Experts recommend sleeping at least eight hours each night to rest your body and re-energise for the next day. Since most people spend a third of their life in bed, choosing the right mattress significantly impacts their quality of life.
What Makes a Mattress Good?
Besides your preferences, spine health is the primary consideration when purchasing a mattress. A healthy spine has three slight curves that need proper support, especially when sleeping.
A good mattress holds you in a neutral position, meaning the spine maintains its curves, and your head, shoulders, buttocks, and feet remain aligned. Ideally, you should feel afloat on your mattress, with zero pressure on any body part.
Over time, a suitable mattress relaxes your muscles, enhances sleep quality, and improves body posture. On the contrary, a wrong choice often has you waking up tired and can cause back pain, particularly near the spine’s base. Overall, a low-quality mattress hurts sleep quality.
Mattress Firmness Levels
Most mattress companies use a one to ten scale to rate their products’ firmness. The softest mattresses are plush and range between one to three on the firmness scale. Mediums range between four and seven, while firm options start from eight to ten. There are intermediaries, such as medium-soft (4), medium-firm (7), and extra-firm (9 and above).
A mattress’s firmness depends on its construction and materials. For example, a spring mattress without a comfort layer is firm. Conversely, most memory foam mattresses are plush.
It’s worth noting that firmness and support differ. Firmness is how comfortable a mattress feels when lying on it, while support is how well it relieves pressure points and keeps your spine aligned.
Soft mattresses have firmness ratings ranging between one to three. They feel comfortable lying on since they have a comfort layer that relieves pressure points.
Who Should Buy Soft Mattresses?
Here are the people who should consider soft mattresses.
Consider purchasing a soft mattress if you lie on your side when sleeping. Sleeping on your side exerts massive pressure on the neck and shoulders, requiring a plush surface to ease tension on these body parts. Soft mattresses cushion your neck and shoulders, reducing joint pain and improving sleep quality.
Lightweight individuals sleep better on soft mattresses. The softness provides more contouring under slight pressure, while a firm mattress feels too hard for light people.
It can be challenging to get quality slumber if your partner constantly turns in their sleep. Soft mattresses are better at motion isolation than firm ones, ensuring you remain undisturbed when your companion turns or gets out of bed at night.
People with Arthritis and Joint Pain
Firm mattresses aggravate arthritis symptoms because they exert pressure instead of relieving it. If you have similar conditions, purchasing a soft mattress can help alleviate your pain.
Medium mattresses offer a balance between balance and support. You should try these mattresses if you have an average-sized body and don’t have arthritis and joint pain issues.
Who Should Buy Medium Mattresses?
If you are in the following groups, buy a medium-duty mattress.
If you assume many sleeping positions, medium mattresses are an ideal choice. They relieve pressure points when lying on your side and align the spine when you lie flat on your stomach or back. The soft comfort layer inside the mattress also provides extra cushioning, which is excellent for people who shift from lying flat to side sleeping throughout the night.
Lightweight and Average-Sized Individuals
Medium-duty mattresses provide the right firmness and support for lightweight and average-sized individuals. They are unresponsive enough to prevent sagging and sinking.
Couples prefer medium-duty mattresses over other types because they suit many body types and multiple sleeping positions. If one individual is a side sleeper and the other sleeps on their stomach or back, a medium mattress will relieve pressure points and align the spine for both while preventing sagging and sinking.
Firm mattresses have a hard surface, making you feel you’re lying on top rather than settling into it. However, heavyweight individuals are comfortable because they don’t quickly sink under heavy pressure.
Who Should Buy Firm Mattresses?
Here are the most suitable users for heavy mattresses.
A firm mattress is best if you prefer sleeping on your stomach. The firmness prevents your torso from sinking, which helps keep the spine aligned. As a result, you wake up without back pain.
Similarly, back sleepers get spinal support when lying on firm mattresses, ensuring you wake up rejuvenated.
People weighing more than 120kgs exert more pressure on beds than lightweight individuals. For this reason, they need a firm mattress that prevents sagging and sinking.
You might benefit from a firm mattress if you feel hot at night. The hard surface prevents sinking, allowing air to flow freely around your body and keep you cool. Contrarily, softer mattresses tend to sink, hindering airflow and making you uncomfortable.
People with Sciatica
Sciatic neuritis is characterised by pain running down the lower back, through the hips, buttocks, and each leg. The pain can vary from mild to acute and typically affects one side of the body.
Sleeping on a firm mattress relieves sciatic pain by allowing bones to absorb pressure and reducing muscular tension. It also improves circulation.
Although firmness is crucial, a mattress’s greatness depends on how refreshed and rejuvenated you feel after waking up. Using the wrong mattress affects sleep quality and might aggravate pain. Over time, it causes reduced productivity.
When choosing a mattress, consider your sleeping position, body weight, and the needs of the people who sleep with you. If you’re unsure about these, start with a medium-duty mattress, which offers the best balance between support and firmness.