I woke up the other morning, and the first thing I noticed
was a lump as I moved my feet. The cat was there. The cat
was always there. This is not a lazy cat, but when it sleeps,
it’s on the bed, my bed. Come to think of it, when
it’s not there, the other one is, and when I’m
not in it, sometimes they are both on the bed.
My company makes four poster beds. At the moment, my show
room and office are in the same room, next door to the workshop
where we make the furniture. If I go into the office, my
loyal hound follows me, and if I stay there for more than
two minutes, the dog ends up on the bed, the four poster
bed. The four poster bed that is on show, with fancy drapes,
mattress, pillows and ornate, expensive bed spread. The dog
is curled up just under the line of the pillows, in the centre.
No chance of falling off. The bed is king size, it is fit
for a king, not a Rottweiler. Then it occurred to me, the
dog has not been trained in this area of its life. Rescuing
a dog is one thing, giving up my bed to a cat or two, I can
live with, but a dog on my show bed, is just too much.
But it has always been like this. My last loyal hound had
to be trained the same way, and for that matter, so did the
one before him, both Border Collies, both spoilt, and both
took some time to train to keep them off the show bed. Taking
this a stage further, I had to ask myself, why?
These animals are not lazy, and they’re not stupid,
and they like their creature comforts, we all do. Then it
hit me. My old customers have been complaining about the
same thing. They don’t want to get out of bed in the
morning. It’s too comfortable.
I was talking to my mattress supplier the other day, a company
that hand make high quality mattresses to any size. We were
discussing mattresses, their lifespan, peoples’ attitudes
towards them, and the differences between a high quality
pocket sprung mattress and the new memory foam mattresses
that are becoming increasingly popular.
A good quality pocket sprung mattress has a lifespan of
five to seven years, no more. Not ten or twelve. (I am talking
about a mattress used daily, not a mattress used occasionally
in a guest room.) It should be turned regularly, once a week
for the first month from new, then once a month after that,
but in reality, they are lucky to be turned every six months.
You must also remember that there are four ways to turn a
mattress, not two. (Around 180 degrees, end for end, and
completely turned over, then end for end again.) Traditional
mattresses are made from materials that compress, and settle,
they contain springs that compress under weight, and need
to wear evenly, so by turning a mattress, you spread the
wear over the whole mattress, evening it out, and not creating
high spots, low spots, lumps and bumps.
Apparently the average adult perspires about half a pint
of fluid every night. If you think that that is disgusting,
then think about the dead skin that ends up in the mattress
as well. I’m sure I don’t have to mention ‘bed
bugs’ and the warm environment they have in a bed,
with moisture and dead skin to feed from. Using a mattress
protector, will stop everything filtering into your mattress.
You want to be lying on something healthy for the next seven
year. One of the best things to do on a regularly is to use
a vacuum cleaner on both sides of the mattress. Please remember
that a traditional mattress has moving parts, so they wear
The new alternative is the memory (visco-elastic) foam mattress.
The idea is that you sink into the foam, it supports you
evenly, and when you get off the foam will return to its
former state, in truth, a traditional pocket sprung mattress
should do a similar thing. The memory foam mattress is a
sealed unit, so that moisture, dead skin and bed mites cannot
penetrate. It will cost you more than a traditional mattress,
but equally, it is usually guaranteed for more than twice
as long, so is it expensive?
People confuse me when they are willing to spend thousands
purchasing a comfortable car, but won’t do the same
for a bed, when in reality, they spend about one third of
their life in bed, far more than most drivers do in their
cars. In my opinion, you should put the comfort from your
mattress first. Don’t skimp on it. You should feel
refreshed when you wake in the morning. You should bounce
out of bed with a spring in your step (and that’s not
because the mattress is falling apart).You should be ready
to attack the day, and much of that comes from a good night’s
Research has shown that tossing and turning though the night
is due to discomfort. We are moving around, trying to find
a comfortable position. We do the same thing on an uncomfortable
chair or sofa, but you notice it more because you are awake.
You may ask your partner to lie still, or stop fidgeting,
when it’s not their fault. Ask yourself these questions:
How old is the mattress?
How comfortable is it?
Does it give you good support?
Do you wake up with stiffness, aches or pains?
Do you sleep better in a bed other than your own, a hotel
bed, for example?
What is it worth to get a good night’s sleep?
Your mattress must be comfortable. Your bed should envelope
you. It should to fit you like a made to measure suit, or
a quality silk shirt. When it is old, no longer comfortable
and it’s had its day, scrap it. Don’t put it
in the guest room. Don’t give it to your kids. If it’s
not good enough for you, it’s not good enough for anyone
else. Invest in feeling good, invest in a good night’s
sleep, invest in a quality mattress. Remember, quality costs
more, but last longer, you get what you pay for!
It is worth assessing your mattress and base a couple of
times a year. Pop into your bed store and lie on a few beds,
compare the feel and support with yours at home. If yours
has lost its comfort, change it. Don’t put a sheet
of board under the mattress. Remember, people change, the
same mattress may not suit a 14 year old lad who had a new
one when he was 10. Ask yourself if you sleep as well as
you did a year ago.
So if you have the seven year itch, ask yourself why, and
make sure that the bed bugs don’t bite!
The cats and dogs have got it right. They know where to go.
Sometimes I have several beds in the showroom, all set up,
and I have caught my dog, Tia upside down in the middle of
one of them, and she’s not fussy, she’ll try
them all out, but she’s happiest on those because they
are all new, even though her bed is less than three years
Stephen Edwards has been making and selling four poster
beds for over 10 years, and has not had any complaints about
his beds, other than people not wanting to get out of them.
You must also remember that he does not make the mattress,
and when someone says how well they slept in his bed, what
they really mean is, how comfortable the mattress is that
he supplies to go with their four poster bed.