Published: August 17, 2019
We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping — or, at least trying to. A lack of sleep can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and can even shorten your life expectancy.
A mattress that's right for your body and sleep style is good for your health. And if you've had your mattress seven years or longer, it's definitely time to get a new one, since the quality of mattresses can decline over time and affect the quality of your sleep.
Use this guide before you mattress shop, so you know exactly what you need to get a good night's sleep.
Mattresses come in a variety of materials and designs that affect how they feel when you lay on them. Depending on the direction you sleep and the amount of back pain you experience regularly, one type of mattress material may suit you better than another.
Foam mattresses contain several layers of foam to contour to your body as you sleep. Foam mattresses offer comfort and support and give you the feel of being surrounded.
A benefit of foam mattresses is that they tend to retain their original shape and density, without the need to flip over the mattress periodically like other types.
An innerspring mattress has metal springs, also known as coils. These coils can be arranged in a variety of spring systems, including a system with individually wrapped pocketed coils or a system with springs connected into a single unit. Greater variety can be found in spring shapes, designs and the number of coils used.
The coils are covered by padding, which can be made from materials like foam, fiber or smaller steel spring systems. You'll want to look for innerspring mattresses with the greatest number of coils as possible, since that provides more points of support for body contouring.
As its name implies, the hybrid mattress has a combination of two or more support systems — usually foam with an innerspring system. Hybrid mattresses offer the sturdy support and bounce of an innerspring system with the contouring comfort of a foam mattress.
If you've enjoyed innerspring mattresses but want to dive into foam, a hybrid mattress can be a good transition. Hybrid mattresses also tend to be less expensive than full foam mattresses.
Back pain is one of the most common ailments affecting Americans. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some point.
The important thing is to really get to know your mattress to see if it provides the support you need to alleviate back pain. That's why we offer the 120 Good Night Guarantee, so you can spend 120 nights with your mattress and return it if it doesn't work for you. Trying a mattress for a few seconds in a store doesn't always provide you with the insight you need.
The most important quality to look for in a mattress if you have back pain is to look for one that keeps your spine aligned. This means you're not curving because you're sinking in and not arching your back.
Often, a mattress that is too soft or too firm will not help your back and can make back pain worse. The general guideline is to look for a semi-firm mattress. All types of mattresses mentioned here can be semi-firm. Watch out for foam mattresses that are super-soft or innerspring mattresses that are super-firm.
How your hips are structured can also determine how much firmness or softness you need. Someone with wide hips may benefit from a slightly softer mattress, while someone with narrow hips might benefit from a firmer mattress.
Again, a semi-firm mattress is best for lower back pain. Semi-firm memory foam mattresses can help people with back pain, since they conform to body shape and allow the wider parts of your body, like shoulders and hips, to sink in. The narrower parts of your body stay on top of the mattress, so your spine stays comfortable and aligned
Sleeping on your side is the most common sleep position. If you're a side sleeper, your body will be making a unique shape, so a foam or hybrid mattress may be ideal since it adjusts to fit your body shape and provides shoulder and hip support. Side sleepers should seek out a mattress that:
Side sleepers, like sleepers with back problems, should also avoid very firm mattresses, because they won't provide enough “give” to support the side sleeper's unique shape. Mattresses that are too soft won't provide the support side sleepers need to align the spine and avoid lower back tension. Again, look for a semi-firm option
It doesn't matter what the reviews say or what brand of mattress is most popular. Not every type of mattress will work for every sleeper. Your body is unique, and that means your mattress needs are, too.
That's why it's important to test out multiple mattresses when you're shopping and work with a mattress expert who can provide you recommendations tailored for your body.
The team at the Furniture Mart is here to help. And with our 120 Good Night Guarantee, you can make sure that your mattress choice is one your body will love.