Tuesday, 19 June 2018

What’s the big deal about latex pillows?

What’s so special about them compared to all the others on the market?
Buying a pillow is a bit like buying a new car in that it doesn’t matter what type you get, it will do its job. A pillow will help get you through the night and a car will help you get from A to B. For some transcendent folk it’s as simple as that. Any pillow will do, any car will do. ‘Where are the lentils, man?’
For most people though, it isn’t quite like that.
Everybody knows the difference between a Lada Riva and a Rolls Royce. They know that all Rollers are ever so comfortable and reliable and long lasting and a dream to drive. While the Lada only has heated rear windows so you can warm your hands while pushing - and doubles in value when you fill it with petrol.

  

Apart from the obvious fact that cars are expensive, over their lifetime the average driver will cover enough distance to take them to the moon and back 3 times and spend a total of 4.3 years sitting behind the wheel, so buyers tend to be discerning. They think about price range, quality, reliability, economy, comfort, size, shape, colour, aspiration and suitability; knowing that the more research and effort that goes into choosing, the greater the likelihood of ending up with the right car.
And so it should be for anything to do with your bed, which is where you spend a whopping 26 years of your life. 6 times longer than in your car. Good sleep is vital to the health and wellbeing of all living creatures. Bats are grumpy if they get less than 20 hours sleep per day, while giraffes are happy as Larry with only 2 hours per night. The ideal for gorillas is 10 hours, while we humans need 7 or 8 hours of quality sleep.
There are a number of things that determine the quality of your sleep. What you do during the day is important. Looking after yourself with a sensible diet and reasonable exercise is a good start. Unwinding before going to bed and keeping regular hours will also help. A quiet, well ventilated and dark bedroom is a must. But the real key to good sleep is your bed and bedding.
A good quality, really comfortable mattress that is supportive in all the right places to keep your spine in alignment is vital. Choosing bedding that keeps you at your ideal temperature all night long is also tremendously important. But the one ingredient that is often given little thought and yet will make all the difference in the world is your PILLOW.
A good pillow supports and cradles your head and neck and works in conjunction with the mattress at keeping your spine in alignment. A good pillow can also provide supreme comfort. A good pillow can be the icing on the cake that can turn a reasonable night’s sleep into superb, healthful sleep at comparatively little extra cost. Why on earth would you sleep on a Lada, when you can afford to sleep on a Rolls-Royce?
And here’s the thing – most people in Australia spend night after night trying to sleep on broken down old Ladas! For 26 years of their lives. They buy $10 pillows without really thinking about it. Or maybe pay $20 or even $30 for virtually the same pillow under a well-known brand label that advertises and promotes. They don’t think about what the pillow is made of, what is inside it, how much support will it provide, how long will it last, how high is it, how firm or soft is it, how healthful is it – and ultimately is this really the best value I can get for my money?
For most of my life I’ve slept on one model Lada after another. When I was a kid there wasn’t really any choice, my father worked for the British Colonial Service in what was then Tanganyika and we all slept on government issued kapok fill pillows and mattresses. Remember the ubiquitous old striped ticking design?

 

Actually this wasn’t such a bad pillow in that kapok is all natural, hypoallergenic and naturally antimicrobial – but it is lumpy and bumpy and flattens down, so offers poor support to the neck and shoulders. At boarding school aged 7, part of the morning ‘making the beds’ ritual was giving the pillows a good shake to get some loft back into them. Imagine 12 boys to a dormitory; the urge to pillow fight was too often irresistible, with kapok flying everywhere. And then big trouble from Matron McBride who was a lovely old duck, but handy with the strap.
Other popular fillings for pillows back then were also natural – cotton fibre and wool, both with similar properties to kapok - and feathers, which tended to include mainly larger feathers that scrunched and the quills poked through. Ouch.
Then, as I got into my teens, synthetic fibres invaded the world of pillows and have pretty much ruled ever since because, for less cost, synthetic fibres create more loft and comfort than natural fibres. The most commonly used fill fibre for pillows is polyester, which is produced directly from polymer, an oil derivative. Polymer is the end result of oil being ‘cracked’, then ‘oxidised’ with air, and hydrated.
Solid polyester fibre is quite dense and flattens quickly, so hollow fibre, imagine tiny miniature macaroni, was developed that resists flattening. From there companies like DuPont and Honeywell developed all kinds of polymer based fibres with two holes, three holes – all the way up to seven holes in each tiny fibre. Other innovations included siliconizing fibre in a bath treatment, to make it softer and further improve loft recovery; and crimping to make it frizzy. Fancy marketing names were applied to add extra sizzle. Think Dacron, Tencel, Modal, Coolmax, Tactel, Fortrel and most recently, Microfibre.
It was soon discovered that a big problem with fiber fill pillows is that they are a brilliant medium for cultivating bacteria. Almost unbelievably, after only 2 years use, over 30% of the weight of your pillow could be made up of bacteria, bed bugs, dust mites (and their faeces), fungi, mould and dead skin. How horrible. So manufacturers started spraying fibre with chemicals to combat bacteria, microbes and dust mites. Sanitized, Healthguard and Ultrafresh are well known registered brands of these chemicals, which vary in degrees of necessary toxicity - and are only effective for a limited amount of time anyway. The biggest pillow manufacturer in this country, Tontine, strongly recommends renewing fiberfill pillows every two years!

                                                           Dust_mite

Today over 95% of pillows sold in Australia are synthetic fibre filled. Some fibres obviously perform better than others and this is reflected in the price, but health issues aside, all fiberfill pillows lose loft after about two years and may still be reasonably comfortable, but no longer provide the required support to your head and neck.
By now my career had taken me from 25 years running a clothing business to a sourcing role in homewares which involved finding suppliers for finished goods and raw material componentry for various products including mattresses, manchester, quilts and pillows – under some of the best known and most loved brand names in Australia.
We marketed pretty much every type of pillow there is and my wife was delighted we were afforded a golden opportunity to discard our horrible Lada’s to try sleeping on every Rolls Royce model pillow there is. I was also exposed to years of extensive pillow research – and what a revelation that was!
Once you go past fiberfill there are three pillow types that stand out as being superior. Feather and down, memory foam, and latex pillows. They are all significantly more expensive – but well worth taking the leap (like most people, something I probably would never have done had I had to pay normal retail price).
Feather and down makes a great pillow so long as it is good quality and the feathers have been properly processed to remove any odour. This entails washing in very hot water umpteen times (no toxic chemicals).The best of these have three chambers with lovely soft down at top and bottom for comfort, and the middle chamber filled with small feathers for loft. Feather is naturally antimicrobial so there is no need for any nasty chemicals. They retain height very well, but the only drawback is they do need to be regularly fluffed up.
Health professionals like memory foam pillows. They sink inwards with the weight of the head to create neutral skeletal alignment and reduce pressure points. Then, almost by memory, they slowly return to normal height. They are long lasting, antimicrobial and hypoallergenic. Manufacturers love talking about how memory foam was developed by NASA scientists for the comfort of astronauts during space travel. Fans love them.
I am not a fan. Memory foam is visco polyurethane – an oil derivative. They are heavy. People can have difficulty breathing through the nose because their heads sink in so far. Memory foam cannot breathe so sleeps hot and has a chemical odour. They are simply not for me.
I have a great love for my latex pillow. I can’t sleep properly without it and take it on holidays. It can breathe so sleeps cool. It is antimicrobial, dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic. It will perform as good as new for about 15 years. Most of all it is wonderfully supportive and comfortable. Choose the height and firmness that best suits and you are away. You won’t look back. Trust me. Or if you don’t want to trust me, ask your chiropractor. The Bed King offers the best latex pillows to give you the best benefits of latex pillows.


A Guide To Choosing The Perfect Pillow

Are you sleeping on the right kind of pillow?

We all sleep differently, and we all have different needs, so it follows that we may need different types of pillows to give us the best night’s sleep.
If you’re not sure which kind of pillow is right for you, follow these simple steps to find out.

Most of us have a go-to sleeping position that we adopt and usually maintain throughout the night. You may not realise it, but the position you like to sleep in largely dictates the kind of pillow you should be sleeping on in terms of thickness and firmness.

Do you know which position you usually sleep in?


If you’re not sure, spend a few nights paying attention to and taking note of the position you go to sleep in and the position you wake up in. If it’s largely the same position over and over again, you’ll know this is the position you sleep in most of the time. If it’s always different, that’s OK; there’s a pillow type for you too.
Here are the four main sleeping positions and the best pillow types to suit them:

Stomach sleeper – If you lie flat on your front with your head to one side, you should look for a relatively flat, soft pillow or even use no pillow at all. This is because you’ll need to keep your neck aligned with your spine in order to avoid neck pain and posture problems from straining your neck throughout the night, and thinner pillows help you do this.

Back sleeper – If you like to sleep on your back, you should aim for a pillow of medium thickness and firmness. If your pillow is too thick, your head will be pushed forward at an uncomfortable angle, and if it is too thin and soft your head will sink too far back towards the mattress. A medium thickness should keep your neck and spine well aligned for a comfortable sleep.

Side sleeper – If you’re a side sleeper, which is one of the most common positions, you’ll need a pillow that is both thick and firm in order to support your neck and keep it aligned properly with the spine. If your pillow is too soft, your neck and head will lie at a very unnatural angle to your spine and can lead to neck pain.

Mixed sleeper – If you find yourself sleeping in all sorts of positions throughout the night, you should choose a fairly soft pillow of medium thickness. This will allow you to remain comfortable in a variety of positions, and provides a happy medium in terms of support from all angles.

Now that you know what thickness and firmness you should be aiming for, it’s time to look at fillings. Your filling will somewhat dictate how thick and firm your pillow is, so getting this right is very important.
Also affecting your choice of filling are personal preference, allergies and price. Here are the four main types of pillow fillings and their attributes:

Synthetic microfibre pillows

Microfibre pillows are great for sleepers who suffer from asthma or allergies, as they are hypo-allergenic with purely synthetic hollowfibre fillings. Microfibre pillows also come in a range of thicknesses and levels of firmness, so you can find a pillow that perfectly suits your sleeping position. Synthetic pillows also tend to be budget friendly, costing less than wool or feather and down pillows.

Wool or cotton pillows

Another great selection for those suffering from severe allergies, cotton and wool pillows are resistant to mold and dust mites and are naturally very soft. Wool pillows do tend to be rather thick and firm, however, so these may not be the best choice for you if you’re a stomach sleeper. Because of their natural fibres, wool and cotton-filled pillows do tend to be further up the pricing scale than synthetic choices.  

Goose and duck feather pillows

Duck and goose feather pillows tend to be the most luxurious, and are therefore among the most expensive on the market, so make sure you take this into account. As they are filled with the inner plumage of ducks and geese, these pillows are understandably often avoided by those who suffer from animal allergies and asthma. However, if you don’t suffer from allergies, these natural pillows are great for providing varying levels of support and are very soft and breathable.

Memory foam pillows

If you suffer from neck or shoulder pain, memory foam pillows can be very helpful in keeping you comfortable and providing firm support for your neck. The main downside to memory foam pillows is that the foam is not very breathable, but the level of support makes them a very comfortable option for side sleepers in particular.

Once you’ve found your ideal pillow thickness, firmness and filling, you’ll want to keep your pillows well protected. To keep them clean and in tip top condition, you should use pillow protectors which will help shield your pillows from sweat, body oils, hair products and saliva.

You can buy hypoallergenic pillow protectors if you suffer from allergies, or you can go for a touch of luxury with super soft Egyptian cotton pillow protectors. Whichever type you choose, make sure you change and wash your pillow protectors regularly to keep everything fresh and hygienic.

Having the right pillows is one thing, but knowing when to replace them is just as important. Not all types of pillows have the same life span, and once they start to sag they will no longer provide the support you need, or the same level of comfort.

So how do you know if your pillow needs replacing? A foolproof trick is to simply place the pillow over your arm. If it stays rigid and holds its shape, it’s still in perfectly good nick. If, however, it sags over your arm, it might be time to replace it.

If you’re at the stage where you need to replace your pillows, or if you’ve realised you’re using the wrong pillow type - visit The Bed King in your area or view their range of various pillows.




Friday, 4 May 2018

What Does Your Mattress Say About You?

Sleep is the new luxury and your bed has become a fetish object


Marilyn Monroe © REX/Shutterstock
I last purchased a mattress about six years ago. As I remember, it required a five-minute waltz around the British homewares store John Lewis, a bit of bouncing and some fairly animated discussion about springs per square centimetre vis-à-vis memory foam which, at the time, was considered rather common. Some were stuffed with horse hair or wool, which in days gone by would have required restuffing or “carding” by an experienced professional.


I walked away with something that cost the same as a second-hand car and strict instructions that I must turn it every month in order to preserve its unique temper. Needless to say, it hasn’t moved a millimetre since being hauled up the stairs and onto the bed frame.


I never expected to give any further thought to mattresses, but lately I have found myself besieged with urgent information on the subject. Every Tube carriage proliferates with signage advertising conical pocket springs, promising “the best night’s sleep of your life”; every podcast is interrupted by some sponsor blathering on about “Airgocell layers” and “viscoelastic memory foam”. I stay in glamorous hotels that offer “pillow menus”, and make decidedly non-glamorous stops in motels that boast of their “king-size Hypnos beds”.


Could it be that other people are getting a better night’s sleep than I? And on cheaper bedding, too? This has piqued my full attention.


The great mattress disruption probably began with the advent of start-ups such as the US-based Casper, and the UK’s Eve and Simba, all promising cheaper, sleep-optimised technologies in straight-to-consumer businesses, part of a drive to crack what is estimated to be a $15bn market. Sales have been brisk. Casper, which launched in 2014, has seen its revenues triple to $300m in its first three years and has since launched pillows and dog beds. According to Forbes, online mattress sales could soon account for more than 10 per cent of the market.


It’s telling that even a mattress, that dull old lump of sponge, is now an essential chapter in our ‘story’



Likewise, the beauty industry is burgeoning with sprays, potions and unguents designed to aid better sleep. Fashion has become newly taken with “loungewear” — another word for pyjamas worn during the day — which has been identified as one of the fastest-growing categories by the luxury retailer Matches.com.


The subject — and science — of sleep has possessed our cultural lives, too. Arianna Huffington has built a second empire based on her TED talk and now bestselling book The Sleep Revolution, in which she advocates for eight hours sleep by eliminating mobile phones from her “sleep sanctuary” (or bedroom) and lighting candles instead. And there are a bazillion new sleep aids, apps and gizmos designed to facilitate swift passage to the land of nod. They even gave the Nobel Prize to those dudes who unlocked the chronotype, elucidating the inner workings of the biological clock, and excusing our habit for sleeping until midday as part of our genetic birthright.


At a time when we’re getting less of it than ever, sleep has become a very sexy subject — the bed a fetish object. The “Sleep in America” survey, conducted in 2008, found that 44 per cent of those polled weren’t getting the average of seven hours and 18 minutes sleep a night they needed to feel “their best”. The UK-based Sleep Council says a third of Britons survive on five to six hours sleep a night.


But hang on a second. The temptation to cast westerners as the woefully sleep-deprived victims of a capitalist culture that allows us no rest seems a bit rich, does it not? We’re not working down the mines any more, after all, or currently being shelled. Moreover, a good part of this new sleep obsession is actually being funded by the very agencies flogging us the sleep aids in the first place.


In 2015, Casper, the mattress company, launched a media offshoot called Van Winkle’s to “make sleep journalism a thing”. According to Jeff Chapin, co-founder and chief product officer at Casper, their objective was not only to sell mattresses but to start a “narrative” so that sleep became “part of a lifestyle”. Last month Van Winkle’s was wound down to re-emerge as Woolly, an online magazine about comfort and modern life which, according to a spokesperson, “emerged from Casper’s founding philosophy that sleep — in addition to food and fitness — is the third pillar of wellness.”


Creating a narrative is one of the weirder, more pernicious trends in recent years, affecting everything we buy, from bananas to handbags. It’s telling that even a mattress, that dull old lump of sponge on which you throw yourself each night, has become an essential chapter in our “story” — something we’re willing to pay for because it expresses some aspect of a lifestyle we hadn’t realised needed expressing until now. Sleep, once considered to be a basic life-sustaining necessity, a daily event that, unless one suffers from insomnia or small children, occurs as naturally and inevitably as blinking has now become a commodified, luxury experience.


Here’s another story. It’s quite short but I think it too could transform your own sleep narrative. Want to get more shut-eye? Try going to bed a bit earlier and research the best beds available. The Bed King have a marvelous variety of beds - there’s bound to be one to suit your needs, as well as your pocket.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Best Beds for Apartments: Maximising Space and Storage


Hardly a week goes past in New Zealand without us being reminded that how and where we live is changing dramatically from the traditional quarter-acre section, to modern apartment blocks and townhouses.
In Auckland 343 apartments have been completed in 2017 and a further 873 CBD units are under construction and due to be finished this year, and judging from the response to a bed-exhibitor stand at the Auckland Home Show in September, it’s clear that many Kiwis are coming to terms with some of the lifestyle changes required when you have to be more economical about your living space.
Bedpost franchisor Julia Doak says most of the interest from those who visited the Auckland Home Show was in “beds that have added functionality” – ie beds that include storage.
“This is new territory for many New Zealanders,” Julia says. “People are always nervous about the amount of storage they’re going to have when they live in an apartment, so utilising the space under the mattress makes complete sense.”
As well as choosing a bed frame with space under the mattress, as opposed to a mattress and base, the main two options for purpose-built storage when it comes to modern bed design is either in-frame draws.
Retailing for around R13000 for the queen size base, the Brooks frame is perfect for apartment living:
  • It comes flat-pack so it is easy transported up stairs or via elevators to be assembled in the bedroom.
  • It is aesthetically designed with built-in headboard and the perfect “hideaway” storage space to cut out the clutter.
  • It is extremely compact, coming in a range of sizes which are essentially the same footprint as the mattress.
  • It is extremely durable with Julia saying they’ve purposefully over-engineered its capacity so that it is able to support any style or size of mattress people choose to put on it.
The key elements to choosing a bed for apartment or townhouse living are all centred around space and access so don’t be surprised that when you come in to The Bed King store to choose a style of bed and mattress, that’s one of the main things that our sleep specialists will talk to you about.
It’s important to come fore-armed with information about the size of your bedroom so you know what size bed is suitable for the space, but, unless you’re keen to hire a crane to lift a bed in though an upstairs window, it also pays to know what size frame, base and mattress is capable of getting through all the doors, stairways, corridors and elevators usually associated with apartment blocks.
“When someone has a single level home then access is rarely a problem,” Julia says. “But even the best penthouse apartments usually have to use the same elevator as everyone else and that’s where the challenges can be.”
The main issue is with queen size bases. Sizes below that – say double beds at 188cm at its longest – usually fit, and kings and superkings come with split bases anyway. One option for a 203cm queen size is to choose a lower profile base, which makes it easier to get through doorways and into the bedroom.
“With mattresses,” says Julia, “it’s easier to manipulate them around corners but you can’t do that with a big wooden piece of furniture so it’s important to know that a bed will fit before buying it and organising delivery.”
If you are one of the growing number of people living in an apartment and you are planning to buy a new bed or mattress, you can visit The Bed King to see what would fit into your space, get expert advice on mattress sizes, double beds on offer and more.
Article source: https://www.bedpost.co.nz/Hot-Tips/best-beds-for-apartments-maximising-space-and-storage/

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

How to Buy a Bed for a Child



Let's face it there are some pretty outstanding beds out there for the more adventurous parents wanting their kids' rooms to stand out from the crowd.
But as well as fulfilling a dream of a fairytale castle, a dinosaur's lair or even the world's largest nest, it's vital for parents to know their children are getting the greatest night's sleep possible, the healthiest mattresses and pillows and the best value for money.


If you are moving your child out of a crib and buying kids beds for the first time, your first step is to head into a Bedpost showroom to get an expert opinion on what's best for your child, your budget and your home.

The key questions you need to ask are:

1) Do I need an interim toddler's bed or should I invest in a bed which will last until they're a teen? The height of the bed, or choosing a bed which can work as a bunk and then uncouple to a regular bed may be considerations to help your investment last longer.
2) Is the bed going to be sturdy enough to deal with the type of heavy-duty monkeying around that children are sure to give it? There's no avoiding the fact that a bed will double as a trampoline for a few years at least!
3) Is the mattress hard-wearing? You're going to have to research mattress protectors and make sure your choice of bed is easy to clean. Bed-wetting is often a difficult subject to tackle but the right choice of bed and mattress can help both you and your child deal with it.
4) Is this bed value for money? If you're buying for a slightly older kid - say from seven or eight into their teens - then you should look for options which offer storage, durability and which help your money go a little further. After all, this is the time when your growing children are costing you most in terms of clothes, food and outings so you need to make sure you're making a practical purchase.
5) Is this bed right for my child's room? There's a foot and a half difference in width between a single (92cm) a king single (107cm) and a double (135cm) mattress so it's vital you know your room's dimensions and also consider that growing children may be more comfortable in the wider option if space allows.
6) Is this bed right for my child? This is the most important consideration and you can't make it without actually having your child in tow when you go to buy their new bed. Get them to test-rest any mattress in the same way you would for your own new bed and ask any Bedpost expert to help.


Whether you're buying baby's first bed, making that move to "big-kid status" or coping with the practicalities of a growing teenager, making the right choice relies on being properly informed of your options. And once you've asked for expert advice from The Bed King on kids beds, then you can get about organising how to decorate for your princess, dinosaur hunter or baby bird! Visit The Bed King for more information, advice and ideas for kids beds.

Article source: https://www.bedpost.co.nz/Hot-Tips/how-to-buy-a-bed-for-a-child/