Do You Feel Like You Sleep on a Cloud or a Rock? How to Pick the Right Mattress.

Finding the right mattress can be an overwhelming task, especially if you are currently sharing half of the bed with someone else: two bodies, two body types, two opinions.

When the big day comes to buy a new mattress, dress comfortably, and make sure you have ample time to really sit down and lay on all of the mattresses. If you are sharing the bed with someone else, it is important that you are both there to test out different selections.

Scroll down for important factors to consider before heading to the store.

COST: Think about your budget. A Queen set with box spring typically averages around $1200, with a new box spring (always replace your box spring as it may void a warranty using an old box spring).  If the mattress you are purchasing is for a guest bed than you probably don’t need to go for the most expensive set. Since it is beneficial to buy a new mattress every 6 years, spending $17 a month isn’t so awful considering how much time we spend in bed. Most of us spend 8 hours a day on our mattress, about 1/3 of our life, so it needs to be a place of rest and rejuvenation. The long-term benefits of a quality mattress far exceed the price tag.

STORE: Go to a reliable chain, such as Sleepy’s; the salespeople at Sleepy’s complete training courses to help you select the right mattress.  National stores carry quality brands of mattresses such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons, Tempur-pedic, Stearns + Foster, Laura Ashley and King Koil. A big secret that most consumers don’t know is that often these brands make a better quality product for the big chains, while making a similar product for the smaller stores with a degraded quality (you can read more about this at Consumer Reports).  The best mattress stores even offer a free sleep profile that can help you find the perfect fit. Many times you can even schedule an appointment on their website.

TYPE: Here is where it gets a little tricky : soft, hard, firm, pillow top, innerspring or foam mattresses. The most important thing is the hardness and/or the softness of your mattress. Too soft will cause your bed to collapse and too firm will cause space between your spine and the bed, thus putting strain on your lower back – you need to find something in the middle. A rule of thumb is that the heavier you are, the less foams you’ll need on top; while the lighter you are, the more foams your body will need. The goal is to find a mattress that will contour enough to let your hips drop in slightly while keeping your legs raised a little, creating perfect postural alignment.

While you are testing mattresses, roll over to your side and stay there for about 5 minutes. Notice if your fingers start to tingle. If they do, then that means that there is a lot of pressure being placed on your body, and your circulation is being cut off. Throughout the night, as your circulation is cut off, your body’s response is to move, commonly called TOSSING AND TURNING. So the more cushion you have on the mattress, the more it will reduce pressure points, causing less tossing and turning. The top layers of mattress cushioning are often what sell the customer since comfort is what most of us are looking for, so feel it out.

SIZE: Bigger is better; a healthy sleeper moves around 15 to 30 times throughout the night. Cramped conditions can make sleeping awkward, uncomfortable and altogether frustrating. As you and the person you are sharing your bed with get older, your sleep will become more restless and you may require extra room in bed.

Your mattress purchase is very important so don’t take it too lightly. Happy Hunting!

Contributor: Greg Longmuir