This being National Bed Month an' all it got me thinking about beds and the fact that I've never really given this piece of furniture much thought, even though I spend the majority of my life sleeping on one!
Having just bought a new divan, I was horrified to see the state of my old mattress being taken out of the house for recycling (don't go there!) so decided it was time to have a chat with the experts before I bought a new one.
Enter Lisa Easterby, Floor Manager at Arighi's, who has to be one of the most knowledgable people I've ever spoken to about beds - who knew mattresses could be so interesting!
Q: So Lisa, what's the best bit about working in the Bed Department?
A: Well, aside from being able to lie down on the job (!) I love the relaxed atmosphere and the friendly team I have working with me. We all share ideas and have a say in how the beds and mattresses are presented, so it's creative as well as interesting work. And of course, the best bit has to be chatting with customers and being able to offer them advice - it's great when someone buys a mattress you know they're going to be happy with.
Q: What are your top tips for choosing a mattress?
A: It's surprising how many people don't take the time to try before they buy, so we always encourage customers to take off their coats and shoes and to lie down properly, with a partner if they have one, as their weight makes a difference too.
Lie down as you would at home, so on your side or stomach, to make sure the mattress feels right. The springs need to follow the body shape so when you're lying on your side, your shoulders and hips need to sink into the mattress allowing it to support your body. And don't be embarrassed to do this - remember, we've seen it all before and our job is to make sure you're comfortable and happy.
Spend as much money as you can afford. There's a phrase - 'Buy cheap. Buy Twice' - and I think it definitely applies to mattresses. It's worth investing as much as you can in something you use every day, and if you look after it properly it'll last you a long time. It's also worth remembering, a well-chosen mattress is good for your spine as well as your sleep.
Q: Why are there soooooo many mattresses to choose from, and such a big price range. A mattress is a mattress surely?
A: Ahh, you might think so but that's not the case. We stock mattresses and beds across a huge price range but our main priority is quality, so customers can feel happy whatever their budget. Mattresses vary so much, depending on the type and number of springs, the various fillings there are, whether there's hand stitching involved, which helps to support the edge of the mattress....I could go on!
Q: There's obviously more to this mattress malarkey than meets the eye. But if you had to choose Lisa, which mattress would you take home tomorrow?
A: It would have to be the 'Magnificence'. I mean, who could resist that much mattress! It's seven foot wide for goodness sake, and gorgeous. You only have to sit on it to know it's special. All our mattresses are fab, but this one is pretty unique. It's entirely handmade, down to the individual stitching on the side, and includes every kind of filling from mohair, to horse hair, to cashmere to silk. I just don't have a spare twenty five thousand pounds to buy it!