How to choose the firmness of your mattress
If you’re lucky, you might spend eight hours a day in bed. That’s one-third of your entire life. If you live for 75 years, you’ll spend an incredible 25 years in bed. That’s a sizable amount of time.
Lying down to sleep is generally seen as an opportunity to rest the body and mind ready for the next day. It’s vitally important then, that you are comfortable and supported when you choose to rest your head.
Sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause or exacerbate physical issues and, even though you might not notice, it could impact your sleep. If you’re not sleeping well, that will have a knock-on effect on all aspects of your life, from your ability to concentrate at work, to your reflexes when you’re driving your car, to your ability to deal with irritants.
Finding the right mattress will change your life. It will transform the quality of your sleep and, if you’re already a troubled sleeper, you might find it will impact the quantity, too.
Firmness is probably the most important consideration for any mattress seeker. Here are our top tips for finding a mattress perfect for your form.
- Ask yourself what it is you like
Have you ever actually taken the time to think about what it is you like and dislike about mattresses? When you’re spending the night at a hotel or with friends, are you delighted to find that the mattress is soft, or happier if it’s hard? It is likely that you have subliminally chosen to prefer soft or hard mattresses because your preference is best for your body, so have a real think about this and consider your answer as you choose.
- Pay attention to how you sleep
When you are sleeping your muscles relax completely and your body relies on your mattress to keep it aligned. Ever woken up with a pain in your back or a crick in your neck? It is highly likely that your mattress was not supporting you properly as you slept.
Your sleeping position is indicative of the type of physical issues you are likely to face if you don’t have the right mattress. Stomach sleepers, for example, are more likely to suffer with pelvic issues if they’re sleeping on a soft mattress, because these put pressure on the hips and lower body. They’d need something firm.
If you sleep on your side, look for a softer mattress. Sleep on your back? You get to choose!
If you’re undecided, look for a mattress with a medium firmness for the best of both worlds.
- Consider your weight
Typically, the higher your body mass index, the firmer your mattress needs to be. Heavier people sink lower into soft mattresses. This is highly likely to make your pressure points sore. If you’re a little bigger, you might want to consider a firmer mattress.
This advice comes with a call for common sense. If you’re BMI is high but you’re a lean, mean, gym-pumping machine, the same rules might not apply to you.
- Are you are a hot or cold sleeper?
Mattresses with lots of sink can inhibit airflow and make you extremely hot. If you sweat while you sleep, you’ll want to avoid memory foam and softer mattresses.
If you’ve been considering a memory foam mattress, you might want to read this article here.
- Who are you sleeping with?
Couples can run into difficulties when one person prefers a soft mattress and the other prefers a firmer place to rest. If this is the case for you, opt for somewhere in the middle.
It is also really important that you consider motion transfer. Firmer mattresses offer very little support around individual bodies, so when one of you turns over, the other one is likely to feel it. If this is going to be a problem for you, opt for something a little softer.
- Other things to think about
If you struggle to turn over becuse of disability or severe pains, you should opt for a firmer mattress. You’ll need to be physically fit and well to turn over without real effort if your mattress is very soft. When you’re testing, try turning over. Stay safe, of course.
If you are disabled, this article will help you identify what to look for when you’re mattress shopping.
There’s so much to consider, but it’s important that you know what you want before you buy a new mattress. 25 years is a long time.
Ely Mattresses are made from natural materials and come in two variants of firmness. If you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for, we’d be happy to talk you through you options.