The Sleep Council continues with its Sleeptember sleep awareness campaign, and we continue bringing you information about how you can get a better night’s sleep! Your mattress is obviously very important to how well you sleep, and you need to make sure you have one that suits you as an individual. But do you know how to test out a potential purchase? Our staff are always happy to help, but here are some things you should keep in mind:
1) Remember that many things that seem like hard-and-fast rules for mattress purchase don’t apply to everybody. For instance, you may have heard that a firmer mattress is more supportive. However, if you’re a light person, the weight of your shoulders and hips will not put enough pressure on a firm mattress, meaning the lumbar region of your back (where your spine curves inwards) won’t be supported at all. Every person is different and has different needs.
2) Think about your requirements before you go to test mattresses out — will you be sharing the bed with a partner? Are you suffering from back pain? Giving this information to our staff will help them to narrow down potential choices and point you in the right direction.
3) Go for the highest quality bed that you can afford. It’s one of the best things you can invest in — the average person spends a third of their life in bed and sleep is vital to your wellbeing. Additionally, the better quality a mattress is, the longer it will last.
4) Don’t go to test out mattresses when you’re very tired. You won’t get anywhere if they all feel great because you need to sleep. Besides, there are things that might not occur to you when you’re tired that could factor into your decision.
5) Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes when going to test mattresses, remove your shoes, and ask a member of staff for a pillow. You want to mimic the conditions you’d usually sleep in as closely as possible.
6) If you do share a bed with a partner, make sure that you both go to test the bed out. Something that’s comfortable for one of you might not be comfortable for the other. If you really can’t reach an agreement, remember that you can get custom-made mattresses with different tensions on each side.
7) Another one for couples: when testing the bed for size, lie side by side and put your hands behind your head with your elbows sticking out. Your elbows shouldn’t touch your partner’s or hang off the edge of the bed. You should also each try rolling over and getting off and on the bed while the other lies still to see how much it causes the mattress to move and how much the movement affects you both.
8) Allow yourself plenty of time to test out mattresses. You won’t be able to tell if one is suitable just by lying on it for a few seconds, so put aside any self-consciousness and make sure you lie on it for at least ten minutes and in all the positions you regularly sleep in. Check you can also move comfortably between sleeping positions.
9) On a mattress that properly supports you, the curve of your spine should be aligned. There should be no uncomfortable pressure under your hips and shoulders, and they shouldn’t sink too heavily into the mattress. If you’re lying on your back, the inward curve of your spine should be firmly in contact with the mattress, but you should be able to slide your hand under your back. Likewise the inward curve above your hip if you’re lying on your side.
10) Take into account other factors as well — does the mattress need flipping, or just rotating? How heavy is it? Will it be easy to manoeuvre? These are things that you should consider in order to make sure you’re getting a mattress that suits you.
We hope this helps as you search for a new mattress. Remember that a good starting point is online browsing — our comprehensive filter system makes it more easy to search through the choices available to you.