How to Choose a Mattress | Everything You Need to Know
Did you know that throughout your life, you’re going to spend about a third of your sleeping? I mean, about 27 years old and that’s why it’s important to buy a good mattress. You know: quality rest, reduced back pain, increased energy, and a better mood throughout the day… and a long etcetera.
But the essential question is: do you know how to choose the right mattress from the dozens of types out there? Viscoelastic, latex, continuous springs, HR foam, futons… If you get so many names and you’re not quite sure what you need, here’s all the essential information to choose from easily and without fear of making a mistake.
The most important thing is not the money you spend but choosing well and buying what you need. You want to know how to do it? Let’s go.
8 KEY POINTS TO CHOOSE YOUR MATTRESS
Let’s start with a visual summary of the 8 keys to choosing correctly, and then we’ll talk in detail about each point.
WHAT MATTRESS TO BUY BASED ON WEIGHT AND HEIGHT?
If you’re “wide-bone,” you’ll need a firmer mattress that gives you uniform support and avoids the boat effect. In contrast, lighter people need a more flexible mattress that distributes weight well.
As for measurements, the mattress should be at least 10 cm longer than what you measure. In the case of a double bed, the tallest person will serve as a reference.
The thickness of the mattress should be at least 15 cm to ensure comfort.
For the width, it would be advisable to have a bed between 90 and 110 cm if you are going to sleep alone and between 150 and 160 for double beds.
And for those who like to sleep like kings, there are the so-called king-size beds of 200 cm x 200 cm. these beds are great if you sleep with your partner and one of the two moves a lot, or if you have children who like to sleep with you.
DO YOU SLEEP ALONE OR ACCOMPANIED?
If you sleep as a couple, you will appreciate a mattress that absorbs the movement well so that you do not bother the changes in the other person’s posture. The ones that do it best are those of viscoelastic and pocket springs.
WHAT POSTURE DO YOU USUALLY SLEEP IN?
If you sleep on your back, you should have a rather hard mattress to avoid bad postures of the spine, especially at the cervical level (nape) and lumbar (base of the spine).
If you sleep on your side, you will need a mattress of intermediate hardness, which adapts to The Shape of your hips and men.
If you sleep on your stomach, you could use a rather soft mattress to avoid bad postures in the neck area and not force too much twisting of the spine.
If you sleep on your side, to ensure that the spine rests without forced curvatures and relieves the highest pressure points, you can sleep with your legs slightly bent. For added comfort, you can put a pillow between your legs. Plus, you’ll use a high pillow to sleep unless you sleep with your arm under it. If so, better a thin pillow so as not to force the neck too much. If you sleep on your back, it can help put a cushion under your knees to maintain the normal curvature of your spine during your rest hours. Besides, it would help if you slept on a rather low pillow.
And if you sleep face down, it would be nice to wear a thin pillow to avoid forcing your neck.
DO YOU MOVE TOO MUCH?
If you’re one of those who breaks Olympic record turns in bed every night, you’ll need a rather firm mattress that allows you to move effortlessly. However, something too hard, such as a futon, won’t be appropriate either, as it could cause bad gestures when changing your posture.
In addition, you will need it to be a mattress that adapts quite a bit since you will sleep in several different postures throughout the night.
However, if you move little, the choice of material and hardness will be governed mainly by the posture you usually sleep in.
ARE YOU COLD OR HOT?
The breathability (ventilation) of the mattress is given by the materials that make up it. If they allow air to pass better, the steam your body generates dissipates more easily, so less heat builds up.
If you’re one of those who often uncovers at night or live in a place with hot summers, you may be interested in spring mattresses, which are the ones that offer the greatest breathability and are cooler. advice
If you’re so hot that the spring mattress isn’t enough to keep you from sweating in bed, you should look at one of the mattresses whose materials act with thermoregulatory function. For example, some models have gel microparticles that lower the temperature of the mattress.
On the contrary, if you are one of those who resist removing the Nordic until summer, the latex, and viscoelastic mattresses are the ones that keep the heat the most.
TYPES OF MATTRESSES ACCORDING TO MATERIAL
There are several types of materials, and none of them are better than another. Each will be more or less recommended according to your needs and preferences. So let’s see how they differ and which one fits you best.
Before you can see each material in-depth, I leave you this summary table of the main characteristics of each.
Note: If you see it on a mobile, scroll the table with your finger to see all the columns.
POLYURETHANE FOAM MATTRESS
Firmness: medium (higher density, higher firmness)
Made of expanded polyurethane foams, they are characterized by a low firmness and retain little shape after pressure, so they quickly return to their original state. They weigh little and are easy to handle.
They are the most basic and economical option you will find, making them ideal if you have a low budget. They can also be a good option if you’re going to use them sporadically, for example, in a guest bed or second residence.
The important thing is the density of the material: higher density, more consistency, slower aging, and greater price and weight.
A density below 35kg/m3 is only recommended for very sporadic beds or young children.
But keep in mind that they are inspirable and accumulate mites with some ease, so they are not recommended for asthmatic people or dust allergy.
- Very economical price
- Very manageable because they weigh little
- Not recommended for sleeping for extended periods of time
- They accumulate mites with some ease
Ideal for: if you are one of those who spend many hours in bed and are looking for a fluffy and adaptable mattress. People who sleep on their side and those with muscle or joint problems.Firmness:low/medium
Viscoelastic or “memory foam” is a high-quality foam that reacts to body heat by adapting to reduce pressure in higher weight areas of the body.
In general, they are rather soft mattresses that stand out for their flexibility and excellent adaptability, being the best choice for people suffering certain muscle or bone aches. In addition, they absorb the movement very well, so they are ideal for double beds.
These mattresses have a foam core coated with a viscoelastic layer that can vary in thickness. The thicker, the more comfort and adaptability, but the price is also increased.
However, they don’t sweat too well, so they tend to accumulate body heat unless you choose a perforated viscoelastic mattress. Another good option if you’re too hot could be a spring mattress.
To learn more: The best mattress In India of 2023 – Comparison and buying guide
And one more thing: it’s important to see if the mattress you bought has viscoelastic on one or both sides. Only in the second case will the mattress be reversible, and you will have to flip it periodically.
- Excellent adaptability
- High flexibility
- They barely transmit movement
- They don’t sweat as well as spring ones
- Some people find them too soft
- The price is usually high
Ideal for: warm people, with some lumbar ailment or with a tight budgetFirmness: high, in general, they are rather hard mattresses
Although they make you feel old and uncomfortable, the reality is that techno has advanced enormously. Today, a good spring mattress can be as comfortable or more comfortable and suitable for a good rest than a viscoelastic mattress or latex.
They are composed of a network of springs coated with several layers of fabric that isolate them and provide comfort and different degrees of firmness. The price will depend on the number of springs and the quality of the materials that cover them. You can find spring mattresses coated with latex, cotton, or even viscoelastic, adding adaptability and comfort.
PerfectOn the other hand, they are high firm mattresses, so they are a good choice for people who usually sleep on their back or with a high weight.
As a counterpoint, it is true that these mattresses do not conform to the body as other materials and that some people find them somewhat hard.
Never bend a spring mattress as it would deform and no longer properly recover its original shape.
There are 3 types of spring mattresses:
Bionic or Bonell springs
This is the classic spring mattress. They are quite firm and the type that best suits the different parts of your body. They are usually the most affordable of price.
Cylindrical or bagged springs
Because the springs are protected inside covers that individualize and separate them from each other, they avoid the typical noises that spring mattresses make when moving and provide high comfort, adapting to the pressure exerted by each area of your body.
This feature also makes them ideal for double beds, as they isolate movements very well, and if your partner moves, you won’t notice.
In addition, they have a very long service life, offering a good rest up to 15 years if you take good care of them.
Continuous thread springs
They are firm and provide further reinforcement at key points such as the lumbar area. They are ideal for single beds.
- Affordable price
- Long service life
- Don’t over-mold
- Some people find them a little hard
- Depending on the type, they can be a little noisy.
Ideal for: allergic and asthmatic people. Also, for people who move a lot during the night and for articulated beds.Firmness: medium
These mattresses can be made of natural latex – which comes from the rubber tree – synthetic or a mixture of both. Depending on the origin of the latex, the price will be lower or higher.
This material is characterized by great elasticity and recoverability, so changing posture quickly recovers its original state. In addition, they are usually rather soft mattresses – although they provide firmer support than viscoelastic mattresses – that adapt well to the shape of the body, providing a fluffy and warm feeling and distributing the pressure optimally.
If it is a mixed mattress of latex and other materials, make sure that the latex layer is at least 4 cm thick to benefit from all the material features.
They are a good choice for double beds since they do not transmit movement. And also, if you are one of those who moves a lot at night, not sinking too much does not slow down the rotation.
They are the best choice for articulated beds, thanks to the great elasticity of this material.
In addition, they are the ideal mattress for allergic and asthmatic people, as it is the only material in which mites cannot nest.
Even if mites can’t nest in the latex, they could nest in the mattress cover. That’s why it’s important to choose a mattress with an easily removable cover and wash it at high temperatures periodically.
One of its main weaknesses is that it weighs quite a bit, so it is difficult to manipulate and rotate. In addition, like viscoelastic, they tend to accumulate heat.
Air the mattress well every day to avoid moisture buildup that could significantly shorten the life of your mattress.
- Mites cannot nest in this material
- Good adaptability without losing firmness
- Very flexible
- Long service life
- They’re pretty heavy.
- Avoid them if you’re allergic to latex
- They don’t sweat too well
If you want to know more about latex allergy, click here for a full article on the topic. And if you’re thinking of buying a latex mattress, take a look at this guide where we show you the keys to a good choice, as well as evaluate this year’s best models:
HARD OR SOFT, WHAT FIRMNESS DO YOU NEED?
In addition to the material, you must choose the firmness of the mattress that best favors your health and rest, respecting the natural curvature of your spine. This way, you’ll get a quality break and avoid back pain.
Firmness – or hardness – is defined as the resistance that the mattress brings to the load produced by your body. The mattress should properly distribute the weight of the body, providing support but without being uncomfortable.
If the mattress is too hard, it won’t adapt well to your body and can be uncomfortable because it put a lot of pressure on the main support points (shoulders and hips).
However, if it is excessively soft, the spine does not receive the correct support, curing itself in a harmful way. In addition, the aeration will be worse, increasing the feeling of heat.
Choose a rather soft mattress if:
- You sleep on your side
- Little weights (below 75-80 kg)
Choose a firmer mattress if:
- You sleep on your back
- You move a lot during the night
- You have a high weight (between 80 and 110 kg you choose a medium and high hardness if you weigh more)
It’s probably one of the things you’re going to keep in mind the most. Indeed, a mattress isn’t cheap, but it’s important to remember the importance of buying one with quality materials that fit you well (not the other way around). Your health is at stake!
Think that a good mattress will last you about 10 years, so if you divide what it costs for 3,650 nights that you will spend on it, surely you no longer find it such a big investment?
In general, the cheapest mattresses are foam mattresses and springs, followed by latex mattresses. Viscoelastic is often the most expensive option.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT MATTRESS
To get the most out of your bed, it’s also important to choose the right base based on the type of mattress you’ve chosen:
It is the most versatile type, as it is suitable for any mattress and usually has quite affordable prices. In addition, it achieves good ventilation, something fundamental in the case of mattresses whose material does not sweat too much, such as viscoelastic or latex.
It is the best choice for spring mattresses. The best thing about these bases is that, in many cases, they are built as a chest, so you will have an excellent space to store a few things under the bed without dusting or taking up room space in the room.
Like sheets, they offer optimal ventilation and are suitable for any mattress. Being more elastic, they provide extra softness to the bed, so they are a good option to counteract mattresses that are too hard.
However, keep in mind that over time they tend to make noise when you move in bed.
They are ideal for people with low mobility, the elderly, and those who must spend long periods in bed, allowing them to adopt various postures in bed comfortably.
Flexible and non-deformable mattresses must be used for these bases. The best option is latex mattresses, although foam models or bagged springs are also suitable.
If you want to know more in detail how to choose the right base and which are the best models of each type, do not miss this guide:
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHEN SHOULD YOU RENEW THE MATTRESS?
Have you been getting more tired lately, or have your back pains increased in the morning? Maybe it’s time to retire your mattress.
A recent study has shown that changing mattresses can improve up to 63% of back pain.
In general, the shelf life of the mattress is around 10 years, so if your mattress exceeds this age, you should consider renewing it. Even if you’re younger but notice that you don’t get as good a rest anymore, you should consider the change.
Although deterioration is not evident, mattress materials age over the years, losing their properties.
Hygiene is another important point: even if you do good maintenance and air it regularly, you’ve probably spent several sick hours in bed and sweated many times. All this causes moisture and dirt to accumulate on the mattress, and germs and mites proliferate, increasing the chance of allergies.
And, let’s not kid ourselves; you’re not the same as you were 10 years ago either. People’s characteristics change with age, so a mattress that at the time could be suitable no longer has to be the best choice.
HOW TO EXTEND THE LIFE OF YOUR MATTRESS?
Here are some tricks to keep your mattress in the best possible condition and, therefore the quality of your sleep:
- When you wake up in the morning, remove the sheets and let the mattress vent so that sweat evaporates before making the bed.
- Use a cover to cover your mattress and wash it at least 3 times a year to protect your mattress and ensure maximum hygiene.
- Change the sheet frequently lower.
- Rotate the mattress every 3-4 months to prevent uneven deformation or wear, unless it is viscoelastic or the manufacturer indicates otherwise
- Avoid moisture in the bedroom, so the fungus doesn’t proliferate
If you want to know all the tricks to keep your mattress as new, do not miss this article with the keys to clean a mattress and keep it free of mites and bad smells.
DOES AGE INFLUENCE WHEN CHOOSING THE MATTRESS?
No doubt. A person’s characteristics change over the years, and your mattress must adapt to every moment of your life.
Young people generally need firmer mattresses, and as the years go by, experts recommend reducing mattress hardness to help your joints and bones.
Therefore, for the elderly, the best option is usually a viscoelastic mattress.