4 Things You Need to Know Before You Buy a Sleeper Sofa

Call it sleeper sofas, or sleeper couches, this is one of the most functional pieces of furniture you can own. Having a sleeper in your living room rather than a sofa might be one way to overcome space limitations, if you have them. It lets you turn any room into a guest room, or even a bedroom for yourself if you live in a studio apartment.

Here is what you need to know before you buy one for your home.

It Depends On Who is Using it

While its functionality might be a very important aspect, there are several other factors you should consider before you buy a sleeper. As with any piece of furniture consider your needs. The most important thing to consider whether it will be primarily used as a bed or for seating.

If you plan to use it as the primary sleeping surface for yourself, look into the type of mattress that comes with it. As you are no doubt aware, sleepers come with many different types of mattresses, some using specialty materials, some come with inner-springs and others are air beds. Try and find one with a mattress type you are happy using. Also look for a mechanism that opens and closes easily.

As there are many manufacturers offering sofa beds, you will notice great differences both in quality and pricing. Needless to say, buy the best quality you can afford. Often sleepers in higher price points are also better made.

Choose Wisely When You Have Limited Space

If you have a very small space then Twin size sofa beds might be the perfect answer for you as these are less than 5 feet wide and they are great for sleeping one person. These sleepers are sometimes referred to as chair and a half beds or chair beds also. Don’t expect them to be any cheaper because of the size. They should not be considered for affordability, but for their suitability for smaller rooms.

When Space is Not an Issue

When space is not an issue then you are in luck, as a queen size sleeper sofa is the most widely available. You will be easily able to find queen sized sleepers in different styles and fabrics and with your preferred type of mattress. There is the just a great deal of variety available in this size.

A queen size sleeper couch can easily seat three, and can provide a comfortable bed for two people.

A Little More Room to Stretch Equals Comfort

If the sleeper is going to be used every night for sleeping, a full-size sleeper sofa is what you need even if you have a tiny space. An adult might find a twin-sized sleeper too small and restricting for everyday use, and, in a pinch, a full-size sleeper can even sleep two. But again if two people are going to use it regularly, the full sized sleeper might not be very comfortable or spacious enough.

For sitting, the size of a full sized sleeper is between a sofa and a love seat, rather like an apartment sofa, so it is still a good option for smaller spaces and apartments.

Have a look at The Bed King’s great range of available sleeper couches.

Article source: https://bedsmattressesjohannesburg.blogspot.com/2018/11/4-things-you-need-to-know-before-you.html



Reasons why you need a sleeper couch in your living space before the next holiday period rolls around…

Let’s cut to the chase – here’s why you need to start shopping around for sleeper couches, Johannesburg, Cape Town – everyone who doesn’t have one yet.

You’ve Got Visitors Staying Over

You know how it goes. Whether you like it or not, you’ll be expected to host people over the June holidays and year-end festive season.

Whether it be just for lunch, or for a week thanks to your brother-in-law choosing the cheapest accommodation option (your house), chances are you’ll have to organise sleeping arrangements for one or two people.

With a sleeper couch in your lounge, your guests can go from sitting to sleeping in a matter of minutes – and they’ll have the television to entertain them through the night so you don’t have to!

You’ve Been Kicked Out of Bed

Gentlemen, we’re talking to you here!

We know the struggle; the dogs, cats, and even the African Grey decide to spend the night on your bed, leaving you just enough space to lie on your side with a cat’s bum in your face while you try to get to sleep.

Let’s face it – the tribe has spoken, and the island is just too small for the lot of you.

With a sleeper couch in your home, you’ll be able to rest easy in the living room while your significant other deals with the animal farm in your bedroom.

You Like a Good Movie Marathon

Picture this:

You arrive home late from work on a Friday night; it’s raining and the wind is threatening to uproot your entranceway pot plants.

Your significant other hasn’t taken anything out for dinner, which usually means take-outs are in order.

With a sleeper couch from Bed King positioned directly in front of your television, coupled with takeaways and a warm blanket, you have the makings of a perfect couch-cuddle movie marathon evening.

What’s more, should you fall asleep during the third Lord of the Rings, you won’t wake up with a crick in your neck come Saturday morning!

Article source: https://www.leisurelounge.co.za/heres-need-sleeper-couch/

Double vs. Single Beds: What Should You Know?

Single and double beds certainly have a lot in common. They are narrower and more affordable than the popular Queen bed and they’re used frequently in children’s rooms and college dormitories. But they are each unique and come with their own set of pros and cons. Which one is the bet fit for your bedroom? Read on for our double comparison.

The Basics

Standard Single

Width 96,5cm
Length 190,5cm

Who is this ideal for?

A Standard single is also known as a Twin bed. Single mattresses and beds are often the next steps for children who have outgrown their cribs. They’re also a great option for smaller bedrooms like Guest Rooms. Bunk beds also traditionally come in single size.

Standard Double

Width 137cm
Length 190,5cm
Width Per Person 67cm

Who is this ideal for?

Double beds or mattresses are sometimes called a “Full-size” or just “Full”. It is the same length as a single bed (sometimes it’s measured at 188cm in length instead of 190,5cm), which can make it too short for some adults. A double tends to be better for individuals –  a couple would only get 27″ each – which is the width of a crib. The Better Sleep Council says parents are increasingly choosing double-size beds over single sizes for teenagers’  and even younger children’s bedrooms.

Less Traditional Sizes

Single XL

Single XL: The single XL is the same width as a Standard single but it’s about 12,7cm longer, making it the same length as a Queen or King. It is a nice option for college dormitories or taller children who may have smaller rooms. You will also see them in hostels where multiple beds are in one large room.

Twin XL
Width 96,5cm
Length 203cm

Double XL

Double XL: This bed is the same width as a Standard double but has an extra 12,7cm length that matches single XL, Queen and King size options.

Double XL
Width 137cm
Length 203cm
Width Per Person 67cm

You Might Choose

Single if…

  • You’re a petite adult or child. As we mentioned earlier, single-sized beds are sort of the next step up from a crib mattress. This could be a tight fit in both directions for an average adult and nearly impossible for a couple.
  • You’re trying to save money. If you have room for a Double bed but can’t afford the frame, mattress, and sheets, you can consider a single (or a single XL for more length). The single will definitely be more affordable since you are saving on space. College dorm room beds are often single XL and there are good sales on bed sets during Back-To-School season.
  • You need a bed for a smaller room. A single bed will look very small in a Master Bedroom (unless it’s a small bedroom). A single will probably fit well as a replacement for a crib in a nursery or a smaller room that maybe two people share – like a kid’s room.

Double If…

  • You’re a couple and tight on space. Two people could technically sleep on a Double bed, but it would be a tight fit – with each person only getting the width of a crib for themselves. Consider a Double XL for an additional 5″ of length if that’s a Double is the widest option of your room.
  • You’ve got a bigger room to fill. You’ll get an additional 12,7cm of width in a Double from a single or single XL, which will fill up space in a room better than a single or even a single XL bed.
  • You’re looking for something to grow into. The Better Sleep Council says that more people are choosing to skip a single or  single XL and go straight to a Double for their young children or their teens. The extra width leaves room for everyone to grow.

Things To Consider

There are a lot of reasons to choose either a single/single XL or a double/double XL. Planning ahead is going to be critical in making sure you pick the right one for your room. Here are some tips and things to think about before you make your next purchase.

  • Measure your space and leave room for movement. If you are thinking about making the jump from a crib to a single or a Double,  make sure it fits it in your bedroom. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get caught up in an impulsive shopping moment and end up with a bed that doesn’t fit. An article from Th!ngz Contemporary Living says that most designers will recommend 76cm of space around your bed for movement.
  • Consider who will be sleeping in the bed. Is this a new bed for your child? Something for the guest room? Will two people end up in this bed? All of these questions will be key to factor into your decision. If there’s a chance a couple will use the bed, think about going with a double (or double XL for extra length).
  • Shop seasonally if you can. There are times during the year that mattresses and beds will go on sale. If you’re on a budget but want to upgrade to a bigger bed, it might be worth waiting to make a purchase during that time. The Bed King often has bed specials all year round – view their available range and double bed offers online.



A single or single XL bed could be the perfect fit for a smaller child’s room or college dorm or hostel. But if you’re a couple, a double bed (double XL) will be a better fit thanks to the 38cm of extra space. Both are affordable and often go on sale around Back-To-School time, so it’s worth keeping your eye out during sales and seeing if you can score a great deal on either.

Article source: http://enchantedbybeautifulbedrooms.weebly.com/blog/double-vs-single-beds-what-should-you-know



The Humble History of Simmons Mattresses

Simmons Mattresses were famous all throughout the 1900's.


Simmons Bedding Company is one of America’s oldest major mattress stores and manufacturers of mattresses and bedding products. Similar to many companies though, they had humble beginnings.

Founder Zalmon Simmons, a businessman based out of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was an entrepreneur with many interests. First, the owner of Kenosha’s general store. Besides that, he continued to own railway interests, a cheesebox factory, attempt to manufacture wooden telegraph insulators and be on the board of directors of the Western Union Telegraph Company. At one point, Zalmon even served as mayor of Kenosha and served in the Wisconsin State Assembly. A man of many ventures, but the bedding company is his most famous.

In 1870, an inventor whose name was lost to time owed Simmons for merchandise purchased at his general store. Instead of money, the inventor gave him a patent for a woven wire bedspring mattress. Simmons took the patent and developed the techniques needed to produce the mattress.

The Northwestern Wire Mattress Co. launches in 1884 from Simmons, later to become the Simmons Manufacturing Company in 1889. Thanks to refining the manufacturing of his woven wire mattresses, he dropped the product price from $12 to a mere 95 cents. That way, he made sure anyone could afford a comfortable mattress to sleep on at night.

Simmons has been advertising their mattresses for decades.


Simmons Manufacturing Company gained to national prominence when the founder’s son, Zalmon Simmons Jr., took over the company in 1911. The company became Simmons Co. in 1915. Known for having a flair for advertising and showmanship, he would boost the company’s profile by perfecting the innerspring mattress and making it readily available to the public. This would be the first of his Simmons Beautyrest Mattresses.


Thanks to endorsements from Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and George Bernard Shaw, the mattresses catapulted to fame. They even receive a listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 1924. For a time, Simmons became the biggest name in mattresses in the United States and was exploding into furniture and textiles.

Then the Great Depression came. The company’s stock dropped from $200 to less than three cents a share by 1932. Zalmon Simmons Jr.’s son, Grant Simmons Sr., took over in 1929 during this financial disaster and worked hard to build back up again.

Everything non-mattress related is then sold off. Hollywood stars and beautiful models start to advertise his mattresses. He even got the endorsement of Eleanor Roosevelt and furnished the White House with Beautyrest Mattresses. Even Air Force One was furnished with mattresses from Simmons, according to The New York Times.


By the time of the Second World War, they had recovered from the financial catastrophe. The company begins producing parachutes, cots and more for the war effort.

According to BedTimes Magazine, over 2,700 items to aid in the war were made by the 14 plants in North America.

After the war, the focus returned to mattresses and bedding. The family-owned company found continuous growth through until the 70’s.

A couple on a Simmons mattress from an old advertisement.









The late 70’s and 80’s became hard for the mattress giant. The company moved their headquarters from New York City to Atlanta, GA. When money is lost in the 70’s, long-time CEO Grant decides to step down. Simmons Co. is bought and sold to a series of companies during the 80’s until it settles with Wesray Capital.

In an attempt to revitalize, Wesray Capital offered an employee stock ownership plan. Though the company still struggles with potential bankruptcy and legal action. From the same employees who found their stocks to be more worthless. Eventually, Westray had to sell to Merrill Lynch Capital Partners in 1991.


Revitalization came to the brand in the 90’s. Going back to their roots with memorable advertising for their Beautyrest Mattresses, as well as coming out with a new line, the BackCare Mattress. However, trades to various holding companies took its financial toll and saddled Simmons with an increasing debt load. It wasn’t until Ares Management, L.P. and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan bought Simmons and restructured their debt was there light at the end of the tunnel.

Today, Simmons remains part of Serta Simmons Holding, LLC, who also owns their chief rival Serta.

The mattress giant is responsible for many innovations in the mattress business. There was the innerspring mattress; previously a luxury handmade product refined over the years as the Beautyrest mattress and made accessible to the masses through their own manufacturing techniques. Celebrity endorsements were also unique for the mattress industry, and their 90’s advertisements showing a person dropping a bowling ball on a Beautyrest mattress without disturbing the neighboring pins showed how good the mattress could be.

As a testament to all of the resilience in the face of change, the Beautyrest mattress celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015.

Make sure you get a Simmons night’s rest, every night – with a Simmons bed from The Bed King.


Article source: https://mattressomni.ca/blog/2018/04/03/simmons-mattress-humble-history/


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.


Article source: http://bedsmattressesjohannesburg.blogspot.com/2018/06/a-guide-to-choosing-perfect-pillow.html 

Best Mattresses for Athletes

Based on 3,543 verified customer experiences from 25 unique sources.

Numerous studies have established a direct link between healthy sleep habits and strong athletic performance. Well-rested athletes are faster, stronger, more accurate, and quicker to react than those who do not receive enough sleep. Additionally, proper sleep can supplement exercise routines, allowing athletes to build muscle, strength, and endurance more effectively. Those who don’t enough sleep often pay the price physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Choosing the right mattress can greatly impact an athlete’s sleep habits and routines. However, it’s important to understand the key differences between mattress types — such as innerspring, foam, latex, and hybrid models — in terms of support, comfort, firmness, and other important sleep factors. This page will look at the most important sleep considerations for athletes of all ages, as well as some mattress comparing and buying tips.

Why Is Sleep So Important for Athletes?

We all require a good night’s sleep in order to wake up feeling refreshed and function the following day. However, athletes face unique considerations when it comes to sleep. Poor or inadequate sleep can lead to problems like slow reaction times, lengthier recovery times and diminished motor skills — all of which impact athletic performance.

Sleep deprivation and sleep debt are two important factors. Sleep deprivation is a condition characterized by lack of sleep that may be chronic or acute in nature. Sleep debt refers to incremental loss of sleep that accumulates over the course of a week or longer. Let’s say an athletic person receives seven hours of sleep each night from Monday to Friday, rather than the recommended eight hours of nightly sleep. By Saturday, that person’s ‘sleep debt’ will reach five hours — and they will most likely feel the effects, which may include slower reaction times, lack of focus, and delayed physical recovery from athletic activities.

Sleep deprivation also impacts body chemistry. When we sleep, our bodies regulate production of the stress hormone known as cortisol. Lack of sleep can cause cortisol levels to rise. This hinders the body’s ability to produce glycogen and carbohydrates, which provide energy boosts during high-endurance activities (such as athletic events). As sleep debt accumulates and cortisol levels increase, our bodies become less and less equipped to perform. Many athletes rely on supplements to replenish their glycogen and carbohydrate levels, and these supplements may carry negative side effects.

Generally speaking, athletes require more sleep than non-athlete adults, particularly before and after major athletic events. The average man or woman requires seven to nine hours of sleep per night in order to properly function the next day. However, adult athletes should get roughly 10 hours of sleep whenever they are training or competing on a regular basis. This helps ensure strong athletic performance, as well as a speedy physical recovery. Likewise, adolescent athletes are urged to get at least nine hours of sleep per night during their active seasons.

In addition to more overall sleep, athletes require steady sleep schedules that consist of both light and deep sleep. Light sleep, known as non-rapid-eye-movement (nREM) sleep, is associated with cell division and regeneration, which is crucial for muscle recovery. Cortisol regulation takes place primarily during REM sleep. Additionally, athletes may experience longer REM latency — the time from falling asleep until REM sleep begins — than non-athletes, and not getting enough REM sleep can negatively affect athletic performance and reaction time.

The following studies highlight the importance of sufficient sleep for athletes in different sports and activities.

  • A 2014 study found that adolescent athletes who received less than eight hours of sleep per night were 1.7 times more likely to get injured during an event or competition than those who received eight or more hours of sleep per night.
  • A 2013 study found that ‘strike-zone judgment’ in baseball players was worse in September than in April of that year, due to the long-term effects of sleep loss and fatigue across a single season.
  • Another 2013 study noted that baseball players with unhealthy sleep habits and routines were less than 40% likely to still be playing three seasons later; in contrast, those who received sufficient sleep were 72% likely to still be playing.
  • As part of a 2007 study, a group of swimmers received 10 hours of sleep over a period of six to seven weeks. Most participants reported faster swim times, higher stroke rates, and quicker reaction times.
  • In a 2010 study, a group of football players who increased their daily sleep times over a period of seven to eight weeks noted faster times in 20- and 40-yard sprints, as well as mood improvements.
  • A 2011 survey of basketball players found that increasing sleep times by two hours per day resulted in faster sprint times and better shooting accuracy for both free throws and three-point shots.
  • A 2009 study asked female tennis players to get at least 10 hours of sleep over a period of five to six weeks. Participants recorded sprint time improvements, as well as an increase in serving accuracy of nearly 24%.

Next, let’s look at important performance factors that athletes should consider when window shopping for a new mattress at various Bed shops.

Mattress Considerations for Athletes

When browsing and comparing different mattress brands and models, here are a few factors to keep in mind.

Firmness: Firmness is directly tied to the topmost layers of a mattress, which are collectively known as the comfort layer or comfort system. Firmness is often measured on a numerical scale, with 1 being the least firm and 10 being the firmest; most mattresses sold today rate between a 3 (Soft) and an 8 (Firm).

Firmness preferences vary strongly from person to person, and often come down to two individual factors: bodyweight and sleep position. People with below-average weights (130 pounds or less) tend to feel most comfortable on mattresses that rate between a 3 and a 5 (Medium). If the mattress is firmer, then lightweight sleepers may weigh enough to sink deeply and experience close conforming. Heavier sleepers (more than 230 pounds), on the other hand, typically prefer mattresses that rate between a 6 (Medium Firm) and an 8. If the mattress is less firm, then heavyweight sleepers may sink too deeply and experience discomfort and/or added pressure.

In terms of sleep position, those who sleep on their back utilize a position that naturally aligns the spine. As a result, they may feel comfortable on different firmness levels, often depending on their bodyweight. Side-sleepers do not utilize a position that aligns the spine, and often require a mattress that conforms to their body and targets pressure buildup. Stomach-sleepers face a similar issue regarding spinal misalignment, but they usually prefer firmer mattresses. If the mattress is too soft, then stomach-sleepers may sink too deeply, requiring them to turn their heads; this can cause pressure buildup, especially in the neck and shoulders.

Conforming: Some mattresses are designed to conform closely to sleeper’s bodies, forming a deep, contoured impression that helps align the spine and target pressure points along the shoulders, neck, back, and hips. Other mattresses do not conform as closely, and may not alleviate as much pressure. On the other hand, mattresses that sink too deeply can cause sleepers to feel more pressure in these sensitive areas.

Support: Support in a mattress is regulated in the support core, or the layer(s) located below the comfort system. The support core is intended to withstand the sleeper’s weight by pushing back, creating a level surface that keeps the spine straight. Mattresses that do not offer inadequate support will eventually sag, which makes the surface uneven. This can cause pain and pressure along the body over time. Side- and stomach-sleepers in particular require mattresses that offer sufficient support.

Temperature Neutrality: A significant number of adults naturally sleep hot or warm. Some mattresses amplify this feeling by absorbing high levels of body heat, which causes the bed to feel uncomfortably hot or warm. These increases in temperature can negatively impact sleep and leave individuals feeling tired and unfocused. Other mattresses retain less body heat and sleep fairly cool by comparison. These models are usually the best bet for naturally hot sleepers. Likewise, those who naturally sleep cold should seek out mattresses that will keep them sufficiently warm throughout the night.

Other Factors: In addition to the factors listed above, here are a few more considerations for athletes to make when comparing different mattress types, brands, and models:

  • Motion Isolation: Some mattresses are engineered to absorb motion when someone gets up or shifts positions and isolate it to certain parts of the mattress. This is particularly beneficial for couples who share a bed. Other mattresses offer minimal motion isolation, and motion can be felt across the mattress surface. This can lead to sleep disruption, especially for sleepers that awaken easily.
  • Noise: Mattresses with solid comfort layers and support cores typically produce little to noise when bearing weight, and this can cut down on sleep disruptions. By comparison, mattresses with metal components may squeak or rustle when compressed.
  • Cover Fabric: The mattress cover can play a crucial role in sleep quality for athletes. Some mattress covers are made with Celliant, a fabric also used in athletic attire that absorbs energy from the sleeper’s body and infuses it back into the body using infrared light. This process improves circulation, speeds up muscle recovery, and regulates body temperature — all benefits for athletes. Other covers are made from phase-changing material (PCM), which retains body heat until the sleeper reaches a certain temperature and then maintains that temperature for the rest of the night. This can be highly beneficial for athletes that sleep hot.
  • Size: Although standard mattress sizes are typically long and wide enough to accommodate most sleepers, some athletes — such as those who are particularly tall and/or large — may prefer to sleep on longer, wider King and California King sizes.
  • Cost: Most mattresses represent a significant financial investment, but some are significantly more expensive than others.

Mattress Types: Pros and Cons for Athletes

Now let’s go over five of the most popular mattress types sold today, including pros and cons for athlete sleepers associated with each type.

Memory Foam: Memory foam, or viscoelastic polyfoam, is a polyurethane-based foam. When memory foam comes into contact with body temperatures, it sinks and conforms closely to the sleeper’s body. When cool, the foam retains its original, flattened surface. Memory foam mattresses typically have lower price-points.

  • Comfort Layer: A memory foam mattress features at least one layer of memory foam in the comfort system. One or more layers of standard polyfoam may also be added for extra stability.
  • Support Core: The majority of memory foam mattresses sold today are made with high-density polyfoam support cores. HD polyfoam is strong enough to withstand a sleeper’s weight and maintain an even surface; memory foam is not as supportive, and most sleepers would sink too deeply on a mattress made entirely of memory foam.
  • Pros for Athletes:
    • Memory foam conforms very closely to help keep the spine straight and alleviate pain and pressure in the neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips.
    • Memory foam mattresses are available in a wide range of firmness ratings to accommodate sleepers with different weights and position preferences.
    • Memory foam mattresses offer above-average motion isolation, and produce little to no noise when bearing weight.
  • Cons for Athletes:
    • Memory foam tends to sag with age, and this may affect its supportive properties.
    • Memory foam retains high levels of body heat, and may not be suitable for athletes who sleep hot or warm.

Innerspring/Coil: Innerspring mattresses are the most widely sold mattresses today, accounting for roughly two-thirds of industry sales. These mattresses get their name from the steel coils that make up their support core; the coils are evenly spaced in order to properly distribute weight, and often reinforced with high-density polyfoam layers. Generally speaking, innersprings have medium to low price-points.

  • Comfort Layer: In most innersprings, the comfort system primarily consists of polyfoam layers. Thin layers of memory foam and/or latex may also be used, but these components are more commonly found in hybrids (see below).
  • Support Core: Four types of steel coils are used in innersprings. These coils differ in terms of gauge, or thickness, as well as shape and price-point. The table below includes a complete breakdown of the four main coil types. Please note that gauge measurements follow a reverse order; low-gauge coils are the thickest, while high-gauge coils are the thinnest.


Bonnell Hourglass with Rounded Ends 12 to 18 Low
Offset Hourglass with Straightened Ends 12 to 15 Medium
Continuous Wire Straight Line 15 to 18 Low
Pocketed Spiral with Fabric Casing 17 to 18 High


  • Pros for Athletes:
    • Innerspring mattresses are available in a wide range of firmness options.
    • Innerspring mattresses retain minimal body heat and tend to sleep cooler than other mattress types. This is due largely due to the open support core structure, which provides better air circulation.
  • Cons for Athletes:
    • An innerspring’s supportive qualities depend largely on the coil type, but innersprings tend to sag significantly and lose their supportive qualities relatively quickly.
    • Most innerspring mattresses conform very little due to the lack of contouring materials (such as memory foam and/or latex) in the comfort layer.
    • Innerspring mattresses can be somewhat loud due to squeaking coils and other internal components, and these mattresses do not usually isolate motion to a significant extent.

Latex: Latex is a substance extracted from rubber trees that is processed into a foam-like material. All-latex mattresses are highly durable and have above-average lifespans; as a result, the price-points for these mattresses are typically high. Mattresses made with latex and foam components are more susceptible to sagging and deterioration, and the price-points tend to be lower.

  • Comfort Layer: The comfort system of a latex bed primarily consists of latex layers. Memory foam or polyfoam layers may also be used, as well, but some models are all-latex.
  • Support Core: Some latex mattresses have support cores that are also made entirely of latex, while others feature support layers constructed from high-density polyfoam.
  • Pros for Athletes:
    • Like memory foam mattresses, latex mattresses conform closely to sleeper’s bodies and target pressure points in sensitive areas.
    • Latex mattresses are available in different firmness settings, and may be considered suitable for any sleeper weight or sleep position.
    • Latex mattresses are fairly quiet, and they provide better-than-average motion isolation.
  • Cons for Athletes:
    • Latex mattresses with foam components tend to absorb high levels of body heat, and may not be suitable for athletes who sleep hot or warm. All-latex mattresses tend to sleep much cooler by comparison.
    • Mattresses made with latex and foam offer average to below-average support, and sagging in the support core is often reported. All-latex mattresses tend to perform for longer, and are not as susceptible to sagging.

Hybrid: By definition, a hybrid mattress features at least two inches of memory foam and/or latex in the comfort layer and a pocketed coil support core. Some mattresses sold as hybrids do not meet this criteria, and should not be considered true hybrids. Most hybrid mattresses have above-average price-points.

  • Comfort Layer: In addition to memory foam and/or latex components, the comfort system of a hybrid mattress may also contain layers of polyfoam and/or steel minicoils.
  • Support Core: As the table above shows, pocketed coils are covered in fabric casings and tend to be high-gauge, or thin, compared to other coil types. Many hybrids feature additional layers of high-density polyfoam in the support core.
  • Pros for Athletes:
    • Hybrids conform somewhat closely due to their memory foam and latex layers, and typically provide better pressure relief than traditional innersprings.
    • Hybrids are available in a wide range of firmness settings..
    • Hybrids typically offer good motion isolation
  • Cons for Athletes:
    • Hybrid mattresses — particularly those with thicker memory foam layers — absorb more body heat and tend to sleep hot compared to innersprings with polyfoam comfort layers.
    • Hybrids with higher firmness ratings tend to offer adequate support, but those with lower firmness ratings are more susceptible to sagging.
    • Hybrids tend to be quieter than innersprings, but some creaking and squeaking is to be expected.

Airbed: An airbed offers adjustable firmness and support settings thanks to customizable air chambers that can be toggled remotely or manually, depending on the design. Airbeds are generally the most expensive mattresses on the market.

  • Comfort Layer: Most airbeds feature thin comfort layers made of polyfoam and/or memory foam, although some high-end models also feature latex layers.
  • Support Core: The support core of an airbed features at least two individual air chambers, and some have as many as six. Newer models allow owners to adjust firmness settings using app technology. Most designs feature electrical outlets for the customizable controls.
  • Pros for Athletes:
    • Due to their adjustable controls, airbeds are suitable for most sleepers regardless of their firmness preferences.
    • Most airbeds conform closely and offer a contoured fit that helps align the spine and alleviate pressure points.
    • Most airbeds — especially those with more than two air chambers — absorb and isolate motion to a significant extent.
  • Cons for Athletes:
    • Although their controls are customizable, many factors can affect the settings of an airbed, including room temperature, barometric pressure, and sleeper weight.
    • Temperature neutrality is a common issue for airbed owners: models with thicker comfort layers tend to sleep hot, whereas those with thinner comfort layers may sleep excessively cold.
    • Airbeds often produce a fair amount of noise due to squeaking sounds on the sleep surface, as well as running air pumps.

The table below breaks down these five mattress types in terms of factors that affect sleep for athletes, as well as price. We have assigned each mattress type an ‘Athlete Satisfaction Rating,’ based on individual reviews and athlete experiences with different brands and models.  

Firmness Options Good to Very Good Good to Very Good Good to Very Good Good to Very Good Very Good to Excellent
Conforming Very Good to Excellent Poor to Fair Very Good to Excellent Good to Very Good Very Good to Excellent
Pain and Pressure Relief Very Good to Excellent Poor to Fair Very Good to Excellent Good to Very Good Very Good to Excellent
Support Fair to Good Fair to Good Good to Very Good Fair to Good Fair to Good
Temperature Neutrality Poor to Fair Good to Very Good Fair to Good Fair to Good Poor to Fair
Motion Isolation Very Good to Excellent Poor to Fair Good to Very Good Good to Very Good Good to Very Good
Noise Very Good to Excellent Poor to Fair Very Good to Excellent Fair to Good Poor to Fair
Average Price Range $500 to $900 $600 or Less $1,300 to $1,800 $1,300 to $1,800 $2,000 or Higher
Athlete Satisfaction Rating 75% 67% 77% 76% 73%


As you can see, a wide range of factors impact how a mattress feels to different athletes. For more information and expert advice – contact informed Bed shops, like The Bed King, that have knowledgeable staff, who can help you find the perfect mattress for back and body support.

Article source: https://www.tuck.com/best-mattresses-for-athletes/

Health Benefits of Napping

What is a nap? We define a nap as mid-day sleeping of under an hour, during which the body experiences light sleep. Longer sleep periods during the day are called siestas.

You might hear about microsleep periods and think these are naps. They are not.  Microsleep is unintentional brief (as little as a few seconds) of sleep, often of only part of the brain, and usually unknown (not consciously perceived) by the person.  You do not want to have microsleep episodes.  Indeed, intentional naps are a preventative measure against microsleep.

The afternoon slump

Thankfully, short afternoon naps are good for us, so there’s no need to feel guilty about the afternoon slump – the midday energy slump experienced by many adults. But why does this phenomenon happen?

The afternoon slump can be attributed to a variety of factors, from a heavy lunch to sheer boredom. However, your body may also be signalling you to fall asleep. Your body temperature changes throughout the day as part of your circadian rhythm. Its lowest point is in the morning just before waking, and it rises during the day. Between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., however, your body naturally experiences a small dip in temperature, signaling the brain to produce the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. This is a normal part of your circadian rhythm, but it helps explain why you feel sleepy in the afternoon.

Benefits of afternoon napping

Is napping good for you? When done correctly, the benefits of napping are numerous. Short naps (of less than 1 hour) are associated with lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, improved productivity, and increased mental performance and learning.

Naps reduce your risk of heart disease

Afternoon naps can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially for males, according to a report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Naps reduced the risk of heart problems about as much as statin drugs do (medication designed to lower cholesterol). People who napped at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week, were 37 percent less likely to die from heart disease. Occasional nappers had a 12 percent reduction.

Naps improve mental performance

Research continues to show that daytime napping can improve mental performance in adults. A study in 2006 concluded that regular naps of less than 30 minutes, and even a power nap as short as ten minutes, can improve productivity and mental performance.

Studies like these have led to enthusiasm behind the midday power nap as well as preparation naps for hurry-up-and-wait occupations such as surgeon and airline pilot.  National Geographic even compared the brain to an email system, “sleep—and more specifically, naps—is how you clear out your inbox.”  That’s too simplistic, of course, but sleep in general makes us more receptive to learning.

So we know naps can help us remember things we just learned, but are they better than equivalent period of time awake relaxing or watching television?

Yes, the time spent in napping is better for remembering than the time spent awake.

Naps help you remember

Longer sleep durations such as nighttime sleep are even better for memory than daytime naps. However, research has established that the gains in improved memory occur in the first half of the night. A sleep period of 3.5 hours is pretty much as effective as a period of 7 hours.

Sleep plays an important, if not wholly understood, part in formation of long term memory. Memories are consolidated during sleep. Brain researchers have shown events they call “spindles” happen in Stages 1 and 2 of light sleep and these seem to be connected with memory formation and learning. Short naps can be very effective in facilitating and consolidating learning since the body experiences light sleep. Thus the “power nap”. It is thought that power nap might accelerate memory consolidation by inducing NREM sleep, when light sleep occurs and spindles appear.

Why does light sleep help us learn? One theory is “synaptic pruning” takes place during sleep. This holds that during waking period synapses grow stronger and the number of synapses increases, crowding out the brain’s ability to absorb more information. Sleep is a time when the brain eliminates the number of synapses and frees up resources for further learning. Previous learning is sent to long-term memory. This theory has some animal evidence to support it, but it is just a theory.

How napping affects sleep

All other things being equal, what is better: an afternoon nap or getting more sleep at night? There is no correct answer of course, but the addition of 30-45 minutes in nighttime sleep does not significantly affect measures of vigilance and daytime sleepiness the next afternoon. Mid-day naps do improve performance on the psychomotor vigilance test and they make people less sleepy in the afternoon as measured by the MSLT. Caffeinated beverages also help us over the mid-afternoon hump more than extra sleep at night, too.

The timing of the nap affects your sleep architecture. Morning naps and afternoon naps differ, with people tending to drift off faster in the afternoon for longer naps with more slow-wave deep sleep than morning naps.

Naps over 30 minutes usually bring post-nap inertia, though.  If the sleeper goes into Stage 3, slow-wave sleep, it will be harder to wake up.  The cognitive benefits of the longer naps last longer, too.

However, developing a habit of regularly taking long naps is associated with higher mortality rates, especially among the older population.

Long naps and siestas

The tradition of the siesta in some countries and cultures has posed a question for a long time: is taking a siesta on a regular basis good for you?

Determining this type of thing is tough. It has long been known that people in these countries generally have lower rates of fatal heart disease than their counterparts in siesta-less countries, but nobody ever knew if there was a cause and effect relationship. Maybe other factors such as diet may have been responsible for fewer heart attacks.

  • A 2007 study conducted by epidemiologists at the University of Athens of over 23,000 participants found that siestas were correlated with lower rates in fatal heart attacks, especially in working men.
  • Meanwhile, a study conducted at Hadassah University Hospital in Israel in 2005 looked at a sample of 455 70-year olds and found that those who practiced siestas had a higher death rate.
  • An earlier (2003) Israeli study found that long siestas (over 2 hours) were correlated with increased mortality among men, but that shorter naps and siestas for women had no major correlation with mortality. And siestas appeared to be worse among men with chronic health problems.
  • A 2000 study by Harvard Medical School researchers of people in Costa Rica found that daily siestas in fact increased the effect of heart attacks.

Source: JAMA 1999

The evidence remains inconclusive whether siestas leads to higher mortality rates from heart attacks. Regardless, the Spanish government (the country most known for its siesta) recently launched a campaign to eliminate the tradition of siestas. Spaniards reportedly sleep an average of 40 minutes less per night than other Europeans and have the highest rate of workplace accidents in the European Union.

Researchers tend to agree that resting in the afternoon without sleeping does not pose any health risk and is often very beneficial. Napping can be taken as a sign of excessive daytime sleepiness, a symptom of many sleep disorders, but this is an example of how we look at sleep differs whether we are looking for pathologies or recreation. Recreational and appetitive naps are fun, and not a sign of a disorder.

Daytime napping: power naps and coffee naps

Sleeping is fun, and one of the most fun ways to sleep is daytime napping.

There are many ways of napping.  Different lengths, locations, and times of day.  Some people have a regular nap in the afternoon (common in toddlers and retired people), while others have a catnap during their lunch breaks. Opportunity and preferences play a big part in napping behavior.

Some investigators distinguish between appetitive nappers and replacement nappers.

Appetitive nappers can nap at almost any time, and do so often to “tune out” of their surroundings. On the other hand, replacement nappers are trying to catch up on sleep.  Appetitive nappers can nap even when they’re not sleepy, like an afternoon nap.  Replacement nappers are usually not in the mental state or habit that allows them to sleep at will.

Another way to classify napping is by saying some naps are prophylactic and some are recuperative, respectively before or after sleep loss.  Planned power naps before anticipated periods of busy work can raise performance and cut the risk of sleepiness during times when a person needs to be at the top of his or her game.

The power nap

What used to be called a catnap is now called a power nap. The word “power” makes it socially acceptable for working adults who think of themselves as on the top of their game and helps sell napping to people who might otherwise think of it as an activity for small children and old people.

Usually the power nap is under 20 minutes, so the brain doesn’t have time to go through all the phases of sleep. Longer naps often leave the person groggy upon waking, but power naps can be refreshing without a sleepy hangover.

Some people take their power nap at their place of work – at their desk chair for instance. More ambitious nappers have a cot near their office or even go out to their car for a nap. Most do not use alarm clocks.

How to take the perfect power nap

If all this talk about naps has made you sleepy, embrace it. If you want to take a power nap, follow these tips for success:

  1. Take advantage of the afternoon slump, when your body is already primed to fall asleep.
  2. Don’t sleep at your desk. It takes about twice as long to fall asleep sitting upright versus lying down. Instead, find a dark and cool place.
  3. Use earplugs or a sleep mask to block out extra light and noise.
  4. Meditate and relax. Take slow, deep breaths. Clear your mind of all stress-related thoughts from work.
  5. Don’t sleep for longer than 20 minutes. Set an alarm if you must.

The coffee nap

The coffee nap takes the power nap to the next level. Sleep researchers at the University of Britain at Loughborough did several tests on fatigued drivers to compare the effects of different methods for a driver can use to stay awake. They put the volunteers in driving simulators while they were sleepy and let them drive. Some of the tests included rolling down windows for cold exposure, blasting the radio and slapping oneself in the face to try to stay awake. But what researchers found worked the best was a Caffeine Nap or Coffee Nap.

Most American adults drink coffee, and caffeine is possibly the most widely used and longest self-administered drug in mankind. Caffeine is a stimulant and is often used when people want to stay awake. The coffee nap is an example of the paradoxical effect of many substances in the body.

How to take a coffee nap

The Coffee Nap is simple: you drink a cup of coffee and immediately take a 15-20 minute nap. Researchers found coffee helps clear your system of adenosine, a chemical which makes you sleepy. The combination of a cup of coffee with an immediate nap chaser provided the most alertness for the longest period of time in tests. The recommendation for a coffee nap is a bit shorter than a power nap – 15 minutes vs 20 minutes.

  1. Drink a cup of coffee right before you sleep, so the caffeine kicks in just as you wake up.
  2. Take advantage of the afternoon slump, when your body is already primed to fall asleep.
  3. Don’t sleep at your desk. It takes about twice as long to fall asleep sitting upright versus lying down. Instead, find a dark and cool place.
  4. Use earplugs or a sleep mask to block out extra light and noise.
  5. Meditate and relax. Take slow, deep breaths. Clear your mind of all stress-related thoughts from work.
  6. Don’t sleep for longer than 15 minutes. Set an alarm if you must.

Best time of day to nap

While the afternoon slump is the ideal time to take a nap, when that slump occurs may depend on whether you’re a lark or an owl.

Morning larks 6am 1-1:30pm 9-10pm
Night owls 9am 2:30-3pm 12-1am

In 2012, researchers at Stanford University found that caffeine during the day disrupts night sleep more in morning people (larks) than in evening people (owls). Morning larks may want to avoid coffee naps, and opt for regular power naps instead.

Can napping cause insomnia?

Although there is always a risk that daytime naps lead to nighttime insomnia, individuals can learn the specific needs and response of their bodies. Many people can nap in the daytime without nighttime problems.

Insomniacs, especially those attempting sleep restriction therapy, are discouraged from daytime napping because it could make it harder to sleep at night.

The link between insomnia and daytime napping is more prevalent among older adults, although the research is still conflicting on whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship. Retired people take a lot of naps because they have less structured days than younger people, but those of all ages can take naps.

Napping as you age

A Pew Research Center survey found that 34% of U.S. adults nap on any given day. Among those past age 80, the percentage was 52%. Men are more like to nap than women and regular exercisers were more likely to nap than sedentary people.

Little kids often nap as part of their regular day. Old people are also stereotypical nappers. In both these cases, age-related sleep patterns can explain part of the predilection. Toddlers and small children usually need an afternoon nap, and this nap lasts an hour or more. In contrast to adult nappers, toddlers more often go into deep sleep.  Kids need lots of deep sleep to support their growth.

Children are great nappers, partly because they are learning so fast. Many preschools and kindergartens incorporate time for napping in the child’s day. Research has shown naps help children remember things learned earlier in the day and that the children who get the most cognitive benefits are those who nap habitually. When a child skips a regular nap and makes up for the lost sleep time by extending nighttime sleep, the cognitive benefits are not recovered in the makeup sleep.

Researchers have charted how as an infant ages, they’ll spend less time sleeping during the day and more of their total sleep hours during the night, as charted by researchers.

1 month 14-15 hours 8 hours 6-7 hours
3 months 14-15 hours 10 hours 4-5 hours
6 months 14.2 hours 11 hours 3.4 hours
9 months 13.9 hours 11.2 hours 2.8 hours
12 months 13.9 hours 11.7 hours 2.4 hours
18 months 13.6 hours 11.6 hours 2 hours
24 months 13.2 hours 11.5 hours 1.8 hours

Working adults who nap usually do so in short bursts – the power nap.  Weekends present the opportunity for longer naps.  Power naps do not last long enough to get to slow-wave sleep.  Even short naps can be refreshing.

To take naps to the next level – find the best mattress at a bed shop, like The Bed King, that can offer you expert advice on mattresses, beds and the like.

Article source: https://bedssleepscience.tumblr.com/post/171121301606/health-benefits-of-napping