The quality of sleep we get affects every single aspect of our daily lives. And while some people need complete darkness and silence to get their beauty sleep on, others like to listen to white noise and leave their night lamp on. This is all according to the individual and what they’re used to. But, the one thing everyone can agree upon is the difference a good mattress can make in our lives.
Nobody wants to sleep cramped up and wake up with back pain each morning. That’s why a lot of people prefer spacious, big size mattresses. The proper support your body receives every time you lay down (because of your mattress) plays a crucial role in how well you will sleep at night. Today’s typical mattress may seem like a fairly recent invention, but what we know of as a mattress today is the product of thousands of years of bedding modification through the mind and workforce of many different cultures. And naturally, its evolution is a constant process for manufacturers.
On average, a mattress lasts anywhere between six to ten years, therefore, buying one is a long-term commitment. With that being said, let’s get right into what makes a good mattress and the different features manufacturers and brands offer on the market today.
The preference for firmness changes from one person to another. Often it’s measured on a scale between 1 and 10, with 1 being the softest and 10 the firmest. Most people are somewhere in between. A mattress that is too firm might not provide the necessary relief for pressure points in your body such as your hips and shoulders. And if a mattress is too soft, your body will sink into the surface, making it difficult to balance the natural curve of your spine. However, it’s entirely possible to find a firm mattress that is not supportive or a soft mattress that is.
Mattresses sizes include twin, twin extra-long (XL), full, queen and king. The queen size mattress (153 x 203cm) is the most commonly used size simply because they are best suited for couples, parents sharing a bed with children, taller people or people who just like a lot of space. Another plus is that mattress queen size fits well into most rooms, and most of the brands have primarily accessories for the queen size dimensions.
Fun Fact: While larger beds became available during the 1940s, the idea didn’t exactly catch on until the 1950s where they started selling different mattress sizes under royalty names, such as the “queen” and the “king”. The marketing hint here was that these luxurious beds once available only to the elite are now for everyone. The idea especially caught fire and spread around the market in the 1960s.
Let’s take a moment of gratitude for human innovation – the quality and comfortability we enjoy every day as a result of it, including this extraordinary bedding evolution. Mattresses’ materials vary; there are those made with natural fibre, pocketed coil, memory foam, gel, polyfoam-latex hybrid, latex mattresses and others, all the way to air and waterbeds. When shopping for your ideal mattress have these materials in mind and the kind of body support and top layer texture they provide.
If you have a sleeping partner, motion transfer is probably a feature you should make mandatory for your queen size mattress which as I mentioned before, is most popular with couples. For example, pocketed coil mattress is the type known to have a higher focus on minimizing motion transfer which will prevent one person to wake up if the other moves around often.
Innerspring and hybrid mattresses tend to be more temperature neutral due to airflow through their coil layers. Memory foam though, all-foam or hybrid beds, tend to trap body heat and is more suitable for those who like to keep warm. You can also cool down your bed with a cooling mattress pad or switching your bedding out for something more breathable, like 100% cotton sheets, linen or silk for example which is also gentle to your hair and helps prevent skin wrinkles.
When it comes to preventing the uncomfortable sensations of sinking into your mattress, edge construction certainly makes a big difference. Great edge support is specifically called for bigger and taller people because it prevents sagging when getting out of bed.
A mattress pad is a thin layer of padding made of polyurethane foam, cotton batting, wool, feather, synthetic fibres, latex, or memory foam. The already included padding on top of the mattress can indicate quality. In the case you’re getting one yourself, many people find it to be worth the extra cost because it gives you an extra layer of softness or firmness, depending on what you want plus it’s here to protect your expensive mattress from dirt and accidental spills.
Other Relevant Things and Extras to Consider
There is also your budget to consider, who is going to use it and what room is this new mattress going to occupy. Because of so many different needs, body types, injuries, lifestyles, preferences, allergies (consider hypoallergenic bed covers), there is rarely ever a perfect match between a mattress and a person. However, knowing your top priorities ahead of time will shrink your choices whether you’re looking to buy a queen size mattress, twin bed or bedding for your children.
Shopping for a mattress and sleeping pillows isn’t something we do every day so take your time with it. Paying attention to the quality of your sleep and making sure you improve it is already covering a big aspect of your overall health. A good night’s sleep can help enhance concentration, reduce anxiety, energise and beautify you. So whether you’re looking into a mattress because your old one is worn out or you’re dealing with some kind of injury, worry not. There’s plenty of choices out there, and one of those will be your personal place to rest your head.