Bed Guide

BUYING GUIDE

Here is some handy information for you to consider when you are in the market for a new bed.

Choose the right bed with our bed buying guide.

The average person spends roughly one third of their life in bed. Choosing the right bed for you makes sure you’re promised the best night’s sleep. Everyone’s requirements for a bed are different depending on their requirements. Below is an in-depth description of each bed type to help you choose what’s right for you.

A good way to check if the bed is too soft, too hard, or just right is to lie on your back, placing your hand in the small of your back and then trying to move it about. If it moves too easily, the bed may be too hard for you; if it’s a struggle to move your hand, then the bed is too soft. If you can move your hand with just a little resistance, the bed may be just right for you.

Divan beds are a very useful bed for storage as they often come with a number of drawers or sliders built into the bed base; useful when space is at a premium. Divan beds tend to be the most widely available and most popular beds due to their use of storage space making them cheaper than most other beds. Divan bases are available in a range of shapes and sizes as well as the option of a sprung base to add even more comfort to your bed.

Bedsteads / Bed frames offer a more decorative, aesthetically pleasing approach to a bed. The beds comprise of a base, legs and headboard incorporated into a single frame. Metal bed frames look great and also mean you won’t have to buy a separate headboard. As well as metal frames, wooden frames and frames with different material headboards are also available meaning a wide range to match the décor of any room. Faux leather and leather frames are a popular option giving a modern and tasteful look to the room. The range of styles and colours available for all bed frames mean you are guaranteed you can add your own personal touch to your bedroom.

The mattress ultimately decides on the comfort of your bed. Choosing the right mattress for your body type ensures a comfortable night’s sleep. A bed is an important investment and every bit extra spent on your bed can contribute to the comfort of the bed as well as ensuring it has a long lifespan.

The classic range of mattresses offers a great value sprung mattress covered in a padded quilt meaning added comfort. The classic mattress is a great option for those on a budget as well as for use as a spare bed. Available in sizes from small single to super king, this is a great value product at an affordable price whilst still offering luxury and comfort.

Orthopaedic beds provide medium to firm support and better weight distribution than standard mattresses. These mattresses support and align the spine and neck; perfect for those looking to reduce the risk of or eliminate back pains whilst sleeping. As well as these mattresses being perfect for those suffering for back and neck pains, these mattresses are a popular choice for many because of the quality, support and comfort they provide.

Moonlight orthopaedic mattresses offer all the features of the Orthopaedic range of beds with a higher gauge and thickness meaning a firmer support for those who require it. The extra support will help ease discomfort at vital pressure points decreasing the pressure on joints with aches and pains.

Memory foam mattresses are available in a range suitable for all budgets. Memory foam mattresses are topped with a layer of temperature-sensitive viscoelastic material (the memory foam). This material works by moulding to the shape of the body offering support tailored to the shape of your body. These mattresses, like orthopaedic mattresses, are great for relieving pressure on painful joints and helping increase comfort when sleeping.

Memory Foam Airflow mattresses feature all the same features and benefits of Memory Foam mattresses whilst also incorporating airflow technology; a ventilation technology to gently release heat from the body and the mattress encouraging a full and sound night’s sleep.

Your choice of bed is one of the most important items in your home. Spending 8 hours a day using a bed that isn’t suitable for you can be detrimental to your health. It is important to pick a bed that most closely matches your requirements. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you don’t know what is best for you.


What is memory foam?

Memory foam (also known as temper foam) is a soft type of material which is sensitive to temperature or pressure. It has the unique ability to reform itself when weight or heat is exerted on its surface. This type of material is commonly used in beds, seats and in protective equipment, such as helmets.

A Brief History

Memory foam was first produced in 1966 as part of the NASA space programme. This new form of “spring back foam,” was developed by engineer, Charles Yost and scientist, Chiharu Kubokawa. It was used to provide extra comfort for their astronauts, mainly by padding their seats in spacecraft to help deal with the pressure and forces encountered beyond the earth’s atmosphere. The following year, Yost set up his own company, Dynamic Systems Inc, which started producing this material for whoever required it.

One of his customers in 1974 was Beckton-Dickinson, who was interested in using the material inside football helmets to help protect the player’s head from the impacts endured in the sport. He ended up selling the business to them and they expanded its use to other products.

Memory foam could also be found in aircraft seating during the 1970s when commercial flights became popular.

By the 1980s the production of memory foam had become cheaper and more affordable to use in more products. Some companies still avoided it as there were still some difficulties in mass producing the material. One Swedish company, Fagerdala World Foams saw the foam’s potential in bed production.

In 1991 the Tempur-pedic Swedish mattress was launched, the first to be made with memory foam. This new idea of using memory foam on beds was extended commercially too. This material is now a common sight in hospitals, where layers of it are used to give patients extra comfort in their beds to protect them from sores and other defects caused by being bedridden. The material has been developed further in the 21st Century, making the foam mould itself to the body of the person, providing extra comfort and protection to its user.

How is Memory Foam made?

Memory foam is a combination of a polyol, dissocyanate and water. This creates a mix, which when heated, rises like bread, creating an open cell structure. This allows it to regain its shape when pressure is put on, due to the increased airflow through these cells.

How memory foam is graded

The properties of the memory foam can be graded in four ways.

Weight/Density

The foam can be made at different densities, ranging from 1-7lb. The higher the density the harder it is to make an indentation in the foam. Most quality memory foam for beds are made at around 5-6lb, making it more likely to form around the contours of an object which exerts pressure and heat onto it…i.e a person. This technology forms the basis of tempur mattresses on beds and pillows. The thickness of the foam is also important. In order to carry out its comforting properties it must be between 1.5-6in thick.

ILD Rating

How easy it is to make an imprint on the foam. The more amount of pressure needed to create an indentation the higher its ILD rating and the harder the material.

Resilience

This is how springy the foam is and the speed in which it re-forms to its original shape after heat or pressure is imparted on it. If a ball is dropped onto the foam’s surface, how long does it take to remould itself and how far would the object rebound off its surface? The harder the surface the further the ball will rebound off it, the smaller the indentation on the foam, then the less time it takes to go back to its original shape.

Tensile

This is how far the foam can be stretched, which is measured in pounds per sq inch.

Adaptations to problems

Since its first development by NASA in the 1960s the make-up of memory foam has been changed and adapted to create a better product and to eradicate some of its deficiencies.

Too hot and flammable- One drawback of memory phone has been that it can become too hot and indeed emit toxic fumes if ignited. Modern designers have developed ways to add extra airflow channels to the material and integrate cooling materials to reduce the risk of fire and divert sweat away from the body. When used in shoes an antibacterial layer is added to help keep the material cool and odour free.

Not environmentally friendly: Bio green Memory foam has been developed which eliminates some of the chemicals and gases found in the original one.

The invention of memory foam has revolutionised the way we sleep, providing comfort and support to quality beds throughout the world.


Springs

While we have looked at the benefits of memory foam mattresses the other type are supported by springs, which come in different amounts, usually 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000. The more expensive the bed, the more amounts of springs there are supporting it. It is recommended

Types of spring mattresses

Open Coil structure

These are linked together across the length and width of the mattress. They are common in children’s beds and are largely inexpensive to produce. However, over time these coils can start to fall out and become displaced, especially under the points of which the most pressure is put on it. This can cause a “hammock” type effect, leading to lack of support for the spine and lower back. This problem can be solved by inserting a piece of memory foam underneath to help take the pressure of the coils.

Pocket Springs

Pocket spring mattresses provide even support across the bed and can be found in the aforementioned quantities of 800-2000 springs, depending on the cost. These are not linked together, meaning that they can move to support the contours of your body while you sleep. If sleeping with a partner it helps to eliminate their movements too, meaning there is less chance of disturbing each other during sleep. Pocket spring beds have the advantage of lasting longer than open coil ones before any major repairs need to be carried out.

Pocket Memory Mattress Core

As the name suggests this is a combination of both pocket springs and memory foam. The disconnected spring technology still carries out its function of moving to support your body. The memory foam acts as further support for your body’s movements and pressure points. These combined provides a winning formula for a quality night’s sleep.

The benefits of Pocket Spring Beds

Reduces Partner Disturbance

This is the term used in the bedding industry for the movement felt by your partner tossing and turning or getting out of bed. While other mattress types may increase this, pocket spring systems reduce the external movement, reducing partner disturbance to a minimum.

Supports your body

As each spring is designed individually they can move in accordance with your pressure points and body shape.

Safe

The springs do not get hot or emit toxic fumes if set alight and yet they perform pretty much the same function as memory foam.

Comes in a range of tensions

Pocket springs come in a different tension, so you can choose whether you require soft, medium or firm support.