If you suffer from back or neck pain, the right or wrong mattress can make a huge difference in your life. Even if you don’t have any issues, a comfortable mattress affects your sleeping patterns, and is a long term investment. Remember to take your time while shopping and test out various options. Take a read below to discover tips on how to buy a new mattress.
1. Get familiar with different mattress materials
Familiarize yourself with the most common mattress types and how they are constructed before you buy. Innerspring mattresses use coils, which often provide a traditional bounce feel and strong support.
Latex mattresses offer more bounce and responsiveness than innerspring mattresses, and they tend to sleep cooler.
Memory foam mattresses are designed to contour to the body, which may lead to pressure relief. Some users of memory foam report that the material sleeps warm.
Hybrid mattresses combine memory foam or latex layers atop an innerspring mattress, often with the goal of providing a mix of softness and support.
Air mattresses use an air pump to inflate the mattress to the desired firmness level.
Usually, each side of the bed uses a separate chamber of air to accommodate two sleepers with differing preferences. Mattresses are also rated based on firmness.
Typically, a mattress that is too old or too soft may not support the spine well enough.
2. Get advice from a healthcare provider
If you have a back or neck condition, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about what they recommend.
It’s advised to aim for the neck and low back to be in a neutral position while lying on the mattress.
By doing so, it promotes good spinal alignment. Even though doctors are not mattress experts, they know your medical history and may have good advice from that point of view.
Take off your shoes and lie down on a few different mattresses for at least 10 minutes each.
Take your time and work with a salesperson to determine the best option for you. This can be a big investment so don’t rush the process.
4. Be wary of the product information
Oftentimes, sellers label mattresses as "medically-approved", there is no medical organization that officially certifies mattresses to carry these labels.
Remember, always do your research and don’t purchase something right away.
5. Firm mattresses aren't always best
Some research has shown that the best mattress for low back pain is a medium firm mattress rather than a firm mattress. There is a difference between firm support and firm feel. You want firm support with a comfortable feel.
6. Read reviews from actual customers
Read a mix of positive, negative, and middle-of-the-road reviews. There is a lot of false information online so make sure that the reviews are real. Check out unbiased reviews from people who have purchased the mattress you are interested in. Don’t get too caught up in what mattress companies say about themselves, as they have to market their own products in a positive light. Check and see if there are any pictures from customers as that sometimes can portray a better idea of what you are getting. Nowadays, companies embellish photos by using photoshop, and other editing services to market products.
7. Ask for recommendations online
Ask friends and family members to post their suggestions on your social media accounts when indicating you are looking for a new mattress. Consider including details about your health condition, as some people might have a similar experience and can give more specific recommendations. You could also visit online groups such as Spine-health’s Back and Neck Pain Support Group on Facebook and ask people who are in a similar situation as you.
8. Consider adjustable beds
This option allows you to elevate your head and knees slightly, which may relieve lower back pressure. Consider buying an adjustable bed if you are more comfortable sitting in a recliner than lying down.
9. Check for warranty
Before you buy, verify that there is a warranty for the mattress, in case it breaks down or is defective.
Often a good mattress will have a minimum of a 10-year full replacement or non-prorated warranty.
Bunk beds - We all probably have fond childhood memories of fighting with siblings over who gets the top bunk, staying up late chatting with our bunkmate at camp, or simply being jealous of that one kid who had a bunk bed in their bedroom that they didn’t even have to share.