There are many things to consider when it comes to the interior furnishing of a house from essential furnishings such as kitchen cabinets and wardrobes, to furniture that serves aesthetic purposes like chandeliers and carpets. One of the most important items that you should really spend time and effort on before purchasing is your mattress. Unlike other furniture or electronic appliances in the house, a mattress is very essential since it is something that you will be using every day to rest after a long day at work. It is, therefore, essential to choose wisely to achieve better sleep.
In general, there are many options for mattress sizes and deciding on one depends on the bed frame size, room layout, available space, and personal needs. In fact, mattress sizes differ according to region so you will find slight differences when you compare mattress sizes in Malaysia to the ones in the United States or the United Kingdom. In the United Kingdom or the United States, you will see many different sizes such as Small Single, Single or Twin, Twin XL, Full, Full XL, Double, Queen, Olympic Queen, King, and California King. For Malaysians, the more commonly used sizes are Single, Super Single, Queen, and King.
Single Mattress (W90 x H190 cm)
As its name implies, single mattresses are mattresses that are intended for single sleepers. Single mattresses are often preferred when it comes to furnishing children’s rooms as they are space-saving and comfortable enough for the child until he or she grows into a young adult. From there onwards, a larger-sized mattress would be more suitable.
Super Single Mattress (W107 x H190 cm)
Slightly wider than the single mattress, this mattress is preferable for teenagers and young adults due to the fact that it provides a little more room. Ideal for smaller apartments such as studio apartments.
Queen Mattress (W152 x H190cm)
The queen mattress is ideal for couples who live in small-sized apartments that do not have much space. It also offers plenty of room when used by single adults who prefer more space to roll around.
King Mattress (W183 x H190cm)
Compared to the queen-sized mattress, a king-size mattress offers a lot more space and is most suitable for a couple with kids. The king-size mattress is the preferred choice for large bedrooms as it allows the owners to sleep comfortably together with their child or pet. In fact, the king-size mattress is always recognised as the luxury choice to go for most consumers if room space and budget allow it.
Types of Mattress
Numerous consumer brands offer mattresses made with different materials with varying firmness and benefits to the sleeper. Depending on the type of sleeper you are, certain materials would be more beneficial to you than others, so make sure you know what’s out there for you.
Remember a time when every movement on your bed creates unwanted creaking sounds? These are most likely mattresses made with innerspring. Innerspring mattresses are traditional mattresses known for their support and durability and have been long used by people around the world. This supportive mattress is made with several layers of coils inside the mattress, which are then surrounded by comfort materials such as foam, latex, or natural fibre.
The amount, shape, thickness, arrangement, and the number of turns of the coils often determine the lifespan of this mattress. Old innerspring mattresses usually only feature coils with no additional layers above them, but hybrid mattresses have become increasingly popular nowadays due to better cushioning.
There is a reason why innerspring mattresses are popular to this day, they offer solid back support and are often made available with many different levels of firmness. These spring mattresses are also budget-friendly, making them a good choice for first-time buyers. However, springs could become noisy as they age, and they may wear out quicker compared to foam.
Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam was first invented by NASA in the 1970s, and it has remained popular ever since. Memory foam is a softer mattress type composed of a variety of different-density foams such as polyurethane foam which provides different benefits to the sleeper such as extra comfort, and great motion isolation.
This soft mattress is known to retain the shape of the sleeper and contour to the sleeper’s shape, providing extra comfort from the deep pressure relief by the memory foam. It also helps with pressure relief for those with hip, shoulder, lower back, and neck pain, making them an excellent choice for those who are suffering from joint pains and other aches. It is also suitable for those who have a preferred sleeping position on their sides as the mattress distributes body weight evenly. For those who are having their sleep disrupted by their partner due to motion transfer, memory foam mattresses are a great choice as they have motion isolation features.
However, it also has its disadvantages as well as the foam tends to trap body heat, making it less ideal for hotter climates. Some sleepers do not enjoy the “hugging” feeling it provides as well, and the material’s softness may not be suitable for those who are looking for additional support. Compared to the traditional innerspring mattress, memory foam mattresses are also more expensive.
As its name implies, a hybrid mattress is made with a mix of two different mattress materials to provide the best of two worlds. For example, combining inner coils with foam creates a mattress that provides support but also has the softness for pressure relief. This is a supportive mattress and a great choice for combination sleepers. It is usually made medium firm to provide the right amount of softness and support.
There are many types of hybrid mattresses available on the market, and the performance of these hybrid mattresses will be based on the combination of materials used so it is best to visit a store to try them out before deciding on one. As it requires more materials to build hybrid mattresses, they are often more expensive and could be a costly mistake if you choose them without weighing your options carefully.
If you are looking for an organic mattress, latex could be your answer. Latex mattresses are made from pure latex foam or with a combination of latex foam with reflex foam or inner coils. Made from the sap of rubber trees, latex mattresses provide a light bounce when getting in or out of bed and provide contour and cushioning for the sleeper without the “sinking hug” feeling from memory foam mattresses. Latex also barely retains heat, which makes it a good option for those sleeping in hot climates. Combination sleepers will also be pleased with these.
Latex mattresses are growing in popularity due to their durability and comfort. There are three kinds of latex foams that are used in latex mattresses; synthetic, blended, and natural latex. Synthetic latex mattresses are mostly made with rubber-mimicking plastic which makes it the more affordable alternative compared to the other two types. Even though it is claimed to be safe to use, it may irritate people with respiratory problems.
Blended latex mattresses are made with 70 percent synthetic latex and 30 percent natural latex. They contain fewer irritants and last longer as compared to synthetic latex, but not as durable as natural latex.
Natural latex is the most durable among the three, and is loved by eco-friendly sleepers. It is a popular choice claimed to provide many health benefits due to its gentle cushioning and support, natural antimicrobial properties, and breathability due to its open-cell structure that permits airflow. It is also known for its average lifespan of 12 to 20 years.
Coconut Fibre Mattress
Often considered a cheap mattress, the coconut fibre mattress which is also known as coconut coir mattress is generally more known and used in Asia. This is an organic mattress made of natural fillings such as the husk from coconuts which are held together with natural latex.
The coconut fibre mattress is naturally antimicrobial, making it a fantastic choice for those who are suffering from allergies. It is also cooling to sleep on, which is why it is prevalent for hot sleepers and those in hotter climate countries. However, one of the downsides to this mattress is the firm sleeping surface which may be too firm for those who prefer a softer surface. This type of mattress is also one of the cheapest options on the market.
Comparison of Mattress Types
Selecting the Ideal Mattress for Yourself
With the knowledge you have gained about mattress types and sizes, it is time to make a decision and choose what is best for you. To assist you in making that choice, here are some tips.
To start things off, identify the size of the room to know the mattress size that you will be buying. A smaller-sized bed would be the better choice for compact-sized rooms, such as a single bed. For couples who don’t have much space to work around with, a queen-sized mattress would be the better choice.
Next, measure the bed frame that you will be using for the mattress. Most times, the mattress will match the bed frame so long as you stick to the specific size, for example, a king-sized mattress would fit onto a king-sized bed frame. However, not all bed frames adhere to this sizing standard, so it is better to be safe by measuring it than to be sorry.
Comfort is subjective to every individual, so the correct level of firmness for yourself is important. There are general guidelines to whether picking a softer or firmer mattress is better for you. For example, foam and latex are often perceived as being better options for those who are lighter in weight, while those who are heavier may benefit more from firmer mattresses such as innerspring or coconut fibre. Those who are in between may also choose a medium-firm mattress which is mostly hybrid or innerspring mattresses.
Another thing to consider when determining the firmness of your mattress is whether you are a back, side, or stomach sleeper. Side sleepers would prefer softer materials as they will contour and balance the body weight to provide better support. Those with back and stomach sleep style would tend to prefer something firmer for support.
Sweating at Night
The firmness or softness of a mattress is essential, but all of it doesn’t matter when you get wet and sticky due to sweating at night. If you experience excessive sweating while sleeping, it is recommended to choose materials such as innerspring, coconut fibre, or gel-memory foam mattress for a more comfortable sleep.
Like it or not, making the ideal mattress purchase also depends on your budget and mattress prices from different consumer brands in the market. Branded mattresses are usually expensive as they are known to be of the best quality and feature-rich, but this does not mean that a cheap mattress is bad. There are a growing number of online mattress sellers today who are able to offer quality mattresses at more affordable prices by eliminating middleman prices, so you may want to check them out as well.
Material choice of mattresses could also be affected by your budget. Innerspring and coconut fibre are more affordable, while latex and hybrids tend to be pricier. There are many financing options offered by mattress manufacturers today, so consumers are spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting a quality mattress.
Warranty Period & Lifespan
Similar to electronics or furniture purchases, make sure to check the warranty period and return policies of your mattress. Getting a mattress with a long warranty period ensures that you have peace of mind.
The lifespan of the mattress is also important and is affected by the type of material it is made with. Latex mattresses averagely last the longest, followed by memory foam, hybrid, and inner coil, however, this is not a given, and how you take care of the mattress will affect its lifespan as well. For example, using a mattress topper or a mattress protector helps to protect the mattress for better wear and tear.
Many consumer brands nowadays offer generous night trials up to 30 to 120 days for you to try before confirming your purchase. This means that you will get a full refund if you return the mattress within the trial period. Online mattress brands tend to offer these trial periods compared to retail brands so you make good use of this offer to determine the better choice for yourself. Prior to signing up for the sleep trial period, make sure you understand the return policy.
Test the Mattress
The rule of thumb in determining the most suitable mattress is to try it out yourself at a brick-and-mortar store. A majority, if not all, retail stores allow customers to try the mattresses available and also provide mattress recommendations, so take the time to try the mattresses out before making a decision, so that you can be fully satisfied with your purchase.
Here are some tips on how you can try them during your mattress shopping. Lay down properly in a relaxed sleeping position for 5 to 10 mins and feel out whether the mattress supports your weight. Ensure your body is on the mattress without any gaps in between to better feel the support it gives you in different sleep positions. If you are planning to share the mattress with a partner, bring them along to try it out together to test out the motion isolation.
Ensuring that you buy a quality mattress is the ultimate goal in your mattress buying journey as it will determine your sleep quality and sufficient rest night after night. In spite of all the specifications and guidelines, what’s most comfortable for you is still the best choice, so be sure to do your preliminary research and give them a try before you make your final decision.