
Latex or Latex Foam mattresses are an alternative to memory foam, but similar in characteristic. One major difference is that latex has more firmness in comparison. Also, there are different classifications with natural and synthetic latex, where the former is antimicrobial and resistant to mold and dust mites.
Similar to foam mattresses, Gel options provide more sturdiness than latex and memory foam. The material is typically a top layer on typical foam mattresses to provide a cooler alternative than just viscoelastic foam by itself. For the design, gel type foam is typically depicted in blue.
A mattress top is supplemental bedding that typically can be removable that rests on top of the mattress for more comfort. Some mattresses include this.
A standard mattress topper offers no frills and an even layout.
A pillow mattress topper offers an additional “pillow” like layer on top.
Similar to a pillow top, the euro style is a little more minimal in appearance and designed to fit more flush than a pillow mattress top.
A good mattress deserves a good bedframe. A few things to consider are the style, height and whether you intend to use a box spring.
Some Practical Advice
Try Before You Buy:
Try a mattress for consideration in person before deciding on point of purchase. It is recommended to spend at least 5 minutes lying on your back and your sides to see how a mattress feels to you.