The modern marketplace is filled with all types of beds in several sizes and styles, from the single beds to the extra-king beds as well as from the single-level beds to the bunk beds. Name your preferences in beds and mattresses and you will find it in several of the brick-and-mortar shops and online stores that abound.
But not all beds are created equal. The best beds are the ones that meet the specific needs and wants of each user and, thus, these are usually unique in more ways than one. The unique aspects will come in the specific combination of the bed itself and its mattress, as well as in the types of bedding.
Regardless of the specific combination for your bed, sleep experts suggest choosing a bed setup that address the crucial aspects of comfort and support. The other things have a secondary importance, especially where the aesthetics are concerned.
Comfort and Support First
The concepts of comfort and support are the foundation for what makes the best beds work for their users. Think about it: When the bed you sleep on for at least six hours a day provides support in all the right places, you will enjoy a restful and comfortable sleep!
What exactly does “support” mean in the context of beds? Basically, the body remains in its neutral position when lying down on the bed so that its natural curvature, especially in the spine, is preserved. In layman’s language, neutral position means the head, shoulders and buttocks are in proper alignment such that the spine’s natural S-shaped curvature remains. Think of the way that you adopt a proper posture when you’re standing up but you’re lying down instead to get the idea.
When it comes to beds, the support usually comes from the mattress on top of the bed frame. This isn’t surprising as the mattress comes into direct contact with the body while the bed frame provides the hard structure for it. The better the support provided by the mattress, the better the comfort level will be for the user.
Without proper support from the mattress, waking up can be a chore, so to speak. You will likely wake up feeling tired even after six to eight hours of sleep, perhaps even wake up with muscle aches in your neck, shoulders and hips. You may even feel deprived of sleep and, thus, lethargic for the rest of the day.
What then is the best mattress? There’s no one-size-fits all answer since each individual will have his or her own preferences in the firmness, thickness and type of the mattress. You may, for example, like a soft mattress that allows you to sleep “in” the bed while your friend likes a firm mattress that allows him to sleep “on” the bed.
Sleep experts suggest, nonetheless, a medium-firm mattress because it’s a balance between a soft surface to lie down on and a firm mattress for support. A too-firm mattress will put undue pressure on your pressure points – neck, shoulders, hips, knee and calves – so you’ll wake up with aching muscles. A too-soft mattress, in contrast, will not provide sufficient support for your pressure points, not to mention put your spine out of is natural alignment.
The best way to determine whether a bed-and-mattress set-up will provide both comfort and support is to lie down on it for a night or a couple of nights. You can then take note whether it’s the right or wrong bed for your needs. You should ask about the trial and return policies of the bed retailer for this reason.
Size Matters, Too
Of course, the size of the bed set-up matters, too! You don’t want a bed that’s too cramped you can’t change positions while sleeping – and it isn’t advisable to stay in a single position for the entire 8-hour sleeping period either. You also don’t want a bed that’s too spacious you feel lost in it or you have difficulty getting off it.
Your best bet: A bed that allows you to sleep in an “open position” instead of being curled up to one side or stretched out like a stiff board. You should also be able to move around and change positions comfortably, even when you have a bedmate.
For this reason, you should have a larger bed than what you think is necessary for your height, girth and weight. You don’t want your feet and arms dangling off the bed in the same way that you don’t want it falling out from under when you’re fast asleep. You can, for example, choose a double bed instead of a single bed for this reason.
Style Comes Next
When the matters of comfort, support and size have been appropriately addressed, you can then turn your attention to the style of the bed. You have so many choices from the basic platform bed to the fancy four-poster beds, canopy beds, and sleigh beds, among others, that making your final choice can be a challenge. You may, for example, choose a canopy bed for the master bedroom with its elegant vibe but platform beds for the guest rooms and bunk beds for the kids’ bedrooms.
But keep in mind, too, that beds will be incomplete without the bedding. You must then also invest time, energy and effort on choosing the right sheets, blankets, duvets, and pillows for each bed in your home. You will also likely be overwhelmed by the choices in these products, from the basic white cotton sheets to the luxurious satin sheets.
You can narrow down your choices by keeping these tips in mind:
- Look at the thread count but don’t be swayed too much by it. Thread count is just one indication of quality such that the higher it is, the better the fabric will be. But be sure to consider the feel and texture of the fabric on your skin – a percale sheet will provide a different feel than a stretchy jersey sheet.
- Consider the material, too. Egyptian cotton is durable while providing a delicious feeling on the skin. Pima and supima cotton are shiny and soft but at a more affordable price. Linen is best for warm weather while poly-blend sheets are resistant to wrinkles.
Think of your bed as a combination of three distinct parts – the bed frame, the mattress, and the bed linens – so that you will enjoy the best bed for your needs.
Find your best beds at BedsOnline, an online national retailer with a wide range of beds from single beds to queen-sized beds. Ask their sales representatives for more information about the best bed for your family.