How To Choose a Mattress - Oxford House

How To Choose a Mattress

You have probably heard stories from friends or relatives who bought a mattress and later regretted it – or maybe it happened to you.  You might have found it so uncomfortable that you were woken up by aches and pains during the night.  You might have not had time to try it, settled for a very low price that looks like a bargain or not felt like trying the mattresses before the purchase, to mention some common mistakes. The problem is this, when sleeping (or trying to) on a mattress that is not the right fit for your needs, back pain, headache and neck pain are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of possible symptoms.  All of this is due to a poor decision-making process and preparation. Knowing what you are going to buy is not just common sense, it is also a good practice for any other purchase you might make in life. At Dorelan, we say “We wake up every day to help you sleep better” and this is not just a quote or a catchphrase, this is our core business goal. With the markets frantically evolving around us in the last decades, we focused on improving the quality of our products through new and improved materials and technologies. Our customer experience and, nonetheless, our customer focus is what puts us first. We believe that when we guide you around the choice of mattress – teaching you the main features and feelings to focus on – it will lead you to happier night times and a better life; which is the reason why we want to share some key knowledge with you.

What should you be looking for when buying a mattress?

When visiting our showroom or any other showroom in Malta, you should always be able to try out the mattresses you are interested in, but, what if they all feel the same? What if no one will explain the differences between two or more different mattresses? Well, to start with, here is a list of details that will help you make the right choice.

Start by asking yourself about the context the mattress will be situated in:

What surface will the mattress stand on?
What is going to be directly underneath the mattress? The most common bases are made with flat wooden boards, slats, planks, pocket springs and, sometimes, wire meshes. A wire mesh is just a metal wire net that will bend in a relatively short time due to the lack of support; on the other hand, it is probably the most breathable option you may find. A pocket spring base can offer both support and breathability, helping the mattress to follow the shape of your body in a more detailed way, however,  depending on the model it might make the mattress feel softer than it actually is. A flat wooden board can offer lots of support, giving a pleasant sense of stability and rigidity. However, it does not gain points when it comes to breathability – drastically increasing the risk of the mattress becoming humid and mouldy. Slats and planks can be perceived as the same but there are indeed a few differences worth considering: The thickness of slats is usually thinner than that of planks because they are meant to be more flexible, helping the mattress when following your body shape; planks are usually closer to each other reducing breathability. Slats have been specifically studied to provide support and breathability at the same time through the way they are spaced out. Last but not least, slats can always be removed and replaced in case needed. They can be bought in bunches and be kept as spare backup throughout the years, while planks are usually built into the bed so breaking them means breaking the bed.

What type of support are you looking for?

Depending on body weight, you need to consider different ranges of mattresses. If you have a petit body type, you can consider every option as far as it is comfortable for you. A medium build body type can focus on medium support mattresses and up, while a more built body type should consider mostly firm support products. If you choose a mattress that is not supportive enough – in the best case – the lifespan of the mattress will be shorter than expected. In the worst case, you might end up feeling aches and pains.

Do you have a technology in mind?

The number of technologies proposed by companies on the market is endless. Did you hear your mother-in-law saying the memory foam mattress she just bought feels like heaven? Or that your foreign friend who is living in a rental apartment does not manage to sleep an entire night at one go due to their very old and uncomfortable mattress? Maybe you heard from someone that latex is the last trend and that everyone should have one. Don’t forget that you are you, you are unique and your needs are too. Comparisons are always good when gathering information but when it comes to trying and choosing the final product; the choice is always personal and different for each person. Maybe the bounciness of the springs does not let you sleep at night when your partner moves or the memory foam effect of hugging you feels like being trapped in quicksand. Remember to always choose for yourself and your partner without being influenced by other opinions and trends. Spring technology has pros and cons just like foam and latex technologies do. On one hand, springs being springs, they are going to react straight away to the given pressure, which is why they usually give that bouncy feeling and are very breathable, being empty on the inside; on the other hand, depending on the type of springs, the effect of the mattress might not be as detailed as on foam support. Memory foam boasts almost vertical growth in the last decades and for a good reason. The foam shapes around your body precisely and can offer differentiated support according to the area of the body it is in contact with. Foam or memory foam is also less breathable than springs, thus, being more susceptible to humidity and mould and can also make you feel warmer in summer since one of the foam functions is that of keeping you warm. Try to remember these details and, eventually, highlight them when discussing the matter with our Dorelan brand executives, they will guide you accordingly.

What position do you sleep in?

When sleeping, everyone tends to move into a comfortable position which is not always the same and is not always correct – it is just part of the way we sleep and we cannot control that. With every position, we may have positive and negative outcomes that will affect our ability to rest our body and mind. Of them all, the prone position is probably the least beneficial; the spine will not be directly supported thus accentuating its curves, straining the neck, back and shoulders due to the spine not being aligned. Moreover, when sleeping face down, our head is kept turned sideways, stretching, pulling and compressing the skin on one side of the face, which is a greatSleep Positions contributor to facial wrinkles. On a positive note, sleeping on your stomach reduces the risks of snoring and sleep apnea because the position causes the tongue not to fall backwards, thus, keeping the airways more open and free. According to an article issued in 2019 by Kathy Briffa, Doug Cary and Leanda McKenna, the lateral sleeping position is mostly preferred by circa 60% of the population. This comes with different benefits, depending on whether the individual is sleeping on the right or left side. Sleeping on the side has some common positive outcomes such as relieving back pain, reducing the risk of snoring and sleep apnea, improving digestion, brain health and assuring a healthier pregnancy. When it comes to pregnancy, for instance, the left position is preferred due to better circulation of blood between some organs like the heart, kidneys, and uterus – positively impacting the fetus. Sleeping on the right side, for example, can improve relaxation of the nervous system among other things. The last position to consider is the supine position. This position allows the whole spine to be directly supported by the mattress, promoting spinal alignment and stress relief. On the other hand, this position can still cause sleep apnea and snoring because the airways are obstructed by the tongue due to gravity.

What size do you need?

Are you moving into your brand new house all by yourself or will you be sharing the bed with your second half, followed by the kids, the dog and the rest of the farm? In this case, a normal double bed might not be the best option, maybe you should consider a bigger bed unless the room has restricted space. Always try to work out the ideal dimensions to properly fit the environment without crowding it. When choosing a bed, you should consider keeping at least 80cm of walking space around it and measuring the mattress size accordingly. You might have specific sizes you are restricted to or be free to choose between various sizes – depending on the space. Nevertheless, we will guide you to find what you feel is the best fit for you and your family. We will be going into how to choose the right bed in another article.

Try the mattress before buying it.

Choosing a mattress where you are going to spend one-third of your life or at least the next 10 years, is not an easy matter and it should be handled for what it is, an important step of your health and life. For this reason, you should not rely on just buying a mattress without trying it. When possible, ask to try the mattress you are going to purchase and, when this is not an option, think twice. Ask yourself whether another supplier has a product you like in the same way but that you have tried. We, at Dorelan, make it a point to follow the clients, step by step, in the choice of the ideal mattress. Our main goal is that of finding the best option for your wellbeing and we do that by teaching why to choose a mattress over another and which bases will work best when purchasing specific products. Disclaimer We are not doctors, therefore if you are looking for medical advice we always suggest visiting a specialist that can guide you on how to handle your specific situation. We can only guide you through the process after a professional has instructed you on what to choose. After all, we, as individuals, know ourselves better than anyone else, therefore, the final choice has to be yours – based on your experience. Conclusion A good night’s sleep can have a huge impact on your day to day life, making the difference between a tedious work-sleep routine with aches all around the body – as well as mental fatigue –  and waking up well-rested, with a clear mind and a rested body. It might not seem like much, but rest makes a big difference, and it is worth trying to optimise it.