I have a memory foam mattress… And I really hope that it doesn’t remember everything
- Try, try and try again! There is no substitute for lying on mattresses when selecting the right one for you. You wouldn’t buy a new car without taking it for a test drive first – and you’ll be spending even more time in your bed! So wear comfortable clothes, remove your coat and shoes, and lie on the bed for quite a long time – at least 10 minutes (preferably more). Adopt your normal sleeping position and lie on your side as well as your back.
- Always shop together if the bed’s for two, to ensure you are both happy with your choice.
- Set aside enough time to do the job properly. Don’t shop when you’re tired or rushed – you run the risk that the beds will all feel wonderful.
- Correct support depends on your weight, height, build and even preferred sleeping position. Ideally the mattress should mould to the shape of your body while remaining supportive. When you lie on your side your spine should be horizontal.
- You should be able to turn easily. As a general rule, the heavier you are, the firmer the tension you will need. You don’t necessarily need a hard bed if you have a bad back.
- Comfort is very subjective. Some people like the sensation of being cocooned in a bed, others prefer to lie on top of them. Back sleepers may like a firmer feel than people who sleep on their sides. There are lots of different ‘feels’ around – you can choose what works best for you.
- Most manufacturers will offer mattresses in firm, medium and soft options. Try different options to be sure which is best for you. Remember there is no industry wide standard to compare firmness ratings from one manufacturer to the other.
- For partners of widely differing size and weight (3 stones/18 kgs or more), different mattresses may be required. Some manufacturers make double beds from two single mattresses zipped together, which can be of differing tension. Others can combine different degrees of firmness in one mattress.
A good way to check if the bed you are lying on is too soft, too hard, or just right, is to lie on your back, and slide your hand in the hollow of your back. If it slides in too easily, the bed may be too hard for you (leading to pressure on your hips and shoulders); if it’s a struggle to slide your hand in, then the bed is probably too soft. If you can move your hand with just a little resistance, the bed may be just right for you. Another useful test is to pop a set of keys behind your back. You shouldn’t be able to feel them!