The right bed, like the one in this owner’s suite, and the right environment means the difference between a sleepless night and a restful night. The Sanibel plan, a new home by GL Homes at Seven Bridges. Delray Beach, FL.
By Patricia L. Garcia
Now that you’re building your new home, there’s no doubt you’re ready for some new furniture, including a new bed. There are so many beds to choose from — memory foam, plush, pillowtop, oh my! — that it can be downright confusing trying to find the right one.
When it comes to choosing the right bed, it comes down to personal preference. Some like a firm bed, while others prefer falling into what feels like a soft, fluffy cloud.
“Determining the right bed for you is a very personal matter and one that must take in account several different factors,” says Erick Arbé, founder of Fohm, a memory foam pillow company. He says to ask yourself these questions before shopping for a new bed:
- What type of sleeper are you (back, side, stomach)?
- What type of firmness do you prefer? Soft, medium firmness, extra firm?
- Do your pets sleep with you?
- Do you have any physical ailments (back or neck issues)?
- What is your budget?
Know Your Mattress Types
Now that you’ve accounted for what you want from your bed and presumably how big it should be, it’s time to do a little research on the type of mattress you should get. According to mattress company Beautyrest, there are five basic types of mattresses:
- innerspring mattresses: traditional mattress that incorporates a system of open coils or metal springs between padding;
- encased spring mattresses: innerspring beds where springs or coils are individually wrapped in fabric, which allows each spring to adjust to your body. Those with high coil counts are higher quality;
- memory foam mattresses: mattresses made of viscoelastic polyurethane foam that conforms to the body to reduce pressure points and to provide proper support;
- hybrid mattresses: these mattresses utilize two technologies — memory foam for comfort and encased springs for support; and
- air mattresses: these mattresses use air chambers as their primary support and can be inflated or deflated to change the bed’s firmness.
While we’re on the subject of materials, it’s important to consider eco beds. “Does it matter to you that the materials are environmentally friendly?” asks Ricky Joshi, co-founder of Saatva, an online-only mattress brand. “Many mattresses use cheaper chemicals such as formaldehyde as a flame retardant, while green beds should use much healthier natural alternatives. Also, green beds have much lower VOCs (air pollutants) and won’t usually off-gas.”
Do your research on which material will be the most logical — and comfortable — for your needs.
How Does It Feel?
Even after all of the research you’ve done, what it all comes down to is how a mattress feels. Now comes the fun part of your research — test driving some mattresses that seem like possible winners.
“Nothing compares, however, to actually lying down on the mattress to best understand your preference,” says Beautyrest. “Focus on support and comfort and remember you can’t get one without the other. If you suffer from back problems caused by a poor mattress, spinal alignment and support may be the key. Research, feel and see the difference that the latest bedding technology offers before you buy. Go to a local retailer armed with questions. Test-run all the models, and then test them again.”
Keep Your Bed In Good Shape
“With proper care, a good mattress should last you 10 to 15 years,” Joshi says. “Rotating your mattress twice a year (especially if it’s a pillowtop type) will assist with evenly distributing the applied weight on the mattress, allowing it to last longer. If young children or pets are sleeping on the mattress, investing in a mattress cover/protector is a great option.”
Aside from those suggestions, change the sheets every one to two weeks, says Arbé. “The more frequent, the better,” he says. “Sheets that are changed more often don’t let sweat and dead skin cells penetrate through to the mattress.”
A Restful Retreat
Once you find the perfect mattress for you, it’s time to create a restful retreat to make your bed — and bedroom — a place where you can easily find rest. First thing to do is make your home a tech-free space. It’s hard to sleep or relax when you’re texting, working on a laptop or tablet or watching TV, so keep all of those electronics out. Invest in an alarm, rather than using your phone, to wake you.
Also use peaceful colors in your room and on your bed to help you get rest. “Your bedroom, more specifically your bed, should be your haven,” Joshi says. “Your peaceful retreat where you experience your greatest dreams during your deepest sleep. Decorate your bed with colors that relax you, so you can’t wait to lie down on it.
“If you’ve got a fancy style, accessorize with comfy decorative pillows,” he says. “If you’re more the neat and modern type, go for a minimalist approach with a simple yet sophisticated bedspread. And though it may seem like a chore, try to make your bed every morning so that it welcomes you each evening!”
Patricia L. Garcia is content manager for NewHomeSource, where you can search for and get information on new homes and new construction communities. You can find her on Google+.