We hear it everywhere: getting a good night's sleep is as important as breathing. With this in mind, choosing the right bed can be a daunting task: choose the wrong one and you're potentially on your way to ruining a third of your life! But do not fret, to ensure that that doesn't happen, here are some basics to help you with your decision:
When choosing the right-sized mattress, you need to ask yourself these two questions: 1. where are you going to put it and 2. who will use it. There are even times when you only need to answer the first question-most especially when we are talking about challenging spaces such as bedrooms in condominium units. For example, in as much as you would like to get a king-sized mattress for your master bedroom, you might have to settle for a queen or full/double one just to leave enough room for you to move in. At the end of the day what is important is that the user/s have enough space to lie on. So as long as it is wider and longer than the intended user/s (give or take a couple of inches to ensure you don't fall over!) then you should be fine.
Stick to the standard sizes:
- Twin 39" x 75"
- Full/Double 54" x 75"
- Queen 60" x 80"
- King 76" x 80"
Customization is popular nowadays but you will have a hard time sourcing for properly fitting sheets and bed frames.
Extra firm, firm, plush, ultra plush
Basically we are talking about the relative firmness or softness of any given mattress. This topic is very subjective as no two user will agree on whether a mattress is too firm or too soft, so it is always advisable that you try it on. It is said that 'side sleepers' or those who sleep on their sides need a softer mattress while those who sleep on their back are advised to opt for the firmer ones.
Do not shy away from actually lying down-in the position in which you normally sleep no less-on a mattress you are checking out. You may find it weird doing so inside a department store, but you will thank your lucky stars for doing so in the long run. Actually, if your friendly SA doesn't encourage you to do so, run fast. Lastly, always remember that what you are looking for is a mattress that is soft when you lay in it but firm enough to provide support while you sleep-the popularity of pillow top mattresses is largely due to fact that it does exactly this. Pillow top actually refers to an additional upholster layer sewn into the top of the mattress.
Innerspring/coil vs memory foam
Innerspring/coil mattresses are generally more affordable and widely available but they are prone to sagging and what they refer to as motion transfer. This is important for those who share a bed because the probability of waking up your partner in the middle of the night is higher for this type of mattress. Memory foam mattresses on the other hand are known to mould to the shape of the sleeper's body but because of this they are notoriously temperature-sensitive, meaning they can make you feel hot during the night. There are also hybrid types available in the market today that can afford you the best of both worlds so to speak. But again, what is important is for you to try them out!
The correct frame
Choosing the correct bed frame is always dependent on the space. A big, four-poster bed may look good in the store, but it can make a small space look even smaller than it actually is. Conversely, a small frame may look comical in a big room. It is all about proportion: frames with simple headboards/footboards that doesn't extend much beyond the width of the frame itself (and go up so high especially for headboards) are more appropriate for smaller spaces while frames with big, dramatic headboards/footboards are necessary for bigger bedrooms.
IDr. Louie T. Navarro, PIID, CIDE is a co-founder and Senior Interior Design Associate of 1B Design Group Inc. that specializes in residential and commercial interiors. With a BFA Interior Design degree from the University of Santo Tomas and an MA Art Studies (major in Art Theory and Criticism) from the University of the Philippines Diliman, he is also a part-time educator for the interior design programs of UST and De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.
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