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Finding the perfect mattress takes time

Presidents Day weekend is one of the busiest times for home goods sales, so it’s a great time to stock up on those big-tag items, particularly mattresses.

Is the thought of a trip to the mattress store right up there with going to get a root canal?

Rest your worried head with a few tips we gathered from industry professionals and walk away with a mattress that’s good for your health, your budget and your overall peace of mind.

Sleep is critical to good health and functioning, so a good mattress is a key to long-term health, said Dr. Robert Hayden, spokesman for the American Chiropractic Association.

“Depending on how much sleep you get every night, you spend 25 to 30 percent of your life resting, and posture is really important while you are asleep,” said Hayden, who is the owner of the Iris City Chiropractic Center in Griffin, Georgia. “A good mattress can give you a healthier spine, and you’ll wake up more rested. That affects everything, from your mood to your immune system.”

While you rest, the muscle tone that is there to protect your joints is basically flaccid. Muscle tissue, which is attached to every bone, keeps your bones in alignment.

“If your position is not optimal, particularly in your neck, you misalign your spine in your sleep,” he said. “You are basically pulling on your muscles while you sleep.”

To avoid that, invest time, not necessarily money, in finding a mattress that is a good fit for your body.

“It’s very subjective,” Hayden said. “A mattress has to be firm enough to fit your skeleton, but comfortable enough to let you rest. A lot of mattresses are available out there that have different construction but give the same results.”

Spend a good 10 minutes laying in your favorite position, which Hayden hopes is on your side, on the mattress you intend to purchase.

“It might feel funny, but it’s important,” he said.

He also recommends a firm body pillow to accessorize your bed and improve your spine health.

“Throw your upper knee and upper arm over the pillow and hug it,” he said. “It keeps you from torquing your spine while you sleep.”

Unsure if you need a new mattress?

Hayden advises you put a yardstick across the mattress.

“If you can slip your fingers between the yardstick and the mattress, it’s time to replace it or at least turn it,” he said. “You may not see the sag with the naked eye until you put a straight line across (the mattress).”

Consumer Reports recommends you replace your mattress every seven years or 30,000 hours of use. While there are many options for mattresses on the market today, consumers shouldn’t have to shell out more than $1,000 for a premium, well-built mattress.

Mattresses have changed tremendously in the last decade, said Andrew Gross, executive vice president of marketing for Serta.

“We are seeing a growing interest in adjustable foundations as more consumers are using their bedrooms and mattresses for activities other than sleep,” he said. “These foundations allow you to adjust the head or foot of a compatible mattress for optimal comfort and support whether you are reading, watching television, catching up on emails or just relaxing in bed. Plus, some of Serta’s advanced adjustable foundations offer premium features like massage.”

Consumer Reports rates Serta’s products as some of the top mattresses in the industry. Serta has a large selection of mattresses in a wide range of prices for many different types of sleepers.

The major mattress company’s research and development teams are constantly combing consumer insights and trends to create a mattress for the many different types of people clamoring for a better night’s sleep.

“We know that every consumer deserves a comfortable mattress that is just right for them,” Gross said.

Serta’s top-selling lines most recently are the Perfect Sleeper and the iComfort.

“These lines have been popular because they offer our latest comfort and support technologies across every type of mattress construction, comfort level and price point,” he said. “Plus, these products receive extremely positive reviews on our website, which we know is important to mattress shoppers.”

And don’t be overwhelmed by the prospect of lying prone in a showroom to find your perfect sleeper. Serta has a mattress selector quiz on its website to get you started before you spend hours flopping on pillow tops in stores across the valley.

“(The quiz) is designed to reduce any confusion and narrow down the options,” Gross said. “We recommend shopping with a local trusted retailer where you can try out a variety of models in person.”

Or you can skip the middleman altogether and have a Consumer Report highly rated mattress shipped right to your door for free, said Neil Parikh, co-founder and chief operating officer of Casper Mattress Inc. The Casper mattress comes with a 100-day trial period to return the mattress if it isn’t a good fit.

“Consumers are conditioned to believe they have to go to a dimly lit showroom in their street clothes with a commission-driven salesperson hovering over them to purchase a new mattress,” he said.

Time magazine called the Casper mattress one of the best inventions of 2015. It was rated the highest in overall satisfaction in a survey of more than 60,000 Consumer Reports subscribers last year. Each in-house engineered mattress has supportive memory foam and a springy comfort layer and is manufactured and hand-stitched in America.

Casper launched in 2014 as a global sleep company. The company has since expanded to include bedding, pillows and even a comfy dog mattress.

The Casper mattress is available in six sizes, ranging in price from $550 for a twin to $1,150 for a California king. The mattress is also shipped for free in a manageable box straight to the buyer’s door within two to five business days.

At the 2014 launch, the Casper mattress sold out of inventory in a matter of hours, Parikh said.

“Nearly three years later, it remains a customer favorite, has countless celebrity fans and proudly boasts thousands of positive reviews on Casper.com,” he said.

The Casper mattress went through intensive research and development while being designed by a 30-person, best-in-class team that collectively holds more than 50 patents.

“Designed to be universally comfortable, the mattress contours to your body to relieve pressure while retaining a healthy bounce and cool temperature,” Parikh said. “As the first mattress company to offer a 100-day home trial, we recognize the importance of rigorous testing, thoughtful research and spending countless hours developing the best products for all.”

Once you have found your firm — or soft — mattress that suits you, the Better Sleep Council recommends you rotate the mattress at least every two weeks for the first three months and every two months after to keep the mattress in tip-top shape.

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