The right mattress (or sleep system) for every “body”
There is a lot of fuzz in the online sales of mattresses about stories claiming that a single mattress would be perfect for everybody. While a mattress can be a good choice for many, it can never be the ideal option for all. There is no doubt that our bodies show many different shapes and sizes, so it is quite likely that this should be somehow reflected in the mattress composition. But how does this work actually, and how can you tell which mattress has a good support for a specific body?
From a biomechanics point of view, the ultimate goal is a correctly aligned spine. Besides a general stiffness grade according to the body weight, a good mattress will in general differ mechanically in the zones corresponding to the shoulders, waist and hips to obtain the right support for that body part. As stated in the beginning, it all starts with the differences in shapes and sizes. So to be able to provide an accurate advise on a sleep system for somebody, one needs to have information on the actual body shape and size.
In the simplest form this could be achieved by a wizard-like questionnaire that assesses the most important measures of the person. However, a more precise description would allow a better calculation of the person’s needs. As a starter, the questionnaire could be supplemented with a few manual measurements, while a full 3D scan of the person lies on the other end of the spectrum. In between we could rely on a simple contour and weight measurement to retreive the most important measures in an automated way.
The complexity of the sleep system will also determine the need for a more sophisticated approach: if a choice needs to be made from a limited range of mattresses, it is often enough to start from the basic parameters, whilst a highly customizable sleep system (for instance a mattress or bed base with exchangeable pads) will necessitate a more accurate description of the person.
Together with the mechanical characteristics of the sleep system(s), this information forms the basis of a solid advice for a mattress or sleep system that can provide a good body support. However, a good night’s sleep will depend on a lot more than that. A nice and cozy comfort, a room with limited noise and light intrusion, a healthy microclimate and most of all a relaxed mind, free of all daily bothers… seems hard to get? Well you can start with the easy part: make sure you’re getting the right support from your bed!