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By Sarah Frink, Brand Publishing Writer
Buying a new bed can be overwhelming, especially when consumers are inundated with seemingly conflicting information about which mattress guarantees the best night's sleep.
Experts at Baer's Furniture, a family-owned chain with 15 locations throughout Florida, can demystify the process.
One of the first considerations is how big a bed to buy — and for most couples, the choice comes down to king size vs. queen size. Provided the room is large enough, there are many advantages in going with a king, says Janet Graham, an interior designer at Baer’s Naples location.
“I definitely recommend a king over a queen,” Graham says, pointing out that a king offers over an extra foot of width. Make sure the bedroom is big enough, she warns: a standard 11-by-11 or 11-by-12 guest room would be too small.
The extra space in a king can come in handy for young families, if small children are going to be sleeping in the same bed as their parents from time to time, Graham says. Also, if one half of the couple is a restless sleeper, the extra space can make a big difference.
Mattress technology has evolved to help guarantee a good night’s rest for two very different sleepers. One advantage of the increasingly popular foam mattress is its ability to absorb movement, which is “an important consideration if your partner is a restless sleeper,” says board-certified orthopaedic spine surgeon Dr. Hooman Melamed, who has been featured on “The Doctors” and “The Dr. Oz Show.”
Another advantage of memory foam is that it reduces pressure points, which is good for the spine, Melamed says. In terms of budgetary considerations, foam mattresses do tend to last longer than standard coil mattresses, Graham says. Many are hypoallergenic.
The typical complaint about foam mattresses is that some sleepers find they generate too much heat, Melamed says, which can lead to an uncomfortable night’s rest. However, mattress manufacturers have come up with a solution for this, too — many add a gel to mattresses to help keep them cool.
“The cool comfort gels are very popular, especially with young people,” Graham says.
When choosing a mattress, the usual points of comparison are foam vs. coil and firm vs. soft. Baer’s offers a computerized bed-testing center at its stores that prompts customers to provide information about their sleeping habits — side sleeper or back sleeper, for example. Then customers lie on a computerized bed that detects weight and pressure points.
“Those are the two main considerations,” Graham says.
Melamed says there are a few basic rules to follow depending on the individual’s sleep style. Side sleepers need to support their shoulders and neck and keep them aligned during sleep, and “(they) should choose a softer mattress to avoid pressure points, but not one so soft that it doesn’t property support (the) neck.”
Back sleepers are in the “best position,” Melamed says, as the “spine stays in natural alignment all night long.” They would want to choose a mattress that allows them to sink into it and be supported.
Finally, stomach sleepers should “opt for something firm to support the natural curve of (the) spine and keep (them) from overarching,” Melamed says.
“Eighty percent of the population will have back problems at some point in (their) lives, oftentimes caused by their mattress,” Melamed says.
That’s why the right bed is a good investment, says Debbie Preston, a sales associate at Baer’s Naples location. “Don’t be afraid to spend money on it,” Preston says. “You sleep on it for one-third of your life, so you want to get it right the first time.”
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