A good mattress can make a world of difference for busy people who struggle to get a good night's sleep. Old, worn-out mattresses won't provide enough support, especially for sensitive joints like shoulders and hips.
Choosing the right mattress for you requires a careful examination of your budget, firmness preferences, sleep habits, and desired size. Even small differences in mattress firmness can make a big difference, especially if you sleep on your side. To get the perfect mattress, take your time and research all the options within your budget and size restrictions.
How large should my mattress be?
There are four common sizes of mattresses available:
- Twin mattresses are large enough for a single adult. They measure 39" wide by 75" long. Twin XL mattresses are 5" longer for taller people and dorm rooms.
- Full-size mattresses are 54" wide and 75" long, with full XL measuring an extra 5" long. They can fit two people as long as they don't move around much in their sleep.
- Queen mattresses can comfortably fit two people and are the standard for master and guest bedrooms. They measure 60" wide and 80" long.
- King mattresses are ideal for two people to sleep on. They measure 76" wide by 80" long. California king beds measure 72" wide by 84" long, so they are a better option for very tall people.
Other sizes are available for cribs, recreational vehicles, and other specialized uses.
The right size for you depends on how tall you are. Individuals over 6' 2" may prefer a California king bed. Individuals over 5' 10" may need a full XL or twin XL to sleep comfortably.
The minimum width for you will depend on how active of a sleeper you are. If you frequently roll around, you and your partner may want to get a queen or king mattress to give both of you a more peaceful sleep.
Keep in mind that the size of your bedroom may dictate how large your bed can be. Rooms smaller than 12' by 12' will have a hard time fitting a queen or king bed and other furniture.
What type of mattress is best?
- Innerspring mattresses are the traditional option and have metal coils for support. They are breathable but can be noisy and transfer motion very easily, increasing the potential for partners to wake each other up during the night.
- Hybrid mattresses with continuous coils use a thick layer of foam above coils to provide more support. Like traditional innerspring mattresses, they transfer motion easily.
- Hybrid mattresses with individually wrapped pocket coils limit motion transfer by separating coils. These mattresses provide excellent value for couples.
- Memory foam mattresses provide a soft surface that molds to the body's contours. This foam has minimal movement transfer and firm support making it ideal for people with back problems. However, it can be warm to sleep on unless it is infused with a special cooling gel, so it is not suggested for people who naturally overheat in their sleep.
- Latex mattresses are similar to memory foam but do not mold as closely to the body. They also do not trap heat as much as memory foam making them an excellent choice for people who sleep warm. They have minimal movement transfer and are very popular among couples.
- Adjustable air mattresses use a combination of air and foam to provide support that can be modified by increasing or decreasing the amount of air.
- Waterbeds are better now than in years past but can still leak and transfer motion without providing comfortable support. They are not recommended for people suffering from back injuries or poor mobility.