How Does Your Sleep System Perform? Advisors Futon
With the popularity of luxury bedding and futon mattress in retail, and consumers becoming more sophisticated in their purchase of sleep systems, expectations for a comfortable night's sleep while traveling are higher than ever.
When selecting sleep systems, hotels frequently use a standardized process of specifying and bidding. However, the very factors that make the specifying and bidding process organized, understandable and manageable tend to oversimplify the evaluation criteria and overlook the important differences in sleep system technology, design, material quality and manufacturing processes.
Here is a guide for reviewing and evaluating sleep system specifications and judging sleep system performance before purchasing.
Innerspring coils/coil count. This example of an oversimplified specification is one of the most widely used industry specification criteria: coil count. In reality, the number of coils that make up the futon mattress innerspring system is not as important in delivering comfort, support and durability as the coil quality, shape complexity, number of turns and cross-lacing construction method. The interaction of these attributes affects coil flex, body conformance, support uniformity and ultimately sleep comfort.
Foam cushioning layers. A second commonly used industry specification is thickness of the foam in the cushioning layers of a futon mattress. However, just as important as thickness are foam quality and density. Higher-quality foams sometimes come at a premium price, but they resist body impressions better, are more durable, take less "set" and bounce back better than lower-quality foams. With convoluted foam, it's important to remember that the base thickness is as important, if not more important, than the convoluted measurement. (e.g. 1-1/2" [convoluted] x 1/2" [base]).
Edge support. Edge support is an important consideration as travelers tend to sit on the edge of the beds to work, talk on the phone or watch TV. It also contributes to sleep system durability and comfort. To work best, the edge support should be as close as possible to the actual edge of the bed to maximize the sleeping area (the best ones increase the usable sleep surface by 10 percent) and should not permit a great deal of "give" when sitting or pushing on the edge of the futon mattress.
Foundations. Foundations perform one of the most important roles in hotel sleep systems. They work as shock absorbers, deflecting the weight load from the futon mattress, thereby affecting mattress’s durability. However, because so much of the weight load is deflected to them, foundations can carry the largest failure risk. It's particularly important, therefore, for foundations to feature such components as steel in the frame construction and high-quality modules. In addition, new composite technology currently used in some foundations makes them virtually indestructible. Let’s select the best futon mattress for sitting, quality futon mattress reviews
Sleep system performance tests. To truly evaluate the relative performance of competitive bedding products, all hospitality sleep systems should be measured by the following four tests. Sleep systems should be tested as a complete unit (futon mattress and foundation together) and should meet or exceed these minimum requirements.
1. Repetitive Impact Durability Test (Cornell): This test was originally designed to test products for hotel use. It measures load deflection (measure or support capability) and surface indentations (dimples). After 100,000 cycles, support should decrease no more than 10 percent and total indentation should not exceed 1 inch.
2. Load Deflection Analyzer: This instrument measures the force required to penetrate a product at any given distance. This provides an objective measure of the support properties of the product or product feature. There should be no more than a 10-percent change in products from pre- versus post-durability testing.
3. Impact Drop Tester: This tests foundation integrity and simulates abuse similar to jumping on a mattress. From a height of 7 inches, a 175-pound weight in freefall is repetitively dropped to measure set or permanent deformation at different drop sites. No more than 1 inch of set or permanent deformation should be allowed at any drop site.
4. ASTM Hexagonal Roller Test (Rollator): This test uses a 240-pound roller to predict product durability over extended usage. No more than 1 inch of set and no more than 1 inch of dimensional change should be allowed in the mattress or foundation.
Recommendations. Since sleep system design technology has developed beyond "number of coils" and "thickness of padding", oversimplified specifications may do a disservice to your evaluation process.
1. Decide upon your bedding goals in terms of comfort, support, luxury and durability.
2. Work with a sleep system manufacturer's sales representative to review its unique product specifications and features.
3. Request the results of the four industry performance tests on their sleep systems.
Your own knowledge and understanding of sleep system specifications will help yield an informed evaluation, which is the best assurance of finding the right product for your needs.
Leo Vogel is national sales manager for the Contract Division of Sealy, Inc. and is the current vice chairman of the Allied Executive Committee of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.