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How to Choose the Right Mattress

Info Relinque - Wednesday, August 29, 2012

How To Choose The Right Mattress?

When it comes to deciding on a new mattress, the choices can be overwhelming. Choosing the right mattress will not only help prevent neck and back pain, but will ensure you have a peaceful nights sleep. So before you visit your local mattress retailer consider the following important points.

What Are the Different Types of Mattresses?

Coil sprung

This was the traditional way for a mattress to be sprung. Coil sprung mattresses consist of rows of hourglass shaped coil springs that are joined together above and below by a wire. The firmness of these mattresses is determined by the thickness of the coil springs. Generally the heavier you are, the thicker gauge wire you will prefer. They tend to be cheaper than other more modern styles of mattresses available today. 

These mattresses provide excellent support and offer great value for money. A good tip for a great value mattress is to buy a good quality coil spring mattress that has a high-grade cushion top on it.

Box sprung

These mattresses are made of rows of springs that are individually wrapped in their own pockets. These boxes are made to work independently of each other, allowing the springs to contour to your body and provide maximum support. The number of springs is usually advertised in the description. The greater the number of springs in the mattress, the greater the comfort. Because the springs work independently of each other there is less partner disturbance with movement.

These mattresses tend to distribute weight far better than traditional coil sprung mattresses. 

Box sprung with cushion top

These mattresses have a luxurious covering on top of the very supportive pocket sprung mattress. They provide very effective weight distribution, support and comfort. Regardless of your body weight or size your spine will be held in the correct anatomical position for optimal sleeping position.

Latex foam

Latex mattresses consist of several layers of either natural or synthetic latex. The bottom layer is the firmest, with each subsequent layer being progressively softer. These mattresses offer a firm supportive base, with a comfortable top layer. Some latex mattresses may sleep hot if there is insufficient air circulation through the pinhole sized core holes within the mattress.

Latex mattresses are very long lasting – some up to twenty years. This compares to the average life of 8-12 years in top quality box sprung mattresses. The benefit of latex mattresses is that they can be made from 100% natural latex. They are naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites, making them great for allergy sufferers. Although considered by many more comfortable and supportive than memory foam mattress, they do show more partner roll than memory foam. Due to the open cell structure of latex they move better with your body. They are generally more expensive than memory foam.

Memory foam

Memory foam was originally developed by NASA engineers to help combat gravity pressure during departure and re-entry. Memory foam mattresses have viscoelastic properties, so as your body heats up, the foam softens. As your body cools, the foam hardens. The quality of the memory foam mattress is directly related to the density of the foam. As you would expect, the denser foam mattresses are also the most expensive.

Memory foam mattresses offer fantastic pressure relieving properties – perhaps better than any other. This type of mattress molds to your body’s shape. They are very comfortable and give you great support. The downside to memory foam mattresses is that they tend to sleep hot. So for those people who get hot at night, they might not be the right choice.

How to choose the firmness of your mattress

When deciding on the firmness of your mattress, the most important point to keep in mind is support. A soft mattress may feel great, but it offers poor support. This can lead to muscle stiffness that often causes back and neck pain. A mattress that is too firm will also lead to problems. It will put too much pressure on your hips and shoulders, and not allow your body to keep correct anatomical position. The ideal mattress is one that is supportive. 

It is important to remember that a mattress that is perfectly supportive for one person may be too hard for someone else. It all depends on your body type and weight. Unfortunately there is no scale for mattress firmness that manufacturers adhere to, so you need to make the decision for yourself. 

How to choose the size of your mattress

As a rule, bigger is better. The more space you have, the less likely you are to be woken by your partner rolling and moving round. It is generally recommended to buy as big a mattress that you can comfortably fit in your bedroom.

So which mattress is best for you?

Here are a few simple tips to help decide which mattress is best for you:

1) When comparing mattresses in the store, start with the high-end mattresses. This will give you an idea of how comfortable and supportive they are. You can then work your way down until you get the right balance between comfort and your budget. 

2) Always take your partner with you when deciding on a new mattress. The mattress needs to be the right choice for both of you.

3) Lie on the mattress for at least 5 minutes in your usual sleeping position. Ensure your shoulders and hips are comfortable, and your lower back and neck are supported. The mattress should support your spine in the same position it is when you are standing.

Slat vs. Ensemble base?

Once you have chosen your perfect mattress, you need to decide on the type of base. Slat bases have better air circulation and provide great support for your mattress. Slat bed bases also tend to look better, and have more space for storage. An ensemble base may last longer, and provide better support for your mattress. When it comes to the overall comfort of your bed, the most important part is the mattress.

If you have any questions regarding choosing your next mattress, please contact one of the osteopaths at Relinque Sports & Spinal Group

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