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Monday, February 27, 2012
How to Make the Most Comfortable Bed Ever!
You'll rest easy when you choose the right mattress, pillows, and sheets
Bed of Comfort
The perfect bed calls you to get under the covers, close your eyes, and drift serenely off to sleep. Here's how to select the right mattress, pillows, and sheets to help you create that cozy and comfortable environment you've been dreaming of.
1. First, choose the right firmness for your preferred sleep position. Side sleepers need firm support, medium is just right for back sleepers, while stomach sleepers require a softer pillow.
2. Synthetic is best for allergy sufferers. Shopping for down? Check the fill power—the volume an ounce of down takes up. Higher fill power equates to better insulation. Also, look for tightly woven cotton covers.
3. Synthetic pillows last one to two years; down can last five to ten. Always use pillow covers to help extend a pillow's life. Wash the covers regularly, you can extend the life of your pillows.
New advances have created more options than ever, with each type offering a slightly different feel to suit every body. These choices illustrate some of the categories. Keep in mind that a mattress is designed to work with its matching box spring (also called the "foundation"). If you buy a mattress separately, it may feel different than it did at the store, or even affect the warranty.
INNERSPRING: The W Hotels Plush Top mattress has internal coils for support topped with layers of upholstery and padding; mattress.com.
AIR: Select Comfort's Sleep Number mattress offers chambers of air that adjust to provide just the right amount of support to each side.
MEMORY FOAM: Made of a special viscoelastic material, Tempur-Pedic's Classic Bed conforms to your body's shape to relieve pressure.
GEL: Specially designed zones in Simmons' BackCare with Technogel mattress support each area of your body, with a gel layer in the back-support zone.
Body heat and moisture make a bed a haven for dust mites, so do some prevention.
COVER: Covers help ensure a mattress's life by protecting against mites, dust, stains, and body oils. Cover your box spring to keep it clean, too.
CLEAN: Use a vacuum upholstery tool to reduce dust on the mattress's surface. Dyson's Mattress Tool attachment has a wide head for better coverage.
Good sheets are an investment, so be sure to care properly for them. Use a mild, natural detergent , and dry on low heat, or line dry if possible. Avoid bleach, which can break down fibers over.
Having trouble navigating the bedding departments at stores? It's no wonder, given the increasingly wide selection of fabrics and thread counts that are available. Keep the following factors in mind when you go shopping.
Fabric content: Look for all-natural fabrics, such as 100-percent cotton Lustrous Cotton Sateen Sheets from the Eileen Fisher Home Collection by Garnet Hill. Natural-fiber sheets allow the body to breathe and, with care (see Laundering Tips), will last a long time, making them worth your investment. Cotton sheeting feels smooth and soft to the touch, and Egyptian and Pima cottons, which have a longer fiber, have a slightly more luxurious feel.
Construction: The way a sheet is woven is another important factor to consider. Cotton percale has a clean, crisp finish, while cotton sateen has a more fluid, satiny texture. Flannel has a soft nap to it that many people like for winter use.
Thread count: Fabric content and construction are as important as thread count—which means the number of threads in a square inch of fabric. A very high thread count may be over-constructed (a high thread count marked "2-ply" may be a sign) and fall apart with wash and wear. Remember this: Find what feels best to you at a price you can afford.