The progress is at the service of sleep

In this article, we retrace the bedding innovations of recent years, while explaining how in their own way, they help create the ideal sleeping environment.

It is well known that a comfortable mattress is essential for ensuring quality sleep. This perpetual quest for comfort has also prompted men to use all imaginable materials to make their beds suitable for quality sleep. From goatskins and feathers to cotton and wool, mattresses have never stopped evolving over the millennia.

And even today, innovations are constantly emerging in bedding. Between the feats of memory foam, the significant improvements made to box-spring beds or even so-called “hybrid” solutions, not to mention connected mattresses, bedding in the 21st century is becoming more and more sophisticated and intelligent.

Brief history of mattress technology

The emergence of coil spring beds at the start of the 20th century is arguably the technological advancement that truly started the modern mattress industry. While the earliest specimens, made of steel springs covered with wool, natural fibers or a soft fabric for upholstery, were based in part on the spring system used in the construction of trolleys, they failed to meet the needs. a large number of sleepers.

This has led manufacturers to work on improving spring technology. However, in the meantime, these old box-spring beds have started to be replaced by the memory foam mattresses filled with polyurethane, which appeared in the 1980s. Today, the field of bedding offers a wide choice. , always with the objective of promoting your sleep.

The progress is at the service of sleep

the bedding innovations

The options available include beds in natural or synthetic latex, organic fibers or even hybrid combinations of different types. All of these new technologies and innovations have literally consecrated a new way of sleeping, and put the limitations associated with old spring mattresses, as well as those with poor quality foam, a thing of the past.

The latest bedding innovations in mattresses

Many bedding brands have been working for a few years on technologies that can promote a good night’s sleep. Here, we review the main innovations (more or less recent) in bedding. Some relate to manufacturers’ materials, and others to engineering or sleep aid applications.

Pocket spring mattresses

Individually pocketed coil technology is an evolution of the traditional innerspring mattress. Composed of steel springs connected by metal wiring, the latter has the main drawback of not giving good independence to sleepers who share the bed, especially couples. With the old box-spring beds, even minimal movement of one partner would indeed bounce and move the other.

The advent of individually pocketed coils corrects this flaw, because by creating individual coils and wrapping them in fabric, bedding brands have found a good way to effectively isolate the movements of each sleeper. This innovation generally enters into the manufacture of hybrid mattresses, with the combination of different bedding technologies (natural or synthetic latex foam, memory foam, polyurethane foam, etc.).

Synthetic latex foam mattresses

Latex foam is widely considered to be the cream of the crop, due not only to its hypoallergenic and hyper-reactive properties derived from the sap of rubber trees, but also its ability to provide progressive support while relieving pressure and increasing pressure. gently pushing back the body weight. However, natural latex foam mattresses have the disadvantage of being expensive.

Fortunately, innovation in foam technology has given rise to a more affordable alternative: synthetic latex foams, which are sometimes used in combination with natural latex, memory foam, or other bedding technologies. form hybrid solutions. Thanks to recent innovations, today’s synthetic latex foams offer all the responsiveness of their natural latex counterparts, in addition to the contouring properties of memory foam.

Memory foam

An innovation from NASA, memory foam is undoubtedly one of the major advances in bedding material. It was originally developed to improve the comfort of astronaut seats, but quickly proved to be very useful as bedding as well.

Effective at relieving pressure on key parts, including your hips and shoulders, this foam conforms to your body when lying on it, but returns to its original shape once body weight is removed. But, in addition to providing personalized support through its ability to conform to your unique physique, memory foam reacts with body temperature and tends to retain heat.

This is exactly where innovations in shape memory technology are looking. Manufacturers are taking a number of approaches to reduce heat retention, not only by injecting cooling gels, but also by making perforations in the foam.

Some shape memory foams have an innovative cellular structure that not only promotes good breathability, but also dramatically increases their ability to adapt and conform to your body. So, with the new viscoelastic foams, every muscle, every curve and every point of contact between you and the mattress is better supported and balanced. In doing so, the pressure points are more completely relieved, and the movements are better absorbed.

Thermoregulated mattresses and toppers

To induce sleep, your body temperature drops, and too warm a sleeping environment can interfere with this process and keep you awake. This explains why many complain about poor quality of sleep, especially on hot summer nights.

Manufacturers have worked on this to develop cooling technology that includes infusions made with gels that react to body heat, turning into coolant when you get too hot. Or, when your body temperature is normal, these gels stay in a semi-fluid state.

Beds with these cooling innovations provide a more active effect that even the most breathable mattress cannot. These infusions dramatically reduce temperature regulation problems, and make it easier than ever to get a good night’s sleep.

In addition, note that some thermoregulated mattress toppers offer a warming effect to ensure quality sleep during cold winter nights. They use heating elements for this, which are usually small metal wires woven onto the surface of the mattress topper or tubes that carry heated water.

Ultimately, for people who, for various reasons (reaction to medication, ambient temperature, menopause, etc.), cannot control their body temperature, thermoregulated mattresses and mattress toppers are a smart investment.

Custom mattresses

Custom mattresses are one of the advances in bedding. They are not to be confused with the mattresses offered in a varied range and which offer sleepers a selection of predetermined options, including the choice of firmness, height or even design.

In this case, a software connected to a mattress equipped with multiple sensors determines itself the ideal mattress according to your morphology. 3D mapping identifies the most important pressure points in your body when you are lying down. This technology makes it possible to offer a mattress capable of reducing these pressure points, so as to obtain a tailor-made solution ensuring maximum comfort.

Particularly suited to people with unique needs and preferences, custom-made mattresses give you complete freedom to set the level of customization from start to finish. In addition, you have the flexibility to choose the materials, shape and other important options. the mattress itself can usually be in standard or custom sizes.

Connected mattresses and sleep aid applications

This is arguably the latest innovation in mattresses. Although there is no standardized definition, it is fair to equate the mattress connected to a mattress that has sensors to analyze and provide information on the quality of your sleep and, in some cases, actively improve it. this. That being said, the smart mattresses currently available on the market may offer features such as:

  • the monitoring of sleep and the body (by measuring the duration and cycles of sleep, the monitoring of health data such as heart rate and breathing or the collection of biometric data on the movements of your body, etc.)
  • the environmental monitoring (by monitoring the temperature, noise and light in your room)
  • the climate control (heating / cooling) to prevent the mattress from getting too hot or too cold
  • Anti-snoring features
  • Automatic overnight firmness adjustments and / or the integration of advanced components into layers of support or comfort. Thus, using data collected by sensors and software, the connected mattress can automatically change its firmness level or temperature proactively, without you needing to wake up
  • Integration with home automation systems such as Amazon Alexa and Google health home (for, among other things, adjusting the mattress parameters with your voice) and connection to other connected devices (lighting, thermostats and door locks)
  • Audio functionality, with the addition of special options such as built-in alarms, mediation programs, comforting sounds or the possibility of connecting the bed to a home stereo system

Advances in smart mattresses are supported by the development of applications that include advanced sleep enhancing features. This is made possible by the fact that many smart mattresses connect to your home Wi-Fi network, and can therefore easily integrate with apps.

Mattresses and nanotechnology

Some manufacturers use the applications of nanotechnology to design their mattresses. This is the case for example of Nanotech which used a very thin sheet of carbon tubes to develop a substance which reacts with the memory foam to prevent it from collapsing under body weight and to allow it. to regain its shape more quickly.

What future for mattresses?

Even if current innovations are already significantly revolutionizing the way we sleep, predictions announce that the mattresses of the future will bring new features, some of which may seem straight out of science fiction.

This is particularly the case of the self-cleaning system which would allow the mattresses to be cleaned without human intervention, this, using a technology similar to the vacuum cleaners of today. Such an innovation would only be useful when we know that the accumulation of dead skin, mites and various debris not only causes diseases, but also an increase in the weight of mattresses (about 30% more than time of purchase after 10 years).

Likewise, it is expected that the mattresses of the future will constantly monitor and control the heat level in the room, in order to automatically adjust their temperature so as to allow sleepers to sleep comfortably on both cold winter evenings and the hot summer nights. They will incorporate state-of-the-art sensors for this. Duvets and pillows could one day also accommodate a comparable system, in order to potentially modify their temperature to always have a cool side.

Moreover, in addition to innovations in mattresses, the progress announced for home automation applications suggests that the bedroom will receive a good dose of technology in the years to come, and the impact on our sleep habits will inevitably be felt.

Conclusion

Ultimately, mattress technology is evolving at a rapid pace, illustrating a growing awareness of the importance of sleep for healthy and energetic lives. So, beds today welcome innovations every year – some of which can be particularly amazing – that definitely take sleep to a whole new level of comfort, while providing the body with pressure relief, support and comfort. the muscle relaxation he needs to recharge his batteries.

With that said, you should note that some of these innovations can spice up the price of mattresses. It is therefore a good idea to think carefully before making any purchasing decision.

Moreover, even if it is difficult to comment with precision on the next developments in mattress technology, we can, on the basis of current advances, legitimately expect that the beds of tomorrow will be more and more intelligent. and able to meet the specific needs of sleepers.

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