Don’t let poor sleep (or a tired mattress) drain your energy or undermine your comfort. Each morning should bring you a feeling of fresh rejuvenation. Find the answers to common mattress questions below.
Is your mattress too soft?
Good question. How your mattress feels depends upon several factors: your body type, sleeping position, and your personal comfort preferences.
Is your mattress softer than it used to be because it’s past its prime? Is it causing you back pain? If so, there is a good chance that, yes, your mattress is too soft.
If your mattress is old, consider buying a new mattress. You could purchase a firm topper, but if the mattress is sagging underneath, the topper will sag into the mattress in the same area.
If your mattress is not old, however, and simply too soft (but not from sagging), a firm topper might be just what you need.
Is your mattress too firm?
With a firm mattress you’ve got enough support, but it may not feel comfortable or pressure-relieving. For the best mattress feel you want to find a balance of all three—support, pressure relief, and comfort.
If you need a softer mattress, there’s an easy trick—try a mattress topper. A topper will soften your mattress, giving it a plusher feel.
A soft topper will also provide additional pressure relief. If you sleep on your side and wake up with pain in your shoulders or hips, a mattress topper is a good bet to relieve the discomfort.
Is your mattress making you hot?
It’s possible. Some mattresses retain heat more than others because the materials they’re made of do not “breathe” well.
Memory foam is known for creating uncomfortable warmth trapped between the sleeper and the mattress surface. When you change position during the night, you have to re-heat the memory foam in order to create a new contouring shape in the foam. This leads to heat buildup and could cause you to perspire, even heavily.
Mattresses with significant airflow are the best for sleeping cool. Luxurious natural Talalay latex is known for its “breathability.” Another good option is a wool topper. Wool is a natural temperature moderator—it wicks away moisture and traps a layer of insulating dry air, which helps the body cool itself naturally.
Is your mattress making you tired?
If you aren’t sleeping well because you feel uncomfortable on your mattress, then probably yes! According to WebMD, “the average adult needs between 7.5 and 8 hours of sleep per night.” Different people may not need as much, but if you think your mattress is compromising your energy, it’s worth figuring out why.
If you simply can’t fall asleep at night, here are some tips and good habits for a relaxing bedtime routine.
Is your mattress causing lower back pain?
Lower back pain is typically caused by a too-soft mattress. It can also result from a mattress that started off comfortable, but lost its initial responsiveness. If your mattress was purchased a while back, press into its surface over the area where your lower back rests and note how much “give” you feel. Then test other parts of the mattress in the same way to see if they feel stiffer or firmer. If so, the mattress is sagging and it’s likely time for a new mattress—or a medium to firm mattress topper.
Also take note of how you’ve slept in other scenarios. If you recall a great night’s sleep on vacation or at a hotel when you also noticed your back pain disappeared, it’s likely your mattress at home that’s causing the problem.
Is your mattress causing hip pain?
It’s quite possible. The hips are a primary pressure point on the body, especially when you are sleeping on your side. For this reason, your hips need pressure relief — and to get it, you need ample softness near the surface of the mattress.
If your mattress is too firm, consider adding a soft topper to relieve pressure on your hips while you sleep.
Is your mattress causing shoulder pain?
Do you wake up with shoulder pain? If so, it’s likely that your mattress isn’t providing adequate pressure relief. Normally the widest part of the torso, shoulders are the primary weight-bearing point for side sleepers. And they will react poorly to an overly-hard mattress surface. Pressure relief is necessary to reduce shoulder pain.
A softer sleeping surface will help most side sleepers who experience shoulder pain. Consider buying a mattress topper to add soft cushioning and pressure relief.
Is your mattress causing neck pain?
Neck pain often has more to do with your pillow or sleeping position.
How do you sleep at night? If it’s on your stomach, your neck will probably appreciate a low-profile or customizable pillow to minimize the strain on cervical disks.
If you sleep on your side or back, your neck needs to remain even with your spine, so adequate pillow height and support are important. Pillows are available in materials ranging from natural latex to synthetic foams, in varying firmnesses, and in loose fill or formed styles.
Customizable pillows are a great way to test out different variations and create the perfect height and firmness you need.
Is your mattress making you sore?
If your pain is from pressure points, where do you feel most of the soreness? If it’s in your back, find out which type of pain is likely to be the primary cause. If you have shoulder or hip pain, review the questions above or read about pressure relief and how it interacts with support.
Waking up sore very well could be because of your mattress, but consider other factors as well. Did you do a hard workout recently? Could you have stressed your muscles during a spate of physical work? Some medical conditions, such as fibromyalgia or some types of arthritis, cause persistent overall soreness. If you aren’t sure of the cause, check with your doctor.
But if you’re feeling consistently sore in the morning and know other factors aren’t causing the pain, consider a new mattress or topper.