Summertime brings longer days and more sun. Light pours in the windows, and that feels good to nearly all of us. Until we’re trying to get a full eight hours of sleep and the light wakes us up at 5:30 am. Light is a well-known enemy of sleep. Thankfully, we’re not entirely at the mercy of the sun (or headlights or neon signs). There's a wide array of light-filtering, room-darkening and blackout window treatments currently out there to help. Here are the major options, along with what to think about when choosing.
Some companies make filtering liners that can be attached to the curtains you already have and love. Perfect and easy; right? Well, not so fast. You need to find a size that’s the same length and width as your curtains. Easier said than done. If the liners aren’t wide enough, you’re still letting light in, and they look funky during the day. If they’re too wide, there’s more aesthetic weirdness to deal with, with white liners hanging out from behind your curtains. If the liner isn’t the same length, you’ll also see it prominently silhouetted every time you walk by, like a black slip under a white skirt. Even if you own a sewing machine, you likely have better plans for your weekend than spending a couple hours measuring, hemming and attaching curtain liners.
We also found the “convenient” attachment devices on these blackout curtain liners aren’t all that convenient. Some are too bulky or difficult to attach, or don’t stay put. Some have sharp metal hooks that could ruin drapes made from delicate fabrics. Others don’t work well with the spacing of big grommets. Maybe you’ll be lucky, and not to have to deal with any of the above issues. But chances are … you won’t.
An economical choice, and they don’t need to match the width of your curtains. They come in both light filtering and room darkening. Hanging them is simple, but the process of having them cut to size can be painful, especially if you don’t have an old shade to take to the store for matching the length. A recent roller purchase took us four trips to the hardware store for trimming. Measurements need to be spot on, because it’s a custom (i.e., nonreturnable) cut. If you go even 1/8” too short, the shade will pop out every time you pull it, and you’ve wasted your money. However, once you get the perfect size, roller shades do filter light quite nicely and are reasonably cheap.
Minor down side? The shades are about a half inch smaller all the way around the window, so light creeps in around the edges. Roll-up shades also don’t come in sizes for really big windows. Typical length available in-store tops off at about 72”. Btw, vinyl roller shades are best pulled up when not in use, because they’re unattractive. And why darken the room if you’re not sleeping?
Ready-made blackout curtains
These are another economical choice, and also easy. Pros? Blackout curtains are widely available and do a pretty good job of filtering light. Most home stores carry at least some light-filtering curtains. When choosing, be aware that the amount of light filtered can vary widely depending on the product. Try holding the curtains up to the light in the store to see whether they filter light or block it. The more light they block, the better for sleeping. Besides, you never know when you’ll be tempted to take an afternoon nap. Blackout curtains also are thicker than other curtains, meaning they can be more energy efficient and also help to block outside noise.
Cons? The heavier material can necessitate sturdier (i.e., more expensive) curtain rods. But the biggest drawback about blackout curtains is a blatant case of the uglies. They either don’t drape very well or tend to look cheap and synthetic. The only ones that didn’t offend our inner interior designer were ones that had light blocking linings. Choices of these are limited at affordable price points, especially if you want colors beyond beige or prefer patterns. You can try making lined panels yourself (time-consuming but easy if you do clip-on curtain rings!). This option can still wind up being pricey, though. Cheapest blackout lining we saw was $6/yard, and that’s before you pop for the outer curtain fabric. Home décor fabric is typically wider and stronger than apparel fabric. Which means it costs more.
Made-to-order curtains and blinds
These work well, look great, and there are lots of options. Roman blackout shades, roll-up bamboo shades with blackout liners, gorgeous fabrics in rich and soul-satisfying colors. Internet and local stores that make them aren’t hard to find. But be prepared to part with a major chunk of change, even if your windows are small. Prices start around $200 per panel and go up (and up!) from there. If you opt for blinds or shades, consider the new ones with cordless mechanisms that prevent kids and pets from getting tangled and possibly choking.
Motorized window treatments
These are among the newest “smart” home items, They have all the pros of the more traditional blackout items we covered above, with one huge additional benefit – they allow you to wake to glorious natural light in the morning without leaving your bed. You can program the shades to automatically rise in the morning and lower at bedtime, and you can also operate them manually from your smartphone anytime. As you might expect, these come with an equally huge con: a 36” window starts around $300. Ouch. Other down sides? They’re either battery operated or have a power cord. So you’re either dealing with a lot of batteries to replace or extension cords, unless you’re lucky enough to have outlets right under all your windows. These are also more functionally complex than a curtain rod and therefore more likely to malfunction.
Room darkening rod from CrateandBarrel.com.
Blackout curtain rods
Even with blackout curtains, light can peek out from the area between the curtain and your wall. Some manufacturers have recently come up with a new room-darkening curtain rod style that wraps around at the corners, blocking even more light. Prices are in line with other typical rods on the market, and they’re not hard to install. If you’re really sensitive to light, these are a good addition to your room-darkening arsenal.
It all depends on your budget and your taste. After looking at all the options, we decided to make our own lined blackout curtains at some future date. Too cheap to spend the money on custom treatments, and too picky to settle for beige or ugly. We installed end-wrap curtain rods in anticipation and room darkening roller shades to tide us over. They’ve definitely helped with sleeping longer in the morning, though we do miss waking up to natural light. Good luck in making your own decision, but don’t procrastinate. Every moment of sleep is precious, and this is one way to make a big difference in your sleep hygiene immediately. Sleep well!
Feng shui centers around the idea of Qi, which is a flowing life force that basically rules the earth. Qi (pronounced chee) swirls all around us, the vital energy of life. Everything and everyone on earth gives off Qi and is affected by it.
The words feng and shui are Chinese and literally translate into wind and water. If you think about the wind in the mindset of the Chinese, it translates into human breath. So feng shui represents the most crucial elements of life: wind (the ability to breathe) and water, which composes up to 60% of the human body. No human can last long without either. Not coincidentally, both wind and water are primary distributors of Qi.
The theory of feng shui is that you can control and enhance the flow of Qi with the design of spaces and placement of objects. You can see why that would be relevant to the bedroom. Since we’ve already done a post about basic bedroom feng shui, 8 Feng Shui Principles for a Better Bedroom, we figure you are already semi pros on the subject. You know never to sleep with your feet facing the door, to avoid sharp corners, pick a room at the back of the house and choose soothing colors. Now we’re moving on to some more advanced ideas to really bring on the zen.
Skip the monoliths
No hulking furniture next to the bed, blocking the Qi, making you feel small, obscuring your view or subconsciously feeling that it might tip over and crush you. Likewise, chandeliers and ceiling fans are great, but not over the bed. One surprising tip: huge bedrooms aren’t great for sleep. They can actually make you feel vulnerable, because it’s harder to keep track of what’s going on in a big room. There’s more stuff in the room, and you may not have a good line of sight to the door or the window. This may be a leftover instinct from caveman times.
Headboards create a feeling of safety and solidity, protecting your head and also shielding you from anything behind you that you can’t see. They’re a great choice if you must put your bed underneath a window or in the middle of the room. Make sure the headboard is solid and attached to the bed, so you’re not creating a feeling of unease, worrying that it might tip over. Avoid placing your bed near a window, where your body’s Qi may fly up and out the window.
While clean air is essential for Qi, carbon dioxide is not. Having plants in your bedroom is a contested point of Feng Shui—as plants often grow at night, emitting carbon dioxide. If you like plants, we recommend keeping them across the room rather than next to your bed and keeping them on the small side. In the morning, open the windows to let out carbon dioxide from your own breathing. A colossal bedroom feng shui mistake: dried flowers. They connote death. #Avoid
Clutter not only stops the flow of Qi, it stresses you out. Get rid of it. All of it. Also stressful? Intense or disturbing artwork in the bedroom. The Delacroix battle reproduction or neon Peter Max poster is better for the living room. Likewise, bizarre or precarious furniture should be banished. Glass tables, grotto chairs and psychedelic pillows should be relocated elsewhere.
The bedroom is no place to hold on to negative energy. Toss your ex’s old sweatshirt and that mix CD in the bottom drawer. Use a sage stick to burn away bad vibes and remember to wave it in the corners, where bad Qi can get trapped. For obvious reasons, if you have an en suite, keep the bathroom door closed. Keep your bedroom door closed, too. The idea is to keep Qi in the room at night, freely circulating.
Give peace a chance
Good sleep hygiene is something we often talk about on this blog and, unsurprisingly, it is also good bedroom feng shui. Eliminate noise. Bring nature in with organic sheets. And invest in quality window treatments. Look for ones that block out light and can be easily opened and closed. You want to shut out light when sleeping, but also be able to welcome it into your bedroom in the morning. Ease yourself gently awake with a smartphone alarm that uses chimes or other peaceful sounds. Or get a combo alarm clock/light that brightens slowly, waking you by simulating the rising sun.
It’s like dating advice, but good feng shui involves inviting the kind of relationship you want into the bedroom. Symmetry around the bed is good. Go for two lamps, two candlesticks and bedside tables on both sides. Include artwork that depicts a couple rather than a single person. Peonies in the room promote love; avoid single flowers. And never put the mirror over, next to, or opposite the bed. Not only can the reflections be distracting, but feng shui says bad mirror placement is a triple threat. It can magnify problems, make the Qi bounce around the room uneasily and invite others into your relationship.
All in all
The more we learn about feng shui, the more it seems grounded in common sense, a light understanding of the workings of the subconscious mind, and even some principles of physics. You know the saying, “Good luck is good planning.” Well, good sleep is good planning, too. We encourage you to give your bedroom a makeover with some of our feng shui tips, and let us know how they work for you.
All right, interior design divas. You know who you are. Style matters. And that definitely includes your bedroom. We’re frequently asked whether our sleep systems will work inside bed frames that customers love. Most of the time, happily, the answer is yes. So whether it’s Aunt Betty’s bed you inherited, that mahogany sleigh bed frame you invested in last year, or a sleek modern number you saw on Fifth Avenue, don’t assume you have to sacrifice a great night’s sleep to please your own particular design aesthetic.
Before we go any further, we should add this important legal caveat: each bed is an individual case and has to be specifically measured to see if it will work with the exact sleep system you want. The bed frames pictured in this blog are merely idea starters. Furniture manufacturers are notoriously hard to reach, so we can’t promise that any of the beds shown here will fit. However, we can absolutely promise that if you have specific measurements on a bed you already own or are considering, one of our Customer Care reps will give you a free fitting consult – 800.456.7383.
That dispensed with, let’s get on with it. Here are some bed frames we’ve seen recently that we’re obsessed with and think would look great with our sleep systems.
Luxe and Regal
This stately four-poster is flat-out opulent yet somehow restrained, too. The burnished goldish yellowish finish is warm and rich, perfect when contrasted with taupe organic linens.
Melange Montage Poster Bed by Hooker Furniture, Queen, $2,508 at Houzz.com
For years, Candice Olsen did the most upscale rooms on her HG-TV, showcasing her signature style of contemporary spiced up with some sparkling glam. This bed is pure Candice. We love those graphic vertical grooves.
Marlina Bed by Candice Olsen, King $1777 (sale), regularly $2,539 at Horchow.com
Fresh and Natural
Crisp, modern bed softened with the natural feel of rattan. Totes elegant yet youthful, too. Perfect if you want a zen vibe or even Swedish feel in your bedroom.
Cecilia Bed, Queen $999 at CB2.com
Opulent and Formal
Cut-out shape. Custom, handpainted designs layered on in gold, with a Chinoiserie feel as well. This bed frame is crafted with the same kind of obsessive care we put into our adjustable beds.
Venetian Bed by Baker. Price depends on features. Available through various retailers.
Bamboo-look rattan has a light, open feeling. It puts us in the mind of some Mid Century Modern bamboo furniture. There’s also a feeling of freshness that comes from painting it this lovely, milky green blue. Nice juxtaposition with our bed.
Blue Bernadette Headboard, Queen $479 at OneKingsLane.com
The luxe brown leather and spare, straight lines put us in the mind of legendary interior designer Jean-Michel Frank.
Marseilles Panel Bed, Queen $3952 from RestorationHardware.com (with $100 membership pricing)
Made for the masses, Heywood Wakefield was one of the top furniture makers in the 40s and 50s. Their solid birch furniture has bold modern swagger and is extremely high quality. This bed is a recreation of one of their classic designs to fit the proportions of modern mattresses. Responsibly-sourced wood, 100% made in America.
Stylemaster Bed by Heywood Wakefield, Queen $1,495 at Heywood Wakefield.com
Old World charm tempered by cool silver and an amazing gold inlay. The brushed metal feel of the paint adds lustre and a feeling of depth to the bed, and those undulating lines are everything.
Enchanted Evening Bed by Theodore Alexander Argento, King $5,826 at Houzz.com
Make Your Own
Architectural pieces, giant canvasses, pillows in window frames, old doors … the possibilities are only limited by your creativity. Attach them to the wall and push our bed on front. Done. As longtime interior design fans, we thought we’d seen it all, but this macramé-meets-needlepoint headboard blew our minds. How great would it look with our grey beds? (Answer: Great!)
Photo credit: Architecture Art Designs
We hope our tour through the world of bed frames, luxury beds and headboards has sparked some ideas for you. Again, we encourage you to call our Customer Care team at 800.456.7383 if you’d like to see if your frame will play nice with one of our adjustable beds. We also invite you to share a bed frame that you love and think would look great with one of our adjustable beds. In fact, we dare you!
Technology and sleep have a complicated relationship. The Industrial Revolution brought about massive disruptions to our natural sleep patterns, and much of the technology that’s so integral to our daily existence continues to make it difficult to fall asleep at night—not to mention the havoc it wreaks on the sleep of teens, who need shut-eye more than anyone else.
And yet technology has also given rise to great improvements in sleep. Apps give us greater insight into our nightly sleeping patterns, advances in bed and linen technology allows for a completely optimized sleep experience, and a seemingly endless array of new gadgets has popped up to fulfill our every sleep need.
So what’s the verdict? Is technology good for sleep, or bad? The answer is yes. While staring at your iPhone in bed until you’re ready to turn in is still not a smart idea, some technology was created with the specific science of sleep in mind, and can seriously up your sleep game.
In fact, there’s so much incredible sleep technology out there that it can be difficult to figure out which products are right for you! That’s why we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite bedroom gadgets to help you sleep better each night, and wake up feeling amazing each morning.
This futuristic-looking sleep tracker measures and monitors your sleep behavior, while also keeping close tabs on bedroom conditions—things like light, noise, temperature, humidity, particulates in the air, etc. Even cooler: if you use the alarm feature, it will sense when you’re in the lightest part of your sleep cycle and wake you up then.
For those of us who aren’t morning people, getting out of bed when the alarm goes off can be quite challenging—even if we’re at the lightest stage of our sleep cycle, it’s all too tempting to just hit snooze and slide back into slumber. That’s what makes the iQ alarm clock so brilliant: the only way to get it to stop going off is to answer certain questions that require a modicum of lucidity to solve. This gets your brain activated first thing in the morning, helping to sharpen your problem-solving skills and making it that much less likely that you’ll slip back to sleep.
3. USB heated slippers
On an icy winter morning, there are a lot of reasons to want to stay in bed—not the least of which is dreading the sensation of the cold floor on your feet. That’s when these USB-heated slippers come to the rescue. These ultra-cozy slippers have USB-powered heating units that distribute warmth throughout the slippers to keep your toes nice and toasty.
Having high-quality music in your bedroom can enhance every experience—relaxing at the end of a long day, gearing up for the day in the morning, getting dressed for a big event. However, having bulky speaker systems and wires hooked up in the space you sleep doesn’t create a relaxing, sleep-friendly environment. That’s why these premium Bluetooth speakers are so brilliant: they clip to you bed’s foundation, letting you fill your room with sound while retaining the peaceful aesthetic of your bedroom.
These cordless, stylish cubes look almost like modern art pieces, but they’re actually extremely functional. Each cube monitors temperature, humidity, air quality, noise, light, and pressure in the room and sends this information to the cloud so that you can access it anywhere. They also send you alerts when conditions in your bedroom are suboptimal, and even let you know when it’s time to dim the lights in the evening!
Now seeking funding on Kickstarter, this cool solar-powered gadget clips to your (vertical or horizontal) venetian blinds and adjusts how much light is let in based on weather, room temperature, and light conditions. Not only is this an easy, hands-off way to keep your bedroom conditions perfect, it can also save you a lot on your energy bill!
This isn’t your mom’s humidifier. The Osmos automatically shuts off when optimal humidity level is reached, and sends you a notification when it needs refilling or the filters need to be replaced. You can also control it from your mobile device, making it easier than ever to combat dry air in your bedroom.
An included feature in our 9T adjustable foundation, the under-the-bed nightlight solves the whole groping-around-for-a-light-switch-in-the-dark problem, helping you make it safely across the room if the need for a midnight bathroom trip should arise.
Whether it’s for a lazy morning or an intimate evening, you can create the perfect mood with this innovative and striking mood lighting. You can control the light mood from your smartphone, smartwatch, or tablet, and totally transform your room with just a few taps!
10. Nest Thermostat
The Nest has been around for a while, but it’s such a brilliant, simple, and useful device that it merits a place on this list. With auto-scheduled temperatures, a Wi-Fi-enabled remote control, and serious energy-saving benefits, the Nest is a no-brainer for creating your perfect sleep sanctuary.
Plug in, log on, power up…and then, drift off.
When was the last time you changed your bed sheets?
Hang on—we’re not talking about just putting on a fresh pair when the last set goes in the wash. We’re talking about a more substantial change, a change that could seriously impact the sleep quality of you and your loved ones: we’re talking about bed sheets fabric.
When it comes to the bedding material you’re probably used to most conversation centering around high thread count sheets. If you’re going with cotton bed sheets, this is certainly a valid point to consider, but the thing is: there are a whole lot of other options out there.
In recent years, technological innovations have led to an explosion in the bed sheet choices available to consumers. From twists on traditional fabrics to totally new ones to a seemingly endless array of treatments you can use to customize a fabric entirely to your liking, the question of material is anything but immaterial.
Bed Sheet Materials
- Polyester: An environmentally-friendly alternative, which has a smooth, satin sheet feel. Reverie uses enhanced performance polyester in our products.
- Cotton: A soft, fluffy fiber that provides breathable comfort. Reverie uses organic cotton in our products.
- Viscose: More commonly known called rayon, this manmade fiber closely simulates natural fabrics, providing a cool, smooth feel.
Staple fiber yarn, also known as spun yarn, is any yarn made up of short-length fibers, called staples. They come in a wide variety of forms.
- Tencel: A natural raw material that is 100% biodegradable, while also providing excellent moisture-wicking properties. Reverie uses Tencel fabric in our products.
- Kapok: Silky, natural fibers that are moisture-resistant and temperature regulating. Frequently used as a filling for comforters and pillows.
- Silk: Stronger than steel, silk creates a delicate and luxurious texture while also helping to regulate body temperature.
- Cashmere: A natural fiber with excellent natural softness, cashmere is very effective at keeping you toasty.
Filament yarn describes yarns in which single filaments are grouped together and then twisted until they become workable. Many modern fabrics are made from filament yarns.
- Tactel Fabric: An incredibly soft fiber known for its excellent moisture management and breathability.
- CoolPlus: A powerful tool against humidity, CoolPlus keeps the skin dry and cool. Reverie offers CoolPlus on a number of our pillows and bed linens.
- Emana: This intelligent yarn improves blood circulation when in contact with the skin for more than six hours—and has even been shown to reduce cellulite and increase skin elasticity.
- Rev-Cool: A permanent phase changing cooling fabric that provides heat transfer properties very close to metal, while remaining soft and flexible. It can cool you down instantly at the touch for a better night’s sleep. Also featured on many Reverie products.
If no material has everything you’re looking for, have no fear. With a plethora of treatments available, you can customize your sleeping experience to no end. Here’s a sampling if what’s out there:
- Aegis: Offers protection against dust mites and bacteria using a non-migrating permanent nano-coating on the fiber, specially designed to deactivate microorganisms. Stays fixed on the fabric.
- Ultrafresh Silpure: An antibacterial treatment based on natural silver. Protects against harmful and odor-causing bacteria. Can fight bacteria and contamination and maintain freshness. Naturally anti-static and highly durable.
- Ecoshield: Using a 100% natural active ingredient, eucalyptus citriodora oil, Ecoshield protects fabrics from insects. Provides protection against insects (bed bugs, dust mites, mosquitoes, moths,) while remaining harmless to human beings. Resistant to multiple washings.
- Rev-Tek: A nanotechnology that keeps you dry and comfortable, offering coolness, breathability, durability, and moisture-wicking properties. Naturally soft, Rev-Tek maximizes performance over time. Available on Reverie products.
Still want more? Bed linens can now come with a whole host of add-ons, including:
- Fire retardant treatments
- Water and stain repellents
What’s more, this overview just barely scratches the surface on the amazing new bedding materials available. We’re thrilled to offer many of these treatments and fabrics to our consumers, and are excited at the prospect of adding new options as technology advances.
Is Mom picky? Has she reached a point in her life where she doesn’t need anything? We get it, but it’s no excuse, because we’re here to help. For our Mother’s Day Gifts guide, we focused on things that were more unusual, luxurious and/or high on thoughtfulness (like Mom). Many ideas involve the gift she values most of all: your time.
High Tea for two, $130-$170, depending on the menu. Price typically includes tip.
Check to see if there’s a local tea room or a high-end hotel that offers high tea in your area. An elegant ritual, it’s all about fancy tablecloths, scones, dainty sweets, petit fours, superb tea and your company — Mom will be in heaven.
Mom engraved idiom bangle by Kate Spade, $58
All those little things Mom used to tell us for our own good are engraved in one little bracelet, along with this fitting phrase: say thank you. Perfect, because she’ll be reminded of your gratitude whenever she wears it. Gleaming, 12K gold-plated metal, and it comes in a cool Kate Spade box. Also available in silver. So cute, it will never last.
Painting and Wine night for two, around $70 (wine extra)
Does Mom like art and/or wine? Did we really need to ask that, lol? In many cities, venues have sprung up that host a night of painting with all the materials supplied, including Painting With a Twist and Paint Nite. No painting expertise needed; the canvases are pre-drawn and there’s an instructor to guide the class. Wine is BYOB or served for an extra charge. This gig is only fun with company, so go with mom and leave with some wall art.
Sweet Zone™ Latex Pillow by Reverie®, $140
Does Mom find it hard to sleep because she gets hot? Is she having any neck issues? Reverie brings the ultimate in science to a truly luxurious pillow. Firm support for her neck and a soft zone to cradle her head. Core is made of naturally derived Talalay latex with a cover made from moisture-wicking CoolPlus™ fiber.
Cooking class for two at Sur La Table, $140-$160
Being a foodie is all the rage, and many culinary schools and upscale cookware retailers offer classes. The schedule at Sur La Table is extensive, and some classes are listed as “hands-on,” meaning instead of just a demo, you and Mom get to cook. At Sur La Table, classes are available most nights and weekends. If you can wait to book until the date gets close, you may be able to fork over significantly less cash.
Sony Waterproof Walkman. Available at Best Buy or online. $99.99.
Does Mom like to swim, walk or work out? These user-friendly wireless MP3 player/headphones set her free from annoying cords and can even be worn in the pool. Eight long hours of battery life, 4GB capacity and several beautiful colors.
Dinner for two, $75-$150.
And only you. Trust us, there are few things mom values more than spending quality time with you. So leave your significant other and the kids at home for a change. Make a reservation at a nice restaurant that isn’t noisy, with comfortable seating and where the staff won’t rush you. At the end of the night, you’ll feel like it was a gift to yourself, too.
Elation™ bed speakers from Reverie, $399
High-performance speakers designed to provide a surround-sound experience from your bed. The speakers attach to the bed legs, so they’re out of sight while delivering better acoustics for movies, music or gaming, if Mom’s into that. The system is also Bluetooth®-enabled, so it can be programmed to turn on or off automatically. Four high-end speakers and one subwoofer.
One-hour professional photo session, about $350-$750. Amateur, about $150-$250.
Even if Mom doesn’t like having her photo taken, she’d probably make an exception for some great photos of her with your kids. Engage a professional photographer to take some. Prices vary wildly, but you want these to be special, so avoid the portrait studio at the mall. This would also be a great gig for an amateur shutterbug with a DSLR; ask for some reccos on Facebook.
3-day package with Premier Room at Lake Austin Spa Resort
Mom alone, $2250, including $350 spa allowance.
Mom and you, $3650, including $350 spa allowance each.
If money is no object, send Mom to Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas. Located on Lake Austin, it’s one of America’s finest resorts, with high-end spa services, a five-star restaurant and cozy rooms with porches and zen gardens. Most packages include exercise classes and activities throughout the day, endless kayaking, meals and a spa allowance. At night, guests wander up to the indoor pool in their bathrobes for a late-night swim or to the spa. Significantly less-expensive deals than what we’ve listed here are available with free extra nights, etc., for guests who visit during off-peak days.
Not sure the perfect Mother’s Day gift is here? Check out our other Mother’s Day gifts guide, Ten Zen Gifts for Mom.
NOTE: We do not guarantee these items, their availability or their prices, which may fluctuate. Other than our own products, we have no affiliation with any of these companies.
Durable materials and increased lifespan notwithstanding, every mattress, no matter how sturdy, sees its last sleep. Eventually, an innerspring mattress weakens, the memory foam topper wears out, the cover grows thin, and every mattress eventually reaches the end of its days.
And when the time has come to buy a new mattress, you also need to figure out how to dispose of your old one (amid the myriad other decisions you’ll need to make about your new purchase).
Fortunately, the answer isn’t as complicated as you might fear. There are essentially three options: government collection, private collection, and recycling or mattress donation.
Most municipalities have specific procedures that must be followed when disposing of a used mattress, oftentimes including a certain manner of disposal (like putting the entire mattress in a specific type of bag) as well as a fee. You can check your local government’s website for the procedure in your area.
In a few states, including Connecticut, California, and Rhode Island, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) laws help alleviate the burden on the government workers (and reduce the number of consumers who shirk rules and simply dump their mattress on the street) by putting the responsibility on the mattress producer. With EPR laws, consumers pay a fee upfront when they buy their mattress to fund public collection and mattresses disposal, thus facilitating used mattress recycling.
But the best option by far, the one that’s good for your wallet, your city, and the environment, is to recycle your old mattress. Though people may not often think of a mattress as a recyclable item, in fact almost every component of a mattress can be recycled. Most municipal facilities won’t take your mattress, but there are an increasing number of private companies and non-profits that will pick up your mattress and recycle or repurpose it for free.
If you’re looking to recycle your mattress, the Mattress Recycling Council is a great resource to find a facility near you. Once you set up a time, they’ll pick up your mattress, bring it to their processing center, and break it down into its very useful component parts—polyurethane foam, cotton fiber, metal—to be reused for myriad other products.
An equally environmentally-friendly option, which could also help out someone in need, is mattress donation. Here at Reverie, we’ve found Salvation Army to be a wonderful resource for donating our used Sleep Systems, as well as several church-based charities in the area (Father Joe’s Village and Union Gospel Mission, specifically). To find a convenient resource near you, do a quick internet search or call up your local Salvation Army.
Not only will donating or recycling your mattress save you fees and hassle, it also makes a difference in the world.
And that difference is real: Currently, most mattresses and box springs end up in landfill or are dumped illegally, even though at least 85% of their mass could potentially be repurposed. What’s more, a mattress can take up as much as 40 cubic feet in a landfill, making their footprint significant. Fortunately, the efforts are working, and reprocessing practices in place today offset an estimated 45% of greenhouse gas emissions of mattresses from production to landfill.
Think of scented candles, essential oils, bushels of smoking incense. The aroma of freshly baked cookies is bound to boost your mood, while a bouquet of great-smelling flowers is often just what’s needed to restore goodwill in a relationship. Indeed there’s no doubt that smells are powerful, and people have been trying to harness the power of smell to affect mood for over 6,000 years.
The human nose contains 5 million olfactory receptors (dogs have about 250 million) and they’re connected to the limbic system, an ancient part of the brain that helps regulate many things including emotion and memory. In fact, people with schizophrenia, migraines, and depression tend to fare worse on objective tests of smell – this sense, experts have construed, plays a pretty large role in mood.
So we know smell can affect mood on some level. But the question is, how much control do we have over that effect? Are there certain smell cocktails that can reduce stress or improve your sleep?
What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the practice of deliberately using particular smells to create particular outcomes. Normally, oils are infused with scents like vanilla, peppermint, lavender, or tea tree and then either applied topically, used in massage, heated with candles, or diffused into the air.
Does it work?
Well, the research is a little limited. Despite the public’s interest in using aromatherapy as a tool for relieving anxiety, depression, and chronic health conditions, there’s little evidence that common essential oils have definitive health-boosting qualities.
But as far as aromatherapy for insomnia goes, there has been some pretty encouraging research. One of the most well-known is a 2006 study of 42 women with insomnia, which found that four weeks of treatment with lavender aromatherapy helped to relieve the symptoms of insomnia in addition to reducing symptoms of depression. More research from the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine found that lavender aromatherapy promoted deeper sleep among thirty-one healthy sleepers, and it has been shown to boost sleep quality and reduce crying in infants. Combining lavender and rosemary was also found to improve stress levels among college students, evidenced by lower pulse rates and anxiety tests.
The thing is, these studies were all performed with pretty small sample sizes, so it’s hard to draw definitive conclusions—and there are certainly competing studies that will convince you there’s no concrete physiological benefit to be had.
Should you try it?
There seems to be little risk in experimenting; it’s noninvasive, inexpensive, and safe. If nothing has seemed to solve your insomnia thus far, the bulk of promising research has been performed with lavender, so that's a great scent to get started with. At the very least, it’s a good excuse to have your partner give you a scented massage!
If you’re looking for reading to help you decide on the layout and décor for your bedroom, you might read some interior design books, a couple issues of House Beautiful Magazine, some articles on the HGTV website, and…the Book of Burial? The morbid title may not imply a trove of insights on curtain color and bed placement, but this classic Taoist work from the 4th century A.D. may actually be the only literature you need.
Written by the mystic Guo Pu, this ancient work was tremendously influential on the development of feng shui. You may have heard the term “feng shui” tossed about in relation to how the design and décor of your home can affect the flow of energy and overall atmosphere of a room. Literally translated as “wind and water,” the art of feng shui draws on Chinese principles of metaphics and the belief that an invisible energy, known as qi, unites everything in the universe. By arranging the objects in your life in a certain way, you allow qi to flow freely through them, thus cultivating good vibes in all your spaces.
In the bedroom, where you harness the life-renewing force of sleep, qi becomes perhaps more important than anywhere else. Make sure your bedroom is set up to be a peaceful, restorative, and lucky space by following the feng shui principles below: