A good night’s sleep is perhaps the most precious thing in today’s life. If you do not get proper sleep it affects you in many ways (being grumpy throughout the day is one). A fulfilling and refreshing sleep depends on a lot of factors but perhaps the most on the quality and type of the mattress. A mattress can be soft, or hard. The terms soft and hard are purely subjective and vary from person to person. But both have their respective pros and cons. Let us delve a little deeper into the details.
As the ergonomics of sleep suggest, less is better. The less cushioning the mattress has, the more support you get to ease and retain the neutral-spine posture while sleeping. Lying on a hard bed having a firm mattress makes your bones bear the most of the pressure thus freeing the muscles and allowing the veins and arteries to relax in the process. This allows proper blood circulation resulting in better sleep.
A firm mattress also prevents the lower back from collapsing as you lay down. A typical hard mattress has 12 to 13 gauge coils providing adequate firmness. Hard mattresses are best for people with lower back pains as they provide proper spinal alignment and support. Chiropractors often suggest people to sleep on their backs on a firm mattress in order to reduce back problems.
With the invention of the waterbed in 1968, soft mattresses came into life. Waterbeds were hard to manufacture and initially people found it hard to get in and out of these beds but the trend slowly caught on giving birth to the soft mattresses.
Basically, a firm mattress contains 500 to 700 coils, while a soft plush one contains 312 to 450 coils and the coils of the wire gauge in soft mattresses vary from 14 to 16.5. Soft mattress are known to give full support (in the mattress industry, the term “support” means to “hold up”) to the body. These types of mattresses are best for people who sleep on their stomach or sides. Soft mattresses are also preferred by people who move too much in sleep as the mattresses adjust according to body movement and posture. Regular usage of soft mattresses, however, can give rise to back problems. It has been shown in a study that people who use soft mattresses regularly often develop lower back issues which can be treated by switching to hard mattresses.
Keeping aside the health related facts, at the end of the day, the choice of a particular mattress depends on your needs and comforts. Your age also plays a significant role in choosing a mattress. You should use a good bed along with a good mattress as they work together in providing a relaxing and comforting sleep. Do not let your habits guide you. If you are unable to get a good night’s sleep or if your back hurts every morning, it might be time to replace that mattress of yours.