Written by Sarah Rodrigues
We all know how important getting a good night’s sleep is - and we spend an incredible one-third of our lives in bed in pursuit of this - but, as much as we may avoid caffeine after a certain time, dim the lights, and run a warm bath, there’s one thing that we often overlook, and it’s the biggest thing of all: our mattress.
According to The Sleep Council, we should be replacing our mattresses every 7 years.
Appearances can be deceptive; even if they look to be in good condition on the outside, their inner wear and tear is likely to mean that you’re not getting the support you need. The result? A night’s sleep that’s not as restful and restorative as our fast-paced lives require.
That said, mattresses aren’t inexpensive, so it’s essential that we choose the one that’s right for our needs! Many people mistakenly believe that a mattress has to be firm, but really, this will depend on individual factors like your weight: the lighter you are, the less tension you need. Here are some of the options available:
Memory foam mattresses (the squishy one)
This modern addition to the mattress market is made of a material that moulds to the shape of your body, and responds to and absorbs your weight, therefore taking the pressure off your joints.
It also keeps your spine aligned, even when you lie on your side, making it ideal for those who suffer from a bad back or other aches and pains.
Downside? Memory foam isn’t very breathable, so you may get a little hot in the night.
Open spring mattresses (the occasional-use one)
These tend to be a popular option, as they’re fairly inexpensive - but unfortunately, this is a reflection on the quality of the support they give.
They contain one long piece of wire formed into a number of springs and coils, as well as a piece of wire around the border to keep the edges in shape.
They’re not a bad option for occasional use - a spare room for example, and are also worth considering for a toddler bed, which will only be used short-term.
Pocket spring mattresses (the responsive one)
Each pocket of this type of mattress contains its own individual spring, with the result that much more support is offered than in an open spring variety, because each spring is able to move and respond to your weight and shape.
This also makes them a good choice for bed-sharers, as each side of the mattress can respond to your different physical makeups.
Other benefits? The natural materials used in their composition are good for regulating temperature, and you can buy them in a variety of firmnesses to suit your preference.
Latex mattresses (the springy one)
These are similar to memory foam in terms of support but tend to be a little more springy.
If you opt for natural, rather than synthetic latex, you’ll also benefit from the avoidance of “sleep health” issues like dust mites and bacteria.
And although the hefty price tag attached to such options may seem daunting, bear in mind that this type of mattress should last you upwards of 13 years.