Which Mattress is Your Best Match?

46974832 - fairytale photoshoot. the princess and the pea wedding decorations.Which Mattress is Your Best Match?

I have been asked, hundreds of time throughout my career, which mattress I would recommend for my patients to sleep on. That is a tricky question. Much like shoes, and pillows, for that matter, each person has a unique shape and size, pressure sensitivity, and support preference, so there is no “one type fits all” when it comes to sleep surfaces.

If you’ve been out shopping for a mattress lately, you’ve come across a dizzying variety of options. There are ones with pillow top construction, Sleep Number® beds, cooling gel tops, Tempur-pedic® memory material, foam fabrications (of varying densities), and some which incorporate many of the above materials all rolled into one!

While there isn’t a particular right or a wrong mattress for you to buy, there are some “guidelines of support” I can offer which will help you analyze the “fit and finish” of any mattress you are looking to purchase.

First thing to consider—if you share a bed with a partner—is the weight difference between the two of you. If you and your partner are 75-100+ pounds apart in weight, then you will do best to look for a mattress with different construction, or firmness, options on the left vs. the right side of the bed. This is best accomplished in a king-sized mattress.

When “test driving” a mattress in the store, try it out in the sleep position you prefer (i.e. side lying, as opposed to back lying). Don’t be shy in front of the salesperson and rush the process. You have to live with this mattress for a very long time. Make sure you it’s a good fit for you.

Lastly, one of the most important considerations is whether or not your spine is given the support it needs to remain in a restful, neutral position while sleeping. In order for this to happen, the mattress must be structured in a way that it fills up all the “negative” space between your body’s “gaps” and the mattress. Also, you do not want it to place excessive pressure on your shoulder, hip, or back (as can happen if you are of a small build and the mattress is too firm to conform to the shape of your body).

My husband and I, being nearly 100 pounds apart in weight have very much enjoyed our “build your own” king-sized bed constructed with three layers of foam of varying densities. This way, my side of the bed is softer than his, enabling my body to conform nicely to it—all the while giving my husband’s body the firmer support he requires.

To return to previous Monday Morning Health Tips, click here.