Bed and Mattress Guide

If you find you are not sleeping well it may be due to an old and uncomfortable bed. How much time we spend in bed can affect its durability. If the mattress is lumpy and the springs are too bouncy it might be time to go shopping. We also change as we age. A person who has once slept best on a soft mattress may be more suited to a harder mattress later in life, or, vice versa. Weight gain and weight loss can all effect how we react to our mattresses. A mattress might be perfect for one person but if two people start using it there could be difficulties. Studies have shown that beds can lose up to 70% of their original hardiness over 10 years.

How Do I Select a Mattress?
Before shopping for a mattress you need to arm yourself with pertinent information. First determine what type of bed is best for you. Do you like soft or hard beds? Would you prefer a standard mattress or a foam mattress? If you are not sure, go try out a few different mattress types. Second, consider your budget. This is not a purchase you want to scrimp on, as a poor night’s sleep can affect your whole day. Try to get as much value as you can for your budget. Finally, size is a very important factor especially if there is more than one person sleeping in the bed. Ideally, you should both be able to lie on the bed with your arms behind your heads and not touch. A bed needs to be 10-15 cm longer than the tallest person sleeping in that bed. Also pay attention to the height. Lower beds can be easy to get into but harder to get out of. High beds can be hard to get into, especially for shorter people, but very easy to hop out of in the morning.
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The Exterior of a Mattress
The mattress exterior is called ticking. Visually it is really not too important to select a “pretty” mattress as it will be covered most of the time. Instead you want to make sure the ticking is sturdy and well made and not prone to ripping. The higher quality ticking is made of material that is knitted or woven using cotton or viscose yarn. Cheaper mattresses are made of polypropylene or polyester. The cheapest mattresses are made of stitchbond or bonded cloth. Manufacturers now make external mattress covers with special features such as anti-allergy, anti-bacterial and anti-static. They may be resistant to staining, water and fire. Amazingly enough, there are even mattresses that give off different scents conducive to a good night’s sleep.

Spring Mattresses
There are three basic types of spring mattresses. A continuous spring mattress is made from a single piece of wire woven into many springs. The springs are linked in a vertical pattern. The wire is soft and the coils are small. This generates more reaction from the mattress. An open coil mattress is the most common form of mattress. The springs are arranged horizontally and connected at their tops and on the bottom by a twisting wire. The rods that run around the edge of the coils add strength. A pocket spring mattress has coils that are placed in fabric coverings. Instead of working as a unit, these springs function separately. As a result movement between partners on the same bed can not be felt by the other.

Foam Mattresses
Latex foam mattresses are quite responsive as they are actually made from rubber tree sap. Known for their durability, they also have anti-allergy and anti-microbial characteristics. These mattresses bounce back to their original shape as soon as you get off the bed. Pressure is evenly distributed too. A viscose elastic or memory foam bed is made of polyurethane foam. It does not respond as quickly as a latex foam mattress but is excellent at relieving pressure points on the body. This foam mattress has several different densities making some harder than others. Polyurethane foam beds are petroleum based. They too come in different densities and are one of the more popular foam beds.

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