There is more to mattresses than meets the eye. Ergonomics, state-of-the-art fabrics and materials, machines that can tell you where your pressure points are during sleep – these are all part and parcel of designing the perfect mattress.
If you want to choose the perfect mattress, you need to understand a little bit about the technology behind it. Choosing a mattress, after all, is both a science and an art.
Here, I stand beside Dindo Medina of Uratex Philippines as he shows me the tech behind the pillow that keeps sweat and stiff neck away.
During the 2016 World Sleep Day forum at the Lung Center of the Philippines, I had the opportunity to interview Dindo Medina, corporate sales director of Uratex Philippines, so I asked him how I could choose the mattress that’s just right for me.
Here are the highlights of what we discussed.
The science of soft and firm mattresses
“Our science shows that it is best to sleep the way you stand. When you lie down, it shouldn’t be any different from when you’re standing,” says Medina.
“A mattress [that’s too soft] will make you slouch more. Imagine slouching for eight hours! A mattress that’s too firm is not comfortable, either.”
So, which is it, firm or soft? According to Medina, it depends on how you sleep.
“Your physique is unique. Maybe you’re on the heavy side, maybe you’re not – that matters when you’re choosing a mattress. The position you sleep in also dictates what type of mattress is best for you.”
People who prefer sleeping on their side may benefit from a softer mattress that molds to the body’s curves, therefore maintaining a straight spine. Those who sleep on their backs, however, may find themselves sleeping more comfortably on a firmer mattress.
“Regardless of sleeping position and physique, your mattress should promote sleeping in the same way you stand.”
Trial and (no) error
You’ve seen furniture stores that tell you not to sit or lie on their beds. That’s the worst place to buy a mattress, according to Medina.
“Buying a mattress is an investment. You will be living in it in the years to come. When choosing a mattress, don’t go to places that don’t allow you to test the bed.”
If you want to find out what mattress is best for your needs, try visiting any Uratex showroom. Their showrooms have X-Sensor machines that map out pressure points in the mattress as you lie down.
“It puts a science to our art. It helps us determine which mattress is your perfect match.”
Many mattresses have special features. For instance, if you want a mattress that helps lower temperature, there’s one made of a cooling fabric called Hydragel.
“We have foams that lower temperatures by one to two degrees because they absorb heat. Because a cooler environment accelerates sleep, you sleep earlier with a bed that keeps you cool.”
Beds with benefits
Maybe you need a mattress that conforms to your body. Maybe you need one that allows you to toss and turn without waking your partner.
Maybe you need both.
“With mattresses that use gel foam, you have the benefit of a water bed conforming to your body but none of the bouncing movement. Unlike water beds, gel foam mattresses don’t move even if you do.”
Doing the math
“We spend one-third of our day sleeping but we spend more time deciding on a party shoe than on a mattress,” observes Medina. Something’s got to give.
People need to spend more time (and yes, more money) when deciding on what mattress to purchase. For a lot of people, the first thing they look at is the price. Next is durability.
However, with a bigger budget, a person’s demands change. “Physical appearance starts to matter: How does it look like? Then, they look for comfort and quality. They look for orthopedic beds or those that keep dust mites at bay.”
The most mature customer also considers carbon footprint, something we all should think about, in my opinion.
Lastly, before you head off to the nearest mattress showroom, you might want to read up on the five elements of a good mattress. Rich or poor, we all need to sleep like kings and queens!