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Choosing a mattress

There are many factors to consider when thinking about buying a mattress especially as you will be spending 1/3 of your life time on it! Generally speaking choosing a mattress is based on personal preference and how much you are willing to spend. However, there are a few basic guidelines that should be considered when buying a new mattress that will allow those with any doubt about which to choose, to make an informed decision.

Comfort level

Soft, Soft/Medium, Medium, Medium Firm, Firm, Extra Firm... Which one is best for you? It mainly comes down to preference, if you don't know it's best to go and lay on a few different tensions to find which will be the most comfortable for you. A good guideline can be found in your body weight. Generally, the heavier you are, the more firmer a mattress you will require to support you. The lighter you are, the firmer a mattress will feel.

Below is a rough guideline that gives you a body weight to mattress tension comparison - remember if you're not sure try before you buy or speak to a member of staff who is trained to help you!

  • Up to 76kg (12 stone) - Soft, Medium/Soft, Medium

  • Between 76kg and 101kg (12 - 16 stone) - Medium

  • 101kg and above (16 stone plus) - Medium, Medium/Firm, Firm

Mattress types

This section explains the different types of mattress. Check the details on the product before you buy as some have additional features such as using non-allergic fillings or being handmade/stitched for extra comfort.
There are three main types of mattress.

  • Open coil (coil sprung)

  • Pocket Sprung

  • Foam (Memory or Latex)

Open coil

The open coil mattress is regarded as a classic mattress design, The technology used to create these coil springs is not as complex as say for example the pocket spring systems, which leaves open coil mattress designs mostly as a budget range item. Some open coil mattresses are enhanced with memory foam tops or latex but generally, they are for the price conscious consumer or for guest rooms, holiday homes etc.


  • Very affordable


  • Provide a broad, unspecific level of support

  • Shorter life span

Pocket Sprung

Pocket Sprung mattresses are recognized as the standard for what is considered a 'good quality' mattress. Pocket Sprung mattresses contain many 'isolated and separate' spring pockets - which move independently from one another to provide a more contoured level of support. Many pocket sprung mattresses are handmade and include luxurious fillings such as lamb's wool and cashmere.


  • Excellent value - mid range mattress

  • Good product life span

  • Generally a higher quality mattress than the Open Coil


  • More expensive


Some foam mattresses are very cheap because they are just a slab of normal foam in a damask cover. when Memory Foam is used in mattresses (either solely or in combination with a regular foam (support foam)) the product tends to be more expensive and luxurious.
The concept behind Memory Foam came from NASA who developed Visco Elastic 'memory foam' (usually found covering the mattress to various depths) providing support which contours to your bodies shape and thus provides maximum support.
'Memory foam' comes in density grades - the higher the density, the greater the resistance the foam will have and the firmer the mattress will be. Some 'foam' mattresses are a normal supporting foam (non-visco) core with 'memory foam' top layer - these are the more budget types while others are pure visco foam - and thus more expensive.


  • Come in a variety of prices from budget to luxury

  • Good product life span

  • Gives the most contoured support of any mattress type


  • Not to all tastes

  • Cheaper versions can be very warm in the summer


Sleepstations Sleep Guide

When buying a new bed/mattress you need to decide what your priorities are. Here is a list of a few things you need to consider as well as a short questionnaire to help you decide if you need a new mattress. Remember we are here to help; so if you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact a member of our team.


What is your price range ? It's always best to go into any situation knowing what you are willing to spend. If you are buying a bed and a mattress work out what you would like to spend on each item. If you are looking for a good deal on a complete bed a divan set is a good way to go and can offer various storage options. With the same as everything you get what you pay for, netter quality mattresses use natural materials, offer more longevity, comfort and support, but there is something for everyone's price range so don't think you have to pay £1000s for a good night's sleep.


  • Do you suffer from back ache and need an orthopaedic mattress? Or do you have any other health concerns - like needing a hypoallergenic mattress to help combat allergies?
  • Do you have trouble getting in and out of bed and could maybe do with an adjustable frame or one that is low to the ground?
  • Remember is you have any real health concerns it is always best to ask your doctor or chiropractor for advice.


There are many types of mattresses around today ie coil, pocket, memory, latex and hybrids. Generally if you are happy with the type of mattress you have been sleeping on try to stick to that type - or if you are looking for something different speak to someone (not just us - ask friends and family who have a similar type to ask what they think of it) or try before you buy.

I could write an essay on the different types of mattresses available but generally speaking the more springs a mattress has the firmer it will be, memory foam and latex form around the bodies contours activating via heat and weight respectively and hybrids are a combination of say pocketed springs and memory foam.

If you struggle with heat issues in the summer look for a mattress with Coolmax, Tencel fibres or other cooling fabrics (especially with memory foam.)

If you have any concerns about which mattress might be best for you - speak to the experts as it really is a mine field out there!


Work out what size bed/mattress you want and measure to see if it will fit both in your room and up the stairs/through any apertures. If space is a concern there are options available such as rolled mattresses and flat packed beds.

If you are sleeping with a partner make sure you buy a bed/mattress that is big enough for the two of you. 5ft and 6ft beds are longer that the standard 4ft6 double bed so this may help if you or your partner is above average height.


When buying a new bed work out whether you are buying for functionality (ie storage space) or for aesthetics. Of course you can have both; but options can be limited due to space restrictions.

If you are buying for a spare or secondary room generally as you are not sleeping on it every night a cheaper bed is a viable solution but if you are having guests over regularly you want them to have a good night's sleep too.


if you need storage space - how much? will drawers be enough space or do you need to think about ottoman storage?


There are many different types and colours of beds out there, so think about how the bed will affect the overall decor of the room - swatches for some beds are available and if you are buying a wooden bed to match pre-brought furniture make sure it matches.

I hope this guide helps you out - check on the site for guides to buying a child's bed and much more, and remember we are here via phone, email or live chat to help.


  1. Is your mattress over 6-7 years of age? (mattresses can last for a long while but after time they lose their supportive values and become unhygienic)
  2. When sleeping on another mattress (at a hotel for example) did you have a better night's sleep?
  3. When you wake up do you feel refreshed or suffer from aches or pains?
  4. If sleeping with a partner does their movements affect your sleep?
  5. Does the mattress look a little worn and tatty or have marks on it?
  6. Can you feel any lumps or springs?
  7. Is it making creaking noises or 'twangs'?
  8. Is the mattress sagging in places?
  9. Are you or your partner rolling together involuntarily?
  10. Have you thought about upgrading for a new one in the past year but never got round to it?

You've answered yes to

4-7 definitely start looking/shopping around

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