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How to Choose the Right Mattress


When you are ready to shop for a new mattress, you'll find a wide range of choices in support, comfort, and price.

Choosing the right mattress requires shopping around for the right amount of comfort and the right price. Remember, you are making an investment in how you will sleep for the next decade, so don't skimp when it comes to the right fit.

For sleeping purposes, a mattresses provides two things: support and comfort. Support is based on the internal construction of a mattress while comfort comes from the thickness and type of materials used on top. Other factors to consider are size and quality of materials.

The length of a mattress should be at least 6 inches longer than the person sleeping on it. That means a queen or king for most people, especially couples.

The inner construction of a mattress may include coil springs or air chambers. For proper support in a queen mattress, the coils should number at least 375; more for king and less for regular or twin. Today's air mattresses are designed to be adjusted individually and may have additional controls that affect different parts of the body.

Whether you prefer firm or soft support, the main factor to consider is that the pressure points - back, hips, shoulders - remain aligned. A firm mattress with a plush top may achieve that for some people while softer support and a firmer covering will meet the needs of others.

When choosing a mattress with foam padding, make sure it is top quality. Otherwise, the foam will begin to break down long before it should. Always ask about a warranty and what it includes. The warranty does not guarantee you'll have a mattress forever, but is a must to protect you from manufacturer's defects.

Do not try to economize by keeping old box springs and purchasing only a mattress. Most manufacturers design the two to work together and you may not benefit otherwise. Look at the side construction on a mattress. It should be sturdy and not give when you sit on the edge. Mattress material is another important consideration. Damask or cotton blend only; these materials are breathable and will provide more comfort when summer arrives.

When shopping, choose a store that offers a wide variety of brands and styles. You'll be able to test as many as you like to get a real feel for the difference in manufacturers. It should not be embarrassing to lie on the mattresses as that's the only you'll be able to compare.

Don't be afraid to ask questions and give it some time. Visit several stores if you wish and make notes. Choosing a mattress is one decision you don't want to rush.


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