All Snooze, No Lose - How to Choose the Perfect Mattress
Including the time it takes trying to fall asleep, the average person spends about 33 years in bed. With that in mind, it makes sense to treat choosing a mattress like entering into a serious relationship. Is it going to support you? Is it going to make you feel good? Is it going to go the distance? A good quality mattress should last 7-10 years, so it’s quite the commitment. We’re here to help ease the analysis paralysis with our ultimate guide on how to choose the perfect mattress. Sweet dreams!
You’re just my type
What your mattress is made of will have an effect on the cost, feel and overall support that it offers you. Let’s go through the types of mattresses available.
If you’re over a certain age, spring or coil mattresses are probably what you know best and grew up with. These mattresses remain a classic and popular choice, as they are a reliable and affordable choice. The shape and patterns of the springs will determine the feel of your mattress.
As the name suggests, memory foam conforms to the contours of your body over time. This soft, cushiony material makes them more plush than innerspring mattresses, but they don’t offer as much support.
Like memory foam, latex has a soft and squishy feel. Latex tends to be more expensive though, as it is dust-resistant and has more cooling properties — ideal for allergy sufferers or sweaty sleepers.
If you like the best of both worlds, a hybrid mattress is for you. Hybrids are a combination of two styles, usually an innerspring base with a memory foam or latex top. More materials generally means a higher cost, but hybrids are great if you crave support with cushioning and cooling.
If you suffer from serious sleep disturbances or pain problems, an adjustable mattress could be your ticket to relief. While they don’t come cheap, being able to adjust the angle and position of your mattress can help with a host of conditions like sleep apnoea and heartburn.
There are a bunch of factors to consider when pondering the right size mattress for you. Your sleeping position (starfish or foetal?), whether you have a partner, plus your height and body type can all play a role in the decision. If you’re dealing with a smaller floor space, it’s important to be realistic about what will fit. We’ve popped in the standard Australian mattress sizing chart below for your reference.
|69 cm x 130 cm
|92 cm x 188 cm
|92 cm x 203 cm
|107 cm x 203 cm
|138 cm x 188 cm
|153 cm x 203 cm
|183 cm x 203 cm
|203 cm x 203 cm
Once more with feeling
Soft or firm? When choosing the feeling of your mattress, comfort isn’t the only thing to consider. For example, a firmer mattress provides more spinal support — so if you suffer from back pain or poor posture, this is a more sensible choice for you. Mattress firmness is measured on a scale of 1-10, 1 being the softest and 10 being the firmest. It’s rare to find mattresses on either extreme, with most falling between 3-8 — this middle ground generally provides the ideal mixture of comfort and support.
What’s your position?
Your preferred sleeping position can play a big part in matching you to your perfect mattress.
Good news for those who sleep on their backs — this position means your weight is fairly evenly distributed across your mattress, so you don’t have to worry about too much pressure falling on one body part. For a supportive snooze, a firm to medium-firm mattress will do wonders for you.
Prefer to sleep front-on? This position can put pressure on your pelvis, so having a decent degree of firmness will help prevent your hips from sinking in. If your hips dip into a cushy mattress, your spine may be forced into an uncomfortable position. Those with larger breasts should also consider memory foam, as it can take some of the pressure off your chest.
If you’re a fan of side sleeping, a softer mattress will help keep your shoulder and hip joints protected from pressure by conforming to your body. A soft-to-medium mattress will ensure your joints aren’t copping any undue stress.
A bit of everything
We get it — sometimes you like to switch it up! If your sleeping position varies throughout the night, a medium or medium-to-firm mattress is your best bet at keeping your joints protected when you’re snoozing in more vulnerable positions. However, there is no hard and fast rule — you should also consider your personal comfort preferences and your weight.
Dealing with pain
If you suffer from back pain, you no doubt know how tricky it can be to find relief. The right mattress can actually go a long way in helping to ease the stress on your back, so it pays to choose wisely. Using the tips above should help guide you, but also be aware that there are more specialised options available on the market for chronic pain sufferers.