Sick of feeling like a zombie at work? Finding the right mattress is essential to getting a good night’s sleep, but with all the varieties out there the hunt can be daunting. We’re here to help! First off, learn about your sleep profile, “This is the culmination of the physical and physiological characteristics of the sleeper,” says Joel Moore, an IKEA U.S. Sales Leader for bedroom furniture and mattresses.
If a mattress is too firm for you, it will create pressure points on your shoulders and hips and disrupt blood circulation that will leave you tossing and turning through the night. On the other hand, if a mattress is too soft your back won’t have the support it needs to keep your back properly aligned. The result: serious back pain in the a.m. “As a general rule of thumb, lighter people need a softer mattress and heavier people need a firmer one,’ Moore says.
If you’re shivering in your jammies or sweating through your sheets, you’re probably not sleeping too well. Therefore, keep in mind if you like to stay warm or cool while you catch some zzz’s. “Foam and memory foam mattresses tend to be warmer, which is good for people who are cold when they sleep,” Moore suggests. “Spring mattresses tend to be cooler and are better suited for people who get too warm. Latex mattresses fall right in the middle.” Also, the materials on or near the mattress surface will affect your body’s temperature. Natural materials (like cotton in the surface fabric and silk or wool in the padding) help pull moisture away from the body.
If you sleep on your back, keep an eye out for a firm mattress. But if you sleep on your side, look for a less firm mattress to avoid pressure points on your body. “It should have enough give so that your shoulders and hips can sink enough to keep the spine in its proper alignment,” says Moore.
If you sleep on your stomach (which you should avoid), a very firm mattress will lessen the pressure this position is putting on your spine.
While a medium pillow is suitable for back sleepers and a high pillow is best for side sleepers, those who sleep on their tummies would do best with a low one—or none at all. If you tend to switch positions, then buy a variety to ensure comfort through the night. IKEA expert Patti Drury Crawford suggests using a memory foam pillow if you sleep on your back or side and using down and feather filling for warmth and pulling away moisture. If you’re worried about allergens, your best bet might be a synthetic pillow you can wash frequently.
You can check out Ikea’s mattress guide to figure out your sleep profile, but Moore advises, “While profiling tools can point you in the right direction, it is essential that you try out the mattress at the store and test it for 10-15 minutes before you buy it.” Sweet dreams!