Mattress shopping can be overwhelming. You may find it is far more expensive and time-consuming than you initially thought. How do you make the right decision?
According to the American Chiropractic Association, the best mattress will be the one that supports your body evenly and allows your spine to stay in its natural alignment. This means you have support all the way from your head to your toes, with no gaps between your body and the mattress (e.g., at your waist).
But whether this means a firm or soft mattress is a question of personal preference. You should lay down on a mattress for at least 3-5 minutes to get a good feel for its comfort – you simply cannot rush this process. People with back pain often need a mattress with firmer support, but too firm will leave many people waking up stiff and sore in the morning.
Some people find they need a new mattress if they (or a bed-mate) have had an injury or a significant weight change. Rotating and/or flipping your mattress every couple months can significantly extend the life of your mattress by distributing wear and tear more evenly, but if you are sleeping poorly or waking up in pain, it may mean it’s time to bite the bullet and consider purchasing a mattress that will better meet your needs.
Two tricks to help you determine your needs: if you put 1-2 inches of thick padding on your current mattress (you can purchase this at a mattress store) and you start feeling better, you should probably purchase a softer mattress. If you put a board under your current mattress and have decreased back pain, you probably need a firmer one. But these tricks should only be used for a couple days at most as they are not solving the root of your mattress dilemma.
For those of you mattress shopping with a spouse – be kind to one another. 🙂
Stay tuned next week for Sleep Series, Part Three: Choosing a Pillow.
Absolute Wellness Center in Eugene, OR offers chiropractic medicine, sports medicine, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, and massage. If pain or injury is decreasing your quality of sleep, give us a call at 541-484-5777.
Source: The American Chiropractic Association’s guide Healthy Living – Sleep