The kind of mattress we sleep on can have a significant effect on how long and well we rest, but since we all sleep in different positions and have various body types, finding the ideal mattress can be tough.
Here, we’ll explore the various kinds of mattresses available and what type of mattress suits different sleepers.
The harm of poor sleep
According to research, between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder. Sleep helps the brain process information and not getting enough can affect how well we handle day-to-day tasks, personal relationships, and more. Good sleep can also:
- Boost the immune system.
- Repair damaged cells.
- Re-energize the cardiovascular system.
Fortunately, even making simple changes, such as changing the mattress we sleep on, can help boost the quality and duration of our sleep.
There are many kinds of mattresses available to purchase. However, not many people know the various benefits of each. Here’s an overview of the types you should know:
- Innerspring mattress: provides steel coil support. The greater the number of coils, the more support.
- Hybrid mattress: a blend of steel coil support with one or more kinds of foam (such as latex).
- Continuous coil and open coil: relatively cheap but these coils tend to wear out quite quickly.
- Gel mattress: has gel foam in the upholstery level or support system (or both). This is to boost the degree of comfort and disperse heat.
- Pillow-top mattress: offers an added upholstery level sewn in on the top.
- Latex mattress: a hypoallergenic variant that resists mold, dust mites, and other allergy-causing substances.
- Pocket-sprung: have springs sewn into individual pockets of fabric. However, these do not conform well to the body’s shape.
- Memory foam mattress: comprised of high-density viscoelastic polyurethane foam to adapt to the body.
All these mattress types have benefits. But if you’re unsure which you should opt for, check out the articles about hybrid mattresses at Savvy Sleeper and read different mattress reviews for a more in-depth look.
Research shows that stress and sleep are connected, with quality rest being essential to reducing the risk of anxiety and other mental issues. How you lie when you’re sleeping has a great impact on which mattress you should use.
Sleeping on your side is the most common way to sleep. However, this puts pressure on your hips and shoulders. To minimize this, you should go for a medium or medium-soft mattress that will contour to your body’s curves while keeping your spine in its natural alignment and reducing pressure on vulnerable parts of the body.
Do you sleep on your back? Back sleepers benefit from keeping theirs naturally aligned, as it remains neutral in this position. Although mattress resistance preferences vary for back sleepers, more support is needed than if you sleep on your side. So, a medium, medium-firm or orthopedic mattress that supports your back and joints is best. Make sure that the mid-section of the mattress is also sturdy, as you don’t want it to allow your body to ‘sink in’.
Lastly, people who sleep on the front should opt for a medium-firm or firm mattress, as this will deliver support to maintain the optimum alignment of the spine. What’s more, a firmer mattress will feel the most comfortable because it will stop the body from sinking, causing you to arch your back and heightening the risk of pain. Stomach sleepers need a great deal of spinal support, which is why soft mattresses should be avoided. However, be careful not to get a mattress that is too hard, as it will prevent your spine from keeping its natural curve. Again, this will cause pain and disrupted sleep.
Mattress thickness is key to comfort. A thin mattress with not enough layers can’t cushion your body or deliver adequate support to minimize pressure points developing.
As a result, people weighing more than 250lbs should go for a mattress thickness of 10 inches, while people weighing more than 300lbs should look for one of 14 inches and over.
How soft or firm the mattress also plays a key role in determining its level of comfort. But again, this differs depending on the type of sleeper you are.
Side sleepers and people that change their sleeping position often will find soft mattresses the best option. This is because sleeping on your side already alleviates the risk of spinal pressure, so you need a mattress that will easily conform to the curvature of your body.
Another good choice for those who toss and turn during sleep is a medium-soft mattress that will still mold to the body but also deliver adequate support.
Back sleeper? Opt for a medium-firm mattress, as your body needs more lower-back support. And finally, for those who rest on their stomachs or suffer from back pain, a firm mattress is best. This type will keep your back comfortable and stable without letting your body sink, causing further lower-back pain.
Determine how you sleep and start searching for the ideal mattress type to help you sleep better for longer.