A Stearns & Foster Lux Estate Hybrid Cassatt mattress from P.C. Richard & Son. Photo credit: Hook Interactive

Tossing and turning lately? It might be time to upgrade your bedding

You can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep. Starting your day refreshed and rejuvenated is essential to both your physical and mental health, especially as you age. That means the mattress you’ve been sleeping on for years may no longer be right for you. “Our bodies change over time,” says Jim Canell, co-owner of BedQuarters in Mineola. “What we may have liked in our 20s may not give you the best comfort in your 40s.” But with so many choices on the market, where do you begin? Rest easy — we talked to area sleep specialists so you can figure out which type of mattress works best for you and your lifestyle.

Give it a Test Drive

Before heading out to shop, be prepared to answer some key questions about the size of your existing mattress and if you want to change it, what you like about your mattress and what you don’t. Next, check out the various mattress options in person. “The best — and really the only way to know what works for you — is to try out a mattress in your preferred sleep position (back, side or stomach) and with a pillow (either the one you have at home or one you plan to purchase),” says Katy Gespass, mattress buyer for P.C. Richard & Son of Farmingdale.

Spend some time (experts say five to 10 minutes) on each mattress style in your preferred sleep position, and talk to a salesperson about why you are looking for a new mattress in the first place. “Whether you are waking up from aches and pains, a snoring partner, temperature or other sleep-related problems, working with an informed sleep expert can help you find the perfect products to help relieve those issues and provide a better night’s sleep,” says
Dustin Latta, senior district sales manager for New York for Mattress Firm.

If you sleep primarily on your back or stomach, experts recommend the classic innerspring model, which evenly distributes your weight. “Fabric-encased coils help to isolate motion between sleepers and offer more flexible support,” says Latta. Available in a variety of comfort levels, they range from extra firm to ultra-plush.

While innerspring provides resistance, memory foam is designed to relieve pressure, making it an ideal choice for side and back sleepers. It “supports you while allowing you to sink into the foam,” Gespass says. She credits the style for helping to manage joint, shoulder and hip pain, adding, “Memory foam is also great for people who like the feeling of being cradled.”

A mattress for any sleep position, especially if you read or watch TV in bed, is the adjustable mattress and base. With the simple touch of a button, your head and feet can be elevated and then restored to their regular position for bedtime. “The zero-gravity feeling, to create a C-shape with your spine, is incredibly relaxing,” Gespass says. If you opt to keep your head slightly raised, adjustable beds are helpful for those suffering from acid reflux, sleep apnea or snoring. “If you sleep on your back, sleeping with the feet lifted takes away pressure from your lower back and reduces lower back pain,” Gespass says.

Another style with strong appeal is a hybrid mattress, which is designed with both comfort and support in mind. “Most hybrid mattresses combine foam or gel layers with innersprings, giving you a plush, yet firm feel,” explains Latta. And if convenience plays a big role in selecting a mattress, a mattress in a box may be your best bet. Foam mattresses that have been compressed and rolled to fit in a box are easy to ship and transport. “If you need something quickly that you can fit into your car, or if you aren’t able to be at home to accept a mattress delivery, a mattress in a box can show up at your door via UPS or FedEx,” says Gespass.

Don’t Flip

No matter which mattress style you settle on, experts advise replacing your mattress every seven to 10 years. Don’t bother “flipping” your mattress, an outdated practice that was fashionable when they were double-sided. “Mattresses need to be spun, so that your body weight is located on the opposite end of the bed,” says Christopher Cartwright, product specialist at Stanley’s Furniture in Sayville. Once a year, turn your mattress 180 degrees, so the head of the mattress is now the foot.

When it comes to budgeting for your new mattress, be sure to plan accordingly. The average person spends $899 on a queen-size mattress and box-spring combination, says Cartwright. And if only the best will do, you can expect that figure to jump to anywhere from $1,800 to $2,300 — a range largely affected by the materials. “Products like gel memory foam are most expensive and create a comfort of softness,” Cartwright says. “Three different mattresses of the same quality can be three different price points based on their comfort levels.”


From throw pillows that dress up your bed, to ones that offer additional support, here are some of our favorite picks to complete the bedtime setup.

Half-Moon Side Sleeper Posture Pillow/Cover is ergonomically designed, so you can rest your arm and keep your shoulder aligned. $29-$89, thecompanystore.com

Original Bones OrthoBone Pillow (shown in blue velour) is designed to promote head and neck support. $24.99, bedbathandbeyond.com

This cable knit-style pillow, available at Hydrangea Home in Northport, adds a cozy feel to wintertime bedding. $30, hydrangeahome.com

Willow 16×36 Lumbar Pillow Down Set offers a crisp, fresh look for your bedding ensemble. $90, crateandbarrel.com

Memory Foam Pillow contours to your body’s weight. $69.95-$89.95, landsend.com

Pamela Brill, a journalist living in Northport, has come to realize that she needs a new mattress and pillow.