How to choose your next mattress
A mattress is a long-term investment — so make sure you choose the one that is best for you
The average mattress lasts approximately 10 years.
This could either be a good or bad thing: If you’ve invested in a mattress that’s right for you, you are assured a full decade of quality sleep and general well-being.
But conversely, a bad mattress means 10 years of chronic back pain and poor-quality sleep.
Getting good sleep doesn’t just mean avoiding drowsiness and poor function at work the next day. A study conducted by a team from Oklahoma State University found that subjects who used beds with superior support reported reduced stress levels, while another from Harvard Medical School discovered improved cognitive ability and even creativity in subjects who had quality sleep on a regular basis.
So investing in a good mattress is of paramount importance. But how does one choose the mattress that is best for them?
Read on to find out:
Sleeping situation matters
According to Dr Leslie Ng, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Island Orthopaedic Consultants, a member of Healthway Medical Group, a mattress that sags will end up reinforcing poor sleeping posture, straining muscles and generally fail to keep the spine in alignment.
This may be exacerbated by your sleeping position of choice. Different sleep positions affect the quality of your sleep in various ways, says Dr Ng, particularly the long-term pressure points on your joints and spine.
For instance, side sleepers sleep in a foetal position, with their arms and legs curled in towards the body, and the spine gently curved.
While this is the most common of all sleeping positions, it is often said to cause back pain or long-term back problems. Side sleeping also places more pressure on the hips and joints, so it is particularly important for a side sleeper to have a mattress that cradles the body. Otherwise, this could result in soreness, numbness and localised redness at aggravated pressure points.
As such, side sleepers should choose a medium-firm mattress that contours to the body’s natural curvature, such as the Simmons Beautyrest Marina Bay Series, so as to reduce pressure on the neck, shoulders, hips and knees. Those with broader shoulders or larger hips can afford to opt for a slightly softer mattress.
Back sleepers have an easier time, as their sleeping position is naturally healthier for the spine. However, this does not mean that they can afford to use mattresses with poorer support — continuing to use an old or worn-out mattress can still put unnecessary pressure on the body’s pressure points.
Stomach sleepers are the most at-risk of suffering from back pain and spinal issues. Sleeping on one’s front places a great deal of pressure on the thoracic and lumbar spine, which can lead to chronic back pain.
It is stomach sleepers who benefit the most from softer mattresses — too firm a mattress can result in an over-straightening of the spine, says Dr Ng.
Choosing the right materials
With this knowledge in mind, you can now choose your mattress type. Mattresses are generally made of three different materials: memory foam, latex, and innerspring.
While versatile, memory foam mattresses are also expensive, and tend to be shorter-lived than other types of mattress. Similarly, latex mattresses share many of the same qualities as memory foam mattresses, but offer enhanced breathability and support.
Still, for superior support without the shortcomings of memory foam and latex, a pocketed-coil innerspring mattress could be just the ticket.
While a continuous-coil configuration uses rows of springs formed from a single wire, pocketed-coil designs use individual steel coils encased in their own fabric pockets. First introduced by Simmons in 1925, this design allows for more motion separation between individual spring units, providing greater support than a continuous-coil design.
According to Dr Ng, pocketed-coil mattresses can provide conformability and support on par with — or even superior to — their memory foam and latex counterparts, and at a lower cost.
But not all pocketed-coil innerspring mattresses are created equal. Simmons, for instance, remains one of the few manufacturers to produce its own steel coils, using high-grade carbon steel with high tensile strength for greater support capability.
Each barrel-shaped coil used in a Simmons mattress is encased in its own individual shell of Lock-Tuft non-woven fabric, has more turns for greater spring effect, and is pre-compressed for increased resilience and spring action.
Simmons even makes a variety of different types of coils to suit the most specific of needs, from High Profile Pocketed Coils to Advanced Pocketed Coils to Smart Response Pocketed Coils.
But if you simply must have a memory foam or latex mattress, the ideal option would be to find a pocketed-coil mattress that has a surface layer with those materials.
Take the Simmons top-of-the-line BackCare and Beautyrest Ultimate Series lines of mattresses, which use several layers of hypo-allergenic latex and memory foam, supported by high-profile pocketed coil technology, to ensure you get the best of all possible worlds.
The cutting edge
As the original creators of the pocketed-coil design, Simmons has the design of the pocketed-coil mattress design down to an art.
It’s the reason the Beautyrest and BackCare lines of mattresses have persisted to this day: they are the product of almost a century of innovation by Simmons’ best engineers, continuously tested and reworked to the point of perfection.
Whether you’re a side sleeper, front sleeper or back sleeper, Simmons definitely has a mattress for you. Check out www.simmons.com.sg to find out more.