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Choosing a Bed

Oftentimes, people buy a new mattress according to their personal taste, room size or budget rather than their body's needs. But making the right choice in bedding is critical to good health, not to mention a good night's sleep! One main obstacle to sleeping well is an old bed or mattress. Since "we spend a third of our lives asleep [...] it makes sense to invest in a good quality bed. Two-year research by sleep expert Dr Chris Idzikowski found that people with uncomfortable beds slept one hour less each night than those with a well-supporting mattress."1

Below is a list of questions you should ask yourself before buying a new bed:

  • Do you like your bed soft, firm, or extra firm?
  • How much money do you have to invest in a quality mattress?
  • Do you have any specific health or orthopedic needs?
  • Do you have a certain height that you would like your boxspring, mattress or set to meet?

Tips to keep in mind:

  • Bed dimensions are as follows (in inches):
    • Twin: 39" x 74" | Full: 54" x 74" | Queen: 60" x 80" | King: 78" x 80" | California King: 72" x 84"
  • The larger the bed the more room you will have to move around without disturbing your partner. You should be able to lie side-by-side with your arms behind your head and your elbows out, without touching. Go for a king-size bed rather than a double, if you are sharing.
  • Beds should be four to six inches longer than the tallest partner.
  • Buy the base and the mattress together – an old base could increase wear and tear on the new mattress.
  • A mattress should hug your shape and offer support. If it is too hard it can cause pain in your shoulders and hips. Your spine should be aligned from top to bottom when you lie on your side, and you should be able to turn easily.
  • If one partner is significantly heavier it makes sense to buy two separate mattresses with different levels of support, to be stitched together.1

1 Source: http://homemanagement.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_buy_a_bed.

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