What to Look For in a Bed

A bed is a piece of furniture where people sleep and rest. It’s typically a box-shaped mattress on a frame or platform that can also have a headboard, side rails and footboards. It’s topped with sheets, blankets or a quilt, collectively known as bedding. Beds can come in many different sizes from small infant-sized bassinets and cribs to full-size queen and king beds for two adults. Beds may also have additional features, such as a hideaway bed that folds up into another piece of furniture to save space.

The earliest beds were piles of natural materials, like animal skins, straw or feathers, that formed a sort of padded nest. In Ancient Rome, rich people slept on wood platform beds that were curtained and stuffed with cushions. Today, mattresses are usually made of a foam or latex core and various upholstery layers, including a comfort layer that’s often made of body-hugging memory or latex foam, or a hybrid core with individually wrapped coils. The bottommost layer is usually a support core, either an individually wrapped coil unit or a layer of high-density foam that supports the mattress and helps it keep its shape. The edges of a mattress may have three-inch perimeters of high-density foam to provide edge support, so you can sleep close to the sides or sit up in bed without feeling like the mattress is collapsing on you.

One of the most important aspects of a good mattress is how much it sinks to conform to your body shape and relieve pressure points. This is called “sinking in.” A mattress should be able to cradle your curves and hug you to avoid putting too much pressure on key areas, such as your shoulders or hips.

A mattress should also be able to regulate temperature and not feel too cold or hot to sleep on. This is often a factor of the type and thickness of the materials used in its construction, such as gel-infused or phase-change foam to draw heat away from your body and wick away moisture.

The best time to buy a new mattress depends on your individual needs, but there are certain times of year that tend to be more affordable and easier to find sales. The most obvious time is in November and December, during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when many mattress retailers offer big discounts on their top-rated models. However, there are mattress sales throughout the year in stores and online that can make it easy to get a great deal on a quality mattress. Just be sure to do your research and compare prices before deciding on a mattress. You should never feel rushed or pressured to make a purchase. Buying a new mattress should be an enjoyable experience and not a stressful one. You deserve a good night’s sleep!