When it comes to mattresses, a single type, style and size definitely doesn’t fit all. People come in all sorts of weights, shapes and sizes, so it makes perfect sense that individuals may need different levels of support when it comes to sleeping.
Choosing the right bed and mattress is actually more complicated than you may at first think. There are a range of mattress types and different degrees of support and firmness.
There’s a lot to think about when buying a new mattress. But, choose wisely and you will minimise the factors that contribute to back pain and postural problems, and of course, you’ll be more likely to get a decent night’s sleep. Consulting an expert in a good bed and mattress store, such as Snug Interiors, will ensure you get the best bed and mattress for you.
Given that we spend more than a third of our lives in our beds, good quality, supportive mattresses really do matter. We’ve put together the definitive guide on mattresses. Read on for everything you need to know about mattresses and more.
Soft or hard mattress?
The type of mattress you buy will ultimately impact on the quality of your sleep and your posture, so it’s really important to get the right level of mattress firmness to suit you.
There are varying degrees of firmness ranging from ultra-soft, soft, and medium-soft, through to medium, medium-firm, firm and firm-ultrafirm. Unfortunately, in the mattress industry, there are no defined standards, so firmness can vary significantly between mattress styles and brands.
The only way you’ll know which is best for you, is to try. The most important consideration is how supportive the mattress is. Proper alignment of your body is crucial when you sleep to prevent tossing and turning and ultimately to prevent disrupted sleep.
According to the British Chiropractic Association, when you are lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the mattress. If your spine sags, your mattress is too soft. If your spine bows, your mattress is too hard. A 16-stone person sleeping on a mattress may not get the same support as a 10-stone person sleeping on the same mattress.
What are the main types of mattresses?
There are 4 main mattress types to choose from:
- Pocket Sprung – springs are sewn into individual pockets. These are the most popular mattresses. They don’t mould to your body in the same way as memory foam mattresses, but they still offer good support. They are also not as warm as memory foam mattresses.
- Memory foam – these mattresses have a layer of viscoelastic material, which makes the mattress mould to the shape of your body. Memory foam mattresses are usually more expensive than pocket sprung mattresses.
- Continuous coil and open coil – these are usually the cheapest mattress option. Continuous coil mattresses are made from a single looped wire, while open coil mattresses have single springs fixed together by one wire. According to Which, research amongst their members found open-coil mattresses less likely to support a good night’s rest.
- Latex – this type of mattress is less common and the most expensive. The core of these mattresses is made up from layers of springy latex.
Do I need a particular type of mattress for the bed base I have?
The type of base you have will make a difference. Divan or upholstered bases are best for spring mattresses, while memory foam mattresses are better on a wooden slatted base. A base in poor condition, especially a divan one with damaged springs, will make even the most expensive mattress feel uncomfortable.
Tips for choosing a mattress
- Don’t rush – your mattress needs to last around 7 years and you want it to be comfortable. Take your time choosing the right mattress for you, and be sure to try several styles to explore which type and brand suits you best. Make an impulsive purchase and you could end up regretting it.
- Don’t skimp on your investment – the consensus is that it’s a false economy to spend less than £200. Go cheap and you’ll not only be compromising on comfort, you’ll be replacing your mattress sooner than you think.
- Know your allergies – be sure you’re aware of materials and mattress fillings that may trigger allergies. No matter how comfortable your mattress, if you’re allergic to one of its components, your sleep will most certainly be disrupted.
- For a double mattress you are sharing with your partner you both need to go bed hunting. It’s important you both try before you buy. If your needs are wildly different, go for a ‘zip and link’ mattress option that allows you to put a firm and soft mattress together side by side.
Caring for your mattress
There are a number of things you can do to maximise the life of your mattress.
- Unwrap your new mattress immediately and let the mattress air for a few days before use it to get rid of the chemical smell they give off when new.
- Turn your mattress regularly and rotate it (most memory foam mattresses can’t be turned, but they can be rotated).
- Don’t let your kids jump on the bed.
- Use a mattress cover, and wash this regularly along with your sheets.
- Hoover your mattress from time to time (when turning, and rotating).