How to Find the Most Comfortable Mattress
What’s The Most Comfortable Mattress Type?
So you want to know what the most comfortable mattress is? The quick answer: The mattress that best suits your needs will prove to be the most comfortable. This isn’t a cop-out, it’s just the quick answer. The truth is, there is no magic mattress that is best for everyone.
To figure out what style of mattress is best for you, you need to start with asking and answering a few questions about how your current sleep leaves you feeling every morning. If you ended up here, chances are you’re experiencing some sort of restlessness or pain from your current mattress and you either want or need a better night’s sleep. So let’s get started on what you’ll need to know to help you get the best sleep possible.
How To Find The Most Comfortable Mattress for You
Comfort is a very subjective term, but most would probably agree that a comfortable mattress is one that doesn’t cause any aches and pains and doesn’t inconvenience the sleeper. The first step to finding nocturnal bliss is evaluating your current mattress.
Do you have a comfortable mattress?
- Are you getting a full night sleep?
- Do you awake with back and neck pain?
- Do you wake with pain in a certain part of your body or all over your body?
- Do you experience pressure points or limbs falling asleep?
- Do you get so hot that you wake up in the middle of the night?
The list of questions goes on and on, but the point is to take a few minutes to figure out what you want from your mattress and where it is currently falling short. This can help you get an idea of your needs and what type of material might be most comfortable mattress for you. Below, we’re going to run through all common types of mattresses that can be found in stores or online. We will note the good and the bad found in each, as well as what kind of sleeper may find the most comfort.
Ideal for: moderate pain relief, budget, and local availability
Innerspring mattresses are still the most manufactured style by far and can accommodate any budget. If price is your biggest concern, it’s good to know that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find decent results. However, when you reach the lower end of the price scale quality is questionable. Look for innerspring mattresses with a coil count of between 340 and 390. Anything below this may not support your body well enough any any count above this range provides insignificant advantages.
THE GOOD: A high coil count with sufficient padding can provide enough firmness to alleviate moderate pain to pressure points in the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs. Also, these mattresses can serve as a good base for an additional topper of your choice such as memory foam, latex, air chambers—all of which we will talk about later— and some come with these add-ons already attached. While not providing the full benefits of these new sleep materials, this is a good way to test drive an option for future purchases.
THE BAD: An innerspring is not typically customizable, and while a firm coil spring may provide some relief, their inability to contour to your body’s shape can’t provide enough specialized support for chronic pain. These mattresses also tend to have a shorter life span and the springs tend to lose strength and topper materials compress within couple years. This is also the lowest rated mattress type overall, with an average of 65-70% reporting satisfaction.
Ideal for: allergy relief, moderate to severe pain relief, heat regulation, eco-friendliness
Latex mattresses are constructed from either natural or synthetic rubber making them the most earth-friendly mass-produced mattress. There are two processes by which the latex is created (Dunlop and Talalay) both of which have unique characteristics. If you decide a latex mattress is right for you, spend some time learning the differences between the two. These mattresses offer a bouncy yet firm feel that is evenly distributed throughout the bed.
THE GOOD: Since latex is a naturally-derived product, there are no harsh chemicals or petroleum products used during manufacturing (for 100% natural latex mattresses). This greatly reduces the chance of breathing and skin irritations, headaches, and nausea for even the most sensitive sleepers. Latex is also hypoallergenic and one of the most resistant of all bedding materials to mites and mildew, thus providing a very clean sleeping environment.
Latex also usually ties or exceeds memory foam in satisfaction ratings for the top spot. Around 80-85% of owners report satisfaction, making it statistically one of the most comfortable mattress types.These mattresses offer a resilient support that relieves pressure points throughout the body to alleviate pain. Since the latex is aerated during its creation, it allows for great airflow throughout the mattress which helps regulate body temperature all night long. Latex is structurally strong and durable, which increases longevity and won’t create deep body impressions from long-term use like other mattresses.
THE BAD: Due to the dense nature of latex, these mattresses can tend to be somewhat on the firm side, especially with Dunlop latex. However, Talalay latex can be created specifically with a softer or plusher feel for use over cores. It can also be difficult to compare different brands and types of latex, and all-latex mattresses may be difficult to find locally. 100% natural latex may also be somewhat more expensive than other types of beds, but typically comes with longer warranties.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Ideal for: moderate to severe pain relief, arthritis sufferers, light sleepers, partners with different schedules
Memory foam is known for how well it responds to weight. It is unique in that weight is dispersed and the foam molds itself to the sleeper without resistance or pressure. This allows it to support the lower back and all areas of the body and relieve pressure points.
THE GOOD: Memory foam absorbs movement so even if you have a partner that tosses and turns all night, it won’t affect your side of the bed. The individual body contouring of memory foam will reduce pressure throughout the body no matter what sleep position you prefer or move to during the night. While memory foam is known for the soft feel provided, there are different levels of density available to help you find the desired firmness and support levels. This type of material is one of the best-rated mattresses, and is becoming popular online and in retail stores.
THE BAD: The foam used in most memory foam mattresses is heat activated, which can cause an uncomfortable feeling of overheating for sensitive sleepers. Since memory foam contours so well to a sleeper’s body and has a slow recovery time, it can provide a bit of difficulty for older or heavier sleepers to physically get out of bed in the morning. And since the foam is created from chemicals an unpleasant odor has been observed by some.
It is important to note that not all memory foam mattresses are the same; manufacturers have been working to address the heat issue and even the chemical issue in order to provide a more comfortable mattress. For example, Amerisleep’s plant-based memory foam mattresses cut harmful VOC’s out and utilize plant-derived oils and extracts in manufacturing. They also have a faster recovery time and plant-based memory foam has been shown to be as much as 10 times more breathable than traditional foam and 25% cooler than gel foams.
Ideal for: couples with different sleep preferences, moderate to severe pain relief
These aren’t the same air mattresses you pull out of the closet and inflate when guests arrive for the holidays. High-end air mattresses have the look of a standard innerspring mattress, yet offer sleepers the ability to change their bed. Using several air chambers throughout the mattress, a remote allows users to inflate and deflate their side of the bed to find the optimal firmness desired using air pressure..
THE GOOD: As mentioned above, these mattresses allow you to adjust the amount of air inside the mattress, thus offering a soft or as firm of a feel as you desire. These mattresses are the best for partners who have different needs for pain relief and firmness. Since these air beds can continuously adjust throughout its lifetime, it can change along with your body’s needs as you get older and require a different feel. They can also be adept at pressure point relief. The ability to readjust the air chambers allows these users to move the area’s of the body that are pressured by the mattress, which reduces the risk of skin sores and infections.
THE BAD: With so many options, sleepers often struggle to find the right firmness for the best night sleep. A good deal of trial and error may be required before sleeper’s find what is best for their body. There are also many parts and pieces that can go bad with these types of beds (though they can still last 10-20 years), and not everyone will find them comfortable (especially models with no pillow top). Air beds do tend to rate higher than spring mattresses, but lower than memory foam and latex for overall satisfaction.
The mattress marketplace is certainly not as simple as it once was. We have so many different types of materials and brands to choose from, each with different benefits. It is important not to feel intimidated by the shopping process or by the idea of trying a new mattress type, especially if your old standby has not delivered. Finding the most comfortable mattress might involve research and learning, and maybe even some trial and error. Once you’ve researched the field and found the option for you, look for a retailer that offers a return period of at least 30 days. Being a smart and educated shopper and knowing what’s out there will ultimately help you get the most comfortable mattress.
November 26, 2013 by Sleep Junkie