Mattress Inquirer http://www.mattress-inquirer.com The best for sleep and health industry news Fri, 16 Jun 2017 23:04:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Best-Rated Memory Foam Mattresses for 2017 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/best-rated-memory-foam-mattresses/ http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/best-rated-memory-foam-mattresses/#respond Fri, 27 Jan 2017 16:33:35 +0000 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/?p=1330 Compare the current top-rated memory foam mattresses and get tips for picking the right bed. Over a year ago, we conducted an in-depth analysis of […]

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Best-Rated Memory Foam Mattresses for 2015

Compare the current top-rated memory foam mattresses and get tips for picking the right bed.

Over a year ago, we conducted an in-depth analysis of several memory foam brands to uncover which beds earned the best reviews from consumers. Since that time, many brands have revamped collections and rolled out new lines, so we thought we’d revisit this popular topic for 2017.

Keep reading to see which mattresses currently outperform the competition in owner satisfaction, why they are leading the way, and how to compare beds to find your perfect match.

The Top Rated Mattress of 2017:
Amerisleep AS2 (formerly Revere)

amerisleep AS2 (formerly Revere)

Our favorite bed for 2017 isn’t from a big name in mattresses, but rather a growing online brand. Amerisleep’s AS2 (formerly Revere) is beloved by customers receiving a 4.7 out of 5 from hundreds of verified reviewers. Coming in at the top of the mattresses we looked at in the medium to high-end ranges, the Amerisleep AS2 (formerly Revere) reviews outperform the competition selling their bed at more than twice the AS2’s price point.

Want to know more? Skip down to our full Amerisleep review

The Rest of 2017’s Best-Rated Memory Foam Mattresses

Previously, we compared brands as a whole to see who had the best overall ratings for their lines. This time around, we looked at individual mattress models for a more specific comparison of the best-rated memory foam mattresses.

This year’s group of top-rated mattresses includes both smaller, niche brands and big name brands. Overall, brand name or prestige did not appear to be a major predictor of satisfaction – we found major, well-known brands that perform average or worse, and lesser-known brands that offered good values.

The factors that appeared to most influence people’s reviews include initial comfort, service experience, how the mattress met expectations, and perceptions of value. Other factors like durability, heat and odor played significant roles as well.

We looked at about 20 different brands including the big names, medium companies, up and coming brands, online sellers, and discount options to find the four memory foam mattresses most-loved by consumers, highlighted below.

Reviews were drawn from retailer and brand websites, third-party review websites like Reseller Ratings, consumer review sites like Sleep Like The Dead and Consumer Reports, and other sources like blogs and forums. Specification data and pricing was current as of article publication date.

MattressAmerisleep AS2 (formerly Revere)Sealy Optimum Elation GoldSerta iComfort Prodigy IIITempurpedic TEMPUR-Cloud Luxe
Average Owner Satisfaction98%76%74%81%
Price, Queen$1,299$2,124$2,074$3,699
Foam Density3” 4.0 lb MF
9” 2.0 lb Base
2" ? lb gel MF
4" ? lb gel MF
7" ? lb base
2" ? lb gel MF
1" ? lb gel MF
2" ? lb MF
1" ? lb poly foam
6" ? lb base
2.75” ? lb MF
2” ? lb MF
9” ? lb Base
Heat Issues3%11%6%13%
Odor Issues3%10%10%18%
Durability Issues2%18%20%6%
Warranty20 years (10)10 years (10)10 years (10)10 years (10)
Trial Period100 daysDepends on retailer120 days90 days

Here’s a more detailed description of each bed. They are listed in order of lowest price to highest (not necessarily ranked).

$1299 – Amerisleep AS2 (formerly Revere) Mattress

The Amerisleep AS2 (formerly Revere) mattress has a three-inch layer of 4.0 lb, medium density memory foam. The core is high-density 1.65 lb foam, and both types a plant-based “bio” foams. This mattress is in the medium-firm range according to descriptions and reviews. The cover is made from a Celliant-infused fabric, which has been clinically proven to reduce pain and increase circulation.

Overall, this mattress rates well with a 4.7 out of 5 star average on the Amerisleep website’s verified reviews. Popular points of praise in reviews include support, comfort, durability and value.

Reports of both heat and odor issues are below average for this category and among the lowest of the mattresses we reviewed here. There are also very few reports of sagging or durability issues, and lifespan is expected to be average to above average. The brand has been around for about 10 years, which is long enough to determine any potential quality trends or issues.

Warranty coverage extends for 20 years, with 10 years of full-replacement coverage. Amerisleep offers a 100-day return policy for their mattresses.

$2,074 – Serta iComfort Prodigy III

The third-generation of the iComfort Prodigy by Serta has 3″ of gel memory foam,  2″ of traditional memory foam along with 1″ of regular foam for the comfort layers. Serta doesn’t specify their densities, but it’s estimated to be around 4 lbs. The core is six inches and the mattress rates a medium in firmness.

The Serta iComfort line has a 74% owner satisfaction rate according to SleepLikeTheDead.com. Customers rate the line well for motion isolation, edge support and conformability.

About one in four iComfort customers report a loss of support and significant body impressions forming within only a few years. However, they recently updated their entire iComfort collection, so things could change for better (or worse) with the new models. Serta doesn’t provide extensive details on the layers of their beds or the densities of the foams they contain. This can make it harder for customers to make an informed decision.

The warranty is 10 years non-prorated and the return policy is 120 days, but the mattress must be kept for 30 days.

$2,124 – Sealy Optimum Elation Gold

The Sealy Optimum Elation Gold has a two-inch layer of OptiCool gel memory foam below the quilt layer. Four more inches of gel visco foam are below that with it all resting on a seven-inch gel foam core. This bed is available in the medium to firm range.

The Optimum line has an average of 76% owner satisfaction rate according to independent review organization SleepLikeTheDead, which is low compared to other brands in this category. It has good conforming potential and motion isolation.

The entire Optimum line has had some issues with heat retention. Gel is in the foam to help keep the feel cool, but many owners still complain of the beds sleeping hot. Other things like foam type and density as well as cover fabrics can influence breathability, however Sealy doesn’t provide extensive information on the specifics of their Optimum beds. This line also has issues with durability with premature sagging and support loss within a few years of purchase.

Warranty coverage extends for 10 years and the entire period is non-prorated.

$3699 – Tempur-pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Luxe Mattress

The Tempur-Cloud Luxe bed from Tempurpedic includes two layers of visco foam. Though the brand does not disclose density information, it is estimated that the bed includes two-inches of medium density memory foam and three-inches of high-density memory foam. The brand does not disclose the specific density information about layers. The core foam density is also undisclosed, with estimates ranging from 1.5 to 2.0 lbs.

Overall, this mattress rates well with 4.7 out of 5 star averages on the Tempurpedic website reviews, which is good for the higher price range. Areas most commonly praised by reviews include comfort, support and durability. One key point though, is that this mattress was recently updated and redesigned, meaning older reviews may not necessarily be representative for this new model.

Reports of heat and odor complaints are right about average compared to other brands, though for other Tempurpedic models complaints can be higher. Issues with durability or sagging are lower than average, and this bed is expected to have slightly longer than average lifespan.

Warranty coverage extends for 10 years, with all 10 years being full-replacement coverage. Tempurpedic beds come with a 90-day return policy.

What’s Changed?

Compared to our previous survey, the only repeat appearances were Amerisleep, who’s reviews remained fairly consistent. New entrants included Tempurpedic, Sealy Optimum and Serta iComfort, who’ve all made changes in their lines and policies recently, making improvements over previous higher and mid-range brands that stood out last year.

Who Didn’t Make the Cut & Why

Some of the lower quality beds were omitted, because they do not rate very well with customers, with satisfaction rates in the sixtieth percentile. While slightly better compared to traditional spring mattresses, this is below average for memory foam in general. Potential things that appear to be lowering owner satisfaction include durability, lack of transparency, and value perception of buyers.

In general, other reasons some brands and beds didn’t make the cut included a lack of available review data online, questionable review sources, very limited sales data, and other issues preventing accurate analysis and comparison.

Worried that memory foam might not even be safe? Sleep Junkie takes a hard look to see if memory foam is toxic

How to Compare Memory Foam Mattresses

We’ve done a few guides to memory foam mattress shopping previously, but if you’re just diving in or want a quick refresher, here are the most important details to keep in mind when shopping and comparing different brands. These are the factors that will help you compare beds to each other to determine value and identify which is best for your needs.

Density

Polyurethane foams are classified by their density, which is a measure comprised of weight divided by volume. It is usually expressed as pounds per cubic foot. For example, a 4 lbs/ft density means that a piece of foam measuring 12” x 12” 12” weighs four pounds.

With memory foam, densities can be sorted into three groups. All receive similar overall owner satisfaction scores, but there are a few important differences that can help you decided which is ideal for your needs.

CharacteristicLow DensityMed DensityHigh Density
Rangeunder 3.5 lbs3.5 lb to 5.0 lbover 5.0 lb
Overall Satisfaction80%80%80%
DurabilityLeast durableGood DurabilityMost Durable
OdorLess likelyModerateMost likely
Sleeping HotLess likelyModerateMost likely
Contouring/Pressure ReliefFairGoodGreat
Easy of MovingEasy for mostEasy for mostPossibly difficult
Firmness RangeLimitedGoodGood
Price$-$$$$-$$$$$$-$$$$

Regular polyurethane foam (used in core/support layers in padding layers in some mattresses) has different classifications. Higher density is generally considered better, as the core will be more resistant to impressions and softening over time. Most mattresses use High Density foam in the cores, ranging between 1.5 lb to 2.5 lb. Most beds on the market vary between 1.4 and 1.8 lb for poly foam.Low density foams are the least expensive and are less likely to have strong off-gassing odors or trap heat, however they also provide less pressure relief, support and longevity. High density foams excel at pressure relief, contouring and durability, but are more likely to have strong odors and trap heat, and the viscous feel of the foam can be difficult for some people to move on.

From SleepLikeTheDead.com:

High density memory foam often has potential for both strong positives and strong negatives. Low density memory foam, by contrast, often performs evenly without strong positives or strong negatives. And medium density often performs in between.

Some cheaper mattresses may use “regular” poly foams under 1.4 lb which is seen as non-durable for long term use and may lack support for most adults. High Resilience foams have densities over 2.5 lb and are the most durable, but not commonly used in mattresses due to higher costs (be aware that some manufacturers may mislabel their HD foams as HR). They can also be more odorous, and contribute to heat retention.

Type of Memory Foam

There are about three different “types” of memory foam that you will see promoted across different brands.

Traditional memory foam is the regular, temperature-sensitive material that molds to sleepers’ shapes via their body heat. This type provides good contouring and pressure relief in medium and high densities, but not everyone likes the slow recovery rate of the foam as it can make changing positions and moving on the bed difficult. Sleeping hot is also more common with this type, particularly in higher densities.

Gel memory foam is becoming very common recently, involving gel particles or liquid gel mixed into the foam with the idea of a cooler sensation. The idea is that the room-temperature gel will absorb body heat (similar to ice-packs). There is not a ton of scientific proof for the claims of gel foam mattresses (many of them use little gel or put it beneath other materials as well). Consumer Reports has said in their mattress tests that they find little difference in breathability between gel and non-gel beds. Sleep Like The Dead says there is a small difference (2%), but primarily only for beds with 2”+ of gel foam at the surface of the bed.

Plant-based memory foams use botanical ingredients to replace a portion of petro products, and are used by a small handful of brands. These types of foams have slightly different properties, primarily stemming from their temperature-neutral nature. Plant-based foams use pressure to contour rather than heat, and the material feels consistent in a normal room temperature. It also recovers shape very quickly. One manufacturer, Cargill, conducted a laboratory study demonstrating plant-based foams to sleep cooler than gel foams.

Know the difference between Traditional, gel and plant-based memory foam

Mattress Construction

When shopping for a foam mattress, pay careful attention to how the bed is layered. Memory foam should ideally be in the uppermost layers (as opposed to poly foam or fiber batting) to provide good pressure relief. The retailer should be able to provide information on each layer and their respective densities so you can accurately judge comfort and compare value.

The thickness of comfort layers is important as well. Petite people and back/stomach sleepers may feel comfortable with 2”-3” of memory foam (too much can feel overwhelming), while larger individuals and side sleepers may need 3”-6” of memory foam to adequately cushion pressure points.

The thickness of the core layer is more related to support and durability. A mattress should have at least a 6” core. Larger individuals and side sleepers may want something more in the 8” to 9” range.

Cover materials are also important since they can affect how the mattress contours and how breathable the bed is. Stretchy fabrics are better than rigid ones since they will allow the mattress to fully contour to you. Breathable fabrics like cotton, wool and rayon are also ideal since they will allow air to flow in and out.

Beat the heat of bad memory foam Learn why picking the wrong bed could leave you a sweaty mess

Guarantees

Guarantees can tell you a little bit about how the manufacturer perceives their product. Mattresses with little or no warranty are probably not intended by the manufacturer for everyday or long-term use (better for temporary situations). But, long warranties don’t mean a bed is meant to last forever either.

Average and higher-end brands usually have about 10 years of full replacement coverage, and some may have additional years of pro-rated coverage as well. The different periods will differentiated in the warranty policy, usually as “full coverage” or “full replacement” terms (the period during which the manufacturer will replace or repair a defective bed at their cost), and “pro-rated” terms (the period during which the manufacturer will contribute a portion of the repair/replacement costs with the owner paying the rest).

Since impressions are what is most likely to go wrong with a mattress, the depth of coverage is important to check for. The warranty should state how deep impressions must be for the bed to be considered defective and eligible for warranty. Higher-end beds will typically cover sagging of about 0.75” deep, while others may only cover impressions over 1” or 1.5”.

The ability to return a bed can also be valuable. Even the top-rated mattress might not be ideal for everyone, which is why most retailers will allow customers to return or exchange within a certain time frame.

The average for memory foam beds is around 90 days. It may take up to a few weeks to fully adjust to a new bed, so having at least 30 days can be helpful. Check to see the store’s return policy and any restrictions or fees before buying.

Reviews

The other helpful tool you can use to compare options are memory foam mattress reviews. For most brands and beds, you can find reviews online to see what other owners have to say. Retailer and brand websites are the most likely sources, though third party websites (like Reseller Ratings and Viewpoints) and blogs or forums are also sources. You could start by searching for reviews in general, or search the mattress make and model plus reviews (such as “tempurpedic cloud reviews”) to see more in-depth information about a particular bed.

The first thing to keep in mind about reviews is the source. Brands that use third-party verified reviewer/verified buyer systems typically provide a better source than brands that use cherry-picked “testimonial” type reviews. For third party websites and blogs, consider their reputation and policies. According to a recent study out of Harvard Business School, up to 20% of Yelp reviews can be fake. Two companies that provide third-party, verified reviews are Reseller Ratings and Power Reviews.

When reading reviews, see what people say about expectations versus reality, durability, value, and other factors important to you. Individual comfort can vary quite a bit though — one person’s soft can be another’s firm — so it’s better to look at trends than one-off comments. For example, do a lot of people say the bed is firmer than expected, or do a large number report a particular issue? Not every bed will please every buyer, but comparing complaints to averages can help give you perspective.

Overall, what we learned searching for the best-rated memory foam mattresses is that medium density foams seem to be most appealing to majority of shoppers, and that getting a good value is also important for satisfaction.

Most of the top-rated memory foam beds were sold online only as well, meaning that dreaded trip to the mattress store may not be so essential after all. More important? Doing your research into the brand, being honest with your partner about what you want in a bed, checking reviews, and comparing around to ensure the price is fair.

Feel ready to start shopping? Dig deeper with our 10 steps to getting the best mattress. Or, keep your new bed in tip-top shape longer with these eight tips to maximize mattress lifespan.

If you have an additional questions about comparing beds or finding the best-rated memory foam mattress, leave us a comment.

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Best Mattress Reviews of 2017 – Yearly Report http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/best-and-worst-mattress-reviews/ http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/best-and-worst-mattress-reviews/#respond Thu, 26 Jan 2017 08:00:09 +0000 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/?p=1418 If you plan on buying a new bed soon, you might be curious to know who has the best mattresses, and which ones to avoid. […]

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Best mattresses of 2016

If you plan on buying a new bed soon, you might be curious to know who has the best mattresses, and which ones to avoid. In this guide, we’ll be comparing mattress reviews 2017’s top rated beds and contrasting them with the ones that don’t fare so well so you can see how the different brands stack up.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand why mattress reviews can be a very powerful tool when it comes to making big buying decisions. Although comfort is unique, people lave mattress reviews to share the experiences with companies and retailers, their likes and dislikes, and potential problems you might want to be aware of before committing to a purchase. This insight can tell you things salespeople or a trip to the local store can’t, and can help you determine if things like the firmness level or durability is on par with people’s expectations.

Armed with information from mattress reviews and the essentials of the industry, you’ll be equipped to make a smart decision that’ll have you resting easy for years to come.

The Best Reviewed Mattresses of 2017

#1 Memory Foam Mattress Brand

Amerisleep.com

Best memory foam mattress

  • Plant-based memory foam that is eco-friendly
  • Celliant-infused fabric cover
  • Low-VOC mattress
  • 100-night sleep trial
  • 20-year warranty

Click to read our full review of Amerisleep down below.

 

#1 Latex Mattress Brand

Astrabeds.com

Best Latex Mattress

  • 100% certified organic latex
  • Certified organic cotton cover
  • Organic wool fire barrier
  • Low-VOC mattress
  • 90-night sleep trial
  • 25-year warranty

Skip down to our full review of Astrabeds here

 

#1 Innerspring Mattress Brand

Best innerspring mattress

Aireloom / Kluft

  • Lyocell fabric cover
  • Pocketed coils
  • 20 to 25-year warranty

Read more about innerspring mattresses down below

 

The Best Type of Mattress: Survey Says…

While there is no single best mattress or type for every single person, a look at trends in consumer satisfaction and performance can offer some helpful insight into which type of bed might offer you the best sleep.

For many decades, the term “mattress” has been synonymous with the innerspring coil bed, topped with various layers of fiber batting and foam. Today, with the boom in specialty brands and online retailers however, shoppers have quite a few choices to make when buying a bed.

The most common types on the market currently are innersprings, memory foam, and latex foam. Air and water are also available through limited retailers, but they represent a fairly small share of the market. In this guide, we’ll be focusing on spring and foam beds.

Below are how these types of mattresses compare, on average, based on data from Sleep Like The Dead. This represents each category as a whole, but individual brands can vary quite a bit from the “norm”, which is important to keep in mind as well.

Comparison of Top Mattress Types

 InnerspringsMemory FoamLatex
Average Owner Satisfaction63%81%80%
Average Price$1,580$1,610$1,476
SupportFair-GoodGoodGood-Excellent
OdorGoodPoor-FairGood
HeatFair-GoodFairFair-Good
Motion TransferPoor-FairExcellentGood
DurabilityFair-GoodGoodGood-Excellent
Expected Lifespan, w/ Regular Use5-8 years6-8 years6-10 years
Warranty CoverageFairGoodGood-Excellent
AvailabilityExcellentGoodFair
Data collected from SleepLikeTheDead.com • Ratings Key = Excellent > Good > Fair > Poor

While innerspring beds remain the most popular mattress type in terms of sales, consumers overall report higher satisfaction with memory foam and latex types. Both foam categories continue to grow rapidly as well, with increasing availability and awareness.

Owner Satisfaction of Innerspring, Memory Foam & Latex

Potential reasons for this large gap in satisfaction could include durability and long-term comfort, as higher-quality foam mattresses tend to show less sagging and provide comfort longer than their average spring counterparts.

Many spring beds use fairly low quality foams and fiber layers, which can compress quickly and leave indentations, reducing the bed’s ability to cushion against pressure points. Over time, this can contribute to pain and reduced comfort.

Good-quality memory foam and latex both excel at contouring to the sleeper as well which supports natural posture, whereas certain types of spring beds can impede alignment. For example, most mattress reviews indicate that people experience less back pain on memory foam and latex compared to spring beds.

Memory Foam Mattresses

Far from a novelty, memory foam mattresses are becoming quite popular with people around the world. While not as widely available as the standard spring bed, many showrooms and online retailers offer brands of these beds, which can range from inexpensive to luxury in pricing.

Innerspring beds are the main competitor to memory foam beds due mainly to their wide availability and consumer familiarity. Among 164 consumers included in our research who have owned both types and stated their preference, memory foam is often preferred.”

– Based on research from SleepLikeTheDead.com, an independent mattress research organization.

Top Memory Foam Mattress Brands

BrandOwner SatisfactionPrice Range (Queen)NotesWarranty
Amerisleep93%$899 - $22998”-14” profile
2”-3” memory foam
Plant-based
Medium density
20 year
Sealy Optimum76%$1074 - $227410”-13” profile
3”-6” gel memory foam
Gel and traditional
Medium density
10 year
Serta iComfort74%$1074 - $27748.5”-13.5” profile
1.5”-5” memory foam
Gel and traditional
Low to medium density
10 year
Tempurpedic81%$1699 - $74998”-15” profile
3”-7” memory foam
Traditional
Medium to high density
10 year
Data collected from SleepLikeTheDead.com and retailer websites.

Memory foam is the top-rated bed type based on mattress reviews, but not all beds in this category are created equal. There are a couple things to be aware of when comparing this type of bed, including the type of foam, foam density, and the makeup of the layers.

The type of memory foam refers to the methods used to make it and its characteristics. The key types you’ll find when shopping include:

  • Traditional – This is the standard, temperature sensitive memory foam, made of polyurethane and other synthetic materials. The easiest to find generally most affordable, but also most likely to have stronger odors and and heat retention. This type of foam will react slowly after being compressed.
  • Gel – Traditional memory foam, but with gel beads or gel liquid mixed in. Gel foams typically have slightly lower odor and heat complaints, but may cost more. Slow to moderate reaction time to movements. Consumer Reports suggests that gel foams offer no noticeable difference.
  • Plant-Based – Plant-based memory foam mattresses use a portion of naturally-derived ingredients in place of synthetics, and may have a greener overall focus. Plant-based foams generally have lower complaints of heat and odor, and people who dislike the stuck or slow response sensation of traditional foams may find the faster, temperature-neutral nature of plant foams preferable.

Traditional, gel, and plant based. Do you know the difference?

Density is a measure of the weight of one cubic foot of foam. Denser foams have less air. Density is not closely tied with firmness, though very dense foams can feel stiffer initially, especially temperature sensitive types. Medium density foams generally have the highest average satisfaction, but individual preferences can vary.

  • Low Density – Memory foams under 3.5 lbs. Low density foams are more affordable and have lower complaints of off-gassing and heat. But, they may not provide adequate support or pressure point relief especially for heavier individuals, and may wear faster.
  • Medium Density – Memory foam between 3.5 and 5.0 lbs. Average odor and heat complaints, good support and pressure point relief for most sleepers, average to good durability.
  • High Density – Memory foams over 5.0 lbs. High density foams have the highest heat and odor complaints (due to a higher concentration of polymers and ingredients) and they are most expensive. However, high density foams are also associated with better pressure point relief. Since very high densities can feel stiff and create a “stuck sensation”, they are ideally used as a supplement to other layers and not the main comfort layer.

All memory foam beds are composed of at least two layers — the memory foam layer and the base or core foam layer. Some brands may add multiple layers of foams and other materials as well. When comparing, you want to know the type of material and quality of each layer. For example, low density base foam (under 1.4 lbs) may not provide adequate support and can break down much quicker than high density polyurethane foam.

Best Memory Foam Mattress Brands

While most people are familiar with the large, big box mattress retailers, new online mattress companies are beginning to move into the mainstream. These companies can offer a high quality bed at a better value because of their lack of retail expenses as well as other high markups. Our top mattress brand reflects this shift in the industry to more affordable, and often higher-quality, options.

Top Rated Mattress Brand: Amerisleep

best memory foam mattress reviews of 2016

Amerisleep’s plant-based memory foam line tops this year’s ratings, with satisfaction scores over 90% from reviews. They offer six models, ranging from firm to plush in different thicknesses. Every mattress has a Celliant-infused mattress cover that is clinically proven to help people fall asleep 15 minutes faster than average. Amerisleep proves to be the most technologically advanced brand that we’ve reviewed.

Want to know more? Read our guide to the best memory foam mattresses

Worst-Rated Memory Foam Mattresses of 2017

The brands with lowest ratings this year are include some of the most expensive brands on the market. While they still earn higher ratings than the average innerspring bed, consumers report issues with durability, warranties, heat retention and other things. Another thing people take issue with is value, as many of these lines use similar quality materials to their more affordable counterparts.

  • IKEA
  • Serta iComfort

Latex Foam Mattresses

Latex mattresses are becoming popular, particularly with people seeking healthier or greener alternatives. Those who prefer a bouncier or more resilient surface than memory foam may also prefer latex foam. In terms of mattress reviews, latex is usually very similar to memory foam, also outperforming innersprings.

Although not as widely available in stores as other mattress types, plenty of online retailers sell latex and even organic latex mattresses nationwide. These beds tend be slightly more expensive than memory foam, particularly for all-natural latex as the materials are more expensive to produce and the certifications many manufacturers obtain to show quality are also costly.

Which is best: Memory Foam or Latex?

When shopping for a latex mattress, the key things to consider are the type of latex, the layer construction, and the certifications.

Latex foam can be composed of natural latex derived from rubber trees or from synthetic styrene butadiene rubber derived from chemical components. More commonly, you’ll see latex made of a blend of natural and synthetic materials.

  • All natural latex tends to rate better for comfort, durability and odor. It also offers a greener, eco-friendly option, important to many buyers.
  • Synthetic and blended latex is cheaper, but owners report more odors and off gassing, and reduced durability.
  • Latex foam is made using either the dunlop or talalay process. Dunlop is the more established process, while talalay adds a few steps for more uniformity. Talalay tends to cost more, but owners tend to rate both types similarly.

A latex mattress should be composed of only latex foam – both the core and the comfort layers (unlike visco foam, which requires a support core of poly foam). Latex beds with poly foam cores tend to rate significantly lower. Shoppers concerned with chemicals or buying green should also look at the fire barrier and cover materials to ensure they are natural (wool fire barriers and cotton covers are most popular with these types of beds).

Based on our collected owner experience data, natural latex mattresses rate about 15-20% higher in overall satisfaction than blended latex or synthetic latex mattresses . . . In addition, natural latex appears to perform somewhat better than the blended and synthetic varieties in regard to longevity and resistance to compression / development of body impressions.”

– From research at SleepLikeTheDead.com, an independent mattress research organization.

Another thing you will come across when shopping for this type of mattress is certifications, which are important for natural and organic lines. Any latex bed described as organic should have certificates of standards available from GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard – the only standard for latex foam), GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), USDA, or Organic Content Standard  certifying agencies. Oeko-Tex, Eco Institut and Greenguard are standards that test for off gassing and chemicals (but not organic content).

BrandOwner SatisfactionPrice Range (Queen)NotesWarranty
Astrabeds91%$1799 - $29997”-13” profile
Organic dunlop
Organic wool and cotton
Customizable
25 year
Flobeds82%$1779 - $28999”-12”
Natural or blended talalay
Optional organic cotton
Customizable
10 year
Foam Sweet Foam (Urban Green)82%$1999 - $329910”-16” profile
Natural talalay and/or organic dunlop
Part organic cover
Customizable
30 year
Habitat Furnishings80%$1399 - $22996”-9” profile
Organic cotton
Natural talalay & dunlop
20 year
Savvy Rest81%$2499 - $54997”-13” profile
Organic cotton
Natural talalay or organic dunlop
Customizable
20 year
Sleep EZ82%$1195 - $23007”-13” profile
Natural talalay or dunlop or talalay blend
Optional organic cotton
Customizable
20 year
Data collected from SleepLikeTheDead.com and retailer websites.

Best Latex Mattress Brands

The best latex mattresses in 2017 all earn ratings significantly above average, and the majority use all natural and organic materials with good return policies and warranties.

  • Astrabeds
  • Sleep EZ
  • Flobeds

Best Latex Mattress: Astrabeds

Astrabeds earns strong reviews with certified organic latex, customizable layers (including split firmness for couples), and multiple models. Compared to other certified organic lines, Astrabeds also offers one of the best values, noted by reviewers. Sleep EZ also garners positive reviews for their mattresses based on comfort and green principles, but pricing can be comparatively high when not on sale and the website may be confusing for some. Flobeds is another top candidate, with natural and organic options as well as custom layers.

Worst-Rated Latex Mattresses of 2017

Two beds near the lower end of satisfaction scores and mattress reviews for latex are the Habitat Furnishings line, and the Savvy Rest collection. While both lines generally do well on comfort, Habitat reviewers mention potentially poor value and some durability issues. Reviews of Savvy Rest show some contention with pricing, which is significantly higher than other organic options for similar materials and guarantees.

  • Habitat Furnishings
  • Savvy Rest

Innerspring Mattresses

Innerspring beds remain the most commonly sold category, available at nearly any mattress showroom or department store. This category ranges from very cheap to high-end mattresses, primarily dominated by long-standing household names like Simmons, Serta and Sealy. Recently, newer online entrants are making waves however.

When it comes to buying a spring bed, the key points of comparison include the coil type and comfort layers.

Four types of coil systems comprise the majority of spring beds on the market:

  • Pocketed coils are becoming the most popular spring type, comprised of individual springs, wrapped in fabric. This type is seen as best for overall support and on limiting motion transfer. Most mid to high priced models currently use pocket coils.
  • Bonnell coils are composed of hourglass coils, connected by wires. These are less expensive to manufacturer, and are most common on low to mid priced beds. Support can be good with bonnell systems, but durability is often an issue.
  • Continuous coils are made with connected coils that work off of each other. Because the coils share weight, these systems can have good durability, however conformability and support can be an issue, as can motion transfer.
  • Offset coils are flattened hourglass springs hinged together with wires. These systems tend to do well at support, fair at motion isolation, but average in terms in durability.

In addition to coil type, there’s also coil count and gauge. The coil count refers to the number of coils in the mattress. While very low coil counts (under 500) can mean poor support and longevity, super high coil counts don’t automatically make a bed better — so don’t feel the need to pay hundreds extra for a few more coils if the mattress seems like a good fit for you.

Coil gauge refers to the thickness of the metal wire in the coil. Lower numbers (like 13) mean a thicker coil, which typically feels firmer and may also be more durable. High numbers (like 15) feel springier/softer, but could wear faster.

The materials on top of the springs also prove important, as they need to provide lasting protection against painful pressure points and aid proper back support. Poly foam and polyester fiber are by far the most common. Thick layers of fiber can compress quickly, as can low quality foams. Memory foam and latex can last longer, but typically cost more. One solution is to purchase a bed with a quality coil system and minimal comfort layer, and then use a separate removable topper than can be replaced as it wears (rather than replacing the entire bed).

BrandOwner SatisfactionPrice Range (Queen Set)NotesWarranty
Aireloom / Kluft75%$1600 - $20,000 (est)11”-16” profile
Pocket or offset coils
Wool, cotton, latex
10-20 year
Denver Mattress63%$319 - $18997.5”-14“ profile
Pocket or offset coils
Foam, fiber, memory foam, latex
5-15 year
Duxiana74%$4800 - $9180+9”-12” profile
Continuous coils
Latex, cotton
Replaceable parts
20 year
IKEA62%$159 - $899 (*not sets)7”-13.5” profile
Pocket or bonnell coils
Fiber, latex memory foam, foam
25 year
King Koil65%$599 - $27999”-16” profile
Pocket or continuous coils
Fiber, foam, memory foam, latex
10-25 year
Kingsdown64%Mid-High (varies)9”-17” profile
Bonnell or pocket coils
Fiber, memory foam, latex, cotton, wool
10-20 year
Sealy65%$399 - $21998.5”-15” profile
Offset or pocket coils
Fiber, foam, memory foam, gel
10 year
Serta64%$399 - $29999”-17” profile
Pocket or continuous coils
Fiber, foam, memory foam, gel foam
10 year
Signature Sleep74%$230 - $3306”-13” profile
Bonnell or pocket coils
Fiber, foam, memory foam
1 year
Simmons62%$375 - $4300 (est)10”-17” profile
Pocket or bonnell coils
Fiber, foam, memory foam, gel, latex
10 year
Stearns & Foster60%$1499 - $329912”-17” profile
Pocket coils
Fiber, gel foams, memory foam, latex
10 year
Data collected from SleepLikeTheDead.com and retailer websites.

Best Innerspring Mattress Brands

Reviewers appear to rate the highest priced beds and the inexpensive, moderate quality mattresses the best, although they are designed for different purposes and lifespans. Two of the top-rated innerspring companies are also two of the most expensive options around, regardless of bed type, though some budget brands also hold up well to people’s expectations.

  • Aireloom/Kluft
  • Signature Sleep
  • Duxiana

Kluft and Duxiana are luxury mattress brands that utilize higher quality materials like natural cotton and natural latex foam. Mattress reviews prove very strong compared to peers and these lines have good warranties, however average prices are several thousand dollars, which is not practical for the majority of shoppers. Signature Sleep offers inexpensive mattresses with budget quality and very little warranty, however they appear to exceed reviewers’ expectations for the price paid and can be good for short term or infrequent use.

Worst-Rated Innerspring Mattresses of 2017

Again, some of the biggest names are rating no better than average amongst consumers, despite lofty claims, reputations and not-cheap prices. Most brands have multiple collections spanning the entry level to luxury ranges, and for the most part, the lower-priced collections tend to rate significantly lower.

Innerspring beds overall have lower owner satisfaction than most other mattress types due mainly to below-average durability and longevity. They also tend to provide only fair long-term pain and pressure-point relief. Some models may produce noise.”

– Quote from SleepLikeTheDead.com, an independent mattress research organization.

Stearns and Foster is Sealy’s luxury counterpart, and they surprisingly earn some of the lowest customer satisfaction scores and mattress reviews, as people do not find the beds meeting their expectations of comfort, durability, or warranty service. Simmons Beauty Sleep and Recharge lines also rate below average, however their higher-end Hybrid and Black lines perform fairly well. Likewise, Serta’s iSeries (becoming iComfort Hybrid in 2016) collection tends to garner positive ratings, while their entry-level Perfect Sleeper line scores below average.

  • Stearns and Foster
  • Simmons
  • Serta Perfect Sleeper

Don’t get caught with a bad bed: Read Best Mattress Brands’ 10 Best & 10 Worst Mattresses of 2017

2017’s Top 10 Companies by Mattress Reviews

So what is the best mattress on the market? Based on our comparisons of third party mattress reviews and specification information, we’ve highlighted a few top entry level and luxury mattress brands that are currently exceeding consumer expectations. Personal preferences as to the best brand of mattress will vary, but these options offer a good starting point for research and comparisons.

Entry Level Brands

  • Signature Sleep, innerspring beds from $150

Mid-Range Brands

  • Amerisleep, plant-based memory foam mattresses from $899
  • Simmons Beautyrest Recharge Hybrid collection, innerspring and foam beds from $999

Luxury Mattress Brands

  • Flobeds, natural latex mattresses from $1779
  • Astrabeds, organic latex mattresses from $1799
  • Duxiana, high end and natural spring beds from $4800

Whichever type of bed you plan on buying, it pays to do your research, check mattress reviews, and compare a wide variety of options. As you can see, the best-known or priciest options often aren’t the best overall values. Online retailers also seem to be doing well, with fair pricing and return policies.

Let us know what you think of this years best mattresses, or how your shopping went in the comments below!

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9 Sleep Disorders that Seem Spooky http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/9-sleep-disorders-seem-spooky/ http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/9-sleep-disorders-seem-spooky/#respond Fri, 04 Nov 2016 21:12:02 +0000 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/?p=1704 A high-pitched scream breaks the silence of the night. A zombie stalks the streets as the clock strikes midnight. You wake unable to move away […]

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9 Sleep Disorders that Seem Spooky

A high-pitched scream breaks the silence of the night. A zombie stalks the streets as the clock strikes midnight. You wake unable to move away from shadowing figures trying to strangle you in bed. The start of the latest scary movie? Not quite.

Sometimes, real life can be stranger than fiction. Indeed, many old, frightening stories have roots in what we now recognize as medical conditions. And, some sleep disorders seem like scenes right out of a horror movie, spooky nighttime happenings that seem down right scary.

Just in time for Halloween, take a look at nine Spooky Sleep Disorders and what kind of trouble they can stir up at night.

Sleep Walking

Sleepwalkers don’t usually wander around with their arms outstretched, as lurking zombies depicted in early horror movies. Instead, they rather walk normally, and are capable of performing tasks such as moving furniture, cooking, or driving. One might wonder if the blank stares and non-responsive nature might have induced the zombie myth though.

There are plenty of strange sleepwalking stories that have made headlines over the years:

  • A wife found her husband outside, naked and mowing the lawn.
  • A 15-year old girl in England sleepwalked up a 130-foot crane – when fire crews climbed up, she was still asleep.
  • A Canadian man drove 10 kilometers to murder his in-laws while he was asleep, and had no recollection of doing so.

About 15% of adults, and a slightly higher percentage of children  experience occasional sleep walking. This disorder can bring real-life danger though: 19% of sleepwalkers have been hurt during their nightly adventures, most commonly from falling. However, the reasons for sleepwalking aren’t clear to researchers. It seems to potentially tie in with stress and not sleeping enough.

Nightmare Disorder

If you suffer from frequent nightmares that keep you from going to bed at night, you might have Nightmare Disorder.
If you suffer from frequent nightmares that keep you from going to bed at night, you might have Nightmare Disorder.

Most people experience a few bad dreams in their lifetime, but when the occasional fright becomes a near-nightly terror it may a sign of Nightmare Disorder. These intense nightmares range from physical threats, such as being pursued, or a psychological one such as being teased. They often include monsters, ghosts, ferocious animals, bullies, or other bad people.

Sufferers from Nightmare Disorder may dread going to sleep. Stress (including PTSD), sleep deprivation, genetic predisposition, and some medications may trigger the nightmares, which happen during REM sleep. When awoken, the person will usually be alert, responsive and receptive to calming. Long term treatment for nightmare disorder may include counseling or sedative drugs.

Night Terrors

Screaming, thrashing, frantic pacing, sitting upright in bed with blank staring eyes. Sounds like a scene out of a scary movie, but for some sleepers, night terrors are the real deal. Most common in small children, night terrors happen early in the night during non-REM sleep.

The sleeper seems hard to wake or comfort, but usually settles back to sleep after 10-15 minutes. Typically, they don’t remember anything in the morning, although they certainly may give housemates or parents a lasting fright. Night terrors can be triggered by fever, irregular sleep, or stress, and usually fade with age.

Sleepy Hallucinations

Ever drift off to slumber only to wake and see spiders crawling up the wall or shadows sulking around the room? Mythology might have you believe someone – or something – is playing tricks on you.

Sleep hallucinations – hearing voices, feeling phantom sensations, seeing people and strange objects in their room, seeing bugs crawling on the walls – can occur in a state between sleeping and waking. The sleepy hallucinations can be visual, auditory, tactile, or olfactory.

These mental anomalies are most commonly associated with stress, poor sleep or narcolepsy. If you suffer from sleepy hallucinations, try relaxation techniques and stay out of bed until you are really tired. If you aren’t sleeping well and doze off during the day, make an appointment to see your doctor.  It could be a sign of an untreated sleep disorder or an issue like sleep apnea.

Sleeping Beauty Syndrome

Imagine sleeping for 23 hours per day for weeks at a time, then suddenly waking and functioning normally. That is, until the next episode six months to a year down the road. For those that have Kleine-Levin Syndrome, or Sleeping Beauty Syndrome, this is reality.

KLS is a rare neurological disorder linked to excessive amounts of sleep, spacy behaviors and confusion. The syndrome comes in waves lasting for days, weeks or months, and lasts about eight years with periods of normalcy between bouts of various lengths. 70% of those affected are teenage boys around the age of 15.

Researchers believe KLS may involve the malfunctioning of the hypothalamus, which helps regulate sleep and body temperature. It is precipitated most frequently by infections, head trauma or alcohol consumption

Exploding Head Syndrome

During the onset of deep sleep, you all of the sudden hear an explosion, gunshot, or crashing of cymbals. The sharp, loud noise seems to originate from inside your head, or right beside your ear but you know it’s not real.

Besides fear, confusion, distress, and a scary sounding name, Exploding Head Syndrome doesn’t cause pain or danger, and isn’t related to any serious illness. Exploding Head Syndrome affects around 10% of the population and is most common with women over 50.

Doctors don’t know what causes it, but there is some speculation that it may be stress, anxiety, impairments in calcium signaling, sudden shifts of the middle ear component, minor temporal lobe seizures, or brain stem neuronal dysfunction. Improved sleep hygiene, relaxation, counseling, tricyclic antidepressants, or calcium channel blockers may help improve Exploding Head Syndrome.

Sleep Eating

Eating while sleeping is a relatively common sleep disorder that you might not even know you have.
Eating while sleeping is a relatively common sleep disorder that you might not even know you have.

Imagine, you work out hard and exercise self-control all day, while your own brain sabotages your efforts during the night. Some even wake to find the remnants of four course cooking endeavor and other not-so-safe activities for sleepers.

Nocturnal Eating Disorder involves going on eating binges during the night with little or no memory of the event. This might include chopping and preparing food, turning on the stove, or eating raw food straight from the fridge.

It occurs during non-REM sleep, but researchers don’t entirely understand the reasons for sleep eating yet. Sufferers sometimes take prescribed drugs that increase Dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with reward and pleasure, to help stop the late night, unavoidable snacking. Research links factors like stress, sleep deprivation, some medications and even quitting smoking or drinking with this behavior.

Sleep Paralysis

Imagine this: you open your eyes to find a figure in the room, standing over your bed. They sulk closer, attempting to touch you. You try to scream and jump out of bed but you can’t move. It’s like you are paralyzed. If you’ve ever had the displeasure of experiencing something like this, you’ve encountered Sleep Paralysis.

In Newfoundland folklore, this presence earns the name ‘Old Hag’, while in China it translates to ‘Ghost Pressing Down on You’ and ‘The Dead Climb on Top of You’ in Mexico. Researchers suspect that some of the tales of alien abduction may tie in to episodes of sleep paralysis.

During REM sleep, you actually are paralyzed. But, this serves a purpose. The voluntary muscles of the body become immobile to prevent you from acting out your dreams. But for about 8% of people, sometimes the paralysis lasts after the sleeper wakes up.

People who experience sleep paralysis often described it as intensely frightening. Coupled with sleepy hallucinations, people report feelings of being crushed, choked or unable to scream or move away from an ominous presence.

REM Behavior Disorder

Perhaps the opposite of Sleep Paralysis, those with REM Behavior Disorder exhibit violent outbursts of yelling, thrashing, punching, kicking, even getting out of bed and getting violent during sleep.

it happens when the brain fails to signal the body to stay still during REM sleep. These violent outbursts can be scary for the thrashing sleeper’s bed partner and injuries are common to both the sleeper and those near them. The sleeper often remembers their dreams, but will not recall moving around.

This disorder proves most common in older adults, and treatment includes medications that reduce REM sleep and relax the body. REM Behavior Disorder may be a symptom of Parkinson’s disease, so if it becomes a regular thing, it’s worth discussing with your doc.

Share: Do you have real-life sleep stories or experience with spooky sleep disorders?

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Are You a Super Sleeper or Sleep-Deprived? http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/are-you-a-super-sleeper-or-sleep-deprived/ http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/are-you-a-super-sleeper-or-sleep-deprived/#respond Tue, 01 Nov 2016 20:32:41 +0000 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/?p=1706 Have you ever heard someone boast about being able to function normally on very little rest, or hear the phrase “super sleeper”? Before you get […]

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Are You a Super Sleeper or Sleep-Deprived?

Have you ever heard someone boast about being able to function normally on very little rest, or hear the phrase “super sleeper”?

Before you get jealous of all the extra time these alleged Super Sleepers grab in a day, know that the ability to function on little sleep proves very rare. In fact, these Super Sleepers often seem Super-Sleep-Deprived according to research.

The Science of the Super Sleeper

 

Dr. Ying-Hui Fu, a geneticist at University of California-San Francisco, found a gene mutation on the DEC2 transcription facilitator that appeared only in true Super Sleepers. People who possess this gene variation have circadian rhythms that differ from the general population, and differences in sleep patterns are evident at a very young age. As early as age two, Super Sleepers tend to give up on naps.

Super-sleeping is a genetic trait, not something that can be learned or trained.
Super-sleeping is a genetic trait, not something that can be learned or trained.

 

Super Sleepers seem to have upbeat moods, a higher tolerance for physical pain, bounce back better from psychological setbacks, and have better metabolism. This genetic variation has been replicated in mice. However, to date, Dr. Fu and her team have only identified 20 true Super Sleepers. These folks are hard to find and study because they rarely go to sleep clinics or feel that they have a disorder.

Short Sleepers

It seems like there are many more than 20 people out there that claim that they can function normally on less than 5 or 6 hours of sleep – so what is the deal with them? Well, out of every 100 people who believe they need 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night, only about 5 people really do.

Short Sleepers can be night owls or early birds, and they appear energetic, outgoing, and ambitious, traits which start in early childhood and appear to run in families. They have a certain psychological and physiological energy to them, and head into their chosen careers at full bore.

And the other 95? Turns out they may be chronically sleep-deprived.

How much rest do Short Sleepers need?

A University of Utah study of 839 people looked at patterns of neural connections in the brains of habitual “Short Sleepers”. This study only looked at brain scans, so we don’t know it any participants  possessed the Super Sleepers gene.

First, researchers divided the participants into two groups. One for those who needed 7-12 hours per night, and one of those who needed six or less. The group needing less than 6 hours of sleep per night further split into those who admitted feeling drowsy, and those who claimed they felt fine.

What about side effects?

Through brain scans and the examination of neural connections, they found that some people were in fact Short Sleepers. This subset functioned normally during the day and consolidated memories more efficiently at night. More research is needed; however, effective short-sleeping may relate to hypomania – a mild form of mania associated with racing thoughts and lower inhibitions. You can’t train yourself to be a Short Sleeper.

But most people who claimed the title of Short Sleeper actually exhibited more fatigue than they realized.

Turns out that the brain scans of many of the self-proclaimed short sleepers showed brain patterns of what you normally see when a person sleeps. They appeared to drift off to sleep during the brain scans, although they denied doing so. Turns out that people are notoriously bad for knowing if they have fallen asleep for a short period of time.

People with Short Sleeper traits consolidate memories more efficiently at night, but may be more susceptible to mild forms of mania.
People with Short Sleeper traits consolidate memories more efficiently at night, but may be more susceptible to mild forms of mania.

 

These not-so-Super-Sleepers may also fall asleep from boredom while in the scanner. In everyday life, they tend to seek constant stimulation to override their need to sleep. This becomes a danger when participating in mundane, everyday tasks such as driving.

Sleep deprivation impairs judgement and reasoning, so perceptions of being alert and high-functioning may very well be inaccurate. Prior research also identifies a discrepancy between perception of functioning and actual performance. Most sleep deprived people show cognitive impairment similar to being intoxicated. But, they may not realize how poorly they are performing, posing a threat to themselves and others. The bottom line — most people lack the ability to notice their own performance deficits when tired.

Sleep-Deprived or Super Sleeper

Aside from medical testing, a few tips help differentiate a sleep deprived person from a Super Sleeper. Whether yourself or family member, look for common signs of someone low in sleep:

  • Do you notice increased moodiness, poor judgement and poor performance at work, school or while driving?
  • Do they tend to sleep longer on weekends or vacations? How much do they sleep without an alarm or set schedule?
  • Are they in constant need of stimulation and busyness? What happens if that stimulation stops?

Chronic sleep deprivation is hard on the body, associated to many mental and physical ailments. Drowsy driving is the cause of between 10% and 30% of all traffic accidents, and a myriad of workplace accidents.

To maintain an overly busy lifestyle, the Sleep-Deprived may masquerade as Super Sleepers, putting themselves at risk for health problems, and everyone at risk with impaired judgement and performance.

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Sleep and Relationships: How More Rest Makes Happier Couples http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/sleep-relationships-rest-makes-happier-couples/ http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/sleep-relationships-rest-makes-happier-couples/#respond Wed, 05 Oct 2016 01:00:21 +0000 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/?p=1673 From emotional blowouts to a lower libido, a lack of sleep hurts often spells trouble for relationships. This article explain what happens to couples’ communication […]

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Sleep and Relationships: How More Rest Makes Happier Couples

From emotional blowouts to a lower libido, a lack of sleep hurts often spells trouble for relationships. This article explain what happens to couples’ communication when quality rest suffers, and why you might improve your relationship with a better night’s sleep.

Need a better mattress? Take a look at our Best of 2016 guide.

The Emotional Impact of Sleep on Couples

A relationship’s health relies quite a bit on communication and emotions. This applies to both the ability to interpret those of your partner and to relay your own needs. Sleep proves important because it plays a major role on the brain’s ability to moderate your own emotions and process those of others accurately.

Reactivity and Sensitivity

A lack of sleep negatively affects cognitive function and amplifies emotions that we otherwise keep in check or ignore. They may say insensitive and inappropriate things, which cause stress and conflict in a relationship.

Those who sleep poorly are more prone to negative emotions, instead of happiness, helpfulness, and sensitivity to their partner’s needs. Sleep deprived individuals tend to be less agreeable, crankier and angrier.

Sleep deprivation makes people more distracted, reckless, less innovative, and willing to take dangerous risks. Those lacking sleep also prove less successful at conflict resolution and more prone to stress. When not operating on full battery, a person might be more likely to do socially or physically risky things they otherwise would avoid. All of this affects the quality of your relationship and the closeness you feel.

And when both parts of a couple miss out on slumber, it’s easy to see how this mix of insensitivity and oversensitivity creates problems.

Decision Making

Low levels of sleep impair decision-making skills. The executive functioning pre-frontal cortex manages high-level decision-making, the consideration of future consequences, the planning of goals, and the understanding of expectations. Decisions, including figuring out if your boyfriend or girlfriend is ‘The One’ depends on partners being well rested, with their brains refreshed and able to process complex information.

Overall, relationship decisions require a sophisticated sensitivity and an accurate assessment of future consequences. Sleep impairment affects optimal brain function. Meaning, you may be at risk for inaccurate mental processing, and insensitivity when dealing with your partner’s needs.

Sense of Humor

A sense of humor is rated as the number one way to attract and keep a romantic partner. But did you know that humour fluctuates with the amount of sleep you get? Humor requires high-level cognition, which doesn’t function as well on low levels of sleep. Sleep deprivation is no laughing matter for you and your partner (ok, that’s a bad joke! But the information is true).

A Two-Way Street

There is a bi-directional influence between happiness and sleep. Spouses with fewer sleep problems tend to be happier, and happier spouses tend to sleep better.  Simply put, less sleep equals less relationship happiness. Many of the positive emotions you readily attribute to your relationship (or would like to) all closely tie into sleep quality. Sleep ties into how close you feel to your partner and how secure you feel in the relationship.

Separate twin beds for a couple
Sleep trouble for even one member in a couple can lead to daily issues that strain the relationship.

Sleep Incompatibility

Beyond a lack of sleep, there may exist certain sleeping incompatibilities between couples. This may include not only snoring or moving around in the night, which wakes the other spouse, but also vastly different sleeping temperature requirements, mattress firmness, sleep-wake cycles, or work schedules. There are a number of options that couples can try to reconcile sleep differences.

Loud Snoring

For persistent snoring, a doctor visit may help, especially to determine if the problem relates to sleep apnea or a restricted airway. Otherwise, earplugs or sleep earphones may help temper noise disturbances. Dry air may be one culprit, and sleeping with a humidifier helps some people. A change in position for the snorer often helps, too.

Temperature and Light

For differences in temperature, extra blankets or layers of clothing may help the colder partner.  Less clothing and a fan may help the hotter partner. Everyone benefits from breathable, natural fiber bedding made with materials like cotton and wool.

Darkness is best when it comes to rest, but some people find a television or lamp necessary. Sleep eye masks often prove essential for couples with different bedtimes or nighttime habits.

Firmness and Position Differences

Mattress firmness can be reconciled through a medium-firm compromise, mattress topper, or a split king mattress (two twin-XL halves set side by side). Split adjustable beds also offer a solution for airway-related snoring, acid reflux, and even firmness and position preference differences.

Some couples claim that physically closeness at night strengthens their bond. But, others insist they are much happier sleeping apart, and feel closer in the morning after they both wake up refreshed. If sleep differences can’t be reconciled, and one or both partners is suffering from lack of sleep which impacts daytime life, spending time in separate beds may just be the relationship saver you needed.

Lower Libidos and Time Spent in Bed

A lack of sleep results in lower energy, a lower libido, and less of an interest in sex. Obviously, this can increase tension and lessen desire in a relationship. Men with untreated sleep apnea may have lower levels of testosterone, too.

In couples, one partner’s sleeping issues may become a problem for both. If one person snores or sleeps restlessly, there is a good chance the other partner is suffering from secondary sleep quality issues from the movement and noise.

two separate blankets on a bed
If your sleep issues are affecting your sleep, it’s better to seek help before it affects your relationship as well.

If couple go to bed and wake at different times, they may experience feelings of loneliness. Unresolved insomnia and sleep issues may cause resentment and jealousy of the other partner.

Women are more apt to receive treatment for sleep or other health related problems. Men are more reluctant to make appointments, preferring to tough it out. However for the sake of both partners, it is better to resolve issues, such as apnea and insomnia, which can lead to problems in the bedroom beyond intimacy.

Physical Attractiveness

Sleep deprivation may even impair physical attractiveness, leading to issues such as premature wrinkles and dark circles under the eyes. In one study, photos of well-rested participants rated more attractive than sleep deprived ones. Low sleep can also lead to weight gain, as the hormones that suppress appetite and signal fullness stop sending the right messages.

Physical attractiveness isn’t the most important element in a relationship, but it sure doesn’t hurt look and feel your best, even for personal confidence. So, be sure to get your beauty sleep!

What You Can Do

Watching TV and spending hours on electronic devices in bed negatively affects both sleep and sex. Make your bedroom a blue light free zone, so you can spend more time cuddling and getting needed sleep.

Follow the tenets of good sleep hygiene. These include getting regular exercise and sunlight exposure during the day, avoiding heavy food or alcohol use close to bedtime, and keeping bedrooms dark and cool. Set your bedroom up for sleep success with both a comfortable, supportive bed and quality bedding. Kick out sleep or intimacy stealers like electronics, bills, bulky pillows and other clutter or distractions.

Other helpful ideas might include evening journaling or jotting down tomorrow’s to-dos to clear out worries before bed. To destress, try listening to calming music, deep breathing or meditation, and following a calming routine such as an evening bath.

If you notice that a lack of sleep seems to be coinciding with more tension, try taking a sleep-cation and get some needed R&R to clear your heads. Most of all, ensure that both you and your partner get enough rest, and resolve any sleep problems before they become major psychological, health, or relationship issues.

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8 Ways to Get Better Sleep and Wake Up Refreshed http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/8-ways-to-get-better-sleep-wake-refreshed/ http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/8-ways-to-get-better-sleep-wake-refreshed/#respond Thu, 08 Sep 2016 23:31:08 +0000 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/?p=1652 The search for better sleep proves a popular one these days, between busy work and social lives. And why not? Nothing beats the feeling of […]

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8 Ways to Get Better Sleep and Wake Up Refreshed

The search for better sleep proves a popular one these days, between busy work and social lives. And why not? Nothing beats the feeling of a restful night, awakening energized and ready to conquer a new day.

But, it isn’t always easy to bounce out of bed refreshed when you would rather be hitting the snooze button. Try these tips to tackle better sleep and make waking up a little easier.

Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule

One of the most recommend ways to wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed is keeping regular hours. To keep your internal clock properly set, the National Sleep Foundation and Mayo Clinic recommend setting a sleep schedule that involves going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday.

Choose a time when you normally feel tired so you don’t toss and turn before falling asleep, and try not to hit snooze in the morning. In fact, if you get enough rest each night, you might not even need that obnoxious alarm.

To avoid waking tired, also ensure you are getting an adequate amount of sleep per night. Although it varies per individual, most people need around eight hours per night. The agreed upon range for adults is between seven and nine hours.  If you feel tired on seven or sluggish on eight and half, try making some adjustments to find your sweet spot.

As tempting as it is, try not to sleep in too much on weekends! Your body works best if you maintain roughly the same schedule throughout the entire week. Generally, experts suggest keeping variations within an hour.

The jury is out on the benefits of a midday nap. Hotter climates adjusted well to afternoon siestas to avoid the hottest part of the day. And, if you’ve had a late night, a short nap helps replenish your sleep bank. But, try keeping it around 15-30 minutes or you might have trouble getting back on track.

Watch What and When you Eat and Drink

For the sake of better sleep, when you eat and drink proves as important as what you consume.

Experts recommend avoiding big meals late at night, and giving yourself at least two hours between eating and going to bed. To fight post-meal drowsiness, get off the couch and engage in a mildly stimulating activity, such as washing the dishes or calling a friend so you don’t drift off until bedtime.

The effects of caffeine can last 10-12 hours after consumption, so restrict your coffee cravings to the morning hours. Decaf after lunch is a good rule of thumb when working on better sleep habits.

beer and popcorn
Alcohol interferes with your sleep cycle, disrupting later sleep cycles and affecting restorative rest.

Despite the name, a nightcap does not improve your rest. Alcohol interferes with your sleep cycle, disrupting later sleep cycles and affecting restorative rest. If you do indulge, use moderation and set last call a couple of hours before you head for bed, although if you are inebriated by the time you lay down, your sleep is going to suffer. Make sure the next night you give yourself extra time to recover.

Finally, watch how much water or other liquids you consume right before bedtime. If you chug a glass of water before dozing off, odds are your bladder will be waking you to take you on a late night stroll. But on waking and throughout the day, plenty of pure h20 is a wise move.

Limit Electronic use Before Bed

Blue light disturbs your internal clock because it delays the production of melatonin – the sleep hormone. Melatonin is partly controlled by light exposure and helps direct your sleep-wake cycles. Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you tired, and less when it is light – making you more alert.

Experts recommend turning off blue light devices – cell phones, laptops, televisions, iPads – at least one hour before bedtime.  If you need to check something, keep the brightness on your device down and use a smaller screen.

Late night television may be hindering your ability to fall asleep at night as shows are built to be stimulating rather than relaxing. As an alternative, try listening to soothing music or a down tempo audio book to lure you into sleep. We are never too old to be read a bedtime story!

Keep Bedrooms Dark at Night

While we are on the topic of melatonin, make sure that your bedroom remains dark while you sleep. Opt for heavy curtains or shades, or use a sleep mask. Keep lights down if you have to get up in the night – use a small flashlight, or baseboard level nightlights in your bathroom or hallway.

Inversely, to stop the production of melatonin so you are awake and alert during the day, expose yourself to bright sunshine in the morning and throughout the day. Eat breakfast on the patio or near a window, or take the dog for a walk. In the dark winter months, try a therapeutic light box as a stand in for the actual sun when the weather proves gloomy.

Overall, spending more of your daytime outdoors, or allowing more natural light into your workspace does wonders for your daytime energy levels. It also may prove helpful for balancing sleep-wake cycles, thus promoting better sleep.

Focus on Comfort

clean, modern bedroom
Having a clean, decluttered bedroom can help you get better sleep.

Take inventory of your sleep environment. Do you see clutter or things like bills that may create anxiety? Is the ventilation adequate? If better sleep is your priority, the ideal environment is one that is cool, quiet, calming, and comfortable.

Most people sleep best at slightly cooler temperatures, somewhere between 60 and 72 degrees F. The slight lowering of body temperature signals the production of melatonin, setting the stage for drowsiness.

Invest in a fan if you need more air circulation or to dampen sounds. White noise machines or earplugs also help. Before bed, do a sweep and find homes for clothes and papers lying around. Hampers, a decorative box or drawers contain clutter quickly. This way, your mind rests at ease once your head hits the pillow

Make sure your bed feels comfortable and suited to your sleeping style. Side sleepers tend to get better sleep on softer mattresses, stomach sleepers on firmer, and back sleepers on medium-firm.

Memory foam mattresses rate the best for motion isolation and overall satisfaction (Amerisleep is one of the top ranked in our comparisons), with latex and pocket coil mattresses the runner ups. Take a look at our guides if it’s time to replace your bed.

Calm your Mind

If you find that your mind runs on overdrive come bedtime, try a few techniques for clearing your head. Try writing down your ideas or worries before your head hits the pillow. This way you won’t spend the entire night stressing or trying to remember what you need to do tomorrow.

In the short term, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualizing a relaxing place. Take a warm bath, read a book or magazine by a soft light, or listen to soft music. Worry and anger can be detrimental to sleep when they last a long time, so look into long-term stress management solutions.

If you wake in the night, avoid stressing about not sleeping and instead focus on the goal of relaxation. Do non-stimulating activities such as deep breathing or reading. Postpone worrying and brainstorming by writing things down on notebook kept beside your bed then letting it go until morning.

If you can’t fall back to sleep after a little while, it might be helpful to get out of bed. First off, don’t stress about getting better sleep. Read a book in another room or listen to a relaxing song on the sofa until you feel sleepy again.

Get Physical

Getting exercise regularly is not only good for your overall health; it is also good for your sleep health. Just be sure to finish any moderate to vigorous workout at least 3 hours before going to sleep, or your endorphins will keep you awake.

Low impact exercises, such as relaxation yoga or general stretching, can help promote better sleep so feel free to do these closer to the time you go to bed.

Make a Bedtime ‘Better Sleep’ Ritual

briefcase and coat by front door
Putting your briefcase by the door the night before can help establish a bedtime ritual.

Having a steady bedtime ritual can help signal your body to start its descent into relaxation. Start an hour before bed by spending twenty minutes preparing for tomorrow – picking out clothes, putting your briefcase by the door. Spend the next 20-30 minutes on personal hygiene – taking a bath, brushing you teeth, and putting on pajamas. Finally climb into bed and read or listen to relaxing music.

The timing of your schedule may vary, but the key is avoiding electronics and television an hour before you go to sleep. Both the blue light and stimulation will knock you off your nightly track to relaxation.

If you find yourself having difficulty falling asleep, try keeping a sleep diary for two weeks to see if you notice any trends in your daily and nightly habits that may be causing the problem. Record not only what time you went to bed, how long it took you to fall asleep (approximately, so you don’t disrupt sleep by checking the clock!), and if you awake in the night, but also stressors, the foods you’ve been eating and how much exercise you are getting.

If you notice that despite getting enough sleep, you still wake drowsy, then consider digging deeper. Make sure your mattress is in good shape and not creating pressure points or support issues that keep you from deep sleep. It may also be helpful to consult with a doctor when issues become long-term or aren’t helped by improving sleep hygiene.

With these tips you will be on track to getting better sleep, and having more energetic mornings in no time.

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How to Reduce Back Pain During Sleep http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/how-to-reduce-back-pain-during-sleep/ http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/how-to-reduce-back-pain-during-sleep/#respond Mon, 25 Apr 2016 19:00:22 +0000 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/?p=1409 Are you one of the 80% of people who experiences back pain from time to time? Back pain has reached nearly epidemic proportions, with nearly […]

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How to Reduce Back Pain During Sleep

Are you one of the 80% of people who experiences back pain from time to time? Back pain has reached nearly epidemic proportions, with nearly one-third of the population suffering from pain in their necks and backs almost daily.

Uncovering contributing factors and remediating them may help eliminate or reduce these aches and pains, which can have a significant impact on well-being. One key area to examine is the bed, since it’s where we spend around one-third of each day.

The quality and construction of your mattress and individual things like sleep position and health can all have an impact on comfort. Read on to learn a few steps you can take to avoid and reduce back pain during sleep and throughout the day.

Best Mattresses for Back Pain

First, if you notice that your pain is the worst at night or after waking, your bed might be the first place to check. Here are a couple of options that tend to do well with reviewers (more on beds and pain relief below).

BrandOwner SatisfactionPrice Range (Queen)NotesWarranty
Amerisleep93%$899 - $22998”-14” profile
2”-3” memory foam
Plant-based
20 year
Sealy Optimum77%$1074 - $227410”-13” profile
3”-6” gel memory foam
Gel and traditional
10 year
Astrabeds91%$1399 - $32986" – 10" profile
100% organic latex
20 year
Simmons Comforpedic77%$1100 - $2300 (est)9.5”-13” profile
3-5” memory foam
Gel and traditional
Medium density
10 year
Tempurpedic81%$1699 - $74998”-15” profile
3”-7” memory foam
Traditional
Medium to high density
10 year

The Mattress and Pain Connection

The average person changes their sleeping position between 40 and 60 times during a typical night. One study conducted by RTI International graphed movement during the night and compared it to how people rated their rest the following day. This study showed that the less movement that occurred during the night, the more rested they were the following day.

You may be asking yourself how this correlates to back pain. Well, if your mattress is not providing adequate support and comfort, you are likely going to be more restless during the night, switching positions in an attempt to alleviate discomfort.

A different survey conducted by the British Chiropractic Association also found striking connections. Around 30% of respondents reported neck and back pain after sleep, and 83% said the feel stiff and sore in the morning. Study authors suggest that high percentage of people that had mattresses older than 10 years may be contributing factor.

Oklahoma State University researchers also found that people slept better and felt less pain on a new mattresses compared to their older ones, which averaged 9.5 years old. The exact mattress wasn’t extremely important in their research, simply having a new bed was enough for better comfort (at least initially).

Choosing the best bed to keep your back happy is mainly a function of firmness, preference and age.

When a Bed is Too Soft

A mattress that is very soft may feel wonderful when you initially lie down, but during the night, your body will relax and you will sink into the bed, and if it lacks support, this can contribute to lower back pain as the spine shifts out of it’s natural alignment, or result in numbness or tingling in the limbs due to nerve compression.

Do you know what your sleep position means? Sleep Junkie has the answers

When a Bed is Too Firm

A firm mattress is a common recommendation for people looking to avoid soreness and stiffness. However, an overly firm mattress has a similar effect in some ways as one that is too soft, forcing the body to conform to the hard surface, throwing out your spine’s natural alignment. A bed that feels too hard can also cause discomfort around pressure points.

When a Bed is Too Old

Similarly, a mattress that is very old may lack the resiliency to contour adequately and provide support. Over time, springs lose their ability to bounce back. Foams and fiber tend to compress and soften, and worn down cushioning layers can contribute to pain and pressure points.

Research by Sleep Like The Dead found that deep impressions in mattress surfaces were associated with higher pain meaning that when your bed starts to show signs of wear, it may be time to look around.

The average lifespan for a bed is 7 to 8 years, but some may need to be replaced sooner, particularly beds that use lower quality materials or see heavier wear.

Useful Sleep Tips for Back Pain Sufferers

If you suffer from regular back problems, there are a few things you can do to relieve or at least minimize the severity.

1. Try a new pillow. The pillow you use can have an effect on your spinal and neck alignment. If you are back or stomach sleeper, flatter pillows are generally better, whereas side sleepers need loftier pillows. Your head should sit at a natural angle to your neck throughout the night (parallel to the ground if you sleep on your side, or at a neutral standing angle for back sleepers). Opting for a different thickness or material could have big benefits.

2. Try a topper. If your pain is due to a mattress being too stiff or a firm, a feather or memory foam topper could be a good way to reduce pressure points if the underlying bed is still in good shape. They can also help with lumbar support, thus reducing lower back tension.

3. Rotate your bed. Every mattress should be rotated (from head to toe, only flip if you have a two-sided mattress) a couple times a year to ensure even wear and prevent impressions.

4. Support your mattress. One potential contributor to aches and pains, especially for mattresses that aren’t overly old, is insufficient or incorrect support. Box springs that are worn out can cause premature sagging, as can slats that are spaced too far apart in platform-style beds. Foam and spring mattresses can feel overly stiff on very hard foundations as well.

5. Modify your sleep position. The Mayo Clinic suggests for reducing back strain:

  • Back sleepers should place a small pillow beneath their knees.
  • Stomach sleepers should place a thin pillow below the hips.
  • Side sleepers should place a small pillow between knees.

An adjustable bed can also be helpful, since it allows you to elevate legs and upper body at custom levels. trying different angles and positions (whether with pillows, wedges or an adjustable bed) can help you find your ideal way of sleeping.

6. Stretch before and after bed. Light stretching or yoga both before bed and in the morning can be very helpful for reducing stiffness and sore back muscles.

7. Replace your mattress. If your bed is more than 8 years old or if you notice significant signs of wear it might be time to go. These include body impressions, sagging, hammocking, and changes in firmness that affect comfort. Very minimal sagging is associated with decreased sleep quality and discomfort.

8. Keep support in mind during the day. As you work during the day, take regular breaks to stretch and walk around. Monitor yourself to make sure you’re sitting with good posture, and try not to stand in non-ergonomic positions too long. A lot of back discomfort is occupation related, so checking with a doctor or chiropractor on ways to prevent strain and knowing your limits can also help.

Our Top Pick to Help Reduce Back Pain:
Amerisleep’s Revere Bed

the Amerisleep Revere is the best bed for back pain

What Amerisleep Does Right

As an affordable memory foam mattress, the Amerisleep Revere delivers the right balance of pressure relief and substantial support with quality materials designed to provide lasting comfort. The Revere will always keep your spine in perfect alignment, especially when sleeping on your back or stomach.

Amerisleep goes above and beyond with its Celliant-infused mattress covers which have been clinically proven to help people fall asleep faster and relieve aches and pains throughout the night.

What Else to Consider

If you’ve determined your mattress is the culprit of your back pain, then it’s time to pick a new one. When you do start shopping, here a few important things to consider, beyond personal comfort preferences:

Firmness matters.

The level of firmness preferred by most people, including those looking to relieve aches, is medium-firm, particularly for back pain reduction. Medium firm is a good bet, though smaller back sleepers may prefer firmer beds, and side sleepers may need a little more padding. Get a good idea of you and your partner’s preferences to determine what would work best.

Try different types.

No one mattress type or brand is going to be right for every person. Familiarize yourself with pros and cons of different beds, and read reviews to see what others with similar preferences say. You may find that specialty mattress is better suited to your needs, or you may find your body likes springs best. Comfort is a very unique thing, and it’s worth checking a wide selection of mattresses.

Many people with pain like memory foam for its ability to reduce pressure points and contour to the sleeper (usually around 80% in general, compared to 65% for springs). Memory foam also earns slightly better scores on durability compared to average spring beds. Memory foam isn’t as expensive as many people think either — some of the top rated memory foam brands like Amerisleep and Tempurpedic are priced similar or even below similar-quality spring beds.

Unfamiliar with different types of beds? Learn the benefits of memory foam, innerspring and more

Get a strong warranty.

If your mattress wears out early, it can lead to pain. Check the warranty before purchasing, and choose a company that provides transparency, including the length of the full replacement and proration terms. If the manufacturer requires impressions deeper than one-inch to make a claim, for example, you could be more likely to have sagging and thus pain.

Get a return policy.

This provides you with the opportunity to determine whether you have chosen the best type and firmness level to help alleviate back pain. Choose a mattress from a company that provides at least 30 days of in home trial. Some companies provide the opportunity to exchange firmness levels or return the mattress during this time period. It is important to read the policy thoroughly.

Healthy, comfortable sleep is one of the keys to beating the pain epidemic. Pain levels and stress soar when we don’t feel well rested, and are further irritated by a lack of support. Finding the right mattress for back pain and optimizing your sleep style are two ways you can take control and feel better throughout the day.
What helps you sleep better, or what tricks do you use to avoid nighttime back pain? Share below.

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10 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Mattresses http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/10-interesting-facts-may-know-mattresses/ http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/10-interesting-facts-may-know-mattresses/#respond Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:45:39 +0000 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/?p=1282 Change the way you look at your mattress with these ten odd and fun factoids. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give your […]

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10 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Mattresses

Change the way you look at your mattress with these ten odd and fun factoids.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give your mattress much thought unless there’s a problem with it. But, that hunk of foam and springs in your bedroom may actually be harboring some interesting secrets.

Top Ten Most Interesting Mattress Facts You Never Knew

From amazing to creepy, read on to discover ten interesting mattress facts that will have you looking at your bed and sleep in a whole new light (UV perhaps…).

1. The Most Popular Type Is Least-Liked

Innerspring mattresses are sold the most, accounting for an estimated 80% of mattress sales. But, they also have the lowest overall satisfaction ratings according to SleepLikeTheDead.com.

They find that only 63% of innerspring mattress owners report being satisfied, compared to around 80% of memory foam and latex owners and 79% of waterbed owners.

Satisfaction rate trends have remained fairly stable for awhile, although specialty mattresses like memory foam and latex are seeing continual growth into the spring market share.

2. Creepy Critters Are Sharing Your Bed

Perhaps the grossest mattress fact is that a used mattress can conceal thousands of microscopic dust mites and their excrement within fabrics and empty spaces. Although the exact amount of dust mite proliferation is debated, they are almost certainly sharing your home with you.

Dust mites exist just about anywhere there are fabrics and carpet plus animals or people, especially in more humid environments. They feed on shed skin cells, and while they don’t bite or pose disease risks, they can exacerbate allergies and asthma.

Pillows are another favorite hangout for dust mites (and skin oils and saliva) so it is suggested to replace your pillow at least every year and a half, or every six months if you are prone to allergies.

The best way to minimize dust mites is to use allergen-resistant mattress and pillow covers and wash all bedding in hot water once a week.

3. It’s Illegal to Buy a Mattress on Sunday in Washington

Although weekends are prime time for mattress shopping, one state says no go. An old, quirky law in Washington state says that it is illegal to purchase or sell a mattress on Sundays. Also banned for Sunday shoppers are televisions and meat!

The origin of the law is unknown although it was cited by many sites. However, it doesn’t appear to be strictly enforced so you shouldn’t have an issue.

4. Your Mattress Can Be Recycled

Mattresses are big and bulky and many people are unsure what to do with them when they get a new one. You could send it to a landfill where it will take up space for centuries alongside millions of other old beds, or you could recycle it.

Recycling remains growing industry and many states and organizations are pushing the development of mattress recycling to reduce waste. California, Rhode Island and Conneticut have all passed laws that will now require mattress recycling.

The springs and metal can be repurposed, wood and fibers can become a fuel source, and foams and fabrics can be recycled for use in padding and other applications.

Check Earth911.org to see if there is a local recycling facility near you. Some facilities have community drop off points or will come pick up your bed for a small fee. You could also resell or donate a mattress that is still in decent shape.

5. Your Mattress is Go-To Spot for Thieves

We’ve all heard the adage of hiding money under the mattress, and so have burglars and thieves. One of the number one places that home robbers look for hidden money and prized possessions is under your mattress.

Not to mention, sleeping on piles of cash probably is bad for your back. Store valuables in less conspicuous places like a bank, or taped beneath shelves or behind heavy furnishings, buried outside or in potted plants, inside unvaluable storage boxes, inside clothes or coats, in an attic, etc.

6. Mattresses Used to Rest on Ropes

Before boxsprings and platform foundations came into vogue, mattresses used to be supported by cross-woven ropes stretched across wood frames.

In fact, the phrase “sleep tight” originated from this time period, when people would regularly have to tighten their bed’s ropes or risk saggy sleep. As for “don’t let the bedbugs bite”, well that one is unfortunately still applicable to today!

7. All Mattresses Must Be Flame-Proof

In 2007, it became federal law that all mattresses must meet flammability guidelines in order to be sold in the United States. Basically, beds must be able to withstand an open flame for 30 seconds (don’t try this at home though!).

The law was enacted to reduce mattress fires due to unattended cigarettes, candles and other dangers. The Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that mattresses meeting these requirements can save up to 270 lives and 1330 injuries per year.

How manufacturers achieve flameproofing is not regulated, and there is some consumer concern about about less safe chemicals that could be in use. Some of the worst like PBDE’s and decaDBE have phased out or banned, but . More manufacturers are also turning to fabric barriers and other greener or safer measures also.

8. Mattress Dominoes is a Legitimate World Record Category

There is a thing called mattress dominoes, and it’s an actual record maintained by Guinness. Basically it involves lining mattresses and people up as you would dominoes, tipping one over and letting the fun begin.

The current record is 1001 mattresses and people, set by volunteers in Shanghai in 2012. Previously, the American record was also set by La Quinta volunteers in New Orleans which toppled 850 human mattress dominoes.

9. You Sweat & Shed All Over Your Bed at Night

Oh, yeah. In addition to all of the dust mites colonizing your mattress, it’s also packed with your shed skin cells and sweat and other fluids.

You shed millions of skin cells per day, and since you spend about ⅓ of each day on your mattress, a significant portion of them will wind up there. You also sweat while sleeping, with some sources estimating anywhere from a several milliliters to one liter nightly.

Do your mattress and your peace of mind of favor by using a protective mattress cover. These will protect your bed from absorbing shed skin, sweat and spills and can be washed regularly to keep your bed in pristine, healthy condition.

10. A Messy Bed May Be Healthier

You’re mom always told you that you better make your bed, and a tidy mattress does indeed make a room look better – however one Kingston University study found that an unmade bed might be a little healthier.

The idea is that when you make your bed and cover the mattress with the comforter, sweat and moisture is trapped within creating the ideal environment for dust mites. Leaving sheets exposed to the air and sunlight dries out the environment which can help kill of mites.

Have any other cool, creepy or weird mattress facts to share? Leave us a comment below!

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8 Easy Ways to Make Your Mattress Last Longer http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/8-easy-ways-make-mattress-last-longer/ http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/8-easy-ways-make-mattress-last-longer/#respond Thu, 10 Jul 2014 22:34:16 +0000 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/?p=1272 See how to protect your investment and get the most out of your mattress. The average person spends anywhere from $500 to $3000 or more […]

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8 Easy Ways to Make Your Mattress Last Longer

See how to protect your investment and get the most out of your mattress.

The average person spends anywhere from $500 to $3000 or more on a new mattress. Since it is one of the larger purchases for most households, many people expect beds to last for several years. But, not taking good care of a mattress can dramatically reduce it’s life span, and leave you in need of a new bed sooner than you anticipated.

A mattress typically lasts somewhere between five to ten years, according to the Better Sleep Council, National Sleep Foundation, and Consumer Reports. But how long your mattress will last depends on several factors, including quality of materials, sleeper size and usage. Care and maintenance can also play a big role in the lifespan of bed.

How to Extend the Life of Your Mattress

We’ve collected the top undercover ways to keep your bed in top shape. By following these sweet and simple steps, you can help protect your investment and make your mattress last longer.

Rule 1: Use a Mattress Protector

Perhaps the single most important thing anyone can do to make a mattress last longer is to use a water resistant or waterproof mattress protector. Even if you’re a healthy adult who hasn’t wet the bed in decades, spills and other unforeseen accidents can ruin an otherwise good bed.

Liquids and bodily fluids can degrade foams, leave nasty odors, and produce mold and mildew within mattress layers. Cleanup can be very difficult once a spill soaks below the surface, whereas a mattress protector makes clean up swift and easy.

You also sweat a significant amount each night, which is absorbed into your bed along with shed skin cells, dust mites, and dust mite detritus. Keeping this out of your mattress reduces allergen buildup and keeps your sleep environment healthier.

Rule 2: Clean Your Bedding Regularly

People’s preferences for frequency of washing sheets and bedding can vary widely, but most experts suggest washing sheets at least every two weeks or so. Bedding soaks in sweat, skin cells and lots of other things you’d probably rather not sleep with, so remind yourself to keep sheets clean. If you have dust allergies or skin irritations, consider washing sheets even more frequently.

Rule 3: Clean Your Mattress Regularly

Did you know you should clean your actual mattress, too? Every month or so, it’s a good idea to strip your bed and vacuum the surface and seams to reduce dust and debris (even if you use a protector). Some cleaning experts recommend sprinkling baking soda on the mattress surface before vacuuming to absorb excess moisture and odors.

If your mattress cover is removable and washable, wash it as well. This is also a good time to inspect your mattress for any issues.

Rule 4: Regularly Rotate Your Bed

Rotate your bed regularly, especially the first couple of years. Every 2-3 months should be often enough to promote even wear and reduce impressions. Rotate your mattress even if the manufacturer says it’s not necessary, as it will help extend your bed’s lifespan.

Rule 5: Don’t Eat In Bed

It’s tempting to grab breakfast in bed or snack while watching movies, but it’s really a good idea to keep food off the bed. Crumbs can find their way into sheets and mattress layers, attracting nasties, while liquids can spill and cause problems as well.

Rule 6: Get Pets Their Own Beds

It may be comforting to have Fido to snuggle, but pets bring a whole new set of problems with them to bed. For one, they sweat, slobber, and shed hair and dander, all of which you’ll be sleeping with. Pets are also prone to accidents, which can ruin a good mattress.

Animals that go outdoors can track bugs and mites indoors as well, so it’s better for everyone if they have their own designated beds to snuggle up in.

Rule 7: Be Aware of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can immediately turn a decent bed into a hazard zone. Be vigilant when you go to hotels or sleep away from home, as bed bugs are prolific hitchhikers and they can easily become your problem.

If you live in a bed bug prone area, consider using a bed bug-proof mattress encasement. These zippered covers fully encase the bed and prevent bugs from getting inside.

Rule 8: Ensure Your Mattress is Supported

Your mattress is designed to support you, but it also needs to be supported to provide long lasting comfort. Inspect your bed frame and foundation/boxsprings every couple of years to make sure they are in good shape and providing a solid foundation for your mattress.

Boxsprings that are saggy and worn out, wood slats that are weak or too far apart, or a broken frame can all contribute to quicker wear and reduce your comfort.

Pay Attention to Warranties

Finally, always read the terms of your warranty when you buy a new mattress. The manufacturer should spell out what they cover, how to file claims, and many also provide helpful tips for mattress care.

Several brands require beds to be stain-free, well-supported, and have tags attached. Not following these conditions can void your warranty, which may mean the manufacturer won’t provide support if a problem pops up.

Making Your Mattress Last a Long Time

By keeping your bed protected from allergens and accidents, regularly cleaning, and reading the fine print, you can help extend the life of a mattress as long as possible.

Starting with a good-quality mattress is also important to getting several years of good sleep, as lower-quality materials will break down sooner regardless of care. Check out our guides on mattress shopping, memory foam beds, and latex mattresses to learn how to shop and compare specifications.

While no mattress will last forever, taking good care of your bed could add a couple of years to a quality mattress, adding value and making it well worth your time.

Share: Let us know your tips for making a mattress last longer and getting the most out of your bed!

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12 Interesting Things You Probably Don’t Know About Sleep http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/12-interesting-things-probably-dont-know-sleep/ http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/12-interesting-things-probably-dont-know-sleep/#respond Tue, 17 Jun 2014 21:46:32 +0000 http://www.mattress-inquirer.com/?p=1264 How much do you know about the science of sleep? Most of us spend one-third of the day doing it, yet many of us don’t […]

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12 Interesting Things You Probably Don't Know About Sleep

How much do you know about the science of sleep?

Most of us spend one-third of the day doing it, yet many of us don’t really know that much about it. Science is just beginning to understand sleep and dreams, and several of the things discovered over the past decade are incredibly interesting.

12 Facts You Should Know About Sleep

Researchers studying rest, dreams and the effects of sleep loss or deprivation have uncovered breakthroughs highlighting the incredible importance of rest. From diseases to weight to brain health and safety, see how sleep affects your mind and body.

You Have to Sleep to Live

While studies have not been done on humans for obvious reasons, animal studies have shown that extended periods of sleep deprivation results in death. Fatal factors attributed to a lack of rest include immunosuppression, low body temperature, extreme stress, organ failure and brain damage.

There is also a very rare genetic disorder called Fatal Familial Insomnia that gradually prevents sufferers from sleeping, and usually results in death within 18 months. Science knows that the brain and body heal and renew during sleep, but the exact reasons why most lifeforms must sleep is not yet understood.

You Can Affect Your Dreams

From sleep position, to diet, to what you think about or watch before bed, your behaviors can actually influence  your dreams according to several studies. For example, stomach sleepers are more likely to experience erotic dreams, left side sleepers may have more nightmares, and right side sleepers tend to have more pleasant dreams.

Thinking positive thoughts before bed, dealing with stress during the day and making your environment pleasant can help you have better dreams. Though research has demonstrated we can influence dreams, science doesn’t yet understand why or how we dream. Hypotheses include memory consolidation, sorting through the day’s stimuli, or that they are just random and pointless.

Drowsy Driving is Worse Than Drunk Driving

You’ve surely heard of the dangers of driving intoxicated, but did you know that driving tired may actually make you more impaired? Studies have confirmed that as little as 17 hours of wakefulness can affect your reaction times, concentration, and decision making abilities, and that being awake over 24 hours is equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10%, above the legal limit in most places. Even a split second microsleep can put you and others in danger, and it’s estimated that drowsy driving is a factor in 100,000 accidents and 1550 fatalities annually.

Sleep Occurs in Cycles

When you’re catching Zzz’s, your body actually cycles through different phases in which your brain and body have different levels of activity and awareness. In Stage 1, your body winds down and you are sleeping very lightly. In Stage 2, your body temperature drops and heart rate slows as you enter a deeper, but still light, sleep.

During Stage 3, you enter deep sleep with slow brain waves and issues like sleepwalking and night terrors are most likely in this phase. The final stage is REM sleep, the deepest phase where your brain is most active and when you are most likely to experience dreams. A typical cycle would go 1-2-3-2-REM, which repeats from stage 2 several times per night. If stages 3 or 4 are interrupted, you may feel groggy upon waking and less well-rested in the morning.

Artificial Light Changed How We Sleep

The invention of the electric light bulb and the Industrial Revolution shortened the length of time people rest as well as how we snooze. Before electric lighting became widespread, it’s hypothesized that people typically rested about 12 hours at night in two phases, punctuated by a 2-3 hour wakeful period in between. Some researchers believe that this format is the ideal sleep situation for humans still.

Frequent Exercise Improves Sleep

Regular exercise can improve your rest over time, and it may be as beneficial as pharmaceutical sleep aids without the side effects. One study of older adults found that sleep increased by an average of 45 minutes per night after 4 months of participants exercising 30 minutes, 5 times per week.

Many Couples Sleep Apart

According to a National Sleep Foundation survey, about 25% of couples actually spend the night in separate beds or separate rooms. A Canadian study estimated it may even be as high as 30-40%. People’s reasons include disturbances like snoring or movements, having different comfort preferences or schedules, or simply preferring privacy.

For some couples, it’s the only way to get a peaceful night’s rest. One study found that a lack of rest makes couples more hostile and argumentative towards each other. So, when sleep is at stake, snoozing apart could actually be better for the relationship so long as you still spend quality time together.

Children and Teens Need Lots Of Sleep

The standard of 8 hours per night is an average amount for adults. However, infants need up to 15 hours, toddlers need up to 14 hours, school-age children up to 11 hours, and teens up to 9.5 hours. This is because developing brains and growing bodies require extensive rest. In fact, studies have shown that children getting adequate amounts of rest perform better cognitively, have better language development, and have better temperaments.

Not Sleeping Can Lead to Weight Gain

Studies have found that sleeping less than 7 hours per night increases risks for diabetes and obesity. The less sleep a person gets, the greater their risk with the ideal amount being 7.7 hours per night. Another university study found that in young women, inconsistent sleep-wake schedules were associated with higher BMIs.

Falling Asleep Instantly is Bad

If you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, it may be a sign of an underlying problem according to the FDA. You may either be sleep-deprived, or if you get an adequate amount, this could be a symptom of sleep apnea (which affects the quality of sleep you get). The average healthy person takes 10-20 minutes to enter dreamland.

You Really Do Have an Internal Clock

Your circadian biological clock is the internal mechanism that regulates sleepiness and wakefulness. It functions best when you get 20 minutes or more of direct sunlight exposure during the day and when you maintain a regular bedtime and wake time. Your clock can get thrown off due to hormones (teens tend to sleep and wake later, for example) and by irregular schedules (shift work, jet lag or staying up late a few nights a week), which can make it hard to fall asleep or make you overly tired during the day.

Temperature Matters to Sleep

Studies have found that people get the best quality rest in cool temperatures. The sweet spot isn’t precise, but is estimated to be between 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit. Room temperatures above and below this range may impair deep sleep, and though your body should be cool, you want your feet and hands to stay slightly warmer.

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of health alongside nutrition and fitness. The more you know about rest, the better equipped you are to adopt healthy habits and get the most out of every night. Although we still have a lot to learn, we know that optimizing your environment, sticking to regular schedule, and allowing yourself enough time for rest are among the most important things you can do to sleep better.

If you know of any interesting or obscure sleep factoids, feel free to share below!

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