Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How to choose the best air mattress

Buying the best air mattress for camping or home use might’ve been a walk in the park some years ago, while they were still a “novelty”.
Today, though, we have a market saturated with mind-boggling amount of different models to pick from.
It’s a real jungle if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, so let’s try and make some sense out of that mess.
Shall we?

How far can we go with the price for a blow up mattress?

The first step is a biggy - let’s talk budget.
We all want as “painless” shopping as possible, right?  
Although the “bang for the buck” rule applies here, there are some corners to be cut as well. We won’t let ourselves be seduced by clever marketing strategies, rigged reviews and shiny features that prove only prove the 80-20 principle. So, let us dive right in and look at some of the basic ins and outs of choosing, interpreting the existing reviews of the air beds and choosing the best air mattress for your need.
If we want to save some cash, let’s look beyond the (for the most part) unnecessary additions that jack up the price, and focus on the basics.
Is NeverFlat pump a necessity?
I don’t think so…
Do we really need those gimmicky cup holders and/or cheap “free” pillows?
Do we absolutely have to have a suede layer on the sides?
Absolutely not!
You see where I’m going with this, right?
If finances are a concern, there’s a very simple rule of thumb we need to follow.
We’ll separate “must-haves” from “nice-to-haves”.
We’ll talk both categories, of course, but this is just a simple money-saving rule to start us off on the right path.

Best air mattress must-haves (with a side dish of some extra features)

We’ve split a good air bed performance factors into several categories:
  • Comfort
  • Durability
  • Air retention
  • Pump


Beds should be comfortable; it’s as simple as that.
So, let’s see all the cogs and tiny bits under the hood of a comfortable inflatable.
The overall comfort mostly depends on the innerworks of the model.
We can choose between:
  • Air chambers
  • Air beams
Air chambers are small air-storing pockets for air storage. Needless to say, we prefer chambered designs.
Here’s why:
  • They give a much better support than air beams, especially if there’s 30+ of them. The more air chambers, the better
  • They are all individual units, so we still have a mattress if one (or 3, or 4) pop a leak
  • They maintain a flat sleeping surface even after prolonged use. This means your bed won’t develop bulges or holes…
Flocked top, yes or no?
Flocked top feels much nicer to the touch than plain rubber, and it will keep your sheets riveted.
On the other hand, it’s just a pain to clean. Plush surface seems almost dust-magnetic, so you can expect it to get dirty quite often. Once you start cleaning it with a wet cloth, you just seem to group the dust into big clusters, so you’ll really have to give it a proper go.
So, it’s up to you.
Most people didn’t share positive experiences in their air bed reviews.
The main problem is the fact that you’re used to a certain height when it comes to pillows.
Ergo, if your pillowtop is too high, there’s nothing you can do about it except putting your head on the “leg side” of the bed.
If it’s too low, however, you can try to add an extra pillow, but that’s quite a tricky setup if you ask us.


Materials are the breaking point here.
Let’s talk PVC
Polyvinyl chloride is the most commonly used material when it comes to air mattresses.
Besides being cheap, there are some other factors that made it so:  
  • It’s waterproof, which is especially useful if you have a home patient
  • It’s very easy to clean. Washcloth and water should be more than enough
  • A bit of chemistry magic made PVC into a full-proof fire-retardant material
On the other hand:
  • PVC is much too hard to sleep on in its “natural” state. This calls for addition of substances called “plasticizers” to soften it up. This is where the whole phthalate controversy stems from. Phthalates were very dangerous, but they’re not used anymore (at least not by reputable manufacturers). Their molecules didn’t get bound to the surface, so they could fly off at any given moment and end up in our lungs. As I said, they’re not used anymore
Some other options:
  • Rubber
  • Textile-enhanced urethane
  • TPU – This is the one we need to say a couple of words about. Thermoplastic urethane is considerably lighter than PVC. It’s a very strong material, elastic and resistant to abrasion. This is by far the best choice when durability pops to mind, albeit, a bit heavier on the pocket

Pump and air retention

The ability to hold air is something we can’t do without when it comes to air beds.
Best air bed is the one that doesn’t leak air, period.
We’re not talking piercing and puncturing accidents here. First, we’re expecting the inflatable mattress to hold its air “in a vacuum”, without any outside influence. Second, we need it to do the same with one or two people sleeping on it (even if they’re what we like to call “restless sleepers”).
The key feature here are the seams and connections. They have to be glued perfectly to a fault and if they are, they can provide as good a sleeping surface as any mattress.
We also need a reliable valve that won’t let any air outside, and that’s glued to the material perfectly.
So, take a look at the mattress and the quality of the seams.
Are they glued properly?
Is there any glue sticking out?
Are there any visible “soft spots?  
The pumps come in all shapes and forms, but we don’t need to go overboard here. We want a good integrated pump that can both inflate and deflate the air bed. That’s it.
If you have some money to spare, a NeverFlat pump is a great idea. We don’t really need it, but it’s definitely convenient.
It monitors the air level within the mattress and activates automatically to bring it back to your desired setting. It’s so silent you can’t even hear it activate.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What different types of material can mattress toppers be made from?

What different types of material can mattress toppers be made from?

If you want to add some extra comfort to your mattress then investing in a mattress topper can be a great way of doing it. You do not have to spend huge amounts of money on a mattress topper; they come in many different varieties and can be made of several different materials. The type of mattress topper you choose will depend on the result you want to achieve.

Often it’s a good idea to look out for the best mattress toppers online, if you want to get up to date help with your choice. You will usually be able to choose from a selection of mattress toppers, and select the one that is best for you. Of course, the cost of a mattress topper can vary, based on the material it is made from.

Memory foam mattress toppers

Memory foam mattresses can be very expensive; memory foam mattress toppers offer a more affordable solution. They provide a high level of support during a night’s sleep. This can be especially useful if you suffer from any type of joint pain. This type of mattress topper can also alleviate some of the sensitivity to any night time movement of a bed partner. Some users of memory foam mattress toppers comment that they overheat during the night due to the absorption of body heat by the material. This problem can be avoided by purchasing a breathable memory foam mattress topper.
Mattress toppers made from wool
Wool mattress toppers are generally very soft and have a high level of durability. This durability makes up for the often high cost of purchase, in comparison with some other mattress toppers. This type of mattress topper is also ideal for people who suffer with allergies as it is made from natural and not synthetic materials. You should always check the labels on wool mattress toppers as they often need to be dry or steam cleaned, depending on what type of wool they are made from.

Mattress toppers made from down feathers

A down feather mattress topper is ideal for anyone who is looking to add a layer of softness to their bed; it is not the best choice if you are aiming to get some support from a mattress topper. This type of mattress topper is made from the down feathers of ducks or geese and tends to be fairly long lasting. This is also the ideal type of mattress topper to reduce the amount of unwanted movement in the night; so if you share a bed with someone who is restless, a down feather mattress topper may help you get a good night’s sleep.

Traditional egg crate mattress toppers

Egg create mattress toppers are generally the most common and the most reasonably priced. They tend to provide a decent level of comfort while also being fairly firm. One of the best things about this type of mattress topper is that it’s usually thin enough to roll up and take with you if you are staying over at a friend’s house or going on vacation.

All of these mattress topper materials can be a popular choice, depending on what you want from a mattress topper; memory foam provides support, wool is long lasting and natural, down feather is soft and egg crate is affordable and provides a decent level of comfort and support. The choice is yours.
My daughter has an egg crate on her bed. She loves it! I also find it gives an added bonus of keeping her from sliding around as she is still a toddler.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy New Year!

*dusts off keyboard*

Another year. No resolutions exactly. More like promises to myself and my daughter because really everything I do is being seen by her.

She's super fun. She's too smart and keeps me on my toes. She doesn't miss a beat. Even when you think she isn't paying attention... She's paying attention. 

Christmas was awesome. She got it this year. She understood what a present was and buying them for others and that they were surprises. When you asked her what to buy for a certain person for awhile the answer was always socks. She would name different colors or characters, but always socks. 

If I had to describe 2015 in one word it would be friends. We made a rad group of friends and had a lot of fabulous  times!  I'm curious what 2016's word will be!

How was your Christmas and New Years?

Monday, June 29, 2015

What are the benefits of different types of tile?

What are the benefits of different types of tile?

If you’re thinking about tiling your bathroom, your main considerations will be the kind of design you want to mimic and the type of tile you want to use. These decisions will be greatly influenced by both your own personal tastes and the budget you have available.
You may know what look you are hoping to achieve, and the end result you want; but it’s still a good idea to take a look at some bathroom tiling ideas. Looking at others work may spark your imagination and give you some great ideas you hadn’t thought of. Here are some of the different types of tile you may want to consider using.

Ceramic tiles

The title of ceramic tile actually refers to both porcelain and non-porcelain tiles that are made from clay, or a clay mixture. Although the term is more often used as a reference to non-porcelain tiles. This type of tile is easier to cut than a porcelain tile, and is generally cheaper to purchase, which can make it a good option if you have a restricted budget. It’s important to note that this type of tile is often not as hardwearing as a porcelain tile, so may need replacing more often.  

Porcelain tiles

Although they are still made of clay, porcelain tiles tend to be made by pressing porcelain clay so they are denser in their make-up. Glazed porcelain tiles tend to be much harder wearing than ceramic tiles, so they are suitable for bathrooms that are heavily used.

Slate Tiles

Slate is a dense natural stone that is very tough and is perfect for use on floors. Slate is often known for its cleft pattern, unless it has been smoothed.
As well as using them for flooring, slate tiles can help you create a great feature wall in your bathroom. Although they are usually available in black, green and grey, there are some other shades of slate tile available, such as blue, brown and gold.

Granite tiles

Granite can be expensive but it is incredibly durable and retains its sheen easily when it’s cleaned. This natural stone, which is created over millions of years, contains distinctive veins and specks of minerals which give it a unique character.

Marble tiles

Granite tiles are possibly more often found in kitchens, due to their durability. Marble tiles are a very popular choice in bathrooms, as marble is a softer material. Like granite, marble is formed naturally over long periods of time. As it forms, marble is affected by geographical events, and infused with mineral deposits, which give each piece of marble its own distinctive design.
If you have a limited budget available to tile your bathroom, then you may be restricted in the type of tile you can use. This doesn’t mean you can’t still achieve a beautiful look. Bathroom tiling isn’t all about the type of tile you use, it’s about how effectively the tiles are used too.