Buying a mattress isn’t the minefield you think it is. Armed with answers to the right questions, you can nail down the right mattress and buy with confidence, and this article is a cheat sheet to do just that.
Let’s jump in!
How much should you spend?
You can spend anywhere from a few hundred pounds to thousands of pounds on a mattress. A mattress’s price is determined by what it’s made from, but there are luxury brands that price their products way out there just because they can.
The trick is to decide on a budget and only look at mattresses within that price range. Here’s how different prices reflect the market:
- £200 to £400 – low-end
- £500 to £1,000 – mid-range
- £1,000+ – premium-range
- £2,000+ – luxury
While spending very little or breaking the bank for a mattress has its appeal, most people do best with a mid-range mattress.
What size should you get?
The most popular mattress size for couples is a double, but you might like to consider a king size mattress if you have a large bedroom.
Small bedrooms can usually accommodate a small double bed which offers a lot more space than a single, with 30cm extra width.
Here’s a rundown of the different mattress sizes:
- Single (90 x 190cm)
- Small double (120 x 190cm)
- Double (135 x 190cm)
- King (150 x 200cm)
- Super king (180 x 200cm)
Read our definite UK mattress size guide to find out more.
How tall is your headboard?
The height of your headboard is an important consideration because the last thing you want is an incredibly thick mattress that reduces its functionality. If your mattress is too thick, you will have less headboard to sit up against, and your bed will look odd.
Take a tape measure and measure the distance from the slats to different parts of your headboard. How does 20cm look? 25cm? 30cm? Most sprung mattresses are between 20cm and 25cm thick, while foam mattresses are 15cm to 20cm.
What position do you sleep in?
The position you primarily sleep in is the biggest determiner of the right mattress firmness. Side and front sleepers need a medium or medium-soft mattress, while back sleepers need medium or medium-firm mattresses.
If you sleep with someone in a different position, medium mattresses are suited to most sleeping positions.
How much do you weigh?
If you are very light or heavy, you should consider the extreme ends of the mattress firmness scale. People under 130lbs should look at soft or medium-soft mattresses, while people over 220lbs should look at firm mattresses.
The reason is that when you are very light, you need a soft mattress to squish into, and when you are very heavy, you need a mattress to support you.
It’s important to note that the firmness of a mattress defines the support system; it doesn’t determine how plush the mattress is to sleep on.
How much do you sweat when sleeping?
If you are a hot sleeper, consider a sprung mattress over a memory foam mattress because memory foam doesn’t breathe well. You can also look at memory gel mattresses with a cooling gel layer to dissipate your body heat.
If you want the body contouring of memory foam, hybrid mattresses and sprung mattresses with a thin layer of memory foam also provide moderate breathability.
How much do you value a guarantee?
12-months is the standard guarantee on most mattresses, but you can easily find ones with five, ten, and even fifteen-year warranties.
A more extended guarantee is a sign of quality, but it usually means paying more for the mattress. The reality is that all mattresses should last ten years, but having a guarantee in place will ensure the manufacturer resolves any defects.
Another consideration is sleep trials. While sleep trials are helpful, they are often sold with expensive hybrid mattresses, so ultimately, you end up paying more for a mattress that is no better than a high-quality sprung mattress.