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Mattresses: Picking Out a Good Night’s Sleep

Photo by DiscoverDuPage via Flickr

Photo by DiscoverDuPage via Flickr

For the past few months, Neil slept poorly, tossing and turning to find a comfortable position, but always waking up stiff and achy.  He wasn’t sure why he slept so poorly.  He had never had any problems sleeping before. The answer eluded him until he went to Hawaii on vacation.  While he was there, he had his best night’s sleep in months.  That is when he realized that it must have been his mattress that was ruining his sleep.  His old mattress must no longer have been providing the support and comfort that he needed.  After all, it was 9 years old.

Neil was probably right.  On average, mattress sets are good for 7 years. After that, many stop providing the necessary comfort and support. Sleep is an essential part of our lives that greatly influences how we feel. When we don’t get enough of it, we neither function nor feel our best.  Plus, prolonged periods of poor sleep negatively impact both our physical and psychological health.  That is why sleeping on a good mattress set is crucial in both getting a good night’s rest and in caring for our health.

What makes up a mattress set?
When selecting a mattress set, there are 3 basic component choices that affect sleep quality:

  1. Foundation or box spring: A hard platform that lies beneath the mattress, providing support and shock absorption, reducing the wear and tear on the mattress.  The most common choice is a box spring.
  2. Mattress core: This is the core of a mattress.  It is very important because it provides support for the spine.  It can be constructed of foam, innersprings, natural fibers or water or air filled chambers.
  3. Upholstery layers: These are foams or fibers that encase the mattress core, enhancing cushioning and providing surface comfort.

All 3 of these layers work together to provide the support and comfort needed to get a good night’s rest.

What to look for when buying a mattress:
Choosing the right mattress set can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming. Here are 4 tips to consider when shopping for the right mattress:

  1. Buy the right size: It is important to select a bed that gives enough room to move.  Most adults should not sleep on a twin bed and couples should not sleep on a full.  Those are too small for those uses.  And for individuals who are over 6 feet tall, a California King is recommended.
  2. Buy the whole set: Foundations or box springs and mattresses are built to work together.  So, buy the matching set to enhance your comfort and support.  Don’t buy mismatched sets, even if they are cheaper.  That can result in back pain or in the set wearing out more quickly.
  3. Get expert advice: If you have joint or muscle pain, such as arthritis, back pain or fibromyalgia, talk to a mattress expert, your doctor or a physical therapist.  They will help you choose the right mattress for your specific needs, so that you can get the best night’s sleep possible.  At the very least, if you are at the showroom, try to get an in-store consultation to help you find the right mattress.
  4. Try out the bed: Before purchasing, lie on the mattress sets in the showroom.  Stretch out on the mattress and change positions.  Feel for comfort and support.  If possible, try to get the retailer to offer a 30 to 60 day home trial.  Sometimes a bed might feel comfortable at the store, but after a few nights at home it no longer feels comfortable.  You’ll have the bed for years and they cost quite a bit of money, so you want to make sure that you buy the right one.

The bottom line:
Buying the right mattress set is crucial for getting a good night’s rest.  So don’t be shy!  Ask the experts questions, lie on the mattress sets in the show room and buy a matching set.  After all, we all want to feel rested, refreshed and ready to take on the day every morning!  For your health, buying the right bed is well worth the expense.

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  1. Maria Isabel says:

    We bought a new mattress last year and we felt that it was more comfortable to sleep in.

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