Mattresses, which ones to choose?

On the market, today, you can find many types of mattresses, produced with different materials and with different degrees of rigidity. There is no type of mattress that is better than another, so the choice must be made according to certain parameters such as body weight, height, preferred sleeping position, room temperature, any problems of musculoskeletal nature, habits and general comfort.

Standard mattress sizes

Are there standard mattress sizes? What are the dimensions of the models offered on the market? How to choose?

When choosing the ideal mattress, the size factor is fundamental for optimal rest: the size of the product, in fact, varies according to the number of people who will use it as well as their height and build. To obtain quality sleep, the size is an aspect that cannot be overlooked because the mattress on which we will lie down must allow the stretching of legs and arms without reaching the edges: this means that the mattress will have a length and width of 20-30 cm more than the body structure.

The mattress squares

Established by a series of European standards, mattress sizes and dimensions are standard and follow different standards depending on whether the mattresses are dedicated to children or adults. Measurements vary little in the various European countries: but – although they may, in turn, be subject to variations – what are the standard mattress sizes in Italy?

One aspect not to be overlooked when choosing the ideal product is the consideration that the size of the mattress must adapt perfectly to the bed base so as not to adversely affect comfort.

The height of the mattress

The height and thickness of the mattress are other fundamental parameters to be considered in the choice: a mattress that is too thin will not be able to use a suitable structure to ensure a comfortable sleep, resulting in uncomfortable and unhealthy and more easily causing muscle, cervical and joint pain. Conversely, a mattress that is too high could create some discomfort in use. But how to choose the optimal height?

Generally, mattresses with a height between 23 and 30 cm are the best, but mattresses with a thickness of about 21 cm are also very comfortable. What you need to make sure is that the height allows you to hold the mattress correctly without deforming with wear and tear, based on the weight of the user and the material of which the mattress itself is made.

Types of mattresses according to material

Latex mattresses

Latex is a natural emulsion obtained from the rubber plant, used as a primary compound for making mattresses. It can also be synthetic and there are models made from a mix of natural and synthetic latex. Mattresses made of this material generally offer fairly rigid support but at the same time, they are very flexible and adapt to the contours of the body by distributing the pressure evenly. These models are ideal for those who move a lot in their sleep, because latex absorbs the body’s movements effectively and quickly, promoting an uninterrupted and restful sleep. For people suffering from respiratory allergies and asthma, a latex mattress is the best choice. On the other hand, some people have a specific allergy to latex, which should be avoided in these cases. These mattresses are generally quite heavy.

Memory foam mattresses

With this material, the air circulation is generally lower, so body heat tends to remain trapped in the mattress, which makes them suitable for cold people or cold climates. In the morning the bed is very well ventilated to allow moisture to dry. It is a very flexible material, which allows a good distribution of pressure during rest. Easily adapting to the contours of the body, this foam is also ideal for slim people. As it adapts well to the body, it makes movements in sleepless frequent; however, the mattress is not very quick to adapt to new positions. In short: it adapts well to the shape of the body, but it doesn’t adapt instantly. Memory foam mattresses are usually a little lighter than the others, which makes it easier to carry and handle, which is especially important if it is a double bed model.

Spring mattresses

They’re the most traditional. The heart of the mattress is formed by springs that guarantee elasticity and solidity. The springs allow good ventilation and make these mattresses generally suitable for people who sweat a lot and live in very hot areas in summer. They are often “bagged” springs: that is, the springs are individually inserted in a small bag of fabric, which avoids “friction” between the springs. Since they adapt well to the pressure of the body, they are suitable for all weights, even for the strongest people. The addition of a layer of memory on the surface provides more comfort and warmth.

How much latex is in the mattress?

This information is not always very clear. Let’s see what composition the different denominations correspond to.

Rigidity and thickness

A good mattress must support the weight of the body properly: it must be stiff enough to give us support, but not so much that it is uncomfortable. The important thing is that it respects the natural curvature of the spine. In recent years the belief that a hard mattress is always better for the back has taken hold, but this is not true: hardness is above all a matter of personal taste and weight.

Your habits and weight

For those who sleep in a supine position, lying on their back, a more rigid mattress that gives the right support to the column is the best choice. Those who sleep on their side can opt for a less rigid mattress that allows the shoulder to sink a little to allow a comfortable position. Bodyweight is also important because different weights need different supports. Heavier people, for example, need stiffer mattresses. Slender people, on the other hand, need a more flexible mattress that the body can fit on well. What happens if two people of very different weights share a double bed? Instead of choosing a single mattress that represents a compromise between their different needs, they can opt for two single mattresses that have different degrees of stiffness, so both will have the correct support while resting.

Try it before you buy it

You have to sleep on it every night for at least ten years, so why don’t you give yourself 10 minutes to try the mattress before you buy it? Sitting and swaying for a few moments doesn’t give you any idea of the comfort you will feel when lying down, so dare and lie down, trying out the various positions you usually assume in your sleep and also all the others (on your stomach, back, side). There is no such thing as the perfect mattress, you have to find the one that best suits your taste and physical characteristics. Try to lie on your back and let one hand pass between the lumbar area and the mattress: if there is too much space it means that the mattress is too rigid with respect to your physical characteristics, if instead the hand does not pass or passes with difficulty, the mattress is too soft and the body sinks too much.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a mattress last?

One of the questions most frequently asked during the purchase phase concerns the life of the mattress: its average duration varies from 8 to 12 years. With the passage of time, our body changes and the mattress we have chosen may no longer be suitable ten years after purchase. In addition, mattresses are a real receptacle for dust, mites, mold, and fungi that can be harmful to health or develop allergies.

Which mattress to choose for back pain?

Regardless of the origin of back pain, the most recommended choice is that of the so-called ‘orthopedic’ mattresses, mainly made of memory foam or latex and with areas of different bearing capacity.

Which mattress to choose for the motorized bed base?

The motorized grids stress different pressures on the mattress, transforming it from the classic horizontal shape. Therefore, mattresses with springs should be avoided because their structure would not provide adequate support, preferring instead latex or memory foam mattresses because the fibers are optimal to distribute the weight of the body and to adapt to changes in the structure.

Why does the latex mattress crumble?

It may have absorbed too much moisture from its surroundings. Since latex mattresses are a natural material of derivation, they are subject to the internal decomposition of the sheet, a phenomenon that can already happen after 5-7 years.

How to clean the mattress?

Mites are microscopic animals completely invisible to the naked eye that feed on skin debris. Their natural habitat is mattresses, sheets, and pillows. Defeating them is difficult, but you can follow some practical tips to reduce their presence in the house, especially in the bed where we spend almost a third of our lives. To ensure long mattress life is good to follow some tips for proper cleaning and maintenance:

Is the cost of the mattress deductible?

The cost of purchasing a mattress is only deductible if the mattress is for therapeutic use. Those who wish to benefit from the deduction must have a medical prescription or a self-certification stating the reason why the mattress was purchased for therapeutic use.

Where to buy a new mattress

The time has come to change the mattress. Where to buy a new mattress? What’s the best choice? To help you find your way around the purchase process, we have taken the individual mattresses to the lab and tested them. The directions, of course, also apply to double bed mattresses.