A bed is the primary support structure for a mattress and box spring (if you have one). It keeps your mattress up off the floor, preserving its lifespan and protecting it from moisture, dust and general floor gunk. Bed frames come in a wide range of styles, from basic and utilitarian to decorative and functional. Some even include a headboard and footboard.
There are many different types of mattresses, but the two most common are memory foam and latex. Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam that is designed to absorb and contour to the body’s shape, reducing pressure points and providing support. Latex is a more traditional material that offers similar pressure relief but has more of a bouncy feel than memory foam. It’s also highly breathable and retains less heat than memory foam.
Choosing the right mattress is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep, but so is selecting the right bed frame. A quality frame provides sturdy support for the mattress and box spring, while allowing it to breathe and minimizes moisture and dust. It should be tested and certified to BS 1725, or similar standard, by an independent test house.
Make sure the bed frame is sturdily built and not made from cheap materials, such as particle board. Check to see if the slats are spaced far enough apart to allow for air circulation and to ensure that the gaps between them don’t allow anything to slip through. It should not require center support legs under the base, as this indicates that the materials used aren’t strong enough to provide adequate support.
Avoid chemically treated mattress fibers, which contain a variety of toxic chemicals such as PBDEs, propylene oxide and toluene diisocyanate, all of which have been shown to be harmful to health. Look for a “natural” or “organic” mattress, which is free of petrochemicals, pesticides and other synthetic substances.
Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, as this sets your internal clock and optimizes your sleep cycle. A soothing bedtime routine, such as reading a book for 10 minutes and having a glass of warm water, can signal to the brain that it is time for rest. Eliminate noise or distractions such as television, computer screens and phones in the bedroom.
If you can’t get to sleep, try taking a hot shower or listening to relaxing music. If you are woken up by snoring, try sleeping on the opposite side of the bed. If the problem persists, try sleeping with earplugs. Try to keep the bedroom as quiet and dark as possible. Try not to eat or use the phone in the room, and hang dark curtains over the windows. If you have a noisy neighbour or traffic, consider getting a sound machine to mask the noise.