A frequently cited statistic says that human beings spend a third of their entire lives sleeping. Wherever it may be, any place that consumes that much of one’s time needs some measure of careful consideration–meaning that what to sleep on is an essential decision.
It’s also something one doesn’t do every day, or hopefully more than a couple of times in one’s lifetime. Just as with other large-scale purchases, mattress shopping is an activity that needs a little more thought and time.
When it’s the first mattress you’re buying on your own, you might be uncertain where to start in choosing your mattress. What’s more, if you’re shopping to replace a mattress you purchased a long time ago, there may be new advances in mattress construction you need to know about.
For those looking to buy a new mattress, OrthoMattrasses has put together these guidelines and suggestions on what to think about.
What’s your budget?
As with almost any household purchase, often the first consideration with buying a new mattress is how much you can afford to spend. The range of mattress prices is especially wide—anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars for a basic twin to over $2,000, or more, for a high-end king size.
Mattresses are a major investment, not something you want to replace too often. While there are bargains to be had, cheaper mattresses may be less cost-effective in the long run than more expensive types, especially if you have to replace them once every five years.
Think seriously about your expectations and how they fit your finance profile. Are you looking for a small mattress to fit your studio apartment for only a few years, or are you investing in a more long-term mattress for you and your partner in a home you own?
What’s your sleeping style?
Most people tend to spend the night in bed in the same general position—on their side, their stomach, their back, or some combination of the three. Although most mattresses are constructed to accommodate as many sleeping styles as possible, someone who has difficulty sleeping may not be using a mattress that best suits their needs.
A side sleeper generally needs a mattress that provides pressure point relief: comfort for those parts of their body in the heaviest contact with their bed, usually the shoulders and hips. Back and stomach sleepers, on the other hand, tend to need mattresses that offer more support for the entire length of their bodies, especially the lower back. Combination sleepers are better off with mattresses that can handle multiple body shifts throughout the night. Determine your typical sleeping position and factor it into your decision making.
What’s your body type?
Whatever mattress you purchase should have the right balance of comfort and support for your body type. Petite or lightweight sleepers may favor softer mattresses, whereas heavier people need mattresses that can support their weight more fully.
Along with your usual sleeping position, consider your body size when shopping for a new mattress. These two factors are the most important when you’re thinking about getting a bed with a certain level of softness or firmness.
What are your comfort needs?
Personal preference is, of course, the most overriding aspect in purchasing nearly anything, and certainly comes into play when shopping for Ortho mattresses. Some prefer the deeper softness of memory foam; others prefer the firm feel of traditional innerspring; still others can sleep soundly on whatever surface they find themselves upon at any given moment. When thinking about your sleeping style and body type, don’t forget to think about what kind of sleeping surface you like.
What types of mattresses do you have to choose from?
The standard box springs and mattresses most of us grew up sleeping on are still very much around. But advances in technology and construction give modern mattress buyers many more options. New buyers may find these latest mattresses improve their sleeping quality in ways they’ve never thought possible before now.
Knowing your available options and the benefits they can provide helps clarify your expectations a bit. For example, the styles Ortho has available include:
- Innerspring – The traditional coil-and-padding mattress remains the most popular, but contemporary innerspring mattresses are a step beyond the squeaky box springs of the past. Developments like pocketed or offset coils are new technologies that improve the support and comfort level of spring mattresses.
- Memory Foam – These foam mattresses are designed to contour the shape of your body more exactly—they provide a soft cushion for your entire frame during the night. Most recent memory foam mattresses are better than ever at maintaining comfortable temperatures, limiting the effects of body movement, and providing pressure relief.
- Latex Foam – Latex foam mattresses are a little “bouncier” and more responsive than memory foam. They combine the most comfortable aspects of memory foam with a little more resistance, so they handle body transitions more quickly. Made from a variety of natural and synthetic materials, latex foam mattresses are usually hypoallergenic.
- Hybrid – As the label implies, hybrid mattresses are combinations of two types of mattresses, most commonly an innerspring with one (or even more) of the foam styles. Hybrids are intended to bring the best qualities of different mattresses styles together for a sound sleeping experience.
What do reviews of the mattress say?
Word of mouth is still a driving force with shoppers, and it’s easier than ever to find highly detailed reviews of almost anything on the Internet. Websites entirely devoted to professional reviews of mattresses are quick to find, and their reviews cover every conceivable aspect of the mattresses from construction and comfort to value and lifespan, as well as the small details that make each mattress unique.
Most shoppers like to hear what people like themselves think about a product they’re looking for, so customer reviews are a popular source of down-to-earth info. It’s always worth getting a general impression of different reactions people have to a mattress you’re considering.
What other factors influence your mattress decision?
Apart from the quality, style, size, and price of a mattress, customers may take other factors into consideration of their purchase decision pertaining specifically to them:
- Couples sleeping. Some mattresses are significantly better at accommodating more than one sleeping partner—they may have better motion isolation, maximize space better, or can even combine two separate styles into one mattress. If you’re buying for two, you’ll want to find a mattress that works for both.
- Special medical needs. Chronic back pain is a condition that some mattresses are specifically built to assist with. Others are made to relieve reactions for allergies to dust or other particles.
- Warranty. Many mattresses come with extended—or even lifetime—warranties. These can provide an estimate of how long the manufacturer reasonably expects your mattress to last. But some warranties come laden with certain conditions or limitations. Make sure you know what’s in the fine print before you buy.
Customer service. Delivery and assembly options are important considerations, but so is service after the sale. Decide what service options are most important to you: shipping costs, return options, financing, recycling or replacement policies, or other factors.