Sleep tight: 7 things to know about the modern mattress
Lots of innovations make getting a good night's sleep better than ever
By Nancy Mattia
Shopping for a mattress involves more than just jumping on floor models for one that feels right.
Customization, trendy fabrics, and convenient designs all contribute to your mattress experience.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before buying a new one:
The basics still hold true
When you're in the market for a new mattress, look for one that offers these long-held essentials: good support, pressure relief, comfort and long-term durability.
You can customize
Let's say you like a mattress that feels like you're sleeping on a fluffy cloud, but your sleep mate prefers a surface that's got some oomph to it.
Neither of you needs to compromise, thanks to dual-support beds, which allows one side to be soft and the other firm, explains Ana Cayeiro, interior designer at furniture retailer Robb & Stuckey.
The innovations don't stop there
“Larger mattresses with heavier gauge innersprings can be ordered to support larger body frames, and new upholstery materials can be placed in the bed to help control a mattress's temperature.”
Some manufacturers tout eco-friendly mattresses that contain copper or aluminum.
Consumers are concerned with any harmful effects of the chemical and synthetic products used in regular mattresses.
Keep your eyes open
“Eco-friendly is a term that's not specifically defined, and currently there is no governing body that monitors this definition and those mattress constructions,” says Cayeiro.
“If eco-friendly interests you, research the manufacturer and the product so you're getting what you expect.
Mattress exteriors are better than ever
The fabric coverings have improved over the years: They stretch and recover better and are softer and more durable, Cayeiro says.
“The fabrics are in synch with current fashion trends in terms of color and design.” They're sometimes made of wool, and bamboo fiber and other natural materials, which gets a thumbs up from the eco-friendly crowd.
Mattresses can be 18 inches high or more.
Typically, the most expensive beds have the most upholstery materials and those mattresses can be higher than 18 inches tall, Cayeiro says.
“That said, mattress manufacturers understand that their products must fit today's sheets. Therefore, most mattresses are manufactured at 12 to 16 inches tall.”
They're designed to fold into other seating like sofas, sectionals, wall beds, and recliners, Cayeiro says.
“The main feature of these mattresses is their ability to bend and/or provide a certain support level, which is generally firm and are typically queen or twin-sized.”
Bed-in-a-box foam mattresses are a thing.
They're made to be convenient — manufacturers ship the mattresses, which you buy online or from some retail stores. But be aware of the cost versus quality, so your expectations are met. Not all mattresses are created equally.