Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Beating the heat and staying cool in bed in summer is no small task, especially when our homes are built to retain heat. 

The good news is you can reduce the awful clamminess of summertime sleeping with a mattress that dissipates heat and breathes. 

Some bed frames are also better for warm nights – slats are better than solid platforms – and low bed frames are better than high ones because hot air rises (your bedroom floor can be a degree colder than at waist height). 

Flippable Winter/Summer Mattresses

Two sides, one mattress - that's the beauty of flippable winter/summer mattresses with breathable memory gel or open-cell foam layers on one side to provide outstanding cooling and a cosy memory foam surface engineered for heat retention to combat the chill of winter on the other side. 

Here are some options:

Memory Gel Mattresses: A Cooling Marvel

Craving that signature memory foam hug without the night sweats? Memory gel mattresses infuse traditional foam with thousands of cooling gel beads that wick away body heat. 

These innovative beds sleep remarkably cool while offering the same pressure relief and contouring as regular memory foam. The gel dissipates excess warmth so you can experience supportive comfort without overheating.

Check out these mattresses:

Natural Fillings: Breathable Bliss

Materials like wool, cotton, and bamboo allow fresh air to circulate freely, preventing you from getting stuck in a sweltering sleep environment. 

Pictured: Sleepeezee Jessica 1800 Pocket Gel 4FT 6 Double Mattress. Priced £849 (Save £650 on RRP) Available from Bedstar. 

Organic cotton is one of the most popular natural mattress fillings. It creates a soft, breathable layer that feels more luxurious than polyester. Look for organic cotton that is grown sustainably without pesticides or other chemicals.

Wool mattress fillings, often from sheep, provide unmatched comfort and insulation. The natural lanolin in wool makes it antimicrobial, antibacterial, mould-resistant, and dust mite-resistant. Wool regulates temperature excellently, keeping you warm in winter yet cool in summer. It's also quite firm and supportive. 

We recommend these mattresses:

Pictured: Silentnight Mirapocket 1400 Puriel 4FT 6 Double Mattress. Priced £638 (Save £128 on RRP) Available from Bedstar. 

Mattresses with Vented Borders

Vented borders are a must-have in mattresses because they ensure the top comfort layers have adequate airflow by pushing warm air out when you move around, letting cool air rise up, and whisking heat away. 

Some mattresses have ventilation holes with small grilles, while others have a breathable border around the perimeter – both are decent. 

Maximise Airflow for a Refreshing Slumber

A ceiling fan or standing fan can provide a steady cross-breeze that introduces a little wind chill to your bedroom and makes it feel cooler. 

Blackout curtains block the greenhouse effect of direct sunlight warming up your room during peak daylight hours. 

Lightweight bedding made of linen, bamboo or other natural fibres that won't stick to your skin also improves breathability. 

Reduce Humidity 

Maintaining a comfortable ambient temperature via air conditioning or open windows (in cooler evenings) creates the ideal sleep climate.

Dehumidifiers are another good option. They remove moisture from your bedroom air, creating a dryer and less sticky environment. 

You can also get portable air conditioners, but these need venting. An alternative is a non-venting AC unit that uses ice packs, but these increase humidity. 

Summing Up

Flippable winter/summer designs, memory gel beds infused with cooling beads, and natural breathable materials like wool and cotton are all smart picks for hot weather slumber. 

That said, even the most advanced cooling mattress can only do so much on its own. You'll want to pair it with an open, slatted bed frame that allows airflow underneath. 

Ceiling fans, portable fans, and opening the windows at night are musts for encouraging cross-breezes, too.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Workplace Pregnancy Safety Tips for Employees in the UK (2024)

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it also brings with it the need for extra caution, especially in the workplace. For expectant mothers working in the UK, understanding your rights and ensuring a safe environment is crucial for the health of both you and your baby. Here, we'll share some vital safety tips and the latest guidelines for pregnant employees in 2024.

Understanding Your Rights

Before diving into safety tips, it's important to know your rights as a pregnant employee in the UK:

  • Risk Assessment: Employers are legally required to conduct a risk assessment once they've been informed about your pregnancy.
  • Maternity Leave: You are entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, regardless of how long you've been with your employer.
  • Maternity Pay: You might be eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) for up to 39 weeks, depending on your employment status and earnings.
  • Protection from Discrimination: Under the Equality Act 2010, it's unlawful to discriminate against someone because they are pregnant or on maternity leave.

Workplace Safety Tips for Pregnant Employees

1. Communicate with Your Employer

  • Inform Early: Notify your employer about your pregnancy as soon as possible. This allows them to carry out a timely risk assessment.
  • Discuss Adjustments: Talk through any necessary adjustments to your role or working conditions with your employer.

2. Understand the Risk Assessment

  • Personalised Attention: Ensure that the risk assessment is specific to your role and takes into account your particular needs.
  • Regular Reviews: As your pregnancy progresses, your capabilities and risks may change, so regular reassessment is vital.

3. Be Aware of Workplace Hazards

  • Chemicals: Avoid exposure to toxic substances which can include cleaning products, pesticides, or heavy metals.
  • Heavy Lifting: Refrain from heavy lifting or strenuous physical activity that may cause strain.
  • Long Standing Periods: Request opportunities to sit if your job requires long periods of standing.
  • Stress: Manage stress levels through regular breaks, delegation, and support from colleagues and management.

4. Manage Work Hours and Stress

  • Flexible Working: Consider requesting flexible working hours to accommodate medical appointments and energy levels.
  • Breaks: Take regular, short breaks throughout the day to rest and maintain hydration and nutrition.
  • Support System: Build a support system at work with understanding colleagues and supervisors.

5. Use Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Correct Fitting: Ensure that any PPE you use fits correctly and is comfortable as your body changes.
  • Relevant Equipment: Request alternative equipment if necessary, such as a chair with better support or an adjustable workstation.

6. Plan Your Maternity Leave

  • Early Planning: Discuss your maternity leave plans with your employer well in advance.
  • Know Your Rights: Be clear about your maternity rights and the policies of your company.

7. Seek Legal Advice if Necessary

  • Legal Support: If you believe your rights are being infringed upon or your safety is compromised, seek advice from a legal professional.


Maintaining a safe work environment during pregnancy is not just the responsibility of the employer, but also the employee. By understanding your rights, communicating with your employer, and taking proactive steps to manage risks, you can ensure a healthier and safer pregnancy while at work. Always remember that your well-being and that of your unborn child take precedence, and do not hesitate to seek support when you need it.

For the most current information and guidance, consult with your HR department, and keep abreast of any changes in legislation or workplace policies that affect pregnant employees in the UK. Stay safe, informed, and empowered throughout your pregnancy journey at work.

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