Hey Doc, Which Bed Should I Buy?

I get asked on a daily basis which bed is the best. My honest answer is whichever bed provides the most support while allowing a comfortable night’s sleep. I also share that my best advice is to use the 90 day money back guarantee. I know that this sounds like a cheeky answer but finding the right bed can be tough. You don’t want to invest your time and money into a bed that is going to cause harm. By the same token, it can take 30 days or more to really figure out if your new bed is going to work. That saying, knowing where to begin in helpful. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Keeping the spine in neutral is the most important thing you can do. Beds that are too soft typically let your pelvis sink which can cause low back problems. Conversely, beds that are too firm will push too hard on the shoulders and hips, causing discomfort that can keep you from a well rested sleep. A good bed will help distribute the weight making it more comfortable while keeping your spine in neutral.

2. Your body type will determine what type of bed you need. The less dense a person is, the less support is needed so a soft bed can be ok. In addition, if you have large hips you may need a little more cushion to be comfortable and keep your back in neutral. Same goes for broad shoulders.

3. How you sleep makes a difference. Side sleepers typically need a little softer bed because their shoulders and hips are the major points of contact. Back sleepers should choose a more firm mattress to help support the more distributed pressure. Stomach sleepers should learn to sleep on their side or back after age 5.

After taking your body type into consideration, now you have to find the right mattress. Mattresses are very well designed these days with lots of options that can help even the playing field. This is especially true if you and your spouse have different needs. Here are your options for beds:

1. Innerspring mattresses are the most common. Spring count is the trick here. The more, typically the better the bed. A good spring mattress can work out great for you. It can also break down quickly and sag in high pressure areas.

2. Memory foam is the latest trend but a good one. Memory foam conforms to the body which is soft but provides good support. It can be an excellent choice but some do complain of feeling too hot or feeling like they feel a little trapped. These mattresses are very durable.

3. Latex mattresses are very similar to memory foam in terms of support and durability but spring back a little quicker so there isn’t that trapped feeling. They also seem to be a little better if feeling hot is a problem.

4. Air mattresses (not the kind you suffer on when you visit your family) have some major advantages. A good air bed will have several air chambers and will be adjustable. This is especially good with vastly different body types. The downside, of course, is that there is a possibility of it leaking.

5. Water beds have come a long way. In the past, I would have said avoid anything that can leak. Now, it is possible to get a good water bed that gives good support. Unfortunately, very few people will do well with a water bed and they are a much bigger hassle to return.

If you are in the market for a new mattress you should check out my friend, Christine’s blog, “From Date to Diapers.” She has a contest where she has teamed up with Sealy to give away a free mattress set. These mattresses have a great track record and lots of options to fit your needs.

The final thing to consider about a bed is that your issues might not be with your bed but with your back. If your spine isn’t functioning well, a good bed might help but chances are you just need to restore the function. Of course, I am happy to help with that, too!


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