Beds are the foundation of our lives. A huge portion of our wellbeing and health comes from sleeping. When we do not sleep well, we end up with a variety of different health problems, either mental or physical.

Choosing the appropriate mattress for your perfect sleep can seem tricky. Mattresses come in different levels of firmness. If you do not choose the correct firmness for your needs, it can lead to back pain and insomnia. Here are three things to consider when purchasing your next mattress:

Firmness levels

Mattresses are categorised in nine different firmness levels. They range from ultra-soft to ultra firm, with all of the other levels in between. The firmness level of the mattress that best fits you will depend on a few things:

  • Your weight and body type
  • Your sleep position
  • Your comfort level.

For example, a heavy-set person will require a much firmer mattress than a lighter person. This is because of the downward force that is being exerted on the bed. The amount of resistance needed to support the body will vary depending on the person’s weight. A soft to medium-soft firmness level will offer a very thin person the same amount of support that a firm to ultra-firm firmness level will offer a much larger person.

Sleep position

Another thing to consider is your sleep position. If you are a person that sleeps primarily on your back, a firmer mattress will work better for you. Whereas if you are a person that sleeps primarily on your side, a firmer mattress will put too much pressure on your arm and shoulders. It will reduce your circulation and may cause your arm to fall asleep. This is very painful and can disrupt your sleep. A softer choice will reduce this risk.

For added comfort, you may choose a firmer mattress with a pillow top. This give you increased support but also dramatically improves your comfort level. These support your spine but envelop your body in more of a soft fluffiness. They give you the soft comfort of an ultra-soft or a soft mattress with the support of a firm or ultra-firm mattress.

Shopping for your bed

Once you have established what position you regularly sleep in, and since you already know your body type, it is time to go shopping. As silly as you may feel, it is best to lay down on each of the beds in the store. Everybody does it, so there is no need to feel embarrassed. Check out all of the different levels of firmness. Take note of how easily you can get in and out of bed and how comfortable you are lying on your back or on your side.

Importantly, don’t just flop down and get right back up. Really relax so you know how your body feels lying on each bed. If you’re sharing a bed with a spouse, take them along, too. In addition to the firmness, you will also need to make sure there is enough room to be comfortable.

Buying a good quality bed that suits both you and your partner is an investment in your overall health and well-being. Don’t just stop at the mattress; invest in some great quality pillows and doona covers – your body will thank you for years to come.