Top Tips for Choosing the Best Mattress

Choosing a mattress is all about personal preference. Factors such as budget and size play a role, but so does your natural sleeping position. What feels like heaven to one person can mean morning aches and pains for another. What complicates the decision even further is the huge range of available options, both online and in your high street store.

From traditional to new-age bed-in-a-box mattresses, and all the pocket-sprung alternatives, anyone looking to buy a new matress is faced with a ton of options. But there's good news too; choosing the right mattress for your sleeping position becomes a lot easier when you have just a few facts at your disposal. Here are our top tips for choosing the best mattress for a great night's sleep.


How Often Should You Change Your Mattress?


The National Bed Federation advises we change our mattresses every seven years. Some of the indicators that you need a new mattress include the realisation that you aren't sleeping as well as you're used to, and finding that you sleep better in other beds. Waking up with a painful stiffness in the joints is another tell-tale sign you need to start thinking about changing your mattress.


Sleeping on the right kind of new mattress means that you'll move about less, and you won't be disturbed as much by a restless partner.  You’ll also be less likely to wake up with aches and pains, or feeling groggy.


Which Size Mattress Do You Need?


The UK 's Sleep Council has warned for years that we don't buy the right size beds for our needs. A lot of people, for example, don’t realise that a double bed is a lot narrower than two single beds. This means it's virtually impossible for two people to sleep in the same bed without disturbing each other. Simply moving up to a King Size bed can make all the difference.


Having your sleep disrupted by a partner is the main cause of poor sleep. This means that if you're sleeping next to a partner regularly, you need a bed that as large as the bedroom allows. Another problem is that UK and European sizes differ, so always check that your new mattress is the appropriate size for the bedframe.


Should You Try Before You Buy?


Your mattress should not only be the correct size, but it also needs to provide adequate levels of comfort and support, so 'try before you buy' makes a lot of sense. You can either try it out in the shop by taking the time to lie on the mattress in your natural sleeping position. If you buy one online, look for mattress providers who offer extended trial periods.


Which Mattress Type Is Best for You?


There are five main categories of mattress to choose from, each with their own pros and cons:


The Pocket Sprung Mattress


Due to the springs sewn into individual fabric pockets, this kind of mattress has a springy, bouncy, feel. The tension of the springs is adjustable, which makes it both durable and supportive. Pocket-sprung mattresses come filled with different materials, like wool, for instance, which is ideal for breathability and comfort. But unlike memory foam and latex, they won't wam you or mould to your body while you sleep.


The Memory Foam Mattress


While memory foam mattresses are famous for their ability to mould to your sleeping shape, they lack the bounciness of the pocket sprung variety. They do, however, make it less likely you'll be disturbed by the person sleeping next to you. Memory foam keeps its shape well, and many of the newer mattresses come ready-rolled, or even vacuum-packed. This means they fit easily into the boot of your car, or can be delivered hassle-free to your doorstep. One drawback is that they do hold body heat and can make you feel clammy and hot, especially if yours is very soft.


The Latex Mattress


A latex mattress is very similar to memory foam but with more spring. Natural latex is superior to the synthetic type and is also resistant to dust mites and mould. latex mattresses come in two varieties, Talalay Latex, which is soft and light, and the denser, heavier Dunlop Latex. Both are prone to holding body heat, but the good news is that some latex mattresses come with durability levels of 20-years or more.


The Hybrid Mattress


These mattresses allow you to combine different properties of various mattress types. For example, you could buy a pocket-sprung core for the bounciness, with a top layer of foam to achieve a moulding effect.


Open and Continuous Coil Mattresses


The first is constructed from single springs held together by a single wire, while the second variant uses a single, looped wire. The most budget-friendly of all mattresses, they have a reputation for being uncomfortable, and because the entire mattress moves when you do, are not suitable for sleeping next to a partner. Coil mattresses also wear out fast, and are prone to sag in the middle, which means you could well wake up nose to nose with your partner!


Which is the Best Mattress for My Sleeping Position?


Different sleeping positions demand different levels and different kinds of support, so it makes sense to choose a mattress that suits your needs.


Side Sleepers


Side sleepers need a mattress that provides ample pressure relief, especially where the body pushes into the mattress most. The pocket sprung variety is probably best, but there are some latex and memory foam mattresses that provide the same comfort. Side sleepers should stay away from overly firm mattresses, which can cause pain in the pressure points.


Front Sleepers


Both latex and pocket sprung mattress work well if you prefer to sleep on your belly as they provide support in all the right places. Memory foam is a no-no as it can make you feel restrained.


Back Sleepers


Most mattress types work well for back sleepers. Look for one with a little give, but with enough support to keep your spine aligned during sleep.



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