How to Choose the Best Mattress for Yourself

Tips on choosing the best mattress for you

Sit on the edge of your mattress. If it sags, it's time for a new one. No more waking up feeling ragged, and racked with aches and pains. These tips will help you find the right mattress to suit your needs.

How to Choose the Best Mattress for Yourself

Even a good mattress needs replacing after seven to 10 years. Cheap ones may be good for just a couple of years.

If you have back trouble

You may be tempted by an "orthopedic" mattress, but this simply means a firm one and you need both support and comfort. Too hard a mattress will not be comfortable and a too-soft mattress will not offer enough support. The right mattress will conform to the shape of your body, allowing for the curves of your hips, spine and shoulders.

Little and large

Body weight is a major factor in getting the right firmness. If you're an woman weighing 50 kilograms (110 pounds) and married to a bodybuilder, choose a combination mattress with a softer side for you and firmer side for him. Zip-together single mattresses are another option. Always go together to choose.

If your bed mate fidgets

Avoid continuous coil mattresses, in which a single looped wire moves as one, with a trampoline effect. Choose an open-coil mattress, made from single springs wired together, or, better yet, a pocket spring mattress, with individual springs, each supporting a small part of the sleeper.

If you have painful joints

A memory-foam mattress may help. The foam is affected by room temperature, body heat and pressure, so the mattress can feel cold and hard when you first get into bed. As it warms, it softens and molds to your body shape, which feels cosy but may inhibit movement.

If you suffer allergies

A hypoallergenic pure foam or latex mattress is a wise choice.

Try before you buy

Take off your coat and shoes and lie down in your normal sleeping position for at least 10 minutes. On your back, you should be able to slide your hand under the small of your back. If there's a large gap, the mattress is too hard. If there's no gap it's too soft. When trying a memory mattress, lie still for a few minutes then see if you can move freely.

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