The most important item in a home for many people is the bed. Getting a good night's sleep may seem natural but, for some, it is an elusive dream and often it is because of the mattress.
Sealy marketing and sales manager Chris Ho Wing-tin says it is important that a mattress provides correct skeletal alignment and proper back support.
'You shouldn't feel your body is sinking into the mattress,' Ho explains. 'Correct spinal alignment delivers muscle relaxation and eliminates pressure points which restrict blood circulation. This means you will enjoy deep restful sleep and wake up ready to meet the challenges of the day.'
A mattress that's too soft will not provide enough support to keep the spine correctly aligned. This causes tension, as your muscles work to compensate, leaving you tired and aching in the morning.
At the other end of the scale, a mattress that's too firm will not support all parts of the body evenly. It tends to create pressure points at the shoulders and hips, reducing blood circulation. This is what causes many people to toss and turn and complain of never being able to get comfortable.
'Don't believe the myth that a hard bed is a good bed for everybody,' Ho says. 'A very hard bed always creates pressure points. If a soft bed can provide correct back support and spinal alignment [and you don't feel like you're sinking], you can enjoy maximum body rest and pressure relief throughout the night.'
Mattresses are the most utilised piece of furniture in a house. If you sleep eight hours a night for a year, you will have spent nearly 3,000 hours on your mattress and the average lifespan of a quality mattress is 10 years. Those older than that suffer from deteriorating comfort features and diminished support capabilities.
When shopping for a mattress, lie on the bed the way you sleep and, if you sleep with a partner, try shopping with them so you can decide together.
If you need to share a bed with a partner, Ho recommends the Sealy patented PostureTech coil with a sensory arm, designed to sense the shape, weight and movement of each sleeper's body. It then provides correct skeletal alignment and a different degree of support and firmness to each person in the sleeping position.
This coil technology can be explained by load deflection analysis which measures innerspring resistance to gradually increasing body weight. The coil gives very easily at first during its initial response and firms, as more weight is applied, resulting in the superior orthopaedically correct mattress surface for every 'body' - no matter what size or shape.
Mattresses contain many layers of upholstery padding to increase their comfort life and support performance and Ho recommends rotating them on a regular basis to help minimise body impressions.