Senior's Mattress Buying Guide
Mattress shopping made simple.
- Knowledge is power. Before you visit a store, go online and research mattress brands and styles.
- Shop together. If you share your bed with someone, get them to come along. The two of you should test the mattress together and agree on preferences or at least come to a compromise — which you should be pretty good at by now.
- The average person moves 40 to 60 times a night. Therefore, if you’re a light sleeper and sleep with a partner, you should consider a queen- or king-size set to accommodate the both of you comfortably.
- TestDrive the Mattress. According to “Consumer Reports,” consumers should test a bed out for at least 15 minutes. Don’t worry, a good salesperson should leave you alone while you do this.
- Buy the set. Mattresses and foundations are designed to work together. Getting one without the other may reduce the comfort and support you receive. Plus, it might shorten the bed’s lifespan and possibly void its warranty.
- It’s OK to be curious. Ask the salesperson how the mattress you’re interested in is different from the others on the floor. Also, if you’re going to buy, find out if delivery of your new bed and removal of your old one are included.
- Know the policies. Some dealers may let you try certain mattresses. Be sure to ask for all the details about this. It may affect where you buy.
Within each classification of mattresses, you’ll also find various comfort levels such as firm, pillow top and plush. Each has its advantages, but really it comes down to personal preference. Go with your gut (and your back, shoulders and hips) on this one.
Tips to help end restless nights
One out of every two seniors suffers from sleep deprivation. Seniors are falling asleep during the day simply because they aren’t getting enough quality nocturnal sleep. So here are some tips to help you out.
Set the mood. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, uncluttered and you reserve it only for sleeping. The most common cause of your insomnia could be a poor sleeping environment.
Prepare your mind and body for sleep. Establish a sleeping routine by reading for pleasure, listening to music or doing some light stretching. Or with your doctor’s approval, a warm bath (100°F) just before going to bed can also help you sleep. This will send blood away from the brain to skin surfaces and make you feel relaxed and drowsy.
Take an early evening stroll. Staying physically active during the day will help you sleep more soundly at night. And getting outdoors and into the sunlight has also proven to result in better nighttime sleep.
Monitor your prescriptions. Consult your physician about the sleep side effects of medications. Although some drugs can make it easier to fall asleep, they often cause light and fragmented sleep, as well as early awakenings.
Limit the time you stay in bed. Stress, depression, boredom and partner pressure may have you going to bed earlier than you need. Older people, fearing a night of interrupted or light sleep, often go to bed too early. This adds to the problems of fragmented sleep. Staying in bed too long will promote shallow and disturbed sleep.
Bring in the white noise. If you live in an apartment or busy street, use a fan or sound machine to drown out the neighbors and traffic.
Stay mentally active. Engage in hobbies, academic courses, volunteer work and social activities that will keep you mentally alert in the daytime and early evening.
Keep daytime naps under 20 minutes. Longer naps may make it more difficult to sleep at night.
Try not to drink caffeinated beverages after 2 p.m. As we get older, coffee, tea, soda and chocolate may make it more difficult to stay asleep.
You may need a new mattress if…
- You often wake up with stiffness, numbness, aches and pains. And no, it’s not just because you’re getting older.
- Your bed hasn’t aged as gracefully as you. It dips likes a hammock and is all lumpy.
- You often think to yourself, “I need a good night’s sleep. I should just sleep in my lounge chair."
- You bought your mattress when being an empty nester was something you looked forward to.
If you’re still reading, you probably have a bed that’s more than seven years old, which is the age The Better Sleep Council says a mattress stops giving you the necessary support it should. After all, your body changes a lot in seven years, and your mattress should keep up with your needs.
Which mattress is right for you?
You need a mattress that will help put an end to your restless nights. And since there are so many different types out there, here’s a little help to make your decision easier.
Traditional Innerspring mattresses, the most traditional type of mattress set, typically use systems of open coils or metal springslayered between padding. When shopping you’ll hear the term “Coil Count.” Typically, the higher the count, the more support you’ll get but the ‘support value’ really depends on the design of the coils and layers of padding used in combination with them.
Pocketed Coil® mattresses, created by Simmons®, feature an advanced innerspring system. The springs areindividually wrapped in a fabric cover, enabling each coil to adjust independently to your body. Because these springs move individually, if your bedmate rolls over, the motion won’t awaken you out of your sleep cycle.
Latex and Memory Foam mattressesare made of advanced pressure relieving material and designed to reduce pressurepoints and provide natural body alignment. Memory foam is temperature sensitive and conforms as your body warms it. Latex foam provides great durability and pressure relief is available in many different comfort options. When you research, be on the look-out for new and better types of foam, as new generations are constantly being developed.
Hybrid mattressesfeature layers of memory foam or latex over an innerspring system to provide a more traditional feel with the benefit of pressure relief. These beds give you the comfort and support of both technologies.And, if you’re not sure about buying an all-foam mattress, it makes for a nice compromise.