Friday, 3 July 2020

Sleeper Couch Buying Tips

Buying a quality sleeper couch can be a great investment towards the comfort of your future guests. No one wants to spend the night on a lumpy old mattress or a floppy air mattress. Why should your guests?
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1. Space Saving Seater/Sleeper

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When you’re living in a small space, space-saving furniture is a must-have in your home. Consider buying a sleeper couch that can be your couch by day and your bed by night. This feature will save space, as well as transform your home into a welcoming room when you’re hosting.
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Additionally, sleeper couches can be utilised in any room where you are in a pinch for space. Use this space-saving couch in the bedroom, study or living room and unlock its full potential – no matter how big or small the space.
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2. Two-in-One – Cost-Effective

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A Sleeper Couch is a two-in-one product. So, this two-in-one feature is the reason why these couches are so popular. A quality Sleeper Couch will be more expensive – if you view it as one furniture piece.
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However, think of it as buying both a bed and a couch – and you’re walking away with the deal of the year! This affordable product is ideal for newlyweds, bachelors and students.
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3. From Couch to Bed – Versatile

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As mentioned previously, space-saving furniture is a must-have in a small house. Furthermore, with Sleeper Couches being so versatile and dynamic in their designs, they are suitable for almost anywhere in the home. Place one in your child’s room, the study or living room, and you’re good to go!
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Additionally, you could rent out this couch on sites like Airbnb or Couchsurfing. Turn this couch into a money-making asset for your home!
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4. Sleeper Couches are Comfortable

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Typically, a Sleeper Couch reminds us of a thin, floppy mattress spread out over jabbing bars of the steel frame.
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If this looks like your recollection of a Sleeper Couch, then think again. Nowadays, we are spoilt for choice with high quality and most comfortable mattress at the tips of our fingers.
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With revolutionary designs and components, uncomfortable Sleeper Couches are a nightmare of the past! Today, these seaters provide exceptional comfort when you’re spending an evening watching TV or chatting away with friends.
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5. Aesthetically Pleasing

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Having an old mattress lying around can become an eye-sore in the house. A beautiful Sleeper Couch, however, can provide an aesthetically pleasing environment in your home.
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Additionally, you are spoilt for choice with many options to choose from. The wide range of options enables you to choose a Sleeper Couch that suits both your style and interior theme.
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When purchasing a Sleeper Couch, it is essential to look out for a few crucial aspects. This will ensure that you buy an excellent quality couch, that is comfortable for both sitting and sleeping.
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However, keep in mind that it will primarily be utilised for seating. Therefore, ensure that your Sleeper Couch fits in with the aesthetic of your room. 
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So, you’ve decided to buy a Sleeper Couch at Bed King. However, before solely deciding on aesthetic, keep the following in mind:
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  1. Frame
  2. Mechanism
  3. Comfort
  4. Size
  5. The Mattress
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The above-mentioned will ensure a quality buy. In return, your guests will experience the luxury of an actual bed for years to come!
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1. Quality Frame

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When looking for a Sleeper Couch, the first criteria to stop by is the quality of the frame. Look for a solid frame made of hardwood like Beech, Mahogany, Walnut or Ash wood. Stay away from softer woods like Pine, Spruce or Cedar.
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Contrastly, the frame can consist of steel. Look out for a frame that is made of solid steel, not hollow steel pipes. Furthermore, ensure that all steel edges are well rounded off. This will prevent any injuries due to sharp edges poking out.
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2. Mechanism = Transformation

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Since Sleeper Couches transform into a bed, there will be some sort of mechanism involved. Common mechanisms found in Sleeper Couches are:
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  • Drawer
  • Futon
  • Pull-out
  • Electronic
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Make sure that all hinges, screws and wheels are of high quality that won’t break easily. A good mechanism should open and close smoothly, without any squeaks or bumps. Lastly, ensure that all mechanisms open and close properly. After all, you don’t want a sofa that accidentally slides into a bed!
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3. Comfort is Crucial

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Just as you would with any other bed and sofa, be sure that comfort is of utmost importance. The catch with a Sleeper Couch, however, is making sure that both the bed version and sofa are comfortable.
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To be sure of this, test both the sofa and bed out, if possible. Some stores may allow a trial period if you stick to the rules and properly take care of your sleeper during the trial.
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Take in mind, as well, how frequent the couch will be utilized as a sleeper. If you plan on using it as a permanent bed, you might want to invest in a proper sleeper with a comfy mattress that suits your sleeping style. More on this later.
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4. Size Matters

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The right size of a couch have many determining factors. Take the following into consideration:
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  • Size of the Room
  • Seating Required
  • Size of Bed
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Firstly, make your decision based on your space available in the room. If you have ample space, consider investing in a corner or four-seater couch. These couches will transform into large beds with ample space for a couple or some kids sleeping over.
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If, however, you find yourself in a teeny space, a one or two-seater couch would probably be best. These couches fold out into single or double beds.
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Furthermore, take into consideration how much seating space you require. If you frequently host movie nights, rugby games or chats with a group of friends, then a Four-Seater or Corner Couch will be your best bet. Contrastly, if you’re more of an intimate person having only a friend at a time over, a couple of single couches, or a Double Seater Couch will work best.
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As mentioned previously, the Bed Size is another determining factor. If couple-friends of your’s visit regularly, it might not be a bad idea to purchase a couch that transforms into a Double Bed. Contrarily, bachelors might opt for a single bed Sleeper Couch, for the occasional friend staying over.
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5. The Mattress

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The most important factor in any bed is the mattress. Without it, it simply isn’t a bed. This is where many Sleeper Couch manufacturers miss the point. A Sleeper Couch cannot be a transforming rack with a couple of pillows on it.
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A good quality Sleeper Couch has a proper mattress in it. This means that the pillows and toppers consist of Pure High-Density Foam. If there are Springs and Coils present, these must also be of high quality – since they will be used for both sitting and sleeping.
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Remember, a thicker mattress does not necessarily mean better quality. One that is thinner, but better built can provide endless nights of supreme comfort.
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Additionally, if you’re planning to use your Sleeper Couch as your own bed, purchase one that suits your sleeping style. Follow the following guide:
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Sleeping Styles for Sleeper Couches

  • Back sleepers: Plush and Soft
  • Side sleepers: Medium Firmness
  • Stomach sleepers: Hard and Firm
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Article source: https://www.themattresswarehouse.co.za/sleep-matters/5-tips-for-buying-a-sleeper-couch/

These Sleep Quotes Capture the Bond Between You and Your Bed

Nothing's better than a good night's sleep. When you need an excuse to lie down and put your feet up — whether it's at your usual bedtime or for a quick afternoon nap — these cute quotes and sayings from your favourite authors, celebrities, and thinkers have you covered.

The best thing to do first thing in the morning is to go right back to sleep. - Unknown
 Sleep is the best meditation. - Dalai Lama
Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon. - Charles M. Schulz
 Don’t give up on your dreams. Keep sleeping. - Unknown
 There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it. - Mindy Kaling
 "Go to bed you’ll feel better tomorrow" is the human version of "Did you try turning it off and on again?" - Unknown
 A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything. - Irish Proverb
 You miss 100% of the naps you don’t take. - Unknown
 I love sleep because it’s like a time machine to breakfast. - Unknown
 Let’s start by taking a smallish nap or two … - Winnie the Pooh
I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I'm awake, you know? - Ernest Hemingway
 I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four. - Yogi Berra
 Laugh and the world laughs with you. Snore and you sleep alone. - Anthony Burgess
When the going gets tough, the tough take a nap. - Tom Hodgkinson
I don't feel old. I don't feel anything till noon. That's when it's time for my nap. - Bob Hope 
The nicest thing for me is sleep. Then at least I can dream. - Marilyn Monroe
When I wake up, I am reborn. - Mahatma Gandhi
There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep. - Homer
We are such stuff as dreams are made on. - William Shakespeare
You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. - Dr. Seuss

If you don’t feel like this about sleeping… and your bed - you might need to make your way to a bed shop like Bed King and get yourself a suitable, dream-inspiring bed. Find your nearest bed store here.
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Wednesday, 22 April 2020

How to choose a mattress for the best night’s sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to staying happy and healthy. But buying a mattress without doing your research first can lead to sleepless nights and achy mornings if you aren’t sleeping on a supportive base.


And mattresses can cost anything from a few thousand rands to tens of thousands, so you’ll want to make sure your chosen mattress is worth the investment before you buy.

Here, we’ve put together everything you need to know before you hit the high street (or browse the web – online bed shops like Bed King offer a great selection).

So whether you’re a side sleeper or suffer from chronic back pain, read on to find out what option is best for you.

Types of mattress

Open spring mattress: Also known as open coil or continuous coil mattresses. These contain one long piece of metal wire coiled into numerous springs. There’s also an additional border rod or wire to maintain shape and provide structure. It’s a great value for money option, although sides are machine-stitched rather than hand-stitched, but they are lighter than other models, making them easy to turn. They tend to be less supportive than other mattresses too, so are most suited to guest bedrooms or as children’s beds, where they are used occasionally or will need to be replaced regularly anyway.

Pocket spring mattress: This type of mattress is more luxurious, as it’s made from individual, small springs housed in their own pocket of fabric. This means each spring moves independently, providing more support than open spring mattresses. You can buy soft, medium or firm versions, depending on your preference, and they are more breathable than memory foam or latex mattresses (so ideal if you’re always getting too hot during the night). These are heavy to turn though, and can be filled with natural materials such as lambswool which may agitate allergies. This is a good option if you’re looking for a bed for two people, as the separate springs will cater for your different needs and weights, while they will also minimise the risk of you rolling towards your partner in the middle of the night.

Bed in a box: The game-changer of the sleep world, these mattresses have revolutionised the way we buy our beds. The name refers to the delivery method; removing the painful task of visiting mattress shops and waiting weeks for delivery, these mattresses are ordered online and arrive within days. Usually compressed and rolled into a box, there’s no need to “pivot!” like Ross and Rachel from Friends with one of these. Unravel the mattress and it will be ready to use within a few hours. They are usually made from foam or a hybrid between memory foam and springs.

Memory foam mattress: These more modern mattresses are made from memory foam, which is a mouldable material that also responds to temperature and weight, and has hypo-allergenic properties. This means it will mould to the shape of your body, absorb your weight and relieve pressure on your joints. Not everyone likes the sinking motion of this type of mattress, and it can get rather warm, but it’s ideal for those who need support or suffer from a bad back, as it will maintain posture and align your spine horizontally when sleeping on your side.

Latex mattress: As the name suggests, these mattresses are filled with latex foam, which is an especially breathable material, so you won’t overheat in the middle of the night. It’s also extremely durable and should last for many years. And it’s a good option for those with allergies or asthma. They can feel rather solid at first though, so they’re better suited to those who prefer a firmer bed. Usually heavy, latex mattresses can be difficult to turn and cheaper versions can develop lumps and dents over time.

Hybrid: Drawing from a combination of materials that usually include memory foam, latex and pocket springs, hybrid mattresses are designed to give a more balanced sleeping experience. They often come with a pocket-sprung base and a memory foam top layer, providing both comfort and support – alleviating aches and pains by responding to your body’s shape.

Continuous and coil: A popular budget option, a continuous coil mattress is made from a single looped wire, while an open coil mattress is made from single springs fixed together with one wire. These are significantly cheaper than other mattress types, but be warned that with the attractive price tag comes the likelihood of these mattresses wearing out and sagging quickly. These mattresses also move around a lot with you as you sleep – as they are designed as one unit – so if you or your partner tosses and turns in the night, we’d suggest you consider other options.

Mattress firmness

How firm your mattress is will affect how well you sleep. The type of firmness you need will depend on your sleeping position, height and weight. Here we explain what level of firmness is best for what type of sleeper.

Soft: Side sleepers or those who change positions during the night are best suited to soft mattresses. This is because the way you sleep already relieves pressure from your spine so you want your mattress to mould to your body’s natural position.

Medium soft:
This is ideal for those who change their sleeping position during the night, as it will still mould to your body position but provide a little more support.

Medium firm:
This is best for people who sleep on their back as you require extra lower-back support, which this type of firmness offers.

Firm: This type of mattress is ideal for those who sleep on their front, are over 15 stone or suffer from back pain. This is because it will keep your back in a relatively comfortable and stable position without allowing you to sink into it as you sleep, which can cause lower-back pain.

How should you sleep while pregnant?

During your first trimester, you’ll often feel sleepy and want to nap. It’s important you get the rest you need so sleep in whatever position feels most comfortable, including on your front or back.

In your second trimester, you’ll feel the baby’s weight more, which can feel uncomfortable and put extra pressure on certain areas of your body. This is when a soft mattress will help, while your bigger bump means the recommended position to sleep in is on your left side, as sleeping on your back will cause your bump to press against a main blood vessel, which may cause you to feel faint.

During your third trimester, your lower back may be a source of pain as it supports your baby’s increasing weight. To ease this, continue to sleep on your left side and with a pillow under your head, between your knees and under and around your bump to ease discomfort and take pressure off your muscles and hips. We’ve also reviewed pregnancy pillows to help mums-to-be sleep.


What mattress do you need if you suffer from joint or back pain?

A good mattress needs to give both support and comfort and that includes ones for those who suffer from back problems.

Although a firm mattress is recommended by some retailers, you should always look for a mattress that keeps your back aligned while sleeping and relieves pressure points along your spine and joints. This has a lot to do with your weight (the heavier you are, the firmer your mattress should be), so it’s best to try a mattress before you buy – many online retailers now offer a trial period where you can return the mattress and get your money back if you don’t think it’s right for you.

The pillow you use will also affect your sleeping position and back alignment so make sure you pick one that suits your needs.
Mattress care

Once your mattress is delivered, make sure you let it air for at least four hours. This will remove any storage smells of damp or cold. Ideally, the mattress should then be aired weekly by removing the bed linen. Remember to turn your mattress regularly too. This will stop dips forming and your weight altering part of the mattress, causing uneven sleeping.

Having a mattress protector will also help keep your mattress clean, prolonging its life. This is a sheet that goes on before your bed linen (and mattress topper) to protect your mattress from any stains or dirt.

You should aim to replace your mattresses every eight to 10 years though. This is not only for hygiene reasons but because it will soften over time, reducing the support it gives you. If you feel sore when you wake up or you find you sleep better in other beds, it’s time for a change.


Mattress toppers

A mattress topper is an extra layer of cushioning that goes over your mattress before you put your bed sheets on. They provide additional support and comfort, while also making your bed feel more luxurious and cosy. You can pick from a variety of materials: goose feathers, polyester, cotton and wool to name a few.

There isn’t a body shape or type of sleeper that it wouldn’t suit, making it a great all-rounder, and it doesn’t need turning, although there are handles if you need to move it. There’s also a washable cover. The icing on the cake is that there’s no minimum time-frame to request a return, and if you do decide to send it back (we doubt you will), you don’t have to repackage it. This is as good as it gets.




Article from: Bodacious Bedrooms

Bed Sizes 101: Understanding Singles, Doubles, Kings & Super Kings

The right mattress can make all the difference between a stressful night spent more awake than asleep and a relaxing, peaceful night of deep, refreshing sleep.


One of the most important factors of bed sets the size. By selecting a mattress that offers the right fit for you and your partner, you’ll find it easier to settle into a comfortable position for a full night of sleep.


Bed bases with mattresses from Bed King come in a variety of sizes, from well-known standards such as singles, doubles and kings to super king bed sets. Below, we’ve explained how the most popular mattress sizes in the UK work, as well as the biggest advantages and disadvantages of each size option.



Single Mattresses
Twin mattresses are ideal for children and young adults. They’re also a good option for adults that sleep alone and don’t need a large bed to feel comfortable. In South Africa, standard single mattresses typically measure 75 to 90cm in width and approximately 190cm in length.

The biggest advantage of a single bed set is its compact size. While a single mattress is long enough to provide a comfortable night’s sleep for most adults, this type of mattress’s thin width makes it ideal for fitting inside small bedrooms.

Double Mattresses
Ideal for couples and individuals who like a little extra space to stretch out while they sleep, a double mattress provides a comfortable surface for enjoying a night of refreshing sleep.

In SA, double bed sets typically measure 120 to 137cm in width and 190cm in length. In Europe, double mattresses have slightly different measurements, with an average width of 120 to 140cm and a typical length of 200cm.

With about 50cm more width than a typical single mattress, a double mattress is a good choice if you sleep with your partner. Double mattresses are also a popular option for single sleepers, as they offer extra versatility (for example, if your partner wants to join you) and comfort.


King Mattresses
King-size bed sets offer extra width and slightly more length than a standard UK double mattress, making it a good option if you’re taller than the average or if you want to stylishly furnish a large bedroom.

In South Africa, king mattresses measure 150cm in width and have a length of approximately 190cm. This means that you and your partner have an extra 13 to 30cm to stretch out and enjoy compared to a conventional double mattress.

The biggest disadvantage of a king mattress is its footprint. While a king mattress can look great in a large master bedroom, beds of this size can make small bedrooms feel overly cramped and crowded.

Super King Mattresses
With an extra foot of width compared to a conventional king mattress, super king mattresses are the ultimate in bedtime luxury. Thanks to their space, mattresses of this type are ideal if you like to stretch out while you sleep, or if you want to enjoy a five-star hotel experience at home.

In SA, super king bed sets measure 200cm in width and 200cm in length. A mattress of this type is best suited to an expansive master bedroom due to the massive amount of space that’s required.
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Article source: http://www.abcmoney.co.uk/2019/03/07/mattress-sizes-101-understanding-singles-doubles-kings-super-kings-more/

Monday, 24 February 2020

The guide to bed sizes and mattress dimensions


Has your old mattress had its time and desperately needs replacing? Perhaps you are preparing for your baby’s first bed or a student who’s moving into your first college dorm.
Whatever the case may be an overlooked and often forgotten issue when purchasing a new mattress is its actual size.
Factors you need to account for include your bedroom size, budget, and how much bed space you need.
This guide will describe all mattress sizes available and whether or not it’s an ideal choice for you.

Crib  - 70x130cm
A crib or toddler mattress measures at 70x130cm and is the ideal size for your baby’s first bed. Initially used for infants, it can also be used as a toddler’s bed lasting a duration of around 18 months.
The child’s safety sleeping on the crib is paramount, so mattresses are made firmer than adult mattresses. Firmer mattresses lessen the risk of SIDs or suffocation when an infant rolls onto their stomach.
Similar to adult mattresses foam or innerspring are both suitable and will depend entirely on preference. Lighter cribs, for example, are easier to clean and to manoeuvre.
70x130cm bed dimensions are considered the standard in the US, ensuring it will fit in any crib you currently own.

Single - 100x190cm
A twin mattress is ideal for the majority of children sleeping throughout their childhood and is also considered the smallest bed for adults.
Even though a 100x190cm mattress will accommodate growth spurts through a child’s adolescent years, it may be necessary to upgrade to a bigger bed. Taller individuals will need a Twin XL bed which gives an extra 15cm in length.
Twin mattresses are slim in size which can be used for bunk-beds or for shared rooms where multiple twin mattresses can sit side by side. They are versatile as they are light to move and don’t require a big space to fit.

Twin XL - 100x200cm
A Twin XL mattress is considered the norm for college students who live in dorm rooms. They are long giving the much-needed length for students to sleep and stretch on, taking minimal space and easy to fit.
They are, however, not wide and are really meant to accommodate one person at a time.
A Twin XL mattress is a versatile choice as it fits for both children and adults; it is also easily transferable during move-ins.

Full  - 137x190cm
A Full-size mattress or also referred to as a “Double Bed” measures at 137x190cm and is considered a good compromise between a twin and queen mattress.
Ideally, for single sleepers, it can accommodate children, single adults who want their child or pet to sleep alongside them and some couples. It offers considerable width and length for single sleepers but will be cramped for your average couple, more often than not giving an uncomfortable nights sleep.
This is a potential choice for couples on a strict budget with a small sleeping area, but purchasing a Queen size bed would be advisable.

Queen - 152x203cm
Queen beds provide extra width and length in comparison to Full-size beds, making it the perfect option for couples. It also has enough bed length to support taller people and to couples who feel cramped in full-size beds, ensuring a good night’s sleep.
Before purchasing a Queen size bed, it is essential to account the living space it will take up once put in place. The mattress will take up considerably more space than a Twin or Full-size bed, which may make a small bedroom appear that much smaller causing restriction.
The majority of master bedrooms, however, will have plenty of space to fit Queen size bed; they are also very popular with a wide range of bedding and materials/styles available. Due to its size, it is considered the most versatile out of all beds.

King  - 193x203cm
Appropriately named ‘King’, this mattress measures a whopping 193x203cm and should only be purchased if you have plenty of sleeping space.
To put its size in perspective, it is the equivalent to 2 twin mattresses which theoretically could fit 3 to 4 adults.
It is also ideal for couples who sleep with their kids or pets.
As a general recommendation, you should have a room size of at least 30x30cm when considering a King Bed. Incidentally, this mattress comes in only split type box strings, making it easier to carry around.

Super King - 182x213cm
A California King size bed is the longest of all mattress sizes in our guide but not the widest, making it an ideal choice for taller sleepers who are over 1.8m. Taller sleepers may experience their feet hanging over the bed on mattresses mentioned previously, but with the Cal King, this problem is removed.
A California King size mattress is four inches taller than a King bed but losing 4 inches in width; regardless it is still wide enough to accommodate couples and for taller people who wish to have a pet on the bed.
Whether you choose a King or Cal King size will be determined mainly on your height and how many individuals will sleep on the bed.
If you’re over 1.8m and want to make sure your feet don’t hang over the bed, then a Cal King is recommended.
If however you regularly have your animals or children on the bed sleeping with you it would be advisable to purchase the wider King-sized bed.
To view accurate bed sizes in cm - check out the beds at Bed King.

Taking Care of Your New Mattress

If you recently bought a new mattress, the last thing you’re probably thinking about right now is taking care of it, but it's important to consider what factors can help your mattress last as long as possible. It's expensive to replace your mattress, which is why a bed can last a decade if it's well taken care of.



How To Maximize The Lifespan Of Your Mattress


USE A MATTRESS PROTECTOR
It’s important to make sure your mattress is protected – not just from spills, but from pet dander, dust mites, or worse. That’s why it makes sense to purchase a good mattress protector. The protector covers your new mattress completely and protects again dust mites and mold, two things that could cause serious health problems. These covers provide excellent protection for mattresses
ROTATE IT CAREFULLY
For a new mattress, it’s recommended to rotate it end to end every two weeks for the first four months, then once every three months afterwards. Don’t forget about your box spring, which should be rotated every six months. Rotating the mattress regularly helps the bed wear more evenly, so you don’t have as many lumps and craters. Be careful though. Most new mattresses have handles on the side to help rotate it, but they weren’t designed for you to use to move the mattress. 
GET RID OF ODOR
If you didn’t pick up a mattress protector, there’s a chance that, over time, your mattress will start to smell funny, and not in a “haha” way. The best thing to do for this is to sprinkle baking soda over your mattress. After 20 minutes, use the nozzle feature on your vacuum and suck up the baking soda. That should help get rid of any funk in the air. 
KEEP IT CLEAN
Again, if you didn’t purchase a mattress protector, you’ll have to make sure you do a good job of keeping the mattress clean and dry. Moisture in a mattress, over time, is a breeding ground for mold, which can cause serious health problems, especially if you have asthma. Try to keep the mattress dry and, if it looks dusty, go ahead and vacuum the mattress with the nozzle extension. 
BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR MATTRESS LIFESPAN
A mattress should give you good support for at least eight to 10 years. However, if it smells, there are coils poking out, you wake up with back pains, or if you’re just not sleeping well enough anymore, it might be time to go ahead and check into getting a new mattress. Remember, it’s something you’re going to have for the better part of a decade, so be sure to get the mattress that’s just right for you from Bed King




Article source: https://sleephappens.com/blogs/sleep-news-and-tips/taking-care-of-your-new-mattress

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The quality of sleep you get matters…

It’s been tagged as the most amazing remedy—sleep. Scientific findings tell you it helps you live longer and boosts your immune system. It puts you in a great mood, reduces your risk of everything from heart disease to diabetes—and it’s completely free.


It has no side-effects and is available to everyone. “Taking steps to get a better night’s sleep could be the most important decision you would ever make,” says an expert, “Maybe you live with a world champion snorer or a sheet huger; perhaps you toss and turn until the wee hours. Now is the time to get things sorted out because recent research has found that the right amount of sleep can have an enormous effect on your long-term health—not just on how you feel the next morning.” 

Without regular sex, women risk mental disorder – Psychiatrist

According to a sleep expert, Dr Neil Stanley: “A good night’s sleep every night is just as important as diet and exercise. If you get a poor diet every day, that has long-term consequences. Exactly the same is true of sleep, but these days we know that it’s not just a matter of getting eight hours sleep. Avoiding health risks is about getting the right amount of sleep for you. Having less sleep than you need—or more—is the problem.

Back in the 1990s, a team of American researchers studied the sleep patterns of 459 female subjects aged between 50 and 81. Then they tracked them down 14 years later to see how many of them were still in good health. They found out that those who slept for five to six and a half hours a night had the best survival rate. Those who had less than five hours sleep or more than six and a half hours had the worst. The lesson? Too little sleep won’t increase your life’s span—but neither will too much.

The expert advises it’s time to throw out everything you thought you knew about sleep— that you need eight hours every single night just to function; that those who need more sleep are lazy or boring; and that sticking a lavender bag under your pillow or listening to a CD of whale sounds will somehow magically give you a solid 12 hours of sleep from now on, you could make the biggest and best lifestyle change ever—and all you need to do is lie still and relax. 

You don’t need eight hours:
Worried because you’re not getting the amount of sleep your mum insisted on? Don’t panic, says Dr Stanley. “The media says everyone needs eight hours, but that’s just not true. The amount of sleep people require varies a great deal—it can be from three to 11 hours, though most of us find that we need seven to eight hours. If you’re a three-hours-a night person, and you believe the hype and try to get eight, you’ll be spending five hours a night trying to have something you’re never going to get. 

So how do you work out the amount of sleep that’s right for you? “Scientifically,” says Dr Stanley: it is very complex to work out your actual biological sleep need. But there’s a simple technique—do you feel awake during the day? If you do, you’re getting enough sleep. If you don’t, you’re not,” Dr Stanley then tries to punch holes in some sleep myths:

Bin the lavender and ditch the chamomile:
We all know the standard advice for getting a good night’s sleep—Milky hot drinks, herbal preparations such as chamomile tea, lavender pillows, and getting rid of the TV in the bedroom. But Dr Stanley says there’s only one thing that will work being relaxed in mind and body. And how you achieve that state is up to you. “I hate the taste of chamomile,” he says, “I don’t like the smell of lavender, and listening to relaxing whale music just make me laugh, I’ve heard people eating bananas late at night because they’re supposed to help you sleep, or that a milky drink helps you. Well, milk, bananas, turkey and bread, all contain tryptophan, a chemical that helps your body produce melatonin, a hormone that tells your body it is night time.

But there is no evidence whatsoever that eating a small amount of tryptophan will help you sleep. The value of making a milky drink is that it’s a wind-down ritual—nobody ever did the vacuuming while boiling up some milk. You need to find your own ritual that helps you and nothing should be off-limits. If having the TV on when you go to sleep helps you, that’s fine.” 

Sleep is sexy—” Let’s face it,” says Stanley. “In today’s 24-hour society, sleeping is not regarded as a valuable way to spend your time. Margaret Thatcher famously only got four hours a night—and this is somehow good? There’s no implication that getting a good night’s sleep is a desirable, sexy thing. It’s negative. I personally need nine and a half hours’ sleep, I go to bed at nine every night and get up at half-past six. 

If you stand up and say that in front of an audience, they look at you as though you’re a friendless boring person. But if you say you eat your five a day or do your 10,000 steps, they all applaud and say, ‘Well done!’ We need to change the way we think about sleep, it’s been scientifically proved that getting the right amount of sleep won’t just make you feel better —it’s great for your skin and can even help you diet successfully.” 

Be a selfish sleeper: 
Fed up with your snoring partner? You’re not alone. A new survey discovered that one in four couples sleep in separate beds because one of them has an ‘unbearable’ night-time habit—and snoring was top on the list. Another problem which affected six out of 10 couples, was hugging the duvet, followed by restlessness. According to Dr Stanley: “A standard double bed is 135cm  wide. A standard child’s single bed is 90cm wide, so each of you sharing a double bed has nine inches less to sleep in than a child has! And when you’re both snoring and dreaming and hogging the duvet, no wonder you’re not sleeping well. 

Of course, some people like the feeling of safety and security that co-sleeping brings. But separate beds or bedrooms shouldn’t be off-limits as a discussion. A lot of people say they ‘Banish’ their partners to the back bedroom. Well, my wife and I don’t sleep together—she has her own bedroom. But she’s not ‘banished.’ That’s where she goes to sleep. It’s perfectly possible to have your own sleeping space and still have your intimacy. But sleep is the most selfish thing you can do. You can’t share your sleep with anyone. So don’t be scared of sleeping separately.” 

Bed King says that you need to be sure you’re sleeping on a suitable mattress - perfectly chosen for your sleep needs - find a bed shop that will be able to offer you the best bed advice.

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