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How to Choose the Best Bed

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 14 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
How To Choose The Best Bed

We spend around one-third of our life lying on mattresses, and it is estimated that about half of all British people experience at least occasional sleep difficulties. So it is easy to see why choosing the right mattress is important. There are many types of mattresses available on the market today and it is not easy to know which one to choose. Everyone's personal preferences are different, some people like to sleep on a hard surface, while others prefer to sleep on a mattress that's marshmallow soft.

When do You Need a New Mattress?

If you answer yes to two or more of these questions then you need a new mattress.

  • Do you wake up feeling un-rested?
  • Is your mattress more than 9 years old?
  • When you lay your hand on the mattress with about 3 pounds of pressure and slide it over the mattress do you feel lumps?
  • Is there a noticeable sag in the middle of the mattress?

Standard Mattress Sizes

Here are the standard sizes of mattresses:
  • Twin 39" x 75"
  • Double 54" x 75"
  • Queen 60" x 80"
  • King 76" x 80"

Mattress Factors

Coil type - Coils are made of steel. They vary from mattress to mattress by their gauge. The heavier the gauge the more support the mattress will give you.

Coil count - There can be from 300 to 700 coils in a mattress. In general, more coils equals more support. Connections between coils - Interconnecting wires keep the coils in their proper place in the mattress. Too few interconnecting wires can allow coils to become mis-aligned.

Upholstery - The upholstery is what you feel next to your body. It is the layers of foam and fabric that separate you from the coils. You may choose to feel like you are sleeping on a feather bed in which case you should look for the mattress you like in a "pillow top" or "plush" design. If you like a less plush feel simply choose the top with the least amount of upholstery.

Edge materials - Sturdy edge materials are a must. A mattress should give full support even on the edge. You should never roll off a bed because the edge is weak.

Guidelines for Choosing a Mattress

So what should you look for in a mattress? The Cornell University's Ergonomics group gives some guidelines for choosing your mattress.

Look for a Mattress that is:

  • Designed to conform to the spine's natural curves and to keep the spine in alignment when you lay down.
  • Designed to distribute pressure evenly across the body to help circulation, decrease body movement and enhance sleep quality.
  • Designed to minimise the transfer of movement from one sleeping partner to the other.
  • Designed with perimeter edge support.

Pillow Selection

Also, look for a pillow that complements the mattress, and choose pillows that are:
  • Designed to keep the spine in natural alignment.
  • Designed for maximum adjustability.
  • Designed with the ability to be fluffed to fit the unique contour, shape, and sleeping posture of the user.
  • Designed to support different sleep positions:
    • Side sleeper - Back sleeper - Stomach sleeper.
  • Designed to support the head.
  • Designed to provide tactile softness.
  • Designed to eliminate pressure points.
  • Designed to increase facial air circulation.
  • Designed to be hypoallergenic.
Whatever your personal preference when it comes to choosing a bed, it is important to get the right mattress for you.

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