During the night the body should be able to recover from the strains of the day. To ensure this, however, the conditions for healthy sleep must be created.
It is elementary that the spine and locomotor system are relieved. You can read here how to sleep deeper and longer and what role the pillow and mattress play in this and what you should look out for when buying a pillow or mattress.
Tips on mattresses – hardness and materials are crucial
For restful sleep, a high-quality base is needed. If the mattress does not meet individual needs, tension, sleep disorders and even back problems can result.
If you are considering buying a new mattress, you should first focus on the degree of firmness. In general, products are assigned five degrees of firmness:
Once you have decided on the right mattress, your spine runs in a straight line even in the side sleeper position.
Since this is difficult for you to understand on your own, you should always take an accompanying person with you when you try out a mattress or have your posture confirmed by a specialist consultant.
Which mattress type is the right one?
While people who sweat a lot are well advised to use innerspring mattresses because these products regulate moisture and prevent the formation of mold, allergy sufferers get along better with latex models or waterbeds.
With both alternatives the mite burden is low. Latex mattresses are also ideal for people with a higher body weight, as the material adapts individually to the shape of the body.
Another alternative is foam mattresses, which are often offered in the form of cold foam versions. In demand here are 7-zone mattresses with ergonomic elements for supporting the lumbar, neck and head areas.
The density of foam can be specifically adjusted, which makes the material extremely attractive for sleeping comfort. Cold foam mattresses made of natural materials are practical for advocates of sustainable living.
The product comparison portal matratzen.org has compiled details of the individual properties of mattresses of various brands and types.
These include mattresses for allergy sufferers, latex, spring core and cold foam mattresses. Get an overview and learn more about the special features.
Key figures when buying mattresses
There are several factors by which you can recognize a good mattress. First of all, the density, or RG for short: This key figure provides information about the durability of a mattress.
The higher it is, the more durable and elastic the foam. Do not buy a mattress with less than RG 40!
Equally important is the core height, which provides information about resistance to pressure. Depending on body weight, a core height of 14-19 centimetres would be recommended.
With regard to the orthopedic posture during sleep, you should take a look at the overall height.
If it is too thin, this will massively affect the spinal posture. 20 to 24 centimetres are a good guideline. From 25 centimetres upwards one can speak of a comfort height.
The load-bearing capacity of a mattress is revealed by the so-called compression hardness, or kPa for short, 30 kPa is sufficient for children and adults with rather low to medium body weight. Heavy people should choose products with 40 kPa.
Finding the optimal pillow
Which pillow is ideal for you depends on your sleeping habits. If you sleep mainly on your side or back, you will need a different pillow than a belly sleeper.
The following list summarizes the main purchasing criteria for belly, side and back sleepers:
- Belly sleepers: Here, particularly flat pillows are required to relieve the neck and prevent overstretching.
- Back sleepers: If you sleep mostly on your back, the pillow must ergonomically fill the space between the mattress, neck and head to ensure the natural S-shape of the spine.
Pillows must not be too high or too flat. A pillow that is too high would result in overstretching the neck muscles. Neck support pillows in the standard size 40×80 centimetres are a good choice for this purpose.
- Side sleepers: For the most popular of all sleeping positions, there are special side sleeper pillows to fill the cavity between the mattress, head and neck.
A pillow measuring 40×80 cm is also advisable here. It keeps the shoulder area free and positions the head according to the natural shape of the spine.