Which of these mattresses should I choose?

How to find the right mattress

On average, a person spends a third of his life sleeping. Meanwhile the body recovers, important metabolic processes take place and the sleeper processes the events of the day. For this, however, the night has to be really relaxing. The mattress plays a not insignificant role here.

Is there such a thing as the perfect mattress material?

No, you have to find out for yourself. Common materials include spring core, cold foam, latex and visco foam.

Spring mattresses consist of numerous metal springs that are connected to one another. If it is a Bonell spring mattress, there is air between the springs. In the case of a pocket spring mattress, small fabric bags envelop the springs. Both types dissipate moisture and heat quickly and ensure good ventilation. If you sweat a lot at night, take advantage of this material.

The disadvantage: the Bonell spring version in particular adapts little to the shape of the body and sways when rolling around at night. The pocket core variant, on the other hand, has a higher point elasticity. This means that it does not bend like a hammock, but only gives way where you sink into the mattress. She supports the body on the other.

Cold foam mattresses are made of foam. It used to be considered hard as a board and uncomfortable. However, modern mattresses are characterized by high point elasticity and adapt well to the body. Although the material transports moisture away, it retains heat better than the innerspring versions. That delights frozen types. When buying, pay attention to the so-called volume weight. It indicates the density of the foam used. The higher it is, the higher the quality of the mattress. Experts say the volume weight should be at least 40 kilograms per cubic meter.

Latex mattresses adapt very well to the body of the person lying down and promise pleasant nights. However, these mattresses weigh a lot and therefore cause problems, for example when turning the sleeping pad. They also belong in the higher-priced range.

For a number of years there have also been mattresses with visco foam on offer. The so-called memory effect ensures that the mattress adapts to the body fairly ideally. The reason: the material not only reacts to pressure and weight, but also to body temperature. Visco foam is less suitable for those who sweat heavily or move around a lot while sleeping.

Which degree of hardness is the right one?

You have to decide for yourself. Because the manufacturers indicate for each mattress whether it is hard, medium-hard or soft. However, this information is not subject to any standard. That is, every producer defines "hard" differently. In principle, people who are a little heavier should choose a harder mattress. But "if this is too hard, you roll around more at night and sleep worse," says Dr. Peter Geisler, Head of the Sleep Medicine Center at the Regensburg District Clinic, should be considered.

If you are a slim person, a softer sleeping pad is usually better for you. But here, too, problems can arise: "If the mattress is too soft, the spine bends, which can trigger back pain," says Geisler. So you have no choice but to try out the mattress in the store and go according to your feelings.

The sleep doctor recommends: "Go to a shop where you can get professional advice and where you have the right to exchange the mattress after a few days."

Does the sleeping position play a role when choosing a mattress?

In theory, yes. If you sleep on your back, the mattress ideally supports the lumbar spine and neck area. You do not sink in too deep there, the natural S-shape of the spine is retained. If you sleep on your side, you will find a good sleeping pad on your shoulders and pelvis. You sink in a little at these points, the spine remains straight.

Therefore, in principle, different selection criteria apply to back sleepers than to side sleepers. However, "most people change their sleeping position several times at night," says Geisler. Therefore, the mattress should be comfortable in both sleeping positions. This can only be found out by lying down.

Mattress thickness, lying areas, double bed: what should be considered?

Some types of mattresses have different lying areas. These areas have different degrees of hardness and should optimally adapt to the body. Experts say that up to three zones make sense, but nothing more. Because on a mattress that consists of six or eight lying zones, the sleeper should practically not move. In addition, body size and weight would have to match the various hardness ranges exactly.

If you weigh a little more, pay attention to the thickness of the mattress. Under no circumstances should you feel the slatted frame when you try it out. It can be 16 centimeters or more. If you sleep in bed as a couple, you can choose between single and double mattresses. Experts recommend giving preference to two separate sleeping pads. Because every person lies differently, is different in size and weight.

Box spring beds: how good are the mattress castles?

Box spring beds have been available for sale in Germany for a number of years. These beds, which consist of several types of mattresses and do not have a slatted frame, are particularly widespread in the USA. The basis of a box spring bed is usually a spring core mattress with a foam mattress on top. The beds reach a height of 60 to 70 centimeters and warm thanks to the cold foam topper.

Of Stiftung Warentest However, box spring beds received rather poor grades in March 2019. Although they rated some of the beds tested as having good lying properties, the majority of them did not have good durability and the stated hardness differed greatly from the actual one.

What should I generally consider when buying a mattress?

In principle, the following applies: Test a mattress extensively before you buy it - in all sleeping positions. Let us advise you which type of mattress suits you best. "Try the mattress together with your pillow," advises sleep doctor Geisler. In combination, it may be very different on the mattress. After eight to ten years, you should buy a new one. Because an old and sagging mattress can lead to back problems.

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