Bed 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.

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.

Water Beds
Waterbeds usually get their support from the amount of water in the mattress. There is no pressure on the body at all. These beds are known to be perfect for people suffering from allergies. Wave motion varies between beds. Some waterbeds also come with heaters to keep the bed warm.

Futons
Futons are an Asian invention. They are normally made from multiple layers of fibre or cotton. In the UK they are popular with younger people who are on a very tight budget as they are very affordable. The mattresses can be used on the floor or a frame can be purchased to make it more of a bed.

Divan Bed Bases
Divans are simply boxes on wheels so they can be easily moved or boxes on legs so there is storage underneath. Sprung edge divans have coils or springs set on a frame. These are the most expensive style. Platform divans have a hardboard top and are quite firm. Firm edge divans are made with small durable springs in a wood frame. Flexible slatted divans are crafted with bendable wood creating a slight bounciness. The slat tension can be adjusted as needed on these flexible slatted beds.

Bedsteads
Bedsteads are what most of us consider a typical bed frame. The mattress support is usually made of wood slats that can be very flexible or tough and rigid. Wire mesh is another material used to make the support. The more rigid and cheap slats are further apart but the gap should not exceed 10cm. In addition, the wider the space between the slats, the more likely your mattress will be to wear out.

Adjustable Bases
Adjustable beds are becoming more and more popular but they are still very expensive. They make it easy to sleep or read as the bed can be raised or lowered as needed. They are also very helpful for people with medical conditions. GERD (acid reflux) patients find there is less pain sleeping in a raised position. In some situations the end of the bed raises and this can help patients who suffer from leg cramps. Most of these beds come as single beds. There are also double sized beds with the two sides independently adjustable. Some extreme adjustable beds can have up to 5 areas that can be altered. From the head to the feet and every point in between, these are considered the elite of adjustable beds. Because the mattresses are made especially to suit each bed it is best to purchase the two together.

Hard Vs Soft Mattress
Mattresses come in a wide range of solidity. From the ultra soft to the extremely hard, it is more a matter of preference than necessity. However, there are some basic truths that hold for the majority of us. Very soft cloud-like mattresses can wreak havoc on bad backs. This is because there is very little support in a soft mattress. While hard mattresses might be better for a bad back, very hard mattresses can cause just as much trouble. It all boils down to what works best for each individual.

Mattresses for Overweight People
For those who prefer foam mattresses and are overweight consider the latex mattress or the visco elastic mattress. Because these mattresses have no springs there are no painful pressure points exacerbated by the extra weight. In addition overweight people tend to wear out spring mattresses faster than foam mattresses. When buying a foam mattress select a high-density style, as it will last quite a bit longer. Another good option for overweight people is an air mattress. Once again there are no pressure points causing pain. The firmness is easily adjusted by adding or releasing air. If an overweight person must purchase a spring mattress try to get an inner coil mattress. Their construction is perfectly suited to heavier individuals.

The Warranty
The best way to protect your mattress purchase is to make sure it comes with a warranty. A typical warranty will last between 10 and 20 years. They basically cover any flaws in the mattress. If the construction is faulty or the materials are abnormally inadequate then you should be covered. Adjustable beds, water beds and airbeds will also have warranties on the various parts such as the motor or the controls. Keep in mind the warranty will not cover the bed for normal deterioration.

 

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