You toss and turn.  You’re uncomfortable. Getting a good night’s sleep feels like a luxury, yet it’s one of the best things that you can do for your overall health.  And, actually, the right mattress plays an incredibly important role in the success or failure of your ability to sleep.  While it’s easy to forget about because it’s always covered by sheets, the mattress is so much more important than the bedding. It plays a functional role as opposed to one of beauty.  That’s the lucky job of the headboard, bedding and pillows.

Think about it, you might switch out bedding seasonally, but you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress for many years more than you should.  Because the mattress is rarely seen, people tend to keep the same mattress for far too long.  Your body changes a lot over the course of 10 years, so shouldn’t your mattress change to keep up with what your body needs?

Unfortunately, the mattress shopping experience is a daunting experience, which causes people to avoid it for as long as possible.  However, with a little bit of knowledge, the mattress purchasing experience can run much smoother, allowing you to get the night’s sleep you deserve.

To Flip, or Not to Flip, that is the Question

The highest quality mattresses are two sided mattresses.  These serve a great purpose, by rotating the mattress every 6 months, and by flipping the mattress once a year, you essentially get a new mattress twice a year.  As an added bonus, doing this regular maintenance extends the lifecycle of your mattress.  If you currently have a mattress that is flippable, or if you have not rotated your mattress, give it a try.  Trust me, you will appreciate it.

However, if flipping your mattress does not sound like a good time, the construction of one-sided mattresses has come a long way over the past decade.  With the implementation of new materials into mattresses, such as gels and latex, the need to flip and rotate your mattress has been eliminated.  However, not all one-sided mattresses are the same.  If you want maintenance free you have to get the right kind of mattress, which leads me into my next point…

Better Materials, Better Sleep:  Gel & Latex

Fortunately, as times and consumer demands have changed, the desire for a two-sided mattress has decreased.  Nowadays, manufacturers are designing mattresses with new materials such as gel and latex that can withstand the test of time.  Gel and latex have been incorporated into mattress construction, making them more durable than historic coil systems and cotton. Technically, if you were to buy a latex mattress you would not have to buy a new mattress again in your lifetime. Well, unless you want to change your desired comfort.

Too Soft, Too Firm, Just Right

When you initially purchased your mattress, you could have desired a pillow top, plush mattress. But, as your body begins to age, that plush mattress might not be the best thing for you.  The body needs more support as it grows older, so transitioning from a plush to a firmer mattress is beneficial. Plus, it will help you achieve a better night’s sleep.  Generally, for back and stomach sleepers, a firmer mattress will provide more support.

Make Your Mattress Work for You!

With the popularity of adjustable base beds, lifting the top (head) and bottom (foot) sections, mattresses function for us.  We want our mattresses to bend and flex to create a comfortable shape to read, watch TV or even for health reasons. This new trend has caused a shift in how mattresses are manufactured.

Historically, mattresses were made with an edge guard — a metal wiring that ran around the exterior of the mattress. It allowed the mattress to have a solid edge and to prevent a feeling of rolling out of it.  Now, with the invention of the adjustable base, edge guards are obsolete. You cannot have an adjustable base with a mattress that has edge guards. The mattress needs to be flexible and durable.

 Try Before You Buy!

It’s incredibly important to try before you buy.  And with a product as important as a mattress, where you spend 1/3 of your life, it is even more imperative.   Sure, there are lots of different bed-in-a-box options, but I’d always recommend you see, touch, feel, and lay on your mattress.

At Saybrook Home, we carry Gold Bond, which is made in Connecticut, and Stearns & Foster.  These manufacturers offer a mattress for everyone –  back sleepers, side sleepers, stomach sleepers.  Each way of sleeping will require a different type of mattress for back support.  But, most importantly, look for a mattress that offers these long-held essentials: good support, pressure relief, comfort and long-term durability.

Photos Courtesy of Stearns & Foster; last image Saybrook Home