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How to choose a mattress

You want to buy the right mattress, but you're faced with a million choices. The more you look, the more questions you have. Until you're left feeling exhausted. 

The good news is, now you're in the right place. Let's not waste any more time. We've dispelled the myths and translated the jargon to show you exactly how to choose your dream mattress. 

Bed Guru who?

We've been helping people get a great night’s sleep for over 40 years. And in that time, we've tested thousands of mattresses from manufacturers everywhere. We've learnt a lot about what makes a good mattress and provided a restful night's sleep to people all over the world.  

We know that your waking lives are already so full of information, so we want to keep sleep simple. That's why we only sell the mattresses we love. And we think you'll love them too. 

Do I really need a new mattress?

Unlike a flat tyre, it’s not always easy to know when your mattress is past its best. But spend too much time with a worn-out mattress and you could be depriving yourself of restful, restorative sleep. 

A good mattress can last up to 10 years. A budget mattress obviously won’t last anywhere near that long. Whatever mattress you have, look out for these tell-tale signs that yours is ready to be replaced. 

 

You notice holes and bumps

These are the most obvious signs. But be wary, a mattress can look good on the surface and still lack the support you need.

You wake up feeling stiff

If you’re experiencing new pains in your neck, shoulders or back (upper or lower), don't assume it’s only part of getting older.

You roll into the middle 

When you lay down, you feel like you’re sleeping in a hammock. As your mattress starts to fail, body impressions occur, and the core of your mattress softens. 

You wake up tired

When your mattress needs replacing, you spend more time tossing and turning. It’s a sign that your body is trying (and failing) to find a comfortable position to sleep in. 

Your allergies worsen at night

The upholstery in your mattress is a favourite place for dust mites. While harmless, the debris they leave behind can lead to allergies and breathing-related problems over time.

Your best sleep isn't at home

If you sleep better when you stay in a hotel or at a friend's house, even when the surroundings are unfamiliar, it could be a sign your mattress at home is to blame. 

Which mattress type is right for me?

This is the big one. And the short answer is this: There is no short answer.  It all comes down to two things: 

  1. Personal preference
  2. Budget

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all mattress. For the simple reason that our bodies are different. So, let's look at those two things one at a time.  

Personal preference

We boiled our mattresses down into seven types which we believe covers all bases. Virtually all mattresses fall into one of these types.

We haven't included boxed mattress because we're yet to find a quality mattress that can be squished into a box. All our mattresses are handmade and arrive ready to sleep on.

Pocket Sprung Mattresses  

An icon of the mattress world, the Pocket Sprung Mattress is the most popular of all mattresses.  

They're the more luxurious counterpart to the cheaper 'open spring' mattress. Loved for their tried, tested, and now perfected design. 

Each spring is housed in a little pocket of fabric. This allows them to move independently which makes it easy to find your ideal sleeping position, without disturbing your partner or rolling into the middle of the mattress.  

Perfect for:  

  • Couples 
  • Hot sleepers 
  • Wrigglers  
  • Bad backs 

Hybrid Mattresses 

Hybrid Mattresses represent some of the most impressive mattresses money can buy. Combining a pocket sprung core layered with advanced cooling materials like Flotex and Revo® foam for the best of both worlds. 

They are deep, breathable, and luxurious in every sense of the word. Ideal for those looking for that 5-star hotel experience in the home.

Perfect for:  

  • Hot sleepers 
  • Allergy sufferers 

Natural Mattresses 

All the benefits of a Pocket Sprung Mattress combined with 100% chemical-free natural materials. 

They are completely recyclable and send zero waste to landfill, with comfort provided by a blend of wool, cotton, silk, cashmere, mohair, and latex. 

But natural mattresses don't just benefit the environment. They're also anti-bacterial, mould-resistant, fire retardant, and have excellent temperature regulating properties to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.  

 

Perfect for:  

  • Eco-conscious sleepers 
  • Hot sleepers 
  • Bad backs

 

Orthopaedic Mattresses

Despite their fancy name, Orthopaedic Mattresses don't offer any special bells or whistles. Orthopaedic is simply an industry name for mattresses that are extra firm. Thanks to a lower coil gauge which results in a thicker spring.  

They're designed to evenly distribute your weight and offer added support to areas like your hips, shoulders, and lower back. Preferred by people who just want a firmer mattress. 

Perfect for:  

  • Larger people  
  • Firm mattress lovers 

Memory Foam Mattresses 

The modern mattress that features body-hugging memory foam and responds to your every move.  

Memory Foam Mattresses are a favourite among those who suffer from a bad back, as the mattress moulds to your shape and maintains the natural curvature of your spine. 

They're also hypoallergenic to help keep your body cool, comfortable and protected from allergies.  

Perfect for: 

  • Side sleepers 
  • Allergy sufferers 
  • Bad backs 

Zip & Link Mattresses 

Zip & Link Mattresses consist of two single mattresses that zip together to form one king size mattress. 

This gives you the freedom to configure your bedroom however you like. Ideal for guest rooms and stairways where a king size mattress just won't fit. 

Perfect for:  

  • Guest rooms 
  • Small stairways 
  • Couples who sleep separately  

Children's Mattresses 

Children's Mattresses are in many ways similar to adult mattresses. Made from a core of either reflex foam, springs, or pocket springs. 

The main difference is their depth, with a slimmer profile of between 12cm and 20cm that's ideal for safety rails and smaller beds. 

They're also hypoallergenic to prevent irritation and promote a deep, natural sleep. 

Perfect for:  

  • Growing bodies  
  • Kids beds and bunk beds 

Budget

Once you've settled on a mattress type, it's time to think about how much money you have to spend.  

To keep it simple, there are just 3 mattresses to choose from for every mattress type. These are Essential, Premium, and Superior. 

All of which have been chosen because they are the best mattress we've tested for that category and price range. 

The Essential Mattress 

Our Essential Mattresses represent the best value we could find without compromising on what's important in a quality mattress. All are handmade in Britain from quality materials, and all are available in every standard and custom size.  

The Premium Mattress  

Everything an Essential Mattress has with even more support where you need it. Our Premium Mattresses hit the sweet spot between affordability, comfort, and craftsmanship. They are a popular choice for people and hoteliers alike. And the ones we recommend time and time again. 

The Superior Mattress 

When nothing but the best will do, you have the Superior Mattresses. Every Superior Mattress blends the latest manufacturing techniques with copious space-age and environmentally friendly materials. In short, these are the best mattresses we've ever tested.  

How much should I spend on a new mattress?

Size, materials, and craftsmanship have a huge impact on how much you pay. And like most things, you get what you pay for. Mattresses are no exception. 

We don't advise anyone to spend less than £300 on a double mattress. The cost of a poor night's sleep on your health and wellbeing just isn't worth it. But that doesn't mean you have to spend thousands to get a good night's sleep.  

Consider this. Your daily coffee could be costing you more money in 1 year than a new mattress would cost you in 5 years. Let's do the math. 

A £3 coffee Monday to Friday costs £15. Over 1 month that's £60. Over 12 months that's £720.  

For £720 you could invest in our Premium Pocket Sprung Mattress, not spend another penny for at least 5 years, and still pocket £220 change. 

Mattress myth-busting

The mattress industry is full of made-up words and misconceptions. But we've been around long enough to help you separate mattress fact from mattress fiction. 

 

More springs are always better - FALSE

Over recent years spring count has turned into a game of mattress Top Trumps. Some manufacturers even resort to hiding smaller springs in their mattresses to boost the advertised numbers and sell more mattresses.  

That’s why we don't think it's helpful to advertise spring count. But by all means, get in touch and we’ll tell you exactly how many springs we use in each mattress.  

A good UK king size mattress will generally have 1,000 to 2,000 springsSmaller mattresses naturally contain fewer springs. A budget mattress might only contain 300 springs and should be avoided.  

More springs = a firmer mattress FALSE

It is, in fact, the thickness of the coil that determines the firmness. Thicker coils have a lower coil gauge which results in a firmer spring. While thinner coils have a higher coil gauge which results in a more gentle and 'bouncy' spring. 

Firm mattresses are always better for bad backs FALSE

While it is true that orthopedic mattresses are generally very firm to provide maximum support to those who prefer it, many medium-firm mattresses also do an amazing job of supporting bad backs. 

Natural fillings and pocket springs conform to your body and support the natural curves of your spine. Making them a favourite among many chiropractors and osteopaths. 

Mattress toppers will fix a sagging mattress FALSE

Mattress toppers are designed to preserve and extend the life of your mattress but will not fix a mattress that is already old and tired.  

Hotels often use mattress toppers to soften a firm mattress, but it’s worth knowing that this doesn’t work the other way around. Meaning a soft mattress can’t be made more firm with a mattress topper.  

Why does my new mattress feel so firm?

The older a mattress is, the softer it will feel. So if you've been sleeping on an old or sagging mattress, any new mattress will feel firmer than you're used to. 

Another thing to consider is that all mattress manufacturers have different ways of measuring firmness. So it's normal to experience subtle differences in the way your new mattress feels.  

Just like a new pair of shoes, mattresses can take up to 90 days to fully 'break-in'. The most important thing to remember is you can always use a mattress topper to soften a firm mattress, but not the other way around. 

Which firmness is right for me?

When it comes to firmness, your weight is the main thing to consider. However, firmness is subjective. 

We've found that the majority of people get a good night's sleep on 'medium' or 'medium-firm' pocket sprung mattresses. 

Children and those who weigh less than 10 stone should consider a 'medium-soft' mattress. 

Those who weigh more than 15 stone may find their best support in a 'medium-firm' or 'firm' mattress. Just bear in mind that a firm mattress does not always mean better support.

How do I know it will fit my bed base?

All our mattresses are handmade to order in all standard UK, EU, and custom sizes. See our Size Guide to learn more.  

 

If your size isn't listed, we can still make it for you. Just get in touch. We'll also call you after your order is placed to confirm the dimensions you've chosen.  

If you're unsure what size mattress you need, get in touch and we'll talk you through how to measure your divan base or bed frame. 

How will I get rid of my old mattress?

 

We can whisk away your old mattress when you replace it with us. We recycle all mattresses, so you don’t have to. Simply select the option at checkout.

How much will delivery cost?

The best things in life are free (or reasonably priced). So delivery is and will always be free to mainland England, Scotland, and Wales. So that’s one less thing to worry about.

We’ll even bring your new mattress to your bedroom and take away the packaging.

 

What now?

 

I still have questions

We’re here to help. You can send us a message using the Guru Chat below or send your questions to info@bedguru.co.uk and we’ll get back to you.

I'm ready to choose

I still have questions

We’re here to help. You can send us a message using the Guru Chat below or send your questions to info@bedguru.co.uk and we’ll get back to you.

I'm ready to choose

What now?

 

I still have questions

We’re here to help. You can send us a message using the Guru Chat below or send your questions to info@bedguru.co.uk and we’ll get back to you.

I'm ready to choose

I still have questions

We’re here to help. You can send us a message using the Guru Chat below or send your questions to info@bedguru.co.uk and we’ll get back to you.

I'm ready to choose

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