Bed and Mattress Blog - Purelybeds - Love Sleep - Local Business
Love Sleep Blog...
Kids' beds - ideas for bedtime
Bedtime at my brother's house was much improved when they decided to push their kids' single beds (Super Damask) together. Now all the family can get involved and Georgey and Ben love it...
And once my brother and sister-in-law's boys are too old for bedtime stories, their beds can be moved apart...
Get too hot on Memory Foam? Well now there's an alternative...
For many consumers Memory Foam mattresses are the must have item for the bedroom, and for good reason. But they do have their faults, and a new product is now on the market, called Memory Fibre, that has all the benefits of memory foam without any of the drawbacks.
Memory Foam works by reacting to body heat and moulding and re-moulding to a sleeper’s contours as they move about in bed, allowing them to maintain the correct posture. Memory foam provides fantastic support and excellent pressure relief.
Unfortunately some people find that they get too hot sleeping on Memory Foam - particularly post-menopausal women who experience hot flushes, women during menstruation and everybody in hot summer months. The reason for this is that Memory Foam is not breathable, unlike Memory Fibre.
Before the arrival of Memory Fibre, the only way to deal with this was either to buy another type of mattress altogether, such as a pocket spring or open coil mattress, that is breathable, or to buy a two-sided mattress (one side memory foam, the other side breathable pocket spring or open coil) and to turn it over when overheating is a problem.
Memory Fibre, as its name suggests, is made up of fibres that allow air to circulate freely through and past them, meaning sleepers do not overheat in bed. In every other way, however, Memory Fibre behaves in the same way as Memory Foam – providing excellent support and comfort.
Memory Fibre is also a green product as it is made from a high percentage of recycled PET plastics and contains no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), unlike Memory Foam, which may have short and long-term health effects. On top of these benefits it is also recyclable.
To take advantage of this fantastic new product go to Purelybeds.co.uk and check out the new Purelybeds Range.
Bed bug blood-suckers beware!
A shiver still runs down my spine when I remember waking up 15 years ago in a hotel room in Nepal covered in bed bug bites. I spent the next few days trying not to itch the hundred or so swollen red bite marks on my arms and legs.
These hungry little blood suckers have now become a growing problem in the UK, with rising numbers of homes and hotels becoming infested with them.
In a bid to fight back against these nightmares on legs, I'm going to pass on some useful advice about what to do if you come in contact with them.
What do bed bugs look like?
As the photo shows, adult bed bugs are a flattened oval shape, reddish brown in colour or purple after feeding, and measure three to five millimeters in size (roughly the same size as a lentil or apple seed).
They have well developed antennae, a sharp beak, prominent eyes and clawed feet – perfect for navigating bedding and hanging on to human skin while feeding.
Hide and seek
Bed bugs are attracted to body heat and carbon dioxide, and come out at night to feed.
During the day they hide out in any nook and cranny, particularly in bedrooms. They particularly like cracks in floorboards, the gaps between slats in wooden bed, behind headboards, or under furniture, carpets and curtains. You'll also find them under your mattress, inside pillowcases and on sheets at the seam.
Also look out for white specks (bed bug eggs), dark spots (bed bug excrement) and egg cases on bedding. Female bed bugs lay between 200-500 eggs over a two-month period which stick to surfaces and are difficult to spot.
Once in your home, bedbugs can spread quickly from room to room. They do not fly or jump, but can crawl quickly.
They can easily spread within a building by getting through holes in walls or pipes, and can potentially invade blocks of flats, hotels or hospitals. The bugs can also be transported in luggage, clothing, furniture and bedding from one building to the next.
This makes it easy for tourists and commuters to unknowingly spread bedbugs.
What do bed bugs do?
Bed bugs love to feed on the exposed skin of animals, including humans, while they are sleeping. They use their sharp beak to pierce the skin of a host and suck up their blood.
On the upside, bed bugs are not regarded as disease carriers and are not linked to poor hygiene. But their method of blood feeding can cause severe irritation in some people resulting in loss of sleep, lack of energy and listlessness particularly in children. A bed bug bite often results in a hard whitish swelling - unlike a flea bite which leaves a red spot.
Bed bugs release an unpleasant almond-like smell from their 'stink' glands which will often be present in infested rooms.
To stop bed bugs experts advise you to vacuum your bedroom frequently and thoroughly, getting in to all the tiny cracks and crevices.
It is also a good idea to wash bedding and clothing frequently in hot water.
Sealing cracks and crevices around the home can also help, and avoid clutter as much as possible, particularly in the bedroom.
Bed bugs like warm rooms as this enables breeding throughout the year. It is unlikely that a second generation of bed bugs will be produced during autumn and winter in an unheated room.
Do not use a second-hand mattresses and be wary of old beds in rented accommodation.
Getting rid of bed bugs
Getting rid of bed bugs is very difficult indeed, so it's best to call in the professionals – either your local council or a pest control firm (make sure they're a member of the British Pest Control Association).
Some councils will treat homes for free, others may charge between £20 - £170 for each treatment. It usually takes two treatments to get rid of bed bugs, but this is dependent on the scale of the infestation and the size of the area being treated.
Important things to remember
- Avoid clutter, particularly in bedrooms as it is the place for nesting bed bugs.
- Before moving into rented accommodation look for telltale blood spots or smears on sheets, and in the seams of furniture and upholstery.
- If you think you may have bed bugs act quickly before the infestation escalates.
- Bedbugs can't bite through clothing, so as a last resort, you can sleep in a sleeping bag or all-over body suit.
- Call pest control to deal with an infestation.
Mattress buying guide: what do you need to know?
Buying a mattress can be a confusing and expensive experience if you don't know what you're doing. But don't worry – if you read this guide you'll be ready to make the right choice.
Types of Mattress
A Memory Foam Mattress is made from a visco-elastic polyurethane foam that softens when it comes in contact with body heat and quickly moulds and re-moulds to your body's contours as you move about in bed.
Latex is a more natural product that is derived from the sap of the rubber tree. It works in a very similar way to memory foam – its natural elasticity enables it to mould to your body shape and immediately recover its shape when pressure is removed.
Both mattress types provide orthopaedic support, enable natural movement, help to evenly distribute body weight and reduce pressure points – thus allowing for a more comfortable sleep.
Doctors often advise people with back and neck problems to get a memory foam or latex mattress as it will allow them to get more comfortable in bed.
Some people find they overheat when sleeping on a memory foam mattress, especially in summer. To deal with this problem some bed companies make a two-sided mattress, which has a cooler, non-memory foam side, for the warmer summer months.
Latex is breathable so you won't overheat.
Remember - it is all a matter of taste. Some people simply don't like sleeping on memory foam and latex mattresses so make sure you try one out before buying.
Memory foam and Latex is used either as the primary component in a foam filled mattress or as a comfort layer in an open coil / pocket spring mattress.
The thing to look out for is the depth of these layers – some mattresses have a memory foam layer which is only 1cm deep. This will offer very little benefit.
Nearly all beds built in the UK are based on a spring unit – either pocket spring or open coil.
Pocket spring mattresses offer greater lumbar support than the more basic open coil units (see below) as they have considerably more springs – usually from 1,000 to 3,500 plus (based on a king size mattress). The springs are individually housed in fabric pockets and move independently from one another – this means the springs only compress where a person lies, allowing for motion separation between both sides of the bed. Pocket spring mattresses are perfectly suited for couples when there's a considerable weight or size difference between them – i.e. when one partner turns over on such a mattress the other will detect little or no movement.
As a general rule, the higher the number of springs the better the mattress. However, the type and quantity of the fillings will also contribute to the overall quality of the mattress. Another thing to look out for is hand side-stitching, which improves the edge-to-edge support and life expectancy of a mattress, and is usually found in higher quality products.
Open Coil Mattresses with “Bonnell” springs are generally found in budget to mid-range mattresses and are the most frequently used spring unit used in the UK. People who prefer a firmer feeling mattress should buy a mattress with 12.5 gauge (2.5mm thick wire springs) Open Coil springs, while those who prefer a medium to soft bed should look for 13.5 gauge (2.2mm thick) springs. These are the gauges supplied by Agro - Europe's leading quality spring manufacturer and one to look out for when buying a mattress. But it pays to BE CAREFUL as some bed companies (particularly from the Far East) use springs claiming to be 12.5 gauge, but use inferior springs that are only 2.3mm thick, and likewise with 13.5 gauge springs.
It is also important to know the number of springs within the spring unit of a bed. Typically a double bed has 12x24 rows of springs. A King Size bed has 13x25 rows of springs. Agro the German spring manufacturer, for example, use these numbers of springs as standard, but other companies may use less springs by making each spring wider in diameter – this makes them cheaper to make, but means they offer less support. So make sure you ask about the number of springs and the manufacturer.
What else should you consider?
- There really is little variation in the fillings that go into modern mattresses – they are made up of insulator and comfort layers. Traditionally, insulator layers were made from coir (coconut) fibre, while cotton or wool/flock-type felts were used as comfort layers. But things have changed - these days most insulator layers are made up of thermally-bonded reclaimed felt, and polyester is predominantly used in comfort layers.
- Some makers of expensive beds often describe polyester as “white fibres”, but don't be fooled, they mean polyester.
- This means there is, despite what the big brands tell you, little difference between their expensive mattresses and those made by the smaller, less well known manufacturers – apart from higher prices!
As a general rule, you get what you pay for when buying a bed. However, there are a couple of things you can do to get the best bed your money can buy.
Firstly, avoid big brand names (you already know who they are) as they charge much more for their products. Why buy a brand name Open Coil mattress, when, for the same money, you can buy a luxury bed from a quality online retailer like PURELYBEDS.CO.UK. Remember when you buy a brand name bed, a lot of the money you spend goes to pay for their shops, TV adverts, vast warehouses, instead of on the quality of your mattress and bed.
Secondly, as I've already hinted at, it is also a good idea to buy online in order to save some money. A bed sold online is often more than half the price as the same bed in a shop. The best thing to do is try a few beds in a shop, find one that you like, and buy a similar product online.
Remember look for quality springs made by a decent spring maker, and do some online research about the bed company you're buying from.
3. Signs of quality
- Hand-stitched mattress borders - gives a mattress greater edge-to-edge support.
- Agro spring units – Europe's leading quality spring manufacturer.
- Memory Foam / reflex foam / latex layers - allows you to maintain the correct posture in bed.
- Pocket Springs – the more pressure-relieving springs the better (within reason).
- Hand-tufting – this is one of the best ways of constructing a mattress as it improves durability.
4. Common Mattress Sizes
Be careful when matching bed bases and mattresses as some (most likely from Scandinavia) use different sizes.
Most beds (mattresses / divans / bedsteads) made in the UK come in these standard sizes:
Single – 3ft x 6ft 3in
Small Double – 4ft x 6ft 3 in
Double – 4ft 6in x 6ft 3in
King Size – 5ft x 6ft 6in
Super King Size – 6ft x 6ft 6in
London Riots: Local Businesses Badly Hit
August 9, 2011
As the owner of Purelybeds in Sydenham, south east London, I want to show what happened to local businesses on Monday night in those places not mentioned in the news. As I was cycling around taking these photos (at around 11am) most shops were begining to close as police warned of more trouble to come.
Rioters hit two Costcutter stores in Sydenham on Monday night taking cigarettes and alcohol. The owner of this store (below) said he was expecting more trouble tonight.
Sainsbury's at Bell Green in Lower Sydenham was also badly hit. Rioters took every TV in the store, according to staff.
Halfords was closed on Tuesday and windows were being replaced after rioters hit last night.
Argos and an opticians store next door were attacked - according to the man fixing Argos' window, the rioters took everything.
Drinkers have not been put off at Wetherspoons though, which was also hit last on Monday night.
And as elsewhere, JD Sports was hit.
Two bookmakers were hit.
And every teenager's favourite restaurant, McDonalds, was also hit.
For more on Community Social Responsibility check out this article in the Huffington Post:
Study: sleeping on new mattress improves health
Sleeping on a new mattress can seriously improve the quality of your sleep, as well as make significant improvements to back discomfort, according to a groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine.
This research, which is the first of its kind, has been praised by the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), the European Bedding Industries' Association (EBIA), and the Better Sleep Councils (BSC) of the US and Canada.
These bodies all agree that the study finally provides concrete, scientific evidence of the link between mattress quality and sleep quality, and the importance of regular mattress replacement.
ISPA Chair Kerry Tramel said: "Considering the increasing global sleep deficit, this is fantastic news for all consumers in search of viable solutions to improve sleep.
"There is now definitive research that underscores the health benefits of sleeping on new bedding systems."
In the study, researchers took a group of 59 healthy participants (30 women and 29 men) and compared how they slept on their own mattresses, which were at least five years old, and on new ones.
The results showed there were significant improvements for participants regardless of age and weight in all the following areas of focus: lower back discomfort; spine stiffness; sleep quality; sleep comfort, and sleep efficiency.
Researcher Dr Bert Jacobson said: "Largely from this study we have found that new bedding systems provide immediate and sustained benefits in sleep.
"More so, each week as the study progressed, participants noted an increased improvement in sleep quality and efficiency and in the other targeted variables, all attributed to the new sleep surface."
Dr Stacy Irvine said that among the immediate and significant improvements found were to back discomfort and stiffness. She added that the study showed that the age of participants' original mattresses was one of the stronger predictors of back stiffness.
She said: "Research found that participants with high back pain reported 63 percent improvement in back discomfort at the end of the study.
"When you couple this with the fact that back pain affects eight out of ten people, it's imperative for consumers to evaluate their mattress for optimum comfort and support on a regular basis, especially if they routinely experience back pain."
The study also noted that a lack of sleep interferes with daytime activity, social interactions, mood, and even loss of work production, further making the case that a new mattress can improve sleep quality and therefore the overall quality of life for consumers.
"Consumers tend not to realise that mattresses gradually lose comfort and support with use," said EBIA's President Frank Verschuere.
"So it's helpful to see proof of evidence that newer mattresses provide improved wellness and sleep benefits."
Good Sleep Guide
When should I buy a new bed?
The Good Sleep Guide author Sammy Margo lists the following questions that you should ask yourself if you think it might be time to buy a new bed:
1. Is your bed eight years old or more?
2. Do you ever wake up with an aching neck or back?
3. When lying in bed, do you feel springs, hardness or ridges beneath the surface?
4. When moving in bed, do you hear creaks, crunches or other strange noises?
5. Do you and your partner roll towards each other unintentionally?
6. Do your legs or arms dangle over the side of the bed when you sleep?
7. Is the mattress or base uneven or sagging?
8. Are the leg castors worn out?
9. Would it be embarrassing if your friends saw the bed without its covers?
10. Is the mattress cover torn or stained?
11. Does your mattress feel lumpy, soft, too hard or uncomfortable?
12. Does the mattress sag in the middle or at the sides?
13. Are there sagging spots around the edges or where you usually lie?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions then it's time to buy a new bed.
We all spend around 3,000, or more than 120 days, in bed every year – shouldn't we be doing this in a comfortable bed that's providing sufficient lumbar support?
Warning: Never accept a second-hand bed and never hand one down to anyone else. We lose more than a quarter of a litre of body moisture each night and shed almost half a kilo of skin scales in a year. This environment is a haven for dust mites, whose droppings are known to aggravate asthma and eczema symptoms.
1. Relax your mind
Simple breathing exercises can help. Breathe, using your abdomen not your chest, through your nose for three seconds, then breathe out for three seconds. Pause for three seconds before breathing in again. Practise this for ten minutes at night (five minutes is better than nothing).
Some people find that lavender oil, valerian or other herbs help them to sleep.
If you still have problems, you could try massage, aromatherapy, or even acupuncture.
If you still find yourself tossing and turning, abandon the bedroom and find something enjoyable and absorbing to do. Jigsaws are perfect. Don't go back to bed until you begin to feel sleepy.
2. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise is a great way to improve your sleep. Just be careful not to do it close to bed time as exercise produces stimulants that stop the brain from relaxing quickly.
This being the case, exercising in the morning is an excellent way to wake up the body. Going for a run or doing some aerobics releases stimulants into the body, which perks you up.
If you are injured or disabled, you can still benefit from exercise.
3. Create a calm bedroom environment
Your bedroom should be for sleep only. Avoid turning it into an entertainment centre with televisions, computers and stereos.
Two thirds of British children have a computer, games machine or TV in their bedroom and could be losing out on sleep as a result.
4. Avoid alcohol
It's fine to have a nightcap, but too much alcohol can make you restless. Alcohol is also a diuretic, which means it encourages you to urinate (never welcomed during the night).
Drinking is also more likely to lead to snoring, which can restrict airflow into the lungs. This reduces oxygen in your blood which disturbs your sleep and contributes to your hangover.
5. Avoid caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant which can stay in your system for many hours. So avoid sources of caffeine such as coffee, chocolate, cola drinks and non-herbal teas.
6. Watch what you eat
Eating a large heavy meal too close to bedtime will interfere with your sleep.
Spicy or fatty foods may cause heartburn, which leads to difficulty in falling asleep and discomfort throughout the night.
Foods containing tyramine (bacon, cheese, ham, aubergines, pepperoni, raspberries avocado, nuts, soy sauce, red wine) might keep you awake at night. Tyramine causes the release of norepinephrine, a brain stimulant.
If you get the munchies close to bedtime, eat something that triggers the hormone serotonin, which makes you sleepy. Carbohydrates such as bread or cereal will do the trick.
7. Set a regular bedtime and wake up time
Create a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This helps anchor your body clock to these times. Resisting the urge for a lie-in can pay dividends in alertness.
If you feel you haven't slept well, resist the urge to sleep in longer than normal; getting up on schedule keeps your body in its normal wake-up routine.
Remember, even after only four hours, the brain has gained many of the important benefits of sleep.
8. It's only natural
Most of us have a natural dip in alertness between 2 - 4pm.
A 15 minute nap when you're tired can be a very effective way of staying alert throughout the day. Avoid napping for longer than 20 minutes, after which you will enter deep sleep and feel even worse when you wake up.
9. See a doctor if your problem continues
If you have trouble falling asleep night after night, or if you always feel tired the next day, you might have a sleep disorder. It is advisable to seek more advice from your doctor. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively