Sleep experts recommend sleeping for at least seven hours a night, while 6-12 years old kids should sleep at least 9-12 hours. However, studies suggest that 35.2% of U.S. adults sleep less than seven hours a night due to stress, a bad mattress, and discomfort.
Further research suggests that 49.1% of adults struggle to sleep due to a bad mattress,48% to discomfort, and 47.1% to stress. Hence, finding a good mattress is paramount to getting good sleep. If you are looking for the healthiest mattress, you’re in the right place. Read this article to discover how to find the best mattress for your sleeping needs.
How To Choose The Healthiest Mattress
Buying the healthiest mattress can be a daunting task. It’s not just about picking a type of material but finding a mattress that combines functionality and comfort. Here are the factors to consider when choosing the healthiest mattress for your needs.
1. Mattress Size
Size is important when choosing the healthiest mattress because the dimensions determine your comfort. There are six mattress sizes available including twin (38*75 inches), twin XL (38*80inches), queen (60*80 inches), king (76*80inches) and Californian king (72*84 inches).
You can choose the best twin mattress for your toddler transitioning from a crib, a twin XL for a teenager, a queen if you are a couple, a king for couples who love extra space, and a Californian king if you are more than six feet tall.
2. Sleeping Position
Your sleeping position plays a significant role when choosing the healthiest mattress because different positions require different mattresses. There are various types of sleepers depending on their sleeping positions, including stomach, side, back, and combination sleepers.
Stomach sleepers spend most of their sleep on the stomach. Although the position can reduce snoring, acidic reflux, and sleep apnea, it strains the spine, neck, and back. Hence, finding a mattress that reduces pressure from these areas is important. A firm hybrid or foam mattress will provide enough support for stomach sleepers.
Back sleepers spend most of their sleep on their backs, and it’s an ideal sleeping position because it provides better spinal alignment and reduces back problems and acidic reflux. Back sleepers need a mattress that aligns the spine while cushioning the shoulders, lower back, and hips. A medium-firm mattress is the healthiest mattress if you are a side sleeper.
Side sleepers strain the shoulders, neck, and hips and therefore need a mattress that cushions these areas while relieving pressure points. A medium-firm mattress is best for these kinds of sleepers.
Combination sleepers lie in different positions in their sleep; thus, they need a mattress that supports the back and neck and aligns the spine. Latex mattresses of medium firmness are the healthiest for these sleepers.
3. Body Type and Weight
Your body type and weight determine your choice of a healthy mattress. There are two common types of sleepers based on body type: light and heavy sleepers.
Light sleepers weigh less than 130 pounds. They need a soft mattress to sleep comfortably and prevent pressure build-up on the shoulder, back, and neck due to sinking.
A Heavy sleeper weighs more than 230 pounds. Hence, they need a mattress that will not sink under pressure and cause spine malalignment. An extra firm mattress would be ideal for a heavy sleeper.
4. Mattress Firmness
A mattress’s firmness level determines its comfort and support depending on your body weight and sleeping position. A mattress can be soft, medium firm, extra soft, firm, or extra firm.
An extra soft mattress has the highest sinkage level, thus may not provide support since it’s too plush. On the other hand, a soft mattress has a 1.5-3 sinkage and provides more support. Hence, it’s ideal for light and back sleepers because it reduces pressure on the shoulders and hips. However, a soft mattress lacks support making it ideal for light sleepers.
A medium firm mattress has a 5-6 sinkage level and promotes a more natural spinal alignment. It supports more sleepers, including stomach, side, back, and combination sleepers.
An extra firm mattress provides less sinkage (7-10) and is the hardest on the market. It makes a great choice for stomach and heavy sleepers because it promotes better posture and natural spinal alignment.
5. Mattress Type
The mattress you choose determines your comfort based on your body type and sleeping position. There are four types of mattresses: foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid.
A foam mattress relies on air trapped in a polymer material to provide support and cushioning. Several types include standard memory foam, gel, and open-cell memory foam mattresses.
Traditional memory foam consists of polyurethane with a closed-cell structure to support and cushion. It’s denser and thus may trap body heat. The open-cell foam mattress is lighter than traditional memory foam and allows free air movement.
A memory foam mattress has gel pods for additional back and neck support. The gel conforms to your body shape and absorbs heat.
Traditional and gel memory foam mattresses adapt to your sleeping position while providing head and neck support. Hence, they provide pain relief to individuals with back pains. In addition, they are also stable, making them ideal for couples or individuals sharing a bed with kids or pets.
Inner Spring Mattress
Innerspring mattresses are the oldest and consist of metal wires, inner springs, and memory foam. The springs may be individually pocketed or continuous. Individually pocketed springs provide motion separation, unlike continuous springs.
Innerspring mattresses are firmer and provide more support, making them ideal for stomach and heavy sleepers. In addition, they allow free air movement and do not trap body heat.
Latex mattresses are comfortable, durable, and environmentally friendly. There are three latex mattresses: natural, synthetic, and blended. Synthetic latex consists of styrene butadiene rubber that releases chemicals that may irritate individuals with respiratory issues.
Blended latex has fewer chemicals and is more durable than synthetic latex. On the other hand, natural latex provides more cushioning support and is more durable.
Latex mattresses are ideal for individuals with back and joint pains. In addition, they are hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Besides, they allow free air movement and do not trap heat.
A hybrid mattress has the support of inner springs and the buoyancy of memory foam to bring the best of both worlds. It’s comfortable and contours the body while isolating motion. In addition, it allows free air movement and does not trap heat.
A hybrid mattress provides better edge support and pressure relief. Therefore, it’s ideal for couples and individuals with back pain.
The healthiest mattress should promote natural body posture and spinal alignment. It should be comfortable and provide support and cushioning to your body type and sleeping position. Besides, it should be of an ideal size to sleep comfortably alone or with a partner.