What Type Of Mattress Should I Buy
If you have a bad back, you should buy the firmest mattress you can find -- right? Not so fast. While that used to be the common wisdom, there's no solid research behind it. The latest thinking is that there isn't one type of mattress that's best for everyone, including people with chronic back pain. Let personal preference guide you, and choose what feels most comfortable.
But making the right choice can be tricky. So many products are on the market, and just because a mattress feels good when you lie down on it in a showroom doesn't mean you're going to be happy sleeping on it for the next several years.
You may not realize it, but good posture is important when you sleep. The muscles and ligaments (tissue that holds joints together) in your back need to relax and recover while you snooze. If a mattress is too firm -- or too squishy -- it won't support your spine at your neck or lower back the way it needs to. What's firm enough (but not too firm) is different for everyone: If you have wide hips, for instance, a slightly softer surface may be better. You need some more give in order to keep your spine in alignment. Someone with narrower hips might be better off with a firmer surface.
Research is limited, but in one study, researchers assigned new mattresses to more than 300 people with low back pain. They used either "medium-firm" or "firm" mattresses for 90 days. Those in the medium group reported the least amount of discomfort.
You might consider getting a memory foam mattress (instead of a traditional innerspring one). The foam molds to your body. The downside: Some memory foam mattresses keep in heat; and the material might have more chemicals.
If you have a great night's sleep and wake up pain-free after staying at a hotel or in a friend's guest room, copy down that mattress's model number. Or choose a mattress that comes with a money-back guarantee: A growing number of companies will let you buy a mattress and use it for anywhere from 30 to 100 days and send it back for a refund if you're not happy with it.
The most important thing seemed to be that the beds were new. They noted that the average age of the participants' old beds was 9.5 years. And they concluded that "sleep quality may be dependent on timely replacement of bedding systems." The takeaway: If you've been sleeping on the same mattress for 9 or 10 years (or more), it's time to get a new one. Almost any new replacement is going to be better than the saggy foundation of an old mattress. But it may pay to spring for at least a mid-priced model.
Few things come down to personal preference more than choosing a mattress. What can feel like a cloud to one person can be back pain in the making for another. What makes the decision even harder is the sheer range of options, with mattresses available in practically every budget and type you can think of.
A versatile all-foam mattress, the Original can accommodate a variety of sleeping positions, and is well-suited to couples who might be struggling to find a compromise. Following a few price increases, a king size Original will cost you 849. That said, when there's a promotional discount in place, you can save 40% or more. The only caveat is that, like most foam mattresses, the Emma Original is not best suited to those who get very warm in bed.
One notable property of latex, when used in mattresses, is its buoyancy. Compared with memory foam, latex mattresses recover their shape quicker when you get up or move to a different part of the mattress.
Hybrids that combine synthetic comfort layers with springs tend to be warmer than their more traditional pocket sprung counterparts such as the Harrison Spinks Velocity 4250 (see above), but Simba's Hybrid Pro attempts to overcome this by using a wool top layer. We found the mattress both supportive and comfortable during our testing and definitely found that the wool layer helped with temperature regulation. In fact, besides its lack of removable top cover, there wa