Finding the Right Mattress
When you’re on a 9-to-5 grind, and sometimes it’s more like 8-to-7, there is little that’s more precious than some shut eye. Besides being linked to weakened immune systems and mental health problems, sleep shortage is detrimental to day-to-day functions. Not getting enough sleep affects your productivity, your attitude and even your brain activity (or lack thereof).
Sometimes there’s no way around getting little sleep at night. Whether it’s long workdays or losing track of time, you somehow wind up glancing at the clock and realizing with a panic that it’s already 3 AM and you have to wake up in five hours. When that’s the case, sleep becomes about quality over quantity. Health experts have suggested adjusting the light or temperature of the bedroom to aid sleep. From midwives’ tales like drinking warm milk to relaxation techniques like deep breathing, there are endless pages of Google searches on how to sleep better.
But if you have a bad mattress, no amount of advice or melatonin is going to aid in your quest for a good night’s sleep. Studies have found that even small differences in mattress firmness can correlate with changes in sleep and pain. More importantly, the study found that we aren’t able to determine which mattresses are best for us when we’re awake. During REM sleep, we lose skeletal muscle tone and spinal support, so the mattress that felt supportive while you were testing it out at the store might not feel that way when you’re fast asleep.
The perils of sleeping on the wrong mattress include sleeplessness, back pain, and overall aches and pains, which is probably why mattress technology has rapidly developed in the past decade. From sleep numbers to memory foam, it’s hard to know where to start. Here’s a breakdown:
Memory Foam: Scientifically, memory foam, or “viscoelastic” polyurethane foam, is a combination of polyurethane and other chemicals that increase its viscosity and density. In normal people terms, it basically refers to the fact that memory foam has the ability to mold to the shape of the body pressing against it while returning to its original form once that pressure is removed. One of the benefits of memory foam is that it’s denser than other foam mattresses, which offers more support and comfort.
Coil: Innerspring mattress are the most widely used of all mattress types. It uses steel coils and layers of upholstery for insulation and cushioning. The flexibility of coil mattress is that they come in a variety of firmnesses, from “fluffy-as-a-cloud” to extra firm, as well as price ranges. Typically, firmer versions are better for back pain.
Hybrid: Hybrid mattresses are a combination of coil and memory foam. You get the durability of an innerspring with the comfort of a memory foam mattress. Best of both worlds, right? It utilizes an innerspring core topped with a layer of memory foam. And if you want to get extra fancy, you can even place water compartments inside the innerspring!
With so many choices in mattress technology, it’s hard to know which one is the right fit for you. Whatever you do, it’s best to test the mattress out yourself first instead of shopping online from the comfort of your not-so-comfortable bed.
The Sleep Council recommends getting a new mattress every seven years. Lucky for you, if that seven years is rolling around right about now, or you’re just in the market for a new mattress, Superco is currently offering gift cards up to $150 towards your next purchase when you buy a new mattress and trade in your old one.
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