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How to choose the right mattress

August 29, 2008
Provided by eHow
Good health and sleep are closely linked. Just as we improve our eating habits for better health, we should also improve our sleeping habits for better health. Sleep debt is a costly problem in our society, both fiscally and mentally.

Four out of every five people suffer from back pain, and studies show we are not as productive or safe when we do not get enough rest. Back pain comes as a close second to the common cold as the most frequent cause of lost work time.

Sleep should be a priority and not just a negotiable need that is determined by our busy schedules. Good sleep not only lessens back problems but helps us prepare for a more productive, alert and safe day ahead.

The biggest mattress myth

The old adage “harder is better” is truly a myth. No single sleep surface is right for everyone. Therefore, a store that carries a varied selection of comfort levels is a good place to start.

Such variables as body temperature, sleep position and lighting should be taken into account. Mattresses come in various comfort levels (plush, pillowtop, etc), and those are different from support levels. Support level has to do with the coil count and coil construction. The proper support may be achieved in all of the different comfort levels.

Whether you are a stomach, back or side sleeper (or a combination) will determine the comfort level you will sleep longer and better on. And that is the goal.

The quality of fabric and different foams used should also be taken into consideration.

It is important to find a mattress with edgeguard because it gives you more mattress surface to actually sleep on. You might as well use all of it since you are paying for all of it!

Everyone has natural curves in their back. Usually, the harder the surface the more the back has to drop out of alignment to meet the mattress.

The optimal mattress has enough padding to support your back without allowing it to drop out of its natural alignment. A plush mattress with good support will do just that.


Most people sleep about one-third of their life. What else do you do for that amount of time that affects the other two-thirds of your life?

We think nothing of spending $300 on a DVD player that comes with a one-year warranty and that, if you are lucky, will last five years.

But many people think it is appalling to spend $600 to $700 on a new queen-size mattress that comes with a 10-year nonprorates warranty and will easily last 10 years.

This same mattress, if picked properly, will give you many nights of great sleep and ultimately better, more productive days, too.

Many will pay up to 40 percent more for a new car than they did a decade ago, yet these same people expect to pay the $299.99 prices of a decade ago when it comes to buying a new mattress.

Value is relative, but when you think of using an item every day, 265 days a year for 10 years, a good quality mattress for, say, $700 is costing you a little less than 22 cents per day.

Shopping for the best value doesn’t mean finding the lowest price. Bargain bedding is no bargain when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep.

Are you the type of person who will spend $150 on running shoes that you wear three or four times a week but is only willing to spend $330 on a mattress that you sleep on eight hours a night for 10 years?

Bottom line: If you aren’t satisfied with your current bedding and sleep comfort, there is a proper support mattress out there for you in your price range.

And remember: How you sleep at night generally determines how you will feel during the day.

Fact Box

Some points to keep in mind while shopping
¯Find a retailer who offers a choice of manufacturers
¯Pick a mattress manufacturer known for quality
¯Proper support with high-coil count will allow your back to stay in comfortable alignment all night. Memory foam or latex mattresses conform exactly to your body shape, relieving pressure and promoting deep-REM sleep.
¯Mattresses come in plush, pillowtop, ultra plush, ultra-plush pillowtop, firm and cushion firm, and all can have the same proper support.
¯The best foundation is a box spring with a steel center beam and cross rails of steel and wood or a solid wood foundation for memory foam and latex.
¯Once you choose a comfort level, you’ll want to choose the best mattress in that level that you can afford.



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