The Sleep Council continues with its Sleeptember sleep awareness campaign, and we continue bringing you information about how you can get a better night’s sleep. Your mattress is obviously very important to how well you sleep, and you need to make sure you have one that suits you. But do you know how to test out a potential purchase to find the best one for the way you sleep? Our staff are always happy to help, but here are some things you should keep in mind:
We all need different levels of support
Remember that many things that seem like hard-and-fast rules for mattress purchase don’t apply to everybody. For instance, you may have heard that a firmer mattress is more supportive. However, it depends on what your preferred sleeping position is. If you’re a light person who prefers to sleep on their side, the weight of your shoulders and hips will not put enough pressure on a firm mattress, meaning the lumbar region of your back (where your spine curves inwards) won’t be supported at all. Instead, a softer or medium mattress would be best designed for this kind of person. Therefore we can decipher that firmer mattress support is great for preferred back or front sleepers. Every person is different and has different needs. For anyone who sleeps across all sleeping positions, a medium firm tension provides the right level of support.
Factors that affect the support you require
Think about your requirements before you go to test mattresses out — will you be sharing the bed with a partner? Do you suffer from hayfever? Are you suffering from back pain? Giving this information to our staff will help them to narrow down potential choices and point you in the right direction.
If you do share a bed with a partner, make sure that you both go to test the bed out. Something that’s comfortable for one of you might not be comfortable for the other. If you really can’t reach an agreement, remember that you can get custom-made mattresses with different tensions on each side, called a zip and link mattress.
Purchase within the higher end of your budget
Go for the highest quality bed that you can afford. It’s one of the best things you can invest in — the average person spends a third of their life in bed and sleep is vital to your wellbeing. Additionally, the better quality a mattress is, the longer it will last.
Take your time
Allow yourself plenty of time to test out mattresses. You won’t be able to tell if one is suitable just by lying on it for a few seconds, so put aside any self-consciousness and make sure you lie on it for at least ten minutes and in all the positions you regularly sleep in. Check you can also move comfortably between sleeping positions.
Signs to look out for
On a mattress that properly supports you, the curve of your spine should be aligned. There should be no uncomfortable pressure under your hips and shoulders, and they shouldn’t sink too heavily into the mattress. If you’re lying on your back, the inward curve of your spine should be firmly in contact with the mattress, but you should be able to slide your hand under your back. Likewise, the inward curve above your hip if you’re lying on your side.
We hope this helps as you search for a new mattress. Remember that a good starting point is online browsing — our comprehensive filter system makes it easier to search through the choices available to you.