Did you know that throughout your life you are going to spend about a third sleeping? That is, about 27 years and that is why it is so important to buy a good mattress. You know, quality rest, reduction of back pain, greater energy and a better mood throughout the day… and a long etcetera.
The study carried out in 2009 by the Spanish Association of The Bed (ASOCAMA) pointed out that 32% of the Spanish population wakes up tired or with back pain.
But the essential question is: do you know how to choose the right mattress among the dozens of types out there? Viscoelastic, latex, continuous springs, HR foam, futons, … if you are dizzy to see so many names and you are not sure what you need, here you will find all the essential information to choose easily and without fear of making mistakes.
And the most important thing is not the money you spend but choosing well and buying what you need. Do you want to know how to do it? Let’s go there.
1. WHICH MATTRESS TO BUY ACCORDING TO WEIGHT AND HEIGHT?
If you are “wide-boned”, you will need a firmer mattress that offers you an even hold and avoids the effect of a boat. Conversely, lighter people need a more flexible mattress that distributes the weight well.
As for the measurements, the mattress should be at least 10 cm longer than what you measure. In the case of a double bed, the tallest person is the one who 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 you moves a lot, or if you have children who like to sleep with you.
2. DO YOU SLEEP ALONE OR ACCOMPANIED
If you sleep as a couple, you will appreciate a mattress that absorbs movement well, so that you are not bothered by the other person’s changes in posture. The ones that best achieve it are those of viscoelastic and bagged springs.
3. IN WHICH POSTURE DO YOU USUALLY SLEEP?
For the correct posture you sleep on your back, you should have a rather hard mattress to avoid bad postures of the spine, especially at the cervical (nape) and lumbar (base of the spine) level.
If you sleep on your side, you will need a mattress of intermediate hardness, which adapts to the shape of your hips and shoulders.
If you sleep on your stomach, a rather soft mattress could use to avoid bad posture in the neck area and not force too much torsion of the spine.
If you sleep on your side, to ensure that the spine rests without forced curvatures and relieve the points of increased pressure, you can sleep with your legs slightly bent. For comfort, you can put a pillow between your legs. In addition, it will be good for you to sleep with a high pillow unless you sleep with your arm under it. If so, better a thin pillow so as not to force the neck excessively.
In case you sleep on your back, it can help to put a cushion under your knees to maintain the normal curvature of the spine during your hours of rest. In addition, you should sleep with a rather low pillow.
And if you sleep on your stomach, it would be nice if you used a thin pillow to avoid straining your neck.
4. DO YOU MOVE A LOT?
If you are one of those who every night breaks Olympic records for turns in bed, you will need a rather firm mattress that allows you to move effortlessly. However, something too hard, such as a futon, will also not be suitable, as it could cause you bad gestures when changing posture.
In addition, you will need it to be a mattress that adapts a lot since you will sleep in several different postures throughout the night.
On the other hand, if you move little, the choice of material and hardness will be governed mainly by the posture in which you usually sleep.
5. ARE YOU COLD OR HOT
The breathability (ventilation) of the mattress is given by the materials that compose it. If you allow air to pass better, the steam your body generates dissipates more easily, so less heat builds up.
If you are one of those who are frequently uncovered at night or live in a place with hot summers, you may be interested in spring mattresses, which are the ones that offer greater breathability and are cooler.
If you are so hot that the spring mattress is not enough so that you do not sweat in bed, you should look at one of the mattresses whose materials act with thermoregulatory function. For example, some models have microparticles of gel that lower the temperature of the mattress.
On the contrary, if you are one of those who resist removing the Nordic even in summer, latex and viscoelastic mattresses are the ones that keep the heat the most.
6. POLYURETHANE FOAM MATTRESS
Ideal for: people on a budget and beds that are little used
Firmness: medium (the higher the density, the higher the firmness)
Foam mattresses made of expanded polyurethane foams are characterized by low firmness and little preservation of 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 and that makes them ideal if you have a low budget. They can also be a good option if you are going to use them sporadically, for example, in a guest bed or second residence.
The important thing is the density of the material: the higher the density, the more consistency and slower ageing but also the higher the price and weight.
A density below 35kg/m3 is only recommended for very sporadic use beds or small children.
But you should keep in mind that they are not very breathable and accumulate mites with some ease, so they are not recommended for asthmatic people or people with a dust allergy.
Very manageable because they weigh little
Our recommendation: Lumia mattress
Not recommended for sleeping for prolonged periods
They accumulate mites with some ease
7. VISCOELASTIC MATTRESS
Ideal for: if you are one of those who spend many hours in bed and looking for a fluffy and adaptable mattress. People who sleep on their side and those with muscle or joint problems.
Memory foam mattress memory foam is a high-quality foam that reacts to body heat by moulding to reduce pressure in heavier areas of the body.
In general, they are rather soft mattresses that stand out for their flexibility and excellent adaptability, being the best option for people who suffer from certain muscle or bone pains. In addition, they absorb movement very well, so they are ideal for double beds.
These mattresses have a foam core coated with a layer of viscoelastic that can vary in thickness. The greater the thickness, the more comfort and adaptability but the price also increases.
However, they don’t perspire too well so they tend to accumulate body heat unless you choose a perforated memory foam mattress. Another good option if you are very hot could be a spring mattress.
And one more thing: you must look at whether the mattress you have bought has viscoelastic on one or both sides. Only in the second case, the mattress will be reversible and you must turn it in periodically.
Very good adaptability
Barely transmit movement
They do not perspire as well as those on springs
Some people find them too soft
The price is usually high
Our recommendation: Emma Original mattress
8. SPRING MATTRESS
Ideal for hot people, with a lumbar ailment or on a tight budget
Firmness: high, in general, they are rather hard mattresses
Mattress springs although they sound old and uncomfortable, the reality is that technology has advanced enormously and today a good spring mattress can be as comfortable or more comfortable and suitable for a good rest than memory foam or latex mattress.
They are composed of a network of springs covered 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.
These mattresses allow good air circulation, so they quickly dissipate body heat and do not accumulate moisture. This makes them a very good choice for people who are hot or living in warm places.
On the other hand, they are mattresses of high firmness, so they are a good option for people who usually sleep on their backs or with a high weight.
As a counterpoint, it is true that these mattresses do not fit as well to the body as other materials and that some people find them somewhat hard.
Never fold a spring mattress, as it would deform and no longer properly regain its original shape.
There are 3 types of spring mattresses:
- Biconical springs or bonell
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 in price.
- Cylindrical or bagged springs
Thanks to the fact that the springs are protected inside covers that individualise them and separate them from each other, they avoid the typical noises made by spring mattresses 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, since they isolate the movements very well and if your partner moves, you will not notice it.
In addition, they have a very long useful life, being able to offer a good rest up to 15 years if you take good care of them.
They are firm and provide greater reinforcement in key points such as the lumbar area. They are ideal for single beds.
Long service life
Do not over-mould
Some people find them somewhat hard
Depending on the type, they can be somewhat noisy
Our recommendation: Hypnia Superior Wellness mattress
9. LATEX MATTRESS
Ideal for: allergic and asthmatic people. Also for people who move a lot during the night and for articulated beds.
Latex 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 characterised by great elasticity and resilience, so when changing posture it quickly recovers its original state. In addition, they are usually rather soft mattresses -although they provide firmer support than viscoelastic- 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 characteristics of this material.
They are a good option for double beds since they do not transmit movement. And also if you are one of those who moves a lot at night, since not sinking too much does not stop the rotation.
They are the best option for articulated beds, thanks to the great elasticity of this material.
In addition, they are the ideal mattress for allergic and asthmatic people, since it is the only material in which mites can not nest.
Although mites cannot nest in latex, they can nest in the mattress cover. That is why it is important to choose a mattress with an easily removable cover and wash it at a high temperature periodically.
One of its main weak points is that it weighs a lot, making it difficult to manipulate and rotate. In addition, like viscoelastic, they tend to accumulate heat.
Aerate the mattress well each day to avoid the accumulation of moisture that could significantly shorten the life of your mattress.
Mites cannot nest in this material
Good adaptability without losing firmness
Long service life
They are quite heavy
Avoid them if you are allergic to latex
Do not sweat too well
Our recommendation: Kipli mattress
10. HARD OR SOFT, WHAT FIRMNESS DO YOU NEED?
In addition to the material, you must choose the firmness of the mattress that most favours your health and rest, respecting the natural curvature of your spine. In this way, you will get quality rest and avoid back pain.
Firmness mattress firmness – or hardness – is defined as the resistance that the mattress brings to the load produced by your body. The mattress must properly distribute the weight of the body, providing support but without being uncomfortable.
If the mattress is too hard, it will not adapt well to your body and can be uncomfortable because it puts a lot of pressure on the main points of support (shoulders and hips).
On the other hand, if it is excessively soft, the spine does not receive the correct support, curving 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
- Lightweights (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 choose a medium and high hardness if you weigh more)
Possibly it is one of the things that you will take into account the most. Indeed, a mattress is not something cheap, but it is important that you remember the importance of buying one with quality materials and that it adapts well to you (and 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 by 3,650 nights that you will spend on it, surely it no longer seems such a large investment?
In general, the cheapest mattresses are those made of foam and springs, followed by those of latex. Viscoelastic is usually the most expensive option.
12. CHOOSING THE RIGHT BASE FOR YOUR MATTRESS
To get the most out of your bed, it is also important that you choose the ideal base according to the type of mattress you have chosen:
- Sheet box spring
It is the most versatile type, as it is suitable for any type of mattress and usually has quite affordable prices. In addition, it achieves good ventilation, something especially important in the case of mattresses whose material does not perspire too much, such as viscoelastic or latex.
- Upholstered table
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 taking up dust or taking up space in the room.
However, this type of base is discouraged for latex mattresses.
- Spring box spring
Like those sheets, they offer optimal ventilation and are suitable for any type of mattress. Being more elastic, they provide extra softness to the bed, so they are a good option to counteract too hard mattresses.
However, keep in mind that, over time, they tend to make noise when you move around in bed.
- Articulated base
They are ideal for people with little mobility, the elderly, and those who must spend long periods bedridden since it allows them to comfortably adopt several postures in bed.
For these bases, you have to use flexible and non-deformable mattresses. The best option is latex mattresses, although foam models or bagged springs are also suitable.
13. WHEN SHOULD YOU RENEW THE MATTRESS?
Do you wake up more tired lately or have your back pains been accentuated in the morning? It may be time to retire your mattress.
A recent study has shown that changing mattresses can improve up to 63% of back pain.
In general, the 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 rest as well anymore, you should consider the change.
Although the deterioration is not evident, the materials of the mattress age over the years, losing their properties.
Hygiene is another important point: even if you do good maintenance and air it regularly, you have surely spent several hours sick in bed and have sweated many times. All this causes moisture and dirt to accumulate on the mattress and germs and mites proliferate, increasing the possibility of allergies.
And, make no mistake, you’re not the same as you were 10 years ago either. The characteristics of people change with age, so a mattress that at the time could be suitable no longer has to be the best option.
14. 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 get up in the morning, remove the sheets and let the mattress ventilate 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
- Frequently change the bottom sheet
- Rotate the mattress every 3-4 months to prevent it from deforming or wearing unevenly, unless it is viscoelastic or the manufacturer indicates otherwise
- Avoid humidity in the bedroom so that fungi do not proliferate
15. DOES AGE INFLUENCE WHEN CHOOSING THE MATTRESS?
No doubt. The characteristics of a person change over the years and your mattress must adapt to every moment of your life.
In general, young people need firmer mattresses and, as the years go by, experts recommend that the hardness of the mattress be reduced to help your joints and bones.
Therefore, for the elderly, the best option is usually a viscoelastic mattress.