mattress buying guide

Discover the ultimate Mattress Buying Guide, covering types like memory foam, hybrid, and tips for choosing by comfort, size, and sleep position.

1. How to choose the right mattress

When choosing a mattress, you need to take into account your personal sleeping habits, your health and your budget. A good mattress can significantly improve the quality of your sleep and help relieve back pain and other physical discomforts. This guide is designed to provide comprehensive information to help you make an informed decision.

Next, let's dive into the different types of mattresses and find out which one is best for you.

2. Comparing Mattress Types

2.1 Memory Foam vs Spring Mattresses

  • Memory Foam Mattress Advantage: Memory foam mattresses are favoured for their perfect support for the body. This material adapts to the contours of your body based on body temperature and weight, thus reducing pressure points. They are particularly suitable for sleepers with chronic pain or those who wish to reduce the number of turns. In addition, the shock-absorbing properties of memory foam mean that you are less likely to be disturbed if your partner is active at night.
  • Spring mattress features: spring mattresses, also known as innerspring mattresses, are known for their firm support and excellent breathability. These mattresses are ideal for people who prefer a firmer sleeping surface, especially back and stomach sleepers. The distribution of the springs also provides even support and reduces the risk of your body settling.

2.2 Gel Foam Mattresses

Gel Foam Mattress Features and Benefits:Gel foam mattresses combine all the benefits of traditional memory foam with the addition of gel particles for improved heat management. This mattress is ideal for people who typically feel hot or live in warm climates. The gel foam provides stable support while keeping you cool and avoiding overheating.

2.3 Mattress in a Box

Convenience of mattresses in a box: mattresses in a box are a popular choice in the online buying market because they offer easy shipping and installation. These mattresses are usually made of memory foam, gel, or a mix of materials that offer different comfort and support options. Another advantage of mattresses in a box is that they usually offer a trial period, allowing you to fully experience the comfort of the mattress before making a final decision to purchase.

After learning about the different types of mattresses available, you may be curious about how you can choose the comfort level of your mattress based on your personal preferences. The next section will detail the different comfort levels of mattresses to help you make the best choice.

3. Mattress Comfort Selection

Choosing the right level of mattress comfort is critical to getting a good night's sleep. There are five levels of mattress comfort: extra soft, soft, medium, firm, and extra firm. Understanding the characteristics of each comfort level will help you make the best choice based on your personal preferences and sleep habits.

  • Ultra-soft mattresses: These mattresses offer the ultimate soft feel for sleepers who like to sink into their mattresses. They usually use a high-density foam layer that provides good body support. Ultra-soft mattresses are particularly suitable for people who are lightweight, side sleepers or those who prefer a soft sleeping sensation.
  • Soft mattresses: Soft mattresses are slightly firmer than ultra-soft mattresses, but still offer a higher level of comfort and better support. They are ideal for side sleepers because of the ability to properly relieve pressure on the hips and shoulders.
  • Medium Firm Mattress: this is the most versatile type of mattress and is suitable for most sleepers. They offer the perfect balance of comfort and support and are suitable for back sleepers and people of medium weight.
  • Firm mattresses: firm mattresses provide firmer support and are suitable for back and stomach sleepers. These mattresses distribute weight effectively, reduce body sinkage and help maintain the natural curvature of the spine.
  • Extra-firm mattresses: Extra-firm mattresses are the firmer type and offer the least amount of cushioning. They are ideal for sleepers who need extreme support, especially those with back problems.

Having learnt about mattress comfort, you may be wondering how to choose the right mattress size. The next section will detail the standard UK mattress sizes to help you find the best mattress for your bedroom space and individual needs.

4. Mattress size guide

Choosing the right mattress size is equally important as it directly affects the quality of your sleep and the comfort of your bedroom. There is a wide range of standard UK mattress sizes to suit different needs and space sizes. Below are common mattress sizes and what makes them unique:

  • Small single mattress (75cm x 190cm): suitable for children or small spaces used by a single person. This size of mattress is ideal for a small bedroom or guest room.
  • Single mattress (90cm x 190cm): standard single mattress size for teenagers or single adults. It provides enough space for an individual without taking up too much bedroom space.
  • Small Double Mattress (120cm x 190cm): this is a more spacious option suitable for a single person, or two people sharing where space is limited.
  • Double mattress (135cm x 190cm): the double mattress is ideal for couples or shared partners. Offering enough space to ensure a comfortable night's sleep, it is also suitable for most standard double bedrooms.
  • King Size Mattress (150cm x 200cm): offers more space than a standard double and is suitable for couples who prefer a more spacious sleeping area.
  • Extra King Size Mattress (180cm x 200cm): offers plenty of space for couples looking for maximum space and comfort. This size mattress is particularly suited to larger bedrooms.
  • Emperor Mattress (200cm x 202cm) and King Mattress (215cm x 217cm): these are the largest mattress sizes on the market and offer a luxurious sleeping experience. They are suitable for very spacious bedrooms and are perfect for sleepers who want maximum space and comfort.

Once you have chosen the right size mattress, it is equally important to understand how to choose a mattress based on your sleep position. The next section will discuss how different sleep positions affect your mattress choice and help you find the best mattress for your individual sleeping habits.

5. Choosing a mattress based on your sleep position

Your sleep position is critical to choosing the right mattress, as different positions require different levels of support and comfort. Understanding your primary sleep position can help you choose the type of mattress that's best for you.

  • Back and tummy sleepers: Back and tummy sleepers need firm support from a mattress to maintain the natural curve of the spine. Medium to firm mattresses are the best choice because they prevent the body from sinking too much, especially in the lumbar area.
  • Side sleepers: Side sleepers typically experience more pressure on their shoulders and hips. Therefore, a soft to medium-firm mattress is more suitable as it properly relieves pressure on these areas and avoids the feeling of compression.
  • Hybrid sleepers: Hybrid sleepers change sleeping positions during the night and therefore need a mattress that provides proper support but is strong enough to adapt to their changing bodies. Medium-firm mattresses are often the best choice because they provide the right balance for a variety of sleeping positions.

After understanding how to choose a mattress based on your sleep position, you'll be better able to determine which mattress is best for you. In the final section of this guide, we'll summarise the key points of mattress selection to help you make an informed buying decision.

6. How to choose the best mattress

Choosing the best mattress is not a simple task. You need to consider the type of mattress, comfort, size and your sleeping position. Remember, the right mattress can significantly improve your sleep quality and overall health.

  • Consider all the factors: Be sure to consider all of these factors before making a final decision on your purchase. Consider your personal needs and preferences, such as whether you are prone to back pain, your weight and whether you tend to overheat. Don't forget to consider the needs of your sleep partner, as well as your budgetary constraints.
  • Trial experience: If possible, try out different types of mattresses to make sure they fit your sleeping habits. Many mattress companies offer a trial period, which is a great opportunity to see if a mattress is right for you.
  • Invest for the long term: Remember that buying a mattress is a long-term investment. Choosing a good quality mattress with a long warranty will ensure you enjoy a comfortable night's sleep for years to come.

Finally, don't forget that a mattress is only part of a good night's sleep. Make sure your bedroom environment is comfortable, quiet and conducive to relaxation so you can take full advantage of all the benefits of your new mattress.

Choosing the right mattress is an important decision, and we hope this guide will help you make an informed choice. Remember, the best mattress is the one that meets your individual needs and preferences. We wish you good dreams!



Q1: How do I know which mattress is right for me? 

A1: Consider your sleep position, any specific health concerns (like back pain), and personal preference for mattress firmness. Also, think about the mattress type that suits your lifestyle, such as memory foam for body contouring or springs for firmer support.

Q2: What type of mattress is best for a side sleeper? 

A2: Side sleepers often benefit from softer mattresses that cushion the shoulders and hips. Memory foam or medium-firm mattresses are generally good options.

Q3: Is a thicker mattress always better? 

A3: Not necessarily. The best mattress thickness depends on personal preference and body type. Heavier individuals might prefer thicker mattresses for extra support, while lighter individuals may find comfort in thinner options.

Q4: What should I look for when buying a new mattress? 

A4: Look for a mattress that aligns with your sleep position, provides the right level of support and comfort, fits your bed frame's size, and falls within your budget. Also, consider the material quality and warranty.

Q5: Which is better: spring or foam mattresses? 

A5: It depends on your preference. Spring mattresses offer firmer support and better airflow, which is beneficial for hot sleepers. Foam mattresses offer superior pressure relief and body contouring.

Q6: Are memory foam mattresses better than spring ones? 

A6: Memory foam mattresses are excellent for pressure relief and body contouring, while spring mattresses provide firmer support and better cooling. The choice depends on your comfort preference and sleeping habits.

Q7: What is the most recommended mattress? 

A7: The most recommended mattress varies based on individual needs. However, medium-firm mattresses are often suggested for a good balance of comfort and support.

Q8: How many inches thick should a good mattress be? 

A8: A good mattress is typically between 8 to 14 inches thick. The right thickness depends on your body weight, height, and personal comfort preference.

Q9: What are the key features of a good mattress? 

A9: A good mattress should provide adequate support, maintain spinal alignment, offer comfort, suit your sleep position, and be made of high-quality, durable materials.

Q10: How often should I replace my mattress? 

A10: Mattresses should typically be replaced every 7 to 10 years. However, this can vary based on the mattress type, usage, and how well it is maintained.