How to Pick A Mattress for Yourself
If you’re finally decided that it’s time to replace your current mattress, this guide will save you some time when finding your new one.
Choosing a new mattress doesn’t have to be time-consuming if you know what to look at and where to look. All you need to consider is your budget, mattress types and their lifespans, firmness level, (room and body) temperatures, and customer reviews.
Most Important Factors When Choosing A Mattress
This alone easily narrows down your choices. If you know for a fact that you are under a tight budget, look for mattresses ranging from $500-$1000 depending on size. Queen-sized mattresses will usually play along the $1000 mark. If you have a sizeable budget, this allows you to check out more expensive luxury mattresses.
IMPORTANT NOTE: A higher price doesn’t always mean good quality – especially when buying from retail stores. They need to pay their rental fees and highly-commissioned salespeople. That’s all factored in what you pay for. Similarly, the cheapest mattress isn’t your best option either. Unless it’s a well-renowned brand, chances are it’s a sign of low quality.
Mattress Type and Lifespan
Now that you know your budget, selecting an ideal mattress type is next. Here’s a brief summary on the types of mattresses available.
- Innerspring is the traditional, old-fashioned mattress almost everyone is familiar with. It utilises a fairly-dated technology – making it one of the cheapest options out there. It’s a breathable mattress due to the spaces between the fabric and springs. But these same spaces can be the reason behind innersprings becoming unsupportive in the long run.
- Latex is known for its responsiveness/bounce, and long lifespan. Since they don’t mold to the body’s shape, it allows for sleeping cool. Using natural latex, however, makes it prone to oxidation manifested in discolouration and crumbling of the foam.
- Memory foam is a temperature-sensitive material that uses heat and pressure to mold to your unique curves. Once you remove pressure, it goes back to its original shape. This also means your motion will be isolated – leaving your partner’s or pet’s sleep undisturbed! Some memory foam mattresses tend to sleep hot, so make sure you opt for those with cooling mechanisms.
- Hybrid foam is combination of spring and memory foam. This gives it good support from springs with the contouring and motion isolation of memory foam.
Firmness refers to how soft or firm the mattress feels. The right mattress should cradle your pressure points, while supporting the natural alignment of your spine. Now the right firmness for you will depend on several factors such as weight, sleeping position, age, partners/pets. I wrote about finding the right mattress firmness here, too.
But let me discuss the most crucial factors when it comes to firmness in this article – weight and sleeping position.
Your weight should be compatible with your mattress’ firmness. The heavier you are, the more pressure is exerted on the mattress. Lighter sleepers who weigh less than 60kg are best supported by soft to medium mattresses (firmness level of 3-6). Heavier sleepers weighing more than 105kg should look into medium-firm to firm mattresses (firmness level of 7-9).
- Sleeping Position
This has more to do with sinkage on the mattress. Imagine being 105kg on a soft mattress – there’s absolutely no support there!
The joints that hit the mattress directly are also very important because they should be cushioned and relieved when sleeping.
Soft to medium mattresses can mold to the hips and shoulders more than firm mattresses. This avoids unnecessary pressure on these joints.
Medium-firm to firm mattresses are able to distribute weight evenly on the mattress. Research has shown that chronic back pain sufferers sought relief in firmer mattresses, particularly medium-firm.
Medium-firm to firm mattresses elevate the pelvis area – helping sleepers keep afloat. Being supported is equally as important here because sagging in the middle area can lead to a hyperextension of the lower back.
Don’t forget to consider the amount of space you have in your room! This tells you how big or small your mattress should be (which also indicates the price).
If you sleep with a partner, factor in their sleeping positions and how much space both of you take up on the mattress. Do you like getting cosy, or do you enjoy having personal space? Verify the mattress dimensions before buying!
Other Factors to Consider
If you tend to sleep hot, check the specifications of your mattress to know if it sleeps cool. Some mattresses of lower quality can be hot, so better look for a mattress that has an air ventilation system or some opening to let air flow.
If you tend to sleep hot, check the specifications of your mattress to learn about its breathability. Some mattresses of lower quality can be hot to sleep on, so look for a mattress that breathes. The Ecosa mattress, for instance, has a gel memory foam layer and air circulation system built into it.
If a mattress sounds too good to be true, always cross-check with reviews. This is the easiest way to find out the strengths and weaknesses of each brand. The best part? It’s all ONLINE. No sweat.
Q: Should I try before I buy, or should I buy to try?
Trying before you buy is the traditional way of doing it. Although other people would do away with the expensive prices and unnecessary pressure from salespeople.
Buying first to try sounds good provided it’s risk-free. Luckily, this is a feature many online mattress companies already offer. Once the mattress arrives, you get to actually sleep on it. If you don’t like it, you may freely return it as well. This actually sounds like a better way of getting used to your mattress, isn’t it?
PS. Read their trial and warranty terms before committing. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Last tip: enjoy mattress shopping!
Your mattress is where you lay to rest each night – your refuge. It shouldn’t be associated with feelings of stress, but happy and ecstatic ones. Try to make the mattress shopping process less tedious by having fun with it. You learn things you can use for your next mattress purchase! Who knows when you or anyone in your circle will need a new one?