FIRST, ASK YOURSELF, WHAT IS COMFORT?
Obviously, comfort is key to any bed. But what does it mean? Comfort is a highly subjective quality, especially in a mattress. Some like them firm while others prefer them soft.
Essentially, comfort equals pressure relief. Understanding how different mattresses relieve pressure points around the body begins with a basic understanding (and ranking) of the materials inside them. Generally speaking, the softer a mattress is, the more pressure-relieving it is. The firmer a mattress is, the less pressure relieving it is.
SUPPORT IS ESSENTIAL BUT CAN COMPROMISE COMFORT
A primary function of every mattress is to support your back and body. Support comes from the core of the mattress, in most cases it’s an innerspring, although sometimes an air or water chamber is used. In any case, the core pushes upward to support you. The problem is that pressure points concentrate around the heaviest and most protruding parts of your body (hips and shoulders). Excessive pressure causes pain, which leads to tossing and turning, and ultimately interrupted sleep (and all the health problems associated with that). Prolonged pressure, as with long-term hospital patients, creates pressure ulcers (bed sores).
To relieve this pressure, comfort layers are added to mattresses, surrounding the core support system. Virtually every mattress manufacturer today (including Select Comfort, TempurPedic, Sealy, Simmons, Serta and others) use foam as its primary cushioning material.
AN ADDED WRINKLE (FOAM MATTRESSES LOSE COMFORT OVERTIME)
It’s important to note that the longer a foam mattress is used, the less effective it becomes at relieving pressure. Foam rapidly degrades, losing its resiliency and ability to cushion the body from the firm core within. Foam beds visibly sag in the middle and develop body impressions with use. So a foam mattress that feels fine today can change within just two to three years, and no longer feel or function like the same bed.
WE’VE DONE THE COMFORT RESEARCH FOR YOU.
Computerized pressure-mapping devices measure pressure points around the body, revealing how effective a mattress is at relieving pressure. Over the years, Intellibed® has mapped thousands of people on all types of mattress materials and brands. We’ve compiled all of this data into a comfort/pressure relief index, which rates the relative comfort provided by various types of mattress materials.
SLEEP BETTER KNOWING THAT YOU’VE CHOSEN THE MOST COMFORTABLE AND LONG-LASTING MATTRESS.
Whatever mattress and brand you’re considering, first find out what type of cushioning material it uses (latex foam, polyurethane foam, etc.). Then see where it ranks on the Comfort Index. This will make it easier for you to identify the most comfortable mattress and ensure that you experience the greatest satisfaction with your purchase.