Looking for the right mattress for you? Feeling like a bachelor in a not much of a paradise? Don’t worry, I am here as your mattress marriage counselor, move over Chris Harrison…and will help you find the absolute best mattress match. There are four elements to consider when purchasing a mattress; Comfort, Alignment, Support, Environment. I refer to this as C.A.S.E. Let me break it down for you.
Comfort is in the eye of the beholder in our mattress paradise. To keep things simple, most mattresses can be categorized as soft (plush) and or firm. When lingo like mid-firm, soft-firm or plush-firm start to be used to market a mattress, things can get really confusing. How can a mattress be both? My insider tip: Don’t focus on a soft mattress. If the bed is too soft, it’s more than likely that materials will breakdown within 1-3 years. Most mattresses use polyurethane materials. Every scientist can tell you the less dense the materials, the more likely the padding will breakdown. In 2-3 years, your mattress will have a body impression in the shape of your favorite sleep position. The best choice would be to look for a mattress that conforms to your body. If it seems too firm, you can add a mattress pad to soften it up. The upside is perfect body alignment, which promotes a healthy sleep behavior.
Don't buy a mattress that doesn't have your back - literally! Your back controls your posture, while sitting, walking, and, breathing. It is imperative that these muscles are nurtured with a daily sleep regiment. Muscles in the back require energy to rejuvenate and if there is not enough recovery, the muscles don’t return to their original size. Leaving your body tight and increasing chances of back pain or injury.
One of the best options in buying an alignment friendly mattress, is finding one that has a 'transitional or comfort layer' as its second layer. The transitional layer helps conform the bed to the natural curves of your body - think of it as a smarter memory foam.
Now to answer the question of how do I know if the bed is right for me? By rule of thumb, your body should never sink more than 3” into any bed. Any more, and you are compromising your spine and muscles in your back. If you don’t sink at all, the bed is not spooning you.
Support goes hand in hand with alignment. However, you should have a support system that is responsive, which means the support system has the ability to push back into your body. As stated earlier, you should never sink more than 3” into your bed. A supportive core will respond quickly after you adjust to your sleep positions. The support system should also absorb the movement of your partner. This comes in handy when they sneak into bed after binge watching Netflix (or binge watching episodes of The Bachelor). A responsive support core doesn’t need to be a springy metal doohickey, but it does need to support you from day one. Without its support, your bed will create a dreaded “sleep pit” in your honor and blame you for ruining the relationship.
Next area of importance is the sleep climate. Does your mattress feel hot when you sleep or is your mattress inherently cool? I would say neither, if you are sleeping on a pillow top or the top layer of your mattress is memory foam. Sleep environment is essential for being able to get a good night's sleep. When you go to sleep at night, your temperature drops as your body functions slow down. In this moment your body adjusts to its environment. Studies show that people tend to enter the sleep cycle faster in cooler climates. Hot environments promote an uncomfortable environment and a sleepless night. Find a mattress that is inherently cool. Don’t worry about all the great technologies that are “fabric cooling” and have other fancy marketing words.
Mattress covers promote an ideal sleep environment by keeping your mattress clean and habitable for many years to come. For example, pillow top mattresses can hide dirt, bugs, dust mites, and hair (including pets) along the stitching. If you don’t have a mattress cover to protect it, the bed can be easily compromised.
To wrap this up, think of C.A.S.E when you are ready to give that rose to your perfect mattress. If the website or retailer can’t answer these fundamental questions, you should move on until you find a mattress that is compatible with you.
- Herman Fisher | Spoon Sleep CEO & Founder