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The Mattresses Experience

The Mattresses Experience

A short study into the various aspects which influence decisions when choosing a mattress.

 

BEDS (BASE AND MATTRESS)

Technology has extremely changed the bedding and linen industry – with focus aimed at durability, comfort, health, quality of sleep and posture support – but to name a few.  This includes areas such as the spring system, fillers used in mattresses, fabric for mattress coverings, etc.  and in our modern day we now even have access to a sleep studio where people are invited to sleep on a variety of mattresses whilst pressure points are been tested with advanced computerised software.

 

BRANDING

Buying a bed can cause endless nights of sleeplessness!   Individuals will choose a brand based on previous personal experience of it, quality, technology, price etc.  At the end of the day, the same basic technology is used in manufacturing beds; each brand with their own product differentiation.  The basic mattress consists out of a coil system, the filling, the supportive pillow or pillow top (additional) and the covering (fabric) as described in this document.

 

BASIC PURCHASE OPTIONS AVAILABLE

The Mattresses Experience

Option 3

A Designer Base, complimenting the headboard, has become a very popular feature for the bedroom.  (Custom mattresses are also available to be purchased as a stand-alone item.)

This base may be finished in either the timber product or the upholstered product incorporated in the headboard.

The Mattresses Experience

SPRING SYSTEMS

Spring systems used in beds are called Coil Systems.  There is no coil unit that is perfect for everyone.  Each person has their own preference. Nowadays, all high-end mattresses are manufactured with the Pocket Coil System which is either a Linear Pocket Coil or Cluster Pocket Coil.

 

Here is a little info on what makes each style.

The Mattresses Experience

Independent Pocket Coil

Independent coils wrapped in fabric casing

Broad range of durability

Terrific for pressure point relief

Dampens transfer of motion from sleeping partner

Drawback: Body impressions are very common

(Memory Foam Mattress Fillings counter act this)

The Mattresses Experience

Double Offset Coil

More conforming than the Bonnell or Continuous coil systems

Similar in many ways to a Continuous Coil system

Drawback: lateral transfer of motion

The Mattresses Experience

Bonnell Coil  System

Bonnell units come in many gauges and coil counts

Look for a minimum of 500 coils for adults or 312 for children – directly influenced weight of person

Coil Gauge 13-16 is common; The lighter the gauge the firmer

Lighter gauges can still be durable with higher coil counts

Much less expensive than alternatives

The Mattresses Experience

Continuous Coil System

Many coils connected into a single piece

Durable and Responsive

Each spring draws support from adjacent springs

A less expensive option

Drawback: lateral transfer of motion can disturb partner

The new dynamic Pocket Coil System – the ultimate comfort and luxury.

The pocket spring version uses the uniquely English system of small individual springs, each in its own calico pocket. With each small spring reacting to the pressure applied to the mattress a perfect degree of support is gained across the length of the body – with maximum support given automatically where it is needed most – ensuring the spine is kept straight even if you sleep on your side.  The pocket sprung mattress has two rows of hand side-stitching, which anchors the outer spring units and covers together. The whole mattress is tufted with cotton tufts to keep the fillings and springs in place.

 

Characteristics and Benefits of the Pocket Coil System

  • Independent coils wrapped in fabric casing
  • Broad range of durability
  • Pocket Coil Spring Systems are designed for comfort, durability and their body conforming ability.
  • “Straight line deflection” supports different body weight. Allows body to maintain its correct postural alignment.
  • Consistent firmness results in reduced partner disturbance.
  • The coils adjust instantly to your sleep movements, comforting and supporting your body actively.
  • Terrific for pressure point relief
  • Dampens transfer of motion from sleeping partner

 

FILLINGS

Mattresses are manufactured with various different fillings to ensure the ultimate sleeping surface.

The very first and traditional filling is the FOAM MATTRESS, today referred to as COMFORT LAYERS FOAM.  Technology has stepped up to offer a wider range of choices such as LATEX FOAM, MEMORY FOAM AND GEL MEMORY FOAM Fillings.

Each filling has its own unique properties and benefits for each individual’s comfort and health needs.

 

A:    MEMORY FOAM

It is the fastest growing segment in the mattress and bedding industry and recommended by thousands of health care practitioners.

 

There are two types, namely the original MEMORY FOAM and the upgrade referred to as GEL MEMORY FOAM.

Composition:  Spring system, GEL MEMORY FOAM/MEMORY FOAM

1. GEL MEMORY FOAM (upgrade from Memory Foam)

The Mattresses Experience

Gel Memory Foam is manufactured from different components of chemicals of visco-elastic foams.  Gel Memory Foam is the same as ordinary memory foam but infused with gel particles that offers a cooling effect.

It is not a natural product.

Characteristics:

  1. The most distinct different between Gel Memory Foam and Memory Foam is the first is a Cool gel infused memory foam that regulates body temperature, besides moulding to the body;  thus keeping the body warm in winter and cool in summer.
  2. Gel Memory Foam is temperature sensitive and therefore responds to body temperature.
  3. It provides ultimate support and comfort as it is designed to take the shape of the body by Moulding itself to the body and always returns to                       its original shape.
  4. It absorbs pressure points on the body and gives relief, whilst maintaining blood circulation.
  5. There is virtually zero transfer motion from one side of the mattress to the other, resulting in the minimising of feeling partner movement.
  6. It has a softer feel than Latex Foam.

2. ORIGINAL MEMORY FOAM

The Mattresses Experience

Gell Memory Foam is manufactured from different components of chemicals of visco-elastic foams.

Ordinary Memory Foam does not have the cool gel infusion quality and therefore absorbs body temperature.  – It’s not a natural product.

Characteristics:

  1. It does NOT regulate body temperature.
  2. Memory Foam is temperature sensitive and therefore responds to body temperature.
  3. It provides ultimate support and comfort as it is designed to take the shape of the body by moulding itself to the body and always returns to its original shape.
  4. This comforting, body-hugging quality creates the sense that you are sleeping IN your mattress and not just on top of it.
  5. It absorbs pressure points on the body and gives relief, whilst maintaining blood circulation.
  6. There is virtually zero transfer motion from one side of the mattress to the other, resulting in the minimising of feeling partner movement.
  7. It has a softer feel than Latex Foam.

B. LATEX FOAM
Composition:  Spring System and block(s) of Latex Foam

The Mattresses Experience
The Mattresses Experience

Latex Foam is extracted from bark of trees.

It’s a natural product.

Characteristics:

  1.  Latex Foam will push against you, hence a firmer feel.
  2. It feels like you are lying ON TOP of the mattress and not IN the mattress.
  3. It minimises pressure points, resulting in less toss and turn.

Latex foam will also mould to the body contour

THE COMFORT LAYERS FOAM

Composition:  Spring System and multi layers of foam (

  

  1. It is an ordinary foam mattress, referred to in the bed and linen industry as Comfort Layers Foam Mattresses.
  2. It is manufactured of different components of foam that make out the comfort layers.
  3. This was traditionally used for all mattresses.
  4. It is available in different densities, which will determine the comfort of the mattress.
  5. It does not have any of the characteristics and benefits of Latex Foam or Memory Foam mattresses.

 

NON-TURN MATTRESSES

Mattresses are mostly available as non-turn mattressesThe added non-turn sides protect the base of the spring system for longer lasting support and durability.

A PILLOW TOP:  A “pillow top” has additional comfort layers stitched out of the main mattress to give a pillow effect.    This layer is built on the outside of the mattress. The core reason is comfort.

A SUPPORT TOP: is a pillow top all in one mattress with additional comfort layers inside to identify where the spring ends and the foam starts.  It does not have the stitching of a second layer on top as it is built inside the mattress.

Mattresses are manufactured with or without a Pillow Top, Support Top and/or Zip off Top

The Mattresses Experience

Plain mattress

Older Technology

Mattress needs to be turned.

Less Comfort

The Pillow Top & Support Top

Memory/Gel Memory foam layer of (on average) 6cm added to the mattress (filled with Latex or Memory Foam)

Main Benefit:

This makes the mattress ‘turn free’ technology.

Added Benefit:

Does not take on body indentations.

Pillow top adds to extra comfort

Zip off quilt

It is a memory foam ‘topper’ that can be removed.

Main Benefit:

A hygienically clean top with memory foam that can be zipped off and washed for hygienic reasons.

It can sometimes also be purchased as a standalone item to be used additionally to provide a softer feel or providing more comfort on a firm mattress

Some mattresses have the Pillow Top, as well as a Zip Off quilt but availability is limited

FABRIC  (Mattress covering)

When considering new mattresses, the outer layer fabric of a mattress should be taken into consideration before purchase. Understanding the benefits of each type of fabric can help the customer select a bed that he will be continually happy with.

Many mattress fabrics are actually blends of multiple types of fibers.  It is very common for manufacturers to combine natural fibers, like cotton or wool, with synthetic fibers in order to create fabrics that are durable.

Cotton and wool are both natural fibers that are known for comfort.  Cotton comes from the cotton plant, and wool grows on sheep, but both fibers are highly versatile.  Both cotton and wool are absorbent and have moisture wicking attributes, which lends them to fabrics for mattresses.

Like cotton and wool, silk is a naturally occurring fiber.  However, most silk that is used in manufactured products is also manufactured and not natural. Silk is an affordable, luxurious fabric for use on the sleeping surface of mattresses.  Because of its slippery quality, silk is often used in blended fabrics when used for mattresses.

The most popular fiber to blend with silk for mattresses is bamboo.  Bamboo fabric is relatively new on the global marketplace, but has quickly gained in popularity.  Because bamboo grows in abundance, and can be grown nearly all over the planet, bamboo is inexpensive to use in fabrics.  Bamboo fabrics are naturally antibacterial, and have an attractive luster.  Bamboo blends well with silk because bamboo fabric is a lot like silk in look and texture, though it is a bit more robust.  Blending silk and bamboo into fabric for mattress exteriors creates a luxurious sleeping surface that is strong and easily cleaned.

 

Most popular choices:

a) Bamboo Circular Knit Fabric
Bamboo fibre is used for its natural anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that make it ideal for allergy free sleep.  Bamboo is usually blended with cotton and/or silk.

 

b) Aloe Vera Circular Knit Fabric

Like Bamboo, Aloe Vera is very new in the market place.  The healing effect of Aloe Vera on the skin has been known for a very long time.  The gel in the leaves of Aloe Barbadensis Miller contains at least 160 valuable, purely biological substances.  Aloe Vera Circular Knit fabric is anti-bacterial, anti-dust mite and improves your health ad they’ll-being. Aloe Vera is also blended with other natural products.

 
c) Wool
Luxurious fabric quilted with natural wool fibres are naturally healthier and more resilient, providing a healthier and more comfortable sleep.

MATTRESS THICKNESS

The Mattresses Experience

Thickness depends on the amount of filling in the mattress.  The thicker the mattress, the more comfortable.  Choice will be based on comfort vs price.

Thickness can vary between 23cm – 38cm.  An average mattress thickness is between 30cm – 35cm.

 

MATTRESS FIRMNESS

Mattresses are available in the following ranges of “feel”:

a) FIRM:  The term “firm” must not be confused with high quality back support.  The firmer mattresses are for those who prefer a firm feel when they are sleeping.  This is recommended for individuals with above average built and height.

b) MEDIUM (GENTLE FIRM): comfort layers are firmer than plush comfort and offers ample back support and recommended for people with average built and height.

c) SOFT (PLUSH): this level allows for comfortable rest providing a softer feel and a good back support.  Recommended for people of average built and height.

d) BACK CARE/ CORE SUPPORTTM  will offer support in the centre third of the mattress.  These are generally known as orthopaedic mattresses. Recommended for individuals that would require specialised back or hip support.

SA MATTRESS SIZES

Mattresses are available in a Standard Length or Extra Length and these sometimes differ between countries:

Standard length Extra Length Sizes
910 x 1880 910 x 2000 Single
1070 x 1880 1070 x 2000 Three Quarter
1370 x 1880 1370 x 2000 Double
1520 x 1880 1520 x 2000 Queen
1830 x 1880 1830 x 2000 King

 

 

PILLOWS

Pillows act as an extension of the mattress and either maximises or minimises the effect and benefits of the mattress.

The Mattresses Experience

a) ORTHOPEDIC COMFORT

  • reliefs pain, sleep related problems and snoring
  • is a Genuine Granulated Latex pillow
The Mattresses Experience

b) ORTHOPEDIC LATEX

  • conforms to your body creating a great night’s rest and weightless sleeping experience
  • comes in a orthopedic Belgian organic cotton cover with zip
The Mattresses Experience

c) ORTHOPEDIC MEMORY

  • has a Contour shape memory foam pillow with reflex foam support core – is higher on the one side for the very best in neck and shoulder support
  • 1.1 kg of solid Memory Foam
  • a Classic or Contour shape

Tip :  Expect an adjustment period

In spite of your best efforts and thoroughness in the mattress selection process the transition to your new sleep set may not be seamless.

Don’t panic, your body may just need time to adjust. Studies have shown that it may take up to 28 consecutive nights sleep on a new mattress to decide whether or not it is the right sleep system for you.  With that in mind, make sure that the mattress you choose comes with a minimum 60-day comfort exchange.

Anything less and you are not giving your body a chance to make the proper adjustment to what may, in fact, be the best mattress for you.

AUTHOR:  Reneé Engelbrecht

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