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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 where to start reading mattress reviews, you need to ask and answer 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. First we’ll introduce the most popular types of mattresses, then we’ll help you determine which is right for you.
Let’s get started on what you’ll need to know to help you get the best sleep possible. In the next section, we run through the common types of mattresses that can be found in stores or online. We note the good and the bad found in each, as well as what kind of sleeper may find the most comfort.
Memory Foam Mattresses
Ideal for: moderate to severe pain relief, arthritis sufferers, light sleepers, partners with different schedules
Inspired by NASA technology, 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. Also, 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 VOCs 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: allergy relief, moderate to severe pain relief, heat regulation, eco-friendliness
Latex mattresses are constructed from either natural or synthetic rubber. Natural or organic latex mattresses are 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 varieties. Dunlop is the most common and uses less energy. Talalay latex requires a few more steps and more energy to make. They both offer a bouncy yet firm feel that is evenly distributed throughout the bed, but there are subtle differences.
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. Organic latex performs even better. 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. However, there are brands of latex created specifically with a softer or plusher feel for use over cores for those who prefer plusher feels. It can also be difficult to compare the best mattress brands and types of latex, and all-latex mattresses may be difficult to find locally. 100% natural or organic latex may also be somewhat more expensive than other types of beds, but typically comes with longer warranties.
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 or latex 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. Innerspring mattresses are also the lowest-rated mattress type overall, with an average of 65-70% reporting satisfaction.
The Most Comfortable Mattress?
Owner satisfaction can tell you a lot about a product. Since you don’t have time to ask thousands of bed owners what they think about their purchases, you’ll have to rely on someone who does. SleepLikeTheDead.com is an independent mattress review website and they have asked thousands of mattress owners if they are satisfied with their bed. Here are some of their results.
Data collected from SleepLikeTheDead.com
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.
A new mattress is likely to improve your sleep quality, especially if you have an older mattress. An Oklahoma University study showed that a news sleep system reduced back pain discomfort and increased sleep quality.
Answer the questions below about your mattress and see if you are in need of a new mattress.
Do You Have a Comfortable Mattress?
- Are you getting a full night sleep?
- Do you wake up 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?
- Is your mattress sagging?
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… or sinking in some circumstances. This can help you get an idea of your needs and what type of material might be the most comfortable mattress for you. What do you need from a mattress that you aren’t getting?
Are Bed-in-a-box Mattresses Comfortable?
When they arrive at your doorstep rolled up in a box, these beds don’t look too appealing. However, once you unroll a bed-in-a-box, it offers all the same comfort and support a bed you bought in-store would. The only real difference between a bed-in-a-box and a store-bought mattress is its method of delivery.
Online bed in a box brands use high-quality machinery crafted to roll-up your mattress without sacrificing its structural integrity. Because there’s a method to their madness, your bed is not at risk of damage from being compressed. However, should you try to roll up your mattress on your own, you’ll likely ruin the bed.
Winning, Mattress Style
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. This will give you plenty of time to see if you actually like your mattress before completely committing.
Shop around and don’t buy until you are comfortable. Get all your questions answered. Being a smart shopper and knowing what’s out there will ultimately help you get the most comfortable mattress.