How to Pick Your Perfect Mattress
Ready for a new mattress? Here's how to find the one that suits you best.
These beds are able to bend and elevate at varying angles. As a result, the
mattress has to be flexible. Different types of mattresses can be used on an
adjustable bed – memory foam, latex, or air, for example. Spring mattresses are
more difficult to use, however, because the springs don't handle the bending
Pros: For people who have difficulty getting in and out of bed or who
like to watch television in bed, Shamie says, adjustables can make life easier
by moving you closer to where you need to be.
Conditions: If you suffer from sleep apnea, sleeping flat can make
the condition worse by cutting off airways and causing the tongue to fall into
the back of the throat, Shamie says. People who experience acid reflux can also
benefit by sleeping in a bed that elevates their upper body.
Shamie also suggests adjustable beds for people with hip or back pain who
have a hard time moving from a lying position to sitting up or standing.
When you have guests staying for a night or two, sofa beds come in handy.
The mattresses in these beds tend to be very thin so they are flexible enough
to fold and collapse into the couch. It's a great convenience to have a sofa
bed, but you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who raves about their
Pros: Sofa beds are convenient, especially if you have limited space.
But from a health perspective, Shamie and Breus don't see any advantages.
Cons: A night or two on a sofa bed is OK. But "this is probably the
worst kind of bed you can sleep on long-term," Shamie says. The mattresses used
in most sofa beds are very thin and the springs quite weak. "It really leads to
an uncomfortable situation," Shamie says.
If you're really tight for space and need a bed that folds up, Shamie says
that futons, while not the most supportive, are better for your back than the
typical sofa bed.
Conditions: There are no conditions for which a sofa bed will be
helpful, according to the experts. But if you have a bad back or hips, these
beds will be especially uncomfortable.