Seven years seems to be a critical period of time for relationships, including the one we have with our mattress, writes Carol O’Callaghan.
We have the most intimate relationship with our bed, where, if we’re lucky, we get to spend one-third of our lives. But it’s the quality of our mattress which mostly determines a restful night’s slumber and this influences whether or not we’re limber in body and in a good mood the next day.
“We take our mattress for granted,” says Kieran Barry, owner of specialist bed company Living Dreamz.
To determine whether you and your mattress are experiencing the seven-year ‘make or break’, Kieran has a mattress NCT test with five points to consider:
If sleeping with a partner, Kieran says there’s a move towards more people opting for six feet wide, super-king design, which, with pocket spring mattresses, means independent sleeping without disturbing your partner.
For anyone who feels too warm at night, he discourages memory foam. “They are known to generate heat. Geltex tops are better as they are cooling.”
There are other developments in how we choose the ideal mattress.
“Twenty years ago we were told we needed hard mattresses, but what you should look for is soft and supportive,”Kieran says.
Mary Coughlan of Casey’s in Cork, also stresses the importance of lying on the mattress before buying.
“Make sure it keeps your spine in alignment, which is down to your body type and weight,” she says.
“Take 15 minutes to get a feel for what it’s like and use a pillow as well. The two go hand in hand. I give customers a pillow as close in quality to their own so they can get a realistic feel for what it’s like to sleep on the mattress. Change your pillow every three years. You don’t want to be folding it over in the night to get comfortable.”
Once the purchase has been made, maintenance will contribute to its longevity, but, thankfully, the unwieldy business of turning mattresses over twice a year is gone.
“Rotate it once a month for the first three months, then seasonally,” Mary says.
Now that you’re set up with the perfect mattress, creating the perfect environment to promote quality sleep requires some simple and commonsense practices, according to Mary, especially when we have busy lives filled with electronic devices. She has five tips for a good night’s sleep.
After that, the bed is all about aesthetics. According to Kieran Barry, bed frames are out, divans are in.
“Fabric beds are in vogue with ottoman storage underneath,” he says.
“It’s all about fabrics, fabrics, fabrics, with more character added with button upholstery and wings in neutral colours like grey and cream, which means you can do more with your bed linens.”