Some of life’s most important purchases are also some of the most difficult to make because of their infrequency. Compare buying a home to buying food. Getting enough to eat is essential to survival, but at the same time, grocery shopping is something we do almost every day. We know what we do and do not like, and when we do try something new, if it’s not tasty, it doesn’t get purchased again. Buying a house on the other hand, is something most people only ever do once or twice. Since there are so few opportunities to gain experience, it’s vital to research and prepare as much as possible ahead of time, because what you don’t like in a home isn’t something you want to learn from experience.
These are examples from extreme ends of the spectrum, but they illustrate the importance of making well-informed decisions on major purchases. However, one major purchase is closer to homes than hamburgers on the scale of importance, yet many still treat it like deciding what to have for dinner.
Despite being something that directly impacts our energy, health, and happiness, mattresses are routinely overlooked as one of life’s most important purchases. The right bed can give you restful and rejuvenating sleep every night for years, while the wrong bed can leave you tired, sore, and even negatively impact your work and relationships. Despite this, people often buy beds with minimal research, purchasing based off what they think they want, without taking the time to examine what they actually need.
Before deciding what kind of sheets to buy, or even how firm you want the bed, you need to identify what mattress size fits your life. There are numerous factors that go into selecting what size bed is right for you, but before getting to personal preferences, there are a few considerations to keep in mind that can narrow the field and make your decision easier.
The first thing you need to consider when selecting a mattress size is how much space you can afford to lose in your bedroom. You may be in love with the idea of a king-size mattress, but it may not be practical. In a smallish apartment bedroom measuring 10 feet by 12 feet, a king-sized mattress would take up more than a third of usable floor space. This also doesn’t factor into account the additional space that frames, headboards, footboards, and night stands take up, or the distance the bed is set away from the wall. With these included, king bed sizes may reduce your usable floor space by 40 percent or even more.
On the flip-side, if you own a space with cavernous bedrooms, you may need the size of a king-sized bed just to help fill the room and make it feel comfortable. It’s also important to consider the hallways and doorways that lead to the bedroom. These can make it difficult to maneuver a traditionally-made large mattress into the bedroom. If you have the space for a large mattress but angular or difficult hallways, foam mattresses are a smart idea because of their flexibility, and many companies make them easier to handle by shipping them vacuum-packed, Foam Factory, Inc. included.
The second consideration is a long-term view of the purchase. A quality custom mattress generally has a life span of around seven years, give or take a couple based on upkeep and use. Buying a new bed for what’s right for you at this moment may not be fitting for the life you will be leading in the near-future. One of the best examples of this is when couples transition to living together.
For people looking to purchase a new bed to share with their partner, the jump from a twin bed to a full can seem like the difference between a crack in the sidewalk and the Grand Canyon. Also, people who already have full mattresses but sleep alone may feel like they have plenty of space to accommodate a second person. However, full mattresses are 54 inches wide, which means 27 inches of personal space when shared; barely two feet. For perspective, a twin mattress, the bed many people think is too small for just one person, is 39 inches wide. For people planning to share a bed, mattresses any smaller than a queen are not typically suggested. King-sized family bedding is sometimes a necessity for families with younger children or pets they allow in the bedroom.
The last thing you need to consider regarding how to pick a bed is your sleeping style. If you move around a lot while you sleep or like to spread out, larger bed sizes like a queen or king may be right for you. If you sleep like a log every night and wouldn’t mind the savings of a smaller bed, full or even twin may be adequate.
Like most things in life, you get out what you put in, and your mattress is no different. Once you finally say “I need a new bed,” and taking the time to identify what size is right for you is the first step toward years of great sleep.