A good night’s sleep is never a waste of time – or money. According to a 2014 study conducted by the Better Sleep Council, many consumers just don’t know how to choose a mattress. But a good mattress is an important part of having a restful night. Oklahoma State University researchers found that study participants slept better and had fewer aches and pains when they slept on new mattresses, regardless of age, weight, or body mass index.
Mattresses are expensive, and many of us are hesitant to purchase a new one for fear it won’t be comfortable or durable. However, Andrew Long, Vice President, Channel Marketing (Beautyrest) at Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC, recommends replacing your mattress about every eight to 10 years. “If your mattress is over eight years old and you are having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, this is a tell-tale sign that it is time to replace it. Test out mattresses of similar comfort levels from your existing manufacturer—if there is a noticeable difference, it is time to make a change.”
How a good night’s sleep can help you save
You might think that sleeping has nothing to do with saving money. But here’s the real truth: if you aren’t sleeping well, you aren’t making good decisions. Your health could be at risk – and medical bills don’t help the budget at all.
So how do you pick a mattress? Long says that although some things have changed in the mattress industry, overall it is comprised of five basic types:
- Innerspring mattresses are the traditional type of mattress, typically incorporating a system of open coils or metal springs between padding.
- Encased spring mattresses are innerspring beds where springs are individually wrapped in fabric. Each spring adjusts independently to your body. The more springs, the more support and comfort.
- Memory foam mattresses conform to the body to reduce pressure points and provide proper support.
- Hybrid mattresses contain two technologies, typically memory foam for comfort and encased springs for back support.
- Air mattresses use air chambers as their primary support. You can inflate some models to change the bed’s firmness.
The choices in firm or soft, pillowtop or plush are overwhelming for the buyer, but Long says the bells and whistles are really just a personal preference. “Focus on support and comfort. Remember, you can’t get one without the other. If you suffer from back problems caused by a poor mattress, spinal alignment and support may be the key. Research, feel and see the difference that the latest bedding technology offers before you buy. Test run all the models, and then test them again.”
Lee Neyland, Brand Manager at Tempur Sealy International, LLC, says that sleep style can be a factor in the preference of an innerspring versus a foam mattress. “If a sleeper changes positions often during the night and wants a mattress that ‘holds you up’ for more ease of movement, that person may prefer an innerspring mattress. If a consumer likes the feel of a mattress that conforms to your body and ‘hugs’ you, thereby naturally relieving pressure points, that person may want to consider a high quality foam bed,” says Neyland. “Just like innerspring beds, all foam beds are not created equal.”
Those mattress centers have demonstration models for a reason. You have to try them out to find the right one for you. Act like Goldilocks and lie down on the beds. “Just as you should measure your mattress to ensure that it fits your bedframe, you should measure your mattress to ensure that it is right for you,” says Long. “No matter what, you’ll want to be sure that your mattress provides you with the support you need. Nothing compares to actually lying down on the mattress to best understand your preference.”
Check for coupons, and definitely ask about discounts. But never settle for a cheaper mattress if it doesn’t meet your needs.
Before you sleep, use a mattress cover. Here’s why:
- The EPA suggests using an encasing protective cover on both mattresses and box springs to help prevent bed bug infestation. Check regularly for holes or tears.
- A mattress cover can protect your mattress from bed wetting, liquid spills, stains and abuse that could void your mattress warranty.
- Moisture, perspiration or oils could affect the density or spring of mattress material, shortening the comfort life of the mattress.
- Wash mattress protectors regularly, reducing the buildup of dust mites, allergens, perspiration or body odor.
Still can’t sleep?
Maybe you should attend the premier of Baa Baa Land, in London’s West End September 27th, 2017. This 8-hour epic film is meant to put you to sleep . There are no human actors, no dialogue, and no narrator. Just sheep. In a field in Essex, UK.
The film was produced by the founders of a digital meditation app, Calm. “Baa Baa Land” consists entirely of slow-motion shots of sheep in a field. The film was shot in Essex, England, and was produced by the founders of a digital meditation app, Calm.
“We don’t expect it to break box-office records but believe there is at least a niche audience for it”, says Michael Acton Smith, one of the film’s executive producers and a co-founder of Calm.“We’re in discussion about U.S. and wider distribution and in talks with an American TV channel”, he said.
The film, produced by Calm founder Peter Freedman and shot by Garth Thomas, fits into the niche of “slow cinema,” with long takes instead of bursts of action, minimal scene change and little if any dialogue.
If you can’t make it to London for the premiere (which will be complete with sheep on the red carpet and lavender-scented spray spritzed into the theater for extra relaxation) don’t worry – you can get the full-length film on the Calm website, or watch a 5-minute short excerpt here.
featured photo courtesy Gemma Evans on Unsplash