When is it time to buy a new bed?

The Sleep Council recommends a change in mattress after about 7 to 8 years of constant use. With modern mattresses, it is possible to extend this time somewhat, but carefully assess the condition of your mattress regularly, looking for signs that it has reached its end-of-life point.

Listen to your body. If you find that your sleeping patterns have altered, such as that you are not sleeping well, or that you are waking up feeling tired, achy or irritable, it may be because your bed is no longer suitable. A bed that has become too soft or lost its support due to age can eventually be a cause of long-term damage to your spine.  Investment in a new bed or mattress (if the base is still in good condition), may save you some spinal pain in your old age.

Nocturnal tossing and turning – be that you or your spouse – may indicate that your bed needs attention. A worn and uncomfortable bed has been shown to interfere in healthy sleep patterns because you simply cannot get comfortable. It could cause frequent interruption of your sleep because your mattress may not be responding well when you or your spouse change position.

If you discover new lumps in your mattress, the source could be dislodged springs or the foam may be sagging in places due to long-term heavy utilisation. It also implies that you own a mattress dating back to the olden days before advanced sleep technology research and development radically changed the manufacturing of beds. It is probably time to invest in a memory foam product.

Worn mattresses take on the shape of a hammock over time, which is uncomfortable to sleep on. It makes it almost impossible to change position during the night because you find yourself lying in an ever-deepening hole. A proper mattress must allow you to effortlessly change position throughout the night without disrupting your sleep at all.

Do you feel that you need more space? Over time, our sleeping needs change. Shortly after marriage, it may have been romantic to cuddle up in a small bed, but maybe you now have kids, or your partner started working late and disturb you when turning in eventually.  Kids may be sleeping with you, taking up more space than the capacity of your bed allows. The answer is probably to procure a larger bed.

You find that your bed has become unstable. A wobbling mattress or a leg castor that keeps falling off may indicate that the frame is damaged. Excessive squeaking when you sit down or change position on the bed is another sign your bed base may be broken. If the damage is beyond repair, invest in a robust new base.

Everything in life wears down over time.  However, the change is gradual, and we do not notice the deterioration until a difference in our routine occurs. Maybe you visited a friend or family and found that you enjoyed a different bed tremendously?  It may indicate that you have been oblivious to the fact that your old mattress doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a modern bed. When you sleep on a different bed with all the features of advanced sleep technology, it will become clear that buying a new bed is overdue.

Some types of dirt or stains build up in the fabric of a bed over time and eventually cannot be cleaned. If those nasty stains stubbornly remain, regardless of the effort to clear them, it may indicate that bacteria are building up in your mattress. If stains are becoming an embarrassment, and a fitted sheet cannot hide it, head to the bed-shop for something new.

Sudden, inexplicable bouts of hay fever or sinusitis may indicate that your bed is making you sick.  There may be a buildup of dust mites in your mattress. If thorough cleaning does not fix this problem, consider exchanging your mattress for a new one.

Turning over a large king size mattress can be quite tricky, particularly in a limited space.  As we grow older, this task becomes even harder to do. Fortunately, many modern mattresses do not need to be turned anymore and if they do, it is just a rotation. These new mattresses includes a luxurious pillow-top, a layer of added foam fitted to the top of the mattress.  This layer does not lose its shape over time, and therefore never needs to be turned.

Many people struggle with their weight. It is a scientific fact that people who do not get a decent night’s sleep, which is typically 8 hours a night for the average person, are prone to gaining weight. If you are gaining weight for no discernible reason, such as a poor diet, analyse your sleep patterns, which may lead you to understand that your bed may be the the cause of the problem.

Maybe it is just time to spoil yourself. Many years of toiling finally bore fruit, and you got that promotion! Invest in a modern mattress. There indeed is nothing more rewarding than sinking into a luxurious new bed that hugs your body and doesn’t want to let you go. A modern, quality mattress will also improve your sleep quality, which in turn will assist you in performing better in your new job!

Why is a good bed so important?

A good mattress should relieve pressure on your joints and body in general. Modern beds are designed to support the human body in a neutral position; where the spine, buttocks, heels, shoulders, and head are in proper alignment.

A person should wake up after a good night’s sleep feeling well rested and energised. If you wake up with aching joints and feeling like you haven’t slept at all, it may indicate that your bed is not providing the support and comfort it should.

Regular, adequate sleep is critical for our health and mental state. Sleep deprivation has long-term repercussions, which includes moodiness, weight gain, back pain, sleep disorders and declining health. Investing in a good quality modern bed is crucial to enable quality sleep.

 

What is an innerspring mattress?

Innerspring mattresses have been around for many decades. It is still the most widely used product today. This design has a centre core of springs made from tempered steel that provides buoyancy and resilience.

Firmness and durability of this mattress type come from the kind of wire used to manufacture the coils, as well as the number of coils that used. The more coils an innerspring mattress has and the stronger the steel wire, the firmer the mattress will be.

There are several types of coil spring systems, including those with springs connected into a single unit and units with individually-wrapped pocketed coils. Individually wrapping the coils prevent them from popping through the outer mattress layer, which provides improved comfort and durability.  At this point, the mattress receives a cover of padding made from various foams, fibre and extra layers of steel springs, which enhances comfort.

What is a memory foam mattress?

 

The American space agency, NASA, invented memory foam, which is now being used extensively in mattress manufacturing. It is a higher-density foam created with layers that soften in the areas where body heat is present. The result is that the foam moulds to the shape of the person’s body within minutes. However, it recovers to its original shape within minutes after the sleeper rises and the heat dissipates.

The critical benefit of memory foam is that it selectively displaces pressure along the length of the sleeper’s body, which reduces stress on points like shoulders and hips. It results in a good night’s sleep because you aren’t tossing and turning to get comfortable, and you wake up pain-free and rested.

The downside of memory foam is it makes your bed quite hot, and you can wake up sweaty and messy. The invention of gel memory foam has overcame this.

What is the difference between latex and memory foam?

Both materials is designed to be more responsive to a body shape because of they both work of the science of heating and cooling where pressure points meet the foam. Most experts agree that memory foam outperforms latex, and this is because the ingredients used in its production is different to latex foam.

Memory foam has added chemicals that increase its density and viscosity, which means thickness and fluidity combined. The problem with memory foam is its smell; people find it off-putting when it’s new and some are concerned about chemical gasses released from the foam.

Natural latex – which you should go for if buying a new latex mattress – gives the same buoyant feel and works well to distribute weight well, and it doesn’t come with the heat and odour problems that plague memory foam.

Overall, natural latex and memory foam mattresses perform better than innerspring mattresses when it comes to relieving fiction on pressure points. Bear in mind; the sleep experts recommend innerspring mattresses for toddlers and young children who aren’t heavy enough to more easily out of “sinkholes” created by latex and memory foam.

 

What is an orthopaedic bed?

An orthopaedic bed refers to a marketing term that became popular when the new generation of beds hit the market. It’s not backed up by scientific fact but is something marketers used to position mattresses designed to support the joints, back and overall body apart from innerspring mattresses that were limited in support and comfort.

Marketers coined the term because new generation mattresses were the subject of a medical study by orthopaedic surgeons which focused on disorders and deformities of the spine and joints caused by mattresses and bed bases. The new generation mattresses were acknowledged as superior because they aided in target problem areas that caused back and joint pain.

The bed manufacturing industry worldwide is not strictly regulated, and most manufacturers of modern beds slap on an orthopaedic-approved label without too much concern of providing proof to support its claim.

That’s why it’s essential that you do your homework before you head to the shops to buy a new bed. There is much new lingo in the bed market now, and you don’t want the wool pulled over your eyes.

Why do I toss and turn at night?

Tossing and turning could be the result of a mattress that is too hard. If you chose a bed that is too firm, your body will try to compensate by frequently changing positions. A modern mattress offers firm support without putting pressure on pressure points like your shoulders and hips. It also helps with blood circulation, so you don’t wake up with numbness.

If you sleep on your side, you need more cushioning around pressure points like your shoulder and hip. If the mattress is too firm, these points don’t mould into the mattress which means your spine won’t be in alignment. You’ll feel discomfort in the night and will toss and turn to get comfortable.

What is the best bed for back problems?

The best mattress for people with back problems should not be too soft and yet not too hard. Choose something in the middle that offers excellent support to keep your spine in alignment and minimise stress on your cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

The spinal cord has three curves; the C-shaped cervical spine that supports your head, the reverse C-shaped thoracic spine that holds up the upper body, and the C-shaped curvature of the lumbar spine (lower back) that is the foundation of your spine.

It is essential to maintain the alignment of the curves of your spinal cord to avoid chronic back pain. Memory foam is an excellent option as it moulds to the shape of a body and provides excellent lumbar support. It is soft enough to hug your body but still firm enough to not sag or sink.

Should I buy a hard mattress if I have a bad back?

It is a myth that a hard mattress is an answer to a bad back.  The ideal firmness differs from person to person. Research has shown that the best mattress for lower back pain is a medium firm mattress. If you get back pain, you need a mattress that offers firm support with a comfortable feel.

Hard beds have been proven to aggravate bad backs. Sleep experts recommend a mattress that moulds comfortably around pressure points like shoulders and hips. Keeping your spine in alignment is important. A hard bed doesn’t absorb these pressure points comfortably and ultimately causes more of a problem because it disrupts spinal alignment.

Does a futon cause back problems?

A futon is the typical mattress used in Japan and is still used today because they’re convenient. They fold up and can be stored with ease if extra space is required. They’re popular as a combo couch/bed in the lounge or spare bedroom and perfect for teenagers and guests.

They have been part of the Japanese culture for centuries but bear in mind that Japanese people have different body types to people from other countries. It may or may not be bad for you depending on your body weight and the type of futon you’ve purchased.

Futons are usually firm because they’re designed to sit on a solid base on a floor. There are little flexibility and none of the benefits of memory foam and deep core compression. A modern bed is designed to support you and keep your spine in alignment. If you are getting back pain sleeping on a futon, it might be because the futon is too hard and is putting friction on pressure points like shoulders and hips.

If you can’t get comfortable on a firm futon, you’ll toss and turn during the night. You’ll wake up irritable and not rested. If you sleep on your back, the firmness of a futon won’t impact on your joints. However, if you prefer to sleep on your side (the recommended side), you are going to pick up problems.

Think about this before buying a futon, particularly if you plan to sleep on it on a regular basis. It would help if you bought a good quality futon that has enough cushioning to support your body comfortably. Cheap futons won’t give you the right support, they’ll get lumpy and will probably have to be replaced long before you would return a modern mattress.

Should I buy a bed with a pillow-top?

A modern bed with a pillow-top isn’t necessary for very light-weight people. They don’t weigh enough to compress the foam or even touch the underlying support coils. However, heavier people need the extra cushion between them and the coils.

What is an adjustable bed?

Adjustable beds are now quite famous. The bed is designed to support you in a sitting and sleeping position; it allows you to bend, elevate or lower parts of the bed so you can raise your head or feet, angle your back and bend your knees. It aids a sleeper to find a comfortable position for a restful sleep.

Most adjustable beds have dual control which makes it perfect for married couples who continuously argue when their sleep is disturbed. Your partner can sleep in an elevated position while you lie flat on your back. They’re also great if you like to read in bed. Saves you the frustration of plumping up your pillows to get comfy while reading.

Do sleeping positions make a difference?

A modern bed is designed based on advanced sleep technology and provides the right support and comfort regardless of the position in which you sleep. Advances in bed technology include memory foam and a coil system that hugs your body shape and responds well when you change position. Weight is distributed evenly across a modern bed, so you won’t find yourself sleeping in a hole after a few years.

Sleeping on your side is the position recommended by the sleep experts. A modern bed will adapt to the shape of your body, accommodating your shoulders and hips comfortably.

Does size matter?

Yes, it does, especially if you are sharing a bed. Large mattresses can accommodate the movement of your partner without disturbing you. Tall people should invest in a modern mattress with extra length, the more extensive, the better.

Large mattresses with natural latex and memory foam are much better at accommodating movement, so if you or your partner are restless sleepers – a more massive bed will be beneficial.

What are dust mites and how can I get rid of them?

Dust mites are tiny microscopic creatures that are relatives of the spider. They live in mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets, and curtains. They feed off the flakes of skin that people and pets shed and thrive in warm and humid environments.

Dust mites are not visible to the naked eye and may be living in your mattress without you knowing it — digestive enzymes found in dust mite “poo” trigger allergic reactions such as wheezing, a tight chest, nasal congestion, coughing and hay fever. People with allergies and asthma can be severely affected by a buildup of dust mites in a home.

Dust mites mustn’t be confused with bed bugs, which are tiny blood sucking insects feeding on human blood. Dust mites don’t bite humans; they merely feed off what we shed, like old skin. It is much easier to get rid of dust mites than it is to get rid of bed bugs. However, the trick is to avoid getting a build up of bed mites in the first place.

To get rid of dust mites, wash all bed linen and removable mattress covers in hot water with an anti-allergen detergent. It is something to be done on a weekly basis, as linen should be changed once a week.

Tips to prevent dust mite build-up in mattresses and linen:

If you live in a humid environment, use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to regulate the temperature of a room at night, keeping the humidity level at 50% or below. Open windows and let fresh air in; particularly in winter when people generally overheat their rooms and use duvets that build up your body temperature to a healthy sweat.

If you or your kids are highly allergic, encase your mattress and pillows in dust-proof or allergen impermeable covers

Replace wood and feathered bedding and pillows with synthetic materials

Wash teddy bears and other soft fabric toys in hot water on a regular basis

Replace wall-to-wall carpets in bedrooms with wooden or plywood flooring

Replace fabric curtains with plastic blinds, and consider buying faux leather bedroom furniture

wipe your mattress regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust; never use a dry cloth as that stirs up the dust mites

Use a specialised vacuum cleaner with a double-layer microfilter bag to trap allergens that pass through a vacuum cleaner’s exhaust

Wear a face mask while vacuuming so you don’t inhale allergens; you and your kids should stay out of a cleaned room for at least half an hour after vacuuming