Having worked selling beds and mattresses for over 30 years there are six common mistakes that I see and try to encourage my customers to avoid. Forewarned is forearmed so before you go out testing beds and mattresses or indeed searching online please scan over this short list.
1. Don’t buy too cheap.
Of course I’d say that I’m a bed salesman! True to a point and I’d definitely argue that the more you are able to pay the more you get from a bed or mattress.
BUT, my main point here is to encourage you to avoid the very low priced beds and mattresses that are on the market. As tempting as it may be to save a few pounds, in the long run it will be a false economy. Even if the purchase is for a spare room that’s hardly used a certain quality is required. I’m not suggesting either that you need to break the bank for an occasional use bed. Follow the link below to view The Bard. A superb example of a great bed at a reasonable price that will give years of good service. Double mattress from just £179.95.
More info here.
2. Don’t buy too hard.
Probably the biggest misconception that I deal with is that hard beds are better for you. Back in the day GP’s were even recommending hard beds to their patients to correct bad backs. Of course a hard bed will perhaps be a corrective measure for a number of people’s sore backs. Some people may even find a hard mattress comfortable.
However, please DON’T equate firmness for quality or in fact firmness for suitability. “The firmer the better” philosophy doesn’t carry much water.
Do consider your weight and build. Heavier, bigger built people will require a firmer feeling mattress to offer appropriate support than a lighter person would require.
Do consider your sleep position. Front and back sleepers require a firmer level of support than a side sleeper would.
But without getting too technical, a too firm bed or mattress will cause pressure points to develop. These pressure points cause the body to sub-consciously reposition through the night. These sub-conscious movements disturb the natural REM /non-REM sleep patterns and result in significant tiredness even after what appears to be a good 8 hours sleep.
Too firm and you’ll find that your hips and shoulders won’t sink in to the mattress distorting the natural curve of the spine. This results in aching hips and/or upper and lower back pain.
3. Don’t buy too soft.
Buying a too soft bed or mattress is often a reaction to having slept on a very firm or uncomfortable bed. Yes too firm is a problem but be careful not to over compensate and dive into a really soft bed.
Too soft, much like too firm, will not offer your spine the correct alignment causing your hips and shoulders to sink too far in to the mattress. Again this promotes aching backs.
Consider your weight and body shape. A heavier person could find a softer bed unsupportive. It’s worth noting though that some body shapes even in heavier people require a softer mattress choice. This could be a whole post in itself but the shoulder to waist to hip ratio should be considered.
Again a side sleeper will usually benefit from medium soft support as the natural curve of the hips is more pronounced on the side of the body than the back and certainly the front.
Finally consider your partner. If there is a large weight disparity between partners then roll together and partner disturbance is more pronounced on a softer bed than it would be on a firmer bed. Plus if you have to make a trade off on firmness, in my opinion its better for the lighter person to sleep on a slightly too firm mattress than the heavier partner to be sleeping on a too soft mattress. This is obviously a personal observation.
The Duo 1000 mattress is worth a look if this situation applies to you. Having two firmnesses within one mattress allows both partners to find the correct level of support.
More info here.
4. Get the height right.
For most people a main bed is probably replaced every eight to ten years. In that period things change. One change that surprises people is that modern beds are much higher than their older counter parts. Manufacturers are cramming much more in these days in the search for value and comfort but this can cause three problems.
i. Your new bed can feel as if it completely overtakes the bedroom. The existing bedroom fitments can suddenly seem dwarfed and even the centre light fitting can seem uncomfortably close . Fear not, in my experience all of these perceptions pass in a couple of weeks as you become accustomed to your new bed.
ii. If your existing fitted sheets are as old as your old bed then they probably won’t fit your new one. Modern sheets as standard do fit most modern mattresses and are inexpensive. If you do select a particularly deep mattress (+30cm) you may have to look out for extra deep fitted sheets which are widely available.
iii. Much more of a problem is getting in and out. A higher bed can cause some people with restricted mobility a problem when getting in or getting out of bed. If this may be a problem for you please discuss it with us before you order. We have several solutions that we can offer to make sure your bed is just the right height.
5. Size matters.
I always encourage my customers especially couples to buy bigger beds. A double bed for two adults gives each person 67.5cm of individual sleep area. That’s less than we’d give a baby in a cot. To avoid partner disturbance then aim for at least king size if possible. In fact super king beds are growing in popularity in my stores and are conducive to more undisturbed sleep.
However, if you are thinking about upsizing please consider access up your stairs to the bedroom. Super king beds and mattresses especially, are large items and a small proportion of staircases were never designed to accommodate them. If this were to be a problem for you there is no need to miss out. Consider a rolled mattress with a self assembly bed frame which are widely available .
More info here.
6. Hot or not ? Avoid memory foam if you sleep hot.
Your body needs to cool by a couple of degrees to enable the natural process of sleep. Most of us will have experienced a sticky Summer night when even though exhausted sleep remains elusive. These nights are few and far between here in the UK but some people are more sensitive than others to the effect that core temperature has on their ability to sleep soundly.
It’s important if you are a “hot sleeper” to be aware of this and make your mattress choice accordingly. There are plenty of technologies that have become available over the last couple of years to alleviate the extra warmth that some fillings (memory foam) create. Even better, seek out natural fillings like wool, cotton and silk which will keep you warm on colder nights but are cooling as temperatures rise.
Hopefully these tips will be helpful when you begin your search for a new bed or mattress. If you have any queries please visit us in store or give us a call. We have multiple advisors on hand many with over 20 years industry experience.