Shopping for a mattress can be overwhelming. We get that. With so many materials and firmness levels to choose from, where do you begin? This guide is designed to help you find the perfect mattress for your body type and sleeping style without sleeping on it first.
First things first, determine if you need a new mattress.
Step one: Out with the old, in with the new
Did you know the average lifespan of a mattress is 7-10 years? If you get your recommended eight hours of sleep every night, that equates to nearly 30,000 hours spent in bed over a 10-year period. No wonder your mattress is struggling to keep it together.
Overtime, mattresses succumb to the natural wear and tear of supporting your body weight each and every night. It’s not uncommon for a sag to develop toward the middle of the bed, springs to become squeaky or lumps to begin to form.
In fact, here are some other tell-tale signs it may be time to get a new mattress:
You are waking up with aches and pains
You can’t get comfortable in bed
You are experiencing a sinking sensation when you lay down
You can feel even the slightest movement of your sleeping partner
According to licensed chiropractor, Dr. Dominique of Alpine Chiropractic in North Carolina, 20-30% of his patients with issues of chronic pain could relate the issue back to a poor mattress. Although a mattress is a big investment, it is integral for your overall health and wellness.
You’re probably re-evaluating the fact you have been sleeping on a mattress passed down in the family for 15-years right about now...
Step two: Choose the best mattress type for you
Now that you’ve decided it’s time for a new mattress, you’ll have to decide what type of mattress is best for your body type and sleeping position. Every sleeper has different support needs and comfort preferences when it comes to shopping for a mattress. Rather than shopping by mattress type, you may prefer to shop by your sleeping style.
For Side Sleepers
The overwhelming majority (almost 70%) of the population are side sleepers. Meaning most mattresses out there are designed for you.
If you are a side sleeper, you’ll want to find a mattress that relieves pressure in the hips, shoulders and knees. Memory foam is always a good option for side sleepers given it’s reactive contouring properties that cradles areas that are prone to high pressure (like your hips, thighs and shoulders).
In terms of firmness, medium-soft to soft mattresses tend to perform best with side sleepers.
For Back Sleepers
According to medical professionals, sleeping on your back is the best position. Not only because this position is optimal for pain management, but also because sleeping on your back allows your spine and neck to rest in the most natural position. This is also the position that is best for evenly distributing body weight and keeping your back supported.
Back sleepers need to pay attention to firmness and support when shopping for a new mattress. They’ll need a mattress that offers a little “give,” with just enough contouring ability to support your body. Inconsistent support will lead to inconsistent comfort and a spotty night’s sleep. The amount of contour a back sleeper wants to experience comes down to personal preference – whether you like the feeling of sleeping “in” the mattress and having the mattress hug your body, or sleeping “on” the mattress like you’re floating on its surface
Medium-firm mattresses tend to be the best for back sleepers - too firm and it will feel like a concrete slab and too soft, you will feel like you are sinking.
For Stomach Sleepers
Stomach sleepers are among the most rare. Unfortunately, this is the worst sleeping position, according to the Mayo Clinic. That’s because sleeping on your stomach puts strain on your back and neck. Sorry, guys.
However, if you can’t shake the habit of sleeping on your stomach, look for a mattress that is soft enough on the surface to avoid pressure in the chest and hips, but firm enough to support their spine alignment. Therefore, medium-firm mattresses tend to be best for stomach sleepers.
Step three: Understand WHAT you should be looking for
There is a lot of fancy product jargon thrown around in the mattress industry. When shopping for a mattress, here are some words you should know so you can decide which are most important to you.
Pressure relief - When shopping for a mattress, you’ll want a mattress that relieves pressure in the hips, thighs and shoulders. A mattress that puts pressure on your joints can result in aches and pains.
Motion transfer (or isolation) - Motion transfer is just a fancy way of saying how much movement you feel if your sleeping partner moves around. You’ll want this to be pretty minimal.
Responsiveness - This just means that how well your mattress adjust or responds to different positions when you sleep. Responsiveness is directly correlated to how quickly you can get comfortable on your mattress.
Spine alignment - Or how well your mattress keeps your spine in a straight line (from your tailbone up through your neck). How well your spine is kept in alignment has to do with how much support the mattress provides around your back.
Edge Support - If you sleep on the edge of your bed or use the end of the bed to get ready in the morning, you’ll care about how much support the edge of your bed provides. This is what keeps you from rolling off onto the floor.
Temperature-Regulation - sleeping on a neutral bed is a huge determinant of your sleep quality. You want a mattress that can be adaptive to temperature fluctuations so that you have a consistent mattress feel throughout the year.
Puffy Mattress or Puffy Lux?
It’s safe to say, you can’t go wrong with either one of these mattresses. But this guide is all about what is best for you (and your sleeping position)!
We would dare to say the Puffy Lux mattress suits side sleepers best. It’s medium-soft firmness and 1.5’’ comfort layer provides the optimal pressure relief side sleepers need. On the other hand, back sleepers should consider giving the traditional Puffy mattress a try. It’s slightly firmer surface will help keep your spine in a neutral position. However, either mattress could suit any type of sleeper. Your only job is to find the one that best suits your needs!
For more information on finding the best mattress, visit Mattress Advisor to see our review of the Puffy or to learn more about how to find the best mattress for your needs.