It’s obvious when it’s time to replace your old tennis shoes or that worn out chair but how do you know when to replace your mattress? Even after your mattress has lost its ability to provide proper support during sleep, it can still feel somewhat comfortable. Restful sleep is critical to our ability to function, so it’s important to determine when your mattress may be past its expiration date.
In the last few years, advertising spots have filled consumer’s ears with “if it’s over eight, it’s time to replace.” Companies claim that the mattress doubles in weight every eight years due to dust mites, sweat and moisture. Yes, most mattresses contain dust mites. They are naturally occurring microscopic organisms that feed on dust and particles where people and pets live. Dust mites alone are not a reason to buy a new mattress every eight years. According to Consumer Reports, when to replace a mattress is up to the owner. The Better Sleep Council states, “How long a mattress will last depends on several factors, such as amount of use and the original quality, but in general, a mattress set that has been in use for seven years is no longer providing you with the best comfort and support and should be replaced.” So when should you actually buy a new mattress? There are several ways to determine when it’s time to throw out your old bed:
- You tend to sleep better in hotel beds or away from home.
- You wake up achy or tired almost every morning.
- You awake with stiffness or numbness.
- Your mattress shows visible signs of overuse (it sags, has rips or tears, holes or damage).
- Your mattress looks or feels saggy and lumpy.
To further examine the physical signs of the mattress, remove all bedding and any cover or pad. Does it sag in the middle or where you sleep? Does it show signs of wear and tear? The ragged materials will definitely impact how you sleep. Once a mattress hits five years old, it’s recommended to start observing its condition regularly. It’s best to review your sleeping habits and the physical state of the mattress every 6-12 months. To get the most life out of your mattress, follow these suggestions:
- Use a mattress cover or pad. This will help keep sweat and moisture from permeating the mattress.
- Rotate your mattress every two months.
- Use a bed frame that has a center support.
There is potential to save thousands of dollars by following these simple steps. Top rated mattresses at Mattress Firm range from $1000 to $8000 dollars. Serta’s memory foam beds average around $3000 dollars. If you replace your mattress every seven years with a high quality model, you will spend about $15,000 in 40 years. A cheaper solution would be to replace your mattress cover or pad every five years and keep your bedding clean.
The most important function of a mattress is to promote a healthy, rejuvenating sleep that properly supports healthy alignment of your spine. By simply evaluating how you feel when you wake and the physical condition of the mattress, the decision is yours on when to replace.
If you were to ask someone on the street today where the size of a bed originated from, they would most likely say that Kings slept on large beds and Queens slept on smaller beds…or something along those lines. Although the Romans loved their luxurious mattresses, members of the higher court did not name the size of their beds. It’s actually a pretty simple explanation, but we will get to that shortly. First, let’s take a walk down memory lane.
The Egyptian pharaohs of 3500 B.C. were the first known people to sleep on pieces of elevated furniture. Before that time, beds were simply organic constructions of leaves, straw and animal skins spread on the ground. The first luxury bed originated during the Roman Empire. They were often decorated with gold or silver and featured mattresses stuffed with hay, wool or feathers. In the 15th century, some beds in Renaissance palaces could be up to 8 feet by 7 feet. It’s highly doubtful however, the Kings slept in beds that were any larger than a standard double-sized bed. This size mattress was very practical, not only because it simply held two adults, but because a single fire place usually warmed most bed chambers. The smaller the bed, the easier it is to preserve body heat.
In the 17th century, termed “the century of magnificent beds”, Louis XIV was particularly fond of staying in bed. He would often hold court in the royal bedroom and reportedly owned 413 beds. Some of them had embroideries enriched with pearls, and figures on a silver or golden ground. The great bed at Versailles had crimson velvet curtains on which “The Triumph of Venus” was embroidered. So much gold was used that the velvet scarcely showed.
In 1900, James Marshall patented the wrapped coil spring. Because each one was made manually, the labor and time involved drove the cost so high they were considered luxurious. Those aboard the Titanic ship were some of the first to enjoy a coil spring mattress. In the 1930s, innerspring mattresses and upholstered foundations became serious competitors. Foam rubber mattresses and pillows appeared on the market in the 1950s.
Simmons became the first mattress company to introduce the king and queen size mattress in 1958; years later they were featured in Life magazine and other national publications. A twin size bed is usually marketed as a pair: twin beds. They are the perfect fit for two children sharing a room. While Kings and Queens didn’t invent the names for bed sizes, they did persuade the creation of luxurious and decorative beds.
What are the best sheets for night sweats?
Night sweats can be the arch-nemesis of a good nights sleep. Brought on by a hot summer, finicky furnaces, or even menopause, drenched sheets in the morning are never any fun. If this is happening to you, you’re probably on the lookout for solutions to your sweating sorrows.
The fact is, that different types of bedding have a big impact on your level of nightly perspiration, and the over all comfort level of your bed, if you do sweat a lot. Changing your style of sheets can be a way to improve your sleep and negotiate undesired sweating.
One of the first key factors to look in new sheets is the thread count. Thread count refers to the number of threads packed into each inch of the fabric, therefore the higher the thread count, the denser the material will be. High thread count makes for durable, luxurious sheets, but also means that the material will be less air-permeable, and thus tend to generate conditions that lead to sweating more easily. To keep things aired out, try getting 300 or less thread count sheets. The lower density of threads makes for easier airflow and dryer sleeping environment.
The next thing to consider is the type of fabric employed. In general, natural fabrics are going to win out over manmade materials. This means cotton, silk, and rayon will do better in general then polyester. Wool is a good for moisture control in clothing, but with its rough surface, probably not a good choice for sheets!
Having chosen the fabric, you then want to consider the type of weave. Flannel, being fuzzy and warm, is commonly laid down in winter months, so if you’re having sweaty nights, probably avoid this.
Satin gets the reputation of being good at moisture control, keeping the body cool and its sleek surface allowing the body to slid and be free among the sheets, without being tangled up in a hot sweaty mess. Satin is usually made from silk or polyester.
Sateen, the cousin of satin, is essentially satin that is made from cotton. This makes it a good choice for the night sweats, combining the cool, silky weave of satin and the soft, air permeable, moisture absorbing qualities of cotton. Sateen is more durable then satin.
Percale is another good option, providing a cool to the touch weave, though more prone to wrinkles then other sheets.
If none of these options work, you might want to try getting a double layered sheet specifically designed to wick moisture from high-sweating individuals. Using dual fabric types allows for high performance wicking combined with tolerable texture for comfortable sleep.
Whatever your case, no one deserves to suffer in a sweating situation. Examine your bedding situation, and consider implementing any of the mentioned changes to improve your sleep.
No, it’s not a robber in your basement, it’s merely your washing machine’s next stage of evolution – fledgeling attempt to ambulate across the room. And of course, it sucks to hear the buzz of the dryer, go and open the door, and be greeted with a tangled mass of fabric still damp in the middle. Thankfully, this need not be a repeating problem; in fact, just a few points of laundry 101 can help reduce the dreaded sheet-ball phenomena.
1.Make sure there is adequate room in the dryer. Do not overfill.
As you’ve probably noticed, the dryer tends to be less effective the fuller it gets. Aside from lowering the air/clothing ratio, having more items in the dryer mean the sheets won’t be able to flop around as freely, increasing their chances of getting tangled up with other clothing. This is even more an issue if you have larger sheets.
Yes this may mean more quarters spend on laundry, or more natural gas used to dry up your kingsize silken bedding, but spinning the load again is going to cost you the same as splitting it up into smaller, more manageable loads first.
2.Toss a small object like a tennis ball into the dryer with the sheets.
My mom always put a shoe in the dryer when we washed our sleeping bags. The logic was that the shoe would break up clumps of down and result in a properly fluffed sleeping bag at the end of the cycle. Well, a shoe is probably a bit more rough on your clothing then necessary, but a tennis ball or similar object will do just fine. The ball will knock the sheet around and should help prevent it from folding in on itself.
3.Make sure the sheet is untangled before you put it in the dryer.
This may seem obvious, but do you simply throw the damp mass of clothing from the washer straight into the dryer without a second thought? I know I do this.
The fact is, that the dryer could have a hard time undoing the twists imparted by the washing machine (can silk sheets be machine washed?), leading to less then satisfactory drying. In order to prevent this, when you’re removing your sheets and other large fabrics from the washer, take a moment to open them up, untwist them, and separate any other bits of clothing that may be stuck to them. When you put it in the dryer, take care to avoid folding or twisting up the sheet, so that it can turn and tumble as freely as possible.
To summarize, the moral of the story is to reduce the load, so that you don’t have to recycle the dryer. And throw in a tennis ball. Because who doesn’t like having a ball between the sheets?:)
By definition, a “pill” is a surface defect made up of a small ball of fibers. A pill starts to form when fibers rub against themselves or another surface. As agitation of the pill continues, a collection of fiber will appear as clinging balls. When sheets develop pills they can be unsightly and uncomfortable, causing your sheets to become scratchy. You can prevent pilling on organic cotton sheets or any type of cotton sheets by practicing proper care and by purchasing the right kind of sheets to begin with. Though nearly all fibers can experience pilling, cloths such as silk and linen are less likely to pill than others. 100 Cotton sheets and other types of delicate fabrics that go through long-term usage and repeated washings will experience frayed fiber endings that become tangled, leading to tiny knots or pilling that can pick up lint, dust, and other ripped and tangled fibers.
Any fabrics made from shorter fibers, such as cotton, will experience a higher likelihood of pilling. Cotton sheets that are made from a mixture of blended fabric, such as cotton-polyester, are more likely to pill than 100 cotton sheets. Shop for a 100% cotton sheet that is smooth to the touch. Try to avoid sheets that look thin or rough and those that contain polyester. A good investment would be Pima, Egyptian, or Supine Cotton. These fibers are high quality and won’t be easily knotted.
To prevent pilling, always wash your sheets in a short wash cycle and use gentle liquid detergent. A front load washer set horizontally is more gentle on the sheets than a top load washer with a spindle or agitator. Make sure to dilute the detergent and don’t overuse it as this can cause stiff and discolored fabric. Avoid hot temperatures when washing and drying as this can weaken the fibers. Stay away from using brighteners or bleach as this can also weaken the material. Add ½ cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle as this will help prevent future pilling. Use the lowest heat setting when drying, although the best option would be to hang dry on a line. Store laundered sheets in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
If your sheets do start to pill, trim away the raised surface with a clothes shaver. A hardware store, online appliance distributor or a fabric store often stocks these hand-held shavers. A disposable razor has also been known to work and inexpensive to use. Just run the razor over the pills in short strokes while holding the fabric tight. You may find afterwards that your sheets look like new again with this simple technique! Also, you can look into purchasing bed sheet grippers to keep the sheets on the bed – though this is more of a secondary solution to pilling, and not as effective as using a clothes shaver.
By investing in high quality cotton sheets and following simple steps during the wash and dry process, you can prevent future pills and knots from ruining your sheets.