If you have been sleeping on the same mattress for more than eight years, or if you have been suffering from uncomfortable sleep that gives you dark circles, you may need to get a new one that not only freshens up your room but also your sleep quality. In fact, eight years is already a stretch, though there’s nothing wrong there; you should, however, consider browsing the mattress catalogue once every five years.

Mattress-buying may sound like a mundane activity that requires not much science.


But It’s Not So Simple

You have to consider hygiene, as well. You will not want to share a bed with dust mites and bed bugs, nor accumulations of dead skin cells, perspiration and sebum. All these are not just unhygienic, they can also cause allergies and other immune responses.

A mattress is supposed to help you sleep better, not wake you or your bedmate up in the middle of the night with an uncomfortable posture due to it sagging or become something that goes “squeak!” in the night. If you are sinking into your bed by more than 2.5cm, it’s time to bid it goodbye.


Try Mattresses In An Unapologetic Way

You are now in a departmental store or a bedding shop with a wide array of fluffy-looking, heavenly-feeling mattresses. Every one of them feels good to the touch and feels good on your butt. You reckon that to truly know, you got to lie down on it.

But the store has many shoppers and you feel that they are going to stare if you do.

Well, do not be, because it is not worth succumbing to your self-conscious fears and risk suffering in your sleep for the next five to ten years. It simply does not pay. ‘Pressing with your hands or sitting on the mattress is not enough to give you an accurate assessment’, say sleep experts. And for one to likely cost hundreds or even thousands, it is a good idea to do everything you possibly can to make sure your choice is the most ideal..


How To Choose The Right Mattress

Politely ask the staff and lie on the mattress in positions that you will usually sleep in. For example, if you are a back-sleeper or side-sleeper, you should test on those positions for several minutes, typically five to seven. You should feel well-supported, comfortable without unusual aches, numbness or tiredness. A good mattress for you should cradle your body comfortably.

Besides lying down in your usual positions, you should also try other sleeping positions. After all, you may get into different positions over the course of the night without you being aware. If the bed you are buying is not just for yourself, your bedmate should try lying on the mattress together with you and have a good discussion on what is best for the both of you.

Go mattress-hunting knowing what your preferences are, such as the kind of material, the firmness and any other characteristic. Hear sales assistants out but do not give in to their sales pitches or recommendations if their words do not apply for you. Let your body decide what’s best.


Choosing The Right Mattress Material

Materials like latex, memory foam or both are good for starters, but you shouldn’t get too hung up on them as there may be mattresses of other materials that are better suited for you.

Latex Foam

Pros: Made from the sap of the rubber tree and relatively low in chemicals; it is biodegradable and eco-friendly; hypoallergenic, good for people with allergies. It is a very supportive material with bouncy and springy textures and the latex can last relatively long. It also keeps you cool.

Cons: Latex is an expensive material, so many mattresses are partly or entirely composed of synthetic latex. The texture becomes less springy and bouncy as the material contains lesser synthetic latex.

Polyurethane Foam

Pros: Known also as poly foam, it is the cheapest material of all other materials. Poly foams come in different densities, and they become more durable and firm as the grade of foam gets higher. However, it will still not be as dense as latex or memory foam.

Cons: Poly foam mattresses are alright for as temporary mattresses for the occasional sleepover but not good for daily sleep since they do not provide good support. Without the springs and bounce, your partner’s sleep movements are not absorbed. It also traps heat.

Memory Foam

Pros: Memory foam contains polyurethane that has been engineered to become much denser. This gives memory foam billions of tiny spherical cells that shift and soften to pressure and heat, moulding itself into your body shape and ‘remembering’ your shape and delivers a nice soft hug.

Cons: As memory foam reacts to heat, you can sink deep into the mattress due to your body heat. The further you sink, the more surface area of the mattress is exposed to your body, resulting in a heat-trapping cycle. In an effort to counter that, newer models in the market feature heat-control technologies that prevent excessive heat from affecting the foam. Another con is that people who move during sleep can find the sunken spot to cause awkward and uncomfortable positions, waking them up in the middle of the night.