Rest Assured: Finding the Right Mattress

Overhauling a bedroom involves different renovations. Purchasing a new mattress is among the typical upgrades when refurbishing the bedroom.

It can be difficult to determine when it's time to buy a new mattress. An older mattress may still seem comfortable. Unlike a light bulb that burns out or an appliance that no longer works efficiently, detecting changes in mattress comfort can be a little more challenging.

Obvious signs include sagging or lumping of the mattress, creaking and unsupportive edges. However, subtle signs can be recognized by the rest a person gets -- or rather, how little rest a person gets. Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or feeling unrefreshed after awakening may be signs that it's time to replace the mattress. Back pain or stiffness can also be indicators.

Once it is determined that a new mattress is in order, individuals should purchase one that fits their sleeping needs.

Size

It's important to find the right size mattress for one's needs.

Twin and full-size mattresses should be reserved for solo sleepers, primarily children. Couples who try to squeeze onto a full mattress will definitely find themselves competing for space.

Queen mattresses are a preferred option for many couples. They can also be a good choice for single sleepers who like to sprawl out. Queen mattresses are 5 inches longer than full mattresses, making them ideal for taller people.

King mattresses are the largest of the offerings. They provide 38 inches of sleeping space per sleeper (2) in the bed. That's the equivalent of a twin mattress each. A king mattress will provide the space one needs, provided the bedroom is large enough to accommodate a king-sized bed.

Support System

Mattresses are constructed in different ways, offering different levels of comfort and durability.

Inner-spring: Several rows of coiled springs form the inner suspension of this type of mattress. Foam and padding cover the springs. Some inner-spring mattresses have an individually wrapped coil system rather than inter-connected springs. This reduces movement disturbances.

Latex and memory foam: These mattresses feature several layers of foam or latex to form the mattress. They are especially good at reducing the feeling of motion, which is a boon for couples who are often awakened by their bed partner.

Softness

Depending on the position of sleeping, certain mattresses are better than others.

Back and stomach sleepers should consider a firm mattress because they properly align the spine. Plus, firm mattresses are better for couples who share a bed and have different sleeping needs. They're firm enough for back and stomach sleepers, yet soft enough to eliminate pressure points for side sleepers.

Side sleepers may want a pillowtop mattress, which will be the softest of the options. This eliminates extra pressure in the hips and shoulders.