Approximately half of the Australian population and the majority of New Zealanders don’t get enough sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need approximately 7 to 9 hours of comfortable sleep every night. New-born babies need anywhere between 14 to 17 hours of sleep each day. All of us change our sleep requirements throughout our lives. Of course, to sleep soundly there are some essential factors we need to consider to attain this. The mattress that you sleep on certainly matters. Do you experience any of the following when you wake up in the morning?
It’s Time to Say Goodbye to Your Old Mattress
Even if you don’t experience any of the situations listed above, there are some signs that it’s time to bid your mattress goodbye and look for a new one. Here are some of them:
You feel you don’t get enough sleep on it anymore. You find the couch in the living room better!
There are obvious physical signs (uneven surface, the interior is exposed, tears, lumps, a spring tip is sticking out) that your mattress can’t support and give you comfort anymore.
You’re not single anymore. You got married. Duh, of course, you need a new and bigger mattress.
You grew up. A bigger you needs a bigger mattress.
Somebody else is sleeping on your mattress. No, nobody’s cheating on you. We mean bedbugs. If you find lots of bedbugs residing in it, you need to buy a new mattress.
Celebrating your mattress’ 7th anniversary is a good sign you need to replace it. Though obviously this depends on the original quality of your mattress.
How to Choose a Mattress that Fits You
You see, your mattress is like selecting your best friend. For you to confide your problems to your best friend, you need to feel comfortable with him or her. Also, he or she has to be supportive of your decisions. The same goes when choosing a mattress. It must be able to provide both comfort and support to your body.
Comfort is needed to make sure you don’t spend the night turning around and around on your mattress. Support is required to prevent waking up in the morning with a part of your body aching (most commonly your back). Comfort and support are the two major factors which will help you decide if your mattress fits you.
You know you’re comfortable on the mattress you selected if you can lie on it for a while without needing to move to get more comfortable. But you don’t want a mattress that sinks to the shape of your body like a hammock either!
Let’s go to the minor factors:
Edge support. Are you the type of person who likes to live and sleep on the edge? Well, you might want to test your new mattress for edge support. Nobody wants to wake up on the floor.
Do you feel too warm? Too cold? Your mattress should have approximately the same temperature as your skin and body (also known as thermoneutrality).
Motion separation. This is most applicable for couples. Is one of you the toss-and-turn type of sleeper? If so, you should go for a bed that has motion separation. Your partner’s incessant need to move shouldn’t disturb your sleep.
Particular type of mattress required. The reason why mattress matchmaking is so difficult is because of the many different kinds out there. Below is a table to help you decide which particular type is for you.
Particular type of mattress
The most common type of mattress available. The more coils you have in your mattress, the better the support for your back.
Spring mattress plus any of the following: memory foam, visco elastic foam, latex foam, gel foam, and polyurethane foam.
Best for those who want maximum comfort and support.
Memory foam mattress
Uses high density polyurethane foam for support. Supports natural body positioning without putting pressure on areas like the hips and shoulders. The best mattress for those with back pain.
Uses air for support. Best for those who want to adjust the firmness of their bed frequently.
Uses water in water chambers for support. Best for people who don’t want pressure points while lying down. Pressure points are areas in your body which feel pain when you lie down (joints, hips, sacral area).
The foam can be made up of polyurethane, visco elastic material, or gel.
It’s a traditional Japanese type of bed. Often made from synthetic or natural latex, but may also be made from other natural materials like wool.
It doesn’t make sense that you forget to pay attention to your pillow. Your mattress may be the perfect fit for you, but don’t forget the importance of your pillow for a good night’s sleep. Here are some factors you should consider when selecting your fluffy friend.
Type of sleeper. If you sleep on your belly, you need a thinner pillow. If you sleep on your side, you need a thicker one. If you lie flat mostly on your back, you need something in between the two.
Type of material. Synthetic filling materials are usually cheaper than natural ones. If you’re allergic to a lot of things, you may want to consider a hypoallergenic pillow and it’s best to avoid down pillows.
Lastly, before you buy a pillow, try to test it first like your mattress. Ask for help from the sales person.
The basic foundation of a good sleep is a comfortable and supportive mattress…literally. Always keep the major and minor factors in mind when selecting a new mattress. You’ll know that you’ve found the right one when it completes that above checklist. Then seal the sleep deal with the right pillow. Happy hunting! And sleeping!