Wednesday, 20 June 2012 8:27 AM
Not all mattresses are the same. Memory foam, natural, soft, firm, there are a lot of options. The world of mattresses can be a confusing place to the uninitiated.
That's why we've spoken to Andrew Waters from 1907 Beds, who has talked us through everything mattress related!
1. I’ve been sleeping on the same bed for years - do I need to replace the whole bed?
Not at all! It’s perfectly possible to get many more years of use out of a bed-frame if you simply replace your mattress.
2. How often should I replace my mattress?
All too often we take our mattresses for granted, and expect that they will stay comfortable for decades when the reality is that you should be changing your mattress every seven years or so. They are the most used piece of furniture in our home, but we tend to spend longer picking a new sofa than a bed. You wouldn’t spend a third of your life sitting on an uncomfortable sofa.
3. What different mattress filling options are available?
It’s worth considering both memory foam and natural fillings as we believe that neither is superior to the other. It is generally a matter of personal preference; therefore we strongly recommend that you spend some time to look at both types of mattress and decide which is best for you.
4. What are the advantages of a memory foam mattress and how does it work?
Memory foam mattresses react to body heat, moulding around your body and eliminating pressure points. This allows you to settle for long periods without constant tossing and turning. Memory foam mattresses are created from synthetic materials and will gently conform to the shape of your body.
5. What is the choice of natural fillings and what are the properties of the different materials?
Natural mattresses can be filled with a range of natural materials including super-soft wool, horsehair, cotton and coir. Most natural filling mattresses will include a combination of the following materials:
Wool - keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Also fire resistant.
Horsehair – for ventilation and flexibility, it might seem like an odd choice, but horsehair is strong and stringy so helps your mattress keep its shape.
Coir – found between the husk and the outer shell of a coconut, Coir acts as an insulator to stop your mattress from overheating.
Cotton – makes your mattress soft and helps it stay cool.
6. What sort of spring system should I opt for?
The choice of what you want inside your mattress doesn’t end with material – there are also different types of spring system to choose from. The main two options are pocket spring and open coil.
The pocket spring system provides exceptional support and bounce and is the ultimate luxury option, having far more individual springs.
An open coil spring unit is the cheaper alternative.
7. How can I tell if a mattress is too soft or too firm?
The first thing to note is that firmness is not the same as support.
Too hard - For years sufferers of back pain were advised to purchase the firmest mattress available, a theory that has now been discarded. An overly firm mattress causes the spine to curve upwards, exerting pressure on the knees and shoulders.
Too soft - In contrast, a very soft mattress may not provide the correct level of support necessary to keep your spine straight. Uneven support causes the spine to curve downwards, exerting excessive pressure on the hips, which can also lead to back pain.
Perfect support - The perfect mattress will distribute your weight evenly, ensuring the spine remains straight and your body is relieved of pressure.
An easy way to check the appropriate level of support is to run your hand between the hollow of your back and the mattress. If the mattress is too hard your hand will run easily through the gap, if it is too soft then the gap will not be present.
8. What are the options if my partner and I require different levels of support from a mattress?
Frequently couples find they prefer different things - one wants a firm mattress, the other soft, meaning they often settle on a mattress of medium firmness leaving neither of them truly happy with the purchase. However you can get round that by linking two mattresses together. The only decision to make now is who gets which side!
9. I’d like a new mattress but my bedframe isn’t a standard size
If your bedframe is an unusual shape, then a luxury mattress brand... such as ourselves, 1907 Beds, (bet you saw that one coming) can manufacture bespoke mattresses for non-standard bedframes.
10. Once I have the perfect mattress, how should I care for it?
To prevent build up of dust, dander and dust mites, you should vacuum your mattress regularly using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
If the mattress surface becomes dirty or soiled, use an upholstery shampoo, warm water and a sponge – do not allow the interior materials of the mattress get wet, and do not use solvent-based cleansers as these can damage memory foam mattresses.
Allow the mattress to dry thoroughly. A mattress cover or protector is optional, but may provide further protection from dust and a build-up of dirt. This should be cleaned whenever you wash your bedding.
You should turn a non-memory foam mattress once a month to ensure the utmost support and comfort. You should vary this between turning it from end to end and from side to side each month.
You should rotate your memory foam mattress once a month as well, however this should only ever be turned from end to end as the layer of memory foam should always stay on the top side.
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