How to Choose a Mattress Convenient for Sleep

If you happen somewhere to lie on the most comfortable mattress in the world, do not hesitate to ask the owner about its model and manufacturer. Probably this question can solve your choice struggles for a long time.

But if you do not have a favorite mattress model, you should find it. According to restfaq.com, that’s what you need to focus on when choosing:

Types of mattresses

Mattresses can be of the following types: water and air inflatable, string and stringless. Let’s review the benefits and drawbacks of each type.

An air-inflated mattress

An air inflated mattress is appropriate for hiking or guest temporary accommodation. And even though we may sleep on it comfortably for a few days, it will negatively affect your spine after longer use.

Advantages of an air-inflated mattress:

  • Mobility. If you often change places of living or rent an apartment without furniture waiting to move to your own one, an air-inflated mattress may serve you well. Though, it may be not good for long use as it is easy to damage it.
  • The bed can be simply deflated and stored in the wardrobe. For example, for party time.
  • The simplest air-inflated mattress will cost you $100, and more advanced models are around $500.

Disadvantages of an air-inflated mattress:

It does not provide necessary spine support, so soon you may face with back or neck pain and bad sleep. There are very few people praising air-inflated mattresses among those who have been using them for a long time. Majority complains of pain and a bad mood in the morning.

It is easy to damage this mattress, especially if you have pets at home. One happy jump of a cat can spoil it. With the time microscopic holes appear in it, usually in the places of air chambers joining. You will not be able to identify where the air escapes, but till the morning you will find yourself almost on the floor.

An air inflatable mattress is not comfortable for two people. When one turns or gets up the other feels all these movements.

An air inflatable mattress is a good temporary solution if you sleep there alone. But do not use it as a long term decision.

A Water Mattress

There are no cells in the simplest versions, so a mattress is a case filled with water. You cannot even sit on it without provoking a mini tsunami. Naturally, you will feel also feel waves when the neighbor turns.

It is not a suitable variant for the couples since a lighter in weight partner can find himself on a bubble, while the other will fall in a water hole. Some of these mattresses may cause sickness, so your morning may be not nice at all.

The only solution for couples is a water bed sectioned in two independent parts. Another variant is the mattress consisting of a few cells filled with water. It will not react with waves at the slightest touch.

Advantages of a Water Mattress:

  1. It ideally adapts to the shape of the body and relieves the spine and joints. Blood can freely circulate around the body. Your arm or leg will not get numb.
  2. Dust mites do not live in such a mattress.
  3. It will not lose shape over time.
  4. A water mattress is installed in a special box with electric heating. Every night you go to a warm bed and fall asleep faster. And also such warmth is useful to those who suffer from arthritis, rheumatism, muscle pain.
  5. A mattress case does not require special cleaning. It is enough to remove the dust with a cloth.
  6. In spite of all fears, the mattress is difficult to damage. You can repair any damage by yourself using the repair kit. And the most cautious ones can insure their mattress.

Disadvantages of a Water Mattress:

  1. Those who find hard mattresses comfortable are unlikely to adapt to water.
  2. Some users complain in their reviews of increased back pain. It proves that such a mattress is not good for everyone. It is better to consult an orthopedist before a purchase.
  3. The mattress weighs from 100 to 900 kg. Of course, it will not break the floor in the apartment, but it may be difficult to move it to another corner. The process is complicated by the fact that the box of the mattress is connected to the socket (remember about heating?). In general, rearrangement, repair, or relocation can become a real challenge.
  4. You need to change the water in the mattress 2-3 times a year. And once a year it is necessary to add special conditioner to it to prevent microbes.
  5. A minimum cost of a water double mattress where you will not feel waves is ₽65.000. You will also need a box and a heater. The final value of a water bed will make around ₽130.000.
  6. It is not easy to find a decent quality water mattress in a small town. You can risk and order it online trusting the review of the other customers. But the delivery cost may be frightening. And anyway you will have to look for a specialist to install it properly.

A water mattress is likely to become the best purchase in your life providing cozy, tight, and healthy sleep for many decades. But a mistake can cost you a lot. Before making a purchase, try to test such a mattress for a few days, for example, in some hotel.

A Spring Mattress

Everyone must have heard there are spring mattresses with the dependent and independent box springs. 

Mattresses with Dependent Box Springs

The springs are joined together in a single canvas. You press one spring and the others move as well.

Advantages of a Mattress with Dependent Box Springs

  1. The only benefit of such a mattress is its price. You can find very low-budget options. But sometimes it can contain fillers which increase the cost to a level of high-quality springless mattresses or independent box spring mattresses.

Disadvantages of a Mattress with Dependent Box Springs

  1. The mattress gradually deforms acquiring a hammock shape. It becomes uncomfortable for sleeping. And this is not good at all for your spine.
  1. It is not good for the couples since when one turns, the other will feel all these movements. A lightweight partner can roll toward a heavier one during sleep.
  2. Box springs can break and sharp spring edges can poke mattress covering or prick  it through.
  3. It is difficult to transport this mattress. So you will have to leave or sell it when moving, otherwise, you need a van for transit.  

In general, a mattress with dependent box springs is good for occasional use. You may buy it for your country house, choosing a cheaper model.

A Mattress With Dependent Box Springs

Every spring is in a cloth case and works autonomously. There may be from 250 to 1000 springs for one square meter. The more springs are used the better the mattress will adapt to your body shape.

Advantages of a Mattress With Dependent Box Springs

  1. It maintains the backbone in its natural position. If you sleep on your side, then the springs under the shoulder and the hip will squeeze more, while in the waist and knees area they will squeeze less.
  2. Models with independent springs are good for couples, especially due to the possibility to choose a mattress with the halves of different firmness.

Disadvantages of a Mattress With Dependent Box Springs

  1. It is also difficult to transport as the previous model.
  2. The springs can break.
  3. Over time the springs may start creaking.

A mattress with independent box springs is a good choice for everyday sleep.

A Springless Mattress

It is easy to guess that this type of mattress consists of a case and some filling.

Advantages of a Springless Mattress:

  1. A high-quality springless mattress will correctly support your spine. If you have issues with the spine, then it is the right mattress for you.
  2. It remains noiseless during the whole service term, unlike spring mattresses which can start creaking.
  3. It is convenient for transportation. Such a mattress can be rolled in and transported even in a car.

Disadvantages of a Springless Mattress:

  1. Its minuses mainly refer to its filler. We will discuss types of filler and their properties a bit later.

If you find a right comfortable springless mattress, it will guarantee you a tight and healthy sleep for many years. This mattress is good for children as spring models can quickly break down when jumping on the bed.

Mattress Covers

Mattress covers are usually made of cotton, sometimes adding some synthetics for durability. Warm covers are made of wool. Covers can be double-sided: cotton side for the summer and woolen side for the winter. Sometimes covers have hypoallergenic and fire protecting finishing.

Types of Fillers

If everything seems clear with the covers, then there is a great variety of fillers. All of them are used for both spring and springless mattresses. Most often you can find a combination of few materials. Let’s review the properties of the most popular fillers.

Cotton

The only benefit of a cotton mattress is its value. You may purchase a striped single mattress at only ₽1.000. But double mattress price is closer to more modern mattress models. So the question is if it is worth buying.

Cotton cannot provide enough firmness for correct spine support. It quickly rolls, absorbs moisture, does not breathe well. So it requires often drying to avoid active reproduction of microorganisms. A cotton mattress can be a cheap temporary solution.

Sintepon

A springless mattress with sintepon is affordable and lightweight but it cannot provide the necessary spine support either. But it is convenient to store, it is also good for hiking or a country house. You can use it for some time and then keep it in the wardrobe in case guests arrive.

A sintepon layer is often used in spring mattresses to provide some softness.

Holofiber

Holofiber is usually used alongside with other materials. So, a layer of holofiber provides elasticity and softness to a rigid coconut base.

Holofiber is airtight, hypoallergenic and quite durable material.

Hollcon

This material is received from synthetic polyester fiber, sometimes with the addition of natural materials like cotton, bamboo, coconut, wool. Hollcon fibers are vertical springs. Therefore, the filler is fluffy and quickly resumes its shape after pressing.

Hollcon is warm and light, it does not absorb odors and moisture, it is hypoallergenic and affordable. Hollcon mattresses are very thin. You can use them if you sleep on the sofa or if you like to sleep on your stomach.

Polyurethane (Foam)

Of course, in high-quality mattresses, you will not meet yellow thin foam we used to see.

Modern polyurethane foam for mattresses is flexible and elastic, it perfectly repeats the body shape. A thick springless polyurethane mattress will manage spine support. Thanks to the porous structure, polyurethane breathes well, it is hypoallergenic and durable. 

Various Types of Foam

All kinds of foams are derivatives of polyurethane foam with additives of different densities so that the rigidity of mattresses can vary. There are models with several zones of various hardness: they provide the correct support for the spine. The foam may also contain silver ions to protect against bacteria.

There are numerous names of foams, they may differ depending on the manufacturer. On the whole, modern foams are elastic, flexible, hypoallergenic and can serve from 10 to 25 years.

We separately mention memory foam. A mattress with this filler can fully repeat body shape, it perfectly supports it, relieving backbone and joints. Besides, the mattress does not move when your bed neighbor turns. So your sleep will be tight and calm.

But not everyone can get used to immersing into the mattress. And some people find it too warm. It is not comfortable for those who prefer to sleep on their stomach. Though it may be only a thin layer of foam, and the effect will not be so distinct.

Artificial and Natural Latex

Manufacturers claim that dust mites do not live in latex. Though, we may state the same about foam mattresses. Latex provides good spine support. Thanks to the porous structure, the mattress breathes, and moisture evaporates instantly.

But its minuses are specific smell and heavy weight. Some owners admit that over time the mattress reacts with impresses from the body what makes it uncomfortable. There are also complaints that latex is too hot to sleep on.

Main discrepancies between natural and synthetic latex:

  1. Natural latex can last for 30 years. Some manufacturers give a warranty for this term. Synthetic latex mattresses will be less durable. It is better to check it with a consultant.
  2. Synthetic latex is more rigid than the natural one.
  3. Natural latex mattresses are more expensive than synthetic ones.

Perhaps, natural latex advantage over other fillers which we described is in its naturalness. And comfort is a subjective concept. Maybe a foam mattress will as comfortable as a latex one.

Coir

Coir is a natural filler from coconut fiber. Usually, coir is used to make mattresses more rigid.

Sisal

Hard fiber obtained from sisal agave leaves. It is used as a layer between the springs and the soft layer for the correct distribution of the load on the mattress.

Wool

 Wool ideally absorbs moisture and breathes. Therefore, such a mattress is warm and dry. A springless mattress filled only with wool will not provide proper support for the spine. However, wool is often used as one of the layers in orthopedic mattresses.

Thermally bonded linen

Natural linen is a good material for water absorbing. It is normally used as one of the layers.

Mattress Firmness

Mattresses are usually firm medium-firm and soft.

Firm Mattresses

Coir, sisal and thermally bonded linen predominate in firm modes. These mattresses have reinforced box springs allowing to withstand heavy loads. They are good for people with heavy weight and posture issues.

Medium-firm Mattresses

Medium firmness is achieved by a combination of hard and soft fillers. As a rule, coconut and sisal are used for hard layers, and orthopedic foam layer provides comfort.

Soft Mattresses

The layers of latex, orthopedic foam and holofiber give softness to a mattress. The thicker is the layer under the box springs the softer is the mattress. Such models are good for elderly people and people with a slight figure. Soft mattresses are also recommended for the diseases of the lumbar spine.

Mattress specification states the maximum weight of the user. Make it your focus, and also take into account your feelings after mattress testing in the shop. If you have issues with the spine or joints, consult an orthopedist. The old piece of advice ‘the harder the better’ does not apply to many diseases.

You should also consult a skilled orthopedist choosing a child mattress. Incorrect position during sleep may seriously affect the backbone.

There are models with the sides of different firmness. It allows flipping the mattress depending on your wish or health condition.

Double mattresses can have halves of different firmness. But if you fail to choose a mattress satisfying both partners, you may use two single mattresses, put them in one frame and use a topper to cover a hole between them.

The topper will save you in the case you buy wrong firmness mattress and cannot replace it. A correctly chosen topper can add some firmness or softness to the mattress.

Mattress Size

There are two potential scenarios.

Option 1

You buy a bed and a mattress at the same time. Then you should choose the size based on the room space and physiological features of those who will use it.

When you understand what size mattress you need, you will just have to choose a proper bed for it.

Option 2

You have already got a bed and need to buy a mattress. If the bed is new, then you can check its size in its specification. But if the bed is old, you need to measure the inner perimeter of the bed, but not the old mattress. The mattress sizes change with time as a result of inevitable deformation. 

Mattress cost

Before going shopping, decide how much you can afford and wish to spend. 

 Avoid excessive economy unless you are looking for a temporary solution. Usually, a mattress is bought for 10 and sometimes for 20 years.

Check the cost of various models online to learn the prices and go to the shop to test a mattress.

If you like a very expensive mattress, study its features and look for the mattress with similar characteristics from the other manufacturers. You may be lucky and find a more affordable analog.

Mattress Buyer Checklist

  1. Remember in what position you sleep most often.
  2. Recollect what issues you have with the spine, neck, and joints. If there are many problems, consult an orthopedist before buying a mattress.
  3. Plan your budget.
  4. Decide on the size of the mattress.
  5. Study mattress models in online stores, read reviews. Sometimes the opinions about the same mattress are completely opposite. Nevertheless, some information in the reviews can be useful. For example, about the durability of the selected model.
  6. Do not hesitate to lie for a few minutes in the pose you usually sleep. After all, you are buying a very expensive thing, and your health depends on its comfort.
  7. Choosing a suitable model, do not rush with the purchase. Think it over again, read the reviews about this particular mattress model. If it costs too much, look for alternatives.
  8. If the selected mattress is really right for you, test it again and buy it.

Now go to the shop to test mattresses.

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