You probably give 100% of yourself every day… Shouldn’t your mattress do the same for you, every night? If you’re looking for a mattress that is scientifically crafted specifically for people with an active lifestyle and elite athletes, you found the right page. Below you’ll find comprehensive mattress buyers guide for athletes.
What is the right type of sleep?
In any given night of sleep, your body typically goes through 4 (four) distinct stages of sleep. One stage in particular – the so-called Slow Wave Sleep – is the most restorative stage for your body.
Mattress Buying Guide for Athletes
People with an active lifestyle and elite athletes are well aware that scientific research has proven time and time again that the quality of your sleep can have a significant impact on your performance in sports. Getting reparative, deep sleep is the best way to help your body recover healthily and quickly from the previous day’s activities.
For athletes, finding a mattress that will promote undisturbed, deep sleep, is critical for helping their body to get ready for the next day of activities in sports.
In this Buyers Guide, we’ll be discussing the key issues that elite athletes should look for when buying a new mattress in the U.S. marketplace.
When it comes time to replace your mattress, there are 4 major issues you should consider during your search: your body type, your sleep style, chronic pains and aches, and your personal preferences for firmness. Additionally, people with an active lifestyle and athletes need to consider the following issues:
High-Quality Materials. Buying a mattress incorporating high-quality materials may be more costly nowadays, but it will protect you later on from having to replace a saggy and unreliable bed.
Pressure Relief and Zoned Support. The top layers of your new mattress should conform to your body in order to relieve tension and pressure points, while still maintaining spinal alignment in healthy shape. Athletes should also look for additional lumbar support from their mattress, as it will prevent their torso from sinking too far into the bed.
Sleep-Promoting Technologies and Temperature Regulation. It’s impossible to get a good night’s sleep if you’re consistently waking up and feeling hot. Cooling and temperature-regulating technologies help combat excessive heat during the night and contribute to deep sleep.
Furthermore, sleep trials allow you the opportunity to try your new mattress in the convenience of your home, risk-free. This will give you a more genuine experience of the mattress’ comfort for deciding if it is suitable for your needs.
Make sure that the mattress you’re purchasing comes with a warranty of at least 10 years. The average lifespan of a mattress is around 10-12 years, so a 10-year warranty will have you covered for as long as it is expected to last. Before your commitment to buy, read the warranty guidelines and have a clear understanding of what’s covered and what you would be responsible for in the event of an unexpected warranty claim.
Quality of Materials
Most mattress manufacturers will offer comprehensive information about how their beds are made and about the respective materials incorporated. If an online retailer does not disclose such relevant information, it’s a sign you should consider an alternative brand.
Mattresses are manufactured from a wide range of materials. When assessing latex beds, look at whether it is 100% natural, or a synthetic blend. For innerspring beds, look at what the pocketed coils are made from, are they steel or a cheap metal? When evaluating memory foam beds, check the density of the top layer. Don’t forget to evaluate the cover of the mattress, and the fabrics used within the cover as well, as they all play an important role in the overall comfort of your bed.
Pressure Relief and Zoned Support
Finding a mattress that will provide healthy support for your muscles to recover and rest is critical to elite athletes. Nowadays, many mattresses include a layer that has been specifically designed to nurture a healthy spine and offer targeted pressure relief. However, there are plenty of beds that lack in this support layer. When conducting research, look for information concerning how the mattress will maintain aligned your spine’s natural curvature and how it will ease tension and pressure.
In order to properly support your body, a good mattress should be softer in areas like your shoulders and hips and firmer in areas around your neck, torso, and feet. These features will strengthen your body’s natural alignment and will reduce pains and aches. Athletes should also look for a bed with extra support in the middle of the mattress because it will prevent their torso from sinking in it.
Sleep-Promoting Technologies and Temperature Regulation
The time you spend asleep is the opportunity for your body to recover both physically and mentally from the day’s events. Athletes require certain amounts of both light and deep sleep, as each stage of sleep is responsible for a specific facet of body healing. For example, light sleep is associated with regeneration and cell division, which directly links to faster muscle recovery. Getting 8-9 hours of sleep after an intensive workout can also help build your muscles. And during deep sleep, hormones are secreted to help keep your body processes in sync.
To get restorative rest, it’s critical that you spend an adequate amount of time asleep to go through each stage of sleep. Sleep-promoting technologies that keep you cool, and create a peaceful sleeping environment, are beneficial in helping you stay asleep.
Motion isolation, for example, helps prevent movement from transferring throughout the mattress. If you move around or share the bed with a restless partner, you shouldn’t be disturbed by the bed shifting with much tossing and turning.
Nowadays, there are lots of cooling technologies used in mattresses to prevent you from overheating while you sleep. These include copper-infused and gel-infused foams, summarized below:
- Copper is a highly conductive material, which acts as a magnet for heat, and it dissipates and absorbs body heat in the mattress to ensure the bed remains cool. Copper also eases sore joints and reduces inflammation – especially important for elite athletes. Furthermore, copper is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial, ensuring that your bed is germ-free.
- Cooling gel and gel beads draw heat away from your body and out of the mattress, keeping your temperature neutral.
Different Types of Mattresses
- Nowadays, innerspring mattresses are becoming less popular among consumers, but they’re still a comfortable solution for getting a good night’s sleep. Innerspring beds are bouncy and although they can’t cushion your body the way latex or memory foam does, they’re still very responsive and can promote a healthy spine by keeping you lifted on the mattress, never sinking into it.
- Latex offers a variety of sleep-promoting benefits. It is a more breathable foam, so it helps prevent heat from being trapped in the mattress. Unlike memory foam, latex is more responsive and bouncier. Though it cushions you and feels comfortable, it doesn’t allow you to sink into the mattress as much and instead holds you more on top of the bed. All-natural latex is hypoallergenic and free from chemicals, so it’s a great choice for eco-friendly consumers and for kids.
- Memory foam is one of the most popular mattress types, particularly among bed-in-a-box brands. If you suffer from chronic pain, memory foam is ideal. It is considered the best material for pain relief because of its ability to relieve pressure and contour your body. Such beds feel more cushioning and cradling and will help alleviate stress on your spine. Furthermore, memory foam beds are great at isolating motion. If you share the bed with a restless partner, it might be the best solution for undisturbed sleep.
- Hybrid beds combine a pocketed coil system with foam layers. Some hybrid models feature memory foam, others contain latex, and a few uses both memory foam and latex to create a very comfortable sleep surface. Because hybrids combine a variety of high-quality materials, they’re often the most expensive kind of mattresses sold.
Your sleep style is the most important factor in ascertaining how firm your next new mattress should be.
If you’re a back sleeper, you’re best suited for a firmer mattress because it will keep you lifted and will promote your spine’s neutral alignment.
Side sleepers, on the other hand, are best suited for medium-soft mattresses because they’re supportive enough to foster a healthy spine but soft enough to cushion the hips and shoulders. A common issue these sleepers experience is pressure points in the hips and shoulders, which are largely a result of sleeping on a mattress that is too firm. Medium-soft mattresses will allow your hips and shoulders to compress more, thus alleviating pressure.
Stomach sleeping is considered to be the unhealthiest sleep position because it can result in back pain later on in your life. If you do sleep often on your stomach, you need a very firm mattress to do so, because your center of gravity shifts to your mid-section. If your bed is not firm enough or does not offer the proper lumbar support, this can cause your torso to sink into the mattress, overextending your spine. To prevent putting added stress on your spine, nothing like trying to switch up how you sleep.