How Bed Surfaces Affect Your Sleep
This content was created by the National Sleep Foundation
The feel of your mattress, pillows, sheets, and pajamas affects the quality of your sleep. Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive so that you wake up feeling rested, not achy or stiff.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessarily better to sleep on an extra firm mattress, so use your body as a guide for what feels best through the night. Many sleepers, especially side sleepers, prefer a softer mattress. The same applies to pillows: soft or firm is a matter of preference, but think about replacing pillows when they become lumpy or shapeless. The type and number of pillows you use depends in part on your sleeping position.
Temperature plays a big role in quality sleep. Mattress materials, as well as the fabrics on your bed and your body, deal with heat differently. For example, many people find memory foam comfortable, but some materials can trap heat and make it more difficult to sleep in warmer months. For pajamas and sheets, it may help to choose a breathable cotton fabric so that you don’t overheat. There are newer fabrics available that also have the ability to wick away moisture—especially helpful if you sweat when you sleep.