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Bedside manner
Mattress buying guides for women

By Joan Brunskill
The Associated Press

With two different kinds of customers in mind, the Simmons Bedding Co. has published two online shopping guides for women setting out to buy new mattresses.

  • “A Girl’s Guide to Mattress Shopping,” styled with a graphically cool young woman on the pink cover, is geared for first-time buyers.

  • “A Woman’s Guide to Mattress Buying” is angled for the experienced buyer, like the more mature woman photographed smiling through her eyeglasses on that cover.

    The guides can be accessed on the Web site: www.simmons

    It’s not unreasonable to target women, said James B. Maas, Cornell University social psychology professor known for his work on sleep research, author of “Power Sleep.”

    “Women have more insomnia than men, I certainly think they ought to have a major say in the choice of a couple’s mattress.”

    Given that the other partner may have different sleep patterns, Maas’ advice is to “look for low motion transfer” so that you both don’t bounce if one is a restless sleeper. The mattress label may refer to its level of motion separation — it’s a function of the coil count, and the higher the better.

    Maas spoke by phone from a cruise ship on the Red Sea where he was lecturing on sleep. “Americans are slowly learning that they have to value sleep as a necessity, not a luxury,” he said, adding that he tells people, “The whole reason for a good night’s sleep is a better tomorrow.”

    He said in passing that he found the ship’s gentle rocking quite nicely soporific.

    Both mattress-shopping guides’ shopping tips start with the same advice: “Knowledge is power. Before you visit a store, go online and research mattress brands and styles.”

    First-time buyers are then told to take their time, shop the sales — and, girls, don’t wear a skirt, because it’s less awkward to test-climb beds in pants or jeans.

    Women are advised to shop with their partner, so they can test mattresses together. And they’re tactfully reminded that new mattresses are thicker now, so sheets they bought the first time around may no longer fit over them.

    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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