How to Pick Your Perfect Mattress
Ready for a new mattress? Here's how to find the one that suits you best.
Latex mattresses are made from either natural or synthetic rubber, and are
known for providing a very firm, bouncy support that is uniform throughout the
Pros: "Quite frankly, I think one of the best materials is latex,"
Breus says. He likes it for being very firm and supportive, but also for
providing comfort similar to memory foam. Unlike the memory foam mattresses,
however, Breus says latex pushes back, ultimately providing more support.
Cons: If you don't like the feel of a firm mattress, latex is
probably not the right choice for you.
Conditions: Either a latex mattress or latex mattress topper is great
for relieving back pain because they offer the best combination of comfort and
support, Breus says.
We're not talking about the blow-up mattresses you put your holiday guests
on for a few days. Higher-end air beds look like a standard innerspring
mattress, but use air-filled chambers instead of coils, and are covered by a
foam layer on top.
Shamie notes that air beds have long been used for patients with spinal cord
injuries who are lying in bed for a long time. They can be adjusted so they
don't continue to press on the same areas of the body, which helps to avoid
skin breakdown in patients who can't move.
Pros: "Couples who have dramatic differences in their individual
preference for comfort and firmness levels might do very well with an air
mattress," Breus says. The reason is that the firmness of each side of the bed
can be altered. If you like it firmer than your partner, these beds can be
adjusted for that.
Like latex and memory foam, you can also find air toppers for your
Cons: Shamie says people sometimes fail to make their air bed firm
enough and wake up with back aches. Less sophisticated air mattresses also pop
up on one side when you sit on the opposite end. For that reason Breus says,
you want multiple chambers so that doesn't occur.
Conditions: These beds are particularly useful when sleeping partners
have different needs. If one of you has a bad back, one side can be made firmer
than the other to provide greater support.