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Taking the mystery out of mattresses

ROSEMARY SADEZ FRIEDMANNScripps Howard News Service

Buying a mattress can be confusing and since it is such an important purchase, confusion is not something to go shopping with. The suggestions below might help build confidence and knowledge.First of all, when is the time to buy a new mattress? Trust your body. Waking up with aches and pains are good indicators of an overused mattress. Another is-it-time-yet gauge is a general feeling of being more tired upon wakening than before going to sleep.So if your answer to either question is yes, a new mattress is in order.Once that decision has been made, the next thing is to decide on one that is the most personally comfortable. That is going to take some testing. You should test as many mattresses as you can. Compare the different comfort feels and firmnesses. Some people prefer a mushy mattress while others prefer a hard one. Quilting options afford different types of comfort, too. A more open weave will offer a plusher feel while a tighter weave will give a firmer feel.There is no right or wrong, only what feels right personally. The important thing is that there should be a feeling of even distribution of weight support from head to toe. Here is where the testing part comes in. Read on.Testing a mattress doesn’t mean sitting on it. You must lie down, preferably in the position you sleep. If this is embarrassing, ask the sales person to give you a little time on your own. Lie there a few minutes to settle in and see what it really feels like. And since you are going to be lying down on lots of different mattresses it would be wise to wear comfortable clothing.One old myth is that a mattress must be hard to offer proper support. All the major manufacturers have done extensive product development to ensure their products offer proper support whether they are firm or soft feeling. Even the softer feeling mattresses have good support below the surface.Many mattresses offer several types of support including cradling, cushioning support that adjusts to your body while continuously providing deep down correct support.OK, now sit on the edge. Is there good, strong support around the edges of the mattress? It is time to call the salesperson back so he/she can explain the makings of the edge. A well-made edge will extend the life of the mattress.Another important thing for the life of the mattress is the foundation. Ask the salesperson to explain the difference in the coil types and the number of coils. The more complex the foundation system, the more expensive the set will be, but that’s OK. The better support there is, the longer the set will last.Sweet dreams.Rosemary Sadez Friedmann, an interior designer in Naples, Fla., is author of “Mystery of Color.”


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