Simple Bedding Definitions
A pad of heavy cloth filled with soft material or an arrangement of coiled springs. It is a single unit and does not include a base or accompanying furniture. See image below for an example of a mattress.
A solid part of a bed that supports the mattress. It typically has six legs on it. See image below for an example of an ensemble base.
The combination of a mattress and an ensemble base. See image below for an example of an ensemble.
Bed frames with wooden slats that span from side to side in order to support the weight of the mattress. See image below for an example of a slat base.
Choosing a Mattress
When is time for a new mattress?
- Every five to seven years – manufacturers and chiropractors recommend replacing mattresses over this period.
- When sagging starts happening – saggy spots in a mattress result in people tensing their muscles to compensate for the uneven surface.
- When annoying peaks, dips or lumps show in the surface.
- When you experience lifestyle changes such as weight loss or gain, or a change in sleeping partners.
- If you are waking up sore with stiffness, aches or pains, it’s probably time to replace your mattress.
What should I look for in a mattress?
Research has shown that medium-firm mattresses reduce back pain, shoulder pain, spine stiffness and improve sleep quality. For people suffering from spinal health related conditions such as chronic low-back pain, it has been asserted that firm should remain the “first choice of patients.”
How can I look after my mattress?
Turn your mattress every 2-3 months so that body indentations are kept to a minimum. A good quality mattress protector will also protect your mattress from sweat, moisture, and dead skin cells.
It is important to know the measurements of different mattress sizes so that you can find the right size that will fit your room or bed (frame or ensemble). Below is the bed size and dimension (measurement) chart in millimeters for all standard sizes.
Single: 915W x 1880L (mm)
Single XL: 915W x 2030L (mm)
King Single: 1070W x 2030L (mm)
Double: 1370W x 1880L (mm)
Queen: 1530W x 2030L (mm)
King: 1830W x 2030L (mm)
Super King: 2030W x 2030L (mm)
Click on the link below to see a visual representation of the different mattress sizes.
Choosing a Pillow
Pillows are often given little thought, but are extremely important in maintaining a healthy neck and shoulder posture during sleep.
How do I know it’s time for a new pillow?
- As soon as your pillow becomes “squishy”.
- If you tend to fold your pillow in half for extra padding.
- If your pillow looks flat and lumpy, or the inside foam has become powdery and brittle.
What should I look for in a pillow?
There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ for pillows, so make sure you try, try, try before you buy! However, there are some important things to look out for when shopping.
- A pillow should have enough give to allow your head to mold into it. If it doesn’t, it’s probably too firm and could result in neck pain. If your head sinks to the bottom, it’s probably too soft, and could result in strains and sprains of neck joints, ligaments and muscles.
- Pillows should support the space between your head and shoulders. Your head and neck should remain level with your mid and lower spine.
- In many cases, you get what you pay for. While many ergonomic pillows on the market may seem expensive, they are more likely to provide long-term spinal health benefits.
Proper bed maintenance is simple, but can dramatically extend its life.
- Keep your mattress dry and clean with a quality mattress protector.
- Spot clean any spills immediately using detergent. Ensure you dry the mattress fully in the shade before using it again
- Tighten the legs on an ensemble every six months. For new ensembles, tighten after the first six weeks
- Tighten the bolts on a bed frame every six months to avoid the bed becoming loose and squeaky
- Rotate the mattress every few months
- Wipe down timber facings with a damp cloth regularly to remove dust and to keep the timber looking good. Furniture polish is not recommended
Minimising toxins from your bedroom
Your bedroom should be a place of peace, relaxation, and comfort to support restorative sleep. If you want to support all aspects of healthy sleep, it’s important to consider various sources of toxins in your bedroom.
Here is a checklist to help you minimise toxins in your bedroom:
Remove sources of indoor air pollutants such as artificial air fresheners, plug-in room fragrances, and toxic cleaning supplies.
Regular mattresses are coated with potentially toxic fire retardants. Popular memory foam mattresses are made with numerous other components that produce toxins, especially when the mattress starts to break down.
Polyester (a combination of natural and synthetic substances) contain possible carcinogens that can affect the heart, kidneys, and nervous system. Polyurethane, synthetic latex, and other man-made foams may have various negative health effects, from headaches to serious allergic reactions. Chemical fabric treatments, artificial colours, dyes, and hazardous flame retardants are also potentially toxic substances on bedding materials.
Natural fibers, specifically wool and cotton are non-toxic and should be considered as a comfort layer on your mattress. Wool is a breathable comfort layer, and is more resistant to dust mites than other natural bedding materials, such as down (which attracts dust mites).
Reduce sources of EMFs
EMFs (electromagnetic fields) are electrical frequencies that can disrupt electrical communication in the human body. Some tips to reduce EMFs during your sleep:
- Turn of your WiFi before you go to sleep
- Turn off your phone before bed
- Don’t use your laptop or tablet on your lap, where the radiation is concentrated over vital organs.
Reduce light pollution
- Take a “screen fast” at least an hour before bed. The blue light from electronic screens may disrupt melatonin levels, contributing to sleep problems
- Use blackout blinds to create a pitch-black sleeping environment