Friday, July 13, 2012

Sleep Surface Advancements You Need to Know About


As the world changes, the sleep space evolves along with it. In products like a hybrid mattress, shoppers often only see the fusion of individual advancements. It’s worth taking a look at some of the core technologies because several of these advancements have the ability to influence the future of the sleep industry. Here are three that could spawn more innovation.

Gel Memory Foam

During the course of 40 years, memory foam hasn’t changed much. It still feels like the original space-age technology. Thanks to the introduction of gel, memory foam has begun to evolve. Many people criticize traditional memory foam because it retains an uncomfortable amount of body heat and there’s often a sinking sensation that makes it difficult to change sleeping positions. New memory foam also must be “broken in” before it’s comfortable to sleep on.

Gel memory foam mattresses are made from—you guessed it—memory foam infused with gel. Gel is reported to have a cooling effect and memory foam mattresses infused with the substance are more breathable, hypoallergenic, and supportive. They also don’t require the breaking-in period of traditional memory foam. This new technology tends to be expensive but comparable in price to traditional memory foam. Several bedding manufacturers have released hybrid mattresses that combine gel memory foam with innersprings.

Independent Bed Heating and Cooling

Sleeping cool enough is a big issue with consumers and the mattress world is responding to the demand. A new product line of wireless thermostat-control mattresses and mattress pads use a water circulation system to heat and cool the sleep surface in one or two zones. Room temperature water is heated to the desired temperature and circulated around the bed surface. Products like the ChiliPad fit most mattresses.

Co-sleepers can adjust bed temperature independently between 55 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit with a wireless remote. This revolutionary product could relieve arthritis sufferers, injured athletes, women experiencing life changes, or simply partners with different sleep temperature preferences. Thermoregulated mattress technology is in its infancy and will only become more sophisticated.

Anti-Allergen Materials

The typical bedroom houses over 100 million dust mites, which account for 80 percent of allergy complaints. Mattress protectors are the anti-mattress pad, as traditional mattress pads are breeding grounds for dust mites. Five-sided mattress protectors can be removed easily and washed, whereas total-bed encasements envelope your mattress on all six sides and create a seal against dust mites with either a zipper at the foot of the bed or 360-degree zipper for easier removal.

Protectors and encasements are designed merely to protect the bed, not change the feel of the mattress. For the average consumer, a mattress protector alone will suffice as long as it is washed weekly. For severe allergy sufferers, however, a mattress encasement with an easy-to-remove mattress protector on top is ideal. And don’t forget a pillow protector—many allergens, fungal spores, and viruses hide out in there, too.

As more products are introduced to address allergy sufferers, mattress manufacturers are looking to incorporate anti-allergenic materials into their manufacturing process. This trend is likely to grow to prevent consumer objections, complaints, and returns.
Sleep-space technology is changing. We are seeing the mixture of new materials, temperature controls, and anti-allergen protection. These advancements will likely lead to more improvements and eventually the fusion of ideas. 

Guest post and rap from Shawn.
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