If you are looking for a new mattress in Canada, the options on the market can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to decide the best type of mattress for you. Should you pick a soft, medium, or firm mattress? What about the choice between the different types of foam and innerspring mattresses? Or perhaps a hybrid mattress would meet your sleeping needs the best?
We have created this guide to mattresses to help you decide what mattress type would be best for you. Whether you, for example, like to sleep on your stomach or your back or are prone to allergies or back pain, you will find advice on picking the mattress that can help you get comfortable in bed and sleep soundly.
How to Find the Best Mattress Type for You
When you start to look for a new mattress, you need to consider several factors, including the position you sleep in, your body weight, whether you often get hot during the night, do you suffer from allergies or back pain, and if you sleep alone or share a bed with a partner.
All these factors together determine the best mattress type for you. Below, you will find advice on how to choose the best mattress to meet your sleeping preferences and requirements.
If you mostly sleep on your side, you put more pressure on your hips and shoulders than back or stomach sleepers. You will need a mattress that relieves pressure points and offers adequate support.
For most side sleepers, medium to medium-soft mattresses are the best because they will allow the shoulders and hips to sink in slightly. This promotes better alignment of your spine and reduces pressure points.
Memory foam and latex mattresses are often good options for side sleepers because they distribute weight more evenly than most innerspring mattresses. When trying out mattresses, consider the alignment of your spine. It should be relatively straight when viewed from the side.
If you primarily sleep on your back, you need a mattress that supports your spine. For most back sleepers, medium-firm or firm mattresses work best in minimizing pressure points and promoting correct spinal alignment, while preventing you from sinking in too deeply. Your hips and shoulders should be well supported and your spine in a neutral position.
Pocketed innerspring mattresses often work well for back sleepers because they offer firmness and targeted support. Latex mattresses are another good option for back sleepers because they are naturally supportive and firm.
Memory foam mattresses can also work well because it contours your body. However, medium-soft or soft memory foam mattresses are not suitable for most back sleepers because your hips will sink in too much.
Stomach sleepers need to avoid mattresses that allow them to sink in too much as this will cause the spine to arch unnaturally, which may lead to issues with your back. The key is to find a mattress that does not let any part of your body sink in so deep that your spine gets out of alignment.
If you like to sleep on your stomach, test mattresses from medium-soft to medium-firm depending on your body weight. Medium-soft mattresses are often better for lighter stomach sleepers, while medium-firm will support the spinal alignment of heavier sleepers better.
Stomach sleepers will often find latex mattresses comfortable as the material is both supportive and responsive with some bounce, while pocketed innerspring mattresses will provide targeted support for the spine. However, they may be too firm for lighter stomach sleepers. A hybrid mattress, combining an innerspring core with a memory foam top layer, provides balanced support and pressure relief.
The term combination sleepers refers to people who often switch their sleeping position during the night. Because they may switch between sleeping on their backs, sides, and stomachs, finding the best mattress type can be a little more challenging.
Consider getting a medium-firm mattress if you often change positions during the night. It will give you the support you need when you sleep on your back or stomach and contour your body while you sleep on your side.
Combination sleepers also need to consider the mattress’ ability to isolate motion more than other sleepers, especially if you share it with a partner. Foam mattresses are generally better at motion isolation than innerspring mattresses, except for pocketed coil mattresses.
Memory foam and latex are both good options for combination sleepers. They are often excellent in providing pressure relief. They will also support the alignment of your spine when you are sleeping on your back or stomach and let your hips and shoulders sink in enough when sleeping on your side.
If you regularly suffer from back pain, the right mattress can alleviate the discomfort and promote better sleep. While choosing the best mattress type will depend on your specific back pain condition, the general recommendation for people with back pain is a medium-firm or firm mattress to prevent sinking and arching the back.
However, this will not work for everyone, especially if you have a lighter body weight. In that case, consider a medium mattress to give your spine the best alignment. Regardless of your body weight, look for a mattress that will distribute your weight evenly and reduce pressure on sensitive areas such as your hips and lower back.
Memory foam mattresses are often recommended for people who suffer from back pain. Because of their ability to conform to your body shape, they can provide excellent pressure relief as well as support for your spine.
You may also want to consult your healthcare professional or a mattress specialist if you suffer from back pain. They will be able to offer you more personalised recommendations based on your specific condition.
If you suffer from allergies, choosing a mattress that minimises your exposure to dust mites and other allergens can not only help you sleep better but reduce allergic flare-ups caused by allergens that can hide in mattresses.
Consider mattresses that are made with hypoallergenic materials. Organic mattresses, such as natural latex mattresses are often resistant to dust mites, mold, and other allergens. High-density foam mattresses are also less likely to harbour allergens.
When choosing a mattress, look for certifications such as OEKO-TEX, GOTS, or GOLS, which indicate the mattress meets certain safety and environmental standards and has been tested for allergens and harmful substances.
If you often find your sleep disturbed by feeling too hot and sweating, you will benefit from a mattress that promotes airflow and helps to regulate your body temperature. Choose mattresses made with breathable materials, such as latex and innerspring mattresses.
The coil structure in innerspring mattresses allows the air to circulate more freely instead of trapping it and making you feel hot. Latex mattresses made with natural latex are naturally cooler than other types of foam mattresses.
If you want to purchase a memory foam mattress but sleep hot, look for mattresses with gel-infused memory foam or open-cell structure. These are better than regular memory foam mattresses for regulating body temperature. Hybrid mattresses will also work as the innerspring core will help the air to circulate better.
In addition, you can look for mattresses that have cooling technologies such as moisture-wicking fabrics, cooling covers, or cooling gel layers. There are even mattresses that feature phase-changing materials that respond to your body heat. They release and absorb heat as needed thus helping to maintain a more constant temperature.
If you are a heavier sleeper, you need to find a mattress that is supportive, durable, and thick enough to ensure proper spinal alignment and longer-lasting comfort. Choose a mattress that has high-density coils or foam and that is at least 30 cm thick for improved support and to prevent the mattress from sagging prematurely.
A heavy sleeper needs to choose either a medium-firm or firm mattress as it will better prevent sinking excessively and support the correct alignment of the spine. Mattresses with edge support will also prevent sagging and offer more support when getting in and out of bed.
Innerspring mattresses with sturdy coils and hybrid mattresses are often good options for heavy sleepers. If you would prefer a foam mattress, choose a latex mattress, which is naturally firmer, or a firm memory foam mattress to prevent sinking in too much.
If you sleep alone, you have the advantage of only needing to consider your own needs and preferences. Start by considering your preferred sleeping position and your body weight and choose the firmness level that best supports both.
You also have more choices on the size of your mattress, depending on the size of your bedroom. While some single sleepers are happy with a twin or twin XL, others will prefer to have the extra space provided by a double or queen-size mattress. If you are a combination sleeper and have the space for a bigger bed, consider at least a double bed to make changing positions more comfortable.
One of the most important factors to consider as a couple is how well the mattress isolates movement. This is an especially important factor if one or both of you are combination sleepers to reduce the disturbance caused by the other person changing their sleeping position.
Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses offer better motion isolation than innerspring mattresses. If you would like to get an innerspring mattress, choose a pocketed coil mattress. Because the coils are in individual pockets, the motion is not transferred as easily across the mattress.
While some couples may find a double mattress big enough for them, others will prefer a queen or king-size mattress. Consider a bigger mattress if you are a combination sleeper to give you more space to move around or if either of you is a hot sleeper so you are not as affected by the other person’s body heat.
When choosing a mattress, it is important to consider your needs and preferences. While a firm mattress will be the best for some sleepers, others will require a softer mattress for the best spine alignment and pressure relief. In addition to how supportive the mattress is, you may also want to consider factors such as temperature control, motion isolation, and allergen resistance.
If possible try out mattresses in a store to find the most comfortable mattress type for you even if you are buying it online. You should also look for retailers and manufacturers that offer an at-home trial period. These sleep trials allow you to try out the mattress at home for an agreed period risk-free. If you are not happy, you can return the mattress for a full refund.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you often change position during the night, you are a combination sleeper. People who are combination sleepers may switch between stomach, back, and sides several times during the night. Medium-firm or firm mattresses can support changing positions better than softer mattresses.
However, it also depends on your body weight, and lighter sleepers will often find medium-soft or medium mattresses more comfortable. You will also want a mattress that isolates movement really well, such as a memory foam mattress.
If you have allergies, look for a mattress that is resistant to dust mites and other allergens. Organic mattresses often have the best resistance. For example, natural latex mattresses are hypoallergenic. Also, look for certifications such as OEKO-TEX, GOTS, and GOLS, which show the mattress has been tested for harmful materials.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a mattress, including your preferred sleeping position and your body weight. You also need to consider factors such as motion isolation, temperature regulation, and whether you have allergies or back pain.