There’s nothing new under the sun. If you’re not familiar with this saying, it might seem ridiculous. But there’s a big difference between true innovation and incremental improvement. Most “new” products are actually just existing products newly packaged. Sometimes there’s an interesting new flavor or combination, but most of those developments are just tweaks, not genuinely new offerings.

Innovation or Improvement?

The birth of the modern mattress ushered in a paradigm shift as significant as the one triggered by the invention of the automobile. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that mattress makers started to incorporate health-promoting aspects for musculoskeletal support. Now, in 2015, companies want consumers to believe that every year brings life-changing new offerings. For the most part, it’s just not true. You shouldn’t rush to buy a new mattress just because a new feature has been added. When it’s actually the right time and you need a new mattress, it will be important for you to see the difference between improvement and innovation.

Here are two of the latest contenders for most impactful bedding invention.

The mattress that helps you cuddle.

It’s an age-old problem. Co-sleeping is less comfortable (at least physically) than sleeping alone. Nearly every couple is composed of one person who needs cuddles to fall asleep and a partner who is kept awake by all bodily contact. The cuddle mattress promises to deliver relief for both, as well as for couples who are compatible in their shared love of copious cuddling. This unique mattress was designed specifically to solve the comfort problems associated with snuggling.

A solid base section in the middle of the bed supports sleepers’ torsos. At the top and bottom, however, slits run horizontally across the mattress. Arms and legs engaged in cuddling can slip into the extra space created by these slits. At this point, the cuddle mattress is just an ambitious and inspired design. It’s not currently in production. But unless you have quite a bit of money to play with, our recommendation is that you do your cuddle experiments on more traditional mattresses.

The mattress that helps you make coffee.

That’s the claim. The Luna mattress cover is a smart accessory that connects your bed to the Internet of all things. It tracks your sleep, wakes you up at the perfect moment in your sleep cycle, and manages your bed’s temperature. It adapts over time as your life changes, and can be controlled remotely from your smartphone. It can even lock the doors or make coffee! Data about your sleep and nighttime movements gets sent to your phone for analysis, which means you won’t have to charge your activity tracker anymore. From our perspective, the best thing about the Luna cover is that it can be temporary. It’s sure to be the first of many smart products that deliver in-bed connectivity. At least with Luna, you can remove it after the few years it takes to become obsolete. You can expect your mattress to have a much longer life than that.

The future is now!

Is your body ready for a new bed? We can’t see any good reason to wait. Today’s bedding selection is diverse and complex, and that’s not likely to change. The most important aspects of getting a mattress that knocks your socks off are knowing what you want, communicating that to us, and making sure all your questions are answered before you buy. There’s a perfect mattress match for everyone. So we urge you to skip the shiny bells and whistles and get back to basics. Sleep is a basic necessity of life. Any bed option that gives benefits unrelated to sleep are likely gimmicks designed to take your focus off the truly important things.

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