September 15, 2015

Sleigh Bed

You have to decide on two things when selected a bed. You must choose between a divan or a bedstead, and then the type of mattress that best suits your needs.

Bedsteads are usually constructed from wood or metal and are sold as a separate item to mattresses. Although the dimensions of a bedstead are greater than an equivalent divan base they use standard mattress sizes. Unless they’re imported from a country that uses metric sizes, such as is the case with IKEA. IKEA mattresses will not fit imperial bed frames or divan bases as well as imperial mattresses.

Most bedsteads support a mattress on solid timber slats fixed to the frame. This allows air to circulate around the mattress, keeping it fresh. Low-end models may have large gaps between the slats reducing the lifespan of your mattress. 60mm slats with a gap of 40mm are said to offer the best balance between airflow and support.

Some bedsteads come with sprung or bowed slats, which give a softer feel than rigid or solid slats and can prolong the life of the mattress.

Tip: A mattress pad on top of the slats protects a mattress from rubbing and splinters.

Tip: In most cases bedsteads require a certain amount of assembly, making delivery and relocation easier.

Tip: When choosing a bedframe consider the height of the bedframe as well as the width and depth. High beds will dominate a room much more than a low bed of the same dimensions.

Divan Bases
Divan beds consist of a base and a mattress. The bases will have either hard/platform tops or sprung tops and many come with integrated drawers for storage or a hinged top to allow storage inside the base, called an ottoman base.

Divan bases for standard doubles (135cm x 190cm) or bigger are generally split for ease of delivery. Some are split from left to right, others from top to bottom,  although sometimes a base can be split into four sections.

Bed surrounds give the look of a bedstead with the divan of your choice in the middle.

Although optional, a divan without a headboard can look lost in a room and being available in a wide range of finishes and styles they can really add impact to a room.

Guest Beds
If you are short on space but want an extra bed for visitors, you can opt for a divan with space under for a guest bed. When required the guest bed is pulled out and raised up to the same height as the divan.

Adjustable Beds
Electrically adjustable beds are easy to operate and can be maneuvered into various positions and optional massage units are available on some models.

Sprung Mattresses
Sprung mattresses come in three types; hourglass shaped, continuous coil springs and pocket springs.

Hourglass-shaped springs are linked to each other through spiral wires. While they compress easily at first, they usually become firmer over time. They are said not to be long-lasting and can eventually become too firm.

Continuous coil springs are built from a single length wire. Mattresses with continuous coil springs have thicker coils, which is said to provide better support and helping them to keep their shape for a longer.

At the upper end of sprung mattresses range you have the pocket sprung system. With this type of mattress each spring is housed in a separate fabric pockets isolating it from neighbouring springs. As it employs more springs than the open coil system it is said to provides more support and improved comfort and the isolated springs reduce the impact of a person’s movements on their partner . These mattresses need to be turned regularly to ensure even settlement.

All sprung mattresses use filler to protect the sleeper from the springs and can either be man-made polyester fibre, foam, natural cotton, lambswool, horsehair, teased white hair or cashmere.

Tip: Make sure you can get your new mattress through the doors and corridors to your bedroom. Foam mattresses generally have more give in them to allow you push it through most tight spots, but a sprung mattress isn’t nearly so forgiving.

Springless Mattresses
There are 3 main types of springless mattresses; talalay latex , visco-elastic  and polyurethane.

A talalay latex mattress is produced from an elastic material that moulds to the body’s curves. Air and moisture move freely through it making the mattress resistant to dust mites and fungal growth. A latex mattress is a good choice for an allergic or asthmatic person. They’re also good for keeping you warmer in winter and cooler in summer. This mattress does not need to be turned but occasional rotation will distribute the wear evenly.

Tip: When using a latex mattress on slatted bases, the gap between slats should not exceed 3cm.

Visco-elastic memory foam mattresses are the most expensive, but also the most resistant type of foam mattresses. It is made of a special foam-like material with millions of tiny window-like cells. These cells react to the heat and pressure of the sleeper and so moulds and supports the entire body without pushing back against the body’s own weight. This reduces the air circulation around your body which makes the mattress feel warmer both in summer and winter. It also means that the mattress can feel hard and cold when you first lie on it. This product is also resistant to house dust mites, and as above can be used on slatted bases.

Some mattress manufacturers say that electric blankets should not be used with memory foam as the memory foam won’t be able to mould to your body in the same way, which will likely make the memory foam much less comfortable. Also several manufacturers do warn that over time, the heat from the blanket does have the potential to damage the memory foam

Polyurethane foam mattresses are at the lower end of the market and the final feel of the product is determined by the density of the foam used. Polyurethane mattresses are less resistant than other forms of springless mattresses and even though they feel comfortable at first, they degrade and compress in time.

Tip: Alll plastics off-gas when first unwrapped and foam mattresses are no exception so you may want to leave it air for a week for you start sleeping on it.

Air mattresses have air chambers which pump air in and out. They give you the possibility to adjust the level of firmness and body support. Some air mattresses allow you to select different firmness level for each side of the bed. Even though they are said to be very comfortable, lots of people find them too expensive for their needs.

Water mattresses have been around for over 40 years now and are said to be very comfortable. If purchasing a water mattress seek one that reduces the disturbance amount you might receive when sleeping with a partner.

Tip: Water mattresses need to be full enough to ensure enough support.

Components of a Mattress
The fabric or ‘ticking’ is the layer that encase the whole mattress and/or divan base and are typically polyester, printed non-woven cloths or woven silks.

The stitching on a mattress is crucial and determines the durability of the mattress. There are two types of stitching; quilting and tufting.  Quilting involves decorative stitching of the filling to the underside of the ticking, while tufting involves threading a series of tapes through the mattress, and securing them with wood or felt tags or washers. Tufting tends to be found on pocket sprung beds where the depth of filings is greater.  The stitching along the side of a mattress is completed either by machine attaching the mattress side panels to the springs, or by hand. Top quality pocket sprung mattresses are typically hand stitched as it offers greater strength and stability.

To maximise the longevity of a mattress manufacturers often recommend washable mattress protectors. Mattress toppers add a luxurious extra layer to your mattress. They provide extra support and comfort and will generally provide a cosier feel to your bed. Available in all standard mattress sizes and in a choice of materials; goose feather and down, siliconised polyester or quilted cotton-rich fibres. Anti-allergy and waterproof styles are also available.

Choosing a Mattress
Lower priced mattresses are produced to a standard tension whereas higher-priced models give you a choice of soft, medium or firm tensions. Your ideal tension depends on your body weight, so you will need to try them out to see what is right for you.

Tip: A good way to check if the bed you are lying on is too soft, too hard, or just right is to lie on your back, placing your hand in the small of your back and then trying to move it about. If it moves too easily, the bed may be too hard for you; if it’s a struggle to move your hand, then the bed is too soft. If you can move your hand with just a little resistance, the bed may be just right for you.

If a couple find different tensions comfortable, manufacturers can make mattresses with a different tension on each side or provide a ‘zip and link’ beds where two individual mattresses with different tensions are zipped together.

Tip: Before selecting a mattress it is wise to check how noisy it is when you move in it and how difficult it is to change positions on it.

Typical Bed Sizes

Small Single (often bunk bed) W75 x L190 cm W2’6” x L6’3”
Single W90 x L190 cm W3’0” x L6’3”
Small Double W120 x L190 cm W4’0” x L6’3”
Double W135 x L190 cm W4’6” x L6’3”
King-size W150 x L200 cm W5’0” x L6’6”
Super King-size W180 x L200 cm W6’0” x L6’6”

Thank you to the following website, where is sourced some of this information; www.freemans.com, www.williegee.com, www.furniturevillage.co.uk, www.johnlewis.com, http://www.furniture.ie


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