CHOOSING A MATTRESS
Is it time to begin shopping for a new mattress? Amazed at the wide selection? Confused by the available options? Don't know where to start shopping? Has it been years since you last purchased a mattress?
Relax. It's not as tough as you might think and can even be fun, according to the Better Sleep Council. Where else are you encouraged to “lie down on the job”? The most important thing to remember is that a mattress is a highly personal item. Buy a product you feel comfortable with, from a retailer you trust, and don't be afraid to invest a little more than you were planning to get what you want and need. You'll spend a third of your life on a mattress - that more than in your car or your favorite easy chair. This is an important decision that can have profound effects on your happiness and health. So, feel good about taking your time and don't ever feel pressured to make a snap decision.
Before you set out, be sure to take care of a few practical matters:
- Think about your bedroom. You may even be wise to measure it. Your bedroom may be able to accommodate the ultimate luxury of a king-size mattress and you never even knew it.
- Plan enough time to shop. Because comfort is a matter of personal preference, you’ll want to try out a variety of comfortable mattress sets to find the one that’s right for you.
- Dress comfortably. Be sure to wear clothes that allow you to move freely when trying out mattresses. Women may want to consider wearing slacks or shorts.
- Bring your partner. If you sleep with a partner, be sure to shop together. It’s important to choose a sleep set that meets both your needs for comfort and support.
- When you arrive at a store, just keep this easy-to-remember Better Sleep Council “SLEEP Test” in mind:
- Select a mattress
- Lie down in your sleep position
- Evaluate the level of comfort and support
- Educate yourself about each selection
- Partners should try each mattress together
- Lie down and try it
You wouldn’t buy a new car without giving it a full test drive, would you? So get ready to do the same thing when selecting a new mattress. Just like kicking the tires and slamming the car door, sitting on a mattress for a few minutes or pushing your hand into the surface won’t tell you what you need to know about performance. Don’t be embarrassed. Kick off your shoes and lie down.
Step One: Lie down on your back
Ask these questions: Do I feel comfortable? Does the mattress gently support all points of my body, especially my lower back? Is my partner comfortable? Does it support my partner’s body?
Contrary to popular belief, a mattress doesn’t have to be hard to be good for you. The truth is that most people prefer a plusher feel. When selecting a mattress, your body should be able to fully relax, with your spine supported in the same position as good standing posture.
Step Two: Get into your usual position
Most people sleep on their side, so just lying on your back may not tell if a mattress is really comfortable for you and for your partner. Role into the position you prefer and stay there for at least 10 minutes. See if the salesperson can supply pillows for you to use.
Ask these questions: Do I (we) feel comfortable? Do I (we) feel gently supported? Pay special attention to your hips and shoulders. A mattress that's too hard for you will create uncomfortable pressure. How about space? Do you and your partner each have enough room to move around freely and without colliding with each other?
Step Three: Do a comfort comparison
Just like Goldilocks, be sure to try a variety of mattress sets before making a choice. You want to be able to compare different comfort choices to one another other as well as to the old set you’re currently sleeping on at home.
Right for Your Body Mass Index
“When you find the one that makes your body feel really comfortable and fully relaxed, that’s when you know you’ve found the mattress of your dreams,” says Nancy Shark, Better Sleep Council executive director. Our friends at the Better Sleep Council acknowledge that a mattress is a major purchase that can seem overwhelming to shop for. There are many mattress types and sizes of mattresses. They acknowledge that a sleeper's Body Mass Index should influence which mattress will be the best choice for a individual or couple and that BMI affects how often a mattress should be replaced. To be prepared before you shop, click on the BSC logo or on the following link to take you to a guide on how to select a mattress that best fits your body type, including tips on specific features and benefits to consider. http://bettersleep.org/blog/the-right-bed-for-you..