January 14, 2016
How to Choose the Best Beds in 2017
There are so many BEDS out on the market! How does the average consumer know where to start?
I am going to suggest that there are three specific criteria that involved the science of sleep that you should consider. I am going to explain two scientific/rational reasons for my recommendations and a third practical reason, as unfortunately, there are many misconceptions and falsehoods in the marketing sector of sleep.
The top three criterion that I believe a person should consider are MATERIAL, COMFORT and PRICE.
I placed them in this order for a reason. In my opinion as a health care provider, I consider the MATERIAL that the bed is made from as the most important factor. The reason is that you sleep for a third of your life and when you lay down to fall asleep, you breathe in any off-gassing from the mattress and your body (including your face and head) is in direct contact with the bed and the pillow which you trust is helping not hurting your health.
Furthermore, some materials harbor dust mites, bed bugs, molds and bacteria (especially after about 5 years) and they too can cause noxious odors and of course, be harmful to your health. And finally to this regard, some materials that are commonly seeen in mattresses (that are also in bedroom furnature and bedroom sets) contain the old original dense memory foam which can trap your body's heat between the mattress and your body creating a lot of tossing and turning and loss of sleep. For these reasons, I highly suggest that a person buys a latex with a coconut topper mattress that is antimicrobial, dust mite resistant and hypoallergenic which is certificated with Oeko-Tex certification to be free of harmful chemicals. Alternatively, there is a new Gel Infused Memory Foam that is much less costly that I use in more affordable SELECT line of mattresses that is much cooler than the original memory foam, has more resilency, (support) and is also certified (CertaPUR) to be non-toxic.
Secondly, I would suggest you consider the level of COMFORT as being very important factor. The term comfort is highly variable between person to person depending on one's size, shape, age, degree of back pain and simple preference. There is certainly NOT ONE mattress or bed firmness that will feel good to EVERY body. In the literal sense, comfort is essentially a combination of pressure relief, support and a proper temperature.
More specifically, the comfort is a function of spring back support of the foam that keeps your spine in the proper alignment throughout the night, a pressure relieving material that absorbs shock and relieves pressure points and a breathability of the mattress material that allows for proper airflow and doesn’t trap your body’s heat as you are sleeping. My top choices to create the ultimate in Comfort is a top layer of Coconut based foam and a supportive layer of Talalay latex whereby you have all three essential factors covered.
And lastly, if your're like most people, we need to consider Price. The bottom line is just like any major purchase in life that we make, we need to determine how much we can afford at any given time that fits our budget. We also need to consider how much it is going to cost on average per year and what the life of the mattress would be in our bedroom. What these two important factors relate ultimately is the VALUE.
But anytime the word VALUE comes up in the field of healthcare, I always consider our HEALTH to be the most important choice and priority in our lives. If we don’t have quality health, we generally cannot live our lives to the fullest and live productive lives. Unfortunately, we all have certain health issues and restrictions that we have no control over, but most lifestyle choices we do control. One of those choices is the bed and pillow you sleep on every night.
When it comes to choosing something as important as the bed, my feeling is clear and simple: We should properly research the foams, the comfort which they create and the value that will have over a seven year average and consider getting the best mattress that you can absolutely afford, as we all deserve better sleep and improved health.
So where do we go for the best price? We’ll, let’s begin with a comparison of retail stores and the internet. The “brick and mortar” retail stores need a large square footage of space to show their mattresses and this costs money. They often have very expensive TV and radio advertisements that tout incredible bed deals. Therefore, understandably, they need to cover the costs of their overhead by making a higher margin on each mattress and selling more volume.
The great thing is that you can go to the retail store and lay on the mattress. This is a big advantage and one that allows the consumer to feel the beds softness or firmness. But laying on a mattress for 2 or 3 minutes generally will not be the same experience as sleeping in the bed for 7 or 8 hours over a period of several months with a money back guarantee like you can with most online sales. Retail stores also generally sell bed frames, highly variable bed designs, different bed types, have available bed frames and generally have bed toppers. The diversification and the ability to lay on the mattress (usually false sense of preferred comfort) is a percieved advantage that the consumer certainly pays for; usually about three to four times more than the equivalent online mattress.
With internet/online ecommerse, you can now buy a mattress online which can be shipped directly to your front door, made within 7-10 business days and generally will carry a 100 night risk free trial. The big differentiation of the companies selling online is the materials (especially the quality and type of foam), quality of workmanship of the mattress as well as the design itself.
There is a massive difference between a 5 or 6” once piece cheap foam mattress compared to a 10-13 inch custom mattress made with the best materials in the world. You must do your research. But suffice to say that generally the online mattress companies have FAR LESS overhead and no middleman, so YOU pay about 70 percent less for the exact same quality you would find in the retail stores.
If a person can truly be educated and understand all of the most important criterion, you can choose the mattress based on your research and understanding of your health priorities. It really does come down to a choice. We can choose to ignore the warning signs of poor sleep such as difficulty breathing, fatigue, listlessness, poor concentration, weight gain, depression, high blood pressure, respiratory issues and so many other signs that likely indicate that perhaps we are sleeping on a toxic bed that is giving off gases (VOC’s) and is harboring dust mites and bacteria. Alternatively, we can invest every 5 to 8 years in a new mattress that is truly a healthy lifestyle choice that can Improve your Life through Better Sleep ®.
The mattresses that I created are called JUST SLEEP. I named it JUST SLEEP as I have done the research of all of the above factors and criterion and have made a pledge to all my patients and customers: To make the best mattress in the world out of the top materials I can find that will give them a healthy sleep environment. I also give the person a choice based on their own criterion to make an educated decision of the price and level of firmness. My goal to the PROJECT SLEEP consumer is to provide healthy, high quality sleep products that we can be comfortably confident that all you need to do is JUST SLEEP, as We’ve Got the REST Covered™.
You can learn more about my luxury line of plant based mattresses by going to JUSTSLEEPbeds.com.
Dr Raymond Hall
Inventor, Spine Specialist and Sleep/Wellness Chiropractor in Los Angeles, CA