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When shopping for a new mattress, there are two main factors to consider: what type of sleeper you are and what type of mattress you’re looking for. The ultimate decision should absolutely be made on the mattress in question with an in-person test to really see what fits you best, but to get you started on your search there are some guidelines to follow to get you going in the right direction.

Someone who sleeps on their stomach should seek a firmer mattress with proper back support to relieve stress on your back, preventing a painful arch. Foam mattresses should be high on the list for anyone who sleeps on their stomach or seeks pressure relief. Innerspring or hybrid mattresses would also work well, just look for ones that are supportive and firm enough.

If you sleep on your back typically, you’ll want a medium firm mattress – nothing too soft or firm – to keep your spine neutral and support your lower back. Memory foam and latex foam are both excellent choices, as they slowly conform to your shape, meaning pressure point relief and support where you need it most: conforming to the natural curvature of your spine.

Side sleepers should seek out something between soft and medium firmness to relieve neck and back pressure with a little more contour ability; your shape needs to be cradled by the mattress to support you properly, so latex foam would be a good place to start along with innerspring mattresses.

If you’re like many people and rotate between a number of these sleeping styles, choosing a mattress that is firm enough to allow you restful sleep while on your stomach but soft enough to allow for side sleeping is paramount. Latex foam or innerspring mattresses would both be excellent mattresses to try out.

Now that you have your options narrowed down a little bit, it’s time to look at the differences between mattress types. Innerspring is what most people thing of when they imagine the inside of a mattress: a base of springs/coils topped with foam, creating a firm or soft mattress depending on the level. Memory foam is a slow-response foam, which means less pressure on the body, a gradual conform to your shape, and maintaining that shape for a longer period of time. It’s often combined with gel for keeping you cool while you sleep. Latex foam responds more quickly than memory foam and naturally has temperature-regulation qualities to it, though it doesn’t relieve pressure to the same extent. Hybrid mattresses often are a combination of innerspring and foam so you get the best of both worlds!

No matter where you start and how many mattress options you look at, definitely be sure to stop into a store and see the mattress for yourself. Terms like plush, firm, soft might mean something completely different in person than how you were imagining, and the knowledgeable salespeople are there to give you even more assistance and guidance in your journey to find the perfect mattress and get your best nights sleep.

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