Whether we know or not, we spend at least a third of lives in bed. Americans spend on average close to three thousand hours a year in bed. So over the course of a lifetime we can easily spend over twenty years in bed. Recent research seems to indicate that getting quality sleep is a very important component to our overall health, both physical and mental. Not getting enough sleep, or sleep deprivation, can adversely affect our heart health.
Poor sleep habits can also have a detrimental impact on our overall quality of life and even our work performance. The purchase of a new sleep system should be considered every bit as important as buying your next car.
New materials have been introduced in recent years, with visco elastic memory foam and greater use of other foam composites changing how mattresses are built. Thanks to the internet, consumers have access to a great deal of information about the wide variety of sleep systems on the market today. More consumers are familiar with the terminology associated the construction of modern bedding and the types of materials that are being used.
The tried and true innerspring mattress is still the most popular choice for consumers. The combination of a quality innerspring mattress and box spring can offer comfort and durability for a reasonable price. Coil spring count is a basic measure of a traditional innerspring mattress. Spring count refers to the number of coil springs that make up the guts of the mattress. As a general rule the higher the spring count, the more expensive the mattress.
Equally as important is the thickness of the spring wire used to make the coils. The thickness of the spring wire is very important in determining how soft or how firm the mattress feels. The way in which wire thickness is measured might seem confusing to some folks but it really quite simple. The thicker, or heavier the spring wire, the lower the number. For example, spring wire that measures fourteen mils is thinner, or lighter, than spring wire that measures thirteen mills.
Firm or Soft
There has been an ongoing debate over what type of mattress is better for your back. Many recent studies conclude that firm mattress is better those folks with back problems. There are also studies that seem to indicate that the firmness of the mattress does not matter. As for those studies, many of the conclusions point to a subjective measure of comfort. Said another way, there does not seem to be a hard and fast rule about firmness. In fact, some studies suggest that it is up to the sleeper, or if it feels good, use it rule.
Mattress manufacturers use a combination of spring count and spring wire thickness to control the firmness of the innerspring mattress. With the introduction of memory foam, and greater use of latex foam, manufacturers have more design options when it comes to controlling firmness.
Controlling firmness has been made easier by the introduction of air beds. These beds use air filled chambers to control the firmness of the mattress by increasing or decreasing the volume of air in the chamber. Similar to a soft sided waterbed, air beds are built around the air chambers, which are encased in foam and covered with mattress fabric.
There are many sources of used box springs and mattresses. Though used bedding might look like a cheaper alternative to buying a new mattress, there could be a hidden cost later. The consumer has no way to know how long the bedding was in service and, unlike a book, you really can not tell a mattress by its cover.
Despite regulations in many states that require some level of disinfecting, the presence bed bugs and other pests like dust mites may not be immediately obvious and makes purchasing used bedding a very risky business indeed. Adding to the inherent risk in buying used bedding is the issue of fire resistance. Older pieces of bedding are far less likely to have been made using flame and fire resistant materials.
Play it Safe
It pays to do the homework when it comes to a major purchase like a new sleep system. Be sure to give that new mattress a thorough test drive before making a purchase decision. Spend as much time as it takes to make sure the bedding is right for you.