Mattress Firmness Selection Guide
I remember back in the days that it wasn't common to hear discussions about a mattress and that I never cared much either where I slept. I would have a sleepover at Grandma's house, my Aunt B's, or at a friend's house and I didn't pay much attention to what they had for me to sleep on. The funny thing is that I don't remember complaining about getting up with any discomfort or soreness. I certainly didn't have the most luxurious mattress at the time even in my home. Another interesting thing is that I didn't know anyone that had any issues with their mattress either.
In some parts of the world right now, some people don't even have a mattress and others that do have a simplistic one-perhaps an innerspring something if not a piece of plywood or wooden board that's elevated from the ground (We know of that here as bed foundation. And yes- that is "bed" for other people!).
So just recently I had to purchase a mattress and it was a strange experience-there were so many types to choose from. Now I am confused-which one? Have modern people just gotten spoiled? Are we getting to the point where we "can't get no satisfaction?" What is really behind all these? Maybe I just didn't know anything?
In my adult life I have purchased a mattress long, long ago and I don't think that I gave it any thought at all. I went to the local store and I asked "how much?" then I said "that one." I was familiar of innerspring but what is it that they call now "pillowtop", "euro top"? So, there's one called memory foam mattress? Latex foam mattress? Mattress made out of horse hair-are you kidding? Adjustable mattress, too? After studying all these types of mattresses that were now available to me and trying one after another, I found one that's I loved! I never knew that one could fall in love with a mattress. Now, I just realized that I had an issue with my old mattress. I thought that I needed a Chiropractor and a weekly massage. I thought I needed those pain relievers.
Now I am an expert in this science called "sleeping." Here's what everyone must understand - none of us has a flat body. Also no two of us would have exactly the same body configuration and requirements to get that perfectly relaxing sleep. With that said, there is no mattress manufacturer that will create a perfect mattress customized to every individual. However, it is possible for every individual to still attain personalized comfort by finding the right sleeping material that will perfectly conform to whatever their body weight/shape is.
The illustration below is very helpful to help one understand the natural position that our spine must have if we are sleeping on our back, side, or stomach. Remember that the curvature of our bodies make it impossible for our spine to stay properly aligned if lying on a firm surface that doesn't give. In the illustration below you will find that it is important that the sleeping material must act like a mold to absorb the body's curvature and allow proper alignment for the spine.
How you sleep is important: Side sleepers need firmer pillows and support given a large space gap between the mattress and their ear and shoulder blade. However, the same sleeper may need a plusher mattress to support the hips and shoulders (and associated contours) which exert a lot of pressure on the mattress which could lead to more pressure points.
If you sleep on your back, you may want to consider a medium firmness pillow to avoid the spine from improperly bending. To prevent back pain, stomach sleepers may need a lower profile or plusher pillow to ensure the neck and spine are in alignment.
It matters what material is on top of your mattress. A sleeping material that has the most consistent cell structure is highly recommended to do the job!