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Choosing the Right Mattress

You spend a third of your life sleeping. Be sure you’re making the most of it with the right mattress.

Written by Tara Larson

Choosing the right mattress can be confusing and even frustrating, but it’s nothing to lose sleep over. We have the tips to help you find the perfect cushion to ensure your beauty rest.

First, take your time as you consider this important purchase, says Ali Maas of Tempur Sealy. “‘Feel’ is a very subjective thing, so we recommend consumers try out mattresses before they buy,” she says.

You might want to even bring your own pillow while shopping. “The more you can simulate your actual sleeping experience, the more likely you will end up with the right mattress,” Maas says.

Next, make sure your trial run on the mattress pays off by lying down on the bed in the same position you sleep. Are you a back, stomach, or side sleeper?

If you find sleeping on your back most comfortable, look for medium-to-firm feel, which provides balanced support from a firmer bottom layer and a slightly softer top layer. Stomach sleepers should seek out a firmer mattress, as these support the lower back better. And for you side sleepers, look for a softer bed, particularly more cushion on the top layer, such as a memory foam or pillow-top mattress. These types allow the hips and shoulders to sink deeper into the mattress, providing support and comfort where needed. Temperature can also play a factor in choosing the right mattress. If you get a bit too warm while sleeping, consider a mattress that maximizes airflow to regulate heat and help you sleep better.

Before you even head to the store, do some research to avoid frustration. “Visit brand websites to learn more about products and read customer reviews,” Maas says. “Get suggestions from friends and family. Then, once you visit a store, a retail sales associate can help you narrow down your options.”

Here are Maas' picks for:

Back sleepers—Tempur-Pedic Adapt Medium or Medium Hybrid or the Sealy Silver Chill Firm Hybrid Medium

Stomach sleepers—Tempur-Pedic Luxe Adapt Firm or Stearns & Foster Estate Firm Tight Top

Side sleepers—Tempur-Pedic ProAdapt Soft or Stearns & Foster Luxe Estate Plush Pillowtop

Those who sleep hot—Stearns & Foster mattresses with the Airvent Cooling System