BEDROOM MATRESS SELECTION
You will spend one-third of your life lying on your mattress, so it's worth your time to investigate what's available and determine which construction and firmness is right for you. If you are sharing the bed with a partner, then both of your needs should be taken into account. A coil-spring mattress will last longer with a box spring under it. The more springs in the mattress, the more comfortable it will be. Buy from a reputable store and ask the salesperson to assist you. The store may even have a mattress cut open to show you the inner construction. The coils should be made of a high-quality gauge and number about 3I5 coils for a standard bed. Layers of padding cover the top and bottom of the coils. The outer fabric is either cotton ticking or sateen with a high thread count for longevity. Another variable is the firmness; a mattress that is too soft offers no support for your back and one that is too hard doesn't allow for the natural curves of your body. Either way, there's a good chance you will wake up aching or the wrong mattress support can do long-term dam- age to your spine. How do you sleep: side, tummy, or back? Lie on the mattress in the store for a while and see how it feels to you. Once you have brought the mattress home, a good tip is to turn it around every six months. It should last ten to twenty years. A standard mattress measures about 8 inches high, as does the box spring. But there are now mattresses as deep as I7 inches, which are popular for creating that sumptuous "big bed" look. Feather beds are the last word in luxury. Filled with down and feathers, they are made to lie on top of your regular mattress, offering the ultimate in gentle support and warmth. Fitted sheets are now avail- able with deep gussets to accommodate the extra thickness of a feather bed or deep mattress. A Japanese futon is a slim mattress traditionally made with layers of cotton, but now available with foam padding. The cotton will flatten down with use, and periodically requires a good beating to keep its shape. Futons are generally sold with a frame that can be folded into a couch or chair, depending on the size of the futon, as well as flattened out for sleeping. This versatile feature along with the relatively low cost makes futons a popular choice for students and young people fitting out small apartments.