January 9, 2016 | Comments (0)

Our First Video Review — Spindle Abscond Mattress

One of the things mattress shoppers appreciate most about GoodBed is getting trusted, unbiased information. Recently, many people have begun asking us to do video “reviews” of mattresses, as a complement to the information already presented on our site.  While we have mixed emotions about this, which will be the subject of another post, we thought we would try one to see if we do it in a way that people found useful and that remained true to our values of providing unbiased and personalized guidance for mattress shoppers.

To that end, we have just posted our first video review — of the Spindle Abscond latex mattress, which is a unique product made with all natural latex and sold directly to consumers by the manufacturer.  Our thanks to Spindle for providing us with the mattress used for this review.

As we got into it, we found ourselves talking not only about this particular bed, but also about important general tips and things to consider when deciding which mattress is best for your unique personal preferences. The resulting video is long, but we didn’t want to cut out all of the general advice, so we left it in and provided links for you to easily jump to the different sections of the video.  In the future we may try doing more of these, and perhaps even do a few short videos addressing certain questions, topics, or tips.

Please take a look at it, and let us know what you think. We hope you find it helpful!

Time   Chapter
0:00  Introduction
0:45  Materials & Construction
4:43  Comfort Levels
5:14  Back Support & Pressure Relief
8:00  Temperature
9:14  Responsiveness
10:02  Cushioning Depth
10:46  Motion Isolation
12:02  Repositioning
12:40  Edge Support
13:54  Natural Materials
15:44  Adjustable Comfort
17:38  Price & Affordability
18:16  Return Policy
18:48  Final Thoughts

September 3, 2015 | Comments (0)

On Your Mark, Get Sleep – Go!

Who hasn’t heard about the health benefits of exercise? You’ve heard it a million times: Walk, jog, get to the gym, do yoga — whatever it is, just do it.

But you’ve probably also faced obstacles to getting regular exercise, whether it’s being overworked, under-motivated, over-scheduled, or simply exhausted by the myriad demands on your time.


Sleep Power, Not Willpower

What if there was something besides willpower — or in addition to willpower — that could help you exercise? When it comes to exercise and a healthy lifestyle, perhaps it’s not so much about willpower as it is sleep power.

Sleep begets exercise, exercise begets sleep. Research clearly demonstrates that people who get regular, sufficient sleep are more likely to engage in physical activity, and physical activity leads to quality sleep. With both sufficient sleep and physical activity contributing to healthy weight management, the combination adds up to a win-win situation and a formula for a healthier, happier life.


The Foundation of Health

Researchers and health-care providers unanimously endorse sleep, diet, and exercise as the very foundations of good health. And the beauty of the sleep component is that it seamlessly complements diet and exercise — meaning that all efforts to comply with dietary and exercise guidelines are significantly easier with sufficient sleep.


Exercise to Sleep

A 2013 poll from the National Sleep Foundation found that people who exercised regularly were significantly more likely to report sleeping well than those who were not physically active. According to David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation, “Exercise is great for sleep. For the millions of people who want better sleep, exercise may help.” NSF poll task force chairman Dr. Max Hirshkowitz adds, “If you are inactive, adding a 10-minute walk every day could improve your likelihood of a good night’s sleep. Making this small change and gradually working your way up to more intense activities like running or swimming could help you sleep better.”


Get Up and Go

Research has demonstrated the complementary relationship between exercise and sleep:

  • One study published in 2014 demonstrated that a single, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise session improved sleep quality in older women.
  • In a study of chronic insomniacs, acute, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise appeared to reduce pre-sleep anxiety and improve sleep.
  • In one study of 43 adults published in 2012, exercise training improved several aspects of daytime functioning in adults with obstructive sleep apnea, including sleepiness, depressive symptoms, and mood.
  • The results of a 2011 study showed long-term, moderate aerobic exercise resulted in significant improvements in sleep, quality of life, and mood in individuals with chronic primary insomnia.
  • Research published in 2014 found that yoga Improved sleep and quality of life in a group of older adults with insomnia.
  • In a study of 118 men and women between the ages of 60 and 92, participation in a six-month, low-to-moderate-intensity tai chi exercise program improved self-rated sleep quality.


Flipping the Script: Sleep to Exercise

Not only does exercise have beneficial effects on sleep, but research indicates sleep has beneficial effects on exercise. A 2013 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine suggests improving sleep may actually encourage exercise participation. Sufficient sleep makes us more likely to exercise the next day, while poor sleep can lead us to exercise less.

In a study of 119 chronic-pain patients, study subjects participated in more physical activity following a better night of sleep. Improvement in nighttime sleep may serve to promote daytime physical activity in this population and others. In a related study, Stone et al. found maintaining recommended sleep throughout the week is associated with increased physical activity in children.

Since sufficient sleep has been known to improve mood, outlook, motivation, and energy, why not let sleep prime you for that much-needed exercise?


Timing Isn’t Everything

The link between the timing of exercise and sleep varies from person to person. While some people prefer early morning workouts, others prefer evening or nighttime workouts. According to one analysis of the 2013 National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America Poll results, evening exercise is not always associated with worse sleep. So don’t give up on the benefits of exercise if you prefer a 6:00 p.m. trip to the gym instead of a 6:00 a.m. trip. Experiment with different timings to see what works best for you.


Just Do It

So if your willpower is in need of a boost, see if some sleep power doesn’t do the trick.  On your mark, get sleep, and exercise — and watch your quality of life improve.

Talk with your healthcare provider about the best exercise program for you, and see a sleep specialist for sleep problems. A comprehensive listing of sleep specialists can be found at http://www.sleepeducation.com/find-a-center.



National Sleep Foundation Poll Finds Exercise Key to Good Sleep. http://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-poll-finds-exercise-key-good-sleep

Posted in: Consumer FeaturesHealthSleep Tags:   
April 3, 2015 | Comments (0)

How to Overcome Aches and Pains to Improve Your Sleep

We all know that for optimum health, well-being, safety, and quality of life, sufficient sleep is mandatory. However, for someone faced with painful or aching joints, a good night’s sleep is easier said than done. Because of this close relationship between pain and sleep, the prioritization and management of sleep may actually prove to be a very effective strategy in managing pain as well.

Below is an explanation of how pain and sleep are related, in addition to tips for how you can overcome your pain in order to improve your sleep — and vice versa.


Pain and Sleep

Unfortunately, pain issues are prevalent — and pain (both acute and chronic) can reduce sleep time and negatively impact sleep quality. In the 2015 Sleep in America Poll, 57% of Americans polled had experienced chronic or acute pain in the previous week. Overall, it is estimated that 50% and 90% of people with chronic joint pain don’t sleep well.


Lack of Sleep Contributes to Pain

For people with painful joints, it’s a vicious circle: aches and pains make sleep more difficult, and a lack of sleep worsens the pain. Aches and pains in the back, hips, knees, and shoulders can lead to fragmented, restless sleep — and a lack of sleep can lead to increased joint inflammation as well as a reduced pain threshold. Joint pain, especially in the hips, knees, and shoulders, is frequently worse while trying to sleep because joints swell at night.

Compounding that problem, sleep deprivation then leads to more health problems, including obesity, diabetes, mood disorders, osteoporosis, and low energy. For example, a Norwegian study found that compared to women who are well-rested, women with sleep problems may have a higher risk of developing fibromyalgia.


Sleep to the Rescue

On the flip side, once sufficient sleep can be obtained, this “vicious circle” can actually be reversed — becoming a “virtuous circle.”  Better sleep reduces pain, making it easier to achieve good sleep, thereby further reducing pain.   As this positive and self-reinforcing dynamic is established, the contribution that better sleep makes to your health, positive well-being, and quality of life cannot be overstated:

  • Sufficient sleep enables the body to repair itself. As you sleep, the body releases growth hormones that are essential for muscle and joint repair.
  • Getting a good night’s sleep also helps restore energy levels so you can better manage pain.
  • Sufficient sleep also boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation.
  • Motor skills, coordination, and safety are all positively impacted.
  • Stress levels are reduced, and mood and outlook are improved.
  • Motivation, productivity, judgment, reasoning, decision-making, and job satisfaction are all improved.
  • Relationships benefit from sufficient sleep.


How to Improve Your Sleep in the Face of Pain

So, how do you break out of the vicious circle of pain and sleep?  Most people tend to focus on pain management first, but breaking out of this cycle can also start with better sleep.

Choosing a Sleep Position

Side sleeping is often the most recommended sleeping position. A pillow between the knees in a side-sleeping position helps keep the spine and pelvis in good alignment and can also be more comfortable for the knees. The majority of people are side sleepers, but consistently sleeping on one side or placing your arm underneath your head while sleeping may cause or aggravate existing joint pain. For someone with shoulder pain, immobilizing the arm in a bandage or sling while sleeping can help minimize that pain and sleep disruption.

Stiff and painful joints can also make getting in and out of bed a challenge. Adjustable bases can go a long way in making this easier; avoid beds that are high off the ground. Mattresses with extra edge support can also be helpful.


Falling and Staying Asleep

A soothing bedtime routine is essential for transitioning from wake to sleep. There are numerous things to incorporate into your routine that will help with relaxation and falling sleep, especially if you suffer from pain. A warm bath before bed can help soothe aching joints as well as cause you to fall asleep quickly. Gentle stretching, deep breathing, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, massage, lavender or vanilla bean fragrance, a cup of tea, and soft music can also help induce sleep. Try to maintain consistent bed and wake times, and keep the lights low in the evening. Think dark, cool, and quiet for the sleeping environment. Avoid electronics at bedtime, and use earplugs, white-noise machines, and eye masks if needed.


Heeding the Need to Sleep

Both the quantity and quality of sleep are important for managing joint pain and maintaining optimal physical and psychological health. So when it comes to dealing with painful joints, obtaining sufficient sleep is key.

Prioritize sleep in your daily life. Forego the late night TV talk shows and Internet surfing — the decreased pain levels will be worth it. Most adults need eight hours of sleep per day; very few of us can get by on less. Naps are helpful if you are having problems meeting your sleep requirement. Tracking your sleep can provide valuable insight about your sleep patterns and problems. Numerous sleep diary and sleep tracking apps are available.

Invest in the right mattress for you. People confronted with painful joints are easily distracted by a less-than-comfortable sleep surface. Sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress can result in considerable sleep loss.

There is no one “best” mattress; the right mattress depends on the individual; height, weight, medical conditions, sleep positions, temperature preference, and comfort preference should be considered. Forget the “firmer is better” mindset, and opt for comfort. As you age, you tend to need a softer sleep surface. A mattress with more cushion or extra plushness (softness) at the surface can help increase comfort and reduce pain. However, the mattress must be firm enough to allow you to change positions easily.

Don’t forget pillows, toppers, and comfortable sheets. Try using extra pillows or a whole-body pillow for additional support to help maintain a comfortable position throughout the night. Self-adjusting mattresses can be helpful, as pain levels can fluctuate throughout the night.

Follow the exercise routine prescribed by your physician: Exercise can relieve stress, reduce pain, and improve sleep. Talk to your doctor about how exercise can fit into your treatment plan. Recent American College of Rheumatology (ACR) guidelines suggest that exercise should be one of the mainstays of treatment for osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. The Arthritis Foundation conducts exercise programs for people with arthritis in many parts of the United States.

Talk to your physician about sleep. Treatment modifications, such as medication dosing schedule changes, may be made by your physician to improve sleep. Keep in mind that an underlying sleep disorder may be present that is interfering with your sleep. Consult a sleep specialist for ongoing sleep problems.


Remember: It is important to prioritize sleep, have a comfortable sleep surface, practice good sleep habits, and see a sleep specialist for sleep issues. A good night’s sleep will go a long way toward easing painful joints and improving functioning while enhancing well-being and quality of life.


For More Information:

American College of Rheumatology. Exercise and Arthritis. https://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases_And_Conditions/Exercise_and_Arthritis/

Arthritis Foundation. Day and Night: 24 Hours with Rheumatoid Arthritis. http://www.arthritistoday.org/tools-and-resources/slideshows/ra-in-a-day-13.php

Better Sleep Council. Sleep Smarter with Sleep Apps & Health Tools. http://bettersleep.org/better-sleep/how-to-sleep-better/sleep-apps/

National Sleep Foundation. Fibromyalgia and Sleep. http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/fibromyalgia-and-sleep

National Sleep Foundation. Pain and Sleep. http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/pain-and-sleep



Irwin MR1, Olmstead R, Carrillo C, Sadeghi N, Fitzgerald JD, Ranganath VK, Nicassio PM. Sleep loss exacerbates fatigue, depression, and pain in rheumatoid arthritis. Sleep. 2012 Apr 1;35(4):537-43. doi: 10.5665/sleep.1742.

Minns Lowe CJ1, Moser J, Barker K. Living with a symptomatic rotator cuff tear ‘bad days, bad nights’: a qualitative study.

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2014 Jul 9;15:228. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-15-228.

Jacobson BH1, Boolani A, Dunklee G, Shepardson A, Acharya H. Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain. Appl Ergon. 2010 Dec;42(1):91-7. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2010.05.004. Epub 2010 Jun 26.

Mundt AK1, Helkimo M, Magnusson T. Sleeping position and reported quality of sleep. A comparison between subjects demanding treatment for temporomandibular disorders and controls. Swed Dent J. 2011;35(4):187-93.

Posted in: Consumer FeaturesHealthSleep Tags:   
November 8, 2013 | Comments (1)

Why don’t mattress shoppers place more value on product innovation?

This post is a follow-up to a recent survey of over 1,000 active mattress shoppers, in which we learned that nearly half of consumers don’t really value mattress innovation.  To understand why this may be, we are going to look at how consumers approach purchases in other familiar categories, starting with…underwear (bear with me for a moment…)!

For most guys, underwear  is about as routine a purchase as it gets.  Whether it’s boxers or briefs, as long as it’s working, we tend to stick with what we know.  Rarely, an innovation might come along that causes us to try something new (boxer briefs, anyone?).  Otherwise, most people just look for the same thing they’ve had before.  This is why companies like Hanes and Jockey are still making underwear that looks identical to how it looked 30 years ago.


What factors make you choose the ‘latest and greatest’ over the ‘tried and true’?

Ask yourself how many other products are like this…  In other words, for what types of products — after they’ve lived a full and useful life — would you want to replace them with an exact replica of what you had before?  How about your TV?  Your golf clubs?  Your couch?

It’s not likely you’d answer ‘yes’ to any of the examples above.  That’s because for the following types of products, people tend to want the ‘latest and greatest‘:

  • Products with actively used features.  No matter how much you liked your old TV, new TV’s at the same price point have obvious functionality benefits over your old one, like a bigger screen, clearer picture, etc.  This goes for everything from computers to mountain bikes.
  • Products with actively discernible performance.  Today’s golf clubs will do a lot more for your game than your old clubs (who wouldn’t want 20 yards more distance off the tee?).  This applies to products from musical instruments to power tools.
  • Products with fashion aspects.  With your couch, your sense of style will most likely have changed by the time you’re ready to replace it.  This can be said for anything from clothing to carpeting.


With mattresses, do people want the ‘latest and greatest’ or the ‘tried and true’?

Right about now you might be wondering: what on earth does this have to do with mattresses?  Well, we were curious where mattresses fall in this paradigm.  So, we asked over 1,100 mattress shoppers this question: Would you buy a new mattress that’s an exact replica of your current one? (click the link to see the full results of the survey).  To those who answered no, we also asked a follow-up question: Why not?  This helped us identify the respondents that were dissatisfied in some way with their current mattress (either because it didn’t last long enough or it wasn’t right for them).  For purposes of this post, we are focusing on the people that were satisfied with their previous mattress.

What we found is that for people that were satisfied with their current mattress (which in most cases was purchased over 8 years ago), between 40% and 50% would want to buy an exact replica of it.  This means that nearly half of these mattress shoppers would happily forego the ‘latest and greatest’ mattress innovations in order to have something ‘tried and true.’  While this number is probably not as high as with underwear shoppers, it’s likely much larger than most product categories, including other home furnishing categories.


Why don’t more consumers value mattress innovation?

For the mattress industry, this begs an obvious question: why are there so many consumers that don’t value innovation when it comes to mattresses?  After all, mattress companies work hard on continuously improving their products — to the point where the mattress you had before probably isn’t even made anymore (unlike your favorite pair of Hanes…).

Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of question that’s easy to ask people in a survey.  However, we can get some pretty big clues by looking at why mattresses (at least historically speaking) aren’t like some of the other product categories mentioned above:

  • Mattresses don’t tend to have actively used features (unlike TV’s, computers, and mountain bikes).  There’s an obvious reason for this: it’s a product we use primarily when we’re sleeping.
  • Mattress performance tends to be difficult to assess (unlike golf clubs, musical instruments, and power tools).  Historically, it’s been very hard for most people to gauge and appreciate how a mattress is really ‘performing’ in terms of the quality of their sleep.
  • Mattresses don’t tend to make a style statement (unlike couches, clothing, and carpeting).  The plain fact here is that mattresses are covered up most of the time.  Depending on your social habits, more people may actually see your underwear than your mattress…


What can the mattress industry do to place a higher value on innovation?

These same examples provide a road map for what the mattress industry can do to encourage consumers to place a higher value on mattress innovation in the future:

  • Give mattress products more actively used features.  The rising popularity of adjustable bases, as well as beds that have adjustable comfort or temperature settings, offers new potential for the mattress industry.  These are actively used features that people can evaluate and compare (and crave) when shopping for a mattress.
  • Encourage consumers to measure the performance of their mattress.  Numerous consumer technology companies are working on new ways to measure sleep.  By encouraging consumers to use this technology to actively discern how their new mattress is improving their sleep, the mattress industry may be able to give consumers more tangible reasons to upgrade their sleep surface.
  • Give mattresses more fashion aspects.  This path probably offers the least hope for mattresses.  Unless the industry starts coming up with unique mattress shapes that makes them recognizable when covered (or somehow does away with the convention of sheets and mattress protectors altogether), mattresses are never going to be a fashion piece.


What do you think about why consumers do or don’t value mattress innovation?  Did we miss anything?  Please share your thoughts with us.


Posted in: Uncategorized
October 15, 2013 | Comments (0)

Do consumers really value mattress innovation?

In our Expert Q&A mattress forum, we get a lot of questions from people looking to buy an exact replacement of a bed they already have.  Clearly, these people are happy with what they have, and they figure they’ll save some time and reduce their risk by simply buying the same thing again.  It’s the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of mattress shopping.

Unfortunately, these people are typically out of luck.  Most mattress companies change model names every year or more, and overhaul product lines completely every 2-3 years.  So, assuming you’ve had your mattress for at least a few years, it will likely be impossible to find that exact mattress, even by another name.

This got us wondering though, what if mattress companies didn’t operate this way?  What if mattress models from 10 years ago were still available?  Would people want them?


The Question

If it were available, would you buy a new mattress that’s an exact replica of your current one?

We asked over 1,000 mattress shoppers this question.  Here’s what they said:



People That Would Want Their Current Mattress

Nearly 1 in 4 mattress shoppers (23%) would buy a replica of the mattress they already have.  While not a huge portion of the market, it seems big when you consider that virtually none of these people are able to do this today.  This points to an opportunity to create more continuity in mattress product lines over time, to better serve the replacement needs of this portion of the market.

It’s also worth adding that amongst this group, 53% of people have had their current mattress more than 8 years, and 74% have had it at least 4 years.  One of the biggest unknowns when buying a new mattress is how well it will hold up over time.  So it’s not surprising that most of the people interested in buying a replica of their current mattress have had that mattress for a while.  This has given them enough time to be sure that the mattress will live up to their expectations regarding durability.



People That Would NOT Want Their Current Mattress

Overall, 77% of people that said they would NOT want a replica of their current mattress.  It might be tempting to assume that this is because most people want the latest and greatest in mattress ‘technology.’  In reality though, the reason was much more surprising (at least to us) — most of them just weren’t very happy with their previous purchase:



Of the people that would NOT want a replica of their current mattress, 28% said it’s because their current mattress isn’t good for them, and 26% said it’s because their current mattress didn’t last.  Adding these two groups together, this means that 54% said that the reason they wouldn’t want to purchase their current mattress again is because they weren’t satisfied enough with it.  Another 14% say they want something different, some of whom might also regret the choice they made last time.

Meanwhile, only 32% of these respondents indicated a desire for something newer or better than their current mattress.  This group — just 24% of all respondents — is the only group that expressed a focused interest in benefiting from the latest innovations that the mattress industry has to offer.


Do These Results Point to a Bigger Consumer Satisfaction Issue?

While gauging consumer satisfaction was not the intent of this survey, it may have been an unintended outcome.  For people that would NOT purchase their current mattress, over half say it’s because they made a bad choice last time.  Looking at this group as a portion of all survey respondents, this would suggest an overall satisfaction level of below 60%.  It can also be noted that the dis-satisfaction stems almost equally between product longevity (ie, how long it lasted) and product fit (ie, how good a match it was for them).  Looking at this a different way, the opportunity for improving these numbers is split equally between both manufacturers (product longevity) and retailers (product fit).

In past consumer surveys about satisfaction, the reported satisfaction levels are typically much higher.  However, in those cases, the question usually gets phrased in a more general sense like “How satisfied are you with your mattress?,” with choices like “Extremely,” “Moderately,” etc.  By contrast, the survey we did this time takes a different (and perhaps more useful) approach to measuring satisfaction by asking “Are you satisfied enough with your current mattress to purchase it again?”  The results are certainly noteworthy, and merit further exploration.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that there may be some selection bias in these responses, so it shouldn’t be assumed that these results are an exact representation of all mattress shoppers today.  That said, this survey was conducted randomly from visitors to GoodBed, a large audience that represents 5-10% of active mattress shoppers at any given time.  So, it would be surprising if these results are not at least directionally accurate.



In an upcoming follow-up post, we will examine the question of why such a small overall number of mattress shoppers (24%) expressed a focus on buying something newer or better in their next mattress.

Separately, we will be doing some additional research on the issue of consumer satisfaction, to see if we can cross-calibrate these results against other questions that get at this same issue from a different direction.


Posted in: Uncategorized
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