Your sleeping style, preferences, and statistics - Your statistics

 

Next to sleeping position, your body weight and shape will play the biggest role in how well each layer relieves pressure and supports you for proper spinal alignment. There are many differences in needs between different people with different weights and shapes ... so lets take a look at what they are.

Overall body weight:

In general terms, the heavier and larger you are, the thicker a comfort layer you will need for each sleeping position. Heavier weights will also perceive a firmer foam as softer because the perception of softness is greatly affected by how far you sink in. This is because heavier people are generally larger and need a deeper cradle to spread their weight over the surface of the mattress to relieve pressure. Someone who is an average weight side sleeper may need 3" of comfort layering while someone who is heavier may need 4" for example.

In addition to a thicker comfort layer ... heavier people generally need a comfort layer that is a little less soft than lighter people. This is because the perception of softness is normally affected by how deep someone sinks into a mattress and how well it distributes pressure so a heavier person will need a firmer upper layer to form a pressure relieving cradle of the same depth than a lighter person. This firmer upper layer will likely feel as soft to them as a softer layer does to a lighter person.

In addition to this, a heavier person will need firmer support layers to prevent their heavier parts from sinking down too far and putting their spine out of alignment since their tendency will be to sink down into a mattress more than a lighter person.

Average weight = average thickness and softness of the comfort layers and average support layers.

Above average weight = thicker and firmer comfort layers and firmer support layers

Below average weight = thinner and softer comfort layers and possibly softer or average support layers.

 

Body shape and weight distribution:

Body shape and how your weight is distributed is just as important as overall body weight itself in choosing the perfect mattress. The curvier you are in your normal sleeping positions, the deeper a cradle you will need for pressure relief. In curvier sleeping positions and with curvier body profiles, there are more "gaps" to fill in to spread your weight over the mattress which means you will need a softer and thicker comfort layer than someone who sleeps in a flatter position and who does not have as many curves. On the other hand someone who has a "flatter" body profile and sleeps in a "flatter" position would be better off choosing a slightly firmer and thinner comfort layer. So too those who have "wider areas" (typically hips in women and shoulders in men) will need enough thickness and softness to accommodate these wider areas and relieve pressure. If you need a thicker comfort layer than normal, it should always go with a firmer support layer as well to "balance" the sinking down with the "sinking in".

The general rule here is that you deal with bigger gaps and curvier profiles with the thickness of the comfort layer.

You deal with weight by increasing the firmness of the comfort layers and support layers.

 

Average weight distribution and average body shape = average thickness and softness comfort layers and average firmness support layers

Uneven weight distribution and curvier than average body shape= softer/thicker comfort layers and firmer support layers

Even weight distribution and flatter than average body shape = thinner/firmer comfort layers and average support layers

 

So to recap since this is such an important part of your perfect mattress ...

Heavier weights will need firmer and thicker comfort layers

Lighter weights will need softer and thinner comfort layers

Curvier body profiles will need thicker and softer comfort layers

Flatter profiles will need thinner and firmer comfort layers

Uneven weight distribution will need firmer support layers

Even weight distribution will need average support layers.

 

Now we have dealt with your "statistics" we can continue on the journey by talking about your different preferences ...

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aneto's Avatar
aneto replied the topic: #2 28 Jan 2017 18:08
Is there a way to search members comments by our stats? I am having an increasingly difficult time with the online mattress market as a 5'4" 115 lb fetal position side sleeper. You tube reviews done by 180 lb men can be helpful but their reviews fell short when I made my final decisions and now find myself making returns. I would love to know about a slightly softer mattress for the bones but supportive enough for my easy to please 6ft 189 lb husband.
Phoenix's Avatar
Phoenix replied the topic: #3 28 Jan 2017 20:53
Hi aneto,

Is there a way to search members comments by our stats?

You can use the search tool within the forum, and if you want to search for a specific term, just surround it with quotation marks (like “5’4””). But please see my comments directly below about using other people's experiences and opinions as a basis for selecting your own mattress.

You tube reviews done by 180 lb men can be helpful but their reviews fell short when I made my final decisions and now find myself making returns.

While other people's comments about the knowledge and service of a particular business can certainly be very helpful ... I would always keep in mind that you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress and I would be cautious about using anyone else's suggestions, experiences or reviews on a specific mattress (either positive or negative) or review sites in general as a reliable source of information or guidance about how you will feel on the same mattress or how suitable or how durable a mattress may be for you. In many if not most cases they can be more misleading than helpful because a mattress that would be a perfect choice for one person or even a larger group of people in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP may be completely unsuitable for someone else to sleep on (even if they are in a similar weight range). In other words ... reviews or other people's experiences in general won't tell you much if anything about the suitability, quality, durability, or "value" of a mattress for any particular person (see post #13 here ).

Another one of the risks of using this type of information as a basis for choosing a mattress is that people are also very different and if you choose a mattress based on the premise that "many people seem to like this type of mattress so I will probably like it as well" it can create unrealistic expectations because any individual (and for that matter most individuals) may be very different from the "average" of a group in terms of their body type, sleeping positions, and preferences and there is no way to know whether the specific mattress they are considering was even included in the group or has any weight in the results.

You can see my comments about many of the so called "review sites" which are really just revenue sites that know little about mattresses or mattress materials in post #11 here and in posts #4 and #6 here .

My best suggestion would be for you to "reset" how you are going about shopping for a mattress, and start by reading the mattress shopping tutorial here . Two of the most important links in the tutorial that I would especially make sure you've read are post #2 here which has more about the different ways to choose a suitable mattress (either locally or online) that is the best "match" for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP that can help you assess and minimize the risks of making a choice that doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for and post #13 here which has more about the most important parts of the "value" of a mattress purchase which can help you make more meaningful quality/value comparisons between mattresses in terms of suitability (how well you will sleep), durability (how long you will sleep well), and the overall value of a mattress compared to your other finalists based on all the parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you (including the price of course and the options you have available after a purchase if your choice doesn't turn out as well as you hoped for).

While nobody can speak to how any specific mattress will "feel" for someone else or whether it will be a good "match" in terms of comfort, firmness, and PPP because this is too subjective and relative to different body types, sleeping positions, and individual preferences, sensitivities, and circumstances and you are the only one that can feel what you feel on a mattress ... outside of PPP (which is the most important part of "value"), the next most important part of the value of a mattress purchase is durability which is all about how long you will sleep well on a mattress. This is the part of your research that you can't see or "feel" and assessing the durability and useful life of a mattress depends on knowing the specifics of its construction and the type and quality of the materials inside it regardless of the name of the manufacturer on the label or how a mattress feels in a showroom or when it is relatively new so I would always make sure that you find out information listed here so you can compare the quality of the materials and components to the durability guidelines here to make sure there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress that would be a cause for concern relative to the durability and useful life of a mattress before making any purchase.

In its simplest form ... choosing the "best possible" mattress for any particular person really comes down to FIRST finding a few knowledgeable and transparent retailers and/or manufacturers (either locally or online) that sell the types of mattresses that you are most interested in that are in a budget range you are comfortable with and that you have confirmed will provide you with the all the information you need about the materials and components inside the mattresses they sell so you will be able to make informed choices and meaningful comparisons between mattresses and then ...

1. Careful testing (hopefully using the testing guidelines in the tutorial) to make sure that a mattress is a good match for you in terms of "comfort", firmness, and PPP ... and/or that you are comfortable with the options you have available to return, exchange, or "fine tune" the mattress and any costs involved if you can't test a mattress in person or aren't confident that your mattress is a suitable choice.

2. Checking to make sure that there are no lower quality materials or weak links in a mattress you are considering relative to your weight/BMI range that could compromise the durability and useful life of the mattress.

3. Comparing your finalists for "value" based on #1 and #2 and all the other parts of your personal value equation that are most important to you.

I hope information helps to point you in a better direction than what you’ve been using, as the “review” sites you mentioned provide very little meaningful information about the products you’re considering.

Phoenix