What is the best mattress?
In this tried and tested review, the Hypnos wool origins 6 mattress (£1,475.75, Mattressman.co.uk) was found to be the best overall thanks to its “edge-to-edge support” and comfort levels.
How to choose the best mattress
Finding the best mattress for you will of course be down to personal preference. When investing in a new one, it’s important to consider a range of different factors. Ultimately, your sleep position dictates the mattress you should opt for. Below you’ll find a detailed guide to the best mattress for side sleepers, front sleepers and back sleepers, as well as options for those of us who suffer from back pain and overheating.
What is the best mattress for back pain?
If you’re suffering from back pain, it’s worth investing in a mattress that offers sufficient support and comfort. In terms of what to look for, it’s best to opt for a firm mattress, and hybrids have been found to provide the best support for your spine.
In our previous review of the best mattresses for back pain, the Silentnight eco comfort miracoil ortho mattress (£399, Silentnight.co.uk) was found to be very impressive, yet affordable. “If it’s firmness you’re craving, Silentnight’s back-friendly mattress really does the job,” wrote our tester. They found that the “single-sided mattress offers edge-to-edge, even support, which is great for couples of different weights”. Better still, it’s “surprisingly lightweight and offers a cool, hypoallergenic and breathable sleeping surface”.
What is the best mattress for a front sleeper?
Your sleeping style will determine what type of mattress you need. If you’re a front sleeper, you’re more likely to suffer from back pain, as such, it’s recommended you choose a medium to firm mattress, to make sure you’re sufficiently supported without feeling any pressure. Similarly, to make sure your weight is evenly distributed, it’s recommended you opt for a memory foam or pocket sprung mattress. Our tester found that no matter if they were lying on their side, back or front on the Hypnos wool origins 6 mattress, they felt “supported and woke up with no pain or aches in the morning”, making it a great pick.
What is the best mattress for a back sleeper?
If you’re a back sleeper, you’ll also benefit from having a firmer mattress, so your back and spine are supported. You’ll find plenty of options in this review, but the Emma original mattress was praised for its ability to “gently support all pressure points in the body”.
What is the best mattress for a side sleeper?
Finally, if you’re a side sleeper, it’s recommended you opt for a softer mattress because you have less surface area in contact with the mattress, which increases pressure on hips and shoulders. In this review of the best mattresses, the Dormeo octasmart plus memory foam mattress was found to be “a great, ache-free option for side sleepers, as there are three zoned areas on the mattress with targeted support for your back, shoulders and hips”.
What is the best mattress to prevent overheating?
If you’re prone to overheating during the night, it’s important to consider the type of mattress you have. It’s recommended you choose one that has pocket springs, so air can flow freely, alternatively, one that has a cooling layer. Dusk’s cool gel foam 2,000 pocket-sprung hybrid mattress, which features in this review, was noted as being the best cooling mattress. Our tester noted the top layer on the “mattress is made from cooling gel foam, which is designed to maximise airflow and keep you temperate all night long – great for those liable to night sweats”.
How do you know when you need a new mattress? How often should you change your mattress?
If you’re sleeping well on your mattress with no aches or pains, then you don’t need to change it. But it’s important to notice if that’s not the case and to take action.
Simon Williams from the National Bed Federation advises you to look for changes in how well you’re sleeping, and whether you sleep better in other beds when away from home. Other things to look out for are backache, stiffness in the morning, lumps and bumps in the mattress, squeaks and creaks during the night when you move, rolling into the middle, and discolouration or wear to the mattress fabric.
Similarly, according to the National Bed Federation, you should replace your mattress every seven or eight years.
What is a sprung mattress?
These are the traditional-style mattresses that mostly come all ready to sleep on. They often have several thousand springs, which provide support while you sleep. Williams says: “You should probably look for a minimum of 1,000 springs in a king size. Obviously, this needs to be pro-rated down when buying a double or single.” Where mattresses are advertised as having many thousands of springs, this is where layers of micro-springs are placed over the top of the main pocket spring unit as comfort layers. Pocket-sprung is generally the best type of spring mattress, as the springs move individually, giving better support.
What is a memory foam mattress?
These mattresses have become very popular, as many people like sinking into a bed and having the pressure relieved from their joints. These mattresses feel very luxurious. Older-style memory foam mattresses had a reputation for making people overheat, as they would radiate heat back up into the body, but new-style memory foam has moved on from this and it shouldn’t be an issue.
What is a hybrid mattress?
As you might have figured from the name, a hybrid combines both memory foam and springs, to give you the best of both worlds. They should provide that luxurious sinking feeling alongside some solid spring support.
What level of firmness do you need?
There is no hard and fast rule with firmness. Comfort is the most important thing. Most mattresses sold are medium. Clearly, it is important not to choose one that is so soft that it doesn’t offer sufficient support. On the other hand, choosing one that is too firm could cause pressure points and pins and needles.
Your body weight will determine how firmness feels to you. As a general rule of thumb, heavier people prefer firmer mattresses, as soft mattresses may see them sinking and not getting enough support. On the other hand, lighter builds might find that firm mattresses result in pressure points.
Can you change your mind about a mattress?
Most manufacturers will allow you to try your mattress at home and then return it if you’re not happy. But this isn’t a given, so always check with the retailer and/or brand you’re buying from. While some trial periods are relatively short – 30 days or so – some are up to a year. There will be terms to these trial periods: some will require the use of mattress protectors, while others will expect you to follow care guidelines to the letter. We’ve listed here the trial and guarantee periods for each of the mattresses we tried.
How often should you change my mattress?
During our research, we had many conversations with people about how often they would consider buying a new mattress. Most are pretty expensive, after all, so it’s hard to justify shelling out. But it’s an investment, not just in your sleep but in your health, too.
Williams says: “There is no definitive answer to this, although generally, our research shows that around seven to eight years is about the time to be thinking about changing your mattress.
“Your comfort needs may have changed since you bought it, and the mattress will have slowly deteriorated over many thousands of nights’ use,” Williams says. “Also, from a hygiene viewpoint, we lose around half a pint of body moisture a night into our mattress, and shed around 1lb of skin scales per year.”
A sobering thought. But it’s key to note that there’s no strict rule here. If you look after your mattress and follow the manufacturer’s guidance on rotating and turning, you can prolong its life.
What makes a good mattress?
Obviously, what one person finds comfortable won’t be the same for another. Some people find firm mattresses suit them well, while others will find they cause too much pressure. Generally speaking, heavier builds will find that a firmer mattress suit may be best, but they can be hard to tolerate for those with lighter physiques.
Williams advises always going big. “Buy the biggest size you can fit in your bedroom, as more space = less disturbance = better sleep,” he says. But always measure your space before you buy.
There’s no denying mattresses can be very expensive, but it pays to invest. “Don’t buy the cheapest mattress,” says Williams. “Even a £1,000 mattress or bed only equates to around 20p per night per person (for a couple) spread over an average product lifespan of seven years.”
Lastly, pay close attention to the other fillings in your mattress. If you’re an allergy sufferer, go for fillings that are hypoallergenic – natural fibres are often your best bet. Natural fibres also help regulate temperature really well. Even the most hi-tech mattresses are now made using materials such as wool, cotton and silk.
And test mattresses to your heart’s content. Go out and lie on some for at least 10 minutes each, rolling over to see how they feel when you’re in different positions. Some mattress brands offer a certain number of nights for free, so you can see what it’s like at home. But make sure you’re aware of all the T&Cs, if you plan to use these trials.
Buying the right size mattress for your bed frame
Measure the inside frame of your bed using a tape measure to check if the mattress is going to fit. Obviously, you don’t want it exactly the same, because you need a slight gap for changing sheets. If you have a divan bed, take measurements from the top of the divan – not the sides – all the way to each edge.
What size is a single, double and king mattress?
- Single mattress size – the measurements of a standard single mattress are 90cm x 190cm
- Double mattress size – the measurements of a standard double mattress are 135cm x 190cm
- King mattress size – the measurements of a standard king-size mattress are 150cm x 200cm
How to look after your mattress?
If you’re investing in a top-of-the-range mattress, it is important to take care of it. First things first, a mattress protector will help to prolong the life of your bed; the Nectar mattress protector (from £34.20, Nectarsleep.co.uk) took the top spot in our review.
How to clean a mattress
In light of the ongoing bedbug crisis, you may be wondering how to keep your mattress clean. We’ve written a detailed guide on how you can stop the critters and get rid of stains. This expert-led feature explains the steps you should take, from vacuuming tips and cleaning hacks to the products that will keep your bed odour-free. If all else fails, investing in a new mattress will certainly help to improve your sleep set-up.
When should you buy a mattress?
If you’re looking to save on mattresses, we’d recommend picking one up during sales periods such as Black Friday or the January sales. But, thankfully, there are deals to be had year-round.
What are the best mattress deals in October?
Mattresses can be expensive, which is why we regularly update our guide to cheap mattress deals with any seriously impressive discounts that we spot.
To give you the top-line information, you can currently save more than £600 on the Hypnos wool origins 6 mattress (was £1,715, now £1,457.75, Mattressman.co.uk), which took the top spot in this review.
If you’re looking for a deal on a hybrid mattress, the Simba hybrid pro (was £1,069, now £965.40, Simbasleep.com) has been reduced by 40 per cent.
The verdict: Mattresses
We loved the Hypnos mattress – it’s supportive, with a nice amount of bounce-back, and is filled with plenty of natural materials that prevent overheating. If you’re after a tech-filled mattress then Simba’s hybrid luxe is hard to beat.
Now you’ve got the mattress, these are the best pillows you need, and the best linen bedding sets too