Category Archives: Mattresses

Memory Foam Advantages Over Traditional Spring Mattresses

The first step when choosing a new mattress is to decide between a traditional spring design and a modern memory foam model. While each one has unique features, memory foam offers some advantages that make it an excellent choice for many consumers.

Structure and Technology

Traditional mattresses with springs are based on a design that’s been around for over a century. Most models have a base layer of springs covered by a cushion. In theory, the cushion and springs compress to provide a comfortable and supportive sleeping surface. Modern spring mattress designs aren’t very different from older models.

Memory foam is fairly modern by comparison. It was developed in the 1960s as part of a NASA project to improve safety in aircraft seating. Mattresses utilizing memory foam have been around since NASA made the technology public in the 1980s. There have also been upgrades to memory foam technology over the years to improve breathability and reduce manufacturing costs.

Temperature

The internal structure of a traditional spring mattress allows airflow, which can help to keep people from getting too hot while sleeping. However, spring mattresses with thick top cushions can reduce air circulation and make users uncomfortably warm.

Due to its dense structure, memory foam can retain heat, which was a potential disadvantage of some of the early memory foam mattresses. Fortunately, there have been many changes to memory foam technology that have improved breathability and reduced heat retention. Some mattresses are made of gel memory foam, which has integrated gel particles that help cool and stabilize the material’s temperature. Moisture-wicking coverings can also help maintain a comfortable temperature.

Pressure Points

Many people, especially those who sleep on their sides, notice that spring mattresses push on certain areas of the body, including the hips and shoulders. This pressure can contribute to misalignment of the spine, which can cause back and joint pain. It can also cause sleepers to change position frequently in an attempt to relieve the pressure.

One of the most well-known benefits of memory foam is its ability to eliminate pressure points. Memory foam is designed to soften and change shape. This means it molds around a person’s body, creating a customized surface that is both soft and supportive. Most people experience no pressure points regardless of which sleeping position they choose. This can reduce tossing and turning, helping users wake up feeling rested and pain-free.

Allergen Control

Mattresses generally require cleaning. They can trap dirt, sweat, hair, and dust mites, contributing to odor and poor indoor air quality. This is a common issue with traditional spring mattresses, which have large open spaces in the internal structure that attract and trap dust and allergens. Vacuuming can clean the top surface of a mattress, but it can’t really affect the allergens trapped inside.

Memory foam has a very dense structure, which makes it much more difficult for dirt and dust mites to become embedded. As such, memory foam mattresses generally stay cleaner than traditional models. Some memory foam styles also feature hypoallergenic materials.

Motion Transfer

When partners share a bed, it is common for each person’s movement to affect the other. In a traditional mattress, the springs transfer movement throughout the whole structure, making it uncomfortable when one person turns over or gets out of bed. In a memory foam mattress, there aren’t any springs to transfer motion. The spongy nature of memory foam naturally prevents one person’s movement from affecting the other. This can help improve sleep for both partners.

Durability

All types of mattresses eventually wear out and need to be replaced. In most cases, spring mattresses and memory foam perform similarly in terms of longevity. However, traditional mattresses may become uncomfortable over time. Worn out springs can cause sharp peaks or permanent depressions in the mattress. As memory foam ages, it tends to become softer and recover its shape more slowly, which is not as problematic.

Conclusion

A mattress is an important investment that can affect a person’s sleep and quality of life for years. While traditional spring mattresses remain popular, many people are turning to memory foam for its numerous advantages. Memory foam mattresses can eliminate pressure points, allergens, and motion transfer, creating a comfortable environment for high-quality sleep.

Here at The Sleep Shop, we carry a large selection of both traditional spring and modern memory foam mattresses.  Come by our store and see which mattress is best for you!

The Rise and Fall of the Waterbed in the United States

Waterbed in bedroomMost of us would probably remember the first time we laid eyes on a waterbed – maybe had one of our own. Waterbeds were once a huge trend; classy, sexy, comfortable, and you had to have one.

The waterbed got its kickstart in California, in the late 60s. After failed experiments with cornstarch and even Jell-O filled chairs, Charlie Hall, a design student in San Francisco State University, had the idea of a mattress full of water. Hall designed the product while focusing the comfort and a good night’s sleep. The water-filled mattress was his master’s thesis, and once he presented it, his entire class spent the night playing with it. That’s how the modern waterbed as we know it was born.

During the 1970s, waterbeds hit the US market while the general idea of choosing an innerspring mattress was firm, firmer, or firmest.  Over the next 20 years, waterbeds became a must-have household product for many people. By the end of 1989, waterbed sales reached upwards of $30 million. People just couldn’t get enough of the waterbeds as these beds offered seamless comfort when compared to conventional spring mattresses. They were also believed to be super-fashionable and incredibly sexy amongst the youth. That’s how waterbeds became the beds of the sexual revolution and were viewed as a significant piece of impressing the opposite sex. If you didn’t have a waterbed, you had a lesser chance.

Why they were so popular

Aside from their appeal of passion, which was liberally encouraged by manufacturers who tried some slogans like “Two things are better on a waterbed, one is sleep,” waterbeds offered something that most beds at the time didn’t offer: a comfortable good night’s sleep.  When you were lying down on the waterbed, your body’s pressure was distributed equally, meaning you experienced support without any excess pressure on any part of your body, such as your hips, back, or shoulders.

Also, waterbeds were cheap, very cheap! If you went shopping for a waterbed, the average price you’d come across back then was between $150-350. Plus, by the end of the waterbed era, it could cost as low as $90, which was also too much to resist.

Why the love is over

All of a sudden, the passion was gone. The sexual marketing, which had been a big hit thanks to advertisements back in the 80s, quickly became old news in the 90s and it started to be considered as quirky and weird to be lying on a waterbed. Plus, the feelings of practicality and sensibility took over, and it was not as acceptable to be sexually rambunctious and to be over the top.

However, this wasn’t the only factor against waterbeds. They also had technical problems such as propensity to spring leaks, and they needed constant maintenance. If you wanted to move your waterbed, you had to drain it first, which was a time consuming process.

By the early 90s, as suddenly as they were cool and sexy, they became weird and lame.  It became clear that the novelty of waterbeds wasn’t worth the additional work they needed. Also, different manufacturers came up with different mattress innovations which offer comfort, flexibility, and softness while not making you run a garden hose through your second-floor bedroom window.

As for today…

Today, even though the waterbed market is still active in a much, much smaller scale, the market of mattresses offers significantly more options than it did during the waterbed era. If you spend some time looking at different mattress options, you’re likely to come across hybrid mattresses, innerspring mattresses, gel mattresses, pillow-top mattresses, or latex mattresses, or even waterbeds, if you’re lucky!

The answer to the question of “what kind of mattress is best for me?” depends on many factors, many of which are separately specific. The best way to find out which type of bedding is best for you is to come see us in person or you can give us a call, so our specialists can help you out with finding the best option for your needs and comfort.

The Four Most Important Tips For Mattress Maintenance

All you have to do is put your mattress on the floor, and sleep on it. There’s nothing complicated about mattress maintenance. Right?

Unfortunately, this is not the case.  A key part of your health, your mattress requires a bit of maintenance to prevent the breakdown of its components. When the components break down, your sleep may be disrupted. Disrupted sleep leads to sleep deficiency, that can lead to headaches, memory problems, and weight gain.

If you want to get the most out of your mattress and get the highest quality sleep possible, here are four tips for proper mattress maintenance.

Get a Good Box Spring

There are tons of different bedding accessories online, but the most important of these sleep accessories is arguably a good box spring, which can be as important as a good mattress is. These sleep accessories act like a giant shock absorber, taking much of the nightly wear and tear you put on your mattress, improving comfort and support. We recommend a box spring or foundation with steel components inside as these are less likely to squeak over time.

A Proper Bed Frame is Essential

To maintain your mattress, get a box spring bed frame, too, which can accommodate both a mattress and a box spring. Make sure the bed frame has the center support recommended by the mattress warranty. Center supports are also sold separately online if you already have a bed frame or wood bed rails.

Flip and Rotate Your Mattress

Not only is it wise to get more sleep accessories and bedding online, but you also need to do some maintenance on your mattress, too. Think about it like this: if you sleep about eight hours a night, you’re racking up 3,000 hours per year on your mattress. If you sleep in the same position, on the same spot, you’re going to wear that particular part of the mattress out quickly. Most of today’s mattresses are one-sided so you can’t flip them over, but still you can rotate them head to foot. We recommend rotating your mattress every two weeks during the “break-in” period, the first 3 months of owning a new mattress.  Rotate the mattress with the seasons thereafter.  If you have a two-sided mattress, both flip and rotate it every other month to ensure that the wear and tear is evenly distributed.

Mattress Maintenance Requires a Stainproof Mattress Protector

Stains void your mattress warranty, but that’s not the only reason to get a quality mattress protector. One of the main reasons that mattresses break down is moisture. If a mattress isn’t protected by a good moisture barrier, moisture gets into the foams, the true comfort layers of the mattress. This causes the foams to break down more quickly. Always protect a new mattress with a stain and water proof mattress cover.

If you want to get a good night’s sleep, you need to get the appropriate sleep accessories, take care of your mattress, and avoid sitting on it. If you have any questions, or know of any other sleep accessories that can help others, feel free to share in the comments.

Luxury Bedding by Jamison

Many of us go on vacation at expensive hotels just so we can remember what it’s like to get a good night’s sleep. Luxury bedding and mattresses used to be just that — a luxury that few could afford, and so pricey that only the highest-end hotels could invest in these amenities. Guess what? You can now make champagne wishes and have caviar dreams right in the comfort of your own bedroom with a Jamison mattress.

Jamison Bedding was founded in 1883 with a basic business model that emphasized production of handcrafted products and stellar customer service. After 135 years, Jamison continues to deliver its promise and is the mattress of choice for many hotels across the country. We are proud to partner with this extraordinary mattress and bedding company.  However, these mattresses are so amazing that we only offer them in-store.  Visit our showroom and you can easily feel the difference for yourself.

We showcase the Resort collection from Jamison.  These mattresses offer “high resiliency proprietary all foam support cores using varying comfort layers from convoluted foam to latex and visco memory foam.” So what exactly does that mean? Well, for starters, you’ll fall asleep thinking you’re on that dream vacation you’ve been thinking of taking. It also means that your mattress is resilient enough to stand up to many years of good sleep. You can purchase the mattress with or without Jamison’s steel foundational box spring, depending on your bedding needs.

Features

Want to know about some of the features included in your Jamison mattress? Thermo Cool Technology creates a  better, cooler sleep experience that helps consistent sleep temperature. Luxury firm comfort foam offers the ultimate collection of support layers. A Semi-Flex Foundation with a rigid metal wire grid allows some “give” but maximizes support for the mattress. Jamison Resort mattresses also offer firm, plush, or pillow-top options.

We found this awesome review of one customer’s Jamison: “This is without doubt the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever had. The very first instant I get on the mattress I notice it. And it hasn’t changed over time–it stills feels as wonderful today as it did when I first got it. I really look forward to climbing into bed at night.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Want to learn more about Jamison mattresses? Check out this great video and then come by our showroom and speak to one of our sleep experts.

3 Steps to Choosing the Right Mattress Size

When you’re looking for the right mattress, size matters! Depending on who is going to use it, you have plenty of options. It can seem overwhelming to figure out all of the variations in mattress size, length, width, and depth. Let our mattress experts help with this quick-start guide!

Step One: Making Room

Are you looking for some extra room for you and your partner to spread out? How about your child/children?  Are they transitioning to a “big kid” bed?  Is your mother-in-law coming to spend time in your guest room? Figuring out which mattress size you need is a purely personal decision.  However, consider how the mattress will be used and which room it will be going in. Twin sizes are great for kids and single-sleeper adults, and full sizes are perfect for singles who like to stretch out. Queen sizes can accommodate a couple of snugglers, or solo sleepers who want lots of bed without taking up the whole room. With king sized mattresses, the whole family can pile in!

Mattress Size dimensions guide

Infographic courtesy SleepAdvisor.org

Step Two: Consider bedding

Bedding like sheets and blankets for standard twin, full, queen, and king mattresses are easy to find.  They can be very affordable depending on what they’re made of and where you buy them. Custom bedding for the less popular mattress sizes (twin XL, California king) can be harder to find and a bit pricier. If you already own bedding, double-check the dimensions so you know which mattress size you should be looking at. Also, remember that the pillows, pillowcases, and shams for king size bedding are larger than the other sizes. Depending on the mattress style you buy, you could also pay more for extra depth on fitted sheets to allow for a pillow or foam topper.

Step Three: Get deep

Traditional, old-school mattresses used to have a standard depth of 7 inches. However, recent innovation in mattress construction has created a new generation of mattress that can be up to 24 inches high! Keep this measurement in mind as you shop.  Once you add in the height of your frame and box spring, the inches add up.  This is especially important to consider for those who have trouble climbing in and out of bed.  If you are purchasing a mattress for a child or someone with mobility issues, perhaps look for a mattress with a lower setup.

Make sure you research before you make a mattress investment. The most common mistake most people make is that the bed we buy ends up being too small! Mattresses aren’t one-size-fits-all, and that’s okay because there are plenty of options for every style sleeper.  Once you know what mattress size is right for your situation, come visit our showroom and let us help you find the perfect mattress!

Which is better for you: a firm or soft mattress?

Everyday a customer asks, which is better for you: a firm or soft mattress? My customers want a simple answer. They want me to come down firmly (pardon the pun) on the side of firm or soft. The truth is every person is different and may require a different sleep surface. Thankfully, there so many mattresses, from ultra soft to brick hard to anywhere in between. Here are 3 ways to choose your mattress firmness:

Choose firm or soft based on your weight

Mattresses are designed to support the average American adult, weighing 250 lbs. If you are on the heavier side, a firm mattress will support you better and last much longer. You don’t have to choose a rock hard mattress, but stay in the firm to medium-firm range. Stay away from pillow-tops. Pillow-tops do not hold up as well over time and they will soften, providing you less and less support as the years pass. If you are small or petite, you may need the extra cushioning of a softer mattress.

Choose firm or soft based on your preferred sleeping position

Nearly everyone has his or her preferred sleeping position. This sleeping position may not be the best for your health, but you can use it to choose your mattress type, firm or soft. Generally side-sleepers prefer a soft mattress, while back and stomach sleepers prefer a firm sleep surface.

firm or soft
Serta Perfect Sleeper Redwin Firm, our firmest mattress

Choose firm or soft based on science

What does science say about mattress firmness? Not surprisingly, scientists don’t agree on what mattress choice is best for every person. In a blog post I wrote last year, titled “What’s the best mattress?” I explored several small-sample scientific studies that found medium firm mattresses were best for relieving low back pain and helping people sleep better. However, that’s not the final word! Some scientists claim that a harder mattress is best, because a hard mattress offers your bones necessary resistance during sleep. Your bones work to support your body overnight, allowing your muscles to relax completely while you sleep. When your bones have resistance, your spine doesn’t sink into an awkward angle, and your circulation and breathing improves. Still there is another school of thought that promotes a soft, cushiony bed for the best night’s sleep.

There are so many options for you when shopping for a new mattress. Take your time and test a firm or soft mattress for 10 or fifteen minutes to see which suits your body best!

 

Three Mattress Care Tips You Need to Know

mattress care tipsGood sleep habits are increasingly recognized as a public health concern. Not having enough sleep is linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors. Adults need about eight to eight and a half hours of sleep a night. Yet 59% of Americans get seven or more hours, while 40% get less than seven hours according to a Gallup poll.

Most people don’t realize that the very thing that’s supposed to help them get some sleep is what often keeps them awake. If a mattress isn’t taken care of and looked after, it can quickly become uncomfortable, and decrease the quality of the person’s sleep. Here are three mattress care tips you need to know to help you get the most out of your mattress.

Rotate and/or Flip Your Mattress Every So Often.

Sleeping eight hours a night on a mattress racks up 3,000 hours of wear and tear in just a year. If you don’t flip or rotate your mattress, that’ll all be spent on one side. Your mattress wears down more quickly than necessary. Don’t let one side of the bed remain in pristine condition while the other gets worn out. We suggest rotating the mattress every other week, so that you sleep on the other side.  If you have a mattress that flips, flip your mattress either once a month, or every other month, to further spread out the wear and tear.

Get a Proper Bed Frame or Center Support.

Mattress shops stock many items available to make your night more restful. Of all the bedding products available, though, the bed frame and center support are the most important. If your bed is a full size or larger, you need at least one post touching the floor in the center. Without center support, all of the weight deflects into the middle. The mattress sags uncomfortably in the center.

Always Use a Waterproof Mattress Protector.

One of the most important mattress care tips we share at our store is always use a high quality mattress protector. Mattresses tend to collect a lot of moisture and humidity. Moisture breaks down the foams and comfort materials in bedding. A waterproof mattress protector keeps moisture away from your mattress, so your mattress stays comfortable longer.

 

What is the Best Mattress?

What is the best mattress?

What is the best mattress stack

I’ve been in the family mattress business since 1999. I bet I’ve been asked “What’s the best mattress?” every day since I started working here! The truth is that I can’t tell you what the best mattress is for you, but I can share with you some of the research I’ve done. I can also share with you some great tips about buying and trying out mattresses!

Hopefully, you get seven to eight hours each night in bed, getting the restorative sleep your body and mind need. Your sleep surface has a lot to do with ensuring that your night is restful. Ahem. If your sleep surface has gotten old/worn out or is not appropriate for your body type or size, you’ll start to wake up with aches and pains. In fact, when you start to wake up with aches and pains,  it’s time to replace your mattress. That is,  if you didn’t spend the past few days working in your yard, building a deck, or trying P90X for the first time. Don’t listen to the mattress industry that tells you to replace your mattress every eight years! If you are still comfortable, and you do not wake up achy, your mattress is FINE!

Common aches and pains you might experience if you have an old, worn out mattress: shoulder pain, neck pain, and stiffness. By far the most common complaint is lower back pain. This is the complaint that drives folks in to see their chiropractor, asking him or her, “What’s the best mattress?”

Scientific studies done in the last 15 years have focused on what effect changing the sleep surface had for people suffering from low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and stiffness.  All the studies have a very limited sample size, but the studies basically reach very similar conclusions.

Effect of prescribed sleep surfaces on back pain and sleep quality in patients diagnosed with low back and shoulder pain

In this study of 27 adults with low back and shoulder pain, a mattress was designed specifically for each patient based on his or her dominant sleeping position, back, side, or stomach. The mattresses were “medium-firm mattresses specifically layered with foam and latex based on the participants’ reported prominent sleeping position”. Each patient answered questions about their pain and sleep comfort each night for 21 nights before they received their new mattress. After receiving their mattress, each participant rated his or her pain and sleep quality at intervals of four, eight, and twelve weeks. And guess what? “It was concluded that sleep surfaces are related to sleep discomfort and that is indeed possible to reduce pain and discomfort and to increase sleep quality in those with chronic back pain by replacing mattresses based on sleeping position.”

Better Backs by Better Beds?

This 2008 study was to test the notion that a firm mattress is always best for chronic low back pain. You’ve heard this your whole life, right? Get a firm mattress if you have a “bad back.” The study started with 160 participants, and each participant was randomized in to one of three groups. Each group was to receive 1 of 3 different types beds. The beds were: water, body-conforming memory foam mattress, and a hard mattress.

19 people dropped out before they even got their waterbed heaters plugged up. Another 27 people stopped before the one-month trial period. In conclusion, it appears that the waterbed and the memory foam mattresses were superior to the hard mattresses in providing folks with chronic back pain some relief. However, the differences were small. I think the point here is don’t choose anything too firm. This funny little study from 1981 should quietly disappear. It advocates a very firm bed for chronic low back sufferers, but if that doesn’t work, go ahead and get a waterbed! Bedding has come a long way since 1981, needless to say.

Changes in back pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress after introduction of new bedding systems

This neat little study published in 2009 set out to determine if replacing a mattress set, older than 5 years old could help a patient experiencing minor back pain, poor sleep, and stress. Each of the 59 participants answered a series of questions to assess his or her sleep quality, pain, and stress levels for 28 days before receiving a new medium-firm mattress. After receiving their new mattress, each participant filled out questionnaires about his or her pain, sleep quality, and perceived stress level.  The conclusion of this study showed “new bedding systems increased sleep quality and reduced back discomfort, factors that may be related to abatement of stress-related symptoms.” All good news for a mattress seller.

The Goldilocks Effect

I highlighted “medium-firm mattress” above because Goldilocks was right, Baby Bear’s mattress was the best mattress. It wasn’t too firm, and it wasn’t too soft, it was just right. In my experience, customers are happiest when they choose a mattress more in the middle, too. But don’t listen to me! You have to try a mattress out to make sure that what is the best mattress for you. Weight, height, and body mass index are all factors that influence how a mattress will feel to you. When you decide that it’s time to shop for a new mattress, here are some of my handy mattress shopping tips to help you make the most of your shopping trip. If you live close to our store in Hudson, NC, please stop by. We’d love to help you find the best mattress for you.

 

Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Mattress

mattress_imageEvery night, you flop over onto your bed, ready to get whatever amount of sleep you can. Maybe on the weekends you worry that you need to wash and change your sheets, but other than that, you pay your bed no mind.

Unfortunately, you’re making a big mistake. If you like your mattress, and want to get as many years as possible out of it, you need to take care of it. After all, a quality mattress can last as long as 10 years, but that’s only if it’s looked after.

Here are a few tips you can use to extend the lifespan of your mattress.

Rotate Your Mattress

The first and most obvious thing you can do to prolong the lifespan of your mattress, say online bedding shops, is to rotate it. Most people usually sleep in the same spot, in the same position, every night, which can lead to uneven wear and tear on the coils. Online bedding shops say that after a number of years, one side will be worn out while the other is like new, which decreases the support both sides can provide. So, online bedding shops advise you rotate your mattress every two months, and flip it on occasion.

Make Sure You Have a Good Box Spring

Sleep accessories can be as important as a mattress, the box spring and its frame in particular. Box springs act like shock absorbers, and take a lot of the nightly wear and tear, while box springs add further support. You can get pretty good deals on these bedding accessories online.

Clean the Mattress!

Your sheets aren’t the only things you need to wash! Online bedding shops advise that you also clean whatever stains there may be with a mild detergent or soap. Soak a clean cloth in cold water, get it soapy, and have at it. Online bedding shops also advise against using volatile chemical removers, since they could actually damage the mattress.

Who would have thought that rotating your mattress could help extend its lifespan? Or that your bed frame supports the mattress and eases wear and tear? Or even that you had to clean the mattress, too? With these helpful tips from online bedding shops, you can make your mattress last much longer!

If you have any questions about caring for your mattress, feel free to ask in the comments.

Hate Your Newly Purchased Mattress?

Yikes!! You just spent over a thousand dollars on your new mattress and you hate it!

Now what? Well, if you’re anything like me, you certainly don’t have another 1000+ dollars sitting in the bank to purchase a new mattress when you just bought one. Hopefully these tips can help make everything all better.

  1. First,  give it a week or two.  When you spend 7 – 8 hours every night on one surface and then suddenly change, sometimes you need to give a new mattress a chance.  It’s very common especially with memory foam not to love it automatically.
  2. If you still can’t make peace with it, check the mattress store policy. In North Carolina we can’t accept returns due to our laws. However, in some states they are allowed to take returns and re-sell them. Also, certain Serta mattresses (and a few other brands, I’m sure) offer their own specific comfort guarantee.
  3. Is it sagging already? Unless they also run a bed frame shop, most mattress stores don’t stress the importance of a center support. If you don’t have a center support with at least one leg to the floor, this can lead to sagging which makes a mattress unnecessarily uncomfortable. I even suggest getting two to three.  The more the better.  The Bed Beam System and ELM-211  are two of our customers’ favorites. You just might actually love your mattress once it’s properly supported!
  4. Is your new mattress too firm? First try taking off your shoes and walking (or lightly bouncing) on the mattress. A lot of times the mattress you get in your home will be slightly firmer. This is because the floor model in the store has been tested from 3 months to 2 years before you came along and gave it a try. Still not doing the trick? Try adding a nice a soft, luxurious mattress topper to soften it up. A lot of our customers love the feeling of a firm mattress and a padded topper and purchase the combo intentionally.
  5. Too soft? This is one of the areas where is might be better off trying to sell it too someone you know or online. You could try purchasing a really foam memory foam topper but other than that, it’s hard to fix this problem.

To make sure you find a mattress you love next time check our guide to finding the right mattress for you.