If you’re looking to buy a new mattress, perhaps the most challenging thing to figure out is where to start. Choosing the right mattress can be confusing, expensive, and time consuming. It’s a decision that requires careful consideration and research, especially when you consider that a new mattress is a long-term investment. Today there are many marketing schemes that make it difficult to understand what a mattress is made of or how it may affect our sleep and wellness. This is why mattress material would be at the top of the research list, as it will help to eliminate products that don’t serve you or align with your lifestyle. Once you have decided on mattress material, you are ready to dive into mattress testing!
When you’re considering the difference levels of comfort, you’ll want to also consider firmness level and sleeping position. It's crucial to know how your bed supports spinal alignment as, “back problems are among the most common chronic conditions in Canada. Four out of five adults will experience at least one episode of back pain at some time in their lives”. Remember, ‘one size fits all’ models are not ideal when 2 sleepers are being accommodated. You’ll need to consider each individual person's weight/body type, how they sleep and what their preferences are. Let’s dig deeper...
A person's body weight will determine the level of support/firmness required to hold them up. For example, someone who weighs over 200 lbs may need a higher level of support compared to someone who is closer to 100 lbs. In addition to weight, you’ll want to also consider body shape - a person with broad shoulders or wide hips will require a softer level of comfort so that the mattress can hug and support those specific areas of the body and promote a straight spine.
To take it a little further...
Sleeping position will also indicate what level of softness is recommended for your body. For example, back sleepers are comfortable on medium/firm or soft mattresses because the buttox is the only part of the body that needs to sink in. Stomach sleepers, although not great for spinal health, they’re best on a firmer surface to avoid accentuating the natural curve in the spine. Side sleepers will need a balanced level of softness to allow the shoulders/hips to sink slightly, similarly to what was mentioned above. These factors are especially crucial in maintaining blood flow and spinal alignment and will eliminate discomfort of pressure points or discomfort from improper support.
All Sunshine mattresses are split inside the zippered cover so that you are able to focus on your individual needs instead of choosing a ‘one size fits all’ type for mattress. After all, we spend about a third of every day in bed - whether that time is actually spent blissfully slumbering or tossing and turning will depend a lot on your mattress!
A good pillow can be just as important as a good mattress in ensuring a restful night’s sleep. There are few other products that you spend as much time with as the pillow. The right pillow can help prevent neck pain, upper back pain and headaches. Investing in a pillow made with quality materials will not only give you a longer lasting comfort, but will also eliminate allergy symptoms caused from synthetic materials.
Are you waking up with a sore or stiff neck? Do you wake up with allergy symptoms, runny nose, red and itchy eyes? Then you may need a different pillow.
Like mattresses, when shopping for pillows, think about how you sleep.
Side sleepers will need to consider the firmness of their mattress. If the mattress surface is soft, the shoulder will sink in slightly, meaning the pillow should not be very high. If the mattress is firm, then the shoulder will not sink, therefore the pillow should be higher. We usually recommend a 90 degree angle from ear to shoulder which will depend on shoulder to ear ratio, so keep in mind that what may work for someone else, may not work for you. Many side sleepers will incorporate a King size or Body size pillow between their knees and shoulders. The support can relieve pressure and also provide additional support for the back and spine.
If a person sleeps on their back, they will need a pillow that supports the neck, while hugging the back of the head. You will want a low pillow that will keep your neck aligned, without arching your head forward. We usually say “If you can see your toes when laying on your back, the pillow is too high”.
Stomach sleepers, although not ideal for spinal alignment, will need a very flat pillow or no pillow at all. To avoid accentuating the natural curve in the lower back, the surface should be relatively firm, and the head should lay flat. Some people will use a pillow under their pelvis to help alleviate the pressure. Many people use pillows to sleep train into a different position, for example, using a body pillow can have the same illusion as being on your stomach or using a contoured pillow can keep you on your back.
Pillows are meant to keep the head aligned with the neck and spine. If your neck and shoulders aren’t aligned, or are positioned at an angle that causes crunching and twisting, this can lead to back strain and sleeplessness. As with mattresses, the ideal pillow doesn’t just feel comfortable but also provides proper spinal support and alignment for uninterrupted sleep. A relaxed sleeping posture encourages easy breathing, better blood circulation, and waking up fresh and rejuvenated
All Sunshine pillows include a zipper design, so whether you choose the latex or wool, you’ll be able to adjust the height to your exact preference. The wool is a firmer style pillow, which is great for your neck and shoulders. However, if you're a stomach/back sleeper, you will want to make sure the pillow has been adjusted to a lower loft. Shredded latex is best for combination sleepers, as it's easier to manipulate the shape of the pillow depending on the sleeping position. Both pillows are naturally hypoallergenic and resistant to mould and dust mites, making them suitable for allergy sufferers.
Choosing the right pillow is an individual process, you may want to come in to our showroom and give them a try!
Although disposable products have become the new norm, most people still prefer quality or quantity. Most of our customers have already adopted the environmental approach when it comes to shopping, but there are still many people who aren't familiar with the advantages. Part of what we stand for as a company is to provide high quality products that not only last longer but have a positive impact on the environment.
Okay, lets break it down...
Organic Mattresses last longer than Memory Foam
Organic latex has always been superior to Memory foam in terms of resilience. There are no fillers or chemicals added that would likely contribute to the breakdown of a conventional mattress. Latex from the rubber tree can also be used to manufacture synthetic latex, therefor it's important to check for the GOLS certification. Synthetic latex, likely memory foam, will not provided the same longevity.
The response time of a Memory foam mattress is significantly slower, resulting in a lifespan of anywhere from 5-7 years. Latex mattresses have an instant response time, with virtually no wait time when pressure is released. This bounce-like experience is expected to last, at the very least, 10 years, with many lasting even longer.
In addition, Latex is manufactured in different densities which are stacked based on individual preferences and requirements. Organic mattresses are not designed to be disposable like a conventional mattress is, the modular design allows you to open up your mattress and change the feel by rearranging of the internal layers. As your body goes through change, so can your mattress - it's that simple!
Organic materials are more breathable
Organic latex and organic wool are both materials that naturally resist bacteria growth. The open-cell structure of latex will ensure that heat and moisture pass through rather than collect, resulting in a cleaner, cooler environment. Mould and mildew will not grow when there is not moisture, and neither will dust mites!
Wool is similar in its construction, never maintaining heat or moisture but instead, wicking it away. By combining these two materials, you will experience less allergic symptoms, especially those who are sensitive to dust mites and mould spores.
Organic wool can be refreshed using direct sunlight
If you own Organic wool bedding, then you're already familiar with the laundering rules. Anytime wool is washable, it has been treated with a resin-like solution that coat the fibers. Although this option is still better than a synthetic material, it's not going to perform as well as wool that has not undergone the chemical wash.
For ultimate temperature control and wicking, organic wool is the best option. When placed into direct sunlight, the wool fibers will deodorize and desensitize, this can be done seasonally to upkeep a fresh bedroom.
Many manufacturers fill their mattresses with a variety of poor quality and unnecessary layers to make their mattresses appear thicker or plusher. Not only are these layers unhealthy, but they do not hold up well and will affect the lifespan of the mattress. Our mission at Sunshine Mattress is to provide quality products, made with quality materials that you can feel good about. Our zippered mattress covers allow you to unzip and rearrange the different layers in your mattress, giving you control over the firmness at any given time. All Sunshine pillows also feature a zippered design, because after all, everyone has different preferences and needs.
Shopping smart is what we are all about!
Choosing a great mattress requires research and dedication. Although online mattresses are on the rise, there is nothing better then visiting a showroom and trying the different options in person. Sunshine Mattress Co. is located in Toronto, displaying the full selection of products on the floor. The showroom is quiet, clean and has an air of total relaxation, making it easier for you to notice the subtle and dramatic differences between the mattresses.
The first step is to discuss some of these questions with your partner, as you will most likely refer to these answers when shopping:
What are your current mattress concerns?
This is an important question, especially if your previous experience was not good. This is also the time to discover mattress materials as it can contribute to the concerns you are experiencing. For example, someone who experiences numb fingers or sore shoulders in the middle of the night would not want to get a firm spring mattress as it is likely the root of the problem. The most common concerns we hear about are allergies/chemical sensitivities, motion transfer/disruptions and discomfort. The materials that make up the mattress are probably the most important area of exploration. The many different materials being used in todays mattresses will have a list of advantages, which for some, will be disadvantages. Also keep in mind that there are lots of marketing gimmicks when it comes to 'natural' mattress alternatives. It's important to ask specific questions and to avoid such false claims to avoid dissapointment. The best thing to do is look for genuinely certified products instead.
Pay attention to your sleeping patterns and habits?
In most cases, tossing and turning is related to discomfort because the way that each person sleeps will have an impact on the level of softness that would be best for comfort. For example, someone who sleeps on their side will require something softer than someone who sleeps on their back and stomach. By minimizing the sleep disruptions caused by discomfort, you will improve your overall sleep patterns. In addition to sleeping position, each person's body type and weight will determine the level of firmness that is recommended. For example, someone who is 200 lbs would require a firmer support compared to someone who is 100 lbs. Since comfort and support are the two most important aspects when choosing the right mattress, make sure that the salesperson is informed so that the appropriate recommendation can be made. Sunshine mattresses are designed with an internally split layered system so that each customer can focus on their individual needs and preferences, so this means you will not have to compromis again!
What is your budget?
The average mattress should be replaced every 7-10 years, but different materials have different durability and estimated lifespans. Memory foam mattresses, for example, may only last a few years while latex foam mattresses can last well beyond a decade. With that in mind, longer lasting materials like latex will cost more then cheaper, synthetic materials. Mattresses that are mass produced will have a lower price tag, but will always have a large margin which means you can likely bargain for a better deal. When a mattress is made in smaller batches, it is made with exceptionally high standards and is not sitting in a warehouse for long periods of time.
Finding the store that sells your perfect mattress becomes easier when you have a clear idea about your needs and budget. If you are specific on materials, make a list of questions prior to your visit so that the experts can guide you further. Don't be afraid to challenge the answer if you are not satisfied, after all, you spend one third of your life in bed, don't take it lightly!
A good night's sleep is necessary to set us up for a successful and healthy life. However, it is not only the bedding pieces that portrays the dreamy overview of your bedroom, but you also need to take care of other features. Worried where to start from? Maybe start with a small amount of decluttering. Add a few plants and some organic bedding to add an aura of comfort and peace to your sleeping space. Then, gradually work up to bigger items like rugs, sofas, organic rugs, a natural mattress and organic duvet cover. Here are some tips to a relaxing, dreamy bedroom!
We spend one-third of our lives resting in bed, so choosing the right mattress matters a lot. Organic mattresses are made with many materials, including latex, organic wool and cotton. Mass-produced mattresses may contain toxic elements like flame retardants, synthetic latex or foam, or other unkown materials that can lead to sleep disturbances and health issues that get worse with age. Select a mattress that feels good without compromising comfort, while also creating the healthiest and safest environment in which to breathe.
When it comes to your bedroom furniture, ditch the big-box stores and find something made from natural materials with a natural finish. Furniture made from woods like spruce, grey pine, solid birch, maple and cedar are usually safe, but make sure to ask about toxic stains and varnishes used during the manufacturing process. Rugs are also commonly made from synthetic materials such as polypropylene, nylon, or polyester. To eliminate exposure to toxic VOCs, it's best to choose a natural rug such as jute, wool or cotton.
Organic Duvet Cover and Sheets:
Since sheets and duvet covers are in direct contact with your body, they need to be given special attention. For ultimate temperature regulation, choose a duvet filled with wool and cover it with an organic cotton cover. It's best to stick with 500 thread count or below, this will while maintaining breathability which is important if you want to benefit from the Organic materials your covering. And at the very least, please stay away from polyester.
Pillows filled with good quality materials such as wool, cotton or latex will eliminate your allergy symptoms while also elimating pain in your neck and shoulders. Although down-filled pillows are popular, they do not breath as well nor do they last as long, this is why we only source materials which will perform high while maintaining a dry, clean environment.
Indoor plants don't just look good they can make us feel good, too. NASA has done extensive studies of the role of houseplants in cleansing the air, their studies have shown that certain houseplants are exceptionally good at cleansing the air (a few of our favourites are the Snake plant, Chinese evergreen and Peace lily). In addition, plants can also increase your productivity and mood while reducing stress and fatigue.
When you are setting up your dreamy organic bedroom, you will also have to take into consideration the hazards of the paints you choose to colour your walls. Wall paints used to use lead and other harmful chemicals. Always choose non-toxic paints or if you want to get creative, wallpaper!
The air flowing into your bedroom should of course be clean and there are various ways to boost air quality in your bedroom. Key among them is getting an air purifier to eliminate toxins to create a healthy ambience. Air machines will also help with dust and pollen, perfect for those spring/fall months when windows are open.
Opt for essential oils instead of candles:
Essential oils are a natural and healthy alternative to candles. When you burn paraffin wax candles inside your bedroom, their chemical emissions reduce air quality and cause health issues or reactions. Among the chemicals emitted are formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, furans, dioxins and acrolein. Ditch the candles and try essential oils to create an eco-friendly ambience in your bedroom.
Next time you plan to refresh your bedroom, consider using organic materials which are cultivated without the use of any harmful insecticides or pesticides.
This is one of the best solutions to healthy living.