How to find a mattress that optimizes sleep and minimizes pain

You wouldn’t just buy a house or a car without doing proper research to make sure you’re selecting the right option for your wants and needs, so why wouldn’t you do the same for your mattress? You spend about 1/3 of your life sleeping — don’t waste that time sleeping on the wrong bed.

The are many components to consider when choosing a new mattress, but your overall goal should be to find a mattress that optimizes your sleep quality and minimizes pain so you can wake up restored and ready to take on the day. Don’t know how to get started? Follow this guide to help you find the right mattress that will best suit your sleeping needs.

When is it time for a new mattress?

First things first, you may be wondering how to know when you need a new mattress.

Generally, you should be replacing your mattress every 7-10 years. As a mattress ages, it begins to sag because the coils or foams become worn out and decompress. When a mattress begins to dip in the middle, it tends to ‘hammock’ your body, creating a pinch-point in the lower-lumbar spine. If you are looking for a mattress that optimizes sleep and minimizes pain, it might be time to say goodbye to that 15-year-old mattress that has been passed down in your family for years. At this point, it’s no secret it’s bad for your back.

Not to mention, old mattresses collect dust mites, dead skin cells, and the 26 gallons of sweat you perspire in your sleep on average each year.  Yuk!  Nobody wants to be sleeping on that.

Here are a few tell-tale signs that it might be time to start shopping:

  • You wake up in pain
  • You feel groggy in the mornings
  • You notice your mattress sagging and losing its shape
  • You prefer to sleep in a hotel room or a different bed
  • You wake up with numbness in your limbs
  • You toss and turn throughout the night

After about five years of owning your mattress, keep your eyes out for these signs. Ultimately, if you notice your sleep is suffering, it’s probably time for an upgrade.

What you should look for in a mattress

When you start getting technical, there are many factors you could be looking out for in the right mattress. Overall, these four components are the most important qualities you should be looking out for in a mattress that optimizes sleep and minimizes pain:

1. Firmness

Your firmness preferences will help you narrow down your search. Think about firmness on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being extremely soft and 10 being extremely firm.

If you’re a side sleeper, you’ll probably prefer a softer mattress in the 3-6 range to relieve pressure in the shoulders and hips. Typically, memory foam mattresses fall in this category.

If you’re a back sleeper, the right mattress will probably be a medium to firm mattress in the 4-7 range to support your spine. A medium firm memory foam mattress, innerspring, or hybrid mattress will probably work best for this style sleeper.

If you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll probably prefer a firmer mattress in the 6-8 range for support in your lower back. Memory foam mattresses offer firm styles, but an innerspring or hybrid will probably be more suitable to a stomach sleeper.

2. Pressure Relief

When searching for a mattress, you’ll want to find a bed that properly distributes your body weight, especially in your hips, thighs and shoulders – areas that tend to be areas of high pressure. You’ll want a mattress that cradles these pressure points while still supporting your spine.

3. Spinal Alignment

To reduce pain, it’s vital to have a supportive mattress that keeps your spine in proper alignment. This means your spine should be straight from your tailbone to the base of your neck.

Without a mattress that keeps your spine in a neutral position, you will experience a host of issues including low back pain, neck pain, muscle tightness and uneven hips.

What you should avoid in a mattress

There are a few things to watch out for when shopping for a mattress so you don’t end up with the wrong one.

Although different types of sleepers prefer different firmness levels, you should avoid a mattress that is too soft or too firm. Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft will leave you sinking in your sheets, without the support you need to avoid waking up with numbness or pain. However, if you’re mattress is too firm, you may not be able to get the comfort you need to fall asleep. Try to stick to medium-soft, medium, or medium-firm mattresses.  Keep in mind that it’s easier to make a firmer mattress softer by simply adding a 1” or 2” mattress topper.

Another factor to avoid is a mattress that is too thin. Generally, most quality mattresses are between 9-12” thick. Anything thinner than about 6-8” will likely not provide the cushion for comfort you need.

Amore Beds offers the right mattress for every type of sleeper with their varying firmness levels. Visit Mattress Advisor to see a real-life review of the Amore Hybrid or to learn more about how to find the Best Mattress for your needs!

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