Can you believe we spend roughly one-third of our lives asleep, which makes it extremely important that we have a quality mattress? If you’re like me, you’re probably barely managing to juggle your work schedule, your house chores, and your children— which are stressors only made worse by a terrible night’s sleep.
I can’t stand waking up the next morning after what I thought was going to be a good night’s rest, feeling more tired and achy than I was before I hit the sack. With that said, buying a quality mattress is an extremely important item on our To Do Lists, but it can be overwhelming because of the time required and so many options.
Here are my Top 7 Tips to Help You Find the Perfect Mattress
- Get the Best Mattress For You, Based on Science and Medicine
A lot of doctors and surgeons have been interviewed on the proper positions for sleep and what is most important about a mattress, and they all basically say the same thing. Both WebMD and UCLA agree that a mattress should basically support your body in a neutral position. This should allow your spine to curve naturally, while letting the parts of your body that need to be supported (heels, butt, shoulders, and head) — all still touch the mattress.
If the mattress is too firm, you run the risk of pushing your body and spine out of alignment, which can have all sorts of other adverse health issues. If your mattress is too soft, you’re not getting enough support and will likely wake up achy in the morning. If you wake up each morning feeling sore, this is a pretty good sign that you’re not sleeping on the right kind of mattress.
Generally, if you are a person who suffers from lower back pain, you should choose a mattress that’s at least 50-60% firm, or more, depending on your personal preferences.
- Test Mattresses Out In The Store
If you have the time and ability to do this (without the kids in tow), you should head to the local mattress store and try them out. You should spend at least 10 to 15 minutes in each bed to get an accurate read of the mattress, and try each position that you would normally sleep in.
Bonus points if you bring your own pillow, because you’re trying to recreate your sleeping style as best as you can, so you should do everything as close to how you normally would as possible.
- Shop Online
If you don’t have time to lay down on mattress after mattress in the store (which is totally understandable)— a lot of people also feel like people are watching them, or it’s just an uncomfortable situation to have someone around when you’re trying out a bed, you can try shopping online. There are so many mattress start-ups right now and they all have amazing shipping directly to your door, how-to videos on how to setup and install the mattresses, and even no-stress return policies. I have a friend who went through six mattresses before she found the right one, and she was able to order each one online, try it out for a week or two, and then seamlessly send it back if she started to get aches and pains. This is kind of the mattress equivalent of taking a car for a “test drive” or fostering a puppy before you decide to adopt it. There’s no substitute for being able to try the mattress out in your own home.
- Read Reviews
In addition to shopping online, you may want to read some reviews — like ones from The Sleep Advisor — on your favorite few mattresses. After all, manufacturers aren’t really going to write negative things about their mattress on the websites that are trying to generate them income, so it’s in your best interest to find testimonials from real-life people who have actually tried the mattress out for themselves.
Often times a few mattresses may be exactly the same in terms of price and firmness, but one may have horrible customer service, while the other option has exemplary customer service. In this case, the reviews about the other aspects of the mattress would become your tie-breaker, making your decision faster and more efficient.
- Interview Friends & Family
I like a really soft mattress, and so does my mother. Because we share those genetics (and bad necks), I knew that she would have an opinion about what kind of mattress I might enjoy. She did, and now we both have the exact same mattress, and I didn’t even have to spend my own time trying it out.
Additionally, If you have slept over at a friend’s home and really enjoyed their mattress, or know that you have similar preferences and styles, ask them what model and brand of mattress they have— it will help you narrow down your prospective options tenfold. You can also go to Facebook or whatever social media platform works best for you and tell your friends what criteria you are looking for in a mattress and see what they suggest. It’s like having an army do your legwork for you.
6. Avoid Allergens
If you’re allergic to wool, down, latex, or any other type of material— you should double check the manufacturer’s website and the labels to make sure that you’re not getting something that will make you stuffy and sneezy every single night.
- Make Sure You’ve Reviewed Coupons, Offers, and Return Policies!
At this point, you’ve interviewed family, friends, and acquaintances— you’ve shopped around, you’ve tried some mattresses out, and you should have your options down to one or two best choices. Make sure you check out any coupon codes or offers that might be available and choose whichever mattress has the best deal currently. Before you buy anything, double check the return policies to make sure you won’t have a problem if it doesn’t work out for you.
Sleep is so important and if you love it as much as I do you’ll be so happy when your new mattress arrives! By following these seven tips you’ll be having a better night of sleep in no time at all!