What Mattress Is Right For You?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Choosing a mattress was once a simple task. The salesperson asked, “Do you want one that is hard or soft?” Now, the salesperson asks, “Do you want an open coil interspring mattress with lower gauge wires (firm) or a pocket spring mattress with higher gauge wires (soft)?” Every mattress has its advantages and disadvantages so it’s important to understand your sleep needs before you make an investment. The average price of a mattress is $600, but many people spend over $1000.

The ideal mattress will vary from person to person. People have a curvature to their spine when they’re standing with proper posture. That same natural curve should be maintained when a person is lying down. A mattress that is too soft will fail to support the pelvis, while a mattress that is too hard will force the spine into an unnatural position.

Innerspring Mattress:
The Innerspring is the most familiar type of mattress. Springs can achieve varying levels of softness and firmness that depend on the type of coils used to provide the inner spring. Innerspring mattresses can be accessorized with pillow tops and fancy embroidery, but it’s the coil gauge and coil count that determine firmness and durability. An increase in the number of coils and the interconnectedness of coils will help a mattress retain its shape. The gauge of coils is also important. Thinner coils give more easily under pressure and create a softer mattress, while thicker coils are more firm.

Foam Mattress:
Memory foam does not use springs to provide support because foam can mold itself to your frame in response to your weight. Since the foam settles around the body, it’s harder to change positions during sleep. Heavy people need to move during the night in order to prevent an uneven distribution of weight on one part of the body. On the other hand, people the limited movement of memory foam could be a good choice for people with arthritis or joint sensitivity. Foam mattresses also retain body heat so the temperature will increase throughout the night. If you tend to get cold while you sleep, this extra heat could be beneficial. Also, some foam mattresses have anti-bacterial and anti-mold properties.

Air Mattress:
Air mattresses can be adjusted through the increase or release of air. They are flexible and can be made to be more hard or soft depending on your present needs. Also, certain brands like the Sleep Number bed have two separate air chambers so that the firmness of each side can be adjusted independently. Air mattresses are a good solution for partners who have different sleep needs but want to sleep together.

Water Mattress:
The waterbed is often the brunt of jokes due to its unstable quality. Watching someone get in and out of a waterbed can be quite comical. But, waterbeds aren’t total novelties. The water provides support in a way that is similar to the foam, but without the reduced range of motion. Also, waterbeds are a good alternative for people with asthma and allergies. The vinyl casing can be wiped down reducing the amount of dust mites found in regular mattresses.

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