All About Beds

Things you never thought to ask about

How important is a good bed to your quality of sleep?

A person spends more time in bed than on any other piece of furniture in the house. Since about a third of one's life is spent sleeping (an average of 220,000 hours in a lifetime), it is absolutely essential that the bed helps promote a good night's sleep. Can your old bed pass this test?

  1. Is your cover soiled, stained or torn?
  2. Does the surface look uneven?
  3. Do you hear creaking or crunches when you turn over?
  4. Are you fighting your partner for space?
  5. When you roll over does the bed wobble or sway?
  6. Does the box spring look uneven?
  7. Is your mattress or box spring more than 8-10 years old?
  8. Is it hard to get comfortable falling asleep?
  9. Do you wake up with aches and pains?
  10. Do the new beds you try feel much better?

If your bed didn't pass this test, here is a short course on bed-buying: (No cheating - this is going to affect the REST of your life)

  1. Don't buy a cheap mattress. It pays to buy the best you can afford.
  2. When purchasing a bed, don't just feel it with your hand- you must lie down in your favorite sleeping position for a few minutes.
  3. A mattress does not have to be as thard as a board to be good for you. We now know that a too-hard mattress may create uncomfortable pressure on shoulders and hips.
  4. Do your research. A king-size inner spring should have a minimum 450 coils, 375 coils in a queen, 300 in a full double. Foam mattresses should have a minimum density of 2 lbs per cubic feet.
  5. Look for quality on the outside: the surface will look and feel plush.
  6. Don't buy a bed that is too small. If you sleep with a partner you need a queen or king size bed to allow for the 40-60 tosses we all do each night. A standard double bed only allows each partner about the width of a baby crib!
  7. Don't put a new mattress on an old foundation. A mattress and foundation are engineered to work together as a sleep set. The foundation, or box spring, acts as a giant shock absorber, taking a lot of the nightly wear and tear.
  8. If you share the bed with a partner, include him or her in the decision making. When two people have different sleep styles, the bed can turn into a battleground, putting a strain on the relationship and robbing both partners of the sleep they need. Varying bed times, differing noise and light tolerances and wind-down activities can be a source of conflict at bed time. Sleep aids, such as eye-shades, earphones, and high intensity reading lights can be helpful. One way to reduce night-time disturbances is to sleep on a king-sized bed - this allows room for comfort. Or, two twin size mattresses can be fastened to a king-sized headboard.
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