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Tuesday 11 April 2017

5 top tips for buying a new mattress

How old is your mattress?  If it's older than 8 years, you should be thinking about replacing it. That's the advice from the Sleep Council, who say that by this time your mattress will have lost much of its original comfort and support. But anecdotally, it seems most of us go beyond eight years. Way beyond in some cases.
I recently bought a new mattress after seeing a tempting offer in a Black Friday deal  (something of an oxymoron in the UK). I'm now getting the best sleep of my life. It's very supportive, comfortable and less hot than my previous wool stuffed mattress. 

It's not pleasant to consider what's in the older mattress. It will weigh more now than when you bought it, because on average we lose 285ml of fluid a night and shed 454 grams of dead skin cells a year (source: Dreams sleep survey).  

If you wake up sneezing, it may be caused by dust mites. If you wake up feeling poorly rested and maybe aching, it could be your mattress that's the problem.

Is This Mutton's guide to buying a new mattress

Different types of mattress

Which? magazine says most of its members choose pocket-sprung mattresses. But unlike memory foam mattresses, they don't mould to your shape. You'll also see continuous coil and open coil mattresses, which are usually cheaper than the other types of mattress, and latex mattresses. See the 2023 list of the best 10 mattresses. 

There's conflicting advice on whether or not it helps to pay more for a mattress. They can cost up to £40,000, but cost is not always a good indicator of comfort.

"Spend as much as you can afford," advises Andy Hills of And So To Bed. "The minimum should be about £700 on the mattress and bed base combined. It always strikes me as absurd that people will spend £3,000 or £4,000 on a sofa which they sit on for an hour or two some evenings, and much less than £1,000 on a bed where they will spend a crucial eight hours every night."

The starting point is how you normally sleep, and how much you weigh.

If you sleep on your side, a soft mattress is ideal as it lets your shoulders and hips sink while supporting the weight of the rest of your body.

Softer mattresses are better for an eight-stone woman whereas a firmer mattress will benefit a 16-stone rugby player type.

If you sleep on your side, but prefer the feel of a firmer mattress choose medium support. If you change position when you sleep, from your side to your back, then a medium/ firm mattress may be your best option.

If you prefer to sleep on your back or on your tummy, a firm mattress will give you just the right amount of support.And finally, an extra firm mattress, sometimes called an orthopaedic mattress,
offer a very firm level of support. But the only people who really need an "orthopaedic" mattress are those who have crushed a disc.

Lots of advice from Is This Mutton? on when and why you should replace your mattress

5 top tips for buying a mattress 

Most of us, according to Which?, are embarrassed about buying a mattress and make a decision very quickly after a cursory bounce in the shop.  But we should get over our embarrassment because if the mattress is to give us a good night's sleep for the next 10 years, we should make sure it's the right one for the job.

Many of today's modern mattresses are delivered in a box and can be returned after a trial lasting several weeks. 
  1. Take your time: You’re going to spend many hours sleeping on your new mattress, so make sure it feels comfortable.  Read reviews. 
  2. Think about long-term value: £100 spent on a mattress is just 2.7p a night spread over 10 years. Even £5,000 works out at less than £1.50 a night.
  3. Check your allergies: Even mild allergies to some fibres can seriously disrupt your sleep patterns. Mattresses are available to accommodate every sort of problem.
  4. Hunt in pairs: When testing mattresses, make sure you go with whoever you’ll be sharing it with, so that you get something suitable for both of you.
  5. Pay attention to details: Pillows, toppers, sheets and duvets all make a big difference too. Spend your money equally, rather than blowing it all on a mattress and scrimping on the rest.
Quilted mattresses tend to be of lower quality. Tufted ones, which look like they have buttons going through them, are better as this means the filling is contained to avoid it moving around. Good stitching around the sides indicates that the springs are contained in pockets, which will be much more effective than open spring mattresses.


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  1. Beware all the latex/foam mattresses. They feel super comfortable in the shop when you try them for 30 minutes, but try sleeping on them and you discover that they are unbearably hot. And it does not matter how many fancy sheets designed to counteract the hot properties of the mattress you buy, they are still too hot. Buyer beware! Those things weigh a ton and are a nightmare to get rid of, as I know from bitter experience. Never again! Pocketed springs and natural fibres for me every time now.


    1. This is a great tip --- I bought a mattress topper a couple of years ago in memory foam, and have been unbearably hot ever since. I have to have the windows open in deepest winter. And it's not my age.....

  2. Great tips thanks for sharing them. Gemma x

  3. You may choose the mattress for side sleepers with best natural elements like horse hair, straw, feathers or cotton and silk. They are often inflatable and totally compatible with the body’s structure.

  4. Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job. zinus green tea mattress review

  5. As a foam replacement mattress is the better choice for sofas, we will focus on the important factors to consider when shopping for a sofa bed mattress of this type.princess bed

  6. Nice top tips for buying new mattress, but I think it should cover best mattress for side sleepers and they should solve best mattress for back pain for everyone.


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