Smartphones, Smart Cars, and . . . Smart Beds?

Have you noticed that we are living in a time driven and consumed by technology? If not, then there’s a chance you are so consumed by this technology that you haven’t noticed the changing landscape around you. But don’t worry, I’m not here to convince you to assign all the problems of society to high tech nor to heap endless praise on the advancement of technology. I’m simply here to share a little about the incredible hype around high tech advancements for consumer goods.

Every year we are privy to a new round of the, what seems eternal, battle between Apple and Samsung for the best technological development to smartphones. We witness keynote speeches and creative marketing campaigns aimed to grab our attention & show us how the biggest and best next iPhone or Galaxy will change the world as we know it. phones.jpgThere’s a similar, but not as cyclical, hype around smart cars. The smart car revolution is led by the frontman that is Elon Musk of Tesla. Unlike the smartphone industry, our attention is pulled in many directions because there are a seemingly infinite number of players producing the disruptive technology in the automobile industry.
tesla.jpgWhile smart cars and smartphones are two rapidly advancing industries, what if I told you about an industry that has advanced much more quickly – as in 50 times more – while receiving next to no hype? It’s the mattress industry! I’m serious, Tempur-Pedic, Sealy and Stearns & Foster are pushing the technological advancement of the mattress industry at an impressive pace. And while their advancements might not be as sexy as a new smartphone, mattresses are in fact the latest high tech gadget.

Here’s some basic info: the most popular mattresses are still innerspring. What’s new is that consumers have a vast selection of substances to sleep on, ranging from foam (gel, latex, or memory) to simply air. Tempur Sealy has even developed hybrid mattresses that combine the comfort and pressure relief of foam with the support of coils. Additional options also include pillow-top, filling constructed of natural (organic and chemical-free) materials and orthopedic. mattress.jpgAlso, if you’re buying a frame to go with your bed, the standard box spring is old news. Adjustable bases are the growing trend for the younger generation as we work, read & watch more TV from our beds. An adjustable base will also help you rest in a more comfortable and pain-free position for your 6 to 8 hours. And what’s cool is whether your fine-tune your position for better entertainment or sleep you can adjust your base with your phone via Bluetooth! That’s so cool! adjustable.jpgIf you think that’s crazy, there are more advancements then first meet the eye. These smart beds can monitor your movements, recognize if you’re in pain, and respond by easing the pressure on the mattress. Additionally, if you suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea, reflux, back, neck or shoulder pain or snore, adjustable bases can be set for your particular needs so you rest at almost zero gravity alleviating many of these common problems. Beds are getting more comfortable, supportive and smarter!

After reading this short mattress update, the process of choosing your next mattress has become more exciting and customizable! If the endless options seem overwhelming, feel free to come in Virginia Furniture Market for a free sleep profile. You can rest assured that we will work to help you find the perfect bed to offer you a better night’s rest.

-Andy the Intern

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Six Surprising Facts About Mattresses

You spend more time in your bed than on all the other furniture in your house. But if you’re like me, you don’t give your mattress much thought unless there’s a problem. Allow me to change your focus for a moment. Here are 6 facts to help you get to know your mattress a little better.

1. Vegetables Were Used to Fill the First Mattresses.

The first mattresses were stuffed with pea pods?!

What are we supposed to do with that fact? Well, when you lay in bed next to your loved one, remember y’all are like peas in a pod.

2. It’s Illegal to Buy a Mattress on Sunday in Washington.

The weekend! Primetime for us to go mattress shopping! But for Washingtonians, that’s a no-go on Sunday. An old law in Washington state declares that it is illegal to purchase or sell a mattress on Sundays. Also banned for Sunday shoppers are televisions and meat!

The origin of the law is unknown, yet it was cited by multiple sites. However, it doesn’t appear to be strictly enforced so if you happen to be in Washington on a Sunday afternoon you shouldn’t have an issue.

3. We Sweat and Shed All Over Our Beds at Night!

We lose millions of skin cells per day, MILLIONS! We spend about one-third of each day on our mattress. Therefore, a significant portion of our skin cells winds up in bed with us. We also sweat while sleeping, with some sources estimating anywhere from several milliliters to one liter nightly. So on top of the dust mites that make mattresses their home, it’s also home to our lost skin cells, sweat, and other fluids.

So let’s do ourselves and our mattresses a favor by using a protective mattress cover. These will protect our beds from absorbing shed skin, sweat and spills and can be washed regularly to keep our bed in healthy condition.

4. Mattresses can be Recycled.

If you are like me, the last fact makes you want to get as far away from your mattress as possible. At this point, we are all wondering how quickly we can put our mattresses on a spaceship to Pluto. Sadly, even if we pool resources, it will not be a quick or cost-effective way to dispose of the dust mite and skinned filled mattresses (trust me, I Googled it). Realistically, we have two options, we can send it to a landfill where it will take up space for centuries, or we could recycle it

Recycling is a growing industry and many states and organizations are pushing for increased mattress recycling to reduce waste. The springs and metal can be repurposed, wood and fibers can become a fuel source, and foams and fabrics can be recycled for use in padding and other applications.

5. Tossing and Turning is a Sign to Move On.

We all know the obvious signs of a declining mattress. When our mattress has more hills and valleys than the Appalachian Trail, that is not good. When the ends of metal springs poke us in the back, that is not cool. And when stuffing is sliding out of what used to be a small hole, that is not a promising sign. In that stage of the mattress life cycle, sleep does not come easy and replacement is imminent.

But aesthetic problems are not the only reason for us to head to the store. If we spend countless nights tossing and turning and simply are not sleeping as well as we used to at home, it might be time to make an investment to end the frustration. Especially if we find we sleep better away from home.

6. Buying a New Mattress Might Zap Your Stress.

Time for a science experiment!

Not a stress-inducing science lab, actually the opposite. A small study was conducted in 2009, 59 healthy men and women slept for 28 consecutive nights on their regular mattresses, then another 28 nights on new, medium-firm mattresses. The participants were asked to evaluate their stress levels based on factors like worrying, racing thoughts, nervousness, irritability, headaches, trembling and more. Sleeping in the new beds resulted in “a significant decrease in stress,” according to the study, possibly because of the increase in sleep quality and a decrease in pain associated with the firmer setup.

Many of you just read this while lying in bed and don’t know what to do with the above facts. Feel free to sound smart and share the facts with your friends in book club, on Facebook, or come to Virginia Furniture Market and talk with me. I need an outlet for the absurd amount of mattress facts I now have. Whether you keep the above facts to yourself or share them, I hope one day you have the opportunity to use this knowledge to win a game show.


Here’s to a Great Night’s Sleep,

Andy the Intern