Buy the right mattress. Some people like spring mattresses, some foam, some latex; some mount them on box springs, others on platforms. But if you’re looking for suggestions from a pro, Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, cofounder and CEO of apartmenttherapy.com, along with wife Sara Kate, has been testing various mattresses for a month at a time for the past year. Two favorites? Danny Seo’s Simmons Natural Care Set ($1,430 to $1,880 for queen with split base) and the NaturaLatex Tranquil ($1,550 for full set). Both are made of foam but not memory foam, which the Gillingham-Ryans find too hot for comfort. And though not completely green (which would make them exorbitantly expensive), the mattresses do use ecofriendly products in their construction. Read detailed reviews of a dozen popular mattresses—including models from Ikea, Hästens, Sealy, Room & Board, and Tempur-Pedic—at the website.
Buy the right pillow. According to Ladies’ Home Journal, the appropriate choice depends on how you sleep. If you lie on your back, select a thin pillow and consider tucking a lumbar pillow beneath the small of your back. Side sleepers may want to try what’s known as a boomerang pillow ($20, bedbathandbeyond.com). Named for its shape, it helps support the shoulders of those who like to lie on one side or the other as they snooze. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended because it tends to throw your back out of whack. But if you must lie prone in bed, ditch the head pillow altogether and instead support your pelvis with a pillow to keep your spine in a more natural position. Do you tend to snore? Invest in a Sona Pillow ($60, amazon.com). Designed to let you tuck an arm underneath, it encourages side sleeping, thus opening up your airways. And open airways mean less snoring.
Use a pillow topper. Like feather beds of old, these cushiony pads add a layer of softness to a standard mattress. Departures magazine recommends you buy one made of pure goose down with small baffles to keep the down evenly distributed. Carson Kressley, the celebrity stylist and star of Carson Nation on the OWN cable channel, also likes a feather-filled topper, he tells House Beautiful, while Gillingham-Ryan is a fan of Danny Seo’s Simmons latex foam topper, which, he says, “allows your body weight to sink well into the mattress, leaving your feet a bit higher than your hips and chest [which is just right for your posture].” Worried about the added expense of this item? Check out Costco for bargains, advises “Ninja,” author of the blog punchdebtintheface.com. He found a well-priced foam one there recently and claims “even the worst mattresses feel like heaven when a three-inch memory-foam pad is on top.”
Tuck the sheets in properly. The hospital corners beloved by homemakers everywhere can be constricting. To give your feet more room, try this trick from Departures when making your bed: Stand at the foot of the bed; fold an eight-inch pleat toward you, at the bottom of the sheet. Then add the blanket. Fold back the top of the sheet over the blanket at the head of the bed, and tuck in the sheet and blanket all the way around.