There is no item in our home that we use more than our mattress. It is the single most important thing we own, and the extent to which our waking life is effected by the quality of sleep we get - or don’t get - is truly profound. We have all heard of beauty sleep, but what we often don’t realize is that the implications of insomnia go far beyond puffy eyes and having a difficult time concentrating. Sleep deprivation and even restless sleep can severely affect our mood, increasing stress levels and tension while depleting energy and mental acuity. In addition to the mental strain caused by lack of sleep, there are a number of physical risks associated with sleep problems as well. In fact, sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and strokes. If you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or frequently wake up with tightness and tension, it is more important than ever to make sure your mattress isn’t contributing to the problem.

Choosing The Right Mattress

Spring Forward, Fall Back?

With all the hype on alternative mattress materials, many people are wondering if innerspring and individually wrapped coil mattresses are a thing of the past.  The truth is that there are many different types of support systems, and although it can sometimes be daunting to try and make sense of all of the different technologies available, it is worth keeping an open mind to everything that is out there so you can make an informed decision about your own needs in a bed. Just because your neighbor loves their water bed doesn’t mean that everybody would, and when talking about something you are going to spend about a third of your life on, it is important to not let someone else’s opinion cloud your judgement.

Innerspring mattresses are known for their resiliency and support, as well as their superior ventilation when compared to a block of foam. More than that, however, the feel of innerspring mattresses is wholly unique, and no other mattress technology captures the feel of a coil mattress in quite the same way. Our award-winning sales staff is expertly trained in helping you find the perfect bed for you, and their knowledge of the different technologies is vast. They may recommend you try an innerspring mattress, or a hybrid system that combines springs and foam to create a unique feel and support system. When trying the different options out there, keep an open mind and try to develop your own conclusions about the different materials. Our sales staff will be able to make sure you are getting the support that you need, but only you will be able to determine what is comfortable for you.

Memory Foam and Gel Foam and Latex, Oh My!

Even a cursory glance around the internet can bring back enough conflicting information about mattresses to make your head spin. And with so many new materials vying for a place in your bedroom, it is more difficult than ever to make sense of what is actually true or what’s just marketing jargon. Is memory foam really hot to sleep in? What if I’m allergic to latex? Is gel foam going to break down quickly? These are just a couple of questions that we get in our stores every day, and let me tell you, there aren’t actually simple answers to any of them.

For example, natural latex is actually an ideal sleeping surface for people with allergies, as dust mites aren’t able to live in it and it is made from the sap of the rubber tree, meaning there is no chemical off-gassing from it. Yet, people with latex sensitivity may be worried about having a reaction and therefore avoid it specifically from the offset. However, every latex mattress we carry is approved for use by people with latex allergies, and would cause zero reaction whatsoever from even the most sensitive person. The reason for this is that the way latex sensitivity works is very different from, say, being allergic to a cat, where you would react just from being in the same room. Ultimately, latex ends up being a fantastic sleeping surface, yet without doing the proper research, someone might skip over it based on their assumptions and therefore miss out on trying it.

The same thing can happen for either of the other two examples. Memory foam is not hot as a general rule, although certain types can be (yes, there are many - all memory foam is not created equal), that is usually not the case. I have seen many people who love Tempur-Pedic’s beds but think that they couldn’t sleep on one because they have heard that ‘memory foam sleeps hot’. This is an incorrect assumption on a couple of levels - for one, Tempur-Pedic and memory foam are not the same thing (another common misconception), and two, there are versions of memory foam that will sleep cooler than others. As a result of these pre-conceived notions somebody could potentially skip over what might be the perfect sleep system for them.

With gel foam’s recent rise to popularity, it has had its fair share of misconceptions and confusions flood the internet as well. One of the questions we get most frequently is regarding gel’s durability as a sleeping surface. This is one of the stranger misconceptions, because not only is gel foam’s durability excellent, but it is a newer product so there is almost no history of failure to base it on. For example, when looking at a product like iComfort, Serta is so confident in its durability that they are offering a warranty on their iComfort line superior to the warranty they offer on their innerspring mattresses.

The bottom line when shopping for a mattress is to keep an open mind and to not hesitate to ask us any questions you may have. With every major manufacturer on display, our sales staff is the best source of unbiased knowledge that you could possibly have at your disposal. Here at The Sleep Shoppe, our only goal is for you to be waking up happy, and being educated and confident in your purchase is the first step in that direction.

Losing Sleep Over Dust Mites?

While dust mites are an unfortunate fact of life, they don’t have to be. At The Sleep Shoppe we offer a number of mattresses specifically designed to eliminate allergen build-up over time, including many mattresses that dust mites cannot inhabit at all. Even more traditional innerspring mattresses have taken to using anti-microbial fibers in an effort to provide a healthier sleeping surface. So while your old mattress might be a major contributing factor to your allergies right now, your next mattress may in fact help shield against them for many years to come.

To Flip, or Not To Flip?

Many people tell us that their old two-sided mattress would last “twice as long” as a one-sided bed, based on the rationale that you could simply flip it and have a new mattress on the other side. The truth is, however, that that couldn’t be further from the truth. As mattress technology has improved, the industry has gone away from two-sided beds in an effort to create a mattress that will last you longer while providing you with the best support possible. The industry has also largely shifted away from the more traditional box spring to a more modern solid foundation.

The actual springs or coils have been changed also, with different shapes that now have a distinct top and bottom and are designed with conformability and durability in mind. While it may seem like if you could flip your old mattress you might be able to eke out more life from it, the truth is that when a mattress’ support system has worn out, flipping it over isn’t going to change that. In fact, there are a number of problems that can come from sleeping on a bed that is no longer supporting you, including an increased risk of back problems down the road.