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Quality Indicators in Foam Mattresses

Friday, 22 March 2013 11:05 Published in Beyond Team Blog


There are many foam mattresses on the market at the moment but the increased popularity of this type of mattress has meant the production of many cheap and inferior products.

There are several key factors you should look for when researching, which include:
•    Foam density.  Foam density does not relate to comfort (i.e. soft, medium or firm) it is an indicator of how much of the raw ingredient is in the foam, the more there is, the longer the mattress will last, and the higher its resilience.  Density will be expressed in a figure per kg/m3.

•    Available options/comfort levels/complete “system” of mattress, base and pillows.  A mattress does not do all the work on its own; the best mattress on the market can be let down if it is not paired with a corresponding base & pillow range that enhances the support.  Reputable mattress manufacturers know that a great sleep is gained through a complete sleep system made up of the base, the mattress, comfort layers and pillows.  There will be a science behind their systems that has likely been developed with physiotherapists to offer advanced anatomical support.  When shopping for your mattress, look for a company that has a range of options that are designed to work together to offer different sleep solutions for different people’s needs.  It is not possible for one mattress to meet everyone’s needs, regardless of how good that mattress may be.  A company that has various complete systems on offer will have trained staff to help match you up to your perfect system to suit your body and sleep needs.  They will also be able to advise you on the best solution for you, should you already have a base or pillows by aligning your current base with a new mattress and your specific needs.

•    Workmanship/Manufacturer.  There are so many brands and manufacturers of mattresses that it can be hard to sift through who can be trusted and who is the best.  There is everyone from big name brands through to smaller, boutique companies producing fantastic products, and this is also the case for companies producing lesser quality products.  A great way to narrow it down is to ask questions about how long the brand has been manufacturing, then go deeper and ask about where the raw materials are sourced from and where the manufacturing takes place.  A reputable manufacturer is proud of the manufacturing and history and this information will be available for customers, reputable manufacturer will also ensure well trained sales people are selling their product and they will be able to provide this level of information when asked.

•    Certifications.  As with many products, mattresses will all come with various certifications, many that do not necessarily mean much to the majority of customers who are unfamiliar with standard tests.  Look for certifications of quality testing, reputable mattresses will have passed tests for quality and stability testing; this tests the durability of the mattress.  The results of this will most likely be published on their website or in printed material.  There are many facilities that carry out these test, so the certifications will vary, the results are the best indication and the easiest to understand.  Also look out for certifications from physiotherapist associations; these will most likely be physiotherapists from the mattress’s country of origin, not necessarily Australia.  In addition to this, there may be certifications for the materials used in the mattress.  The testing should have been carried out by third party groups, not the manufacturer; therefore the certifications will be issued by independent testing organisations and will carry their logos.


•    Quality of material used.  In foam mattresses (latex, memory or natural), it is more expensive to use natural materials then petroleum based materials.  The price of the mattress will reflect this.  To be certain ask questions such as ‘what is the foam made from?’, ‘is it one product all the way through the mattress?’, if more than one product is used ask about the composition of each layer (many mattresses will have a natural high quality layer on top of a lesser quality foam on the bottom), also ask about how the layers are stuck together.  What you are looking for is high quality products, (the more natural the better, all should be open cell & breathable & a high density), used through the entire depth of the mattress.  If the mattress has a natural high quality glue this is a good sign that consideration has been given to every element of the structure.
If you want to be sure, ask the see the foam inner core without any covers, you will be able to see the layers, if little or no information has been provided on the lower layers (i.e. they only talk about the comfort layer on top), then there is a chance they have used a lesser quality product on the bottom.  A lower quality bottom layer can mean reduced air circulation and life span of the mattress

•    Warranty offered/Life span.  The Warranty offered is actually not a good indicator of mattress quality.  A reputable mattress manufacturer is unlikely to offer a warranty of 25 years or more as this is unhealthy.  A mattress needs to be replaced every 8-10 years for hygiene reasons and optimal support.  In a decade, most people’s bodies and sleep needs will alter dramatically, and a new sleep system should be purchased to maintain good sleep habits.  For this reason, many top of the range mattresses are likely to have a 10 year warranty.  However, any mattress made from a good quality, high density foam (refer to the first point), will last up to 25 years no problem, it is simply not recommended you use it for this long. 

You may find the lower end of the market producing similar comfort levels but they are producing these with polyurethane/petrochemical based materials that can be detrimental to your health.  Also be on the lookout for products that have a high quality top layer, but lesser quality layers below it, as these products will not offer optimal support and durability, even though they are likely to be very comfortable and promise great features such as good air flow, natural and hygienic.  The best mattresses on the market will feature a holistic approach to its sleep system, there will be coordinating bases and pillows and the entire mattress core will have design consideration from top to bottom and be made from the highest quality materials, not just the surface.

Dorsal stand out from the crowd with the use of renewable/sustainable natural oils to produce breathable open cell foam. This technology has been designed in conjunction with physiotherapists to provide even weight distribution and relieve pressure over the 7 core zones. This is achieved through patented teardrop laser cut in our Duocell and Triocell ranges and via the first ever natural oil based medical grade memory foams. European markets are leading the way in this technology and German engineered/Italian made range offer exceptional quality. 

What is foam density and why is it important?

Friday, 22 March 2013 11:04 Published in Beyond Team Blog


Foam density is not just weight. It’s actually a measurement of mass per unit volume. The density of a mattress refers to the quantity of raw ingredients in the finished product, the more ingredient used, the higher the density, the less ingredient used, the lower the density (and the more air there is in the foam).  Density is a key indicator of the foams performance with regard to comfort, support and durability. The higher the density of the foam the more resistance it provides against weight and therefore the better the support. However density does not affect firmness, which is a common Save misconception.
Firmness is a separate characteristic which can vary for foams of the same density.

It is a combination of density and firmness which combine to create the ultimate comfort level of a mattress. The density of foam also indicates its longevity. Denser foam is going to have a greater life span and retain its original properties for longer.  Greater density means less firmness is lost, which means a mattress will retain its original form for longer. As density increases height loss decreases dramatically, this means that a Mattress will stay tight and not develop body impressions; this makes sense, as the lower the density, the more air in the mattress meaning it will flatten more easily.
The best foams contain no additives or cheap fillers to increase the density and therefore may increase the cost of the foam, however as there is more mass per unit volume, you are actually getting more product for your money.

Silverwater

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Distribution Centre

Tel: (02) 8090 8864
Fax: (02) 9648 3110
1-3, Suttor St.
Silverwater NSW 2128
sales@beyondfurniture.com.au

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