After a busy day at work, we all want to lay our backs on our mattresses and drift into ‘la-la land.’ No one wants to wake up to a dull backache, or the pains of a throbbing headache.
It comes as no surprise then that we want to choose a mattress that would give us the most comfort while asleep, which is why we instinctively go for softer mattresses. Are they the best for us though?
For many people though, this does not beget the good night’s sleep they’re seeking. So what should we really be looking for in a mattress? Comfort or firmness? There’s no right or wrong answer, but it really depends on your momentary needs, as both are important.
Check out our tips below to figure out how to choose the right kind of mattress for your needs.
The Alignment of Your Spine
Not everyone needs the same degree of mattress firmness, and here’s why: our spines are aligned to different degrees.
It would be wrong to assume that when asleep, our spines are straight or flat. In fact, the normal curvatures of our spines should be maintained during sleep, which is why you need to get the proper mattress to achieve this. It also helps to have a mattress that relieves your body’s pressure points and properly distributes weight.
A good example would be when sleeping on your side: in this position, your shoulders and hips should sink into your mattress with enough impact to keep your spine in its naturally curved state, while relieving pressure points.
If the qualities above don’t go with your current mattress, consider it one of the signs to replace your mattress.
Your Sleeping Position
How firm or soft your mattress should be is also dependent on your sleeping position. For side sleepers, a softer surface would help the mattress align with pressure points in the hips and shoulders. Stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress, because there is more pressure on the hips and pelvis, as these areas support more of their weight while sleeping. If they sleep on a soft mattress, the hips and pelvis sink in lower than the shoulder level and as you can imagine, the proper spinal curvature is lost. For back sleepers, pressure can be more evenly spread across pressure points while asleep, and so, they can sleep on all kinds of mattresses!
Your Body Weight
Did you know that your weight should determine the firmness level of your mattress? Well, it does! This is particularly true when someone weighs more or less than the recommended Body Mass Index range. For a person who weighs more, greater force is exerted on their pressure points when they lay down to sleep. This can cause you to sink too low into a soft mattress, whereas someone who weighs less feels like they are being pushed on a firmer mattress.
Here’s a general rule of thumb to match your BMI and ideal mattress:
- Soft or Medium Firmness Mattress Level – Below average BMI
- Medium Firmness Mattress Level – Average BMI
- Firm Mattress – Above average BMI
Another important thing you might want to consider is the weight of your partner: if they are lighter or heavier than you, it might be a good idea to pick a mattress that meets you both half-way and can guarantee good sleep for each of you, without making the other person groan through the night.
Now that you know what to look for in a mattress in terms of both comfort and firmness, you can shop properly. If the ratings on mattresses still confuse you though, the SleepDelivered Leesa vs. Purple Mattress Comparison guide is a huge help.