Choosing The Right Mattress

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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The best pillowcases for your skin

The best pillowcases for your skin

Why Specifically for Skin?

Sometimes, it’s the things easiest to overlook that cause the most damage. This is often true of the bedding we choose and the negative effects it can have on skin and hair. You can spend hours brushing, finessing, moisturizing, oiling, and doing all sorts of other treatments to your hair. You can wash, tone, deep clean, and exfoliate your skin. But if you’re not taking care of that skin at all times, it’s an exercise in futility.

Sleeping on a cotton pillowcase can actually lead to dry skin, which can cause itching, redness, rash, scaling and peeling, and other irritation. None of this is good for skin and spending eight hours a night – and sometimes more – with your face pressed to a material that strips it of necessary oils and minerals can be detrimental. It can make you age faster, showing wrinkles sooner, and take away that fullness, softness, and brightness that comes with youthful skin.

Instead, you should focus on materials that will ease the aging process. There are actually pillowcases for skin that will assist with keeping it moisturised and infused with the important vitamins and amino acids to enliven your appearance and make you look younger than you are.

Even dermatologists agree that sleeping on silk pillowcases can help reduce and even reverse the aging process, keeping skin as well as hair healthier longer. Silk has a lot of properties that are ideal for skin, or if you have trouble with the idea of the price of pure silk, satin (woven from polyester) imitates a number of these features.

What Makes the Best Pillowcases for Skin the Best?

Let’s consider the properties of silk – and in many cases, satin – pillowcases that make them the best pillowcases for the skin.

Wrinkle Resistant

One of the biggest problems with waking up in the morning after a hard sleep is looking in the mirror and seeing creases on your face from the way the pillowcase wrinkles while you sleep. As if the initial appearance isn’t bad enough, these particular marks seem to last forever and can be very embarrassing.

Silk and satin pillows are smooth and slippery, with wrinkle resistant properties that avoid the ‘pillow’ marks on your face when you’ve had a particularly difficult night or slept harder than usual.

Long Term Age Defiance

Even more important, silk helps reduce age-related wrinkles by infusing skin with much needed natural properties. The anti-aging formulas used in night creams and other facial products contain amino acids that help keep skin young and healthy, giving it a glowing appearance and a certain shine. Silk contains the same amino acids, so your skin and hair become infused with these through the night, giving you eight hours of therapy when you choose the right pillow case rather than just a few minutes a day.

Moisture

A number of materials literally drain away oils and moisture from your already dry skin. Silk and satin do the opposite. Because they are not dry and absorbent, you’ll find that your skin stays moist longer, with less irritation, which not only aids in overall skin health but keeps you younger and fresher longer. You’ll have fewer rashes, less peeling and scaly skin, and more balanced skin hygiene, even reducing the oiliness of certain spots on your face.

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Wipe out winter tiredness

Wipe out winter tiredness

We all know the struggle of getting out of bed during the winter months while it is still dark outside and the temperature has dropped. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many people feel tired and sluggish during winter.

M6 beds have put together some energy giving solutions that may help – and some conditions that can sometimes be the cause. 

Let in some sunlight

As the days become shorter, your sleep and waking cycles may become disrupted. The lack of sunlight means your brain produces more of a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy.

Open your blinds or curtains as soon as you get up to let more sunlight into your home, and get outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible. Try to take even just a brief lunchtime walk, and make sure your workplace and home are as light and airy as possible.

Ensure you get enough sleep

Getting enough undisturbed sleep is vital for fighting off winter tiredness.

It’s tempting to go into hibernation mode when winter hits, but that sleepy feeling you get does not mean you should snooze for longer.

In fact, if you sleep too much, chances are you’ll feel even more sluggish during the day. We do not actually need any more sleep in winter than we do in summer – aim for about 7-8 hours of shut-eye a night, and try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

Make sure your bedroom helps you feel relaxed and sleepy: clear the clutter, have comfortable and warm bedding, and turn off the TV.

Eat the right food

Being overweight or underweight can affect your energy levels and leave you feeling sleepy. So it’s important to make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Once the summer ends, there’s a temptation to ditch the salads and fill up on starchy foods such as pasta, potatoes and bread. However, you’ll have more energy if you include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your comfort meals.

Winter vegetables – such as carrots, parsnips, swede and turnips – can be roasted, mashed or made into soup to provide a warming winter meal for the whole family. And classic stews and casseroles are great options if they’re made with lean meat or pulses, and plenty of veg.

 

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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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Lower back pain treatment: Research reveals the best type of mattress for lower back pain

Lower back pain treatment: Research reveals the best type of mattress for lower back pain

LOWER back pain will affect two out of three people during their lifetime but its prevalence does not come at the cost of solutions. Even the simplest lifestyle changes can help, and, to that end, a particular type of mattress is recommended.

Lower back pain varies markedly in its severity, with some people finding it subsides within a couple of weeks and others finding it rages on for months if not years. Treating back pain is often complicated by erroneous advice or advice that seems counterintuitive at first, but actually benefits you in the long run. Exercise is a prime example of this.

If you are experiencing lower back pain, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind.

As the NHS explains, it used to be thought that bed rest would help you recover from a bad back, but it’s now known that people who remain active are likely to recover quicker.

This may be difficult at first, but do not be discouraged – your pain should start to improve eventually.

What’s more, keeping active may distract you from your pain, notes the NHS.

The best mattress?

According to one survey of 268 people with low back pain, those who slept on very hard mattresses had the poorest sleep quality.

There was no difference in sleep quality between those who used medium-firm and firm mattresses.

Soft mattresses, on the other hand, can also be problematic.

Harvard Health explains: “While a soft mattress that conforms to your body’s natural curves may help the joints align favourably, you might also sink in so deeply that your joints twist and become painful during the night.”

The survey results may not have found a meaningful difference between medium-firm and firm mattresses, but additional research has suggested a medium-firm mattress provides optimal support.

According to an article published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, two separate studies found that medium-firm mattresses reduced clinically diagnosed back pain, shoulder pain, spine stiffness, and positively affected sleep quality.

What’s more, even subjects with minor sleep disturbances benefited significantly in sleep quality and efficiency with medium-firm bedding systems.

The researchers concluded that medium-firm mattresses served to reduce low back pain more so than firm mattresses.

According to Bupa, another handy tip is to place a small cushion between your knees if you sleep on your side.

Posted by m6beds in Choosing The Right Mattress, Investing in a Bed, Lower Back Pain, M6 Beds, Mattress Type, Mattresses
How to remove mattress stains

How to remove mattress stains

When it comes to removing mattress stains, you should try to get rid of them as soon as they occur as it will then be much easier to remove the stain.

You should check the mattress label before applying any cleaning product as not all products are suited to all mattresses.

If you are unsure about a product and its suitability for your mattress, you should test the solution on a small part of the stain before proceeding with the entire stain.

To remove a mattress stain you can use any of the following methods.

Cold water and baking soda

  • Begin by dabbing the stain with a little cold water being careful not to soak your mattress and avoid rubbing so the stain is not spread further.
  • This method with cold water alone is often effective, but if not add a little baking soda to the water and apply to the stain, leaving it for 30 minutes before dabbing it with cold water and leaving it to dry.

Diluted washing up liquid in water

  • Try diluting washing-up liquid in water and then gently dab the stain with a cloth or sponge.

Upholstery cleaner

  • For more stubborn stains it is best to use an upholstery cleaner, but you should always read the label thoroughly before using this method.
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How to clean your mattress

How to clean your mattress

Mattresses are a large investment and should be cleaned regularly, especially considering you typically spend six or seven hours each night on yours. But how do you clean your mattress?

If you buy correctly, mattresses can be among the most expensive and longest lasting items in your home so it is best to take care of it by regularly cleaning it. Mattresses can harbour several types of unhygienic matter including dust mites, dead skin, dirt and other debris, especially if you do not use a mattress protector (these can be purchases in our showroom!).

Below, M6 Beds have compiled a guide to explain how you can effectively clean your mattress to keep it in tip-top shape.

Why do you need to clean a mattress?

Regardless of how often you change your bed linen, you must still give your mattress a thorough clean every so often – after all what’s the point in having lovely clean linen if you mattress is dirty.

Mattresses may not look unclean, but according to the Sleep Council, the average adult loses 285ml of fluid each night.

Humans also shed around 454g of dead skin during one year, most of which is left in one’s bed.

How often should you clean a mattress?

Cleaning schedules for mattresses differ based on the type of mattress and the individual sleeping on that mattress.

However, generally, it is suggested one cleans their mattress at least every three to six months.

Many experts believe mattresses should be vacuumed on a monthly basis and those with allergies should make sure to vacuum mattresses more often to remove dust and other allergens.

How to clean your mattress

If your mattress is stain-free, the cleaning process is uncomplicated and easy to complete quickly.

To clean a stain-free mattress you should strip your bed and wash the bed linen.

Begin cleaning your mattress by gently vacuuming the surface of the mattress using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner, making sure the attachment is clean before you begin.

You should be sure to go over any nooks and crannies thoroughly to ensure you pick up every last bit of dust and other debris.

Next, rotate your mattress from head to toe if it is one-sided, or flip it if its two sides.

Air your mattress for a few hours to allow the fabric to breathe, leaving the window open if possible to allow fresh air to circulate.

You can also steam clean your mattress.

You should begin by following the same guidance as above but adding this step before remaking the bed.

To do this you will need a garment steamer and using this tool you should go over the mattress holding the nozzle as close to the mattress fabric as you to help kill any dust mites lurking near the surface.

You should then vacuum the mattress again to remove these mites.

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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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