Three best mattresses
A mattress is one of the most important household furnishings in the home. After all, you spend about a third of your lifetime lying in bed. If your bed is not doing its job well, you could suffer back problems or toss and turn throughout the night. Failure to address issues with the support beneath your sleeping body could leave you with long-term pain and sleep loss.
While the choice for the best mattress ultimately comes down to personal preference on firmness, thickness, and material, there are other considerations that will help you make the ideal selection for your bedroom. Sleep Innovation makes our favorite mattress - it's a foam mattress that's the best combination of firm but body forming.
Considerations when choosing mattresses
An innerspring mattress is what many people think of as a "traditional" mattress. These mattresses have multiple springs on the inside to help keep your spine properly aligned during sleep. The key feature to look for here is the number of springs in the mattresses. A greater number of springs is usually better.
A memory foam or gel mattress is made from foam and is resilient enough to bounce back into shape when you get up. The main advantage of memory foam is that it conforms to your body. The main disadvantage is that it can sometimes feel hot at night. Some manufacturers add cooling gel in order to counteract the heating-trapping effect of the foam.
An adjustable air bed has air bladders in the middle of the mattress that can fill or contract based on your desired level of firmness. Waterbed mattresses are also still on the market, but they are not that common these days.
The size of your bed depends on the size of your room, the size of your body, and whether you sleep alone. Most adults prefer not to sleep in a twin bed every night. A full-size bed can sleep two adults who do not mind being close to each other. The queen-size bed is the most popular bed for two sleepers. It fits well into most bedrooms, and it gives both people enough room to comfortably sleep and to get out of bed without waking their partner. If you really want space, try a king-size or California king mattress. All mattress sizes come in extended sizes for tall people.
A quality innerspring mattress will likely cost you about $1,000. The memory foam/gel mattresses can range greatly in cost, from about $250 to over $1,500. Adjustable air mattresses or hybrid mattresses that bring you the best of memory foam and firmness control can easily cost $2,000 or more.
If you're looking to save a little money, consider not replacing your box spring. The box spring is essentially a platform. Unless the platform shows visible problems, such as an uneven surface or broken slats, it should be able to handle a new mattress.
Q. How often should I purchase a new mattress?
A. A general rule of thumb is to purchase a new mattress every 10 years. Even if your current mattress is still comfortable, the fibers of the material will break down over that time period, making it lose some of its original support. Dust particles and body fluids also work their way into the mattress over time.
If your current mattress shows signs of wear or is starting to sag in the middle, it is definitely time for a new mattress. Comfort problems may be temporarily solved by flipping your mattress, but some pillow top and memory foam mattresses are designed with a top side that must stay up, negating this option.
Q. How do I know what mattress firmness is right for me?
A. Some mattresses can be adjusted to the firmness level of your choice, but these mattresses tend to be pricey. If an adjustable mattress is out of your price range, consider this advice. Side sleepers and those who weigh less will likely be more comfortable on a softer mattress. Stomach sleepers and those who are heavier will likely prefer a firmer mattress.
Mattresses we recommend
Best of the best: Sleep Innovations Shiloh
Our take: A quality memory foam mattress that is firm yet comfortable.
What we like: Responsive yet supportive foam. Price is decent for the quality.
What we dislike: It's better for people who are average-size or larger. Smaller sleepers may not appreciate it as much.
Best bang for your buck: Signature Sleep Coil Mattress
Our take: A low-priced coil mattress that also includes foam. Highly rated highly for its comfort.
What we like: Coils are individually encased for less unwanted movement during sleep.
What we dislike: Mattress has been known to dent or sag after a few years of use.
Choice 3: Tuft & Needle Mattress
Our take: This fresh take on a foam mattress eliminates some of the disadvantages of previous models.
What we like: No harmful chemicals. Sleeps cooler than many foam mattresses. Has a supportive base with a comfort layer on top. Doesn't have much of a smell.
What we dislike: It doesn't seem to be as comfortable for heavier people.
Karen Ridder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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