What mattress is right for me?

A good night’s sleep, just like proper diet and exercise, is essential to your mental, emotional and physical health. But many people do not get the recommended amount and quality of sleep required each night, waking up tired, experiencing difficulty concentrating, irritability, weakened immune system, higher stress levels and feeling drained throughout the day. Some people will experience a stiff neck, back pain, pins and needles sensation and waking up soaked in sweat after sleeping on a poor quality or old mattress. The solution can be as simple as sleeping on a better mattress.


You May Need a New Mattress if…

Your mattress like an old pair of shoes can still feel comfortable long after it has lost its ability to provide your body with the proper comfort and support it needs. The life span of a mattress depends on a few points such as how often it’s used, the quality, your own changing comfort and support needs such as age and weight. In general, a mattress that has been used for five to eight years may no longer provide proper comfort and support you may need, and should be reassessed. A scientific study from Oklahoma State University, “Found that people with mattresses five years old or older reported significant improvements in sleep quality and comfort when sleeping on a new mattress, regardless of the sleeper’s age or weight”. So it is important to compare the mattress you are sleeping on now to newer models every few years.


Is it time to Buy a New Mattress ?

Consider these first;

  • Is your mattress five to eight years old?
  • Do you wake up with stiffness, numbness, aches and pains?
  • Have you had a better night’s sleep somewhere other than your own bed (such as a hotel or friend’s guest room)?
  • Does your mattress sag where you lie, or sag at the edges so you feel you might fall off?
  • Does your bed make noises when you lie on it?
  • Do you and your partner lie comfortably alongside each other?
  • Is the surface of your mattress uncomfortable to touch?
  • Would you be embarrassed to show your bed without sheets to your friends?
  • Is the cover torn, soiled or stained?

If you answered yes to these questions more than no it may be time for a new bed or mattress.


Did you know: 

 According to an Oklahoma State University study, a new mattress provided sleepers with significant improvements, including*:

  • 70.8% in sleep comfort
  • 62.0% in sleep quality
  • 55.3% in back pain
  • 50.7% in spine stiffness

*As compared to sleeping on a mattress 5 years old or older.



When choosing a new bed you should consider:

Choosing the right mattress for that great night’s sleep is a mattress that provides the correct comfort and support for you. But you should also consider what sleep position you prefer, whether you prefer a cooler or warmer sleep, do you have any injuries that affect you sleep and if you prefer a firmer or softer feeling mattress. Also consider your partner when selecting a new mattress as they may have different sleeping requirements to you.


So what makes a good bed?

Modern beds are made from a vast number of different materials and technologies, which can be confusing but with some general mattress information on the variety of choices available, will make it easier to choose the right bed for you.


1). Support. A good mattress is designed to provide support for your body at all points and keep your spine in the same shape as a person with good standing posture. Pay special attention to your shoulders, hips and lower back—the heaviest parts of the body.

Mattress foundations:

  • Open Coil: One of the most common foundations in mattresses is the open coil spring providing you with an affordable yet durable mattress foundation.
  • Pocket Springs: Adapts to the contours of your body providing support and minimal partner disturbance with minimum roll together
  • Dual Coil: Provides double the support, unique inner coil responds to variable pressure providing a second tier of back support.
  • Foam: Has no spring pressure to give you essential deep down support and no partner disturbance.


2). Comfort. A good quality mattress is built to provide you with superior comfort. Luxurious comfort layers materials and extra-soft surface fabrics are used to create a plusher, more comfortable feel.

Mattress comfort layers:

  • Memory Foam (Visco Elastic Foam): Responds to body heat and weight by molding to the contours of your body, providing support & eliminating pressure build up.
  • Latex: a natural product that is hypoallergenic and conforms to your body's curves, allowing the weight to be evenly distributed.
  • Gel: Provides an immediate and instant pressure relief that does not retain body heat allowing a cooler sleep.
  • Foam/Polyester: Provides padding between the mattress and its foundations providing extra comfort
  • Cotton, Wool, Silk, Cashmere and other natural fillings: these all natural fillings are hypoallergenic, strong, soft and provide unparalleled thermal regulation and good moisture management


3). Durability: It’s the quality of the materials used and how they’re put together that determines how long a mattress and foundation will provide comfort and support.

Mattress bases:

  • Platform Base: In most occasions a platform base is made as a match to a mattress, offering a durable firmer feel to the mattress.  
  • Sprung Base: With a spring system built into the base acting like shock absorbers for a car, a sprung base provides essential support for the mattress and ensures luxurious comfort.
  • Adjustable Bases: Electrically adjustable beds enable sleepers to adjust the head and foot of the bed to the most comfortable position.


Regardless of the type of sleep system you decide to purchase, always evaluate a mattress for comfort, support, durability and space. The mattress that best addresses these needs is the mattress for you.

Did you know: The warranty on a mattress and foundation is not an indicator of how long the product should be used before replacement? Instead, the warranty exists to protect the consumer from product defects, not against gradual loss of comfort and support.

However the length of warranty on a product will in normal cirumstances give an indication of the quality of materials used and therefore the confidence a manufacturer has in this product in regards to reliability and in turn durability.


Consider The Size

  • A healthy person moves anywhere from 40-60 times a night, including full body turns. In order to have an undisturbed sleep you need freedom to move unobstructed while you sleep and to help you relax while getting to sleep. Make sure your mattress gives you room to move around comfortably throughout the night. Buying a too-small mattress is one of the biggest mistakes new bed-buyers make. Couples who've been sleeping on a "double" since they got married may think they have enough room, until they learn that each person has only as much sleeping space as a baby's crib!


Double beds  

A double bed is 4ft6 wide, which is just 17.5 inches wider than a single size. That leaves each partner only 26.5 inches of personal space, or about the width of a crib. Both single and double sizes are approximately 6ft3 long, which may be too short for some adults, especially men.

Recommendations: A double bed is only enough space to comfortably sleep a single sleeper or two small people. Parents are increasingly choosing double size over single for teenage bedrooms. Parents are even making this choice for younger children to give themselves a more comfortable place to rest when reading bed time stories together.


King beds. 

  • A king bed is approximately 5ft wide by 6ft6 inches long – 6 inches wider and 3 inches longer than a double mattress. These added inches can make all the difference in comfort, especially for couples, and have made the king today's most popular mattress size. However, with 28.5 inches of personal space, each adult still has 7 inches less width than if they slept alone in a single bed.
  • Recommendations: King size is a good choice for smaller master bedrooms and for couples who prefer close quarters. It's also a great choice for single sleepers who are also "sprawlers."


Super King beds. 

  • These are approximately 6ft wide by 6ft6 long – about 1ft wider than a King. This is the closest a couple can come to having as much personal space as each would have on a single bed. In fact, a zip and link 6ft divan set is an option that can offer a flexible arrangement for a guest room as it can be split into two extra long 3ft divan sets.


  • Recommendations: Super King size is the best choice for couples that want maximum personal sleeping space. It's also the best bet to accommodate that time on Sunday morning when children may pop into bed – or if the pets in your house have mattress privileges! However, size can be a problem. Even with a "split divan base" – two twin-size foundations to support it – to make a super king set more manageable, it may be too big for some bedrooms or too bulky to navigate through some corridors, doors and stairwells. It's a good idea to break out the tape measure to check your room dimensions and all access points to the bedroom if there is any doubt.


Finding the Mattress of your Dreams:

Remember it is important to have an educated salesperson who can guide you through the many choices in bedding to help you find the mattress that best meets your personal needs and preferences. Shop for the best value mattress, not the lowest price, the best assurance for good mattress performance over many years is to buy the highest quality sleep set you can afford. Be sure to “test drive” your new mattress (if you’re a woman, it’s best to go mattress-shopping in jeans or pants) and lie down on several different models in various positions, especially the one you usually sleep in. Spend at least 3-5 minutes on the mattress focusing on the “feel” the longer you spend on the mattress the better as some mattresses can take a few minutes to mold to your body. After selecting your new mattress it is recommended to purchase the matching base to support the mattress, as the two are designed to work best together. In fact, buying the mattress without its matching divan base may affect the terms of the warranty. You should never put a new mattress on an old divan base.


Create a sleep sanctuary and routine

  • While the mattress is a very important part of the sleep experience, other environmental factors such as your bedroom lighting, colour and decor, play an important role in the total sleep experience. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quite, comfortable and cool. Keeping work materials, computers and televisions out of the bedroom will help turn your bedroom into a place to relax and wind down. Set a time for going to bed (including weekends) and try to stick to it. Create a bed time ritual such as a bath, a hot drink, reading a book or listen to soothing music to help the brain to associate these with getting ready to sleep. Avoid eating right before bed and engaging in activities that can over stimulate your brain. Following these tips will help you on your way to dream land in no time.
  • Did you know: Some retailers offer “comfort guarantees,” the option to return a mattress if you take it home and find that it is not comfortable. That offer can sound appealing, but in practice, it can mean extra days of coordinating pickups, redelivery and another day of shopping. Be wary as there is always a lot of fine print connected to these so called offers. Consumers are advised to take steps in the store to ensure the mattress and foundation they choose is the right one first time around.


The mattress sizes are:

Mattress Size             Dimensions 
Single (3' x 6'3) 90cm x 190cm
King Single (3'6 x 6'6) 105cm x 200cm
Double (4'6 x 6'3) 135cm x 190cm
King (5' x 6'6) 150cm x 200cm
Super King (6' x 6'6) 180cm x 200cm 


For the second part of this guide please continue on to the Bed Buying Guide.

Come and visit us at your local Harvey Norman Store or shop on line today and we'll find the perfect mattress for you!


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