Choosing a mattress can be a stressful and time-consuming mission. There’s a glut of information out there, and only so many hours in the day to read and research. Now more than ever, we all want to be conscious, informed consumers. We want to be able to make the correct decision after reviewing all of the facts at hand, but the truth is that this goal is hard to accomplish with information spread out across the internet and becoming increasingly harder to find. After all, everyone has differing wants and needs when it comes to the ideal mattress. We’ve all had the experience of sleeping at a friend or family member’s house only to have a truly awful night’s sleep on a mattress the other person loves. For this reason, we’ve created a mattress buying guide to help break down the jargon and take the hassle out of choosing a mattress that’s right for each person.
The first step in demystifying the mattress buying process is to designate the most important features of a potential future mattress and, also, to consider different aspects of how one prefers to sleep. For instance, certain mattresses might be much better suited for side sleepers versus stomach sleepers or back sleepers. Some of us are known as “human furnaces,” seemingly radiating heat as soon as we fall asleep. Still, others might be fidgety while asleep, unwittingly bothering our partners throughout the night. There are multiple factors that go into a good mattress, but picking the right one doesn’t have to be scary. If anything, defining the elements of a dream sleep scenario will help to narrow down the search. Sleep is fundamental to our overall health and wellbeing, it helps our bodies to fight off disease and keeps our minds sharp and focused. The last thing we want is for a mattress to get in the way of a healthy night’s sleep.
Evolution of the Mattress
We’ve already established that the world of mattress buying is an intimidating place, but it doesn’t have to be. The next step is to identify the different types of mattresses out there, and how each one stacks up in areas like comfort, firmness, and, of course, cost-effectiveness. Early mattresses were stuffed with straw or down and placed on wooden beds. It wasn’t until the 19th century that coil springs were first paired with mattresses, eventually leading to the modern innerspring mattress, which would come to change consumers’ expectations around mattresses forever. While the innerspring mattress remains in use to this day, there are a number of reasons why one might want to avoid a true spring coil mattress. For starters, they’re known for being a little noisy. Especially if one is sharing a bed with a partner, the creaks and dings of the coils as we move around in our sleep have the potential to disturb the other person. A new innerspring mattress is well-known for offering excellent support, but as they age, these mattresses can actually come to increase back pain.
The Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam mattresses (also known as viscoelastic polyurethane foam) entered the market in the early 1990s, and remain a top choice among sleepers everywhere to this day. The memory foam mattress was invented by NASA in the 1970s. This technology was originally intended to be used in the seat cushioning of aircrafts but was released to the public in the following decade. Why exactly was memory foam so revolutionary? Well, unlike a coil spring mattress, memory foam mattresses yield to the pressure points of the body, like the shoulders and hips, contouring around and cushioning them as we sleep. For side sleepers especially, this allows for a far more comfortable night’s sleep. Especially for those who experience shoulder pain related to side sleeping or back pain, a memory foam mattress like the Yogabed mattress can ease those aches and pains by responding to both the pressure and heat of the body as it presses against this specially formulated foam.
Features of a Memory Foam Mattress
In terms of firmness, memory foam mattresses can fall anywhere from soft to medium-firm, depending on the type of foam used throughout the different layers in the mattress. For many, the characteristic “sink” of a foam mattress is part of its appeal. Those who cherish the feeling of cloud-like softness will definitely enjoy sleeping on memory foam. Side sleepers who may not particularly love a mattress that’s too soft should look out for medium-firm memory foam mattresses that offer excellent support, while still maintaining the signature pressure relief that distinguishes them from the rest. These mattresses are also ideal for anyone who sleeps with another human or a furry friend, as memory foam is known for absorbing motion, thereby leading to a night of undisturbed sleep. Depending on foam density, the average lifespan of a memory foam mattress can range anywhere from 8 to 10 years, with a high-density foam lasting the absolute longest. They’re known for lasting longer than most innerspring mattresses, making memory foam a welcome investment for most people. Due to their longer lifespan, however, memory foam mattresses are often on the pricier side, ending up between mid-tier and luxury on the price point scale.
To review, memory foam mattresses are:
- Excellent for side sleepers and those suffering from back pain
- Soft to medium in firmness
- Longer lasting, remaining in great condition for up to 10 years
- Priced higher than other mattresses, considered a mid-tier or luxury buy
The Hybrid Mattress
What’s a hybrid mattress? At its most basic, a hybrid mattress is simply a mattress that combines two or more different forms of mattress types into one. Typically, the hybrid model uses foam and either innerspring or wrapped coils together to create a medium-firm mattress. The memory foam usually sits at the top of the mattress, while the springs are underneath, offering support and cutting down on sinkage. Perfect for side sleepers who like more support in a mattress, but still require that little bit of give that memory foam tends to provide. Hybrid mattresses were created so that one can enjoy the best of both worlds, and it remains one of the reasons why they’re so popular among modern mattress shoppers. For couples with different firmness needs, they can be a great compromise, simultaneously offering a soft top with firm support from the base. Also, a hybrid mattress is an excellent choice for any position sleeper, another reason for its popularity among couples.
Important Hybrid Mattress Characteristics
Price wise, the hybrid mattress is most likely to fall in the mid-tier to luxury range. This is due to the fact that a hybrid will consist of more materials overall. The upside is that these mattresses last up to 10 years, on average. The better the quality of the springs and foam used to create the mattress, the longer it will last. Since the foam top will take the pressure off of the coils, they’re likely to last longer than an innerspring mattress might. However, because there still are coil springs in the mattress, there is always the possibility that it will become squeaky over time or even lose its tension. The positives outweigh the risks with the hybrid mattress, though. Considering its ability to perform well for a variety of sleeping positions, from side sleepers to back sleepers to stomach sleepers, and lands in that medium-firm sweet spot, it really is the perfect mattress for most.
About hybrid mattresses, keep in mind that they’re:
- Ideal for all sleep positions
- Able to last from 8-10 years
- At a mid-tier to luxury price point
The Copper-Infused Mattress
In addition to the innerspring, memory foam, and hybrid mattress options, there’s also the copper-infused mattress to think about. Available as both a copper-infused hybrid mattress and a copper-infused memory foam mattress, potential mattress buyers might want to think about the benefits of copper when applied to mattress composition before making a final decision. The first thing to know is that copper has well-documented antimicrobial properties, a fact that was known even in ancient times. According to the Applied and Environmental Microbiology Journal, “Bacteria, yeasts, and viruses are rapidly killed on metallic copper surfaces, and the term "contact killing" has been coined for this process.” Due to copper’s ability to kill germs on contact, it has been incorporated in the construction of surfaces in hospitals and other medical settings. Copper is also a fantastic thermal conductor, meaning that it has the ability to keep the body cool throughout the night when used in a mattress. Since a typical memory foam mattress can often become warm as the body heats up during sleep, the addition of this mineral in the copper foam mattress, including the copper-infused hybrid mattress, creates a cooling effect perfect for sleepers who run hot at night.
To summarize, copper-infused mattresses are:
- Excellent for sleepers who run hot at night
- Antimicrobial, copper has been shown to kill most germs on contact
- Soft to medium-firm depending on whether one chooses a copper-infused hybrid or foam mattress
- Mid-tier to luxury in price
Why Choose a Bed-in-a-Box?
It may seem antithetical to how mattresses are meant to be chosen. After all, aren’t we supposed to go to the mattress store and lay down on every mattress until we find the one we love? Thanks to the wonders of online shopping, we’re no longer tied down to only the mattresses available in our local shops. With the creation of the bed-in-a-box model, anyone can buy a great mattress and have it shipped straight to their door. The beautiful part of these mattresses is that you don’t necessarily have to be home when it arrives at your door. The mattress is manufactured to fit, rolled up, inside a box that is easily shipped around the country, and easy to move for just about anyone. You simply remove the mattress from its box inside the room it will be used in and wait for the mattress to expand to its full size. This is ideal for anyone moving to a new location who doesn’t want the stress of moving a giant mattress with them, or anyone eager for the convenience and simplicity of the bed-in-a-box mattress. Through plenty of research and combing through reviews, mattress hunters are now able to find the right mattress.
Outside of eating and drinking plenty of water, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do to take charge of your health and wellbeing. Perhaps for this very reason, many mattress shoppers find the process to be stress-inducing. Thanks to our guide, we hope our readers feel a bit more prepared to find their perfect mattress. Remember, so often good sleep is subjective! A comfortable mattress is going to look different for each individual person. Whether one runs hot or cold at night, different sleeping positions, personal preferences, and budgets are all going to play a significant factor in the mattress we ultimately end up buying and loving. Thanks to our bed-in-a-box mattresses, anyone can purchase a Yogasleep mattress that fits their needs, and have it shipped to their home. Before our mattress buyers start stressing about the perfect sheets to go with that brand new mattress, might we suggest these best-selling Luxe Cotton Sheets?
Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your sleep, please contact your health provider.