Buying the appropriate mattress and bed base can be a stressful task for new bed buyers. Bed systems vary greatly in price, quality, aesthetic appearance, and size. Making the right purchase is extremely important to everyday life, as a bed “allows physical recuperation during sleep by providing proper body support” (Verhaert et al., 2012). With sleep disorders becoming an ever more present problem in society, maximizing body recovery during sleep has become increasingly important (Desouzart & Filgueiras, 2015). People recover the most when their spine is in its natural shape, “allowing muscle relaxation and rehydration of the intervertebral discs” (Verhaert et al., 2012). Unfortunately, because of individual differences in body dimensions and the dispersal of body weight, a single bed is unlikely to work for every individual.
Shown below are two images of pressure mappings of a person while lying on their side on two different mattresses. The dark blue color mean that their body does not feel much pressure, while the red and orange colors mean that this is an area of high pressure (Vaughn Mccall, Boggs, & Letton, 2011). It is clear from this image that when a mattress is appropriate for a person, their body does not feel as much strain and they can therefore sleep better.
I propose that mattress companies begin to state the ideal body measurements and weight distribution for their mattress. I also believe that buying locations should take anthropometric measures of potential buyers to help guide them to the perfect mattress. Verhaert and colleagues found that they were able to “individually assess quality of support provided by a particular mattress–bed base combination” in their 2012 study. This could be an expensive system to implement today, but in the future I see it being much more feasible as the price of 3-D scanners decreases. In the mean time, basic hand measurements would be an improvement on the current system of having a buyer simply lay in a bed and test it.
Desouzart, G., & Filgueiras, E. (2015). Human-computer interaction in bed. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including Subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9188, 596-605.
Vaughn Mccall, Boggs, & Letton. (2011). Changes in sleep and wake in response to different sleeping surfaces: A pilot study. Applied Ergonomics, Applied Ergonomics.
Verhaert, V., Druyts, H., Van Deun, D., De Wilde, T., Van Brussel, K., Haex, B., & Vander Sloten, J. (2012). Modeling human-bed interaction: The predictive value of anthropometric models in choosing the correct bed support. Work-A Journal Of Prevention Assessment & Rehabilitation, 41(Supplement 1), 2268-2273.