A new mattress can double the quality of your sleep. If you’ve been putting off replacing your unsupportive, uncomfortable and lumpy mattress, this is the wake up alarm you need.
Buying a new mattress can improve sleep quality by 55 per cent, according to a 2006 study by Oklahoma State University. Yes, you read that correctly. You can double the improvement in your shut eye, just by replacing your bed.
However, it’s important to note the mattresses used in the study had been used for more than five years, so they were probably unsupportive, uncomfortable and lumpy. Thus, those individuals were probably waking up tired, sore and unrefreshed.
If that sounds like you, and you’re considering investing in a new bed, here are the nine key questions to ask yourself in advance.
1. What’s my personal preference?
Firstly, what is right for me is not necessarily right for you, and there is no one size fits all. Rather, it depends on your sleeping profile (front, back, side), body size, and desired firmness.
2. What’s my sleeping profile?
While honouring the point above, I can advise, in general, what works best for each sleeping position. Stomach and back sleepers typically sleep best on a medium firm mattress, as this prevents them sagging in too much. Also, they have additional contact points with the mattress, there is not too much pressure on any one area.
Side sleepers, on the other hand, usually are most suited to a softer mattress and fewer contact points with the mattress places additional pressure on their engaged body parts, such as the shoulder. And, if this is too firm, this can cause discomfort.
3. What’s my body size?
Typically, those with a heavier frame need a firmer mattress, as this provides them greater ‘push back’ and responsiveness from the mattress. As such, they are unlikely to sink into their mattress, which can otherwise lead to overheating.
4. Has it won awards?
A great place to start, consumer awards can guide you to finding your best night’s sleep= and it’s much more objective than asking your two best friends. Interestingly, although all mattresses (regardless of price) are ranked, often it is affordable options which take first position.
For example, CHOICE’s top score for ‘best mattress’ has been awarded to Emma Sleep three year’s running.
5. Do I have a partner?
For couples, I recommend memory foam as it offers motion isolation, which minimises partner disturbance. This is especially important for those who are light sleepers. Keep
an eye out for terms such as ‘zero partner disturbance’, as this usually means that motion isolation is factored into the structural design. Lastly, couples should avoid spring mattresses, as this offers the least motion isolation, and may lead to a sleep divorce.
6. Am I a hot sleeper?
Hot sleepers should choose a mattress engineered to promote airflow, as this also reduces the likelihood of overheating. Ideally, seek out a mattress with moisture wicking technology which it absorbs moisture and keeps you cool through the night.
Though this may sound high tech and expensive, budget friendly Koala offers this in their mattresses, via specific cooling fibres, and a quilted cover to amplify drying rate.
Note that even if you are not a ‘hot sleeper’, we all need to keep cool through the night as the sleepiness hormone melatonin relies on a cool core body temperature to be produced, which enables you to sleep well.
7. Have I tried it yet?
Trying before you buy is vital, as is laying in your typical sleeping position for a minimum of 7 minutes. While this may seem excessive, this gives the mattress time to respond to your initial impact, then settle.
For those who are considering online shopping though, don’t worry as home delivered ‘bed in a box mattress’ style matresses usually come with a trial free period, some as long as 120 days.
8. Is it sustainable?
Irrespective of your beliefs on climate change, considering the environment in your purchase decisions is a must. With respect to your mattress, seek one with a long lifespan, which has been designed efficiently, ethically and consciously, using minimal emissions and avoiding hazardous pollutants.
9. What’s my budget?
Of course, budget comes into the equation. However, important to note that price does not necessarily equate to quality, as noted above. Rather than being directed by price, ask yourself: it is designed with multiple zones to support my sleeping profile? Does it keep me cool through the night? Has it won awards? And, if relevant, does it minimise partner disturbance?
In doing so, you may find the best mattress for you is budget friendly, even if you are strapped for cash.