Bed Buying Tips

Mattress buying guide

Mattress buying guide

Types of mattress

Open spring mattress: Also known as open coil or continuous coil mattresses. These contain one long piece of metal wire coiled into numerous springs. There’s also an additional border rod or wire to maintain shape and provide structure. It’s a great value for money option, although sides are machine-stitched rather than hand-stitched, but they are lighter than other models, making them easy to turn. They tend to be less supportive than other mattresses too, so are most suited to guest bedrooms or as children’s beds, where they are used occasionally or will need to be replaced regularly anyway.

Pocket spring mattress: This type of mattress is more luxurious, as it’s made from individual, small springs housed in their own pocket of fabric. This means each spring moves independently, providing more support than open spring mattresses. You can buy soft, medium or firm versions, depending on your preference, and they are more breathable than memory foam or latex mattresses (so ideal if you’re always getting too hot during the night). These are heavy to turn though, and can be filled with natural materials such as lambswool which may agitate allergies. This is a good option if you’re looking for a bed for two people, as the separate springs will cater for your different needs and weights, while they will also minimise the risk of you rolling towards your partner in the middle of the night.

Memory foam mattress: These more modern mattresses are made from memory foam, which is a mouldable material that also responds to temperature and weight, and has hypo-allergenic properties. This means it will mould to the shape of your body, absorb your weight and relieve pressure on your joints. Not everyone likes the sinking motion of this type of mattress, and it can get rather warm, but it’s ideal for those who need support or suffer from a bad back, as it will maintain posture and align your spine horizontally when sleeping on your side.

Hybrid: Drawing from a combination of materials that usually include memory foam, latex and pocket springs, hybrid mattresses are designed to give a more balanced sleeping experience. They often come with a pocket-sprung base and a memory foam top layer, providing both comfort and support – alleviating aches and pains by responding to your body’s shape.

Continuous and coil: A popular budget option, a continuous coil mattress is made from a single looped wire, while an open coil mattress is made from single springs fixed together with one wire. These are significantly cheaper than other mattress types, but be warned that with the attractive price tag comes the likelihood of these mattresses wearing out and sagging quickly. These mattresses also move around a lot with you as you sleep – as they are designed as one unit – so if you or your partner tosses and turns in the night, we’d suggest you consider other options.

Mattress firmness

How firm your mattress is will affect how well you sleep. The type of firmness you need will depend on your sleeping position, height and weight. Here we explain what level of firmness is best for what type of sleeper.

Soft: Side sleepers or those who change positions during the night are best suited to soft mattresses. This is because the way you sleep already relieves pressure from your spine so you want your mattress to mould to your body’s natural position.

Medium soft: This is ideal for those who change their sleeping position during the night, as it will still mould to your body position but provide a little more support.

Medium firm: This is best for people who sleep on their back as you require extra lower-back support, which this type of firmness offers.

Firm: This type of mattress is ideal for those who sleep on their front, are over 15 stone or suffer from back pain. This is because it will keep your back in a relatively comfortable and stable position without allowing you to sink into it as you sleep, which can cause lower-back pain.

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The Best Pillowcases for Skin Features

The Best Pillowcases for Skin Features

Depending on how you sleep, the features that will work best for you in pillowcases that are good for your skin can vary, but they all revolve around the same things. One is the material, another is the closure options, and a third is the structure of the pillowcase itself.

Material

Of course, silk is best because of its many healthy properties. However, satin is smooth and wrinkle resistant as well, and its construction eases the way that your skin reacts to dryness. It will help retain moisture almost as well as silk, and it keeps you from worrying about unsightly marks on your face.

Silk is best, and you want to consider momme weight, which is similar to thread count in standard linen or cotton pillowcases. Momme weight gives you an idea of how fine the silk threads are and the quality of the pillowcase. Typically, a momme count between 16 and 22 is ideal, with a luxurious feel and high-quality weave.

Enclosure

You want your pillow to remain within its shell, so finding a pillowcase that is completely enclosed is a good idea. This keeps your face from coming into contact with the pillow itself, which may be made of a material less conducive to health factors. An envelope enclosure works well, folding over to keep the pillow encased without the concern of your face or hair coming into contact with a zipper. However, a hidden zipper enclosure is also a welcome decision, since it guarantees you keep the pillow covered and also covers the zipper so it’s not a danger to your skin or hair.

Construction

This is where the decision becomes personal. For some, getting a pillowcase that is 100% silk or satin on both sides is best because it assists in protecting your skin even if you like to flip your pillow over during the night. You never run the risk of sleeping on a surface that is going to dry you out or leave marks on your face.

On the other hand, some people move around a lot in their sleep, and the slippery surfaces of silk and satin on the bottom of the pillow could cause it to move away, leaving you sleeping on the sheets instead. In these cases, it might be better to choose a pillowcase that is silk or satin on top and a different material underneath that gives it better traction for less chance of sliding away from you while you sleep.

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Tips to get your sleep cycle back on track during lockdown

Tips to get your sleep cycle back on track during lockdown

Now we are officially entering the second lockdown in the UK M6 Beds have put together a few tips and tricks for getting your sleep cycle back into a routine.

You might have noticed your normal sleep pattern has changed. Some of us may be sleeping more, and some of us may be sleeping less. Life has changed dramatically for many of us, with our usual daily routine – including commutes, meal times, and the amount of time we spend outside – being altered because of self isolation.

  • Don’t use your bedroom as your office (if possible) When it’s time for bed, remove electronic devices and make the room cool, dark and quiet. It’s important to associate your bedroom as the place you go to sleep, not the place you work or watch TV. This will help you to relax and prepare for sleep. Electronic devices also emit artificial light that can influence our sleep cycle. Artificial light can trick your circadian clock into thinking daylight has been extended and alter our quality of sleep. If you need electronic devices nearby, place them in night mode.
  • Avoid napping As you try to establish your new routine, it’s important to engage with your natural circadian rhythm – and napping could potentially disrupt this at the beginning. However, if your previous night’s sleep was poor you may feel more tired after lunch. Short naps – less than 20 minutes – can help to restore cognitive function and may make you feel less sleepy.
  • Exercise Both aerobic and resistance exercise has been shown to have positive effects on sleep. However, timing is important. It’s best to avoid vigorous exercise one hour before bedtime as this may reduce our sleep duration, quality and make it more difficult to fall asleep in the first place.

All of these changes impact our natural circadian rhythm, which is an essential internal “clock” that plays a key role in regulating our sleep pattern. It controls body temperature and hormones in order to make us feel alert during the day and tired at night.

 

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Sleep Trends the World Over

Sleep Trends the World Over

Sleep is an odd business. We spend a third of our lives doing it, without it we go mad and die, and yet the world over, there is no one way to sleep. In our 21st Century western world, it’s widely accepted that we should aim to sleep 7-8 hours per night, on bed with a high quality mattress and a pillow. But this has not always been the case, and indeed there are many peoples in the world today whose sleeping habits would seem very unusual to us indeed.

We think of bed as a place of warm, softness, and we often remove our jewellery, wear comfortable clothes and let our hair down in order to get the most out of the relaxing experience. But sleep methods and patterns develop everywhere depending on the specific needs of the people who practiced them.

Sleep like an Egyptian

The Ancient Egyptians slept on headrests made of wood or stone. This may sound to us like a thoroughly unpleasant experience, but these austere supports had their advantages in the searing heat of Northern Africa. They raised the head, keeping it cool and away from crawling, biting insects. They were often decorated with spells and incantations to ward off evil and heal the sick. These headrests were valuable assets as they were often found amongst the grave goods of the dead. A soft pillow would only have led to a hot, sweaty, itchy night’s sleep for an Egyptian.

In fact, headrests are still in use today among various indigenous tribes from all over Africa. They are a practical response to the heat, and useful for nomadic peoples whose resting places change frequently.

Glamorous Geisha

The use of the headrest in Africa may also have originally related to some of these incredible tribal coiffeurs, whose protection may have made the use of any other supports impossible.

Sacrifice of comfort in sleep for the sake of fashion or beauty is also practiced by the Japanese Geisha. These highly trained and refined entertainers traditionally sport sublimely complex hairstyles which cost vast amounts of money and time to construct. The Geisha also goes through significant pain during the hairdressing process. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to keep the hair in immaculate condition.

For this reason, a Geisha sleeps with her neck on a small wooden support or takamakura. This can cause crippling pain and sleep deprivation, and keeping the head balanced on the stand is a difficult skill to master. During her training period, a Geisha’s mentor may pour rice flour around the base of the stand, meaning if her head slipped in her sleep, flour sticks to her hair oil and she has to go through the excruciating pain of having it restyled. Eventually, the girl learns her lesson, and some older Geishas say that they can’t sleep without their neck rests, so used have they become to the discomfort.

No sleep for the wicked

For the war-like Vikings, sleeping was a practical necessity rather than an enjoyable experience, and as such, they had no specific sleeping space within the home. The Viking family slept individually wrapped in furs and lying on benches attached to the walls of the Longhouse. In the day, the benches were used for sitting on, for cooking or as work-benches – an unsurprising practice perhaps for such a hardy race.

The Spartans were another culture famous for its merciless warriors, and as such, took a very hard line on comfort. From the age of seven, Spartan boys were enrolled in the agoge – a brutal training system which lasted for approximately 10 years. The Spartan boys had to undergo horrific trials which turned them away from society and made them into hardened fighting machines. One of the lesser challenges included a forced rejection of sleeping comforts. Boys had to collect razor-sharp rushes from the river bank with their bare hands. They used these rushes as a mattress, and sleeping on their lacerating beds, were exposed day and night to the elements, with only a single rough cloak as a covering.

Are you looking for a new mattress? Contact us today and we’d love to help you choose the perfect mattress for you!

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How Often Should You Wash Your Bedding? 

How Often Should You Wash Your Bedding? 

There are few better feelings than climbing into clean sheets after a long day. While a good run through the washing machines brings comfort and a fresh smell, a regular clean is important for our health. We know it’s important, but exactly how often should you change your sheets?

How Often Should You Wash Your Bedding? 

Bedsheets, pillowcases and duvet covers should be front of the line for a regular wash because they have the most regular contact with your body; you should also be wary of keeping your pillows and mattress clean. Here is how often you should be washing your bedding:

How often should you wash your sheets? (Every 1-2 weeks) 

How often you should wash your sheets can depend on you, but everyone should be stripping their bed at least once a fortnight. You should consider washing them once a week if you have any dust or pollen allergies, you or your partner sweat a lot, either of you is unwell, or if a pet sleeps in bed with you. If you don’t, you may be increasing the chance of running into some of the issues we mentioned earlier.

How often should you wash your pillows? (Every 3 months) 

You can get away with washing your pillows a little less often than the sheets but it’s still recommended you wash the pillows at least every 3 months. Despite the covers, your pillow still picks up the likes of body oils, dead skin cells and dust mites. If left too long, it can be a health risk, as well as pretty unpleasant.

How often should you wash your mattress? (Every eight years)

Although your mattress is better protected than pillows and sheets, it’s recommended you replace your mattress every eight years. Worn out old mattresses will be covered in sweat, dead skin and mites, they could also be to blame for people getting a poor night’s sleep. Buying a fresh one and treating yourself to a mattress top will not only be beneficial for hygiene but could be the key to sounder sleep at night.

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Does your bed need an MOT?

Does your bed need an MOT?

When should you change your mattress?

If you really want to get the best possible night’s sleep so you look and feel at your best, The Sleep Council recommends you start to think about replacing your bed after seven to ten years.

  1. Is it seven or eight years old or more? The critical ‘Seven year itch’ can be a make or break moment for many marriages and mattresses.
  2. Did you have your best night’s sleep recently with another one?
  3. Are you waking up more frequently unrefreshed and aching?
  4. Do you disturb your partner or are you disturbed by them when changing sleep positions?
  5. Does it look used or worn?
  6. Does it feel lumpy?
  7. Does it make suspicious noises in the night?
  8. Is it sagging – do you and your partner roll towards each other unintentionally in the middle of the night?
  9. Are the base, legs or castors lumpy, worn or wobbly?
  10. Would it be embarrassing if neighbours saw it without its covers?
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The importance of a good pillow

The importance of a good pillow

Struggling to get a decent nights sleep or find your self tossing and turning trying to get comfortable?

Most people spend at least one-third of their lives with their head on a pillow. The older you get, the more you realise the importance of having a good pillow.

Not only does the pillow need to be a good one, but it needs to be one that is suited to your body, your health, and the way that you sleep.  Check out this list to learn more about how to choose a good pillow.

Pillows truly affect the way that you go about your day, and you probably aren’t even aware of this fact. Your pillow affects the way that your neck aligns with your spine, which can either alleviate or put more strain on your back and shoulders, affect headaches, and have an overall impact on how restful your sleep is. In order to determine the best pillow for you, consider the shape of your spine as well as the position you sleep in for most of the night.

Choosing the right pillow for your sleeping patterns

Back Sleepers

Those who spend most of the night lying flat on their backs should choose a flat, thin pillow that also supports the head and the spine. Wedge pillows are great for providing this support.

Side Sleepers

Those who spend most of the night lying on their sides need a contoured pillow that provides firm support. In most instances, it is healthy for side sleepers to place a pillow between their legs. This pillow allows the spine to stay in alignment, and will leave the back feeling less strain from sleeping on the side.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers do not need much support for their head when sleeping. The thinner the pillow, the better, as this will prevent the head from rising too much and putting strain on the neck. In many instances, stomach sleepers will find comfort from placing a pillow under their stomachs to prevent lower back pain.

If you have any questions or require advice on the best types of pillows to purchase, please get in touch today by calling 01270 879379 or book an appointment at our showroom today.

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Buying the right mattress

Buying the right mattress

When you buy a new mattress, you’re also investing in yourself and your well-being. After all, if you’re getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, you’re spending about a third of your life in bed. So, how do you know when it’s time to invest in a new mattress—and how do you buy one you’ll love sleeping on for years to come?

How Long Should a Mattress Last?

If you’re making any big lifestyle changes in the near future—for instance, if you’re moving in with a partner and want to upgrade to a bigger mattress, or you’re shopping for a grown-up bed for your child—it’s obviously time to make the purchase.

If it’s been over a decade since you got a new mattress, it might be time to switch. Experts agree that mattresses should last around 10 years—sometimes even more, especially if it’s a high-quality product and you take great care of it over the years. But in general, you want your mattress to last for at least seven to eight years, preferably ten.

Types of Mattresses

Whether you’ve purchased a mattress before or this is the first time you’ve ever had to shop for one, you need to know what kinds of mattresses are on the market. These are the main types you’ll see as you shop—make your decision based on how you like your bed to feel.

Innerspring

An innerspring mattress is a mattress that’s primarily made up of metal coils, with a soft cushion around it. Over the years, these cushions have been made from anything from cotton to wool to feathers. These mattresses tend to be firmer and have some bounce to them.

Foam

These mattresses don’t have any metal coils inside, but are made entirely of layers of foam or memory foam, a synthetic material (essentially polyurethane) designed to support your body and adapt to it. Rather than rest on top of a memory foam mattress, your body will sink in a little and be cradled by the foam.

Latex

Latex is a natural material made from the sap of a rubber plant, but you can also find synthetic latex mattresses on the market. Rather than sinking in to the mattress like you would on a memory foam bed, the latex compresses and conforms to the general shape of your body while still having more bounce-back.

Hybrid

A hybrid mattress is the best of both worlds. The bottom layer of the mattress will be innerspring coils, while the top layer will be either foam or latex, depending on which material you prefer. How it feels will depend on whether you choose foam or latex.

If you are looking to purchase a new mattress, contact us today and we will be happy to help you find the perfect fit for you!

 

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How to Sleep Better

How to Sleep Better

M6 Beds top tips on how to get a better nights sleep.

Unhealthy daytime habits and lifestyle choices can leave you tossing and turning at night and adversely affect your mood, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and weight. But by experimenting with the following tips, you can enjoy better sleep at night, boost your health, and improve how you think and feel during the day.

Tip 1: Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle

Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is one of the most important strategies for sleeping better. If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, you’ll feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times, even if you only alter your sleep schedule by an hour or two.

Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimise the quality of your sleep. Choose a bed time when you normally feel tired, so that you don’t toss and turn. If you’re getting enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock, you may need an earlier bedtime.

Avoid sleeping in—even on weekends. The more your weekend/weekday sleep schedules differ, the worse the jetlag-like symptoms you’ll experience. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in. This allows you to pay off your sleep debt without disturbing your natural sleep-wake rhythm.

Fight after-dinner drowsiness. If you get sleepy way before your bedtime, get off the couch and do something mildly stimulating, such as washing the dishes, calling a friend, or getting clothes ready for the next day. If you give in to the drowsiness, you may wake up later in the night and have trouble getting back to sleep.

Tip 2: Control your exposure to light

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more alert. However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm.

Tip 3: Exercise during the day

People who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. Regular exercise also improves the symptoms of insomnia and sleep apnea and increases the amount of time you spend in the deep, restorative stages of sleep.

  • The more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the sleep benefits. But even light exercise—such as walking for just 10 minutes a day—improves sleep quality.
  • It can take several months of regular activity before you experience the full sleep-promoting effects. So be patient and focus on building an exercise habit that sticks.
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Study shows one in three Britons working from home are no longer setting an alarm to wake up

Study shows one in three Britons working from home are no longer setting an alarm to wake up

How the coronavirus lockdown is impacting our sleeping habits: Study shows one in three Britons working from home are no longer setting an alarm to wake up.

An article from the Daily Mail have reported on a study from 23andMe suggesting that people are no longer setting alarms to wake up for work during the lockdown.

  • A survey for 23andMe found that people are now ‘naturally waking up’ at 7.06am
  • This is 48 minutes later than they used to wake up when they travelled to work
  • Sleep experts say this is allowing people to wake during the natural REM sleep 

A study for 23andMe found that the average wake-up time for people working from home had shifted by 48 minutes to 7.06am from 6.18am before the pandemic.

Researchers say this later wake-up time is much closer to the natural genetic wake up time of 7.55am and could have positive benefits on mood and brain function to aid a more productive day.

Sleep experts say waking up naturally increases our chances of doing so during REM sleep – which is the optimal state to transition from being asleep to being awake.

More people are also experiencing more vivid and intense dreams, something that could be due to waking during REM sleep.

‘Everyone dreams 4-5 times a night, but we can only remember a dream if we wake up during it,’ a sleep expert has said.

The study has also suggested that a fifth of Brits say they are struggling to get to sleep due to the lockdown keeping them indoors and not getting out and about with working like they typically would during an average day.

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