Mattress Makeover: Sleep Like You’re Still on Vacation

By Jennifer Nelson

Ever stay in a luxury hotel and sink into a dream bed for the best slumber of your life? Wish you could take that part of your vacation back home? You’re not alone: About 70 percent of people in an industry survey said they believe a new mattress would help them sleep better.

But while those big, comfy beds in a resort hotel may be a part of a great night’s sleep, there are many things go into making the perfect sleeping environment. So how can you bring your vacation sleep home?

“Many hotels focus on good sleeping conditions that are not present in our home. Very opaque shades and complete control over the temperature are two examples of things that hotels do very well to improve the sleep experience,” said Kenny Kline, sleep expert and founder of Slumber Sage, an online resource for mattress buying and getting the best night’s sleep.

If you’ve had your mattress longer than eight years, it’s probably time to bite the bullet. But remember: There’s no one-size-fits-all with mattresses. High-end memory foam may be great for back sleepers but they tend to hold in heat, making them uncomfortable for others. Adjustable beds may work for couples with different firmness needs, but not everyone needs to shell out for that option.

Kline said many of the mattresses in luxe hotels are a coil/foam hybrid, providing great support and great comfort. “The true measure of a mattress is how well it supports the sleeper years into its lifetime,” he said.

A few tips for snagging a luxury mattress:

· Read reviews from folks who’ve had their mattress a few years to see if they still love it.

· Go for a Euro pillow top for extra cushion.

· Compare construction—number of coils, whether there’s memory foam, or whether it’s a combo.

· Firm is best for neck and back support.

· Buying online may be cheaper than in-store, and always buy on sale.

Check bed linens

Another reason vacay slumber is so sweet is all those white, fluffy, down coverings and high-thread counts. According to some luxury hoteliers, the secret is a bonus middle sheet between the fitted and top sheet, which helps regulate body temperature. “Layering a luxurious bed starts with a good-quality mattress pad or featherbed,” said Steve Caradano, owner and founder of Vero Linens, a high-end luxury linen company that manufactures Italian linens.

Next up is excellent-quality sheets. While thread count is what we know to look for in the United States, the grade of cotton is equally important, Caradano said. Egyptian cotton is the finest, and there are hundreds of grades. Obviously, a 1,000-count Egyptian cotton sheet set for $39.95 won’t be equivalent to a luxe boutique or high-quality department store brand. Caradano said the finest cotton costs $20 a meter before anything’s been cut, sewn or transported, and a flat sheet contains 3.5 meters of fabric. Excellent quality sheets can set you back north of $300 and should last six to eight years.

“The hospitality industry recognized people like sleeping under light, airy duvet covers and down comforters,” said Caradano. They breathe better than synthetic fabric, aren’t as heavy and won’t splay your feet and spread toes downward, causing back pain. Plus, down traps air and provides light, cool, airy layers, keeping you warm without weight.

Finally, a menu of pillows with various fillings are key. Down and feather are far superior in comfort and support to foam or synthetic pillows, which are stiff and can bunch. Buckwheat hulls also can offer neck and head support that relieve tension, helping you sleep better.

If you can’t give your body another vacation, give it the best part of a vacation: the right sleeping environment for a perfect night’s sleep.