How To Choose The Ideal Mattress To Suit Your Unique Needs  



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When it comes to choosing the best mattress, it all comes down to personal taste. Some people like a super soft affair whereas others prefer them to be made of sterner stuff. The wide range of options makes things even harder – you can choose from traditional, pocket-sprung, ones with actual memories, all the way to more modern mattresses that are delivered, compressed in a box and seem to leap out at you on arrival. Scary. 

Anyway, according to the National Sleep Foundation, you should change your mattress every 8 years (even though high-quality mattresses can last 10 years or even longer). After 7 years of use, you’ll have spent more than 20k hours on your mattress (jeez)  which is quite long enough to wear it out.

If you notice that you don’t sleep well any longer or find yourself suffering from pain and stiffness when you wake up, then wake up; it’s time to go mattress shopping. Here’s how to choose the IDEAL mattress to suit your unique needs.

Choosing The Best Mattress Size 

In general, people tend to buy beds that are too small for their frames. Many decide to go for a double bed, 55 inches (140cm) wide and not actually enough for two adult people to sleep on comfortably. When you’re sharing a bed, go for the biggest one that fits in your bedroom if you value your comfort.

Then, choose the ideal mattress that matches your bed’s frame. Unless you sleep with your mattress on the floor, the shape and size of your bed will determine how big or how small your mattress should be. You do not want a floating mattress or an overflowing one, that’s for sure. Choose one that fits snugly, just as you’d like to be. Below are the standard UK bed measurements for mattresses: 

  • Small single: 75cm x 190cm
  • Single: 90cm x 190cm
  • Small double: 120cm x 190cm
  • Double: 135cm x 190cm
  • Kingsize: 150cm x 200cm
  • Super kingsize: 180cm x 200cm

Try You Before Buy

Of course, you’ll never know for certain if a mattress is right for you until you have actually slept in it yourself. But, you do need to make sure the mattress provides suitable comfort and support. There are two options: you can try the mattress out in the store by actually, physically lying on it or, if you’re shopping online, look for a mattress that comes with a trial period. Though the latter seems more complicated and the effort in returning one deemed unsuitable larger, it represents the more diligent test run. Ask yourself; how much do you value your sleep?

If you answered passionately in favour of a regular, comfortable night of Zzzeds, then there’s no harm in checking out customer opinions online before you try out the bed for size in the shop.

Understanding The Different Terminology

The terminology can be impenetrable, but here’s a brief rundown of the different types you’ll likely be presented with:

  • Memory foam mattresses mold depending on your body shape, which means that your partner won’t disturb you when s/he tosses and turns during the night (yay – unless that’s your thing of course). Many ‘new generation’ memory foam mattresses arrive at your door either rolled or vacuum-packed. And while they do keep their shape well, they also tend to hold body heat which can make you feel sweaty and hot at night.
  • Latex mattresses are very similar to memory foam mattresses. If you’re going for a latex mattress, choose natural instead of synthetic latex. Natural latex is more resistant to dust mites and mould and it also has antimicrobial properties.
  • Coil mattresses are generally the most affordable options, however, they’re often quite uncomfortable – they move a lot and, in some models, you can even feel the coils. In addition, coil mattresses wear out very fast and tend to sag in the middle. A sad sight (and feeling) indeed. So if you decide to buy one of these, be ready to be disturbed frequently during the night. 
  • Pocket-sprung mattresses are the most traditional option. The springs make the mattress bouncy but also durable and quite supportive. Unlike memory foam and latex, pocket-sprung mattresses don’t mold to your body shape or hold body heat.
  • Hybrid mattresses are mixes and combinations of the mattress types mentioned above. For instance, a hybrid mattress can have a memory foam top layer and a pocket-sprung core.

Firm Or Soft?

As a rule of thumb, heavier people prefer firmer mattresses because they provide better support, whereas lighter people opt for softer or medium mattresses. But that is a very general rule. You should also consider personal preference and your natural sleeping position, of course.

If you’re unsure which mattress to choose, take a look at companies who offer a diverse range of sizes, shapes and materials for comparison.

How Do You Sleep At Night?

Different types of sleepers can benefit from different types of mattress firmness and materials, depending on their comfort preferences and physical needs. Here’s a brief overview of some of the best mattress types for different types of sleepers:

Side Sleepers

  • Memory Foam Mattress: These mattresses can offer good pressure relief for side sleepers, who tend to have more pronounced pressure points at the shoulders and hips.
  • Hybrid Mattress: These combine the pressure-relieving benefits of foam with the support of coils, which can offer a nice balance of comfort and support for side sleepers.

Back Sleepers

  • Innerspring Mattress: Known for their excellent support, these mattresses can help maintain spinal alignment for back sleepers.
  • Latex Mattress: These mattresses provide both comfort and support, while also being resilient and responsive, which can be beneficial for back sleepers.

Stomach Sleepers

  • Firm Foam Mattress: These mattresses can prevent the pelvis from sinking in too far, which can misalign the spine. These are usually better for stomach sleepers.
  • Innerspring Mattress: This option might also be suitable for stomach sleepers due to their firmer surface that offers good support.

Combination Sleepers (Those who shift positions during the night)

  • Hybrid Mattress: A good quality hybrid mattress can be very effective for combination sleepers, offering a mixture of support, pressure relief, and motion isolation.
  • Latex Mattress: Due to its responsive nature, it allows for easy movement and provides consistent support and comfort across all sleep positions.

Hot Sleepers (Those who tend to heat up in their sleep)

  • Gel-infused Memory Foam Mattress: These help to dissipate body heat and keep the sleep surface cool.
  • Innerspring or Hybrid Mattress: These mattresses allow for more airflow than a standard memory foam mattress, making them cooler to sleep on.

People with Back Pain

  • Memory Foam Mattress: The contouring effect of memory foam can provide pressure relief and support to reduce back pain.
  • Hybrid Mattress: The combination of foam for comfort and innersprings for support can be beneficial for people with back pain.

Remember, personal comfort is ultimately the best guide when choosing a mattress. Trial periods can be a great way to find out if a mattress is the right fit for you.

Consider Your Bed Base

Choosing the right mattress not only depends on your sleeping position, but also the type of bed frame or bed base that you use. The bed frame provides support for your mattress and can affect its comfort, stability, and lifespan, so it plays a crucial role in your sleep quality.

  • Box Spring Bed Frames: Traditionally, innerspring mattresses are the best choice for box springs. The box spring frame provides a solid base and additional bounce, which works well with the structure of an innerspring mattress.
  • Platform Bed Frames: This type encompasses a wide range: from a basic, no-frills platform to a more sturdy foundation with wooden slats. Such bed frames can support any type of mattress, including memory foam, latex, hybrid, or innerspring. The key aspect here is that the slats should not be more than 2-3 inches apart to provide suitable support.
  • Adjustable Bed Frames: These frames require a flexible mattress to fully utilize their adjustable features. Memory foam and latex mattresses tend to be the most compatible as they can flex without getting damaged. Some types of innerspring and hybrid mattresses can also work, provided they are designed to be flexible.
  • Slatted Bed Frames: Slatted bed frames provide good ventilation and support for any mattress type. However, just like platform beds, the slats should not be more than 2-3 inches apart to provide optimal support, especially for memory foam and latex mattresses.

To Turn Or Not To Turn?

Most mattresses should be turned from time to time to ensure uniform wear, while some mattresses only require rotating instead of turning. Take this into consideration when buying a mattress because some models can be really heavy and this can be a real drag to do with any semblance of regularity. The best option would be to buy a mattress that needs no rotating or turning if effort isn’t your jam.

What About The Warranty?

You should check the warranty to see if it covers manufacturing defects such as popped springs or foam failing to bounce back. For vigorous bed users, this should be a dealbreaker. If the mattress gets damaged because you haven’t used a mattress protector or the recommended base, the warranty may be invalid. Be sure to have those finer details finessed prior to purchase.



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