Nothing is more important than a good night's sleep. It is how we live from the very beginning and also how we still rotate our lives in today’s quick-paced modern world.
A good night's sleep lets us fully rejuvenate and begin the new day fresh and ready. On the contrary, a bad night's sleep will stop our bodies from recovering from yesterday's tiredness and our brains won't be able to process emotions and store memories as efficiently as they should be.
As little as one might know, one of the most important factors in a good night's sleep is a good mattress. How to find a good quality mattress, and how to maintain the mattress are of higher importance than you might think.
In this article, we will cover the topic of how to choose a good mattress and as equally important, how to preserve it well.
What should you look for in a new mattress?
Once it’s clear that you need to replace your mattress, you’re probably wondering what to consider when purchasing a new mattress. How can you make sure you get a high-quality mattress that will last a long time?
First, if you are looking for a mattress that contains foam, you should find a mattress with a higher-density foam. Ideally, a 4- to 5-lb density is what you should be looking for. Three- to 3.5-lb foams may break down more quickly, but in general, the higher density it has, the longer lasting it is.
Besides finding durable materials, you also want to make sure the mattress is a good fit for your sleeping preferences.
Here are some general guidelines:
Back sleepers will want a mattress with a balance of comfort and support. You want support but you also want your hips to sink in properly.
Side sleepers should find a softer mattress; you want a soft comfort layer to relieve pressure on your shoulders and hips.
Stomach sleepers should opt for a firmer mattress; your hips need enough support to ensure they don’t sink in when you’re stomach sleeping.
You should also think about your sleeping temperature. If you sleep hot, a hybrid mattress could be a good choice, as the coils allow for airflow. If you want an all-foam mattress, you should make sure your mattress has some cooling features to keep you from overheating while you sleep, such as a gel memory foam mattress.
Finally, you should take your size into account. If you are lighter, you might not need the support that a heavier person does. If you are heavier, you could need a thicker and firmer comfort layer so you don’t bottom out. We have discussed this point also in the article How to choose toppers based on weight and density.
We recommend memory foam mattresses and we have discussed the pros and cons of memory foam mattresses in this article An In-Depth Look into the Pros and Cons of Memory Foam Mattresses.
Next up, how to make your mattress last longer
We’ve talked about how to have a general idea of choosing your mattress, but there are also some steps you can take to ensure your mattress lasts as long as possible after purchase. You should keep these tips in mind if you want to get the most out of your mattress investment.
Use a mattress protector.
Placing a mattress protector over your mattress can be a quick way to guard against dust, mold, and mildew. Many mattress companies will even void your mattress warranty if you do not use a protector. Our 7cm topper is a perfect mattress companion whether they are old ones or new ones.
Support your mattress properly.
Without a proper foundation, a mattress will deteriorate faster than it should be. We have covered this topic also extensively here in this article, How to Choose the Bed Base - Your Bed Base Decision Guide.
Don’t hop on your bed.
While it can be fun to let the kids jump on the bed, this can damage a mattress and cut into its lifespan. Foam can start to break down more quickly and coils can also weaken with excessive force.
Keep animals out of bed.
It’s nice to spend the morning in bed with that favorite pup, but Fido can bring some not-so-cuddly friends along with him. Bugs, dirt, pollen – they can all hitch a ride on your pet and eventually reduce the lifespan of the mattress. It’s not easy, but you might have to choose between sleeping with your pet and having a longer-lasting mattress.
Don’t eat in your bed.
If you like to snack in bed, it might be time to change your ways. Food can stain your mattress, and the crumbs can invite bugs to move into your mattress. Bed bugs are the worst; they can ruin a mattress and can also be a logistical nightmare. Keeping your living space clean and free of food items can go a long way in keeping these nasty critters out of the bed.
Clean and vacuum your mattress.
If you make a mess, you should clean it immediately. Spot-clean any mattress stains using a white cloth and a simple mix of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap. Also aim to vacuum your mattress a few times a year; this can help prevent a buildup of dirt.
Rotate and flip your mattress regularly.
This doesn’t necessarily apply to mattresses with a zoned construction or layered hybrid construction. However, some standard spring mattresses should be flipped or rotated a few times a year; this can prevent your body from creating a deep impression in one spot.
Wrap your mattress in plastic when you move it.
If you need to move your mattress, make sure to wrap your mattress in plastic. If unprotected, your mattress can pick up dirt, pollen, and those nasty bed bugs on these jaunts. But, a thin sheet of plastic should protect your mattress from picking up any unwanted guests.
Finally, how to tell if your mattress is too much for its job now?
Generally speaking, you should replace your mattress if one or more of the following apply,
- It’s 6-8+ years old
- There are signs of wear and tear
- It’s noticeably saggy or damaged in certain areas
- It’s making more noise than usual
- You find that you wake up sore
- There is an increase in allergies and/or asthma
- You start to have trouble sleeping
- Or you just want to buy a new mattress
Pay attention to any signs of deterioration, including noisy or broken springs; noticeable sagging or lumpy areas; and, most especially, the quality of your sleep: If you consistently wake up tired or sore, or if you don’t feel rested in the morning, it may be time to replace your mattress. In general, as your mattress ages, be on the lookout for the following red flags that signal that it’s time to go mattress shopping.
In the next article, we will analyze for you all the signals when your mattress is retiring.