If your mattress is starting to wear out, or if you’re waking up feeling tired and stiff or that you are not completely rested, it might be time to invest in a new mattress.

According to bed expert, Michael Robinson, and other sleep experts, buying a mattress is not only is a big ticket item when adding to your furniture collection, but also an investment that will have a major impact on your health.

But it is extremely intimidating to walk into a large retailer filled with beds. So, how do you choose the right mattress for you?
It is important to do your homework. Start by choosing a reputable retailer that has been in the market for some time and can honour guarantees. Shop for well-known brands.

Then, find out exactly what type of sleeper you are so that you can help the sales person with whom you are dealing to ‘prequalify’ you and match you to the mattress that’s best for your sleeping position and body type.

What is your preferred sleeping position?

What is your preferred sleeping position?
Your mattress should cater to your favourite sleeping position, supporting you in the right places and ensuring a healthy and supported sleep.

If you sleep on your back, you need a mattress that supports your spine and keeps it properly aligned. A firm foam or hybrid mattress is best for you.

Globally, there’s a move towards top quality high density foam mattresses which are good buys when it comes to sleep, quality and longevity. These high tech mattresses are in marked contrast to the cheap camping beds or spare mattresses of yesteryear.

Those who sleep on their sides need to alleviate the pressure this puts on their shoulders and hips. A softer memory foam with a thick layer of padding on top can give you the best combination of comfort and support.

If you sleep on your stomach, experts recommend that you try find an alternative sleeping position, as this puts unnecessary stress on your spine and can lead to back and neck pain.

For those who tend to change positions throughout the night, a medium-firm mattress will give you the support no matter how you’re sleeping. Memory foam mattresses should be avoided, as these will make changing positions tricky or less comfortable. Instead, look out for foam mattresses that respond well to movement, as well as hybrid mattresses, for both comfort and support.

Unless you have a latex allergy, latex foam mattresses are great for those who frequently change positions, as well as those looking for a cooler sleep.

What are the different types of mattresses?

Innerspring mattresses are the classic mattress of your childhood, using steel springs with various comfort layers. Even today, the majority of mattresses that leave the factory are made of springs with a little padding.

If you are looking for something more, you should look for a hybrid mattress. These combine coil springs and foam or latex, creating a blend of firm support and comfort.

As the name suggests, foam mattresses are made from foam. These range from open-cell foam for breathability and responsiveness to memory foam which contours to your body (but tend to lead to a warmer sleeping surface).

What is the firmness scale?

The firmness of a mattress is rated on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being incredibly soft and 10 being the firmest possible. While this scale provides a useful benchmark, firmness is subjective, so it’s always wise to try your mattress out before purchasing to make sure it’s right for you.

For most sleepers, a medium-firm mattress (scoring 5 – 7 on the scale) delivers the best combination of support and comfort, with some studies suggesting that medium-firm mattresses can improve your quality of sleep and minimise possible pain and discomfort.

Generally, you should aim for the firmest mattress you can find that allows a comfortable sleep. This will deliver maximum support for your spine, neck and shoulders, giving you the best chance at a healthy, good quality sleep. But, remember, that opting for a mattress that is too firm can have the opposite effect, prompting you to toss and turn as it impacts on your body’s pressure points.

Create the ultimate sleeping space with a good mattress protector

Once you’ve found the right mattress for your sleeping type, tie it all together with a good mattress protector. This will guard your new investment against spills and stains that may void the warranty, while preventing dust mites, allergens and bacteria from infesting your sleeping environment.

It will also make sure that your investment in a good bed lasts. Whilst you sleep, your skin continues to breathe and releases moisture which goes into the comfort layers of your mattress. Night in and night out, this residue will build up, not only compromising the integrity of these comfort layers but also rusting the steel springs.

The Protect-A-Bed range of mattress and pillow protectors boasts our exclusive Miracle Membrane® technology, and every one of our products is 100% waterproof while remaining 100% breathable for the perfect night’s sleep- and with built-in comfort, you’ll be carried off to dreamland in luxurious softness.

Find our full range of mattress protectors at www.protectabed.co.za.