Everything you need to know about buying a new mattress
Firm or medium
“People think the firmer a mattress is, the better it is for your back. That’s correct when it comes to supporting the back, but a firm mattress won’t necessarily be comfortable and give you a good night’s sleep if it doesn’t have comfort layers or a pillowtop, too,” says Troy Grzeschka, senior mattress category manager at Snooze.
A firm mattress is a good choice for people who sleep on their tummy as it helps keep the spine aligned. A medium mattress may be a better support option if you sleep on your back and a soft mattress is good for side sleepers as it supports the body’s contours.
What about a pillow top?
If a mattress looks flat, it is lacking a pillowtop or cushioning layers. These relieve pressure on the body as we sleep and the thicker the pillow top, the more comfort and pressure relief you enjoy.
“You can still have a firm mattress with the support underneath for your back, but the comfort layers on top of the springs will help you have a better night’s sleep,” Grzeschka says.
Do I need edge support?
There's nothing worse than sitting on the edge of your bed to tie your shoelaces and the mattress crumbling under you. As well as making it easier to get dressed, edge support can also help you get a better night's sleep by helping to stop you from falling off the edge when your partner rolls too far over onto your side.
Edge support can refer to either the rigid encasement around the mattress frame that keeps everything in place (this is often seen with sprung mattresses that might need a little extra help around the edges), or the particular material used (some foam mattresses use a denser foam around the edges to ensure the mattress remains firm and keeps its shape). If you've got mobility issues, mattresses with edge support can also be easier to get in and out of.
How to make your mattress more allergy-friendly
The National Asthma Council Australia says that the greatest exposure to house dust mites comes from bedding. If you do have allergies, look for a mattress manufactured with anti-microbial treatments that help limit dust mites. A mattress protector will also reduce the build-up of dust mites.
If you spend a few thousand dollars on a mattress, you want to get the most from your investment.
“Most mattresses are single-sided now so don’t need to be flipped over, but you need to rotate,” says Grzeschka. The first three months are the key wearing-in period, so mattresses need to be rotated every two weeks for the first three months. After that, rotate your mattress every season.
Signs it’s time for a new mattress
When it comes to mattresses, age isn't just a number so, if you've had yours for more than a decade, it's probably time to consider a younger model. Other signs you might need a new mattress include waking up with aches and pains, squeaky springs or sagging in the middle. If it's starting to feel like you're sleeping in a hammock rather than a bed, that's probably a good sign your mattress needs replacing.