I love sleep. I mean, really, really love sleep. There’s just something so amazing about crawling into bed at the end of a long day and being enveloped in absolute comfort. However, these days I’m finding that I’m not sleeping as well as I used to and I’m waking up with neck and back pain. True, this could be a testament to the fact that I am not longer in my twenties, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that my mattress is in dire need of replacement. So if you’re in the same boat as me and have started to look for a new mattress, here are some things I’ve discovered that might also help you in your search.

The Difference Between Memory Foam and Gel Memory Foam

Did you know that the brain behind the first memory foam mattress was NASA? It’s true; NASA developed the original technology for viscoelastic memory foam to cushion astronaut’s seats during blastoff. Now, memory foam mattresses like this one from Simple Sleep are all over the place, and for good reason. Memory foam molds to the body in response to heat and pressure to distribute your body weight evenly, which just doesn’t just equate to a supported spine, but makes for a very comfortable, “custom” mattress. That said, some people complain that memory foam mattresses can be really hot, so if you’re a warm sleeper, a gel memory foam mattress like this one from Simple Sleep might be a better option. Gel memory foam is almost identical to regular memory foam, but reportedly removes it’s “hot mattress” issue.

Spring Mattresses Still Have a Place

Just because memory foam mattresses have increased in popularity doesn’t mean that traditional spring mattresses are obsolete. In fact, if you suffer from the whole “when my partner moves I move” conundrum, a firm spring mattress like the Sealy Posturepedic PROBACK Pinnacle is ideal. Not only does it, like many other spring mattresses, have a comfortable pillow top, but its Reflex pocket coils reduce motion transfer so you and your partner can both sleep undisturbed.

You Need a Box Spring
When you’re in search of a new mattress, you might forego also searching for a new box spring, but I’m here to tell you that that’s a mistake. Just like mattresses age over time, so too do box springs. In fact, they experience the same wear and tear from nightly use as mattresses do, so it’s important that you’ve got a good box spring like this one from Signature Sleep to provide stability and support, and to extend the life of your mattress.

You Need a Mattress Pad

I always thought mattress pads were for children who still had a tendency to wet the bed, but as it turns out, a decent mattress pad protector like the Urban Loft ProShield Mattress Protector will keep your mattress fresh, clean, dry and actually prevent the materials in your mattress from breaking down prematurely. It makes sense–you can’t wash your mattress, so a mattress protector will help keep it alive as long as possible.

Stick to the 8 to 10 Year Rule

Mattresses have a life span of eight to ten years, and that’s when you are rotating it regularly, so when you start your search you need to remember that this is not a “lifelong” purchase. Yes, you absolutely need to select a mattress that will support your spine and meet your individual needs, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a small fortune. There are so many options out there you can find one that is the perfect fit to give you a great night’s sleep, but that didn’t require you to take out a loan.

Buying a new mattress can be really overwhelming, but don’t just pick up the first one you see on sale. Do your research, make sure you invest in one that suits your needs, and remember that might work for one person might not work for you. You spend a third of your life in bed, so take your time to pick a mattress that will give you a fabulous night’s sleep.

Check out the great selection of Mattresses online at Best Buy