With so many mattress options and brands on the market today, it can be difficult to discern which mattress is truly the best option for your needs. This is especially true if you’re browsing online and can’t try the mattress out for yourself.
In order to ensure you’re making the best choice for you, you need to establish which mattress characteristics are entirely preference-based and which ones indicate high or low-quality make and materials.
When choosing a mattress, you’ll want to prioritize characteristics that can impact the quality of your night’s sleep. Your preferred mattress material, firmness, sleep temperature and pressure relief points are some of the essential variables to keep in mind while deciding.
A few different mattress materials include:
- Air Foam– A significant upgrade on traditional memory foam, air foam is free from heat-trapping materials. It’s also an ideal option for side-sleepers. Before selecting your favorite option, you can click here to learn more about a top-rated 12-inch foam mattress and other air foam options.
- Memory Foam– Memory foam is an older piece of sleep technology meant to help contour and cushion your body.
- Gel– Gel mattresses are made from gel-infused memory foam. Like their classic pure memory foam counterparts, they are designed to provide body support and contouring benefits.
- Latex– Some mattresses use latex as their cushioning material. This substance comes from rubber-tree extract, making it one of the natural bedding solutions found in stores today.
- Innerspring– Innerspring mattresses are comprised of multiple layers of coils sandwiched between a thinner layer of comfort material, such as foam, latex or other natural fibers.
- Hybrid– This variety gets its softness and body support from a blend of materials, with multiple, thicker layers of memory foam or latex surrounding inner layers of steel coils.
Softness vs. Firmness Scale
You’ll also want to consider a mattress’s firmness/softness score as it impacts your sleep comfort. On a scale from one to 10, a soft mattress usually falls in the range of three to five. Such a mattress allows your body to sink deeper into the bed.
In the middle of the firmness scale are mattresses scoring six to seven points. Typically, these medium-firm bedding solutions provide a fair balance between pressure relief and body support.
On the other end of the scale (eight to 10), you’ll find harder and highly supportive mattresses, which provide little or no body contouring.
Pressure Relief Points
As you look for the perfect balance between firm and soft, aim for optimal pressure relief as well. According to research, this characteristic is important for your health and safety, especially if you spend a lot of time resting in bed.
Some mattress types, such as innerspring, provide more pushback against the heaviest body parts, creating less balanced pressure relief. When it comes to reducing pressure evenly, an air foam mattress is the better option, as its design allows it to contour to your body shape.
Some mattress options employ cooling solutions like metal or gel to help keep you comfortable at night. Others like air foam are temperature neutral, so they don’t trap your body heat, letting you rest cooler. Memory foam may store your body heat, which can be uncomfortable and interfere with sleep.
While the factors described above are all catered toward certain personal preferences, there are some mattress characteristics that are universal and indicate quality regardless of the type of mattress you choose.
Durability and Lifespan
Your mattress is a serious investment in your sleep quality, and it will hopefully be with you for a long time. But each mattress type has a different average lifespan, mainly based on its material. While an innerspring may last about 10 years, air foam and memory foam mattresses can last longer.
A double-sided mattress with twice the lifespan of a traditional one-sided alternative is also a good option. You can flip it over and distribute usage between both sides multiple times before you’ll need a replacement.
Customer Service and Warranties
Excellent customer service is paramount when you’re buying a mattress online rather than in person. It ensures you get the answers you need regarding quality, features, warranties and other queries. With this information, you can make an informed purchase.
Personal Preferences + Quality Metrics = Your Perfect Mattress
All mattresses provide different levels of comfort, depending on their make and materials, as well as your unique needs. When it comes to temperature control or balancing pressure relief and body support, some products do a better job than others. Be sure to select a mattress option that suits your personal preferences and key quality considerations.