The National Sleep Association recommends getting a new mattress every 8-10 years and even more often if you’re over 40 (we need more support as we age). The fewer monkeys jumping on the bed, the more likely your mattress will make that 10-year mark.
Owning a mattress for 8 years translates to about 17,374 hours of sleep per person (based on the 6.9hr/night Canadian average). Knowing how important sleep is for your mental and physical health, and knowing how little of it we’re getting as a society, proper mattress selection is more important than ever. It’s a worthy investment.
90% of people say that their mattress is important to their sleep experience. In a study by the National Sleep Foundation, 41% of respondents reported problems with tossing and turning at least once a week, 18% experienced back and/or neck pain from their mattress, and 17% complained of a sagging mattress that affected their sleep at least a few times a week. That’s a lot of unhappy sleepers.
Note: While this guide has been published by Beautyrest, we encourage you to try other brands too. We’ve been a leader in sleep and mattress innovation for 150 years. We’re confident in our products and know that once people lie down in a Beautyrest, they’ll feel the difference experience makes. Mattresses are not one size fits all. We offer a variety of models and options that allow you to get the best sleep possible for you.
FIND THE PERFECT MATTRESS
There are newer mattress companies that offer one-size-fits-all models. The Huffington Post asked, would one model work just as well for a 120-pound woman as a 250-pound man? In their words, “it wouldn’t”. One man’s backache is another man’s luxury. The perfect mattress should meet your unique needs and those of your sleeping partner if you have one. It’s important to factor in things like sleeping position, age, weight, and any existing back issues. The following are a list of questions to ask yourself when investing in your next mattress:
WHAT’S YOUR SLEEP STYLE?
If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll want a mattress that conforms to your shape and provides support where you need it. Look for a slightly softer mattress. Consider pillow top and memory foam, but definitely look for pocket coil. The top layer is a matter of personal comfort, but pocket coil is what you’ll want for posture support.
Stomach sleepers generally prefer firmer mattresses so they don’t sink face down into the soft abyss of their super plush pillow top. If you’re a back sleeper, something in the middle will provide a mix of comfort and spine support. You want your spine to stay well aligned, but you also want some softness that conforms to your body.
Lower coil gauges (thicker wires) result in a firmer spring, while higher coil gauges (thinner wires) create a gentler spring. If you want a conforming mattress, look for one with a coil gauge above 14. If you want a very firm mattress, go for a gauge of 13 or less. Your weight will also influence the strength of coil you’ll find the most comfortable.
Side sleepers: Look for a mattress that conforms to your body and provides proper support, like pocketed coil.
Stomach sleepers: Look for a firmer mattress you won’t sink too deep into.
Back sleepers: Look for something in between firm and soft. You want it soft enough to conform to your body, but firm enough to keep the spine in line. A microfiber or hybrid mattress may be right for you.
DO YOU SHARE YOUR BED?
You know that time you were assigned the pull-out couch at Aunt Cindy’s family reunion? If you’ve ever shared a bad mattress, you know how affected your sleep can be when someone is tossing and turning. Your mattress should allow for movement that doesn’t disturb you or your bed partner.
Do you remember the commercial where the guy drops a bowling ball on the bed and
the bowling pins stay standing? That first aired in 1995 when Simmons first introduced pocket coil mattresses to the world.
Where traditional mattresses are made up of springs that are wired together, Simmon’s Beautyrest Pocketed Coil technology uses individually wrapped springs that are joined at the center. When mattress springs are wired together, any pressure felt in one will be felt in the others. By separating them, pocketed coil makes it easier for one partner to move without disturbing the whole bed.
Sleep with a partner? You’ll want a mattress with pocketed coil technology that offers motion separation.
WHAT’S YOUR PERFECT SLEEP CLIMATE?
The ideal temperature for sleep is 65 degrees. Any hotter or cooler can impact your sleep quality. If you’re someone who naturally gets warmer at night, you’ll want to look for a mattress that offers cooling features.
Consider the following when mattress shopping:
If you heat up at night, ask the sales rep about the mattress’s cooling features. Avoid memory foam without gel technology. If pillow-top is your preference, ask about breathability and airflow.
DO YOU HAVE ACHES AND PAINS?
Let the salesperson know if you have existing back or neck issues. They should be able to recommend options that offer better support. A hybrid option may be right for you.
Your mattress impacts your quality of sleep, and therefore, the quality of your life. Don’t rush into the decision without taking the time to explore your options. When you consider the lifespan of your mattress, even getting a higher end $3000 mattress works out to roughly $1 a night – half that if you sleep with a partner. You’ll spend more than that for that extra coffee after a night of tossing and turning. This isn’t a splurge. It’s an investment in your health and happiness every day.
If cost is an issue, ask about sales and payment plans. Big retailers will often have annual or bi-annual sales.