How to Buy the Best Mattress for You—April 9, 2012

Mattresses are like mates: They should be comforting, supportive and firm in all the right places. Yet most people’s mattresses are lacking. And some may not have stepped into a mattress store in decades. If you’re tired of waking up feeling like you just slept on a tree stump, read our no-nonsense shopping guide to find the best mattress…

At bedtime, you toss and turn before drifting off, only to awake cranky and unrefreshed. Peeling away the mattress pad reveals a horror show: lumps, sags and wayward springs.

Your once-springy mattress has lost that lovin’ feelin’. Relationships can be rehabbed. But mattresses? Not so much.

Squirming and searching for a comfortable position on an old mattress makes you more likely to sleep contorted, he says. Then you wake with pain – not just in your back, but also in your joints, knees, hips, wrists, elbows and shoulders.

Most mattresses need to be replaced within 10 years, advises Jennifer Solomon, M.D., a physiatrist (rehabilitation specialist) at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. But some break down within five years.

That’s partly because some materials, like memory foam and latex, don’t last as long as others. But how you sleep can also affect mattress wear. If you consistently sleep on a certain side, it won't last as long as if your weight is evenly distributed.

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