March (Mattress) Madness

March (Mattress) Madness

I live with a basketball devotee who referees high school varsity and college basketball games in his spare time, so I am well versed in the March Madness that most people are talking about right now.

But March is also the month of a bit of mattress madness (in the happiest sense) as the sleep products industry’s International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) EXPO will be in Columbus, Ohio this week (March 12-14). I will be there (Booth #1118) with the CertiPUR-US® program’s Executive Director Mike Crowell, and our Compliance Manager Maura Dolan.

I love the ISPA EXPO! It’s a wonderful opportunity to catch up with long-time friends and make lots of new ones. It’s also a chance to hear about the latest in mattress – and mattress component — technology and innovations.

Some of the foam producers who certify foams through the CertiPUR-US® program will be there, too, including a few who are among the first to produce foams that are CertiPUR-US® certified 25% biobased.

Rarely will you find in one arena so many manufacturers and retailers devoted to helping people worldwide sleep better by providing a product that nearly every human spends close to one third of their life on!

Humankind has come a long way since sleeping in caves on mattresses made of leaves, grass and animal skins. But despite all the innovations in mattresses over the years, for consumers, buying a new mattress is still one of the most daunting of home furnishing purchases. But it doesn’t have to be.

When is it game-over for your current mattress? The Better Sleep Council says this: A mattress is like an old armchair or pair of shoes. They feel comfortable and fit your body even though the chair’s foam and springs may be worn or the shoes have lost all arch support.

It isn’t always obvious that a mattress has outlived its lifespan just by looking at it, but after around seven years of age it’s time to re-evaluate your mattress and certainly by the eight to 10-year mark, it’s time to replace it.

How to pick a winner: Here are some of my favorite tips for finding the mattress of your dreams:

  • Lie down and try it out. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes you can easily slip off so you can give every mattress you try a proper “rest” test of about 10 minutes.
  • Find a reputable dealer. Furniture stores, department stores and sleep specialty shops all sell mattresses. Ask friends and family for referrals. If you don’t feel your salesperson is knowledgeable or helpful, take your business elsewhere.
  • Buying online. If you choose to buy a mattress online, you probably won’t have the chance to try it out, so read the reviews, carefully check return and shipping policies—and be certain there’s customer support should a problem arise.
  • Size matters. If you’re sharing a bed, and if your bedroom is big enough, you should buy at least a queen-size mattress. For sound sleep, you need freedom of motion.
  • Go for the best value, not the lowest price. To ensure long-term performance, buy the highest quality mattress you can afford. View it as an investment in your health and wellbeing.

The good news: Most mattresses sold in the U.S. contain CertiPUR-US® certified foam. Certified foam provides enormous peace of mind in knowing that the flexible polyurethane foam (including memory foam) is low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions for indoor air quality (less than 0.5 parts per million) and screened for relevant chemicals including flame retardants, that are classified as carcinogens, mutagens, or reproductive toxins. Foam that is certified through the nonprofit CertiPUR-US® program has also been tested and analyzed by independent, accredited laboratories to be made without formaldehyde, ozone depleters, mercury, lead and other heavy metals, or phthalates regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

You can easily check our online directory to determine if the company or brand uses certified foam.

The ball’s in your court:  Buying a new mattress can contribute to sleeping better and living better. And that’s a slam dunk!

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