Your Sleep Matters!

How To Choose A Mattress

HOW TO CHOOSE A MATTRESS

Nancy K.

Last updated: 24.10.2020 7.5 Min.

It's always important to remember that the best mattress for me may not necessarily be the best mattress for you. There are various factors to consider when choosing a new mattress, including your budget, preferred sleeping position, body type, preferred level of firmness, and preferred mattress size.

These are exactly the factors we focus on in our mattress reviews.

But first, take a look at the guide below to help you with the steps of choosing a new mattress and determine what type of mattress is best for you.

How To Choose A Mattress
  • Overview
  • Firmness
  • Sleeping climate
  • Materials
  • Sleeping position
  • Who is the mattress for?
  • Budget
  • How do I know if I've chosen the right mattress?
  • Our selection of the best mattresses

Degree of firmness

There is no correct degree of firmness. Some people may prefer a firm mattress, while others prefer a soft mattress. Many choose a medium-firm mattress.

Most people over 80 kg would benefit from choosing a firmer mattress with good stability. However, the mattress should never be too firm as this will hinder comfort and prevent you from getting a good night's sleep.

Lighter-weight people would benefit from choosing a softer mattress. But you should never choose a mattress that's too soft, as this may result in a hollow back. Your spine always needs to be aligned in order to prevent back pains.

Nowadays, most standard mattresses are medium-firm. They are designed as universal models to suit most people, regardless of body weight or preferred sleeping position. That said, as we have discovered in our reviews, different types of people will still interpret the comfort level of different mattresses differently.

That's why we've developed a Sleep Hero firmness scale, which we use to evaluate the degree of firmness of a mattress in our reviews. This will give you a good indication to the degree of firmness, allowing you to immediately exclude mattresses that do not match your body size or preferred sleeping position.

To choose the level of firmness that's right for you, have confidence in your judgment about what feels best. Ultimately, your mattress needs to be comfortable. Our sheep can help guide you.

Level of firmness

Sleeping climate

The sleeping climate of your mattress if vitally important as it will greatly affect your comfort and quality of sleep.

If you tend to feel cold at night, then we would recommend choosing a memory foam mattress. These tend to store more body heat than other mattress materials, creating a pleasant feeling of warmth.

If you prefer a cooler sleeping climate, then we can recommend mattresses made of very breathable materials, such as latex. You can always add pillows or quilts to achieve the optimal temperature.

Mattress materials

There are many different types of mattresses. There are also cheaper mattresses that consist of pure polyether foam or air and water mattresses. We would not recommend these for daily use. The best and most common types of mattresses are cold foam, latex, spring, and memory foam mattresses.

Cold foam mattresses

A cold foam mattress has very good body adaptability and point elasticity. It is the ideal mattress for people who change their sleeping position often and generally sleep quite restlessly. A cold foam mattress is also better suited to people who prefer a warmer sleeping climate. They can also be recommended for couples as they have a low level of motion transfer.

Latex mattresses

A mattress made of latex foam is a good choice for those who prefer to sleep on their side or stomach. For people who prefer to sleep on their back, a pure latex mattress can sometimes be too soft. Latex has very good body adaptability and point elasticity. It is also often recommended to help relieve back pain. Those who sweat heavily should avoid latex mattresses, as should anyone with a latex allergy.

Innerspring mattresses

Innerspring mattresses tend to be firmer and are thus a good choice for people who sleep on their back or stomach. People who sleep on their side, however, should rather choose a different mattress - innerspring mattresses often don’t allow for enough sinkage, causing back pain. An innerspring mattress is an optimal mattress for people who like to sleep firmer and cooler, as well as those who generally sleep more calmly.

Visco mattresses

Visco mattresses have excellent body adaptability and point elasticity. They are regularly recommended as orthopaedic mattresses. A Visco or memory foam mattress is suitable for every sleeping position and is the optimal mattress for people who sleep calmly and like to sleep a little warmer. Couples find it very comfortable due to its low motion transfer. However, those who sweat heavily and restless sleepers are better off choosing a different mattress.

Memory foam mattress (Visco) Cold foam mattress Latex mattress Innerspring mattress
Sleeping position For every sleeping position For every sleeping position For side and stomach sleepers For stomach and back sleepers
Sleep behaviour Calm Mostly restless Calm and restless Calm
Sleeping climate Warmer due to heat storage Warmer due to heat storage Cooler due to ventilation Cooler due to ventilation
Feeling of lying down Firm but with a soft feeling. High body adaptability and point elasticity Medium-firm. Good body adaptability and point elasticity Medium-firm with softness. Good adaptability to body contours. A rather firm lying sensation; very little sinkage into mattress
Health For back problems and orthopaedic complaints Recommended for back problems Recommended for back problems Not recommended for back problems

Preferred sleeping position

Your preferred sleeping position will greatly impact your choice of mattress. Always keep in mind that your ideal mattress will support the natural curvature of your spine. Most mattresses will be divided into different contour zones, allowing your body to sink in where it's heavier and gain more support where it's lighter. This will help your spine to remain in its correct alignment. The firmness of the mattress and your body weight will also greatly influence the way your body sinks into the mattress

High-quality mattresses will be suitable for all or most sleeping positions. In general, though, the following can guide you:

  • If you sleep on your side, you will need to be able to sink into the mattress much deeper than someone who only sleeps on their back or stomach. This additional sinkage allows the spine to remain in a healthy alignment. A softer mattress would thus be optimal.
  • If you sleep on your back or stomach, you will need a little more support. The optimal mattress would be firmer. This will prevent the spine from sagging, which can lead to back pain.

Who is the mattress for?

Is the mattress only for you or are you sharing it with your partner?

Of course, if it's only for you, then you can make all of the executive decisions. But if you're sharing the mattress with your partner, then you will need to agree on the right sleeping climate and degree of firmness. This isn't always easy. To help you, we've created a guide to choosing the best mattresses for couples.

Some modern manufacturers have a unique solution for couples. They offer special mattresses for couples, where the degree of firmness for each half of the mattress can be individually specified. In this way, you and your partner can both have the perfect degree of firmness. The mattresses are also expertly assembled, so they're as sleek, stylish, and comfortable as the rest.

What's your budget?

Your budget will play a big role in your choice of mattress. Some mattresses, like the Tempur mattresses, are known for their exceptional quality. But they also come with a hefty price tag and they certainly won't be suitable for everyone. But there are many mattresses at more affordable rates that are of very high quality.

Ultimately, you're looking for a mattress that offers you the best quality at the best price. Always keep the lifespan of your mattress in mind. You're aiming to keep your mattress for about 5 to 10 years, so it's worth spending a little more to get a mattress that will last that long.

How do I know if I've chosen the right mattress?

One of the best things about buying your mattress online is that you can try the mattress at home during the risk-free trial period. These trial periods range from 30 to 100 days, depending on the manufacturer. This gives you enough time to try out the mattress. And if you're not completely satisfied, you can simply return the mattress and receive a full refund.

But how do you really test the mattress? The mattress that suits you will meet the following criteria:

  • You feel comfortable and relaxed, regardless of which position you're in
  • You won't feel like your sleeping in a bowl (the so-called "hammock effect", which is detrimental to your spine)
  • You can easily slide your hand under the small of your back
  • You can't push your elbows into the mattress too deeply

Don't give up on your new mattress too easily. It takes a minimum of ten days to adapt to a new mattress, especially if the material is different from what you had before. Some people may need up to three weeks to become accustomed to their new mattress and form a good opinion. So take your time. After all, your new mattress will stay with you for a number of years.

Our selection of the best mattresses

Looking for a new mattress to help you get the best night's sleep? Here are our top recommendations.

Frequently asked questions

Nancy K.

Yoga-loving nature fan (when the sun shines) with a knack for all things health & wellness. Strangely obsessed with tacos. 

Try these

We can highly recommend these best-selling mattresses.

Emma Original
Emma Original Emma Original Mattress
Emma Price from 246 £ (329 £)

Halloween sale: Get 25% off this award-winning mattress suitable for all. Use code 'SPOOKY25'.

Emma Hybrid
Emma Hybrid Emma Hybrid Mattress
Emma Price from 389 £ (519 £)

Halloween sale: Get 25% off this quality mattress combining foams and springs. Use code 'SPOOKY25'.

Eve Lighter Hybrid
Eve Lighter Hybrid Eve Lighter Hybrid Mattress
Eve Price from 399 £

A high-quality hybrid mattress at a lower price.

Eve Original
Eve Original Eve Mattress
Eve Price from 279 £ (399 £)

Get 30% off this original high-quality mattress by Eve Sleep.

Emma One
Emma One Emma One Mattress
Emma Price from 321 £ (429 £)

Halloween sale: Get 25% off this firm mattress made of high-quality materials. Use code 'SPOOKY25'

Nectar Memory Foam Mattress
Nectar Nectar memory foam mattress
Nectar Price from 414 £

Luxurious medium-firm mattress & 2 free pillows, with a 365-day trial period.

Current discounts

You may also be interested in:

We have an affiliate relationship with some manufacturers, where we receive a commission on sales if you click over from our site. This does not affect the purchasing price. In contrast: By using our discount codes, you'll get the best deal possible.

Discounts

Want an amazing deal? We collate all specials, discounts, and great deals so you can grab your new mattress at the best price possible.

Discounts

About

We're a team of sleep enthusiasts. We test hundreds of mattresses to provide you with accurate mattress reviews so that you can get the mattress best suited to you. Read more about us

Categories