LOOKING to get a better night’s sleep?
Then our mattress-buying guide is here to help.
Before you buy, be aware that not all mattresses are created equal.
Depending on the position you like to sleep in, whether you get hot or cold in bed, if you have back or joint pain – and how much you move about in bed – will dictate which mattress is right for you.
Confused? Don’t be, our guide is here to talk you through the different types available, the pros and cons of each mattress and which you should go for.
From open spring to memory and latex, there’s a variety of mattress choices, so if you’re not sure which one is right for you, read on to find out more.
After all, it’s almost impossible to put a price on good night’s sleep.
Having said that, we know money doesn’t grow on trees, so we’ve found an affordable and a more expensive version of each mattress available.
The general rule? Go for the most expensive one you can afford: you’ll be sleeping on it every night for many years to come after all.
1. Open Spring
This type is made up of one long piece of metal wire shaped into coils to produce lots of springs, which is why it’s also known as an open coil or continuous coil mattress.
The more coils in the mattress, the firmer it will be.
To provide structure around the edge of the mattress and help maintain its shape, a border rod is positioned around the outside.
Of all the mattresses available, it’s the cheapest option and often the lightest, so it’s easy to move and turn.
It offers a reasonable amount of support, so consider it if you like a softer bed, or for children’s bedrooms or guest beds.
Pros: Cheap, lightweight.
Cons: Fairly low level of support.
Best For: Those on a budget and people who prefer a softer bed.
- Essentials Ortho Open Coil Mattress, £73.99 for a double, Wayfair – buy here
Top of the Range
- Happy Beds Supreme Ortho Firm Tension Mattress, £169.99, Amazon – buy here
2. Pocket Spring
More luxurious than open spring mattresses, this type is made from individual, small springs housed in their own pocket of fabric.
Each spring moves independently, so weight is distributed more evenly and the level of support is higher; they’re a good option if you share a bed, as they cater for the weights of two different people.
These are available in soft, medium and firm designs, so there’s more choice, and they’re breathable.
Due to the number of springs and extra material surrounding each one, they are heavy and definitely require two people to turn them.
Check what materials these mattresses are filled with, as those that contain certain materials can cause allergies to flare up.
Pros: Higher level of support, breathable – ideal if you get hot in bed.
Cons: Heavy and more expensive than open spring.
Best For: Hot sleepers and those who share a bed.
- Airsprung Salisbury 1000 Pocket Natural Mattress, £279 for a double, Argos – buy here
Top of the Range
- Luxury 4600 Mattress, £899 for a double, Marks & Spencer – buy here
3. Memory Foam
A relatively new invention, these foam designs mould to the shape of your body to provide the best support of any mattress on the market.
Once the foam has shaped to your body, they can give a feeling of reduced weight, which is ideal if you suffer from back or joint pain.
Because they envelop your body, they can make you feel warm pretty quickly, so they’re not great if you get hot while sleeping.
There will also be a cradle effect as your body depresses the foam, so moving about is more difficult.
It’s probably best to avoid memory foam if you’re a front sleeper, as your face can feel a little stifled.
If you have your heart set on a memory foam mattress but are worried about overheating, look for open cell designs, which have more air pockets to disperse heat better.
Similarly, gel memory foam mattresses are infused with gel to offer better cooling.
Pros: Excellent support, relieves pressure on joints, offers a cocooning effect.
Cons: Poor at regulating body temperature, can feel like you’re sinking, more difficult to more around.
Best For: Cold sleepers who want lots of support.
- Morgedal Memory Foam Mattress, from £165 for a double, Ikea – buy here
Top of the Range
- Tempur Contour Supreme 21 Memory Foam Mattress, from £1,429 for a double, John Lewis – buy here
Filled with latex foam, this extremely breathable material is brilliant at regulating body temperature and is very durable.
These mattresses are a great choice for those who suffer from allergies and prefer a firm surface on which to sleep.
They can take a while to get used to, however, as they feel quite solid at first, and are quite heavy, making them difficult to turn or move unless you have an extra pair of hands.
They’re the least-common type of mattress, so you might find them more difficult to come by for a low price.
Pros: Breathable, long-lasting, won’t trigger allergies.
Cons: Heavy, very firm, can develop lumps and an uneven surface over time.
Best For: Those who get hot in bed but want a firm sleeping surface.
- Nolby 1000 Pocket Latex, £449 for a double, made.com – buy here
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