A bed is a piece of furniture that serves as a place to sleep. It is usually raised off the ground and may be supported by a frame or posts. It is commonly covered with a mattress, which provides comfort and support while the person is sleeping or resting. Some beds also have a headboard and footboard. A set of bed rails, sometimes called cot sides, can be attached to the bed and can help prevent someone from falling out of the bed.
Beds can be made from wood, metal, or upholstered. They can have a frame with posts, a platform base, or a box spring foundation. A mattress is placed on top of the structure, and it can be topped with pillows, blankets, or quilts to add comfort and warmth. Often, the term “bed” is used to refer to the entire structure of the bed, including the frame or foundation, the mattress, and any additional covers or furniture.
The first thing to consider when shopping for a new mattress is how much firmness you prefer. Firmness levels range from very soft (like an innerspring) to very hard (like a foam or latex mattress). You should be able to find a mattress with the firmness level you need, but make sure that it will provide enough support to keep your spine properly aligned while you are sleeping.
Another important factor when shopping for a mattress is whether it will provide pressure relief. Foam mattresses typically provide the most pressure relief, but if you are a back sleeper or have hip pain, you might need a medium or firmer mattress to get the proper support.
You might also want to consider if the mattress has a trial period or return policy, as this can save you the hassle and expense of returning a mattress that isn’t the right fit for your needs. Many brands offer extended trials and free home delivery to make the process easier.
If you don’t want to risk a mattress that doesn’t meet your expectations, look for one that comes with a warranty against manufacturing defects. Warranties generally cover issues like sagging, indentations, and other permanent damage to the mattress. However, it’s important to understand that warranties don’t necessarily protect against issues like normal wear and tear or the natural aging of the mattress.
In the days before modern spring mattresses were invented, beds were simple cloth cases stuffed with grasses, straw, wool, cotton, or down feathers (if you were wealthy). These early beds tended to be lumpy and uncomfortable, especially when they were positioned on the floor. Inventive craftsmen created a solution with the invention of the bed frame, which raised the mattress off the floor and provided a more comfortable surface. This also allowed room underneath the bed for storage of items like suitcases, extra bedding, winter clothes, and other personal belongings.