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Do you often wake up feeling unrested?

How the Right Mattress Can Change Your Sleep

Do you often wake up feeling tense or with back pain? A lot of the time, a wrong or worn-down mattress or mattress topper can be the culprit. While a topper adds an extra layer of comfort and support to your sleeping surface, a mattress is an even more long-term investment playing an important role for your sleep quality. A new mattress can work wonders, but how can we choose the right one to achieve a healthy, restful sleep? Read our tips to guide you to the mattress type that's perfect for you.

When Is Our Sleep Negatively Impacted by a Mattress?

If our mattress is worn out, too small, too hard, too soft, or simply of poor quality, our muscles cannot relax properly while we're sleeping and our bones are not adequately supported. Unfortunately, if a mattress does not fulfill its supportive function optimally, it can lead to back- or leg pain. Our sleep also serves to regenerate the intervertebral discs. In the process, they fill up with a nutrient-rich fluid. If we sleep badly at night, the intervertebral discs may not be supplied with enough of this fluid, which increases the risk of disc ailments.

These are further body signals that indicate a poor mattress:

  • Circulatory problems (numbness in hands and feet)
  • Shoulder pain
  • Pain in the sacrum area (junction between the spine and pelvis)

Sleepless Nights? How You Can Tell If It's Time for a New Mattress

There are various reasons why your mattress may not provide the right conditions for healthy sleep.

  • Mattress age: On average, our mattresses are in use for seventeen years. However, after around eight to ten years, most mattresses are already worn out and the elasticity and other body-supporting properties have deteriorated significantly.
  • Body weight: You have gained or lost a significant amount of weight, which may cause the mattress to no longer meet your individual requirements.
  • Pregnancy: The baby bump makes it increasingly difficult to find a comfortable and relieving sleeping position on your existing mattress.
  • Sleeping position: You have changed from a back sleeper to a side sleeper, for example to counteract snoring at night.
  • Height: You are still using the same mattress as when you were younger, but have grown in the meantime - and your feet now reach over the edge of the mattress when you are lying stretched out.
  • Back problems: You're already experiencing issues with your back or discs and may therefore need a specially designed orthopedic mattress.
  • Allergies: In addition to house dust mites, mattresses can also contain chemical substances or natural materials causing allergic reactions that can affect our sleep.

Sleep Like On Clouds: How to Find the Right Mattress for Healthy Sleep

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a mattress that fulfills all requirements equally. After all, we are not standardised people with standardised heights and weights. Even our idea of what makes a mattress comfortable depends on our individual preferences and needs. If you experience pain or have any physical limitations, you should also adapt your mattress accordingly.

Pay Attention to Quality and Seek Advice

Only a well-supported spine promotes the regeneration of our intervertebral discs, relieves tension, alleviates back pain, prevents circulatory disorders, and ensures a healthy sleep rhythm. It is therefore best to lie on a high-quality mattress that has been specially selected for you. Always seek out expert advice when buying and, if possible, test whether you have found the right mattress for your healthy sleep by trying it out or sleeping on it at home for a while.

What a Good Mattress Should Offer

You should consider the following criteria when choosing a mattress:

  • Even distribution of the pressure load (to relieve pressure points),
  • Balanced body position,
  • Preservation of the spine's natural double-S shape when lying on your back (supine position),
  • Formation of a straight line from the cervical to the lumbar vertebrae when lying on your side (lateral position).

What Characterises the Right Mattress

These characteristics make a mattress perfect:

  • Elasticity: The mattress adapts to the contours of your body in the best possible way. Pressure-intensive parts of your body such as the shoulders or pelvis sink in comfortably and prevent pressure points. The neck, back of the knees, and loins are in contact with the mattress without any hollow space in between the mattress and your body when lying on your back.
  • Flexibility: The mattress immediately adapts to the respective body type in every sleeping position, regardless of body shape, weight, and height.
  • Stability: Regardless of your preferred sleeping position, a mattress with the right individual firmness level offers your body support and stabilises it. Because pressure points can cause unpleasant tension and pain, your body should lie as pressure point-free as possible from head to toe.

How to Choose the Right Mattress Firmness Level

There are some factors and orientation guidelines to help you find the right mattress for you: your body weight, height, and preferred sleeping position. Usually, the suitability and firmness for a certain body weight are described with the letter H (hardness). You can choose between five firmness levels: The higher the level, the more resilient the mattress.

Degrees of Firmness According to Body Weight

Choosing the right firmness level for a mattress is crucial for a restful night's sleep, in which our body weight plays an important role. This is because different weights have different requirements regarding the support and comfort of a mattress. The different firmness levels are therefore categorised as follows:

  • Firmness level H1: very soft, up to 60 kg (132 lbs)
  • Firmness level H2: soft to medium firm, up to 80 kg (176 lbs)
  • Firmness level H3: medium to firm, from 80 kg (176 lbs)
  • Firmness level H4: firm, from 100 kg (220 lbs)
  • Firmness level H5: very firm, from 130 kg (286 lbs)

Even Our Height Matters

Because the same weight is distributed differently on the mattress depending on your height, you should take this into account when choosing the right mattress. There is a simple rule of thumb for the calculation:

  • Body weight in kg  (Height - 100) → recommended firmness level: firm

Two Examples

You can use the following examples to determine which firmness level is best for you:

You weigh 55 kg and are 165 cm tall: 165 - 100 equals 65. Because 55 is lower than 65, you can opt for a soft mattress H1 to H2.

You weigh 92 kg and are 186 cm tall: 186 - 100 equals 86. Because 92 is greater than 86, you should choose a mattress with firmness level H3 or H4.

Mattress Firmness and Sleeping Positions

While the above formula provides you with a great orientation when it comes to choosing the right firmness level for you, you should even consider your preferred sleeping position. Depending on whether you mostly sleep on you back, stomach, or side, your new mattress' properties should optimally support your body accordingly.

Back and Stomach Sleepers

Sleeping on your back or stomach, your weight is spread out rather evenly on the mattress. To prevent the formation of a hollow back and to make sure the hips are supported, a back or stomach sleeper should aim at a slightly firmer mattress.

Side Sleepers

When you mostly sleep on your side, a rather small surface area is in contact with your mattress, which can create distinct pressure points. To prevent pain, for example on your shoulder and hip, and to ensure optimal spinal alignment, side sleepers should opt for a softer mattress.

Varying Sleeping Positions

If you tend to vary your sleeping position quite a lot and don't have a preferred one, a medium-firm mattress might be the best fit for you to ensure moderate support for your spine and body while lowering the risk of pressure point pain.

Of course, all of the above are only guidelines. If you feel like you sleep more comfortably on a soft sleeping surface, you can of course also choose a lower firmness level, for example, H2 instead of H3 or vice versa. However, you should be able to test the mattress you choose to ensure that it offers the right sleeping experience for you. Therefore, if you decide to buy your mattress online pay attention to the availability of a trial period.

Not Every Mattress is Right for Everyone: Mattress Types and their Characteristics

When looking for the right mattress to achieve a healthy and restful sleep, you will quickly realise that there are many different types of mattress. We have summarised the most common mattress types below, including their advantages and disadvantages.

SPRING MATTRESSES

Today, mainly pocket spring mattresses are available. In order to achieve a high degree of adaptation to the body, high-quality models contain around 500 steel springs. These are individually sewn into fabric pockets in the spring core.

Characteristics and properties:

  • Suitable for all sleeping positions, restless sleepers, those who perspire quickly and/or a lot, and those suffering from allergies
  • Medium-soft to medium-firm
  • Very adaptable and supportive
  • Good air circulation
  • Recommended for higher body weights
  • Poor heat retention
  • High dead weight
  • Unsuitable for adjustable slatted frames

WOOL MATTRESSES

Wool mattresses (or mattresses with wool) are mainly made from sheep's wool, which is applied to a cotton cover. Wool is a natural material and therefore offers several advantages over synthetic materials.

Characteristics and properties:

  • Very adaptable, which leads to a high level of comfort
  • Stable and durable
  • Good insulation properties
  • Good moisture regulation & air circulation
  • Suitable for all sleeping positions
  • Medium-soft to medium-firm
  • Hypoallergenic

FUTONMATTRESS

A futon mattress is made from several layers of cotton. Futon mattresses are also available with an additional coconut, latex, or foam core.

Characteristics and properties:

  • Suitable for all types of sleepers and floor sleepers
  • Very elastic and dimensionally stable
  • Medium-firm to firm

GEL MATTRESSES

The top two to eight centimetres of the mattress are usually filled with viscous gel, followed by several layers of foam as a substructure.

Characteristics and properties:

  • Suitable for all sleeping positions, restless sleepers, people who sweat a lot, allergy sufferers and those with back problems
  • Soft to medium-soft
  • Very adaptable to the shape of the body
  • Very fast regression of pressure points
  • Quick absorption of body temperature
  • Suitable for adjustable slatted frames
  • High dead weight
  • Poor air regulation & ventilation

COLD FOAM MATTRESSES

They are made of cold molded polyurethane foam. 7-zone cold foam mattresses should be preferred, as they provide seven lying zones created by incisions in the cold foam core.

Characteristics and properties:

  • Suitable for all sleeping positions, restless sleepers, people who get cold easily and allergy sufferers
  • Medium-soft to medium-firm
  • Good heat retention
  • Suitable for adjustable slatted frames
  • Very responsive
  • Unsuitable for people who sweat quickly
  • Not recommended for higher body weights
  • Moderate air regulation
  • In need of turning
  • Poor quality models tend to hollow out

LATEX MATTRESSES

They can be made of natural rubber, but are often made of synthetic material produced from petroleum or a mix of both. The mattress is made up of several different layers of latex.

Characteristics and properties:

  • Suitable for all sleeping positions and body weights as well as those who suffer from allergies and back problems
  • Soft (feeling of sinking in)
  • Extremely responsive
  • Very dimensionally stable
  • Suitable for adjustable slatted frames
  • Very heavy dead weight (up to 25 kilograms)
  • Depending on model, comparatively poor air regulation

TALALAY LATEX MATTRESSES

Talalay latex mattresses are made of 100% natural latex. Their core features a unique open-cell structure that is known for its responsiveness and good ventilation.

Characteristics and properties:

  • Suitable for all sleeping positions and body weights as well as those who suffer from allergies and back problems
  • Soft (feeling of sinking in)
  • Extremely responsive, providing pressure point relief and optimal spinal alignment
  • Great ventilation and breathability due to the core's open-cell structure
  • Very dimensionally stable
  • Suitable for adjustable slatted frames

Also, a great choice as a mattress topper.

VISCO FOAM MATTRESSES

Visco foam mattresses (also called visco memory foam, viscoelastic or visco mattresses) are the result of the further development of cold foam mattresses. They yield to body heat and pressure and almost perfectly adapt to the body's contours. A visco mattress takes on the room temperature and can therefore feel cold at first. If the room temperature falls below 18 °C, it becomes too hard.

Characteristics and properties:

  • Suitable for side and back sleepers, allergy sufferers, and those with back problems
  • Unsuitable for stomach sleepers, people who sweat quickly, heavier body weights, and restless sleepers
  • Suitable for those suffering from circulatory disorders
  • Medium-soft to medium-firm, almost weightless feel
  • Extremely adaptable to the shape of the body
  • Good heat retention
  • Suitable for adjustable slatted frames
  • Slow remoulding, which can lead to the formation of hollows

Solving Sleep Problems with the Right Mattress

You should not only choose your mattress based on comfort but also with regard to your preferred sleeping position, your sleeping behaviour and any intolerances. In addition, the mattress should both absorb and release moisture, which is achieved through sufficient air circulation and good ventilation. This also creates a more hygienic sleeping environment. In terms of bed hygiene, you should opt for a mattress with a removable and washable mattress cover as well.

Even with a removable cover, it makes sense to protect your mattress and topper with a washable mattress protector. The CURA AirTemp® Mattress Protector is specially designed to improve air circulation and absorb moisture to create a dry and hygienic sleeping environment. This helps to ensure a comfortable night's sleep. Or discover the CURA Waterproof Lyocell mattress protector, if you wish for extra secure protection from stains and liquids.

Mattress Toppers for Increased Comfort and Support

A topper is suitable for both old and new mattresses and is usually available in the same variants and materials as mattresses and, usually, they come in a thickness of five to ten centimetres. CURA of Sweden also offers high-quality toppers for comfortable and healthy sleep in addition to their trusted weighted duvets and blankets.

The CURA AirTemp® Topper is available in two firmness levels, soft and firm. The supportive comfort topper, is placed on top of one's mattress and possesses a core made of high-density premium AirCell foam, providing optimal support for the body while sleeping. The topper also contains layers of wool that wick away moisture and regulate the temperature to provide you with a comfortable sleeping environment. This means you benefit from the temperature-regulating properties of the topper all year round, so you can sleep comfortably cool in summer and cosily warm in winter.

These are the advantages of mattress toppers:

  • Improvement of your sleeping surface according to individual needs (without having to buy a whole new mattress)
  • Better adaptation to your body and pressure relief
  • Softer sleeping on mattresses that are too hard
  • Adding breathability and ventilation to your sleeping surface
  • Better temperature-regulation
  • Good complement to spring mattresses

Read more about mattress toppers and how to choose the right one for you.

Your Ideal Sleeping Surface for a Healthy Sleep

A poor or incorrectly chosen mattress leads to unhealthy sleep. Even the highest quality bed defeats its purpose if the mattress is old, worn out, too soft or too hard for you and your body's needs. Therefore, make sure to create a sleeping environment with the right premises for a restful and healthy sleep. There is the right mattress for every type of sleeper but while there are some general guidelines to follow, it can still be difficult to find the perfect one. Seek professional advice, try out different mattresses extensively, and avoid low-quality products. Every so often, sleep disorders or back problems can quickly become a thing of the past thanks to the right mattress. We wish you a good night's sleep and hope you found our guide a helpful resource for your future mattress purchase!

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