Beds magazine finds out, with a little help from the team at Mammoth.
You’ve heard it said, ‘one size fits all’. That’s great – when you’re talking about a t-shirt. After all, a t-shirt doesn’t need to be tailored to individual needs, does it?
But what about when that old adage is used to sell a mattress?
The ‘standard’ approach, one size fits all, ‘bed-in-a-box’ trend seems to have taken the mattress world by storm. Sleep has become one of the coolest commodities around and a number of online mattress brands have sprung up around the Internet toting their quick fix, one size fits all, mattress solutions.
Brilliant, aren’t they? All glossy photography, prominent advertising campaigns and seemingly too-good-to-be-true health claims.
But the truth behind these blanket product approaches are sometimes a case of having more marketing budget than substance. How can one single mattress be everybody’s perfect sleeping solution? Isn’t there much more to sleep science than that?
Health and wellbeing group, Mammoth, believes that a one size fits all approach couldn’t be more wrong when it comes to comfort, support and sleep. We all sleep differently, have varying requirements for a good night’s rest, are all built in vastly different proportions. The very foundations of Mammoth and its technologies come from a healthcare background, where options to suit different circumstances are crucial to providing support to enhance the recovery of patients. Pressure relief, in a healthcare setting, is one of the most crucial factors in mattress selection, and has always been a central consideration in the design and development of Mammoth mattresses.
“Almost three quarters of us sleep on our sides during the night, one fifth sleep on our backs and the rest of us, a relatively small number, prefer to sleep on our front,” explains Dr Jonathan Bloomfield, Mammoth’s chief scientific officer. “In each position there are challenges presented and different requirements in terms of support and pressure relief.
“Choosing a mattress is a personal choice that should always take into account sleeping position and be reflective of the weight and physiology of the sleeper. That’s why mattress companies typically offer a range of different solutions, rather than one single sleep surface.
“Mammoth’s own Performance range, for example, features a range of tensions and technologies. From pure Medical Grade Foam™ mattresses to hybrids that combine both Medical Grade Foam™ and pocket springs, the purpose of each model is to accommodate varying postures and preferences.
“The human body is wider and heavier in the pelvic area and wider but less heavy in the thoracic (chest) area. This means that those lying on a very firm mattress in a side-lying position are only being supported at the shoulder and pelvis.
“Failure to accommodate the sagging of shoulders into the mattress can lead to inadequate support of the neck and back, placing high stress on the shoulder joint – commonly resulting in pain and joint stiffness.
“Similarly, a mattress that is too soft and sags under bodyweight encourages poor spinal alignment and can lead to increased pain and joint stiffness.”
A soft mattress should be pressure relieving yet still supportive. Something the Mammoth Sky270 excels at. While the Performance 220 is a firm mattress but is zoned to ensure the key parts of the body are supported evenly.
So, let’s look back at the bed-in-a-box offering. They have, as we mentioned, huge budgets behind them. The advertising campaigns are glossy and very well circulated. So surely the product development teams had an equally large and far-reaching budget to come up with the mattresses in the first place?
There’s no doubt that some of the mattresses on the market are well thought through and well-constructed. But the worry amongst retailers and bed experts is that, by buying a mattress online, consumers are missing some vital information and advice that they’d receive when trying a mattress on the showroom floor; information that can help them make the right decision.
That’s why Mammoth has gone all out to produce a wide range of products to suit the varying needs of the consumer and the industry leading product training that accompanies them. We’ve worked with physiotherapists from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) to perform tests on our mattresses to ensure they cater for a range of sleep requirements and body types. As a result, the CSP is an official partner of Mammoth and their members readily recommend Mammoth products, and the technologies behind them, to help their patients achieve more rest and comfort during their sleeping hours.
Matt Donnelly is a physiotherapist. He’s also head of operations at Beds Are Uzzz in Southbourne. He says that both Mammoth and the retailers they work with put significant time and resources into the market-leading training of staff to offer the most up-to-date advice: “Sales staff are trained and equipped to explain the benefits of different sleep surfaces and tensions. This is something you will not get from a single product solution. Guiding customers by helping them understand the right sleeping posture and performing a bed assessment, with a particular focus on the lumbar spine, is extremely important.
“While this level of customer support isn’t perhaps as comprehensive as might be provided by a physiotherapist, it is certainly more valuable to a consumer than basing decisions on a gallery of pictures. Over the lifetime of the mattress – seven years is the industry standard – an individual will spend anywhere between 15,000 and 20,000 hours lying on the bed. Put into that context, making an online impulse purchase really isn’t reliable.”
Let’s look at it this way – how many people do you know who would buy a car without test driving it first? And yet most individuals will spend many more hours sleeping on a mattress than they will behind the wheel of their car. We’d argue that it’s just as important to test drive a mattress – impossible to do if you’re making a decision based on an online review and a range of, albeit glossy, photographs.
As an industry, manufacturers and retailers of mattresses must take responsibility for educating consumers on the importance of comfort during sleep. Yes, cost is generally an issue in any purchasing decision, but Mammoth understands that, until the consumer understands the importance of choosing the correct sleeping and sitting positions, and the impact different surfaces can have on those positions, the back-pain epidemic in the UK is only going to get worse.
“One size most definitely does NOT fit all when it comes to a mattress. At Mammoth, we know the importance of making the right decision when it comes to your mattress,” explains John Tuton, founder and MD of Mammoth. “That’s why we’ve invested so much of our time and expertise into developing mattresses that are backed by medical expertise as well as independent sleep research, carried out by the Northumbria Sleep Research Centre. Mammoth’s Performance collection offers our retail partners a significant edge in the customer experience, and in turn, happy customers who have the right mattress to suit their needs.”