by Staff Writer
Your bedroom furniture may be beautiful, but your mattress is actually the most important part of your bedroom. You spend a large amount of time in your bed, more than any other single place. Sleep has an effect on memory, work performance, mood, and productivity. A poor mattress can result in nighttime waking and pain, both of which interfere with getting adequate rest. With a good mattress, you'll wake up rested and feel better throughout the day.
Determine your price range. Mattress prices range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Decide how much to budget for your mattress before searching for one. This will cut down on the time you spend looking for your perfect mattress and will prevent you from falling in love with a mattress that won't fit into your budget.
Look inside. Different types of mattresses affect how you sleep. A spring mattress will be the least expensive and most common type of mattress you'll find; spring mattresses range in firmness and are the best option for side sleepers. Memory foam mattresses conform to the body and provide support to all pressure points, leaving you fully rested when you wake up. Latex foam mattresses are much like memory foam but with slightly more spring to them.
Consider your body. Bad backs benefit most from the support available in a firm mattress. Look for a mattress with adjustable firmness for each side if you and your spouse have different firmness preferences. If you have asthma or allergies, you'll benefit from synthetic fibers and filling; avoid cotton batting, which can aggravate your allergies. Memory foam and latex foam mattresses, along with pillow-top styles, provide the best cushioning for arthritic joints.
Think size. Generally, one person can use a mattress as small as a twin or full (also known as a double). Two people need more space to avoid getting cramped and uncomfortable; choose a king or queen mattress to offer you and your bed partner enough room to sleep comfortably. California king mattresses are longer than the standard king-size mattress, which is especially beneficial for taller sleepers.