As an ex-mattress seller, one question I frequently encountered from my customers was, “Which is the right mattress for me?” My answer always is the same, “It depends”. Just like there is no one size that fits all, there is no one mattress that suits everyone. The right bed depends on several factors.
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The first factor to consider is size. As mattress prices can differ greatly between a Single and Super King size, it’s important to get it right first time. If you need a like-for-like replacement then that’s fine. But often people upgrade in size where possible, especially when changing the bed frame at the same time. Be sure to check the bed and mattress sizes properly, especially if buying both from different retailers. The last thing you want is to buy a bed and then end up with the wrong size mattress.
Type Of Mattress
The type of mattress is also important. Although some people may not be too interested in whether it is made of springs or foam, it can have a massive effect on price, comfort, and longevity. This is an extensive topic, but essentially the main materials that you’ll encounter in the UK mattress market in 2021 are pocket sprung, memory foam, or a combination of both which would mean it’s a hybrid. Latex is also becoming more widespread in the UK, but is still very expensive and not as easily available in comparison to the US market. There are also inflatable air mattresses which have become quite popular in recent times for both temporary and permanent usage.
Another factor to consider which falls under the wing of type is whether it’s a flip or non-flip mattress. Essentially this is something that people who are used to flipping old spring mattresses in the past should be concerned with. Not all mattresses nowadays can be flipped for even wear and tear. Check our article on one sided vs. two sided mattresses for more information on this topic.
The third major factor you have to consider when you get a new bed is your sleeping position. An important point to remember here is the position you wake up from sleep not the position you try to sleep in. So even if you try to sleep on your back, but if you always wake up on your side, then you are a side sleeper and not a back sleeper. There are various types of mattresses with different firmness levels that cater for different sleeping positions. Most mattresses will specifically state which position it is most suited for based on its firmness. Be sure to look out for this characteristic when choosing.
The third and most important factor to consider is the level of hardness (or firmness) you desire in your mattress. While some love to sink into their beds, others find too fluffy and soft beds disturbing. However, there is a difference between the softness and firmness. Softness is how the bed feels when you first lie on it and firmness is how it feels when you are deep asleep. Research proves that people sleep better when they choose a bed based on its firmness and not softness. Firm mattresses also tend to provide better spinal alignment which is important for reducing long-term back problems. A medium-firm mattress is usually the best selling and popular long-term option, but if you already know the firmness you prefer, it’s best to stick with that choice.
Here I outline the basic strategy you can follow when you go bed-shopping:
- Do not do mattress shopping in a hurry. Plan at least a few hours exclusively for shopping.
- Identify the position in which you lay down and the position you wake up in before you go shopping.
- Lay down on each bed for at least 10-15 minutes and identify the one that feels good for you.
- Know what you’re buying. For example, ask the salesperson to explain the materials in use.
- If buying a mattress online, be sure to check whether the mattress comes with an in-home trial. This is one of the beautiful things about buying online because the trials are often lengthy. If you’re not happy with your purchase, simply return the mattress and get a refund. Most of the best mattresses on the market will come with a minimum of a 100-night in-home trial.
Hopefully, this brief guide can help you along your quest for choosing a mattress. If there is anything I have missed, please feel free to comment below or contact me directly.