Oct. 23, 2019 | Josh Skapin
Thanks to the latest mattress innovations, finding the perfect bed is easier than ever
Finding the ideal mattress for some solid shuteye shouldn't be a tiring process. Thankfully, it's easier than ever to find a sleep space that fits one's specific preferences when it comes to firmness, temperature and durability.
Prices vary dramatically. A queen-sized, pocket-coil mattress can start at around $400, while a 100 per cent latex bed with free-range New Zealand sheep's wool is upwards of $4,000.
Although they are not as common in North America as in Australia and Europe, latex options have a lot to offer, says Joseph Kulcsar, sleep consultant with Mattress Mattress in Calgary.
"Latex foam is made from rubber-tree extracts, so it's got a very elastic quality," he said. "It's always giving you a bit of resistance, while still giving you a foam cushioning.
"We have found it to be one of the more long-lasting materials. The two mattresses with the longest-lasting warranties on my floor are both latex beds."
When shopping for a new mattress, the two characteristics to look for are support and conformity.
"A pocket-coil mattress has a large amount of coils inside the bed, but they're all their own individual units, as compared to a continuous coil," said Kulcsar.
As individual units, the pocket coils cause "a lot less motion transfer," he adds. "One person moving on one side isn't affecting the coils on the other side."
Meanwhile, the strength of the continuous-coil option is support.
"You're not going to sink into them, but they don't have a lot of conformity," said Kulcsar. "Because everything is always together, it can't give a whole lot in one area and not a lot in the other."
"We have found (latex foam) to be one of the more long-lasting materials. The two mattresses with the longest-lasting warranties on my floor are both latex beds." - Joseph Kulcsar, Mattress Mattress
People who have firmness preferences can find what they're looking for in a range of bed types. However, for those who enjoy feeling enveloped by a mattress, gel-infusion memory foam and TEMPUR® are recommended routes.
For many people, temperature can be the difference between a restful and restless sleep.
"For those people who are furnaces when they sleep, we do have cooling mattresses," said Kulcsar.
Through new direct-to-consumer companies like Endy and Casper, buyers can wade through their options, choose a bed and have it arrive – compressed into a pleasantly small package – within a few days. These companies also boast risk-free, 100-day free trials and an easy return process if buyers don't like their mattress, but Kulcsar believes the traditional, in-person experience still offers something more.
"We like to give you three to five minutes to lay on a mattress before even making a yes or no decision on it," he said. "When you're on there for that long, your heartbeat slows down, your muscles relax and then you can start to feel – not exactly how it's going to feel when going to bed, but you'll start to get an idea."
For a healthy sleep, Charles Samuels, medical director of the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance, points to the importance of the sleep environment.
"The bottom line is quiet, dark and temperature-controlled, so the person is comfortable," he said. "Some people like it warmer than colder, but generally, colder is better."
It's also important to unplug early for a quality sleep.
"The No. 1 thing now in western society, certainly in North America, that is getting in the way of people's sleep health, which is a large area, is technology, for sure," said Samuels.
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