Despite spending a third of our lives sleeping, many of us often get it wrong when it comes to the mattress in the bedroom. Sangram Bhoite helps you pick the one that suits you best
In our routine life one of the most commonly neglected items is our mattress. Because we get so used to a bed over the years, we forget that it has aged with us and formed unhealthy lumps and bumps. Human weight is not evenly distributed over our bodies. Most of it is located from the shoulders through to the hips, and these are the body’s two main pressure areas. A mattress should be firm enough to support your spine in its natural alignment, but soft enough to cushion and maintain the curves. Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft will cause your hips to sink down too far, resulting in your back muscles straining all night to support your spine. If a mattress is too hard, the spine is forced to over-straighten and again the muscles are stressed. Most manufacturers and experts recommend that bedding sets be replaced every 8 to 10 years.
Futons have been customary Indian beds for centuries. The basic principle of the futon is that it allows the spine to remain in the same position as it is when standing up, and the raw cotton gives resilience and absorbs perspiration. Because it’s a natural material, cotton allows air to circulate around your body, refreshing the skin. If you suffer from any skin allergies or eczema then the futon is the best option available.
Although some futons are manufactured with foam padding, it is preferred not to use it. Futons should always be made of natural products; foam tends to attract moisture, and breaks up easily. A few manufacturers now make 40% wool and 60% cotton futon, which is springier, lighter to handle and will not compact as much. Wherever you purchase your futon from, make sure you get the right advice for maintaining it in peak condition. A futon needs extra care. To keep it dry, clean and in shape buy a 100% cotton cover that fits snugly.
Innerspring beds are the most popular form of beds available. In quality bedding the innerspring is covered with an insulator – either coconut fibre or felt, which reduces noise and prevents the cushioning material from pushing down into the springs. On top of the insulator is the cushioning material, which may be layers of foam, cotton felt or a synthetic fibre.
Hi-tech adjustable beds are a lasting luxury investment. These are adjustable to your form and to cater for your different positioning needs – rather like a hospital bed. Some of the models have a vibrating massage system!
Waterbeds have now become very popular. Those in favour of waterbeds claim that because the human body is 90% water, floatation sleep has you supported by the medium with almost the same specific gravity. The mattress contours to your body’s natural posture with the minimum amount of surface pressure, enabling you to be cradled in relaxed warmth from head to toe. People have claimed that a waterbed has helped cure their insomnia and their backaches.
Above all, a bed is subjective and only you know what your body needs. The less disturbed your sleep is, the more efficient your productivity next day. So, it is best to take at least a day out to choose a perfect bed for yourself.
Checklist for your bed
Is there enough space for you and your partner to sleep side by side comfortably?
How old is your present bed? Was it a quality bed when you purchased it? Is the cover faded? Are there any tears?
Sit on the edge. Does it seem reluctant to spring back to shape? Does the mattress sag where you lie on it? Push down with your hips and shoulders. Does the mattress fail to push back firmly?
Is the mattress in uneven shape?
If the answers to the above questions are yes, then it is time to change the mattress.