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How to select a mattress that is good for health in India?

October 04, 2019 By Sandeep Prasad

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The topic of selecting the right mattress hasn’t been in the spotlight in India, primarily due to the reason that the choices available are too complex to understand and is not scientifically backed.  

Let’s say, you go to a mattress showroom, you would see pushy sales personnel showing you a plethora of mattress and hear the typical sales pitch to sell you the most expensive mattress.

So, when it comes to deciding on the best mattress for health in India, buying online is significantly economical than at a physical store. More importantly, you get detailed information online about the materials used and the benefits of choosing a particular mattress brand.

But buying online alone isn’t enough for choosing the right mattress. More important is gaining knowledge on the different types of mattresses so you know what works for you. Note that all mattresses available online may not necessarily be the right fit for you.

New data from Sleep Cycle shows that no country in the world manages to achieve 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. As the recommended range of sleep for an adult is 7-9 hours a night, this highlights a worrying lack of sleep throughout the world.

What’s more shocking is India ranks 4th out of the most sleep deprived nations in the world.

Time in bed

Source: https://www.sleepcycle.com/

Wondering which mattress is good for health? First, let’s be aware of the scientific facts about various types of mattresses:

Hard Mattress:

One common notion is harder mattress are better as they provide more support and do not sag.

This is scientifically untrue as the perfect mattress should ideally be medium firm or medium soft for best comfort. Hard mattress is not in uniform contact with your body when you lie on it and hence leads to development of uneven pressure points which are the primary reason for chronic back pain.

Spring mattress:

Spring mattress is perceived to be luxurious because of the term “spring”. This is untrue as spring mattresses are not comfortable for prolonged use. It is good to touch and feel, but tends to be worse for the back and spine. The reason for this is uneven hardness distribution on the surface.

The spring mattress tend to be hard where the spring coil is present and softer in other areas. This is more felt after prolonged use. After all, you are not planning to use the mattress as a trampoline. Kids maybe!

Flipping the Mattress:

We all are used to flipping the mattress every few months. The reason we do this is because the upper side starts becoming soft and saggy while the lower side is comparatively harder. Some also flip the mattress to enjoy the more cleaner side of the mattress. In reality, a mattress need not be flipped every month or so.

A mattress with good density and material compression is sturdy enough and doesn’t require flipping at all. For retaining freshness, always choose a mattress with an advanced breathable natural fabric cover that keeps the mattress clean and smelling good.

Memory Foam and Heat:

Memory foam mattresses are known to produce heat. But what’s important to know is that memory foam mattress do not produce heat if the cells of foam are open enough to make it breathable.

Most premium mattresses use high grade cool gel combined with memory foam. Irrespective of the kind of mattress, the heat issue is countered by the cell size of the foam used and cool gel. Technically, this rests upon the mattress manufacturer to define proper cell size, cool gel integration and breathability. Always checkout the product description for CERTIPUR-US & OEKO-Tek International certifications for the materials used. Few companies also offer a 10 year warranty.

Even Quilting:

Designs on the top surface of mattress, termed as quilting (squares and triangles) are just for an aesthetic appeal and are not good for your back. Quilting generally leads to unevenness on the sleeping surface and hence uneven support on your back. The best quilting makes sure there is no unevenness and this is ensured in mattresses that use internationally certified materials with stringent quality checks at the manufacturing floor.

Uniform Back Support:

The primary criteria that one should consider before choosing a mattress is uniform back support. There could be other mattresses which might have catchy exclusive features but those fall under secondary criteria. Imagine buying a good looking mattress at a hefty price from a reputed brand just to suffer from back pain every time you sleep. That defeats the purpose of a mattress, doesn't it?

Here are some criteria to look out for when you research a mattress online or when you talk to a salesperson when you go to a retail showroom:

Comfort:

Every body type and sleep preference is unique. Some like sleeping on a hard surface while others may like softer ones. Comfort should not be measured by the immediate feeling when you go lie down on the bed. So how do we measure it?

Go to sleep on a mattress and when you wake up after 7-8 hours of sleep, ascertain how you feel. If you feel uneasy, or feel the need to stretch your body or experience back pain then the mattress is proven to be uncomfortable and is not the right fit for you. Therefore, you need to spend a period of days on a mattress before deciding whether the mattress is a good fit or not. Some brands offer a 100 day free trial to give you ample time to test the mattress.

Support:

Support

Source: https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-5998f853920d5df385d5ead8d274bdf7

Support does not necessarily mean a hard mattress. It is the upward push you feel when lying on it. In short, does the mattress take the shape of your body when you lie down? That is termed support. It helps eliminate pain points on the body and ensures uniform blood flow throughout the night.

One good identifier – If you find yourself tossing too much at night, your mattress is not supporting you effectively. Memory foam mattresses are the best solution in this case.

Breathability:

Breathability is simply whether the mattress produces heat while sleeping. An average mattress produces heat, whereas the best mattress adapts to your body temperature. If the mattress is breathable, it should help achieve room temperature. This makes sure that your skin is well ventilated so you don’t feel warm and sweaty. Memory foam mattresses infused with cool gel layer adapts to body temperature and does not generate heat. Those that generate heat could be due to poorly manufactured which use adulterated foam as raw material.

Durability:

Durability is the density and compression characteristics of the material used. Pure latex, high-density foam and advanced cool gel layer with good density and gauge are good for durability. Coir, bonded foam, and cotton mattresses rank poorly on this parameter. The durability of the mattress is directly proportional to its effectiveness and therefore impacts sleep health.

Hygiene:

Hygiene is the most important factor to consider when purchasing a mattress. Mattresses are bound to get spills and stains. A removable and washable mattress cover made of natural hypo-allergenic materials is a must. Add to that a perfect mattress protector and you’ve taken care of hygiene for long-term use. 

Benefits of Memory Foam Mattress:  

  • Memory foam improves sleep, says Kathy R. Gromer, MD, sleep specialist, the Minnesota Sleep Institute in Minneapolis
  • When you lie on the memory foam, the heat from your body softens it in appropriate points. This helps in supporting your body along its curves and natural lines.
  • Best mattress for back pain: Though consumers often believe that very firm mattresses are best, more "adjustable" mattresses like memory foam aligns with the spine and gives better sleep for people with back pain, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
  • Memory foam mattress offers the best relief for orthopedic pains by eliminating pressure points when you sleep.
  • Memory foam provides a true body fit. It is the best mattress for lower back pain. This mattress wraps around the contours of your lumbar area and gives a soothing support.
  • Cool gel memory foam mattress provides temperature-controlled comfort in all seasons
  • Memory foam fights allergies and disease causing microbes.
  • Memory foam provides motion transfer resistance. The movement of a partner doesn't affect the other.
  • Easy maintenance: Memory foam is easy to maintain as it is dust and mite resistant
  • Good durability- Memory foam offers the best durability compared to other mattress types and has a longer life.
  • Memory foam mattresses are the perfect fit for adjustable beds
  • Accommodates different sleep postures and is the best mattress for slipped (herniated) disc.

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