The Guide to the Perfect Mattress by Elephant Beds
Have you ever wondered how much of our lives we really spend sleeping? Well, that is, of course, dependent on each individual, however, lets the say that the average hours’ sleep a person gets in a night is 8 hours. The total sleep that this would amount to would be equal to a third of your life. Let’s say you live to 75 years old, that’s 25 years spent asleep, or 9,125 days. For this reason, it is incredibly important that you have a mattress that is the perfect match for you.
It is predicted that more than 40% of people sleep less than they should. This can have detrimental effects on physical and mental health. Lack of sleep not only leaves you feeling exhausted leaves you at a greater risk for depression, anxiety, weight gain and high blood pressure. In addition to this, there are several chronic health conditions that you can occur from lack of rest.
Which position do you sleep in?
Sleeping position is one of the factors which can determine what type of mattress is best suited to you. Elephant beds stock a huge variety of mattresses suited to all types of people and the varying sleeping positions and patterns they have. By using this guide you will be able to gauge the perfect type of mattress for you. You may find that despite you have been sleeping on a sprung mattress for all these years, you are actually far better suited to a memory foam mattress and vise versa.
If you fall into this category you are among most of the population. Within the side sleeper category, there are two further common sleeping positions- the foetal position and the log (straight/straightish legs).
The foetal position means that you bring your knees up to your chest and arms tucked down and chin tucked in. If you have issues with stiff joints this position can cause further issues and pain, especially when you first get out of bed. It is argued that this position can cause facial wrinkles and even breast sag. Experts have also commented that the curve in the back of the person can restrict diaphragmatic breathing. A lack of diaphragmatic breathing can cause back pain, hip pain as well as core instability. You are also less likely to have a good nights sleep as diaphragmatic breathing means higher levels of relaxation.
Sleeping in the log position is a better sleep position than the foetal as it allows for deeper breathing and can help with back pain as it elongates the spine.
Side sleeping, specifically on your left side can reduce acid reflux and heartburn and is the best side to sleep for maximum blood flow. Although it can also put a strain on your stomach, liver and other internal organs.
If you are a side sleeper it is advised that you have a soft mattress, more specifically, a memory gel foam mattress or a latex memory foam mattress. This will ensure the alignment of your spine is correct and will minimalise any aches and pains.
If you are a back sleeper, good news! This is the best position to sleep in. It keeps your spine, neck and head in alignment and in a neutral position. Sleeping on your back can also help with reducing the probability of wrinkles and spots. Your face is less likely to sweat and crease as it is not squashed against a pillow.
The one downfall with sleeping on one’s back is the fact that you are far more likely to snore. Sleeping on your back causes the tongue to fall back into the mouth and block the throat during sleep.
Whether you spread out all your limbs into the starfish position or lie almost completely straight, the back is always best. However, if you have a worn out, lumpy mattress and you are a back sleeper then you could be undoing all the good work sleeping on your back has done and actually be causing yourself more health problems.
Back sleepers should opt for a medium firm mattress. A mattress that is too soft or too firm can disturb the alignment of your spine and cause bad sleeping posture and pain.
Sleeping on your stomach may mean you are less likely to snore but it certainly isn’t an ideal sleeping position. Experts advise that you do not sleep on your stomach for a number of reasons. Sleeping on your front can cause an overarching of the natural curve of your spine which can subsequently strain your neck. So it’s important to take extra care with your mattress choice if you find you unconsciously adopt this position.
If you find that this the sleeping position that you naturally end up in and find it hard to sleep in other position then we would advise you sleep on a firm mattress. A latex memory foam and memory gel foam mattresses are two suitable options for stomach sleepers.
Soft or Firm?
…And everything in between! When it comes to mattress firmness there’s a mountain of choice. But how do you know which is the best option for you? Of course, there’s the method of testing the different types out but it’s often hard to distinguish between say, soft medium and medium soft. Although they may feel similar to you, the difference in firmness can in fact still have a big impact on your posture, alignment and overall sleep.
One of the major factors which is almost never mentioned when discussing how to choose a mattress is how heavy you are. It wouldn’t be very British for a retailer to bring up a customers size and weight, but it is a necessary consideration to make for the buyer. An orthopaedic mattress is very firm and it is likely a lighter person will find lying on one rather uncomfortable compared to someone of a more substantial weight. Elephant beds have the expertise to suggest the ideal mattress based on your individual preference and their extensive knowledge. The customer is always right but we also like to give them a nudge in the right direction where necessary.
We take into consideration which materials would be more durable, what spring type would be more supportive of your weight and whether you would better suit a spring mattress or a memory foam mattress. We like to go out of our way to make sure you get the very best fitting mattress and aim to never let a customer down.
The size of the mattress you desire also has an impact on its firmness. A king sized mattress of a medium firmness will be less firm than a single mattress of same firmness. This is down to the tension- the bigger the span of the mattress, the soft it will feel. This is definitely something to bear in mind if you are looking to increase/decrease the size of your mattress. Although they may state the same firmness, they will likely feel different.
As briefly mentioned above, firmness also depends on the type of mattress you go for. The two main styles of mattress are spring and memory foam.
When you think of a sprung bed you think of a bed that has a nice bit of bounce. The Springs act as a shock absorber which is effective at reducing any wear and tear of the mattress. One issue with these mattresses, however, is that the springs can pop out of shape and make the bed lumpy and sometimes even break through the fabric. This is only likely to happen if the mattress is cheap or very well used and old. The fewer coils you have, the thicker the spring. 14 to 15 gauge coils will give in more easily to pressure, whereas 12-gauge coils (the thickest) feel more firm. Springs or coils used in mattresses are available in few different types which determine the firmness and support given. Check out our range online.
Memory Foam Mattresses:
Memory foam mattresses range between firm-supple. The difference with memory foam mattresses is that they allow you to distribute your weight evenly. A firm memory foam mattress should still give you the firmness you are looking for without compromising your back, hips, and joints. Although memory foam mattress toppers can make you feel more comfortable and give the illusion that you are sinking into the bed, they will not have the same impact on your weight distribution as a memory foam mattress does. Additionally, memory foam mattresses react to temperature. The longer you lie on the bed the more your body temperature affects the firmness, and you sink in. If you are someone who liked a very firm surface this may hinder your sleeping experience.
If reading this article has made you question whether you are sleeping on the correct type of mattress or if you are looking to purchase a new mattress that is perfect for you then please get in touch with one of our professional team today on02920 008849. Alternatively, visit our store today!