Do you need a new bed? According to the Better Sleep Council (a non-profit organization supported by the mattress industry), you should consider shopping for a new mattress if: you wake up with pain, stiffness, or soreness; you aren’t sleeping as well as you were a year ago; you had your best night’s sleep somewhere other than your own bed; or your mattress shows visible signs of wear and tear. Look for a bed that meets your unique needs for comfort, support, and space. (If you have a new live-in partner, shop with him/her.) “Test-drive” a new mattress by lying down on your back (remember to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes when bed-shopping), then shift to your usual sleep position. Does the mattress gently support all points of your body?
When shopping for a new mattress, the Better Sleep Council recommends these shopping tips:
Comfort. A mattress doesn’t have to be as hard as a tabletop to be good for you: new mattresses use cushioning materials and surface treatments to make them feel soft while still providing the support you need.
Support. The bed should support your body at all points and keep your spine in the same position as good standing posture. When selecting a mattress, keep in mind that your body should be able to relax, with your spine supported in its natural curve.
Space. Select a mattress that gives you enough room for free, easy movement. If you’re sleeping with a partner, consider a queen- or king-size mattress to ensure that both of you have enough space to feel comfortable.
Value. Choose a quality product made with new materials. Look for the best value — not the lowest price.
What if your new place can’t accommodate a full-sized bed — or if you need an extra bed without adding an extra bedroom? Choose a sofabed or futon! The good news about modern sofabeds is that they can be both attractive and functional — and many are comfortable enough to sleep on every night.
For more information on selecting a mattress, visit the Better Sleep Council’s website at www.bettersleep.org.