That’s why we created The Ultimate Mattress Buying Guide. This guide will help take the guesswork out of the mattress buying process.

We’ll walk you through the process of choosing the right mattress for your sleep style, as well as what to look for in a mattress store.

We’ll also take a look at the factors that affect your quality of sleep and why it’s important to
get good sleep in the first place.

So here’s to you for taking the first step toward better sleep, better health, and a better you.

 

Everyone knows that sleep is important. But do you know WHY sleep matters?

Sleep plays a critical role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Scientists have discovered that sleep plays a vital role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions. Getting enough good quality sleep can help protect your mental health, physical health, and quality of life.

How you feel, and how well you function during the day is directly related to the amount and quality of sleep you get at night. Getting restful sleep increases your attention span during the day, helps you make better decisions, and enhances your learning ability and problem-solving skills. It also has a profound positive effect on your mood, impulse control, and social interactions.

Most people don’t get enough sleep. However, lack of sleep – more specifically, lack of quality sleep – can have severe consequences. Studies show that sleep-deprived people have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling emotions and behavior,and coping with change.

The immediate e ects of lack of sleep include:

Poor judgement

Lack of sleep can affect our interpretation of events. This hurts our ability to make sound judgments because we may not assess situations accurately and act on them wisely.

Sleep-deprived people seem to be especially prone to poor judgment when it comes to assessing what lack of sleep is doing to them. In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honor. But sleep specialists say if you think you’re doing fine on less sleep, you’re probably wrong. And if you work in a profession where it’s important to be able to judge your level of functioning, this can be a big problem.

Irritable mood

over time, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression. In a 2005 Sleep in America poll, people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night.

The most common sleep disorder, insomnia, has the strongest link to depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of depression.

Insomnia and depression feed on each other. Sleep loss often aggravates the symptoms of depression, and depression can make it more difficult to fall asleep. On the positive side, treating sleep problems can help depression and its symptoms, and vice versa

Diffculty learning and retaining information

Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently

Chronic sleep deprivation, or not getting good quality sleep over a sustained length of time, can contribute to serious health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and even early death.

Sleep deprivation has also been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

 

THE DANGERS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries, and over 1,500 deaths in each year

For optimal health, most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Moreover, recent research by Sleep to Live shows that simply “getting more sleep” will not success. You need to have good quality, restorative sleep for optimal health and quality of life.

In order to get that good restorative sleep, you must first understand your physical and environmental needs. While your own individual sleep needs will be unique to you, there are some general principles that apply to most everyone.

When it comes to getting the right amount of quality sleep at night, there are three factors you need to consider:

HOW YOU SLEEP

  • Your sleep position will influence what type of mattress and pillow is best for you.
  • Do you sleep on your side, your back, or your stomach?

  • Finding the right mattress for your sleep type will help tremendously in improving your quality of sleep.

  • Other sleep factors to consider are your typical sleep and wake times, when and how often you exercise, your bedtime routine, the number of times you awake at night, how you feel upon waking, and your partner’s sleep habits.

  • All of these factors can influence not only how much sleep you get at night but also the quality of that sleep.

WHERE YOU SLEEP

  • Your sleep environment contributes greatly to your sleep quality
  • Is your mattress comfortable and supportive?

  •  Is there clutter or other distractions, like a pile of unfinished work, in your bedroom that might be keeping you awake?

  • Is your bedroom environment conducive to good sleep? It’s best to keep your bedroom clutter-free, and cool, dark, and quiet at night.

  • And keep electronic devices, like TVs, com- putters, and cell phones, out of the bedroom. The light they emit can disrupt normal sleep patterns.

HEALTH FACTORS THAT AFFECT SLEEP

  • Many different health factors can affect the quality of your sleep.
  • For example, sleep apnea, shift work disorder, allergies, asthma, stress, anxiety, circulatory problems, aches, and pains.

    Moreover, poor sleep can exacerbate these conditions.

The National Institutes of Health suggests that school-age children need at least10 hours of sleep daily, teens need 9-10 hours, and adults need 7-8 hours.

When you first walk into a mattress store, at first glance, it may appear that all the mattresses are the same. After all, they’re just a bunch of white rectangles that you sleep on, right?

How different could each one be?

The fact is that not all mattresses are created equal. There are several different types and sizes of mattresses. Mattresses are made of different materials and are constructed using different methods.

The key to getting a good night’s sleep is to find the mattress that best suits your sleep style and that best meets your sleep needs

Mattresses are made of two main layers

Support Layer – Also called the mattress core, the support layer is the bottom layer of the mattress. It helps keep your spine in alignment while you sleep, by controlling how far different parts of your body sink down into the mattress.

Comfort Layer – The comfort layer consists of the upper few inches of the mattress. It helps provide pressure relief by cradling your body while you sleep.

When we refer to the mattress type, we’re generally talking about the primary material that makes up the mattress support layer.

However, as in the case of hybrid mattresses, the support layer is not the only defining characteristic

The most common mattress types include

Innerspring mattresses gained widespread use in the U.S. in the 1930s, and they are still the most popular mattress type sold today. The traditional innerspring mattress, typically sold with a box spring, features a core made of steel coil springs that are connected by a strong border wire, or encased in fabric, and topped with an upholstery comfort layer.

Coil counts, gauge, and tempering aren’t considered major factors like they used to be when choosing an innerspring.

But at a minimum, select 300 coils for a full, 375 for a queen, and 450 for a king mattress.

What matters more when buying an innerspring mattress is whether the mattress has edge support, which will help the mattress retain its shape by reducing sinking on the outer edge.

There are two basic types of innerspring Mattress

BONNELL COIL

An hourglass-shaped coil that is spring-knotted at each end, usually less expensive than other coil systems. This is the oldest type of mattress coil, and is generally used in more economical mattresses.

POCKETED COIL

A grouping of independent coils that are individually encased in fabric pockets. Pocketed coils allow independent coil movement, decreased motion disturbance, and enhanced body conformance.

Many mattresses contain foam for added comfort. There are two main types of foam mattresses

POLYFOAM

This type of foam is made to compress under pressure. It will not conform to your body in the way that memory foam does. That’s why it’s primarily used as a mattress support layer rather than a comfort layer

MEMORY FOAM

This type of foam is designed to soften under pressure or heat. Memory foam responds to the weight and heat of your body, offering excellent body conformance. Memory foam is often used as both a mattress support layer and comfort layer.

When it comes to buying a foam mattress, density is the key consideration. The firmness

of the foam has nothing to do with the quality of the foam. When shopping for a foam mattress, you need to ask what the density of the foam is. Denser foam mattresses will typically feel firmer and last longer, but they will also cost more.

For high-quality memory foam, look for density levels over 1.81437 Kg/m. per cubic foot, with. being low density and 6 lbs. being high density. For standard polyfoam, a density of 0.81Kg/m pounds or more is considered a high-density foam, and less than 0.81Kg/m is a low-density foam.

Memory foam has a reputation for “sleeping hot.”

However, memory foam was revolutionized in the 90s with the infusion of cool gel after some sleepers protested that the mattress retained too much heat.

If you prefer a foam mattress but tend to sleep hot, you may want to consider a foam mattress with a gel-infused memory foam comfort layer.

Made by processing naturally existing rubber, latex mattresses offer a naturally supportive, breathable, and eco-friendlier core.

Latex relieves pressure points much like memory foam, but air moves through latex better than through memory foam, making latex much cooler to sleep on.

Latex is a naturally occurring form of rubber. It’s used in many different products like gloves, balloons and mattresses. When used in a mattress it has a buoyant feeling while still providing necessary support. Traditional innerspring or memory foam mattresses can’t match this feeling while still being supportive

MANUFACTURERS UTILIZE TWO PROCESSES TO PRODUCE LATEX

DUNLOP

In this traditional technique, which has been in use since 1929, liquid latex is “whipped” with air until it becomes wet foam. Then it is poured into a mold, hardened, and vulcanized. Dunlop latex feels firmer and may be slightly more durable than Talalay latex.

TALALAY

A newer process that has a couple more steps than the Dunlop technique. With the Talalay process, wet latex foam is poured into a mold, leaving air or space at the top of it. The mold is sealed and vacuumed to remove the air, causing the foam to expand and fill the space inside. The mold is then frozen and quickly vulcanized to lock in the expanded foam structure. Talalay latex has a softer, springier, more elastic feel

Natural Latex

Natural latex provides optimal elasticity, softness, and biodegrade- ability, but is less commonly used and more expensive than synthetic.

SYNTHETIC LATEX

Synthetic latex, or blended latex, combines natural latex for elasticity and synthetic latex for consistency and durability.

  • Because it’s a natural substance, the purity and quality of latex may vary between manufacturers, and even between mattresses.

  • Latex mattresses made with “fillers,” or tiny particles of clay and other materials mixed into the foam, will cost less but will also be stiffer and less durable. The term “pure latex” often indicates higher quality latex without fillers, but it may be made from either synthetic or natural latex.

  •  Most latex mattresses contain 1to4 layers of materials. Sometimes the layers contain polyurethane foam or memory foam too.

  •  No latex mattress can be100% natural because minimal mounts of sulfur or other additives must be used to process the rubber. Always ask what percentage of the latex is natural versus synthetic.