Healthy Living

Mattress Matters

Sleep on downy comfort

Sleep does everything from boosting our immune system to helping stave off the pounds. And the key to a good night’s rest might start with your mattress. (Proof that plenty of folks agree: Americans spent more than $5.8 billion on mattresses and box springs in 2010.).
So how do you pick the perfect mattress?

  • Replace a mattress (and the box springs) approximately every eight years. Longer than that, and the materials start to degrade, making the mattress less comfortable. If you wake up in pain or sleep poorly, you may need to upgrade sooner.
  • Think comfort. Getting the best mattress is about finding the one that suits your comfort level. Do you like firm, soft or somewhere in between?
  • Do a test run. “Sleep” on a mattress for at least 20 minutes in a normal sleep position before you buy it.
  • Don’t sag. Most experts agree: A saggy mattress is a no-no, especially if you suffer from back pain.
  • Take allergies into account. Read the label to make sure the materials don’t contain any allergens. Or choose a hypoallergenic mattress (natural latex and wool are both good options) or spring for a cover.
  • Consider your partner. Share a bed? Pick a mattress that allows you both to adjust the firmness on your respective sides.
  • Check the return policy. Don’t get stuck with an expensive mattress if it doesn’t provide a peaceful night’s sleep.
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