HOW TO CHOOSE A MATTRESS (2020) - A GUIDE
How to choose a mattress: The longest a human mind and body has gone without sleeping in 264 hours or 11 consecutive days. Though we still don’t know the exact number, sleeplessness ranging from 4-5 days is enough to cause hallucinations.
Clearly, sleep is a non-negotiable factor.
Considering a regular human spends 229,961 hours, i.e 1/3rd of life sleeping, it is a shame to spend this substantial portion of life sleeping on a bad mattress.
The bad mattress problem can be alleviated with the right research and insight while mattress shopping. This mattress buying guide can help you invest mindfully in the mattress that works for you and your wallet.
In this guide, you will be largely introduced to the following points:
WHEN DO YOU NEED A NEW MATTRESS?
Buying a new mattress greatly depends on why do you need a new mattress. Here are some reasons that might help you:
1. The Mattress has Been in Use for More than Seven Years
The lifespan of a mattress depends on a lot of factors like wear & tear, the material used, sleeping habits and much more. For instance, if your mattress is used every night (which is most often the case), it is more likely to undergo deterioration than the one that is not used as often.
Similarly, if your current mattress is made of latex, it is more likely to have a longer lifespan. However, irrespective of all these factors, time is crucial and if you have been using your mattress for more than seven years, it is time to switch it up.
2. Body Pains are Regular Morning Companions
Waking up with pains and body aches is the biggest telltale factor that it may be time to change your mattress. Focus on the regions where it hurts most often – be it your neck, your shoulder or lower back – and look for a mattress that can support your sensitive regions. A mattress buying guide available with the seller can also help.
3. The Mattress Is Sagging
Having been used long enough, a mattress is bound to lose its structural integrity and sag from points of pressure. Often, these sagging points are in the middle of the mattress that leads to lower back pains in users. Deep indentations and sagging often disrupt sleep quality and thus, overall health.
4. You have Changed Since the Mattress Purchase
Your body undergoes changes with time, you gain weight or some ailment over the period of time which makes old things obsolete. Your mattress is one of those. Your increase in weight might add pressure on the mattress which affects your sleep. On the other hand, you might have developed a condition like sleep apnea that heavily impacts back sleepers. If your mattress is for back sleepers, then you have to change it to cater to your current condition.
HOW TO CHOOSE A MATTRESS?
This mattress buying guide can help list out the parameters important to consider while buying a new mattress. This knowledge will assist you in making sound decisions that would complement your sleep quality as well as your wallet.
We can define the major mattress shopping characteristics into the following broad categories:
- Longevity – Buying a mattress is a substantial investment and you need to ensure that your investment pays off. Choose a mattress that survives for at least 7 years.
- Support and Firmness – The ideal mattress firmness scale for humans is 4-7 which provides the right amount of support and comfort to your body. Choose a mattress that lies in this firmness range.
- Sleeping with a Partner – If you are sharing your bed with your partner, you need to consider factors like movement isolation. This parameter helps you determine if your sleep will remain undisturbed despite your partner’s movement on the bed.
WHAT SHOULD YOU ASK YOUR RETAILER BEFORE PURCHASING YOUR MATTRESS?
Mattress shopping requires research, comparison and information. However, some extra guidance from your retailer can go a long way in ensuring that your mattress purchase is worth the time, money and effort.
Here are a few things to ask before finalising on the mattress:
Did you know that the upper few inches of the mattress are the comfort sweet spot for our body? This region is responsible for alleviating any pressure on your body and to also take up the shape of your body to cradle it or accommodate any change in sleeping position. Also known as comfort layers, these can either be made of a single layer of quilted material or comprises multiple levels of different materials.
In latex mattress, natural Dunlop adds to the softness of the top comfort layers while in the memory foam mattress, this foam when added with a few chemicals melts due to the body heat and takes up your body shape to support your frame. So next time when you are purchasing your mattress, quiz your retailer about the comfort layers of the mattress is in focus.
We all have different body weights and proportions that mandate the need to have adequate weight distribution in mattresses. Quite often, an average body weight requires 3 inch of comfort layering while those on the heavier side require 4 inches since they are more prone to sinking.
Firm upper layers in such cases are vital to ensure proper weight distribution to avoid sinking in and provide pressure relief for those with a larger body constituency. If you or your partner are on either side of the spectrum, ask your retailer to help you with the right mattress.
Include motion isolation in your mattress buying guide if you share a bed. If your partner is a habitual position shifter, chances are that your sleep is more likely to be disturbed. Light sleepers are the ones most affected by it. Motion isolation is a parameter in mattresses that isolate movement of the sleeper, making it undetectable for their partner.
A mattress with low motion transfer is important if you and your partner have different sleep schedules or you share your bed with children and pets, both who are likely to turn around at night.
Ask your retailer to help you choose mattresses with low motion transfer. Some of the best options are memory foam mattress, latex mattress and hybrid mattresses. Air beds too can do the trick but not as a single chamber bed.
Getting a full night sleep if your bed is either too hot or too cold can be very difficult. Based on our body temperatures, our sleep schedule and quality is often affected and using a mattress that is not exactly temperature controlled can make things worse.
As you are going through the catalogue, ask your retailer about which mattress has a more cooling effect or warming up properties. For instance, latex and memory foams are more likely to heat up as the time goes by, making it ideal for those who are always cold. On the other hand, a water bed is the perfect solution for sleepers who constantly face the heat. Talk to your retailer for more help on the subject.
In situations when you and your partner have different preferences, meet the middle ground with the right bed accessories and spreads.
A mattress does not come cheap. While there are options of using a credit card, paying it in full to avoid any debt cycle is always a better way to go. However, mattresses can range upto thousands of dollars and many are not able to afford that.
You can ask your retailer about the financing options available for the mattress of your choice. You are likely to be told about loans and EMI installments. Like many, if you choose to go for loans, you need to have a good credit score and also a co-signer so that the bank is assured of protection against defaulters.
If you don’t ask about the benefits, warranty periods, discounts and trial offers, you are not shopping right. Don’t be shy asking your retailer about upcoming sales, discounts and offers that can help you save more – during the sale period, you might end up saving 60% of the total cost! Hence, it pays to ask questions and make informed decisions as you search for the right mattress for yourself.
TYPES OF MATTRESSES
There is no bigger sin than not doing proper research on the type of mattress while mattress shopping. In this mattress buying guide, we lay special emphasis on the types of mattress that will suit your body, sleep habits and lifestyle – answering your question of how to choose a mattress.
Here are some commonly available mattress types for you to choose from.
Memory Foam Mattress
First designed by NASA in the mid 1960s for the astronauts, the memory foam mattress is a unique combination of memory foam with springs and support foam. It melts once in contact with the body and takes your shape.
This cocoons your body adequately and provides it with support and comfort unique to you and your needs. Thanks to the support, it alleviates strain from the pressure points, especially your shoulder and your back for quality sleep.
Check out our detailed guide on memory foam mattresses.
Originally used by the Japanese, a futon is a traditional bedding that can be folded into a couch- like structure.
These mattresses’ multi-functional nature and light-weight properties makes them most commonly used ones in smaller spaces like studio apartments. However, they can sometimes be too soft for comfort.
Check out our detailed guide on owning and using a futon
Airbeds are inflatable mattresses that are convenient and comfortable. Made from PVC, it is helpful in preventing pressure related injuries and pains.
While it is a great option for those who are having people over or looking for a temporary lounge area in their living room, it is not exactly common as a long term use. Its lack of body support can be the primary reason for it.
Check out our detailed guide on owning and using an airbed.
Innerspring mattresses have a steel coil support system, consisting of various gauges, spring units connected to a single spring system. These springs can differ in the number of coils, shape and design in different mattresses.
The coils in an innerspring mattress are covered by an upholstery and padding of various fibers or foams that offer comfort with support to the sleeper.
For more information on innerspring beds, click here.
Pillow Top Mattress
A pillow top mattress is an ideal choice for those looking for comfort but require more support than the popular choice of latex or memory foam mattresses. The mattress has an inner layer of spring or coils – like an innerspring mattress, with a padded layer added on top.
Our guide on pillow top mattresses will remove any doubts you may have regarding your purchase.
Euro Top Mattress
The euro top mattresses might seem a bit similar to the pillow top mattress but with a minor difference. While in the pillow top, the upper layer is sewn with an indent to look like a pillow, in the euro top mattress, this layer is sewn straight up from top to the bottom with no pillow indent. Many prefer for its sleeker look.
To learn more, click on our euro top mattress guide.
Euro Top Mattress
Waterbeds are vinyl mattresses comprising water rather than other materials. These waterbeds are available in two type- hard side waterbeds with a heavy external frame and soft sided waterbed with a softer outer side that can fit in an existing furniture or traditional support system. Since the water layer adapts the body shape, this mattress is great for those looking for that well-rounded cocooned support.
Our detailed guide on waterbeds have every ounce of information you might need.
MATTRESS TYPES COMPARISON CHART
Upto 7 years
Upto 6 years
12 to 20 years
Upto 5 years
Upto 5 years
MATTRESS SIZE GUIDE
How to choose a mattress based on size? The size of the mattress you choose is one of the prime factors to consider, especially when you are trying to optimize the space in your room. Sometimes, size also matters based on your lifestyle or the number of members at home. The most commonly available mattress sizes are twin, twin XL, full sized, queen sized, king size and california king size.
Compatible Room (feet)
39” x 75” x 11”
The room should be at least 7’x10’ ranging upto to 9’x9’
Children aged 2-12 years old, or guest bedrooms
39” x 80” x 11”
Room size 8’ x 10’ till 9’x 9’ at least
Young children up to 12 years old, guest bedrooms, college students
54” x 75” x 11”
Room size 9’ x 9.6’ at least
Young children, singles with a pet
60” x 80” x 11”
A comfortable room size 10’ x 10’ till 10’ x 14’
Teenagers, Couples, Single person with a pet
72” x 84” x 11”
A large but not master bedroom with size 10’ x 12’ upto 13’ x 19’
Tall individuals, couples
76” x 80” x 11”
Master bedrooms and suite with sizes 13’ x 13’ upto 13’ x 19’
Singles and Couples
Absolutely! Buying a mattress online from a credible source not only helps you get quality products but also gives you the chance to save up with seasonal discounts and offers.
If you buy your mattress online, you are eligible for benefits like discounts, sleep trials, additional accessories and free delivery to name a few. You can also do a proper online research before zeroing in on the mattress of your choice.
Ask your retailer. Many online and offline stores offer old mattress pick up services when they deliver new ones as part of their service or at a small fee. This is perhaps the best way to bid your old mattress goodbye as they are usually recycled and used for production of new products.
You can also ask your local municipality or sanitation department to collect them. At a small monetary incentive, your garbage collector can also help you with your old mattress.
Yes! Your mattress will be delivered right at your doorstep and set up right in front of you, based on your preferences.