How to Create the Ideal Bed
Take your time when selecting a mattress, since "you'll spend a third of your life on it over the next 8 to 10 years," says Perry Davis, a division president at Leggett & Platt, a company that makes bedding components in Carthage, Missouri. There are three main types to choose from:
- Innerspring construction (steel coils topped with layers of padding) is the most common. One good measure of how well it will support your body is the number of coils it contains. Davis recommends a minimum of 350 coils for a full-size mattress, 480 for a queen, and 580 for a king.
- Air-filled models (composed of air chambers surrounded by foam) let you adjust the firmness; opt for a top layer of high-density foam.
- Foam mattresses come in latex (made of natural or synthetic rubber), polyurethane (which varies in density), and viscoelastic (one example is memory foam, which molds to your body's shape). Foam retains heat well, so if you get hot while sleeping, look for open-cell construction for maximum breathability.
For an innerspring model, expect to spend anywhere from several hundred dollars to $2,000; for memory foam, from $1,000 up to $5,000 (for a thicker mattress, perhaps covered in silk or satin).
How to Care for It
Every few months, flip and rotate it for even wear, and vacuum the surface. Once a year, air it out by opening a window for a few hours.
Pictured from top to bottom:
- Royal Pedic Organic cotton three-inch pillow-top pad, royal-pedic.com for retailers.
- Sealy Posturepedic mattress, sealy.com for retailers.
- Royal Pedic Organic mattress, royal-pedic.com for retailers.
- Queen Plush Innerspring mattress by Room & Board, $499. The cover repels both moisture and stains, and it's bacteria-, mold-, and dust mite-resistant.
To buy: roomandboard.com.