We receive questions on a daily basis inquiring on what makes a good mattress. There is no easy answer to this question as what may be good for one person may not be good for another. Here are a few tips that can help determine whether or not you need a new mattress and what type to buy.
The life span of a mattress varies depending on the type, quality and usage but it usually is between 5 and 10 years. If a mattress sits in a guest room, used every few months, it will last much longer than one that an NFL lineman and his partner share every night.
The mattress should keep your spine in a neutral position, essentially the same orientation it is in when you are standing (assuming you aren’t slouching). You should check for indentations on the mattress. If your mattress isn’t providing support uniformly, it will not be able to keep your spine aligned. You can use a yardstick to measure it in different areas to see if it is sagging.
This one, again, does not have a simple answer. Different mattresses suit different people. If you are a restless sleeper your partner will certainly appreciate the foam type since this will absorb the pressure of your movements and not disturb them. Some people find the foam mattress uncomfortable and prefer the standard coil type. The number of coils isn’t always most important as the gauge (thickness) and type of coils can make up for a lower quantity of coils. The lower the gauge number the thicker the coil (like in electrical wire). That being said, usually the more coils the more support you will have. It is important that you lie on the mattress for at least 5-10 minutes prior to making a decision.
The American Chiropractic Association makes the following recommendations when it comes to sleep: