Research now shows that getting deep, restorative sleep on a comfortable, supportive mattress may be one of the most beneficial things people can do for their overall health, wealth and well being. It helps us wake up each day physically, intellectually and emotionally renewed. In this improved state we are more efficient, productive and better equipped to relate and interact with our family and others.
A Cumulative Effect
Every month, the average person spends 10 days sleeping on a mattress. We all understand that daily vitamins, exercise, and healthy meal choices all have a cumulative beneficial effect over time. The positive effects of sleep over time may have even more dramatic effects on our health and appearance.
It’s especially important for children to sleep on quality mattresses as they grow and develop.
So why are people wary of buying a new mattress?
It’s just human nature. We buy things we want for how we imagine they will make us feel. The items we want offer us an emotional payback and the hope for happiness. But, we tend to take products that we need and depend upon every day for granted. We buy those items for the function they perform using our intellect and logic to discern value.
Because mattresses seem similar, it’s not always easy to establish their value.
The real value of a mattress is how it can make us feel. A quality mattress offers a direct path to a deep down foundation of happiness and a sense of well being. If you haven’t tried a new mattress recently, you will be amazed with the plush comfort and the luxurious covers. Go see for yourself.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you shop.
- Don’t scrimp. Like anything else, you get what you pay for. The better the mattress the more likely you will get extra minutes of deep uninterrupted sleep per night. They are one of the most important investments you can make.
- Buy from a reputable store. Reputable stores know how to match you with the right product. Caring associates begin by asking you questions that will help them understand and meet your personal sleep needs and have the genuine motive of helping improve your quality of life.
- Test drive. Just as you would test drive a car, take plenty of time to really get the feel of the mattresses by using a comfortable pillow, lie in the position you normally wake up in and let your imagination kick in. Get a glimpse of what life could be if you could escape from life’s daily stress to a cloud in the bedroom every night.
- Consider your experience and expectation. As you try different models, find one most similar to your current model and then see if you like other comfort choices better. If you slept well on your current style for a number of years then consider staying with a similar feel. If you like the thicker, softer models, keep in mind that you sleep in, rather than on them, as you would with a more traditional, firmer model. Do expect the thicker, softer ones to show indentations because they are designed to conform to you.
- Allow at least 30 days to adjust to a new mattress. Even longer if you are changing comfort levels from your previous mattress. It takes our bodies a while to adjust to a new sleeping surface.
- Protect Your Investment.
- Mattress Protector: The new generation of “pads” are breathable and moisture proof and will keep your mattress dry, fresh, odor free and sanitary for years.
- Heavy Duty Frame: Inadequate frames can actually cause damage to your mattress set and possibly void the warranty
- Maximize your enjoyment by including these important accessories and services with your purchase.
- New Pillows: Pillows should be replaced every couple of years.
- Sheets and Comforters: New high thread-count sheets have the feel of silk and are more durable than ever. Also look for new breathable temperature-regulating fibers.
A top quality, comfortable and supportive mattress may be one of the best consumer products you can buy for your health and happiness.
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Visit a mattress showroom anywhere in North America and you will find that most every mattress is some shade of white, off white or beige? Remove the labels, the foot protectors and decorative pillows and it is hard to distinguish one bed from another.
Doesn’t that seem odd? Why wouldn’t each brand want to differentiate itself and come up with some distinctive color scheme? Why wouldn’t they hire a top designer to seasonally debut new models with the latest pallet of chic colors?
Well here’s the answer. You’re the reason. Don’t get mad, I mean you, collectively, being a consumer. It’s true, and I’ll explain.
Step Into The Time Machine
It wasn’t always this way. As recently as the early 90′s, there was a real variety of fabric colors including shades of green, blue, gold, pink and silver — pretty much every color except white. In addition, many fabrics came in a variety of patterns including floral, paisley and geometric designs. Believe it or not, one major manufacturer’s top of the line model had a black background with bright colored flowers. Ouch!
While there was a plethora of hues to choose from, one of the most common questions asked by shoppers was, “Does this mattress come in any other color?” Color is one of those personal preference issues that runs the gamut. There is no right or wrong to colors, but there are lots of opinions about them. It was not uncommon for a shopper to like everything about a mattress; brand, price, comfort, but choose not to buy it because of the color.
While it may seem illogical because the only time one would see the color would be when changing the sheets, it is the prerogative of the shopper to buy or not buy for whatever reason she chooses. If color is important to her, it’s important, end of story.
There is a reason that white and off white are called neutral colors; they rarely evoke strong emotions one way or another. And while retailers understood this, most shied away from light colored fabrics because they feared them getting dirty, both during shipping and especially once on the sales floor. With so many customers lying on them with dirty shoes, the floor models would have to be replaced constantly and that would be too costly and too much trouble.
So what happened?
In the mid 90′s, manufacturing and shipping became more streamlined and efficient. Packaging methods improved and packaging materials became more durable. Instead of stockpiling inventory, mattresses could be made quickly, loaded directly onto delivery trucks and shipped with less handling and consequently less likelihood of soiling.
This inspired a few manufacturers to offer a model or two in white or neutral toned fabrics, and guess what? They sold. In fact they sold so well that within a few years, most any hint of color had vanished from mattresses. To curtail getting the floor models dirty, manufacturers began using colorful foot protectors to not only help keep them clean, but also to differentiate their brands by adding some color to the presentation.
In recent years there have been a number of attempts for brands to distinguish their models with more colorful fabrics, but as before, they didn’t sell as well as the neutral colored models.
What’s the REAL Reason?
One day, I asked my wife, if she were going to buy a mattress, what color would it be? Without hesitation, she said, “Oh, white or off white.” She explained, “White is clean and fresh looking, and you can’t see the color through the sheets — if I’m going to redecorate the bedroom it’s not going to be with the mattress. White goes with any color.” There you go.
I think she probably speaks for most women. Women make the majority of mattress buying decisions. Guys wouldn’t care if a mattress had a neon paisley cover and the foundation had a black and orange plaid cover. We all know the husband refrain: “If she’s happy, I’m happy.”
White covers seem to make women happy. It’s as simple as that.
Sleep Well! You’ll thank me later.
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When shopping for a new mattress, here are two things to consider to help find one that fits your needs and that you will be satisfied with.
What has your experience been with your current mattress?
What are your expectations for a new mattress?
Before going to a store to begin the selection process, take a look at your current mattress and determine its type (inner spring, foam, air, water, or futon) its style (firm, plush, pillow top) and its comfort level (hard, medium or soft).
Then answer these questions:
What prompted you to want a new mattress?
Try to determine if it is the mattress that has changed, something about your health or sleeping habits or both?
How well did you sleep on it for the first few years?
If you slept well at first, consider staying with a similar type and style. The more dramatic the difference the longer the adjustment period.
How old is the mattress?
If under five years, consider buying a better quality mattress.
Now, take a few moments to consider what you expect from a new mattress. Having unrealistic expectations will most certainly lead to dissatisfaction.
Answer these questions:
How long do you expect a new mattress to last?
Warranties only cover defects. Even top quality mattresses may need to be replaced every five to seven years depending upon usage and body weight.
Would you be disappointed to see body impressions or indentations where you sleep on a new mattress?
The thicker and softer a mattress is, the deeper the body impressions may be because the upholstery layers are designed to conform to body weight.
If you have a back ache, do you expect a new mattress to fix it?
A comfortable supportive mattress may likely help an aching back by holding the spine in alignment and allowing the muscles to relax. But a new mattress won’t fix a “bad back.” Medical issues should be addressed by a doctor.
A Great Starting Point
Once you decide which mattress store to shop, try to find a mattress most similar to your current one’s type, style and comfort level for a reference point. If your experience on your current mattress was positive, consider not making too dramatic a change. It is a good idea to try other styles to see what your options are, but remember the old adage, “don’t fix what’s not broken.”
You Be the Judge
And finally, It’s important to seek a mattress based upon your own needs rather than someone else’s. My neighbor, after years of sleeping on a firm bed, decided to take a friend’s advice and buy a pillow top. It wasn’t long until she became unhappy with it.
Considering your experience and expectations will help you select a mattress that you will be happy with.
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Actually, yes they are!
Top quality mattresses, while expensive, may be one of the best values of any consumer product on the market. They have a direct impact on one’s quality of sleep every night and one’s quality of life over time. Each month, most people will spend ten full days on their mattress. That adds up to over twenty years in an average lifetime.
You Get What You Pay For
A mattress is like a pizza, well kinda. Adding more and better quality ingredients to a pizza increases not only the price, but also the taste and the level of enjoyment. Adding more and better quality “ingredients” to a mattress increases not only the price, but also the comfort and the quality of sleep. When shopping for a new mattress, don’t scrimp!
As the saying goes, “The sweet taste of low price wears off
long before the bitter taste of poor quality.”
When people shop for mattresses, they seek value and typically focus upon price and comfort to make buying decisions. But comfort can be misleading. Compared to worn out mattresses, most all models feel comfortable initially. Even inexpensive mattresses can be made superficially comfortable by using average or inferior quality upholstery layers. But those layers can break down relatively quickly. Quality mattresses use high tech fibers and resilient foams that provide long lasting, deep down, conforming comfort.
But comfort alone is not enough. There are two other properties of a mattress that are less perceptible but are, none-the-less, central to the overall quality: support and durability. While comfort is perceived as one lies down, support is perceived when one gets up in the morning. Support, like buoyancy, is the antidote to sagging. It’s what holds the body up, like having good posture when lying down. Durability is a measurement of how long a mattress provides comfort and support. It is directly related to the quality of materials.
Simply stated, top quality mattresses use more and better quality materials
to provide superior comfort, support and durability.
The Real Value
When evaluating mattresses, the real value is found in the benefits.
Most everyone understands the long term benefits of daily walks, nutritious meals, extra glasses of water and vitamins. Over time the cumulative effect of those positive choices manifest in positive results on one’s fitness and health. But the cumulative effect of a few extra minutes of REM sleep per night may have an even greater impact.
Studies by The National Sleep Foundation verify that deep restorative sleep can have dramatically positive effects upon most every aspect of one’s life. All else being equal, people that get more quality sleep over time will likely be happier, look younger, weigh less, be more productive and have better relationships. WOW!
While there are a number of things people can do to enhance their quality of sleep, there is no doubt that sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress is the most important.
Are top quality mattresses worth the money? Maybe the best answer comes from words NEVER spoken: “I wish I’d bought a cheaper, less comfortable mattress.”