You may not think much about your mattress, but it is absolutely essential for helping you to enjoy a good night’s sleep. You don’t tend to notice a mattress when it is doing its job. But if your mattress is of a poor quality, you will soon know about it—even though you might not know that the mattress itself is the problem.

Here are some of the ways in which your mattress you sleep on at night can have a big impact on you during the day, followed by some tips on choosing your perfect mattress.

Stress Relief: A good mattress can help to keep stress at bay by ensuring you get enough sleep during the night. The Huffington Post referred to a study in 2009 where a selection of people saw a stress reduction after sleeping for a month on a medium-firm mattress. This seems to confirm what many already knew—that a good mattress is essential for your mood.

And it’s easy to see why a mattress is so important. A better quality mattress quite simply leads to a better quality of sleep. Stress levels can go up when we don’t sleep well, so it’s important to make sure you get the sleep you need. A better mattress can help you to sleep better through the night, so you feel more rested during the day, helping to keep stress levels down.

Prevent Aches and Pains: If you suffer from an old sports injury or you have any other pains that cause you problems during your waking hours, a bad mattress can exacerbate these. If your mattress does not have the right level of support, you may find that you wake up in the morning with pains that were not there when you went to sleep.

If you find yourself waking up with a stiff neck or back, the mattress could also be to blame. A quality mattress, however, can help to reduce these aches and pains by giving you better support.

Allergy Issues: Dust mites can be a big problem for some people. They feed on dead skin cells, and they are often found in the bed, but they can cause itchiness if you are allergic to them. Unfortunately, they can be present in any mattress. Make sure you wash the sheets frequently, and use an allergy-proof slipcover to help prevent them from being a problem.

Avoid Waking Up During the Night: If you share a bed with your partner, you may find that you keep waking up during the night. Sometimes a bad-quality mattress can dip in the middle, causing you to both roll into each other during the night. The more you wake up, the more tired you will be during the morning, so it’s important to sleep on a mattress that provides you both with the right support.

How to Choose Your Ideal Mattress: As you can see, sleeping on a quality mattress is the first thing you should do to enjoy a better night’s sleep—and therefore feel better during the day. You’ll have more energy, fewer pains, and lower stress levels as a result.

So how do you choose a mattress?

First, read some reviews. You can find lots of reviews online that will give you a good idea about which mattresses might be right and which you should avoid. We found the very best mattress here to get you started, so check them out and see if you can find one that sounds right for you.

The next thing to consider is the size. Once you have found a model you like the look of, check the sizes that it comes in. Many will come in a range of sizes, and you want to make sure that it will fit you on lengthways. You also want to ensure you and your partner both have enough space available.

You may then want to go to a shop to try it out for yourself. That way, you can lie down on the mattress for a few minutes to decide whether it feels comfortable. Go into the store and lie down, and you should get a good idea of whether the mattress is right for you.

Is It Time for a New Mattress?: If you are starting to wake up feeling stiff, or you don’t know why you are so tired and stressed during the day, your mattress could well be to blame. You should change your mattress every eight years or so to ensure it keeps on providing you with the support you need to sleep well. So make sure you are sleeping soundly all night long, and pick a new mattress if your one is getting a bit old.

Ted Wilson started working in the orthopedic industry in 1982 in Portland, OR and was involved in several health-related initiatives nationwide until 1998, when after a car accident, Ted started to suffer from chronic back pain and focused his attention on people suffering from the same conditions. Among other things, Ted and his team run a successful website, www.mattress-guides.net, independently reviewing beds and mattresses for the public.