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Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Of course, sleep quality depends on many factors – stress level, diet, room temperature, and comfort. A comfortable mattress is the first step towards a restful slumber.

But if you’re in the market for a new mattress, you know that there is a dizzying array of manufacturers, types, and materials to choose from. After you’ve navigated a few stores and websites, you really feel like you need a nap. Still, replacing your mattress is a sizeable investment, and you want to make sure you get it right.

Is It Time for a New Mattress?

First, you have to figure out if you need to change your current mattress. Age plays a big role in this decision. If you bought your mattress more than 8 years ago, it usually means you have to change it, but this rule does not apply to all mattresses. Some can provide the same level of support and comfort for longer than 8 or 10 years.

So how do you decide if you should replace it? Well, you have to think about how well you sleep. Do you wake up with aches and pains that go away during the day only to come back the next morning? Do you wake up during the night and have to shift positions because you’re not comfortable? Then it might be the right time to go shopping for a new mattress.

Firmness & Support

When most people go to a store and try out a new mattress, they check the firmness, which refers to how hard and how soft the mattress feels. But this is completely subjective. Your comfort level in regards to firmness will depend on your weight, favorite sleeping position, and personal preferences.

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For example, suppose you tend to sleep on your side, which is one of the most common sleeping positions. In that case, you will want to look for the best mattress for side sleepers because your mattress needs to keep your body in a neutral alignment so you don’t place unnecessary strain on your back, hips, shoulders, and neck.  

If you get a mattress that’s too firm, it will take you out of alignment and put pressure on these areas. On the other hand, if it’s too soft, it won’t provide enough support for these areas and, again, it will take your body out of its natural alignment.

You can choose the firmness of your mattress by comparing them to the one you already have or to mattresses in hotels. Most hotels use mattresses that are medium or medium-firm because that’s what most people prefer.

Pros and Cons of Different Options

After you’ve decided on the level of firmness, you still have to choose between different types. For instance, innerspring mattresses can be quite cheap, and the initial comfort when you test it in the store is good. However, they tend to sag more quickly.

Memory foam mattresses are more expensive, but they’re better for people with back pain, last longer, and provide better motion isolation, which is useful when you share your bed with your partner. Of course, there are other types of mattresses, so you will have to do a bit of reading on the pros and cons of each one and go through the reviews.

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