Protecting Your Mattress and Yourself
So you are buying or have just bought a new mattress. The sales person at the store, customer service rep on the phone, or the website selling the mattress recommends buying a mattress protector, too. "Why," you ask, "do I need a mattress protector?"
Good question. Why or why not? We don't like the idea. For one thing, it's one more thing to buy. For another thing, we may remember the uncomfortable plastic sheets our parents put on mattresses when we...
The Smart Bed Revolution
Two co-workers wait in line to get their breakfasts at Benny's Bagel & Coffee Bar before going up to their 11th floor office. Joe says, "You look mighty fresh today, Mike. Must have had a good night's sleep."
"I did," says Mike. "I've been sleeping better since we bought that new bed a month ago. Even better now than when we first got it."
"What kind of bed is it?"
"It's one of those new smart beds."
"Smart bed? You've got to be kidding! Beds aren't smart....
Silica and Sleep
A popular song recorded in 1954¹ begins with, "Mr. Sandman, bring me a dream." An old nursery rhyme says, "The Sandman's coming in his train of cars / With moonbeam windows and with wheels of stars."
Both of these verses are about the mythical Sandman of folklore in Northern Europe. The imaginary Sandman caused people to sleep, then sprinkled magical sand on them to bring good dreams. The "sand" in the stories refers to grainy particles most people have in...
What Chemicals Are in My Bedding?
The public, not only in America, but in Europe and the rest of the world, has become keenly aware of the use of chemicals in commonly used items. One major industrial firm1 used the slogan, "Better Living Through Chemistry" until dropping it in response to public concerns over the effects of many chemical compounds on health and the environment.
It has become fashionable to deride or hold in suspicion anything labeled "chemical" or "synthetic." But this...
Ubiquitous Vinyl - It Is Everywhere
Vinyl - it is literally everywhere. It covers our houses, carries water into the house and sewage out, and bags our food and our garbage. It is hard; it is soft. It can be the box and the wrapping. We can pour out of it, drink from it, eat off it, and eat with it. It can protect our mattress, and in some cases can be the mattress. And it can be the casing on our remote.
So what is vinyl? And how can it be used for so many things?
When we say...
What Are Performance Fabrics?
John is looking for a lightweight jacket, one to keep him dry and cool on a rainy summer day. He finds a Windbreaker online "with performance fabrics."
"Huh?" he thinks, "What's that?"
Mary needs another jogging outfit. She wants to stay cool and dry, not soggy and itchy as in the old running clothes. Aha! Here on Amazon is a top-and-shorts combo made of "high level performance fabric."
"Okay," she mutters, "They're throwing all these new-fangled terms at...
Pillow Top or Euro Top:
What's the Difference?
Jack and Jill are shopping for a new mattress. They visit a couple of mattress stores, several furniture stores, and a department store. Just so they don't miss anything, they check the Internet. Jill read that some brands and models are sold only online.
"Hey!" Jack says, "We didn't see that when shopping for our first mattress."
"That must be something new," Jill remarks.
"We've had the Serta for over...
Lyocell, better known by the brand name Tencel®, is a cellulosic fiber. This means that it is regenerated cellulose. Natural cellulose is dissolved from wood pulp and extruded into filaments which are spun into threads and yarns for textile production.
Tencel® is the brand name used for lyocell produced by Lenzig AG, an Austrian company. Lenzig bought American Enka, the company that first produced lyocell, and it is now the only large scale producer.
What Are You Sleeping on?
The Ingredients List for Mattress Recipes
What are you sleeping on? A few of the readers of this article may sleep in a sleeping bag or on folded blankets or quilts on a sleeping mat or an air mattress, especially if they are camping at the time and using a smart phone or tablet. Most of us, however, sleep on beds of one sort or another, also including sofas, futons, semi sleepers, and built-in beds.
The most common configuration for a bed in North America is a...
Aloe Vera: The Succulent Ingredient
Aloe is a succulent plant which grows naturally in desert and semi-desert areas. Used for thousands of years as the source of medicinal and cosmetic products, this plant has been so widely cultivated that identifying its place of origin is a matter of educated guessing. It is also known by other Latin names, but the official one is Aloe vera.
The three most active substances in Aloe vera are derived from hydroxyanthrone. Collectively they are called...