Sizing Up a Single Mattress

It would be far too simple for all single mattresses to be the same size – after all this is the world of bedding where things are rarely simple! If you are looking to but a single mattress it depends where in the world you are as to what size you will be getting.

In the US the single mattress is usually referred to as a Twin – it sounds less lonely perhaps? The North American standard size of the Twin is 39 inches wide × 75 inches long; in Australia it measures 36 inches × 74 inches; in the UK it will be 36 inches × 75 inches and in Continental Europe and Latin America it will be 35.4 in × 79 in. So there are some slight variations even to the so-called standard single or standard twin.

Then it gets more complicated as there are non-standard single sizes. In North America there is the extra long twin which is 39 inches × 80 inches and the very rare three quarter which measures 48 inches × 75 inches .There is also the wider and longer Super Single (48 inches × 84 inches) which is like a 4ft bed.

In the UK the non-standard single mattresses are the small single, which measures 30 inches x 72 inches and the three quarter (which can be considered a large single or a small double) at 48 inches x 75 inches. The latter is not very common at all.

In mainland Europe there are yet more other sizes, such as the small single which is narrower than the standard single, the extra small single which is narrower again and the large single which is wider than the average single ( but close the US standard Twin.)

Are you confused yet? Don’t worry too much. If you are shopping around for a cheap single mattress the likelihood is that the standard sizes in your country will be the ones on offer, but it is a good habit anyway to be aware of all the sizes available and to check both the labels on your mattress and the size of your room before buying.

The Sealy Corporation, based in North Carolina, is the largest manufacturer of mattresses in the world and they presently operate 25 bedding plants in the US. They take their name from Sealy, Texas, where they started out in the late 1800′s in the cotton industry. Through the years they have seen many booms and dips and still survived to tell the tale – more than that, in fact; they have flourished. This says something about the strength of the brand and the reputation they have built for affordable quality mattresses that use great materials and great know-how in their design. What are the main types of Sealy beds available today?

Sealy sell most of their mattresses under the brand names Posturepedic, Stearns and Foster (which they acquired in 1983) and Bassett, as well as Sealy. You may also be familiar with the Embody brand name which is their most recent addition.

Over the years Sealy have achieved something of a name for innovation and so it was when they unveiled the first ever King size bed and when the Sealy Posturepedic mattress was released.

The Posturepedic remains the flagship product of the Sealy brand and it has had many incarnations in the 65 years it’s been on the market. The Posturepedic has a great reputation for quality because of its longevity, yet a queen size is available from around $600. There are, of course, many options available that add to the cost if you take them, but for a famous household name mattress Sealy beds prices are very reasonable.

The Posturepedic is an innerspring mattress that comes in two basic choices of continuous coil: single stage and dual stage coils. The latter is the more advanced design, affording deeper comfort and support to the sleeper right through the mattress. It starts at around $900 for a queen size. Virtually all Posturepedic mattresses come with LiftRight Handles that make movement and turning of the mattress easier, as well as changing the sheets. The more advanced the model, the more advanced and extensive the handles will be.

Other common features to all Posturepedic mattresses include the CoreSupport system which reinforces the central one third of the mattress which supports most of the body weight, reinforced foam edges that reduce bounce and add support to the mattress as well as helping it to stand the test of time, plus a rubberized foundation cover that prevents the mattress from slipping.

When you buy your Posturepedic mattress you have the choice of bases, some of which are adjustable. You also have the choice of adding memory foam or latex to the comfort layers of the mattress.

We have concentrated here on the Posturepedic as it is their most famous inner-spring bed, but there are cheap Sealy beds available in their Sealy range. These start at $400 for a queen size. There are also the luxury inner-spring beds from the well established Stearns and Foster range which start at $1200for a queen size and come with a full 10-year warranty.

If you are considering a luxury foam Sealy model then you will look at the Embody mattresses, which use progressive latex and memory foams in their design and start at around $2000 for a queen. They have a 20-year limited warranty.

Ikea have 39 of their home products superstores dotted around the USA, representing their second biggest market after Germany. Since the 1980′s they have built a name for largely self-assembled furniture made to a good standard at very affordable prices. Their bedding products are no exception and here we take a look at the Ikea mattress choices that you have.

You can find a full listing of Ikea products on their web site, where there are roughly 12,000 products. In terms of Ikea mattresses they are split into 3 main types – the basic inner-spring models, the standard foam models and then the luxury foam models.

The inner-spring models start at an incredibly low $80 and go up to around $250 (including base.) There are two main types – the standard Bonell coil design and the active response or pocket spring design. The cheaper Bonell coil mattresses will have between 170 and 270 Bonell coils in a twin size mattress and will provide adequate, if not luxurious, comfort and support for most people. These mattresses will be around 17cms thick.

The active response coils in the more expensive pocket spring mattresses, such as the Sultan Hallen model, help with increased support and spinal alignment as well containing motion so that movements in bed are more isolated and not transferred to your partner. These are thicker mattresses (around 24cms) that also use more polyurethane foam in the comfort layers above the springs.

Some of the mattresses are sold separately and some as a set with a base. For those sold separately – like the $80 spring model called the Jaren – you can buy a slatted wooden base to position the mattress on. Most of the cheaper models are roll packed for portability and will regain their proper shape in around 3 to 4 days, so bear this in mind when you get your mattress home.

The standard polyurethane foam models that you may see featured in Ikea mattress reviews online – like the Sultan Fonnes and the Sultan Florvag – are very reasonably priced at around $100-150. These are basic mattresses 10-12cm thick, using Polyurethane foam of 1.4 lb/cu.ft or 1.5 lb/cu.ft density. Most of these mattresses are reversible so that you can use both sides for even wear and tear, and they will be roll-packed when you buy them. You will need to buy a slatted base separately.

The higher quality foam mattresses will user high-resilient polyurethane foam, memory foam or latex and these range in price from $200-700, depending on the type of foam used. The specifications of the foams they use are clearly marked, even on the web site, so it’s easy to check densities and compositions. Ikea even state clearly the percentages of natural and artificial latex that are included in their latex models. This is a refreshing change from some manufacturers who seem to do their best to conceal this information.

Most Ikea mattresses come with a 25 year limited warranty, which is amazing given their value-for-money price. If money is tight and you don’t need the finest quality hand-made mattress with all the trimmings and silky fabrics to finish it off, you could do a lot worse than browse through the Ikea collections.

If you’re buying your mattress and base separately rather than as a unit, you may need to research where you can get hold of well-made cheap bed frames. What type of bed frame you are after will, of course, depend on what type of mattress you have.

The bed frame, sometimes called the bed stead, is what the mattress will sit on when it’s in position. They are usually made of wood or metal and will include several components – the head, the foot and the side rails. Larger double or queen beds and up, will need some central support system also because of the extra weight they will have to support.

Nowadays the household name retailers will stock a selection of bed frames and you can buy them in-store or online. Their price will vary greatly depending on size, material and level of workmanship and it’s never a good idea to buy solely on price as this item will be the foundation of your sleeping system in your bedroom. If your bed frame is poor quality then it will collapse and it doesn’t matter how good your mattress is.

Ikea is a retailer that specializes in good quality cheap bed frames and mattresses. Checking their online store you can pick up a Fjellse slatted bed frame for $50 – this is a stylish pine wood frame that is around will support a double/full size mattress ( 53 inches wide by 74.5 inches long.)

The Ikea Malm range is very popular and these sell for between $100 and $250. These have adjustable sides to support different mattress heights, making them very flexible. These frames use particleboard and fiberboard with a galvanized steel midbeam for extra support.

Of course if you are looking for a well-made cheap bed frame we have only scratched the surface here of the type of models available. Many other manufacturers have a multitude of different designs and styles for you to research. Naturally, if you have a different type of mattress – like a waterbed mattress, air mattress or futon – you will be looking for an entirely different bed frame to what we have described above and these can normally be found at the specialist online retailers.

Ikea, the Swedish company that operates all around the world and is, in fact the world’s largest furniture seller, has been in the US since the 1980′s and it represents one of their most important markets; there are 37 stores in the USA. Mattresses and beds are a big part of the 12,000 products that they include on their web site and here we take a look at the range of Ikea futons available.

Like with most of their products Ikea makes futons that are easy to assemble, pleasing on the eye and good value for money. Most of them are in the form of a sofa-bed, which acts as both a place to sleep and a place to sit, making them not only a great cost-saving item ( no need to buy an extra spare bed for visitors) but they can also save on valuable floor-space in tight apartments.

A typical Ikea futon will be priced between $300 and $800 and will be designed for ease of positioning and ease of folding down when used as a bed, as well as appealing to many different design tastes – evidenced by the wide array of designs and covers available for the futon.

Nowadays it can be quite difficult to tell a sofa bed apart from a plush 3-seater sofa, such is the comfort level of sofa-beds. The more expensive Ikea ones – such as those in the Ektorp range – look and feel like a normal sofa. They are 2 meters wide, a meter deep and around 90cm tall and they convert into a comfortable full size bed. The frame is made of steel and the 4 3/8″ thick high-resilience polyurethane foam mattress provides the necessary comfort and support whether sleeping or sitting. When the sofa-bed is used as a bed, the head section can be turned up to provide a convenient rest for watching TV or reading. These beds come with a machine-washable cotton removable cover – this is important as sofa-beds usually have to stand up to a lot more wear and tear than normal beds, especially as many people eat and drink on their sofas. Many people like to use their Ikea futon bed with a mattress pad that protects it even further.

The Ikea PS Havet futon beds are their mid-range option. Some of them are narrower than the plusher 2-meter Ektorp models, but can still be used a full size bed for two people. They still have a steel frame and you have the option of choosing a high-resilience foam and latex mattress to conform to body shape. This mattress is strong enough to be used every night. The other interesting feature of this range is that the whole bed is mounted on caster wheels, which makes it extremely easy to move between rooms or when you are cleaning.

Like much Ikea furniture, the futon beds are self-assemble models. Usually there will be a simple Alan Key- based assemble procedure that is detailed in the accompanying manual. You shouldn’t need to call the professionals!

Anyone claiming in a mattress review that a particular mattress is the best bed for bad backs probably needs to be treated with caution because this is still a contentious issue and most people are simply not qualified to comment.

To be brutally honest, what type of mattress you should sleep on if you are unlucky enough to suffer back pain will be a matter that you should discuss with your doctor or chiropractor and not with the marketing people of a particular web site.

In the US acute lower back pain (lumbago) is the fifth most common reason to visit the doctor and 90% of adults will experience back pain at some point in their life. So it is a huge problem and it’s not surprising that mattress manufacturers have targeted this large group of people in their advertising campaigns and their marketing claims, but we need to be aware of who’s doing the recommending of the “best bed for back pain” and on what authority.

I think what we can safely say is that a mattress that doesn’t provide adequate support for your back may harm it and can significantly worsen aches and pains or cause spinal misalignment in some cases. In addition to this a mattress not giving enough support will probably be quite uncomfortable and will affect your sleep, which can upset your overall health and well-being in other ways. All of this seems to be undisputed amongst doctors and chiropractors. The question is what type of mattress provided the best support and there we have some divergences of opinion.

For many years it was recommended that a firm (but not hard) mattress was the best type of mattress for back pain, even being reported as such at the 1996 Orthopedic Convention. However, a 2003 study by Spanish doctors for the Kovacs Foundation has challenged this thinking, concluding that a medium firm mattress was best for mitigating back pain. Tests showed it was more effective than a firm mattress at improving pain in the lower back.

This type of study may point to a conclusion that makes sense, but you will only really know the best mattress for you by testing some models out in store. As for everyone, choosing a mattress is a personal decision, or one you make with your partner; you will get the best results by putting in the necessary time to research and test as many as you can personally. This will give you the best experience possible of the types of support levels and comfort levels provided by inner-spring mattresses memory foam or latex models, as well as multiple manufacturers and qualities of workmanship. Many factors go into choosing a mattress – when you suffer from back pain it becomes even more important to consider them all.

When you test the mattresses out it is recommended that you do so with your partner, if you are going to be sharing your mattress, as the weight on the other side of the bed will affect both partner’s sleeping experience. Also, don’t forget to try many sleeping positions – don’t just lie there on your back and think ‘this feels nice”; lie on your side, lie on the other side, lie on your front.

Clete A. Kushida, MD, PhD, who is a spokesperson for the American Association of Sleep Medicine recommends that, when you lie on your side, “If your shoulders and hips are sinking, if you feel your spine is not aligned, it’s probably too soft. If you feel pain and discomfort, it’s probably too firm.”

Nowadays some manufacturers and retailers offer a 30-night trial or similar, so it is possible to take a mattress home, try it out for a month and then exchange or get a refund on it, if it doesn’t work out. This is a great way to minimize your risk and it will give you a chance to test the mattress much more thoroughly than in the store.

Finally, it is important to keep your mattress in tip-top condition anyway, but even more so if you suffer from back pain. It is a good idea to turn your mattress 180 degrees every 6 months to ensure even wear and tear; if your mattress is not non-flip, then turning it over every now and again is a good idea too.

Sears Mattresses are retailed by Sears, Roebuck and Co. – the same company famous for its mail order retail set up beginning and then its chain of high-end department stores that have been helping Americans part with their hard-earned cash for over a hundred years since they were formed in Minnesota in 1893. They merged with Kmart in 2004, you may have read about it.

Even today there are 926 full-size Sears stores in the United States. That’s a lot of outlets to sell their mattresses and other home goods in! So what can you expect from a Sears mattress if you decide to buy one?

We should first point out that if you go to the online Sears/Kmart store or a physical bricks and mortar store you will find mattresses from many manufacturers being sold, not just Sears own brand. Even a cursory glance will show you they have Kingsdown mattresses, Laura Ashley, Serta, Simmons and Sealy mattresses available.

The most popular and widely seen Sears mattress is the Sears-o-Pedic, which is actually made by Sealy and is very similar to their signature Posturepedic mattresses they make, which have been gracing showroom floors for over 60 years now in the US. It is available only at Sears.

If we look at the Sears-O-Pedic 3141SS for example, this is a pocket coil mattress which uses 1008 coils in its queen size version. It is a non-flip mattress, with 360 degree Foam Encased Support to reinforce the edges. The thickness of the mattress is 10 inches and the Upholstery layers include latex foam. This mattress is available for around $1300 for a queen.

This is a typical, mid-range Sears mattress. Higher in the range you will have basically similar components but the coil count will be higher and the comfort materials will vary. Similarly, lower in the range models will have a lower coil count and either less latex or a different type of foam. Prices also vary because of the top of the mattress – whether it’s Euro-Top, Pillow-Top, Tight-Top or Cushion-Firm, for example.

When shopping online it makes sense to check out some Sears mattress reviews if you’re serious about buying one of these items, or you want some independent opinion before visiting one of their stores. You may have to hunt around a little more than normal, as they are one of the lesser reviewed quality mattresses out there.

Cribs for babies are one of those items that you will want to spend some time on when shopping, as they will need to meet safety requirements and you will need to put your baby’s health and safety right at the top of considerations. It makes careful research and checking of bed choices a lot more important than when shopping for a normal bed for yourself.

There are two components of baby cribs – the actual crib and the mattress that sits inside it. They may be sold separately or you may buy them together.

The crib will be designed to restrict your baby to the bed. They will usually have steep sides with no footholds that might allow the baby to climb and they will need to ensure that there are no areas where the hands and feet can become caught. The US Government now sets out guidelines for the manufacture of these cribs, making them a lot safer than before, but you should still make sure personally that the one you are buying complies in all respects, especially if you are buying your crib online, from anywhere else other than a recognized retailer or from outside the US.

The basic checks that you can do before buying include ensuring that the vertical slats going round the crib are no more than 2 and 3/8 of an inch apart to prevent anything getting trapped between them; making sure that the bars are sturdy and cannot be dislodged; making sure the distance between the top of the side and the top of the mattress is no less than 9 inches when the side is lowered and no less than 26 inches when it is in raised position.

Baby cribs are usually made of wood – like oak – or cast iron. Nowadays they are available in a large range of colors and designs so that it’s not all serious when shopping for a crib – it can satisfy those design urges you have too! Some examples of designs include the Jenny Lind, the Sleigh, the Mini-crib, the Rocking crib, the Convertible crib (these can be converted into a standard bed as your baby gets older), the Round crib and the Cribs for Twins.

If you are buying your mattress separately there are some basic things to look for there too. Make sure that when your mattress is in place in the crib the gap between the edge of the mattress and the crib sides is no more than the width of 2 fingers; this means that you must get a mattress that is a tight fit for your crib – although they are advertised as “standard” sizes they may vary and the best thing to do is use a tape measure to give yourself peace of mind that they match. “Standard” crib mattresses should be 51 and 5/8 inches by 27 and 1/4 inches – if they differ from this you may run into problems.

Also, when choosing the mattress for your crib, ensure that it is not too soft. You will want one that cannot be bent in two, or it will be too soft and may endanger your baby by creating suffocation pockets.

Choose a mattress that has absolutely no chance of harming your baby with toxicity – that may mean a 100% organic or natural mattress, but read the labels carefully as some of them may use natural materials like cotton, wool and latex, but treat the materials with chemicals to make the mattress waterproof, fire-resistant or anti-bacterial.

The best cribs for babies tick all of the safety boxes we have described above, as SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is still a reality and claims around 50 deaths per year in the US. There are also 9000 infant bed-related injuries per year!

Don’t forget, if you are looking for cheap cribs for babies that, very quickly, your baby will be a toddler. Apart from all the safety considerations you need to make, you may want to think about “upping” your budget to buy a crib that is going to be strong enough to stand up to a bouncing baby of a year old standing in his crib that has now become a playpen and throwing a tantrum! Investing in a quality crib bed and a quality mattress will be well worth the peace of mind and the durability you get from them. Also, who’s to say that you won’t be using the crib again in the future as you get new additions to the family?!!!

Ikea have been around in the US since the 1980′s but perhaps have not had quite the name that they have enjoyed in western and northern Europe. They make a huge range of home improvement products from self-assemble cabinets through lighting to rugs and bedding. Here we will take a look at the Ikea beds to show you what you can expect from their range.

The first thing you notice about Ikea beds and mattresses is that they are at the low end of the pricing spectrum. You can pick up one of their simple mattresses online for under $100. Even their most expensive latex models will not be above $700 if you are buying online. Even at these prices they are slightly more expensive than what you would pay for the same items in the UK.

Ikea mattresses basically fall into 3 main types: the inner-spring models, the low-end foam models and the higher-end latex and memory foam models.

The spring models include ones like the Jaren or the Sultan Harestua and the Sultan Huglo use basic Bonell spring coils while the higher-end Sultan Hogla uses active response coils which are individually-encased pocket springs.

There a few very basic foam mattresses from Ikea that use varying qualities of polyurethane foam in the 1.4 to 2.2 lb/cu.ft. density range. They are reversible, can be rolled away and have removable machine-washable covers so that they are easy to use, store and maintain.

The higher-end foam mattresses in their Sultan range include those using memory foam and both synthetic and natural latex foam. The memory foam Ikea use is not particularly dense, at 3.1 lb/cu.ft., and is mixed with other “high-density” foam in their models to provide the comfort layers, but the mattresses are designed to represent value for money rather than the height of luxurious comfort.

If you want to look at complete Ikea beds rather than just mattresses you will find in their stores and online many choices of twin, king, queen and full size beds as well as loft beds and bunk beds, day beds and guest beds. The standard beds will usually consist of the bed frame and a slatted base on which the mattress will sit; the bases will be made of pine wood, steel, particleboard or ABS plastic.






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