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Get Your Bed Sorted

Whilst our nightly sleep time is reducing, the average person still spends about 36% of their life asleep. This means that if you live until you are 90 you could be spending 32 years in bed. 

In Step 3 of The Art of Falling Asleep discover why finding a bed and mattress that is right for you (and your partner) is a key decision with regards to getting a good night's sleep. Read it for free, here, or read on… 

“BUY A GOOD BED AND GOOD SHOES, BECAUSE IF YOU ARE NOT IN ONE, YOU ARE IN THE OTHER”

Whilst our nightly sleep time is reducing, the average person still spends about 36% of their life asleep.¹¹ This means that if you live until you are 90 you could be spending 32 years in bed. Thus, finding a bed and mattress that is right for you (and your partner) is a key decision with regards to getting a good night's sleep.

It is worth spending the time when choosing your bed and mattress as once they are sorted, they require very little tweaking apart from changing your sheets regularly and caring for your mattress.

MATTRESS BUYING GUIDE

Your mattress should be able to support your body weight, whilst conforming to its contours, allowing the spine and muscles to rest at night. A mattress that is too hard or too soft, or showing signs of wear, can be uncomfortable and keep you awake.

As a general rule of thumb, it's probably safe to assume that the longer a genuine guarantee, the better the mattress in terms of the quality of fillers, springs and foam. Also, reputable mattress makers aren't likely to risk their reputation with poor quality fillers; so it's worth buying a mattress from a recognised brand or a company with high independent scores on review sites such as Trustpilot and Feefo.

Sleep Tip

A mattress with a 10-year guarantee and a high price tag is not necessarily best for you (and your partner). So, make your decision based on comfort over content.

There are 4 broad types of mattresses on the market

1) COIL SPRUNG

Coil mattresses have interlinked springs and tend to be at the budget end of the sprung market.

2) POCKET SPRUNG OR IPS

Individual pocket sprung mattresses give you a more bespoke support. Variations in spring types are available, for example, air pocket sprung mattresses, can reduce the impact of your partner’s movement and non-turn sprung mattresses, which can prove more convenient to take care of especially when turning heavier mattresses.

Sleep tip:

Always make sure coil mattresses still have the basics including, breathable covers, quality fillers, and a guarantee. Hand tuffted fillers are also a good sign that mattress quality has been maintained.

Sleep tip:

Spring counts can vary from hundreds to thousands, although a higher spring count can be substituted with poorer quality springs to keep costs down. Only buy a mattress with a genuine guarantee of at least 5 years, and from a company with a high independant rating.

Make sure your mattress has quality fillers and strong handles to allow regular turning.

3) FOAM OR MEMORY FOAM

These can vary in price and quality from simple foam slabs to intricate foam cubes, which mould to the shape of your back. Key consideration here is heat loss, as basic memory foam holds heat and can overheat you at night.

4) HYBRID OR COMBO

Typically, a combination of foam on top of pocket springs. Hybrid mattresses can vary greatly in their component mix, with some feeling more like a traditional pocket sprung and others more like a foam.

Warren Evans Hybrid has a layer of natural, toxin free, latex which adds ‘breathability’. Natural latex is an excellent component within a mattress as it keeps its shape for a very long period, ensuring durability and quality performance.

Sleep Tip:

Make sure your memory foam mattress allows temperature regulation. All Warren Evans memory foam mattresses have Outlast® covers to make them body heat responsive, and help you get to sleep more easily.

TEMPUR® mattresses are also designed to lose heat at night, and come in four distinct mattress collections.

Sleep Tip:

If there is one mattress that really must be tried before purchase, it is a hybrid mattress due to their huge variation in ‘feel’.

TESTING YOUR MATTRESS:

Five Guidelines:

•Test your mattress in person (with your partner).

•Allow for your mattress to be 15cm longer than the tallest person sleeping in it, and wide enough to sleep side by side. You should be able to lie side by side with your arms behind your head and elbows out without touching your partner.

•Always try the mattress with a choice of pillow, as they are both required to work together to maintain your spine’s natural alignment from the head, neck and through the lower back.

•Lie in your natural sleep position, preferably with your eyes closed for 15 minutes.

•Make sure you take your coat and jacket off, in order to get an authentic test.

Sleep Tip:

Don’t look at the price tag if possible, so your choice is not overly influenced by price.

TESTING YOUR MATTRESS

Back Sleepers

•Lie on your back and then slide your hand under the small of your back. It should be mildly difficult to get it under.

•If your hand gets under easily, then the mattress is most likely too hard.

•If you can’t get your hand in at all, the mattress is probably too soft.

Side Sleepers

•Lie in your preferred position, either in foetal or straight legged.

•Get the shop assistant to take a photo of you with your mobile phone, so you can check that your spine remains in the correct alignment on your pillow and mattress.

Front Sleepers

•It’s not possible to test this sleep position in terms of ‘correct spinal support’, as front sleeping does not allow the spine and neck to stay in alignment.

•Therefore, the only way to test is on ‘comfort’ alone.

BUY AS BIG A BED AS YOU CAN

In our recent Warren Evans sleep survey, 9 out of 10 people who stated that their partner woke them up because of their bed dimensions, were not unsurprisingly sleeping in a bed of less than a king size. This is because if you sleep in a double bed with a partner, it typically gives you the same amount of space as a baby has in a cot and if either of you tends to toss and turn at night, it’s quite likely that the other will be disturbed. Thus, a key to a good night’s sleep is to get as big a bed as you can easily fit into your bedroom.

TRIAL PERIODS ARE ESSENTIAL IF BUYING ONLINE

We recommend that if you are buying online, with no opportunity to test it in person, you only do so if there is a good trial period in place where you can swap your mattress.

Sleep Tip:

Get as wide a bed and mattress as you can afford. When you slept in a single bed as a child it was 90cm wide. To have the same width to sleep in as an adult when sharing a bed with your partner you would need a Super King bed which is 185cm wide.

Sleep Tip:

Trial periods are even more important if you are thinking of changing mattress ‘type’ i.e. swapping from sprung to foam. Memory foam and hybrid mattresses have very different properties to sprung mattresses and can feel distinctly different to sleep on. Test if you can, get a free trial if not, and preferably do both.

Warren Evans offers a 120 night mattress trial.

PILLOWS ARE EQUALLY IMPORTANT

The aim of a good pillow is to provide comfortable support that keeps our neck in alignment with the rest of our spine. Preference for a soft or firm pillow is down to personal choice but the position you sleep in is also a factor for consideration. In general, stomach sleepers need the thinnest, or even no pillow, side sleepers require the thickest pillow (as it needs to fit between the neck and shoulder to keep the spine supported) and back sleepers are generally somewhere in between. Read our pillow buying guide on our website for more advice.

GO FOR BREATHABLE BEDDING

Comfortable bedding is also a key component of a good night’s sleep. Cotton is a great choice, as it allows your body to breathe, so choose this for bedding and pyjamas too. If you are sleeping with a partner, it often makes sense to get top sheets or duvets that are bigger than the bed.

Sleep Tip:

Consider getting new pillows when you buy a new bed and mattress, as your mattress and pillow need to fit together to support your back and neck in unison.

Sleep Tip:

The key to good bedding is to allow comfort and temperature regulation.

Use duvets that can be buttoned together so that you can vary the temperature from summer to winter.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT MATTRESS AND FRAME

If you are buying separately, always make sure the mattress and bed frame are the same size, as some companies use European sizes rather than UK mattress sizes. Warren Evans frames are built to last using Mortice and Tenon joints for durability. Another key component is the quality of the slats which are 3/4in thick and 5 1/2in wide to strengthen the frame and ensure durability.

Sleep Tip:

A frame with slats is a good choice because it encourages air to circulate, allowing your mattress to breathe.

Like this?

You can read our sleep guide in full, here. Tell us what you think, we would love to hear from you!

NEXT ARTICLE: We’ve teamed up with Lumie®, to give you the chance to win their new Bodyclock Luxe 700 worth £170, drift-off to sleep quicker and wake up brighter. Your chance to win, here.

DISCLAIMER

Whilst great care has been taken compiling the information within this guide, it is intended as a resource for general information only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your GP if you have ongoing problems or concerns regarding your sleep.

The statements and suggestions made within the text have not been evaluated by the NHS and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or illness.

Always consult with your healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking or stopping any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have any health problem.

11. http://www.ted.com/talks/russell_foster_why_do_we_sleep

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