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Does what you sleep on affect how well you sleep? Absolutely.

Experts generally agrees, yes, people have been able to improve their sleep with different sleep surfaces and sleep is an important part of overall health. Beyond that, what’s comfortable for each person is subjective.

Let’s look at what research and medical professionals say about mattresses and getting our best rest.

Research suggests that sleeping on a medium-firm mattress, especially one with adjustable firmness, promotes comfort, proper spinal alignment, and quality sleep.

If body aches and pain are a concern for you, research also suggests that the surface you sleep on makes a difference in your comfort. According to a small 2015 study, people who slept on memory foam mattresses of medium firmness experienced a decrease in pain, and they fell asleep faster.

Other studies suggest that, compared to memory foam, latex foam puts less peak pressure on the body. This means it better resists the “sinking in” feeling commonly associated with memory foam. This may help sleepers stay at a comfortable temperature and sleeping position.

More generally, a mattress should support the healthy curvature of your spine, shouldn’t cause you to get too warm, and should fit your budget and other needs.

Innerspring, foam, and hybrid are the major types of mattresses to choose from these days. There are many kinds of foam, including types of polyurethane memory foam, natural latex, and synthetic latex.

As the booming mattress market provides more choices for consumers, Dr. Romina Ghassemi, a licensed chiropractor, says it’s equally important to keep mattress life spans in mind. Foam, hybrid, and innerspring mattresses all have different life expectancies.

How long can foam mattresses last?

Ghassemi explains that all-foam mattresses typically have a life span of 8–10 years. And gel foam can boost the longevity of a foam mattress.

“Gel mattresses help disperse the pressure over time. The recoil factor of gel adds life to the mattress,” she adds.

How long can latex mattresses last?

According to Wayne Ross, senior sleep researcher at InsideBedroom, latex foam is the most durable kind of mattress.

“One hundred percent natural latex mattresses can be considerably more durable, and they can last up to 25 years without losing support,” he explains. “One hundred percent natural latex is known to be very resilient and durable compared to other mattress materials.”

How long can hybrid mattresses last?

As durable as latex mattresses are, Ross suggests that hybrid mattresses are the best of the bunch. They merge steel coils with layers of foam and textiles, allowing them to provide comfort right away and over time.

Ross says, “This translates into the fact that hybrid mattresses can withstand many more years of use, and the mattress should not sag or droop too quickly.”

How long can innerspring mattresses last?

According to Ross, innerspring mattresses with a low quantity of springs or low-quality springs may only have a life span of about 5 years.

That’s not to say that innerspring mattresses are bad, as good quality springs with chrome and nickel plating can last significantly longer than 5 years, he adds.

  • Talk and try. There’s no substitute for trying out mattresses in person. This can narrow things down pretty quickly and help you find what you do and don’t like — even if you continue your search online. Another great place to start is by asking friends, family, or co-workers if there’s a mattress brand they recommend.
  • Give it time. Experts recommend spending at least 15 minutes in your usual sleeping position on any mattress you’re seriously considering. If being jostled by movement on the bed matters to you, be sure to have a buddy sit on the bed to see if their motion transfers to where you’re lying down.
  • Look for long sleep trials. Especially if you decide to buy a mattress before trying it out, pick a company that gives you at least 90 days to try it. And learn the steps for their return policy to make sure you’re okay with what’s involved.
  • Know the return policy. In some cases, it’s up to the customer to donate or dispose of the unwanted mattress and provide proof to get a refund. In other cases, the company may offer exchanges for a different mattress instead of your money back. Find out what you can expect and read recent customer reviews.

Healthline asked Rajkumar Dasgupta, MD, for his advice on what works best for good sleep. Dasgupta is an assistant professor at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, and he acts as a reviewer on Healthline’s medical panel. Here is what he had to say:

“Sufficient sleep is one of the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle, along with good nutrition and regular exercise.

“Although individual sleep needs vary, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults get 7 or more hours of nightly sleep for optimal health, productivity, and daytime alertness.”

Are there any mattress suggestions for people with chronic pain?

Dasgupta notes that “sleeping positions are important, as studies have shown that 50–60 percent of individuals with insomnia may have chronic back or neck pain — making it even harder to fall or stay asleep.

“Waking up with aches or pains can mean you slept in an uncomfortable position that put unnecessary strain on your neck or back.”

To help with this, Dasgupta recommends adjusting your sleeping position or pillows.

Sleep hygiene counts, no matter how good your mattress is. To get your best night’s sleep consider these practices:

  • Put down electronic devices and avoid blue light for at least an hour prior to bedtime.
  • Keep your room cool by opening a window, adjusting a thermostat, or using a fan.
  • If the neighbor’s dog, honking horns, or your noisy family stops you from sleeping, get a white noise machine or try a free app to drown out the sounds you can’t control.
  • Keep to a schedule. A sleep routine that gets you up at the same time each day, and puts you in bed around the same time each night, can help your body and brain relax on cue.
  • Some people take melatonin, a dietary supplement and hormone that has been shown to improve sleep and regulate circadian rhythm.

Here are more sleep tips that can help you get enough rest.