Little scientific research exists for maintaining a healthy back or on which mattress is best for back pain. The mattress that’s right for you lets you wake up feeling rested and free of soreness or pain. Unless you have a condition that may require a certain type of mattress, you should choose one that is comfortable and provides support for the natural curves of your spine. Because back pain is so common, numerous mattress manufacturers promise to relieve or prevent your back pain, without scientific evidence.
While no one type of mattress is a fix for all, in general, a firmer mattress — one that supports the spine at all points throughout its natural curve — is normally preferred by back sufferers. While it’s important that a mattress provides adequate level support for the spine, personal preference, and comfort level are the key factors to consider when selecting a mattress.
Buying a new mattress is a significant expense for most families, so it’s best to try it out before making a commitment. Does this mean that a mattress-in-a-box should not be considered? Not at all, if such manufacturer offers at least 90+ nights money-back guarantee with a no-hassle return policy. Ninety days is a much more effective inspection period than whatever customers can find out during the time they spend trying out mattresses at a brick-and-mortar local store.
Furthermore, by making simple changes in your sleeping position, you can take strain off your back [source: Mayo Clinic].
If you sleep on your side, draw your legs up slightly toward your chest and put a pillow between your legs. The American Academy of Family Physicians points to this position as the healthiest for low back pain.
Sleeping on your stomach can be hard on your back. If you can’t sleep any other way, reduce the strain on your back by placing a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis, and use also a pillow under your head. If it still does cause strain on your back, try sleeping without a pillow under your head. Anyway, sleeping on your stomach isn’t recommended for back pain sufferers because it doesn’t preserve the curvature of your spine.
And for back sleepers, placing a small pillow under your knees to help maintain the normal curve of your lower back and support your neck with a pillow, will relieve pressure on your spine.
Medium-firm to firm mattresses may work well for those who end up sleeping on their stomachs or for larger people (those weighing more than 230 pounds) who need more resistance to hold up their weight. But some softness— provided by a pillow top, for example—is often needed to cushion the shoulder and hip bones of side sleepers.
According to a study conducted by The Lancet in 2003, a mattress of medium firmness improves pain and disability among patients with chronic non-specific low-back pain.
Does the comfort layer of the mattress have a cooling effect, or does it hold your body heat and leave you sweaty and uncomfortable? Such questions are becoming increasingly important for new mattress shoppers. The National Institutes of Health advices cooler temperatures for sleep, because cooling increases blood flow, and that leads to better oxygenation.
Mattress technology has advanced significantly to address this issue through techniques like body temperature absorbing materials (phase change materials or PCMs), and through the increased use of cooling copper, gels, or other materials in the top layer. Cooling mattress toppers, bought separately, too, do offer the same remedy.
Considering that most people spend about one third of their lives lying in bed, selecting the right mattress is of paramount importance for containing back pain, because it can make the difference in whether you can sleep well at night and function properly the next day.
In the past, doctors used to recommend very firm mattresses. But more recent surveys among people with back pain reveal that those who sleep on very hard mattresses had the worse sleep quality. Furthermore, there is no difference in sleep quality between those who use firm and medium-firm mattresses.
On the other hand, plush mattresses can also be problematic, the reason being that while a soft mattress that conforms to your body’s natural curves may help your joints to align properly, you might also sink in so deeply that your joints might twist and become painful during the night in bed.
A new mattress described as plush often feel softer on the surface where you sleep. Lots of people describe slipping into plush mattresses as sinking into a luxuriously comfortable bed, and are normally well-suited for people who suffer from pressure point discomfort while sleeping on their sides. And the reason for this is because plush mattresses cradle and cushion pressure points, thus creating less stress on the joints.
In short, soft mattresses cushion your body while you sleep, with the perfect amount of give, for a comfortable night’s sleep. Sometimes, back sleepers also reveal a preference for plush mattresses, but they require them with firmer cores for providing the support their backs demand, in order to maintain adequate spinal alignment while sleeping.
However, stomach sleepers seldom select plush mattresses. The sinking sensation can leave them with the feeling as if they’re suffocating. And the mattress often force the spine to bend in awkward positions. A firm and medium-firm mattress is a better choice for many back sleepers and stomach sleepers.
A firm mattress isn’t quite as soft as the plusher variety, and it is often referred to as providing exceptional support. While some people find it uncomfortable and stiff, stomach sleepers often find it a better choice. A firm and medium-firm bed helps stomach sleepers maintain proper spinal alignment while sleeping, as do those who are back sleepers.
Side sleepers sometimes struggle with a firmer mattress as it tends to irritate pressure points, leaving them sore and aching in the morning. While hips and shoulders are the most commonly complained of pressure points when it comes to a firm and medium firm mattress, sometimes people also complain about their knees. However, by placing a thin pillow between your knees while sleeping, this can often be sorted out regardless of how firm or soft your mattress is.
What If You Choose The Wrong Firmness?
The new mattress needs to support your body in a neutral position, meaning that your buttocks, shoulders, heels and head are well supported in proper alignment, and in which your spine has a natural curvature. If the new mattress is too soft, those pressure points won’t be properly supported, so your whole body will flop back, and if it is too firm, it will push on those main pressure points and take you out of alignment.
Both of these alternative scenarios can cause an achy morning, back pain and your body will not function properly during the day. Thus, finding the proper balance between firmness and softness is very important for your sleeping needs.
What If Your Partner Has Different Requirements?
Lots of people spend weeks looking for a new mattress that offers a proper balance between a firm versus a soft bed. It is difficult enough to find the right fit for just yourself, but when you add your partner into the mix, the decision process becomes even more complex – and in particular when your partner has different comfort preferences.
Fortunately, there are handmade mattresses that offer buyers infinite customization, so that each person can have their own preferred level of firmness and/or softness, for each side of the bed.
This is possible because such mattress layers are not glued together. This gives you the option of adding and removing layers, as needed, to meet your unique comfort and support preferences. You can even have a different level of firmness and softness on each side of the bed. This is a great option for couples with different comfort requirements, where one prefers a firm bed and the other prefers a soft bed.
Nearly every consumer has returned a purchased mattress for an exchange, refund or store credit at least once. Usually, the experience is quite normal, although sometimes mattress returns don’t always go the way we’d like them to. But while mattress retailers aren’t required to accept returns (unless there’s a defect, in which case it will be covered by the warranty), certain laws establish the disclosure of return and refund policies in the U.S.
Refunds and Returns: U.S. Federal Law
While state laws primarily address the issue of returned mattresses, there’s no federal law that requires a mattress retailer to refund money. Per most state laws, refunds are subject to the established mattress store refund policy at the time of purchase, unless the purchased mattress is found to be useless for the purpose of which it was intended. A customer changing his/her mind after making a mattress purchase, such as deciding they want a bed with coils (rather than foam), is not the fault of the retailer and the latter cannot be held responsible.
In broad terms, most mattress stores do offer refunds. It’s usually pursuant to a bed store policy which explicitly that returns are to be extended, in order to strength its brand in the community; but this is simply a mattress store policy – not a federal law.
Deceptive Claims and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Federal law does provide some, limited protections to mattress buyers through the FTC, who enforces federal consumer protection laws that are meant to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, or unfair business practices such as false advertising. Such agency will sue mattress retailers that make deceptive claims about their products or services. When the FTC settles a case, it tries to obtain refunds for buyers who lost money, if that’s possible, but these refunds are based on unfair or deceptive business practice regulations, not state refunds laws, i.e. mattress refunds are a state law contract issue.
Mattress Return Fraud
There are numerous ways buyers can defraud a mattress retailer through the usual return process, but not all legitimate returns are distinguishable from return fraud.
Returned mattresses are either marked down, thrown away (recycled), or donated to a local church or charity organization and often incur significant costs associated with being restocked.
Refunds and Returns: U.S. State Law
Many states in the U.S. have general laws governing mattress refunds, although not all of them offer guidance on how such laws should apply to their residents who buy beds-in-a-box from out-of-state retailers online. Below are a few examples of U.S. state laws addressing mattress refunds:
Mattress retailers in California are required to clearly post online their refund policy unless they offer full cash refund, store credit or exchange within 7 days of the purchase date. Failing this requirement, buyers may return the mattress for a full refund within 30 days of the purchase.
Mattress retailers in Florida that don’t offer refunds must post online this fact where customers can see. Failing this requirement, buyers may return the mattress for a full refund within 20 days of the purchase.
In the state of Illinois, residents may cancel mattress transactions (and get a full refund) within 3 business days for door-to-door sales, gym memberships and campground memberships.
In most cases, regardless of how a mattress retailer establishes its own return policy, the conditions of such a policy must be prominently displayed at the place of purchase and respective websites for it to be considered valid.
Mattress retailers may charge a re-stocking fee for returned mattresses, which covers the cost of replacing the packaging in order to sell it as new. However, state laws determine whether or not buyers must be notified about these fees prior to purchase. For example, in the state of NY, mattress retailers are required to prominently display their re-stocking fee policies prior to the point of purchase; while in the state of New Hampshire, such notification is not required.
Other fees, such as restocking fees, normally must be made clear in the retailer’s policy language. Regardless of whether each U.S. state requires disclosure of return policies, you should ask any mattress retailer for their particular policy before making a purchase. Additionally, states may or may not explicitly apply their laws to online sales.
Below are summaries of state laws governing refunds of mattress retail sales items:
In the state of California, mattress retailers are required to clearly post their refund policy unless they offer a full cash refund, store credit or exchange within 7 days of the purchase date. Mattress retailers failing this specific requirement are required to accept full refunds within 30 days of purchase.
In the states of Connecticut and Hawaii, each mattress retailer may set its own refund policy, which must be clearly disclosed at the time of sale. If the policy isn’t properly disclosed, or if the mattress retailer doesn’t have a refund policy, the buyer may return the purchased mattress for a refund.
In the state of Florida, mattress retailers that don’t offer refunds must clearly display this fact at the place of sale. Failing this specific requirement, buyers may return mattress(es) for a full refund within 20 days of purchase.
In the state of Maryland, mattress retailers must post their return policies on the wall, on the merchandise, or on the receipt. If such policy isn’t posted, the mattress retailer must accept the returned mattress within a reasonable time.
In the state of Massachusetts, a mattress retailer’s return, refund or cancellation policy must be disclosed to the buyer clearly before the transaction is completed. This is usually done by means of a sign at the point of purchase. Mattresses may be returned within a reasonable period of time if no return policy was disclosed to the buyer.
In the state of Minnesota, a mattress retailer must clearly display written notice of its policy in boldface type of a minimum size of 14 points. If the seller fails this specific requirement, cash refunds are required of mattresses that are acceptable for return.
In the state of New Jersey, mattress retailers must clearly post their refund policies. Businesses with no posted refund policies are liable to the buyer, for up to 20 days from purchase, for a cash refund or a credit.
In the state of New York, a mattress store is legally required to post its refund policy. If such store doesn’t post any return policy, it will have to accept returns within 30 days of purchase.
In the state of Ohio, a mattress retailer isn’t required to have a specific refund policy, but if it does have a refund policy, the policy must be clearly posted. If not, the buyer is entitled to a full refund.
In the state of Rhode Island, unless a buyer has been clearly informed by a poster or other appropriate notice placed at the point of display or at the cash register or at the mattress store entrance that all sales are final and that mattresses aren’t returnable, a customer who has paid for it can return such mattress within 10 business days from the date of purchase.
In the state of Utah, if the mattress retailer has a non-refund, exchange, or credit policy, such policy must be clearly indicated by a sign posted at the point-of-display, the point-of-sale, or the store entrance. If such seller fails this specific requirement, the buyer is entitled to a mattress return.
In the state of Virginia, the mattress retailer must notify its customers of its return policy by means of a sign attached to the mattress or placed in a public area of the merchant’s premises. The mattress retailer is exempt from this specific requirement if it provides a credit refund (or cash) within 20 days of the purchase.
Finally, in the remaining states (i.e. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming), there’s no right to cancel purchase or contracts agreements. Whether you can receive a refund is dependent on the mattress retailer’s refund and return policies.
You probably give 100% of yourself every day… Shouldn’t your mattress do the same for you, every night? If you’re looking for a mattress that is scientifically crafted specifically for people with an active lifestyle and elite athletes, you found the right page. Below you’ll find a comprehensive mattress buyers guide for athletes.
MOLECULE bed products focus on body recovery and rest, regulating its natural temperature and providing you with best support while you sleep. MOLECULE mattresses are scientifically engineered to maximize airflow and facilitate cooling throughout the night, resulting in better temperature-regulation for ultimate sports performance and optimal sleep.
The result? Meticulously engineered bed products that efficiently transfer heat away from the body – an important factor for getting the most restorative sleep possible.
Backed by Science
Cool sleep is a guiding principle in the manufacture of a MOLECULE mattress for athletes. One of the most important factors that can influence the duration and quality of your body’s recovery during sleep is an adequate reduction in your core body temperature. Our body’s thermoregulation is less efficient during sleep, thus external controllable factors that affect temperature – such as the bed products you sleep on – are of paramount importance.
What is the right type of sleep?
In any given night of sleep, your body typically goes through 4 (four) distinct stages of sleep. One stage in particular – the so-called Slow Wave Sleep – is the most restorative stage for your body.
Mattress Buying Guide For Athletes
People with an active lifestyle and elite athletes are well aware that scientific research has proven time and time again that the quality of your sleep can have a significant impact on your performance in sports. Getting reparative, deep sleep is the best way to help your body recover healthily and quickly from the previous day’s activities.
For athletes, finding a mattress that will promote undisturbed, deep sleep, is critical for helping their body to get ready for the next day of activities in sports.
In this Buyers Guide, we’ll be discussing the key issues that elite athletes should look for when buying a new mattress in the U.S. marketplace.
When it comes the time to replace your mattress, there are 4 major issues you should consider during your search: your body type, your sleep style, chronic pains and aches, and your personal preferences for firmness. Additionally, people with an active lifestyle and athletes need to consider these following issues:
High-Quality Materials. Buying a mattress incorporating high-quality materials may be more costly nowadays, but it will protect you later on from having to replace a saggy and unreliable bed.
Pressure Relief and Zoned Support. The top layers of your new mattress should conform to your body in order to relieve tension and pressure points, while still maintaining spinal alignment in healthy shape. Athletes should also look for additional lumbar support from their mattress, as it will prevent your torso from sinking too far into the bed.
Sleep-Promoting Technologies and Temperature Regulation. It’s impossible to get a good night’s sleep if you’re consistently waking up and feeling hot. Cooling and temperature regulating technologies help combat excessive heat during the night and contribute to deep sleep.
Furthermore, sleep trials allow you the opportunity to try your new mattress in the convenience of your home, risk-free. This will give you a more genuine experience of the mattress’ comfort for deciding if it is suitable for your needs.
Make sure that the mattress you’re purchasing comes with a warranty of at least 10 years. The average lifespan of a mattress is around 10-12 years, so a 10-year warranty will have you covered for as long as it is expected to last. Before your commitment to buy, read the warranty guidelines and have a clear understanding of what’s covered and what you would be responsible for in the event of an unexpected warranty claim.
Quality of Materials
Most mattress manufacturers will offer comprehensive information about how their beds are made and about respective materials incorporated. If an online retailer does not disclose such relevant information, it’s a sign you should consider an alternative brand.
Mattresses are manufactured from a wide range of materials. When assessing latex beds, look at whether it is 100% natural, or a synthetic blend. For innerspring beds, look at what the pocketed coils are made from, are they steel or a cheap metal? When evaluating memory foam beds, check the density of the top layer. Don’t forget to evaluate the cover of the mattress, and the fabrics used within the cover as well, as they all play an important role in the overall comfort of your bed.
Pressure Relief and Zoned Support
Finding a mattress that will provide healthy support for your muscles to recover and rest is critical to elite athletes. Nowadays, many mattresses include a layer that has been specifically designed to nurture a healthy spine and offer targeted pressure relief. However, there are plenty of beds that lack in this support layer. When conducting research, look for information concerning how the mattress will maintain aligned your spine’s natural curvature and how it will ease tension and pressure.
In order to properly support your body, a good mattress should be softer in areas like your shoulders and hips and firmer in areas around your neck, torso, and feet. These features will strengthen your body’s natural alignment and will reduce pains and aches. Athletes should also look for a bed with extra support in the middle of the mattress, because it will prevent your torso from sinking in it.
Sleep-Promoting Technologies and Temperature Regulation
The time you spend asleep is the opportunity for your body to recover both physically and mentally from the day’s events. Athletes require certain amounts of both light and deep sleep, as each stage of sleep is responsible for a specific facet of body healing. For example, light sleep is associated with regeneration and cell division, which directly links to faster muscle recovery. Getting 8-9 hours of sleep after an intensive workout can also help build your muscles. And during deep sleep, hormones are secreted to help keep your body processes in sync.
To get restorative rest, it’s critical that you spend an adequate amount of time asleep to go through each stage of sleep. Sleep-promoting technologies that keep you cool, and create a peaceful sleeping environment, are beneficial in helping you stay asleep.
Motion isolation, for example, helps prevent movement from transferring throughout the mattress. If you move around, or share the bed with a restless partner, you shouldn’t be disturbed by the bed shifting with such tossing and turning.
Nowadays, there are lots of cooling technologies used in mattresses to prevent you from overheating while you sleep. These include copper-infused and gel-infused foams, summarized below:
Copper is a highly conductive material, which acts as a magnet for heat, and it dissipates and absorbs body heat in the mattress to ensure the bed remains cool. Copper also eases sore joints and reduces inflammation – especially important for elite athletes. Furthermore, copper is naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial, ensuring that your bed is germ-free.
Cooling gel and gel beads draw heat away from your body and out of the mattress, keeping your temperature neutral.
Different Types of Mattresses
Nowadays, innerspring mattresses are becoming less popular among consumers, but they’re still a comfortable solution for getting a good night’s sleep. Innerspring beds are bouncy and although they can’t cushion your body the way latex or memory foam do, they’re still very responsive and can promote a healthy spine by keeping you lifted on the mattress, never sinking into it.
Latex offers a variety of sleep-promoting benefits. It is a more breathable foam, so it helps preventing heat from being trapped in the mattress. Unlike memory foam, latex is more responsive and bouncy. Though it cushions you and feels comfortable, it doesn’t allow you to sink into the mattress as much and instead holds you more on top of the bed. All-natural latex is hypoallergenic and free from chemicals, so it’s a great choice for eco-friendly consumers and for kids.
Memory foam is one of the most popular mattress types, particularly among bed-in-a-box brands. If you suffer from chronic pain, memory foam is ideal. It is considered the best material for pain relief because of its ability to relieve pressure and contour to your body. Such beds feel more cushioning and cradling and will help alleviate stress on your spine. Furthermore, memory foam beds are great at isolating motion. If you share the bed with a restless partner, it might be the best solution for undisturbed sleep.
Hybrid beds combine a pocketed coil system with foam layers. Some hybrid models feature memory foam, others contain latex, and a few use both memory foam and latex to create a very comfortable sleep surface. Because hybrids combine a variety of high-quality materials, they’re often the most expensive kind of mattresses sold.
Your sleep style is the most important factor in ascertaining how firm your next new mattress should be.
If you’re a back sleeper, you’re best suited for a firmer mattress because it will keep you lifted and will promote your spine’s neutral alignment.
Side sleepers, on the other hand, are best suited for medium-soft mattresses because they’re supportive enough to foster a healthy spine, but soft enough to cushion the hips and shoulders. A common issue these sleepers experience is pressure points in the hips and shoulders, which are largely a result of sleeping on a mattress that is too firm. Medium-soft mattresses will allow your hips and shoulders to compress more, thus alleviating pressure.
Stomach sleeping is considered to be the unhealthiest sleep position, because it can result in back pain later on your life. If you do sleep often on your stomach, you need a very firm mattress to do so, because your center of gravity shifts to your mid-section. If your bed is not firm enough, or does not offer the proper lumbar support, this can cause your torso to sink in the mattress, overextending your spine. To prevent putting added stress on your spine, nothing like trying to switch up how you sleep.
A Custom-Made Mattress is Better than a One-Type-Fits-All Mattress
The more goods in your world that are customized for meeting your individual requirements, the better your world will be operating. That’s why a custom-made mattress is surely a better decision than a one-size-fits-all one from big mattress warehouses. Before you commit anything for your next mattress purchase, consider these circumstances detailed below.
You and Your Partner Have Different Sleep Preferences
Some people prefer fish while others prefer a veg diet. Some prefer to keep their home colder and others prefer a warmer temperature.
One partner might prefer a supportive and firm sleep surface, while the other might like a far more comfort-oriented one. With traditional mattresses, the entire bed is either firm or soft, and there’s no practical way to make half the mattress firm and the other half softer.
However, when you buy a custom-made mattress, it’ll be made-to-measure for meeting your specifications. This means that half the mattress can be made softer and with fewer comfort layers for one partner, while the other half can be made firmer and with additional comfort layers. Thus, it’ll help provide an equal level of comfort for each individual partner – and that’s why dual-split mattresses are becoming so popular.
Adjust Your Mattress as Your Requirements Change
When you purchase a customized mattress, you’ll have the ability to make changes to it over the course of its life cycle.
You’ll be able to add or remove comfort layers and/or change the firmness of layers in your mattress, as needed along the way, to accommodate any changes that might take place in your body.
For example, if you develop arthritis later in life, or start feeling a chronic back pain, you can adjust your mattress thickness and/or firmness, in order to better suit your changing comfort needs over the course of your life.
Some of these changes may come about as a result of age, accidents, illnesses, medical conditions, and during pregnancy.
Over the course of time, you may switch sleeping positions – e.g. transitioning from the role of a stomach or side sleeper to that of a back sleeper (or vice versa), with different needs for support and pressure point relief from both sides of your bed.
In these cases, the simple addition or removal of a comfort and/or support layer could make a big difference in the quality of your sleep, without forcing you to replace an entirely new mattress in order to achieve these changes in comfort. And such critical feature will extend dramatically the life of your mattress.
The Firmness, Thickness and Size Can Be Customized
The thickness of your mattress can also have a significant impact on the quality of your sleep.
Those who are exceptionally tall or short may prefer a bed that accommodate their specific height. Those who are heavier in weight will require a thicker mattress with more cushioned support.
The firmness of your mattress can also have a substantial impact on the quality of your sleep.
Those who sleep on their stomach or back may prefer a firm mattress, while those who are side sleepers may prefer a mattress that is medium in firmness and those who are older or fragile, may prefer a softer mattress.
Furthermore, most traditional mattresses come in standard sizes. If you’ve got a custom bed frame that doesn’t conform to modern mattress sizes or you want to make your own, one-of-a-kind bed frame, you’ll require a mattress that is custom-made. It’s the perfect solution for many people who prefer to recycle, or reuse furniture, or create new and unique furniture of their own.
When you customize your mattress, it’ll be made-to-order for meeting your unique requirements, rather than working with one-type-fits-all, so common in several industries – but not in the sleep industry.
A More Productive and Happier Life
Your mattress does have a significant impact to the quality of life in your day-to-day living. Sleeplessness is a huge problem and aches or pains might rob you of much needed rest at night.
When your mattress isn’t performing well, it can cause discord in the relationship of a couple, unhappiness in the workplace, and overall stress in your life. Only a customized mattress will provide the appropriate sleep solution for your requirements, as an individual and as a couple.
Sleepless nights can cause a serious deterioration in the quality of your life.
When problems such as memory, productivity, and even your health are associated to your current mattress, a custom-made mattress can ensure that both partners’ comfort and support needs are met. Thus, both partners will regain the quality sleep they need to be happy in life and perform better at work.
When you’re shopping for a new mattress risk-free home trial, it’s vital to understand the various mattress certifications available in the US market: GOLS Certified Organic Latex, GOTS Global Organic Textile, OEKO-TEX, USDA Organic Certification and GreenGuard Gold. In this fashion, you can be sure of what you’re buying and whether it’s free of harmful chemicals.
Consider shopping for your new mattress trial that has earned the following certifications:
GOLS or Global Organic Latex Standard. Any organic latex product that carries this GOLS certification meets very specific standards, which affect a variety of aspects of the life cycle of latex that include: manufacturing, processing, packaging, labeling, trading and distribution. With GOLS certified mattresses, they must contain at least 95% certified organic raw materials.
GOTS or Global Organic Textile Standard. GOTS Certification is the world processing standard for organic textiles and fibers, backed by the full textile supply chain’s independent certification. The goals of this world standard are to define globally recognized requirements, and to ensure the organic status. This ranges from harvesting raw materials through socially and environmentally responsible manufacturing up to providing labels that ensure credibility to the final consumers. USDA Organic Certification. Materials that qualify for this certification are comprised of at least 95% organic materials and no harmful chemicals. USDA organic standards are verified by independent evaluators who have the public interest in mind – rather than organizations that are paid for their services.
OEKO-TEX’s STANDARD 100 is for finished, semi-finished, and raw textile products, at all levels of processing. This Standard 100 contributes to effective and high product safety, always from the point of view of the final consumer.
GREENGUARD GOLD has a specific focus on emissions standards for the mattress industry, and it also focuses on safety standards for the children and elderly. A rigorous series of tests and standards are implemented and new mattresses must meet (or exceed) these standards, in order to receive the well-respected distinction of becoming a mattress with this certification.
As a final consumer, it’s very important to research the raw materials used for each layer of your new certified mattress. And the way to go about is to look for those third party certifications for these materials mentioned above. Such certifications are issued by independent organizations after they’ve inspected the raw material and/or final product and they’ve independently established that it complies with set standards for quality, performance and safety.
This takes us to the issue of sustainability. You see, there are many things that make mattress materials sustainable:
Made from ethically renewable, sourced, natural and organic resources, that grow abundantly and swiftly
No chemical fertilizers used in the growing process
No use of chemical pesticides when growing the rubber trees
Durable, long lasting, and
Sustainability describes something critical when it comes to natural resources: replenishment. For example, for every tree that is cut down to create a mattress foundation, something must be done to replace such tree, or it’ll have a negative effect on our planet.
Sustainability takes this growth cycle of the tree into account. Mattress organizations that create sustainable products go to great lengths to ensure they use materials that grow abundantly, are robust and can be replenished quickly.
It’s more important than ever to shift focus when buying a new certified mattress to those made sustainably, and will make a tremendous difference in its quality and the effect such new mattress will have on our planet and the health of your family.
When you purchase a sustainable new certified mattress, you’re getting a product that will do the following:
Conserve and protect natural resources. Sustainable materials are planted and harvested responsibly, with conservation of our planet’s limited resources in mind.
Be kind to the planet. Sustainable mattresses contribute to reducing smog, global warming, deforestation and nutrient depletion of soil.
Improve the health in your home. Because they are not contaminated with dyes, chemicals, and pesticides.
Certified Organic Natural Latex Mattresses are handcrafted using the highest quality, consciously-sourced, environmentally-friendly, certified organic raw materials, which come from renewable resources, and contain no chemicals, no fillers, no synthetic blends, no dyes, no carcinogenic adhesives, and no pesticides. Furthermore, such mattresses are also GOLS, GOTS, Oeko-Tex Standard 100 and GreenGuard Gold certified.
Buying a new mattress for two people can be tricky, because each one will want their common bed to meet their particular sleep patterns, comfort needs and unique support. Different needs for couples presents unique challenges during the mattress buying process. Read on below, for learning about tips that will help couples to find the ideal mattress.
Before you begin the shopping process, each of you should decide what you’re looking for in a new mattress. Ask questions such as:
Do you both like your mattress to have a firm feel? Or alternatively do you both like to feel a hug from it?
Do you both sleep hot?
What’s your budget?
What level of comfort do you both enjoy most?
Have you got a specific material preference… e.g. latex, memory foam, coils, hybrid?
The firmness level of your mattress ultimately determines how well the bed in question will suit your requirements. Because your weight places pressure of its own on your body, you’ll need a mattress that can not only provide adequate support, but also help relieve such pressure. The support in your new mattress will help maintaining spinal alignment, and avoid a sinking feeling or quicksand.
Aside from your weight, the most common position in which you sleep also carries relevancy when choosing the firmness of your mattress. For example, if you typically sleep on your back, you’ll require firmer support than side sleepers. This will help maintaining spinal alignment while you sleep.
On the other hand, if you sleep often on your side, you’ll require a mattress that offers more cushioning for your hips, shoulders, knees, etc. This will mean a thicker mattress (10 to 12 inches) will become a better choice for your needs.
In general, medium-firm, firm, and extra firm mattresses will suit best the sleeping needs for most people.
Is the New Mattress Supportive?
The most important feature of the new mattress is the support it’ll provide. No matter the way you like to sleep, or body size, the mattress that’s most appropriate for you must keep your spine properly aligned, because it is the most important factor that will determine the quality of your sleep.
A mattress that doesn’t provide enough support for your preferred sleep position and weight, or a sagging bed won’t provide you with the restorative sleep you need to wake up feeling good.
For side sleepers, a fully supportive mattress should keep your spine straight, while still accommodating the extra width at your hips and shoulders.
For back sleepers, proper alignment should accommodate for the natural curve of your spine, and the new mattress should yield to the extra weight of shoulders and hips, while supporting properly your neck and lower back.
For stomach sleepers, a firmer mattress should keep your spine from arching unnaturally, which might cause headaches and lower back pain.
The best option is to select a new mattress that has a generous home sleep trial period (at least 3 months) and hassle-free returns – the reason being the fact that you won’t know if the mattress is gonna offer you the right support until you sleep on it for a few weeks. So, while you can research issues like spinal alignment and support (and even watch videos on YouTube), both you and your partner might respond differently to several mattress types.
The thickness of the new mattress is relevant for couples because it can affect how well the mattress holds up over time, especially if one partner in the relationship is over-weight, thus requiring a thicker mattress for enjoying the same support and comfort, over extended periods of time, when compared with lighter-weight people.
You should have in mind the body weight of both partners and then select the thickness that will provide with the adequate comfort and support, in order to get the best night’s sleep…
Those who weigh more than 275 pounds, will feel the most comfort on a 12-inch thick mattress.
Those who weigh between 225 to 275 pounds will feel the most comfort on a 10-inch thick mattress.
And those who weigh less than 225 pounds will feel the most comfort on a 9-inch thick mattress.
Selecting the right size mattress makes a big difference in sleep comfort for couples. Most couple like to have their own space in bed – meaning that a queen or king size mattress is often the only plausible choices.
Also, when considering your appropriate mattress size, try evaluating the size of both partners sharing the bed. While a full-sized mattress can work well for a single person with a larger frame, it can become a tight fit for couples who are of larger size. If either sleeper is larger in size, then a king mattress may be the best option, and if one person is taller than average, a cal king mattress may be the best option.
Finally, consider also the sleeping styles of both people sharing the bed. If one person prefers to stretch out while sleeping, or even sleep diagonally, then a king size mattress may be the best option.
The right mattress size will ensure that you get a good night’s sleep and enough room to sleep comfortably.
A split mattress is becoming very popular among couples. Split mattresses have the same dimensions as its usual size, except that it’s made in two separate pieces. For example, the split king mattress is really two Twin XL mattresses, side by side. Bed frames typically hold the two sides together and couples never even feel the split in the middle. Split mattresses have much less transfer movement than a standard size mattress, so if one sleeper is notorious for all night tossing and turning, the other sleeper won’t be disturbed.
If you’ve got a partner who frequently goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night, or often tosses and turns too often during the night, that’s when the motion isolating capabilities of your new mattress does matter.
Most people purchase mattresses that are pre-fabricated and sold as it is. It is one thing that sets the Botanical Bliss mattress apart from so many others on the market.
Each new mattress is handcrafted and customized just for you, according to your specifications. What this means is that couples can choose to have one side of the mattress as Firm and the other side of the mattress as Soft, in order to accommodate the diverse comfort needs of each partner. This way, everyone sleeps comfortable and happy!
Furthermore, you’ll have 100 nights to make sure it’s the right fit for the couple. If one requires more softness or firmness on either side of the bed, the manufacturer will send you an additional layer to add to one side (or both sides, if need be) to help each individual partner get the best night’s sleep. And because the layers aren’t glued together, you can add or remove them at will and they are held firmly in place by the luxurious organic cotton cover.
Latex mattresses are well known for their cushioned support, luxurious comfort, resilience, soothing pressure point relief and healthy nature. Latex mattresses are also manufactured with customizable layers, so you can adjust the firmness, comfort, and thickness based upon your requirements.
Latex mattresses normally come in soft, medium, medium-firm and extra firm and in terms of thickness, between 6 and 12 inches. Each firmness and thickness offers different levels of support to the sleeper and you can even make one side of your bed softer than the other, for partners with different sleeping requirements. So, if you prefer a firmer mattress, but your partner prefers it softer, you can customize the firmness on each side of your mattress.
Furthermore, organic latex mattress layers are not glued together, so you can add or remove layers, for adjusting your comfort at any time. This flexibility gives latex mattresses a massive advantage over other mattresses on the market, nowadays.
It is the supportive latex core that allows a latex mattress to deliver such outstanding support. And you also get a variety of latex comfort layers on top of its core as well. These comfort layers make you feel as though all of your pressure points in bed are cradled in softness, without the feeling that you’re sinking into your mattress.
Body Contouring Comfort
Latex mattresses also provide an unmatched ability to contour to your body. The latex will compress under your shoulders and hips, while extending to support your legs and waist. The spring back feel of latex helps creating a luxuriously comfortable sleeping surface, which relieves all contours and pressure points to your body with every sleeper’s move.
The buoyant nature of latex prevents the movement of your partner to be transferred to you. Whether it is a partner with a different work schedule, or one caring for children, or one who often makes trips to the toilet, your sleep won’t be disturbed due to the intrinsic motion isolating nature of natural latex.
A latex mattress provides a great deal of buoyancy. It makes sense that there is some bounce to these organic mattresses, when one’s consider they’re made from the sap of rubber trees. In practical terms, it means that you’ll never feel as though you’re sinking into your latex mattress.
Another issue that sets latex mattresses apart from other ones is their quality. But it’s important that you take the time to find natural latex mattresses that have earned independent certifications, such as the Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) certification. That will provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you’re sleeping on a latex mattress made with the healthiest, best quality materials.
Traditional memory foam mattresses are known for sleeping hot, because memory foam retains body heat and traps it close to your body all night. This characteristic makes sleep uncomfortable for lots of people.
This won’t be an issue with latex mattresses, because it allows air to flow freely, allowing moisture and heat to escape. And the open cell structure of the latex helps you remain cool all night long.
Selecting a latex mattress means you’re getting a superior quality, luxury mattress. You’ll receive a handcrafted organic mattress, made with the finest quality materials, including organic latex, organic wool and organic cotton. Also, these mattresses come with a 25-year warranty and a 100-night money-back guarantee.
Selecting the correct mattress firmness can make a huge difference when it comes to the quality of sleep and amount you get every night. More importantly, it can have a tremendous impact on how you feel when you start your day’s work in the morning. For example, sleeping on a mattress that is too firm, can leave you with pain in your pressure points, and sleeping on a bed that is too soft can leave you waking up with pains and aches in your back, neck, and joints.
You see, the firmness of your new mattress determines, to a large extent, how comfortable you’ll find it. Keep in mind, though, that every sleeper has unique requirements. What you might find comfortable in a bed might not be the perfect firmness level for anyone else. Factors such as age, gender, weight, body type, and presence (or absence) of specific medical conditions, normally play a role in how your body feels mattress firmness.
Firm: best for back-sleepers who prefer premium cushioned support.
Medium: great for side-sleepers who prefer a fair amount of balance between softness and support.
Medium-Firm: a perfect choice for stomach and certain back-sleepers alike.
Extra-Firm: best suited for back-sleepers who prefer very firm sleeping surfaces.
It’s important to select a mattress that offers an adequate amount of support for your sleeping needs along with the appropriate amount of cushioning comfort to help you rest easy throughout the night.
The One Firmness Fits All Myth
There are some mattress brands that consider themselves as one firmness fits all sleepers. What these mattress brands do is simply go with the numbers. For example, the average sleeper normally prefers a mattress that falls between 5 and 7 on the firmness scale, and this translates to a medium to medium-firm mattress. In other words, approximately 7 out of every 10 sleepers will find a new mattress within that range as comfortable. Make 100% sure you’re within such range of firmness preference before you buy into such hype. Remember, if you prefer something firmer or softer, you’re likely to be unhappy with your new mattress.
Mattress Density and Body Mass Index
Body Mass Index (BMI) can help you ascertain the mattress firmness level, or Impression Load Deflection (ILD), which you’ll find most comfortable. A good rule-of-thumb is the larger your BMI, the firmer the mattress you’ll prefer, e.g.
If your BMI is above 31, you’re likely to find extra-firm mattresses to be your most comfortable sleep option.
If your BMI is between 26 and 31, you’re likely to prefer firm mattresses.
If your BMI is between 19 and 25, medium-firmness mattresses are likely to be most comfortable for you.
For BMIs below 19, you’re likely to prefer a soft firmness in your mattress.
Obviously, the above rule-of-thumb applies in addition to individual preferences dictated by sleep positions, e.g. most people who sleep on their sides prefer softer or medium mattresses, while those who sleep on their backs and stomachs prefer firmer mattresses.
Get The Best of All Worlds with Mattress Customization
It is very important to select a mattress brand that offers a wide variety of beds and firmness levels to accommodate the needs of a wide range of sleepers. Make sure that the mattress you choose is not made until it is ordered, because that’s the most important criteria for ensuring you’ll get the most easily customizable mattress, according to your individual specific requirements.
In this fashion, not only can you adjust the softness and firmness levels when ordering online, but you can also adjust them both once the mattress has been delivered to your home. You can even have one side of your bed made softer than the other by adjusting comfort layers to increase or decrease the softness of the mattress. This is an excellent option for couples where one sleeper desires a firmer mattress than the other.
Exchanging the Comfort Layer on Your Latex Mattress
Furthermore, make sure that the mattress brand also offers you a comfort exchange program, where you can exchange the comfort layer on your latex mattress, and that you’ll have at least 3 months to figure out what your needs may be. During this trial period, you’ll be able to adjust your comfort layers to create the perfect balance of support and softness for getting your best night’s sleep yet.
Sometimes, it takes a while to discover how you really feel about the new mattress. If the firmness isn’t quite meeting your sleep requirements with your new mattress, you don’t have to go through the cumbersome process of sending back the entire mattress. What you can do is simply send the top latex layer back to the manufacturer and then they’ll send you a new layer in a different level of firmness, which almost always sorts out the problem without the need to return the entire new mattress.
You’re probably wondering if this exchange is practical. Well, if you need to adjust the firmness of your new mattress, all you’ll have to do is unzip the latex mattress zippered cover, and exchange your new top layer that the manufacturer sends out to you for the existing one. It’s no more difficult to adding a mattress topper to a traditional mattress. Once you’re done, put the old latex layer in the box the new one arrived in, attach the UPS label you received and send it back to the manufacturer. Simple as this!
Polyurethane foam (also known as polyfoam), memory foam (also known as viscoelastic polyurethane foam or tempurpedic foam) and latex foam are the three most common types of foam used in mattresses in the U.S.
Polyfoam is the lowest quality and least expensive foam used in mattress toppers and mattresses. Polyfoam is essentially made up of compounds derived from petrochemicals.
Often, mattress manufacturers use polyfoam as the top layer of spring coils mattresses. This is done chiefly because polyfoam is inexpensive, not because it’s high quality. More recently, many online mattress retailers have begun using polyfoam as a base layer in their mattresses instead of using spring coils. Polyfoam can be easily compressed due to its low density. This allows many online mattress retailers (bed-in-a-box) to save on shipping costs but also causes many of these mattresses to have relatively shorter lifespans.
There are several different densities and varieties of polyfoam. Generally, higher density polyfoam is a bit more durable while low-density polyfoam can degrade very quickly (sometimes within one year). Even high-density polyurethane foam is less dense than memory foam or latex foam. All polyfoam, no matter what its density, will degrade faster than any latex foam of reasonable quality.
Polyfoam can add some support and softness, but it won’t provide the same support associated with latex foam or memory foam. Polyfoam tends to collapse much quicker when pressure is applied to it. Therefore, it doesn’t provide the same contoured support that latex foam is well-known for.
Polyfoam rarely carries any emission certifications other than the Certipur-US certification. While this certification is an important step in the right direction for the polyfoam industry, it lacks the credibility of third party certifications such as Oeko-tex or eco-Insitut. While the Certipur-US certification does ban the use of certain types of fire retardant chemicals, it’s quite common for polyfoam to contain fire retardant additives. Furthermore, this standard is administered by the polyfoam industry itself.
Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam that contains added compounds which change the way it feels, and gives it the slow moving properties that it’s known for. For instance, it’ll hold your hand print for a few seconds when pressed. As with polyurethane foam, memory foam is also made up of compounds derived from petrochemicals.
Memory foam is usually more expensive and denser than regular polyfoam. Memory foam provides a more pinpointed feel than polyfoam, but it isn’t as supportive as latex foam. Unlike latex foam, which provides constant support and responds instantly, memory foam sinks further and responds slowly, the longer such pressure is applied to it. The sinking of memory foam contributes to moving during sleep more necessary, but the slow response of this type of foam makes it difficult to move without sleep being disturbed.
Memory foam is also heat reactive, meaning that it absorbs heat and softens as it gets warmer. This adds to the sinking issues mentioned above. As the memory foam heats up from your body, it gets softer and sinks more. As your body sinks further into the foam, you’ll get hotter. This carries on until you wake up to find yourself hot and probably stuck in one spot of your mattress.
More recent versions of memory foam exist, which are designed to reduce such heat (often called gel-infused foam). While these new foams contain chemicals which make the surface of the foam feel cooler, many experience the same heat issues with it.
Densities of memory foam may vary greatly. In general, higher density memory foam is of better quality and more durable. There are lots of low density, inexpensive memory foam toppers being sold online. Many mattresses also contain this low density, cheaper memory foam. Low density memory foam will degrade very quickly (sometimes within less than one year after purchase).
As with polyfoam, Certipur-US is often the only certification that is applied to memory foam. Memory foam is also commonly made with fire retardant chemicals.
Latex foam is a foam produced by vulcanizing liquid latex into a solid foam. Such vulcanization process links latex particles with sulfur through the application of heat and accelerators such as zinc oxide. Latex foam can be produced with synthetic latex, which is produced from petrochemicals, or natural latex, which is harvested directly from rubber trees.
Latex foam reacts instantly to every move of yours and provides exact pinpointed support. Latex foam does not sink in and bottom out as the sleep progresses. It doesn’t get softer when warmer and maintains constant support. This characteristic makes it extremely easy to move in bed throughout the night without any sleep disturbance. The contoured support allows certain areas of the body to sink further into the mattress while others are supported. This is especially helpful for side sleepers, as they require more support in their midsection, but more give in their shoulders and hips.
Latex foam is the most durable type of foam available. Latex mattress toppers and mattresses long outlast those made with polyfoam and memory foam. Latex foam scores highly on all foam durability tests which simulate long periods of use (20+ years).
It is very common for natural latex foam to have emissions certifications, e.g. eco-Institut and Oeko-tex class 1 certified. While synthetic latex foam can also have certifications, it isn’t as common.
Latex foam is probably the best type of foam to use in mattress toppers and mattresses. Latex foam offers several significant advantages over memory foam and polyfoam, particularly when we’re talking about 100% natural organic latex foam.
Mattress Durability Guide: How Long Should It Last?
When you sleep on a mattress, its upper layers will compress more than the deeper layers because:
the upper layers are often made to be softer than the deeper support layers of a mattress (and firmness / softness is also a factor in the durability of a material) and
the upper layers are closer to the sleeping surface and subject to direct compression. It’s this constant deflection of the materials and components in the upper layers of a mattress that leads to changes in firmness or thickness – which in turn will affect comfort, pressure relief, and the ability of the several components and materials to support the weight of your body with the spine in its natural alignment.
Most components and materials of your new mattress will become softer as they break down over time, while fiber materials will compress and pack down and become firmer and less fluffy over time.
This is why the durability of the upper comfort and transition layers (the top 3″ to 6″ of your new mattress) are particularly important when you are evaluating the durability and useful life of the new mattress as a whole, because they’ll often be the weakest link in the mattress in terms of durability, while the components and materials that are closer to the bottom of a mattress (its support core) will not normally be the weakest link in the new mattress.
The durability of the new mattress will also be affected by the body type of the person that sleeps on it because higher body weights will compress its layers more deeply than lighter body types, so they’ll need more durable and firmer components and materials in the upper layers than those that are in lower weight ranges for the new mattress to maintain its support and comfort, for a similar length of time.
Furthermore, mattress warranties have nothing to do with durability. A warranty will only cover defects in a new mattress which are generally defined as visible impressions that are more than a specified amount when there is no weight on the mattress and do not cover changes in the firmness of its components and the loss of support and comfort – often the key reason for the need to replace a new mattress.
Outside of actual defects in a new mattress (which are relatively uncommon and will generally be visible during the first year of its usage), durability issues will often take several years to become visible.
Assuming that you sleep well on a new mattress for the first 12 months, durability can be defined as the length of time you’ll continue to sleep well on it before changes in its components and materials caused by changes in firmness and/or the normal wear and tear and/or breakdown of the materials over time lead to a loss of support and comfort to such an extent that you no longer sleep comfortably enough on your mattress and eventually decide to replace it.
This is how to estimate the durability and useful life of a new mattress based on its components / materials inside it – with the following 3 phases:
Calculate your Body Mass Index. BMI is based on your height and weight and you can use one of many online BMI calculators to find out your own BMI.
Collect relevant information that you need to know about the components and materials in a new mattress you’re considering to buy. Most manufacturers / retailers with know-how about mattress components and materials also understand the importance of using more durable components and materials in a new mattress, and so will provide you with such information because it’ll differentiate their mattresses from all others in the industry that might use less durable components / materials. If for any reason a manufacturer / retailer is unwilling to provide you with the specific information that you need to identify any lower quality components/materials in the mattress, then it would become a risky purchase.
The following components / materials can have a significant effect on the durability or useful life of a new mattress depending on their quality / density and/or thickness:
Memory foam (or gel memory foam)
Semi-synthetic fiber (rayon made from bamboo)
Natural fiber (wool, cotton, horse hair, silk)
Synthetic / polyester fibers
Components / materials that are all of high quality and are very likely to sustain the durability or useful life of a new mattress:
Latex foam (either Dunlop or Talalay made with natural rubber or synthetic rubber – and combinations)
Micro-coils or mini coils (thinner versions of pocket coils that are used in comfort layers instead of the support core in a mattress)
Innerspring (coils used as the support core of a mattress)
Buckling column gel
After knowing the thickness and type of all the materials and layers in a new mattress, then you can ascertain whether it has any lower quality components or weak links that might compromise its durability / useful life by comparing them to the following guidelines.
If your Body Mass Index is below 30:
Polyfoam: if the new mattress is one-sided, then its density should be above 1.8 pounds per cubic foot, but if it is two-sided then its density should be above 1.5 pounds per cubic foot.
Memory foam: if the new mattress is one-sided, then its density should be above 4 pounds per cubic foot, but if it is two-sided then its density should be above 3 pounds per cubic foot.
Firm polyester fiber: you’ll often find it in low budget mattresses, and should be avoided if it uses more than an an inch of this material in its upper layers.
All other components / materials on these guidelines are durable and wouldn’t become a weak link that would compromise the durability / useful life of the new mattress.
If your Body Mass Index is lower than 20, then using slightly lower quality / density and less durable components can be less risky because you won’t sink into the mattress as much and lower density foam materials won’t be subject to the same degree of compression that cause them to break down as quickly as they would for higher weight ranges.
If your Body Mass Index is higher than 30:
Higher BMI ranges will need more durable components / materials in a new mattress.
Polyfoam: if your new mattress is one-sided, then look for 2 pounds per cubic foot density or higher, and if it is two-sided then look for a minimum density of 1.8 pounds per cubic foot or higher.
Memory foam: If your new mattress is one-sided, then look for at least 5 pounds per cubic foot, and if it is two-sided then look for at least 4 pounds per cubic foot.
Other factors that can affect the durability and useful life of a new mattress
Firmness: firmer materials will tend to compress less and last longer than softer versions of the same material.
Quilting layers: foam or fiber that is quilted to the cover will be compressed by the quilting process and would be more durable than the same material that isn’t quilted to the cover.
Layer position: deeper layers or components are less subject to compression forces than layers that are closer to the surface. Thus, lower quality and less durable materials that are deeper in the new mattress would have less effect on its durability and useful life than the same layers that are closer to the sleeping surface.
Replaceable layers: some (latex) mattresses contain individual loose layers and a zip cover where each layer can be removed and replaced. Because a new mattress will normally soften and break down from the top down, this can be a major benefit in terms of its durability because a single layer that has softened before the other layers and components (often the upper layer of the mattress or its topper) can easily be replaced without having to buy an entirely brand new mattress.
In short, if a new mattress only uses the highest quality and most durable materials and for people whose preferences and requirements or physical condition or body type hasn’t changed much over 10 years, then bonus years of usage with come from more durable materials such as latex, higher density memory foam or polyfoam, natural fibers, or other high quality materials that soften, compress, or break down much more slowly.
New Mattress Specifications
The information you need to collect about any new mattress you’re considering before making the purchase (online or at your neighborhood) is as follows:
The type and thickness of each component / layer for the new mattress.
The density of any memory foam and/or polyfoam layers in pounds per cubic feet.
The type of innerspring, the gauge and number of the coils, and the density of any polyfoam edge support.
The type (Talalay or Dunlop) and approximate mix (i.e. percentage of natural vs. synthetic rubber) of all latex layers, if appropriate.
The type or blend of the fabric and any quilting materials used in the cover. If the quilting material is memory foam or polyfoam and is less than an inch, then it’s okay not knowing the density. However, if it is above an inch, then you do need to collect info. about the density of any such foam materials in the quilting layers used in the cover of the new mattress.
A smart bed (or smart mattress), comes with a technology that will track your sleep, and will provide you with the data you need for improving its quality. Tracking your sleep will allow you to find out the ideal number of hours of sleep specifically for you. This will help lead to better overall health since the right amount of sleep is crucial to functioning at the best of our skills.
The very first thing a smart mattress will do for you is to track your sleep seamlessly, thus eliminating the need to wear a uncomfortable bracelet to bed or even sleep with your phone.
Then, you’ll discover how you sleep by automatically tracking data such as time asleep, bedtime, wake-up time, toss and turns, sleep breaks, heart rate, respiratory rate, light vs. deep sleep, bed temperature, and room temperature.
A smart bed will collect such sleep data without you having to do anything. And to access your data, you simply open an app and discover your personal sleep information in the form of a report on your phone.
A truly smart mattress will adjust the temperature of your (queen or king) bed on each side before you even get into bed, will detect when you are in light sleep to wake you up, and will connect with other smart devices in your home (e.g. smart coffeemaker) to make life easier for you.
When connected with an app, your smart mattress can also sense what stage of sleep you are in (light vs. deep vs. REM) and wake you up during your lightest stage within half-an-hour of your set alarm. Such integrations help lead to a smoother sleep experience overall.
Personalizing sleep is the next big step in sleep improvement. In reality, we all have different sleeping needs. A truly smart mattress will tell you when your sleep improves or not, so you can rest well and awake in a healthy mood. Through viewing your sleep nightly data on an app, you’ll be able to figure out how certain activities may impair sleep and ultimately helping you to sleep smarter.
Another important feature includes measurement of REM sleep. REM is different from deep sleep. Essentially, REM is for the brain and deep sleep is for the body.
REM is one of the main stages of sleep. It stands for Rapid-Eye Movement because it’s characterized by distinctive eye movements during sleep while the eyes are shut. Majority of your vivid dreaming happens during REM.
Why is REM so important? REM exists to encode memory, especially procedural memory, the kind that helps us to know how to do things, as well as creative problem solving and motor skills. REM sleep is also associated with maintaining important neural pathways and learning new information.
What does that mean for you? REM is the sleep stage associated with the feeling of refreshment the moment you wake up after a good night’s sleep. During a full night of uninterrupted sleep, our brains have an opportunity to do some deep cleaning to remove neurotoxins.
What’s a good REM percentage? Normally REM should make up about 20 to 25 percent of your nightly sleep. As you get older, the percentage of your REM sleep decreases down to around 15%.
Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up each day at the same time. As creatures of habit, people have difficulty in adjusting to changing sleep patterns. Sleeping later on weekends won’t fully make up for the lack of sleep during the week and will make it more difficult to wake up early on Monday morning.
Exercise is great but not too late in the day. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes on most days but not later than 4 or 5 hours before your bedtime.
Avoid nicotine and caffeine. Coffee, certain teas, colas, and dark chocolate contain the stimulant caffeine, and their effects can take as long as 8 hours to wear off fully. Therefore, a cup of coffee in the late afternoon can make it harder for you to fall asleep at night time. Nicotine is also a stimulant, often causing smokers to sleep only lightly. Furthermore, smokers often wake up too early in the morning because of nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Avoid alcoholic drinks just before bedtime. You might think having an alcoholic nightcap will help you sleep faster, but alcohol prevents you from REM sleep and deep sleep, keeping you longer in the lighter stages of sleep. You’ll also tend to wake up in the middle of the night when the effects of the alcohol have worn off. However, drinking alcohol in moderation is okay.
Avoid large beverages and meals late at night. A light snack is okay, but a large meal can cause indigestion that might interfere with sleep. And drinking too many fluids late at night might cause frequent awakenings to urinate.
Whenever possible, avoid medicines that disrupt or delay your sleep. Some commonly prescribed blood pressure, heart, or asthma medications, as well as some herbal and over-the-counter remedies for common allergies, coughs, and colds, may disrupt your sleep patterns. If you’ve got trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor (or pharmacist) to see if any medicines you’ve been taking might be contributing to your insomnia.
Don’t take naps after 4 p.m. Naps can help make up for lost sleep the night before, but late afternoon naps might make it harder to fall asleep at night time.
Relax before going to bed. Don’t over-schedule your day so that no time is left for resting. A reposing activity, such as listening to music or reading a book, should be part of your bedtime routine.
Take a hot bath before going to bed. The drop in body temperature after getting out of such bath might help you to feel sleepy, and it can help you to slow down and relax, so you might be more ready to sleep.
Have a good sleeping environment in your bedroom. Get rid of everything that might distract you from the act of sleeping, such as bright lights, noises, an uncomfortable mattress, or warm temperatures. You’ll sleep better if the temperature in your bedroom is kept on the cooler side. A computer / smartphone / tablet / television in your bedroom might become a distraction and prevent you from a needed sleep. Having a comfortable mattress and an ergonomic adjustable pillow will help you to guarantee a good night’s sleep.
Myth 1: Sleep is a time when your brain and body shut down for relaxation and repose.
There is no evidence showing that any regulatory system and/or major organ in the body shuts down during sleep. Actually, some physiological processes become more active while we sleep, e.g. activity of the pathways in the brain needed for learning and memory is heightened and also secretion of certain hormones is boosted.
Myth 2: Getting just one hour less sleep per night than needed won’t have any effect on your day time functioning.
This lack of sleep won’t make you significantly sleepy during the day. However, even slightly less sleep can affect your ability to respond quickly and think properly, and it can compromise your ability to fight infections as well as cardiovascular energy and health equilibrium, particularly if such lack of sleep carries on. If you systematically don’t get enough sleep, ultimately a sleep debt builds up that will make you overly tired during the day.
Myth 3: Your body adjusts quickly to different sleep schedules.
Your biological clock makes you most drowsy at night and most alert during daylight. Therefore, even if you work the night shift, you’ll naturally feel sleepy when night time comes.
Most people can reset their biological clock, but only by appropriately timed signals — and even then, by less than 2 hours per day, at best. Therefore, it can take more than a full week to adjust to a different altered wake/sleep cycle, such as you encounter when switching from working the night shift to the daily one or traveling across several time zones.
Myth 4: People need less sleep as they get older.
Older people don’t require less sleep, but they often find their sleep less invigorating or get less sleep. That’s because as people age, they spend less time in the restful, deep stages of sleep and are more easily awakened.
Older people are also more likely to have medical circumstances that interfere with their sleep, e.g. insomnia.
Myth 5: Extra sleep at night can cure you of problems with excessive day time fatigue.
Not only is the quality of sleep important but also the quantity of it. Some people sleep 8 or 9 hours per night but still feel exhausted when they wake up because the quality of their sleep is poor. A number of sleep disorders influence the quality of sleep.
Sleeping more hours won’t alleviate the day time sleepiness these conditions or disorders cause. However, many of these disorders or conditions can be treated effectively with medical therapies or with changes in behavior.
Myth 6: You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends.
Although such sleeping pattern will help relieve part of a sleep debt, it won’t completely make up for the insufficiency of sleep. This pattern also won’t make up for diminished performance during the week because of not sleeping enough. Moreover, sleeping later on the weekends can affect your biological clock so that it will be much harder to go to sleep at the right time on Sunday night and get up early on Monday morning.
Myth 7: Naps are a waste of time.
Although naps do not substitute for a good night’s sleep, they can be restorative and help counter some of the impaired performance that results from not getting enough sleep at night. Naps can actually help you learn how to do certain tasks quicker. But avoid taking naps later than 3 p.m., as late naps can interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night. Also, limit your naps to no longer than 1 hour because longer naps will make it harder to wake up and get back in the swing of things. If you take frequent naps during the day, you may have a sleep disorder that should be treated.
Myth 8: Snoring is a normal part of sleep.
Snoring during sleep is frequent, particularly as a person gets older. Snoring on a regular basis might make you sleepy during the day and more susceptible to heart disease and/or diabetes. Furthermore, some studies link frequent snoring to poorer school achievement and problem behavior in children. Frequent, loud snoring can also be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that should be treated by a doctor.
Myth 9: Children who don’t get enough sleep at night will show signs of sleepiness during the day.
Unlike adults, children who don’t get enough sleep at night typically become more active than normal during day time and they also show difficulty in behaving properly and paying attention. Thus, they may be diagnosed incorrectly as having attention deficit hyperactivity.
Myth 10: The main cause of insomnia is worry.
Although stress or worry can cause a short bout of insomnia, a persistent inability to fall asleep at night can be caused by a number of other factors. Certain sleep disorders and medications and can keep you awake at night. Other common causes of insomnia are anxiety disorders, depression, and arthritis, asthma, or other medical conditions with symptoms that become more troublesome at night. Some people who have chronic insomnia also appear to be more excited than normal, so it is more difficult for them to fall asleep.