A good night’s sleep recharges our body and mind, but one of the critical components of getting quality shut-eye is understanding how to choose a mattress based on your sleep position, body weight, whether you sleep hot, etc. While a new bed can indeed be quite expensive, it’s a worthwhile investment that can improve your sleep, and therefore your health.
Difference Between Mattress Types
If you’ve already started your search for a new mattress, you’ve undoubtedly realized that there are many options. It’s best to begin by narrowing things down to a specific category, as nearly every option falls into one of the following mattress types:
- Memory foam mattresses
- Polyurethane foam mattresses
- Hybrid mattresses
- Latex foam mattresses
- Innerspring mattress es
Innerspring mattresses tend to be the best known and were once the standard for all beds. However, lately, many foam mattresses have become popular, as have some more obscure mattress types.
These new mattress varieties, such as foam and hybrid mattresses, have come to prominence mainly because the materials they are constructed from offer proper support and better sleep quality to more sleeper types than innerspring beds.
Furthermore, with the expansion of the online mattress market, they’ve also become more affordable and accessible. The foam beds’ price range now includes both cheaper mattresses, and the best mattress money can buy.
Knowing the fundamentals of each design will help you continue your quest of learning how to choose a mattress type to get the sleep you so desperately need.
These mattresses don’t have coils and are entirely constructed of multiple foam layers. Their primary advantages are as follows:
- They can accommodate above-average body contouring.
- They offer pressure relief.
- They provide motion isolation in most sleeping positions.
Therefore, they’re ideal for side sleepers and couples (i.e., those who usually need twin mattresses or a king-size mattress). The most utilized material in these types of mattresses is polyurethane foam, but memory foam and latex mattresses are also fairly popular.
For example, polyurethane mattresses are softer than innerspring mattresses but firmer and bouncier than memory foam ones. However, they don’t offer as much motion isolation as a memory foam bed would.
Also, hot sleepers might find a foam mattress counterproductive to their sleep quality, as these beds gain and retain heat more easily than a spring mattress (provided the former doesn’t have some cooling features, like a layer of gel on top).
Finally, both memory foam and polyurethane beds are made from synthetic materials, while latex mattresses represent a natural option, made from the rubber tree’s sap. Unfortunately, this organic mattress type also has a higher price range than other foam options, as discussed below.
A hybrid mattress includes two main components: A foam comfort system surrounding an innerspring support core. The layers are commonly made up of latex, poly or memory foam, and occasionally a shorter coil layer (micro-coils).
Some consider hybrids the best types of mattresses, as they offer low heat retention, but provide bounce, and contouring. Depending on how they’re constructed, they’re even suitable for combination sleepers, i.e., people who don’t hold a single position during the night.
Latex is a form of rubber. This mattress can be made with different types of latex, such as blended, synthetic, or natural. Furthermore, these beds can be made using only latex, other foams, or latex foam layers over top of supportive coils.
The key features of these mattresses are:
- Superior responsiveness
- Moderate contouring
These mattresses are beloved among environmentally conscious consumers because a natural latex foam bed is long-lasting and eco-friendly.
What’s more, they provide better pressure relief because, unlike memory foam mattresses, which mould to your body because of your body heat, latex beds mould based on your body weight and features. This allows them to spring back faster and provide better support for pressure points, preventing back pain and ensuring a good night’s sleep.
If you want a firmer mattress with good edge support, an innerspring mattress is a traditional way to go. These beds are made up of a coil-based support system along with a few more layers.
However, while making a mattress type comparison, we found that, although an innerspring mattress can provide some support, pressure relief is lacking compared to its foam counterparts.
Furthermore, their motion isolation is also limited, and their sleeping surface is bouncy, which might not be ideal for those used to a soft mattress. Innerspring mattresses are more popular among budget customers due to their lower price range.
However, if you sleep hot, you might prefer this option to a foam or hybrid mattress, as the springs-and-canvas beds don’t gain and retain heat nearly as much as the former options, especially a memory foam mattress.
This mattress’s support core consists of air chambers that can be inflated or deflated by its built-in pump at the push of a button. Therefore, you can adjust the firmness of either side of the bed simply by using a remote control or your smartphone.
However, it will never provide as much pressure relief or sleep quality as an innerspring mattress, hybrid mattress, or even a memory foam bed.
On the plus side, an airbed is rather appealing to couples who each enjoy different mattress comfort types, so if you’re set on this bed type, you can find a king-size mattress of this type.
A solid foam or wooden frame houses this water-filled “mattress.” Waterbeds can heat or cool the water to your preferred temperature, and they’re more bouncy yet softer than a traditional mattress. However, this is not exactly a supportive mattress, as it moulds to your body completely and often provides too much bounce.
If you’re wondering how to choose a mattress to help with body aches and pains, one of the things to know is that waterbeds can provide significant benefits for lower back pain compared to hard spring mattresses, but not as much as a memory foam mattress.
Also, remember that waterbeds require frequent maintenance and patching because they can easily be punctured and have been known to leak.
There is no perfect mattress for everyone in terms of firmness. We’ll use a mattress firmness scale from one to ten to compare options. The chart below will reveal the feel of each bed and which type of sleeper will find it most suitable.
|Scale||Mattresses Firmness Rating||Best for|
|2||Extra-soft||Side sleepers weighing less than 58 kg|
|3||Soft||Side sleepers weighing less than 58 kg|
|4||Medium-soft||Sleepers weighing less than 58 kg or side sleepers weighing less than 104 kg|
|5||Medium||58 kg–104 kg side and back sleepers|
|6||Medium-firm||Sleepers weighing 58 kg to 104 kg or side sleepers weighing more than 104 kg|
|7||Firm||Side sleepers weighing more than 104 kg or back and stomach sleepers weighing more than 58 kg|
|8-9||Extra-firm||Over 104 kg back and stomach sleepers|
While the mattress firmness chart shows which weight and sleep position may best interact with each option, keep in mind that comfort is a matter of personal preference and the same mattress won’t necessarily feel the same to everyone.
For instance, some people enjoy lying on firmer foam, while others want softer mattresses, or prefer the medium firmness and cooling features of a hybrid mattress. At the same time, some sleepers may be influenced by other factors, such as hip or back trouble.
When considering mattress comfort levels and which firmness level is suitable, there are several things you can do to determine which type is for you.
First, think about your sleep position and weight, and then consider whether you’ve ever found yourself wanting a firmer or softer mattress when sleeping on your existing bed.
Lastly, you can go to a nearby mattress store and test different types of mattress firmness for yourself. We recommend that you lay on each bed for 10-15 minutes to get a true sense of how comfy it is.
How to Choose a Mattress Based on Sleeping Positions
It’s important to consider what position you’re in when you first lay down to go to sleep, as well as how you’re positioned when you wake up.
These habits can give you valuable information about how to shop for a mattress. Depending on your sleeping posture, different body parts require extra support to preserve spinal alignment.
As a result, learning what mattress to buy to fit your sleeping posture can help improve comfort and reduce aches and pains.
People who sleep on their backs put the most pressure on the base of their spine. When a mattress is overly soft, the torso sinks into the bed more than the lower body and upper back, causing a U-shape that can cause discomfort and back pain.
At the same time, an overly stiff mattress will not adequately support the slight curve of the lower back. Therefore, if you are interested in some tips for buying a new mattress, remember that a medium-firm mattress with modest-to-medium contouring is recommended for back sleepers.
Side sleepers’ main pressure points are the widest areas of the body, such as the hips and shoulders. If you sleep on a mattress that is too soft, those areas will be out of alignment with the other parts of your spine.
On the other hand, if the mattress is too firm, these points will likely be misaligned. Therefore, side sleepers interested in how to pick the right mattress should know that they will benefit from a bed with medium firmness (medium-soft to medium-firm).
Stomach sleepers are similar to back sleepers in that they place the most strain on the lower back. So, if you’re a stomach sleeper and want to know how to choose a new mattress, remember that a firm mattress is the best choice for you.
Combination sleepers are those who tend to shift through multiple positions during the night. They should choose a mattress according to their preferred sleeping position.
If they don’t have a preferred sleeping position, their best option is medium-firm. They should also search for a flexible mattress that allows for effortless bed mobility and motion isolation if they share their bed.
Mattress Pricing Guide
A comfortable bed is a crucial investment for your health and well-being. So, when learning how to shop for a mattress, you need to figure out what price a new mattress is worth.
As many mattress comparison guides indicate, the price range for beds includes low-cost models to six-figure designer options. However, the latter is the exception, as most mattresses cost between $700 and $3,000.
|Type of mattress||The average price range for a Queen||Popular models’ prices|
Every mattress construction comparison shows that mattress brands with multiple features and supreme durability are usually more expensive. However, a pricey mattress does not always equal a better one, which is excellent news for individuals on a tight budget.
Mattress prices are influenced by several factors, including:
Some materials, like natural latex, are more expensive. Furthermore, when making a mattress materials comparison, remember that using hand-crafted, organic, high-end, or otherwise unique materials will raise a mattress’s price.
The manner in which a mattress is constructed has an impact on its cost. Generally speaking, thicker beds with more layers are known as the best mattresses and are more expensive.
As with most consumer products, companies that strive to be luxury mattress brands charge extra. That means their price range won’t only be affected by the quality of materials used, the pressure relief a bed affords, etc., but you’ll also be paying for owning a product with their names.
Where It’s Made
One thing is for sure: If a mattress is entirely constructed in Canada, it will likely cost more than those built overseas.
Where It’s Sold
When thinking about how to select a mattress, it’s good to know that online purchases can save you money. But if you prefer to buy a mattress in-store, you’ll benefit from getting to test it out and using your bargaining skills to maybe lower the price, even.
Although it can be costly, every guide to buying a mattress agrees that investing in a good quality bed that’s comfortable and durable is a worthwhile venture. A quality mattress will benefit your health and last longer, meaning you won’t have to buy another one for years.
Final Words on How to Shop for a Mattress
Mattresses aren’t designed to last forever. So when you feel your quality of sleep start to deteriorate, or your current mattress is more than eight years old, it might be time to purchase a new one.
When it comes to what to look for in a good mattress, it’s imperative to find one that has the correct firmness and is made from the materials that best suit you. We hope that with the help of our mattress selection guide, you’re now inspired to find the mattress of your dreams.
How do I choose the right mattress?
Finding the best mattress takes time and effort, but it is certainly well worth it. All mattress-buying guidelines suggest you focus on what you need to feel comfortable for your specific body type. If you do so, you’ll find a new mattress that is the perfect fit for you.
How firm should my mattress be?
The firmness of a mattress significantly impacts how comfortable or supported you feel while sleeping. Regarding how to choose mattress firmness, just remember that a rigid design is recommended for stomach and back sleepers, heavier people, hot sleepers, and those with mobility problems.
Most mattress softness guides claim that this firmness is ideal for side sleepers, individuals with back problems, those who want to sink into their mattresses, and couples.
What kind of mattress do I need depending on my sleeping position?
A firm foam or hybrid mattress is the best option if you are a back sleeper. Side sleepers, on the other hand, need softer beds, like memory foam or pillow-top mattresses.
In contrast, stomach sleepers require a firm hybrid or foam construction. Finally, if you are a combination sleeper wondering how to choose a mattress, keep in mind that a medium-firm mattress is your best bet.