Unfortunately, bed bugs are on the rise across North America, Europe, and Australia, reaching “epidemic proportions”. Given that almost any environment under 120ºF (48.89ºC) will provide a thriving environment for bed bugs, your home could be next.
These steps suggest ways to prevent bed bugs from entering your home and ways to prevent an infestat
Know how to identify a bed bug.
Bed bugs are reddish-brown with a flat, oval body that measures approximately ¼ of an inch (6.35 mm) long. Bed bugs usually hide close to the bed but can spread to other areas of the room or home over time.
Bed bug colors can range from nearly white after they molt, a light tan, a deep brown, to a burnt orange.
Although bed bugs are generally found on or near the bed, most insects found there are not bed bugs. Before beginning pest control efforts to rid a home of bed bugs, confirm the identity of the pest.
Know how bed bugs are able to get into your home.
Bed bugs enter a home through many possible ways, the most common being hitching a ride on your luggage, computer, clothing or other belongings after you have stayed somewhere else, or traveled where bed bugs are present, including on public transportation. Moving time is another possible way to get into a new home, as they catch a ride in the moving boxes
Know the most likely places where bed bugs can be found once they get into your home.
Bed bugs are more likely to be found in buildings where many occupants sleep or where there is frequent turnover, such as a hotel or college dormitory.
Bed bugs tend to congregate where people sleep more than any other part of the home. They love hiding out in the bed frame, mattress, and box spring.
Given their flattened body shape, bed bugs hide out in cracks and crevices within a room, the furniture, and other objects.
Bed bugs can wander from apartment to apartment using the voids between walls and wire/pipe holes.
bugs like warmth. They are known to enter laptops, netbooks, and DSL ports, which are also very portable objects that you might inadvertently carry around to other rooms and homes!
Occasionally, bats and birds introduce bed bugs.
Mattress Size Guide
Buying a too-small mattress is one of the biggest mistakes new bed-buyers make. Couples who’ve been sleeping on a “double”, also known as a full size mattress, since they got married may think they have enough room, until they learn that each person has only as much sleeping space as a baby’s crib!
A twin mattress is the smallest possible mattress size, other than a crib-sized mattress. Twin mattress dimensions are approximately 38 inches wide by 75 inches long. Both twin and full sizes are approximately 75 inches long, which may be too short for some adults, especially men.
Recommendations: A twin XL might be a good alternative for those living in tight spaces. The XL offers several inches in length, but remains around 38 inches in width. The XL twin is a popular choice in college dormitories.
Sometimes still called a double mattress, a full size mattress is 53 inches wide, which is just 15 inches wider than a twin size (single). That leaves each partner only 27 inches of personal space, or about the width of a crib. Both twin and full sizes are approximately 75 inches long, which may be too short for some adults, especially men.
Recommendations: A full size bed is only enough space for a single sleeper and only if the person is under 5 feet 5 inches tall. Parents are increasingly choosing full size over twin for teenage bedrooms. Parents are even making this choice for younger children in to give themselves a more comfortable place to rest when reading together at tuck-in time.
Queen mattress dimensions are 60 inches wide by approximately 80 inches long – 6 inches wider and 5 inches longer than a full size mattress. These added inches can make all the difference in comfort, especially for couples, and have made the queen size mattress today’s most popular mattress size. However, with 30 inches of personal space, each adult still has 9 inches less width than if they slept alone in a twin bed.
Recommendations: Queen size is a good choice for guest rooms, smaller master bedrooms and for couples who prefer close quarters. It’s also a great choice for single sleepers who are also “sprawlers.”
The king size mattress dimensions are 76 inches wide by approximately 80 inches long – about 18 inches wider than a queen. This is the closest a couple can come to having as much personal space (38 inches) as each would have on a twin bed. In fact, two twin extra-long beds pushed together are about the same size, an option that can offer a flexible arrangement for a guest room.
Recommendations: A king size mattress is the best choice for couples that want maximum personal sleeping space. It’s also the best bet to accommodate that time on Sunday morning when children may pop into bed – or if the pets in your house have mattress privileges! However, size can be a problem. Even with a “split boxspring” – two twin-size foundations to support it – to make a king set more manageable, it may be too big for some bedrooms or too bulky to navigate through some corridors, doors and stairwells. It’s a good idea to break out the tape measure to check your room dimensions if there is any doubt
California King mattress
For consumers on the west coast, there is also the “California King Mattress” which is approximately 72 inches wide by 84 inches long – 4 inches narrower and 4 inches longer than a regular king.
?Futons are a popular alternative for those who need a sofa by day and a mattress by night. Futon mattresses must be very flexible, so they are typically made of cotton, synthetic fibers and foam in various combinations. The futon mattress is designed to support sitting as well as sleeping.
In general, your baby’s crib mattress should be fairly firm. Soft mattresses and pillowtops seem like a good choice for you parents, but babies need a solid sleep surface since they can’t move themselves out of positions where their face sinks into the mattress if they happen to flip over on their tummies. Push down on the mattress and see how much your hand sinks into the mattress. The more resistance, the firmer the mattress. Whether you choose an innerspring or solid foam mattress, just make sure that it’s nice and firm!
Learn more about making sure your crib mattress is safe.
Much like a crib mattress, the toddler mattress should also be firm. In general, your little one should stay in their crib until they start to climb out of it—and certainly once your baby reaches 35 inches in height, or is two years old, which ever comes first. Though most parents still purchase standard “twin” sized sleep sets, consider purchasing a full size (double) mattress to allow them freedom of movement while sleeping. Consider using detachable safety rails to discourage climbing, prevent falls and help your toddler feel more secure.
Comfortable, supportive mattresses are something most of us take for granted. We don’t think about how they’ve evolved over time. Here’s an eye-opening lesson on the bed history from long ago to more modern times. Give your readers something to think about the next time they go to sleep. So lie down and let us tell you a story about the history of the bed.
A poor mattress is one of the leading causes of bad sleep. And even a high-quality mattress should be replaced about every five to seven years. Technology has changed, so if you haven’t shopped for a new one in a while, it’s worth comparing mattress types so that you can choose the best one for you. –
- Most widely used of all mattress types
- Prices range to suit nearly every wallet. Quality counts: If there isn’t proper support, you could wake up with a sore back.
- Now designed with a familiar mattress/foundation look
- Water-filled core for support
- Layers of upholstery for insulation and comfort
- Quality construction is critical with waterbed mattresses. Vinyl and seaming should be designed for maximum durability.
- Also known as green mattress
- Made from organically grown components. Warning: do your research! Terms like green and natural are not regulated. Ask a reputable salesperson what qualifies the mattress as organic.
- Designed to support joints, back and overall muscular skeletal body
- Traditionally constructed of coil springs, but memory foam is becoming more common
- Talk to your physician when choosing an ortho mattress that suits your specific needs or ailments
- Has an extra layer of soft cushioning attached to the mattress surface
- Made from a wide selection of luxury materials from natural cotton and wool to advanced-technology foams and gels that mold to the body
- One of the newest technologies Not a liquid, but a molded and highly flexible material used in conjunction with other mattress materials
- Can be infused with foams to create a gel foam mattress with a different overall “feel”
Replacing a Mattress?
With most products, it’s fairly obvious when a replacement is needed. If it no longer works or has signs of wear and tear that impair its functionality, you know it’s time for a new one. However, realizing that it is time for mattress replacement and new foundation isn’t always so obvious. Similar to your favorite old chair or worn pair of shoes, your mattress can still feel somewhat comfortable long after it has lost its ability to provide your body with the proper support and comfort it needs. Because sleep is so critical to our ability to function and feel our best, it is important to evaluate your sleep set on a regular basis to know when your sleep is compromised and to replace mattress accessories as well.
Signs that You May Need a New Mattress & Foundation (boxspring):
- You wake up with stiffness, numbness, aches and pains
- You had a better night’s sleep somewhere other than your own bed (such as a hotel)
- Your mattress shows visible signs of overuse (it sags, has lumps, the interior is exposed, etc.)
- Your mattress is seven years old or older*
*How long a mattress will last depends on several factors, such as amount of use and the original quality, but in general, a mattress set that has been in use for seven years is no longer providing you with the best comfort and support and should be replaced. Keep in mind that everyone’s body changes over time, and the need for comfort and support only increases with age. That’s why it’s a good idea to compare the mattress and foundation you are sleeping on now to newer models every few years.
Proper Installation. Make sure your new mattress and foundation are properly installed in your home. Improper installation can damage your new sleep set. If you choose to transport and install on your own, ask the store personnel to give you some tips to help you avoid problems.
Rotate it. Unless your mattress care instructions indicate otherwise, you may want to periodically rotate your mattress from end-to-end and from top-to-bottom.
Use a protective pad. A good quality, washable mattress pad (and one for the foundation, too, if you like) is a must to keep your set fresh and free from stains.
Let it breathe. If you detect a slight “new product” odor, leave the mattress and foundation uncovered and well ventilated for a few hours. A breath of fresh air should do the trick!
Give it good support. Be sure to use a sturdy, high-quality bed frame. If it’s a queen or king size set, make sure your frame has the strong center support that will prevent the mattress from bowing or breakage.
Don’t dry clean. The chemicals in dry cleaning agents/spot removers may be harmful to the fabric or underlying materials. Vacuuming is the only recommended cleaning method. But if you’re determined to tackle a stain, use mild soap with cold water and apply lightly. Do not ever soak a mattress or foundation.
Don’t remove the tag. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not illegal to remove the law tag, but the information on the label will serve as a means of identification should you have a warranty claim.
It’s not a trampoline. Don’t let the kids jump on your sleep set. Their rough-housing could do damage to the interior construction of your bed, as well as to themselves!
No boards, please. Never put a board between the mattress and foundation. It may enhance the sense of support for a while, but it will only make the problem worse over time. When any bed in your home has reached the “board stage,” get rid of it.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Again, be sure to follow any specific guidelines from your manufacturer for the best method of mattress care.
Out with the old. Now that you’ve treated yourself to a new sleep set, arrange to have your old bed removed and disposed of. Don’t give it to the kids, relatives, guests or neighbors. If it wasn’t good enough for you, it isn’t good enough for anyone else. Throw it out!