How Thick Should a Mattress Topper Be?

A mattress topper should add to the overall softness, luxuriousness and support of your mattress. It can increase the thickness of your mattress and make it feel more comfortable and even and prolong its lifespan, etc.

When buying a mattress topper, you should determine what is that you need from it and define its basic criteria. By sorting out a few basic things, you will certainly be able to find the best one for you.

One of the most important things you should consider when looking for a mattress topper is its thickness. Decide what thickness would work the best for you and whether it can meet your needs and sleep preferences.

Reasons for Buying a Mattress Topper

Prolonging the Lifespan of Your Mattress

As they age, and the more they are used, mattresses can become saggy and develop lumps and depressions in the sleeping areas. To prevent this, or at least slow down the process, you can use a mattress topper.

If you choose the right type and correct thickness, the topper will rejuvenate your sleeping surface and slow down the aging of the mattress and the process of sagging and developing lumps. Depending on the current condition of your mattress, you may need a 3 or 4-inch thick topper.

Changing the Level of Softness or Firmness of Your Mattress

Some people may find their mattress to be either too soft or too firm for them and this can be right after the purchase or due to the long use.

You could change your mattress, but if you are looking for a cheaper solution, then a mattress topper would be an ideal solution for you. A mattress topper is far more economical solution as it will change the feel of your bed without costing you too much.

In this case, a 2” topper may be sufficient, although a thicker topper will provide a more lasting change especially for heavier sleepers.

Before we explain how to make your decision easier, we will tell you something more about what are mattress toppers and what they are used for. They can be used for various reasons and your mattress topper thickness will depend on why exactly you need it.

Changing the Nature of a Mattress

If you want to see how it feels like to sleep on a memory foam mattress without purchasing one, or you already have memory foam and you don’t like it and want to try latex or wool, in each of these cases, you can change the nature of your mattress by using the right mattress topper.

You can use a memory foam topper to get that contouring and hugging feel, or you can use a latex topper if you want to try out something more buoyant and different from memory foam. In such cases you can use a minimum 3” thick topper.

Increasing the Thickness of a Mattress

Some people may find that their bed is too low for them or that it is too thin and compresses pretty quickly under their weight. An extra 2 or 3 inches of a mattress topper could make some difference here, and it is less expensive than purchasing a new mattress.

Medical Reasons

If you have developed a condition that requires a good orthopedic support, then a viscoelastic material on the top of your mattress may be most suitable for you.

If your mattress is made entirely of latex or it is an innerspring and foam hybrid, then a viscoelastic or memory foam mattress topper may be the best solution for you.

A 3 or 4-inch memory foam topper might be enough and it will cradle your body, relieve pressure points and provide the right amount of support to those areas where it is needed most.

Available Sizes and Thicknesses

Mattress toppers generally vary in thickness from 2” to 4” although some may go up to 6 inches. In addition to thickness, the toppers may also be available in different foam densities, but let’s take a look at the available thicknesses and sizes.

So, the first thing you have to learn about is the availability of various thicknesses and sizes.

If you are going to buy a memory foam mattress topper then you should consider both the thickness level and the density of a mattress topper to make sure you get the right level of comfort and support you need.

In most cases, mattress toppers are available in three basic thickness ranges: 2 inches, 3 inches, and 4 inches thick although you can also find some special mattress toppers that are 5 or 6 inches thick as well.

2 Inches Thick Mattress Topper

A 2-inch thick mattress topper is the thinnest topper available. It can introduce more comfort and softness to your mattress and give you an extra plush and luxurious feel.  

You should only buy a 2” mattress topper when you have a brand new mattress and you only want to add an extra soft layer to it and make it feel a bit softer.

2” thick mattress toppers are not suitable for older mattresses as they are too thin and they won’t be able to provide the support that you need and cover sagging or other deficiencies.

3 Inches Thick Mattress Topper

The extra inch can make a big difference. A 3-inch mattress topper is a bit thicker and depending on the material you choose and whether you purchase a softer or firmer topper, it will provide you with greater comfort and support.

It can also make up for certain deficiencies in an older mattress, but this again depends on the type of a topper you choose. If you have a latex mattress and want memory foam on top, then you can use a 3-inch memory foam topper. It will make your existing mattress plusher and more luxurious or just slightly firmer.

4 Inches Thick Mattress Topper

4 inches is considered to be a maximum thickness of a mattress topper and anything thicker than 4 inches would be classed as a mattress rather than a mattress topper. However, some 5 or 6 inch thick toppers can be found as well.

A 4-inch mattress topper is ideal for covering the deficiencies of an older mattress. It will provide you with a smooth and supportive layer and a comfortable sleeping surface for a sleep without any body aches.

It is also a good thickness if you want to feel all the benefits of a memory foam mattress without buying one.

How to Store Memory Foam Mattress Topper?

Mattress toppers can be a great alternative to buying an entirely new mattress. They can increase the comfort and support of your existing mattress and are easier to handle.

However, no matter how small they may appear to be compared to your mattress, they are often heavy and complicated to store, especially memory foam mattress toppers.

Cleaning a Mattress Topper

Before you put your memory foam mattress topper away, you should clean it. Don’t store your mattress topper with dust or stains as this can cause the growth of mold and mildew, and with the accumulated dust and skin particles, who knows what might happen by the time you decide to use it again.

Roll Your Memory Foam Mattress Topper

The first thing you should do after you clean your mattress topper and let it dry is to roll it up. Avoid folding it because folding puts too much pressure on the creases, which will eventually damage a delicate memory foam structure of your mattress topper.

Once you roll it completely, place it in a plastic bag and vacuum seal it to make it easier to store.

Find Storage Bag

To store a mattress topper, you can one of the plastic bags for moving mattresses. They may be a bit bigger, but they can work perfectly well for mattress toppers as well.

You can also use one of those vacuum sealed bags. These bags are usually smaller than bags for mattresses, but if your memory foam mattress topper is of the smaller size such as Twin then you can use them.

In addition, memory foam mattress toppers usually arrive compressed in their own vacuum storage bag. So, if you can find the original bag, you can reuse it and store your mattress topper with the help of it.

Do not store you mattress topper unless it has some sort of a protective wrapping around it. Without it, dust, bugs and other things can reach your mattress topper and get trapped in it.

This is especially true if you store it in a basement, attic, storage unit, or even a closet. No matter how clean it may seem to be, it is never clean enough and that’s why you should not risk storing your mattress topper there without properly protecting it previously.

So, How to Store a Mattress Topper With the Help of a Plastic Bag?

Once you remove your memory foam mattress topper from the bed, roll it up and place it in the bag. You can also remove the mattress topper cover if it has one and if it is removable and store it in a separate bag.

Use ratchet straps or the tie down straps to secure the mattress topper after you roll it up. They are not expensive, and they can help you have something to grab on when you take the topper to place it in a bag.

They will ensure that everything will stay in its place even if the bag and vacuum seal job doesn’t hold up.

Also, if you decide to use a regular mattress bag instead of the special sealed vacuum bag, you can use a duct tape to seal it. Choose one that is sticky, but not too much. It has to be high-quality enough to hold, but it should not be too sticky as this will make unwrapping the topper impossible without damaging the plastic bag.

Attach the vacuum hose to the valve on the vacuum storage bag, if you decide to use special vacuum bags, or put the hose through the opening in a bag.

Once the vacuum cleaner sucks out all the air from the bag, remove the hose, quickly twist the bag and use some tape to seal it properly and prevent the air from getting back inside it again.

How Long Can You Store a Mattress Topper?

To prevent large plumps and crevices from developing, you should remove the memory foam mattress topper from its bag every 6-7 months and allow it to air out and inflate.

But, most memory foam toppers will be just fine even if they stay compressed for longer periods. They are designed to withstand the pressure, and even if the crevices form on your mattress topper while it is stored, they will disappear after some time after the topper is inflated.

Everything That Happens To Your Body While You Sleep

When falling asleep at night, it might feel like your brain and body are “shutting down” or switching off for a few hours. In fact, a variety of complicated things happen in your body when you’re asleep — both obvious and not-so-obvious. Yes, you’re dreaming (which you may or may not remember) and snoring lightly or… not so lightly. But you are also consolidating memories, repairing muscles and cells, and so much more.

While you sleep, your body moves through different sleep stages in two types of sleep: Non-REM sleep (NREM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM). You spend roughly 75% of your sleeping time in NREM sleep, which is sometimes also called slow-wave sleep (SWS).

The National Sleep Foundation describes the different sleep stages as follows:

  • Stage 1 sleep is an extremely light stage, and it’s fairly easy to be woken up.
  • During Stage 2 sleep, body temperature drops and breathing and heart rate become regular.
  • Stage 3 sleep is described as the “deepest and most restorative sleep.” During this stage, blood pressure drops, muscles relax, breathing slows down, and hormones are released.
  • Finally, you reach REM sleep, also known as Stage 4 sleep, which first happens about 90 minutes after falling asleep. This stage is characterized by your eyes moving back and forth — hence the name, rapid eye movement. During REM sleep, your breathing can speed up and become irregular, and dreaming can occur as your brain is extremely active. “Signals are sent to the brain’s cerebral cortex, which is responsible for learning, thinking, and organizing information,” the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains. “Signals are also sent to the spinal cord to shut off movement, creating a temporary inability to move the muscles (‘paralysis’) in the arms and legs.”
  • After a period of REM sleep, one full sleep cycle is complete and Stage 1 sleep starts again.

In each of these stages, different things happen in your brain and muscles. Plus, your hormones and nervous system are active throughout the night. This piece will cover what’s going on in various parts of your body while you are sleeping, from brain activity to muscle repair, the functions of different organs, and more.

The Brain

As you can imagine, a lot is going on inside the brain during sleep — and not just when you are dreaming. According to the NIH, different sleep stages are associated with different brain wave activity. Your brain waves slow down through Stage 1 and Stage 2, reaching their slowest point in Stage 3 sleep. But when you reach REM sleep, your brain activity “becomes closer to that seen in wakefulness.” And some people do actually “act out” their REM dreams, physically moving their bodies around while they sleep.

“We do know that a small group of cells in the brain stem, called the subcoeruleus nucleus, controls REM sleep,” a Scientific American article explains. “When these cells become injured or diseased, people do not experience the muscle paralysis associated with REM sleep, which can lead to REM sleep behavior disorder—a serious condition in which the afflicted violently act out their dreams.”

Memories

Sleep is also linked to memory consolidation. Harvard Health’s Healthy Sleep website breaks down learning and memory into three steps: Acquisition (introducing new information to the brain), consolidation (making a memory stable) and recall (the ability to access the information or memory after it has been introduced and stabilized).

“Each of these steps is necessary for proper memory function,” the site explains. “Acquisition and recall occur only during wakefulness, but research suggests that memory consolidation takes place during sleep through the strengthening of the neural connections that form our memories. Although there is no consensus about how sleep makes this process possible, many researchers think that specific characteristics of brain waves during different stages of sleep are associated with the formation of particular types of memory.”

Plus, how well-rested you are can affect your acquisition and consolidation before learning, too. “We’ve learned that sleep before learning helps prepare your brain for the initial formation of memories,” Dr. Matthew Walker, a sleep scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, told the NIH’s News In Health. “And then, sleep after learning is essential to help save and cement that new information into the architecture of the brain, meaning that you’re less likely to forget it.”

Body Temperature Regulation

The brain also helps regulate body temperature during sleep, via a small portion of the brain called the hypothalamus. According to MedLine Plus, the hypothalamus helps regulate temperature along with appetite, sex drive, and the sleep-wake cycle. Your body temperature starts to lower in Stage 2 sleep, thanks to cues from your brain.

Research published in the journal Neuroscience Research in 2017 further explains the relationship between the hypothalamus and your sleep-wake cycle. The paper identifies two types of neurons in the hypothalamus, one type “a crucial component for maintenance of wakefulness” and the second “implicated in the regulation of sleep/wakefulness.”

Dreaming

And, of course, your brain is involved in dreaming. No one can say for sure exactly why we dream or what the purpose of dreaming is, but some research says that dreaming is linked to memory consolidation. According to LiveScience, analyzing brain waves can reveal whether or not someone is dreaming, as proven by research published in 2017. “The researchers found that, when the participants were dreaming, they showed a decrease in low-frequency brain waves, and an increase in high-frequency brain waves, in the posterior hot zone, compared with when they weren’t dreaming. They found this pattern regardless of whether the participants were dreaming during REM or non-REM sleep.”

Hormones

A variety of different hormones are released to help you fall asleep and wake up. The National Sleep Foundation explains that the endocrine system — made up of glands around the body that secrete hormones into your blood where they can be transported — has a “complex response to sleep.” According to the site, hormones like growth hormone, prolactin, and luteinizing hormone are secreted at higher rates during sleep, while others, like thyroid-stimulating hormone and cortisol, are inhibited during sleep.

One major hormone involved with sleep is melatonin. The University of Rochester Medical Center website explains that melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, and melatonin secretion is controlled by light exposure. Research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2018 on the relationship between melatonin and the circadian body clock says that the “light‐inhibited production of melatonin conveys the message of darkness to the clock and induces night‐state physiological functions, for example, sleep/wake blood pressure and metabolism.”

The relationship between melatonin and light is the reasoning behind many common sleep hygiene recommendations. For example, have you ever been told to avoid looking at electronic screens that emit blue light for at least an hour before bed? That’s because that type of light can interfere with melatonin secretion, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep. Many devices now offer “night mode” to address this issue, but it’s still ideal to ditch your phone, tablet, or TV for a book or audiobook when you are winding down before bed.

Knowing about melatonin secretion and light can also help you tackle jet lag and daytime sleepiness. If you find yourself incredibly tired during the day, because of jet lag or for whatever other reason, a short walk in the sunshine helps remind your body that it’s daytime and keeps you awake. Similarly, when you do go to bed, keeping your room as dark as possible helps cue melatonin to help you drift off.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, two other hormones linked to sleep are:

  • Growth hormone (somatotropin). This stimulates growth, cell regeneration, and cell reproduction, and is typically released during NREM sleep. “In children and young adults, the most intense period of growth hormone release is shortly after the onset of deep sleep,” Colorado State University says.
  • Cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress. Research suggests that sleep deprivation is linked to higher cortisol levels — associating sleep deprivation with “immune compromise, cognitive impairment, and metabolic disruption,” the Dartmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science says.

Immune System

Have you ever heard that a lack of sleep can cause you to get sick? It turns out that it may not be a myth. “Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus,” the Mayo Clinic says. “Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.”

Harvard Healthy Sleep explains it like this: “Sleep deprivation increases the levels of many inflammatory mediators, and infections, in turn, affect the amount and patterns of sleep. While scientists are just beginning to understand these interactions, early work suggests that sleep deprivation may decrease the ability to resist infection.”

If you are immunocompromised or going through something that affects your immune system, such as chemotherapy, experts say you should try to prioritize sleep. “Getting an adequate amount of sleep is an essential requirement for good health,” the Immune Deficiency Foundation says. “Most scientists recommend a consistent number of hours of sleep per night and consistent bed times and waking times, as well.”

If you find yourself sick with a cold or stomach bug, sleep is essential to recovery. “Getting plenty of rest is arguably the most important strategy when it comes to bouncing back from an illness,” the American College of Healthcare Sciences says. “Aim to add at least an extra hour to your normal sleep time whenever you feel illness creeping in, either by going to bed earlier or sleeping in later (or ideally both). If possible, sneak in a few small naps during the day to give your body a break and provide it with additional opportunities for rejuvenation.”

Organs & Muscles

Have you ever been drifting into sleep, only to experience a whole-body jolt that shakes you awake? This is called a hypnagogic jerk or a “sleep start,” and it’s a type of muscle spasm. These are totally normal, though experts aren’t totally sure what causes them. “Persons with sleep myoclonus are rarely troubled by, or need treatment for, the condition,” the Baylor College of Medicine website explains. “However, myoclonus may be a symptom in more complex and disturbing sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome, and may require treatment by a doctor.”

Sleep is important for muscle growth and muscle repair: You need sleep to recover from strength training and to build more muscle. Sleep is also crucial for athletic performance, reducing injury risks and improving speed, accuracy, and stamina.

The Cleveland Clinic explains that, during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, your muscles are completely paralyzed: “The face, fingers, and legs might twitch. Intense dreaming occurs during REM sleep as a result of heightened cerebral activity, but paralysis occurs simultaneously in the major voluntary muscle groups.”

Even though your eyes are closed while you are asleep, your eyes do move around (behind your eyelids) during REM sleep. One theory is that each eye movement is associated with a new “vision” or physical scene in your dream. Plus, some people do actually sleep with their eyes open — the American Academy of Ophthalmology says this can be caused by eyelid problems or issues with the facial nerves: “In most cases, the lids will close most of the way but not completely. Even a small opening in the eyelids can dry out the eyes overnight.” If you wake up with eye dryness, red eyes, blurry vision, or feeling like something is stuck in your eye, you might be sleeping with your eyes partly open.

While sleeping, your major organs continue to function as they normally would:

Heart

Your heart rate can drop to quite a low level during deep sleep, the American Heart Association says, but it continues to pump blood around your body while you are resting. However, things can speed up during REM sleep. “Your blood pressure and heart rate can go up and down during this stage,” the UCLA Health website says. “If you have a nightmare that wakes you up, you may find that your heart is racing.” If you wear a smartwatch or heart monitoring device while you sleep, you may notice what heart rate patterns seem normal for you throughout the course of the night.

Kidneys

Your kidneys continue to filter your blood and create urine. “Kidney function is actually regulated by the sleep-wake cycle. It helps coordinate the kidneys’ workload over 24 hours,” Dr. Ciaran McMullan, M.D., told the National Kidney Foundation. “We also know that nocturnal patterns can affect chronic kidney disease and that people who sleep less usually have faster kidney function decline. What we’re doing now is looking at the specific hormones that may be behind these declines.”

Lungs

Your lungs keep you breathing while you sleep in order to keep blood oxygen levels steady, but some people suffer from breathing conditions during sleep. One example is sleep apnea, explained a little bit more in the next section. Another is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). “Sleep problems and sleepiness are common in COPD patients, partly due to symptoms but also because of the medications used to treat COPD,” the National Sleep Foundation says. “In addition, changes in breathing patterns that occur during normal sleep that do not affect healthy people may lead to more severe consequences in people with COPD, which may worsen and complicate COPD since they reduce blood oxygen.”

Other Crazy Things That Happen

A number of unexpected things can happen when you are sleeping, either due to a medical condition or a complete fluke of luck! These include:

Snoring

The Mayo Clinic explains that snoring happens when “air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe.” A few factors play into this, including the anatomy of your mouth and throat, alcohol consumption, your sleep position, and nasal passage issues. If you find that snoring is waking you up at night or disturbing your partner, you can try sleeping on your side or speaking with a doctor to see if the snoring is associated with obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleepwalking

Getting out of bed at night and moving around while completely asleep doesn’t just happen in cartoons. In fact, research suggests that sleepwalking in adults is less rare than you might think — it affects around 3.6% of Americans, which is more than 8.4 million adults. “It is thought that medication use and certain psychological and psychiatric conditions can trigger sleepwalking, but the exact causes are unknown,” a Harvard Health report on sleepwalking explained. If you are prone to sleepwalking or live with someone who sleepwalks, there are potential safety risks like falling or accidental injuries — speak with a doctor about how to treat sleepwalking or make your home a safer place for sleepwalkers.

Bottom Line

While you might feel like sleep is idle time, that’s actually far from the truth. During sleep, your body is working hard to move oxygen through your body, repair cells, grow and repair muscles, filter your blood, and more.

There are plenty of things happening during sleep that we still don’t totally understand, particularly when it comes to brain activity or dreaming. That said, If you are worried about anything that’s happening while you sleep, you can speak with your doctor about what might be happening and how best to address it. For example, if you consistently wake up experiencing physical discomforts like dry eyes or a sore throat, that may be worth chatting to a medical professional about. Hopefully, this helps you find a mattress for kids that suits their preference.

Innerspring Vs Memory Foam Mattresses – The Ultimate Showdown

Shopping for mattresses is so easy. There are no hard decisions to make, and the process is not stressful at all. I personally just close my eyes, throw a dart, and whatever mattress it hits…that’s my mattress for the next ten years.

I am, of course, joking. Mattress shopping is anything but easy, and the choices can be overwhelming. However, a great place to start is by choosing a type of mattress.

Innerspring and memory foam mattresses are pretty much the most popular types of mattresses. To help all of the stressed-out mattress shoppers out there, I wanted to throw these two into a ring and let them duke it out.

So, let the ultimate mattress showdown begin. Cue “Eye Of The Tiger,” and let’s get down to business.

What Is An Innerspring Mattress?

First off, I believe definitions are in order. Most of us know what an innerspring mattress is, but let’s be nice and thorough.

Innerspring mattresses are pretty much the oldest type of mattress in existence and date back to 1871. Jesse James, Theodore Roosevelt, and Steve McQueen all allegedly slept on an innerspring mattress. True, there were sleeping pads available as far back as feudal Japan, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here.

An innerspring mattress contains some sort of coils. There are a few types of coils that I want to mention here:

  • Open coils. This is the oldest type of design for the oldest type of mattress. Basically, with this type, there are a number of coils held together by a wireframe.
  • Pocketed coils. One finds pocketed coils in a number of newer mattresses. Pocketed coils are each wrapped in some type of fabric and provide superior contouring.
  • Offset coils. These coils shaped like an hourglass and offer excellent contouring as well.
  • Continuous coils. This is pretty much what it sounds like. There is just one piece of wire that creates the entire coil system.

On top of the coils, most innerspring mattresses feature some kind of foam, fabric, or upholstery. While it is possible to find memory foam on top of an innerspring mattress, if it is over 2″, we are entering hybrid mattress territory.

What Is A Memory Foam Mattress?

Memory foam is a significantly newer mattress material. Charles Yost created memory foam as part of a NASA project back in 1966. Its real name is “viscoelastic polyurethane foam,” but it is commonly referred to as “memory foam.”

It was originally intended to cushion astronauts during the experience of extreme G-force. Since then, it has been used to relieve pressure for millions of Americans. While few of us will know the feeling of shooting out of the stratosphere, we can know the soft feeling of memory foam.

This material is really known for its soft, slow-reacting feel. When a sleeper lies on memory foam, they don’t just drop into the mattress. The material slowly compresses under the sleeper’s body weight.

Now, every memory foam is not exactly the same. Some memory foams are extremely slow-moving, while some react a bit more quickly. Also, depending on the density of the memory foam, a mattress may last for many years or only a few. Simply put, the higher the density, the longer the memory foam will last.

What Are The Main Differences Between Innerspring And Memory Foam Mattresses?

Based on construction, innerspring and memory foam mattresses are different in quite a few ways. First off, the feel is going to be quite different between these two types of mattresses. Innerspring mattresses generally exhibit a good amount of bounce. Also, lying on an innerspring mattress, it is more likely that one will sleep “on top” of the mattress rather than sinking in.

Memory foam, on the other hand, has very little bounce. It is usually very slow to react, and it does allow sleepers to sink into the mattress. It will feel more like sleeping “in” the mattress.

Sleeping on an innerspring mattress, it should feel much more easy to move around and change positions at night. Sleeping on a memory foam mattresses, it is easier to feel trapped by the mattress.

Finally, an innerspring mattress is generally going to be more breathable than a memory foam mattress. The main reason for this is that coils leave so much room for air to flow through. With an all-foam mattress, there is usually little to no room for air to pass.

at the mattress does not trap too much heat. Innerspring mattresses are also very supportive. Coils, especially those of a higher-grade, can handle a great amount of weight.

At the same time, innerspring mattresses are not the best with motion isolation. Those who sleep with a partner might feel their nocturnal movements transfer to their side of the bed. It doesn’t help that innerspring mattresses can be noisier, especially when they have been in use for a good deal of time. The squeaks and groans can also be very disturbing at night.

Finally, innerspring mattresses don’t always feature the best pressure relief. Their comfort layers are rarely very thick, so side sleepers can expect to feel some pressure on their shoulders and hips.

The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Memory Foam Mattresses

Just like innerspring mattresses, memory foam mattresses also have their pros and cons. Again, memory foam mattresses offer fantastic pressure relief. The material is really designed to cradle sleepers, erasing pressure on joints and heavier parts of the body.

Memory foam also provides fantastic contouring. Sinking into a memory foam mattress, sleepers will feel the material take the shape of their body, again creating a nice hug around the body.

For those couples out there, memory foam also isolates motion quite well. Each partner’s movements should be isolated to their side of the mattress. Also, memory foam mattresses rarely make noise. Even going to the bathroom three times a night shouldn’t disturb one’s partner.

So, the major drawback of memory foam has to do with temperature regulation. Speaking plainly, memory foam can sleep hot. The material actually traps body heat and creates a hotter sleeping surface. It can direct this body heat back at sleepers, causing their temperature to rise throughout the night.

That being said, not all memory foam mattresses are necessarily going to sleep hot. Many companies employ some kind of cooling infusion, like gel, graphite, or copper, to assist with heat dissipation. Mattress shoppers should keep an eye out for these infusions if they are considering memory foam.

As I mentioned above, memory foam mattresses are much less responsive than innerspring mattresses. This can make it much more difficult to move around on a memory foam mattress. Those who switch positions or deal with mobility issues should definitely keep this in mind.

Finally, memory foam can sag. This is not true of all memory foam mattresses, but those that feature a low-density memory foam can start to show body indentations. When this happens, the mattress no longer offers the proper amount of comfort and support.

Who Should Get An Innerspring Mattress?

  • Those who like to sleep on top of the mattress. Lying on top of an innerspring mattress, sleepers will not sink in too far. This makes this type ideal for people who don’t like to sink into their mattress.
  • People who want to move around easily. Innerspring mattresses are much bouncier and more responsive than memory foam mattresses. Combination sleepers and those with mobility issues are probably going to want to opt for an innerspring mattress.
  • Hot sleepers. While memory foam mattresses are known for trapping heat, this is rarely a problem with innerspring mattresses. The coils promote airflow through the mattress, regulating the temperature and making for a cooler night of sleep.
  • Those who need more support. Coils often provide more support than the support foam found in memory foam mattresses. This makes innerspring mattresses ideal for stomach sleepers, heavier people, and those with extra support needs.

Who Should Get A Memory Foam Mattress?

  • Those who like to sink into the mattress. There’s really nothing quite like memory foam. It lets sleepers slowly sink into the sleeping surface. So, sleepers who like to sleep “in” their mattress, rather than on top, should definitely consider a memory foam mattress.
  • Side sleepers. When it comes to side sleeping, pressure relief is the name of the game. Few materials offer the pressure relief one finds with memory foam. Memory foam mattresses, especially those with a thicker comfort layer, cradle areas like the shoulders and hips, relieving pressure and making for a comfortable night of sleep.
  • People with pain issues. Memory foam can also be a great option for people who deal with joint and muscle pain. Again, memory foam is all about pressure relief. That cradling effect I just spoke of can feel quite soothing for those with chronic pain issues.
  • Couples. Memory foam is one of the best materials in regard to motion isolation. Memory foam can absorb the movements made by sleeping partners, isolating these motions to each side of the bed. Couples should sleep more soundly on a memory foam mattress.

Overall

Okay, the battle is over. At this point, it should be much easier to choose between memory foam and innerspring mattresses. I get it, there are a lot of things to consider. However, keeping this info in mind can make mattress buying much less daunting. The twin mattress for kids works well for kids who needs a low profile mattress at a great value.

New Study Finds Sleeping On A Problem May Help To Solve It

New couples are often advised not to go to bed angry, but for those struggling to solve a problem, researchers from Northwestern University say going to bed – angry or otherwise – may actually help to solve the problem at hand.

While the concept of “sleeping on” an unsolved problem may have shown itself to be successful anecdotally, little scientific research has focused on the subject until now.

Building upon already existing information about memory consolidation and sleep, a team of researchers at Northwestern’s Department of Psychology devised an experiment that would see if the chances of solving a problem could be boosted by manipulating specific cognitive processes while we sleep.

The Experiment

“We know that people rehearse or ‘consolidate’ memories during sleep, strengthening and reorganizing them,” Kristin Sanders, first study author and a doctoral student in psychology at Northwestern said in a release. “It’s also known that this natural process can be boosted by playing sounds associated with the information being rehearsed.”

Sanders and her team theorized that using sound to “reactivate” unsolved problems during sleep may be the information processing boost needed to solve them entirely.

The experiment was conducted in the evening, and 57 participants were each asked to solve a puzzle, which was also associated with a specific sound. While participants were sleeping, researchers then played half of the corresponding sounds of the puzzles that had not been solved.

“We played sounds clips (usually short ‘music’ clips) while people attempted the puzzle before sleep. They learned the association with the puzzle,” Mark Beeman, senior study author, and professor at Northwestern University told Mattress Clarity via email. “Then at night, for half the puzzles they’d failed to solve, we’d play the music/sound clips again. They were atypical music sounds, so they wouldn’t hear them in everyday life.”

The morning following the experiment, participants were able to solve 31.7% of cued puzzles, a higher rate of completion compared to participants were who able to solve 20.5% of uncued puzzles.

Northwestern says the research is “the first demonstration of actually improving problem-solving by targeting memories for unsolved problems for extra processing during sleep. It strengthens the literature suggesting sleep reorganizes memory and suggests that problem-solving may benefit from sleep due to rehearsal and consolidation of problem memory.”

Solving Our Own Problems

The positive outcome of this study may have some wondering, is it possible to manipulate our own memories to help us solve problems overnight?

“They could get some success – but they’d have to be at the right stage of solving,” Beeman told Mattress Clarity. “Our experimental puzzles work because all the info[rmation] needed to solve is either in the puzzle itself or is (mostly) common background knowledge.”

Researchers were quick to point out that puzzle-solving works for the experiment because participants had all the information needed to solve it before falling asleep. In real life, Beeman says we don’t often know whether we’re able to solve a problem or not. In some cases, we lack some information but in others, he says, the problem goes unsolved because we have the right information but aren’t bringing the necessary connections, or structure to mind in order to solve them.

For some people, sleeping on a problem may be just what they need to tackle a problem. It’s worth a try, right? We will help you find the best twin mattress for kids as per their needs starting from the lower cost but decent quality to the top-of-the-line options.

Why Are There So Many Mattress Stores in America?

One of my MBA students who recently moved to Houston from Europe was genuinely puzzled by the preponderance of mattress stores she found here. She said that in America, there appear to be more mattress stores than there are Starbucks shops. This means a lot, because Houston alone has 135 Starbucks stores (not counting those in its numerous suburbs). She wondered whether the density of mattress stores indicated something about Americans, mattresses, or something else entirely.

I was mystified by the question. Despite driving past numerous mattress stores regularly, I never considered why they appeared to be popping up like weeds. So after some research and a bit of thinking, here is why I think there are so many mattress stores in America.

The answer can be attributed to at least 4 separate things: the economics of running a mattress store (and a mattress retail chain), the psychology of shoppers’ decision making for mattresses, the release of pent-up demand for mattresses after the recession, and the scale of American retailing.

1. Favorable economics.

Retailing is notorious for wafer-thin profit margins. Grocers, for example, typically earn margins of less than 5%. This is not the case for mattresses. Compared to its listed price, it costs relatively little to make a mattress. Consumer Reports reports that markups in the 40-50% range are standard in the industry—and once a mattress crosses the $1,000 threshold, markups are even higher. One assessment of a $3,000 mattress found that it cost about $300 to make—an astonishing 900% markup.

That is a lot of profit when you consider that the average mattress sold is priced well over $1,000. What’s more, most mattress stores carry very little inventory (they deliver directly from a central warehouse or from the manufacturer) and pay salespeople mainly through commissions. So overhead costs are quite low by retail standards. The result: In a typical strip mall, a store would have to sell fewer than 20 mattresses each month to cover its costs. Beyond that, the store should turn a profit.

Some stores run by national chains may not even need to clear this hurdle. As such chains expand throughout the country, they count on awareness and recognition generated by their stores’ signage and visibility to bring in customers. In fact, each store moonlights as a giant billboard, brightly lit 24 hours a day. Even when some stores in a market remain unprofitable, the chain will keep them open for advertising power.

Finally, stores of the major retail chains tend to cluster together in prominent locations to feed off the increased customer traffic produced by such congregation. (This approach is also used by other retailers; it’s called “agglomeration.”) This makes mattress stores appear even more numerous than they actually are.

2. Americans prefer to buy mattresses in a store rather than online.

In colonial America, the bed was considered a family’s most important possession. In a fire, it was the very first item to be moved to safety by firemen. Today, beds (and mattresses) are nearly as important. Most people purchase mattresses rarely—about once every decade—and do so with a lot of thought and effort. After all, most of us spend a greater part of our lives in bed than anywhere else, so it is natural that we would want to choose wisely.  

Not surprisingly, unlike sales of clothes and consumer electronics, which have largely migrated online, most Americans still prefer to try out different mattresses and make the purchase in a store. The phenomenon of showrooming, in which shoppers try the item in a store and then buy it online from the cheapest e-retailer hasn’t yet hit the mattress industry.

One reason for consumers’ insistence on buying in a store is that each mattress chain commissions unique models from major manufacturer, available only in its stores—and nowhere else. In truth, these models vary only superficially, but the naming differences make it difficult to compare prices and quality across different stores. Also, without truly objective measures of mattress quality, the shopping process is a crapshoot. Should I pick the Dual Effects® gel memory foam from one manufacturer, Posturepedic™ foam from a second, or the SmartClimate™ System with Tempur® foam from a third? (Notice that all the names are trademarked.) Many shoppers find they can’t answer such questions without consultation with a salesperson.

3. The recession created a lot of pent-up mattress demand.

Even though retailers prod us to replace mattresses every eight years, they are durable products, easily lasting 10 years, 15 years, or longer. Unless you are moving out of your parents’ house or returning from an extended world tour, mattresses are also discretionary purchases: You don’t have to buy a new one. The upshot is that when consumers are in bad financial shape or pessimistic about the future, they postpone mattress-buying, choosing to sleep on the lumpy or stained bed they already have. This happened during the recession of 2008 to 2012, as most Americans concentrated on putting food on the table, paying their rent, and keeping their cars fueled. There was no spare cash for new mattresses.

Further, newlyweds are major mattress buyers, but the recession put the brakes on marriage plans for a lot of people; in fact, many twenty-somethings moved back into their parents’ homes rather than moving out. Homeowners also stayed put because they couldn’t sell their houses. So, not surprisingly, mattress sales dried up over the five-year period.

All this changed during the last three years. More people are getting married and having children, forming new households, and moving out on their own or just moving. The pent-up demand created by the recession has freed up, providing momentum to mattress sales. (The nationwide bed bug epidemic which started in 2010, also boosted mattress accessory sales as well as reducing the supply of used mattresses.)

Mattress retailers are responding all over the country by opening new stores to capture these new customers. Some observers argue that we may be heading towards a glut of mattress stores; time will tell if this is true.

4. America doesn’t have too many mattress stores; it has too many stores.

There are three primary reasons why there are so many mattress stores in America:

  • Running a mattress store instead of another type of retail establishment is often more profitable.
  • Mattress stores are not threatened by online shopping to the same degree as other retailers.
  • There was a lot of pent-up demand of mattress for kids that is now being released as the economy improves and Americans feel more optimistic about their future.

But I want to make one final point which might explain my European student’s consternation: America has 46 square feet of retail space per capita. The equivalent per capita number in the UK is 9 square feet—less than one-fifth as much. And the U.K. has the most retail space of any country in Europe. So, seen with European eyes, America not only has too many mattress stores, it has too many stores period—from nail salons and donut shops to payday lenders and pharmacies. And, interestingly, it also has too many self-storage facilities…possibly for Americans to store away all those mattresses they are stocking up?

Bedbugs On Your Mattress: A Guide to Prevention and Removal

Tiny, rust-colored insects that live in walls, floors and, most notably, furniture like beds and mattresses, are called bed bugs. They subsist on human blood and feed at night. Typically, a bed bug bite is painless and results in a small red or pinkish dot-like marking on the skin. Most people react to bed bug bites with itchiness or welts, while others experience reactions so severe that they require professional attention. While bed bugs can be seen by the human eye, many who suffer from infestations are unaware that they have a problem, because of the insects’ proclivity for night activity and the translucent coloring of their eggs. Fortunately, removing bed bugs and preventing infestations can be accomplished using regular and easy cleaning techniques.

Recognizing a bed bug infestation can be challenging, because of bed bugs’ ability to remain unnoticed until they are ready to feed. The resemblances between their bites and those of the common mosquito or flea can also pose problems with identification. There are, however, certain tell-tale signs that can point to an obvious bed bug problem: smears of blood, black spots and dried insect shells on furniture or mattresses can show where bed bugs have been feeding, defecating or molting. Official identification of bed bugs can be made, if a home owner or tenant captures a live specimen in a sandwich bag, and takes it to a pest control professional for review.

Common, store-bought “bug bombs” are typically ineffective against an infestation of bed bugs. Instead, home owners and tenants should opt to manually detect and remove bed bugs, when they can. Using a flashlight and a magnifying glass to inspect common hiding places – starting with sleeping areas – can be prudent. Every inch of a bed should be combed for signs of infestation, including headboards, footboards, the inside of box springs, and even a mattress’ seams and tags. Mattresses should be scrubbed with brushes and vacuumed using flat attachments to help with identification and removal.

Cracks in furniture, walls, and floors should be sealed after they’ve been thoroughly inspected and cleaned. Less obvious population centers, like electronics and windows and their dressings, should also be treated as potential bed bug havens. When live insects are encountered, they should be wiped with a damp cloth and smashed upon sight.

Heat can be a great ally in combating a bed bug problem. Cleaning, vacuuming and steaming areas have been shown to reduce populations. Choosing to wash laundry in hot water and dry it at high temperatures can keep these pests off of clothes. Non-washable fabrics can be tossed into a dryer to rid of them of bed bug residue. Washing stationary items with soap and water can also prove effective in keeping bed bugs at bay.

Severe or recurrent infestations will likely have to be addressed by pest control professionals. Apartment dwellers with rampant infestations should advise their housing managers as soon as possible to help stop the spread of bed bugs to neighboring units. It should be noted that pesticides will have to be applied directly onto bed bug populations for effectiveness, and that the manual inspection and removal of bed bugs will have to continue, even after the application of chemicals.

Regular cleaning can help prevent an infestation of bed bugs. Vacuuming every week — especially in areas where carpet or rugs are present – and changing vacuum bags immediately after the device has run can eliminate bed bugs and their eggs. Organizing clutter, like piles of papers and clothes, can reduce the number of places where bed bugs can hide and multiply. Picking items up off the floor and moving them away from beds can also deter infestations.

Home owners and tenants should be wary of accepting used bedding, clothing, and books. Bed bugs can very easily be transferred from these objects and onto home surfaces. Typical hiding places for these pests should be inspected during move-ins, and repairs for seals, cracks in walls, flooring, and wall treatments should be immediate.

Beds should be positioned so that they are not adjacent to walls. Loose fabrics, like comforters, need to be straightened so that they don’t hang onto the floor and provide a bridge for bed bugs. Encasing mattresses and box springs can close them off as potential hiding places. Washing and disinfecting headboards, footboards, and bed frames, and regularly changing bedding, can remove inviting insect residue. Attaching interceptors to bed legs can capture pests attempting to crawl up onto beds, and advise home owners or tenants of potential infestations. Hopefully, this helps to get rid of bed bugs and find twin mattress for kids that suits their preference.

How to Recycle Mattresses, Batteries, and Other Household Items

Each person in the United States produces about four pounds of trash each day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Of that trash, about one and half pounds are recycled. Recycling gives previously used materials new life and cuts down on the amount of energy required to produce items. For example, when you recycle paper, you reduce the need to cut down trees and to plant new trees to replace the ones turned into paper. In the 1970s, there were no recycling programs that picked up curbside, according to the National Resource Defense Council. By 2006, there were more than 8,000 curbside programs. Recycling has become very common in cities and towns across the country.

Not every recyclable item can simply be thrown in a recycling bin and picked up at the curb. Some areas will only collect items such as glass, aluminum and paper. Other places might collect plastic that is labeled #1 or #2 only, even though there are seven different types of plastic. It’s up to you to learn what your trash pick-up company or municipality will and will not collect.

Items that aren’t recycled through curbside programs can be recycled in other ways. Most municipal recycling programs won’t pick up #4 plastic, which is the type of plastic used to make shopping bags. A lot of grocery stores offer plastic bag recycling, though, and will take back any bags you bring in. Some organizations also take #5 plastics, either through the mail or at drop-off locations.

Municipalities often offer special recycling collection days for certain household materials, such as e-waste, batteries, and cleaning products. A number of items that are used every day shouldn’t be poured down the drain or left in the trash, for environmental, as well as safety reasons. For example, motor oil is harmful if thrown in a landfill or dumped down the drain. It can be recycled and reused nearly indefinitely and should always be recycled. Certain types of batteries, such as those that contain lead or other heavy metals, should also be recycled. Some states have strict laws stating that certain products, such as televisions, computers and batteries be recycled instead of placed in the trash.

In some cases, recycling isn’t the best option. Some items, such as mattresses and furniture, can be donated to others and given a new lease on life. Reusing items such as furniture puts even less strain on the environment than recycling. When items are recycled, they need to be broken down, then put back together into a new item; when items are reused, they are given as-is. Along with using fewer materials and requiring less energy, donating and reusing items helps people who might not otherwise be able to afford that item.

Individuals can also get creative and reuse paper, glass, and plastic around the home. An empty glass bottle can have a new life as a vase for a single flower, for example. Plastic soda bottles can be used in the garden to protect new seedlings or can be cut in half and used as funnels. Cardboard boxes can double as storage containers or even toys for young kids. We will help you find the best twin mattress for kids as per their needs starting from the lower cost but decent quality to the top-of-the-line options.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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