How to Choose a Mattress
To choose the right mattress for your needs, consider which material best supports your sleeping habits. After you choose one, you can compare individual mattresses based on five qualities: comfort, support, motion and separation, temperature, and edge support.
A mattress’s comfort can be difficult to measure. You’re looking for a bed that doesn’t apply uneven pressure to your body, which can cut circulation, pinch nerves, and cause you to wake up at night.
Remember that healthy sleep allows you to sleep in one position the whole night. When you’re testing mattresses for comfort, try to copy your sleep position and stay there for a few minutes. If you feel any pain or tingling or it just doesn’t feel right, then you’ll know to keep looking.
No matter your sleeping position, your body has a unique shape that your mattress needs to support evenly — from the contours of your hips and back to the curve of your shoulders.
A mattress with good support allows you to sleep with your spine in a straight line. An unsupportive mattress could be the cause of your daytime drowsiness or even your backache.
Motion and Separation
Motion and separation is a fancy way of describing how someone else moving on the bed can wake you up. Not all mattresses have a high rate of motion transfer, though, especially foam beds. To test motion and separation, you should have someone get on and off the bed while you’re in a sleeping position.
Different materials and brands of mattresses retain different amounts of body heat. A hybrid mattress’s cloth pillowtop often provides better ventilation than foam beds, particularly cheap ones. That is something to consider if you often feel hot at night.
Edge support refers to how much support you have on the edge of the bed. If you sleep near the edge, particularly if you and a partner sleep on the same bed, you want the support and comfort to go all the way to the edge of the mattress. That is more commonly found in high-quality innerspring or hybrid mattresses than in those made of memory foam.