As stated by sleep experts, your mattress or foam needs to be changed in every seven years. However this might look like a bit of a hassle, your interest, personal preference and requirements will as well as change–and what you saw as the best mattress, and have been providing an excellent support for you, may later be too soft for you or too firm. The best mattress or foam for you will also depend on your sleeping position (side sleepers will have different needs to back sleepers), it will depend on whether you need pressure relief in certain areas and whether you require temperature regulation. It’s quite the science. Below, we’ve rounded up the best mattresses to buy now and broken down which type of new mattress is best for you.
Investing in the right mattress is one of the best ways to benefit your physical and mental health, with a good night’s sleep proven to reduce your chances of getting a whole host of diseases. “Take your time to decide what works for you,” says Jim Gerety, Managing Director of Vispring and all round mattress expert. If you are buying in person, “go back and visit a few times. Don’t be embarrassed. Lay on your side, on your stomach – shuffle around a bit. We move in our sleep about twenty times per night, so see how that feels. I would also recommend wearing comfortable clothes. Most people don’t sleep in thick jumpers with bags slung over their shoulders (unless you’ve had a really big night) so it’s unrealistic to assess the comfort of a mattress while dressed like that.”
What’s the best mattress to buy at a glance?
If you don’t have time to read our full mattress reviews below, we’ve compiled some at a glance information.
- Best value mattress: Emma Original Mattress.
- Best hybrid mattress: Simba Hybrid Pro.
- Best mattress in a box: Eve Premium Mattress.
- Best investment mattress: Brook + Wilde Perla Mattress.
Can I buy a mattress online?
Yes! Increasingly, buyers are flocking towards “mattress in a box” or bed-in-a-box furniture stores such as Simba, Emma, Panda and Brook + Wilde, which operate an online-only model selling foam or premium hybrid mattresses that arrive in a compact box, often with free delivery, unless a certain room or two-person delivery is selected. Because these mattresses are only available online, they come with generous try-at-home policies (many offer 100-night trials or more) so that you can return them if you’re not convinced and receive a full refund. If you decide to buy online, do have a look at each mattress brand’s warranty, so you know your rights should you need to return or exchange the type of mattress you’ve plumped for. We also recommend purchasing a mattress protector (this is different to a mattress topper which provides extra cushioning), to improve the lifespan of your mattress. Many of the mattresses come with a minimum 10-year-guarantee too, so you can rest easy if something were to happen to it.
What is the best mattress to buy in 2023?
Whilst there’s a lot of science that goes into the creation of mattresses, ultimately the most important thing is whether or not you get a good night’s sleep. The firmness level of the mattress is certainly something to think about–perhaps more so than whether to opt for springs or foam. Starting with the softer mattress option, a medium soft mattress is good for those who chop and change their sleeping position throughout the night. These are also the best for those who sleep on their sides. The next level up is a medium-firm mattress, or medium soft. These are ideal for back sleepers and mostly suit the average person. Finally, a firm mattress will prevent back pain as they are sturdier and prevent you from moving around too much. These are also the best choice for front or stomach sleepers.
Are foam or spring mattresses better?
There are three categories of mattress: those with springs, those with foam and those with both, known as hybrids, which have swept the market in recent years. When it comes to springs, there are open coil mattresses and pocket sprung mattresses; the latter being higher quality and more expensive. “In an open coil mattress, the spring coils that form the mattress all move together as one unit, so if you are sleeping next to someone and they move in the night, you will move too,” warns Vispring. In a pocket sprung mattress, each spring is encased in its own fabric pocket. “This enables each spring to move independently from the other springs, which creates more support and less movement of the mattress when you or your partner move during sleep.” This motion transfer is particularly important if you and your partner have different sleeping habits or times. “In general, the more pocket springs that are contained within a mattress, the more supportive it will be. A higher spring count offers more contact points with your body and will better contour your shape.”
Advocates of the best memory foam mattresses claim that it is particularly supportive and cradles your body, as it softens at the contact point, offering relief from pressure points. It also means you’re less likely to feel your partner moving around, although with a good pocket sprung mattress, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Many manufacturers are now producing hybrid mattresses, featuring springs underneath and then several layers of foam on top, which should provide the best of both worlds and work well for people who share a bed, but have different sleeping styles.
While springs (or foam) make up the main body of the mattress, it is also worth thinking about what’s on top, in the “comfort layer,” which is also known as the sleep surface. In some mattresses this will be foam, or natural materials such as latex or bamboo which are becoming increasingly popular. “Natural materials such as wool and horse tail are breathable and help to regulate temperature as you sleep by wicking moisture away from the skin,” says the team at Savoir Beds. “Natural, chemical-free fillings are also kinder to the sleeper and also – during both processing and disposal – to the environment,” they add. More mattress brands are looking towards making mattresses easier to recycle by using more natural materials, so expect to see more natural latex mattresses, as well as some including coconut fibres.
How firm should my mattress be?
This varies depending on factors such as body shape, body weight and body type. “Generally speaking for people that weigh up to 11 stone (70kg) we recommend choosing soft,” says Jim Gerety. “Between 11-16 stone (70-102 kg) we recommend medium, 16-20 stone (102-125 kg) is firm, and above that extra firm.” The team at Savoir expand on this idea. “The correct level of support is fundamental when choosing a mattress,” as you need to ensure your spinal alignment is in its natural position. “To achieve this perfectly, you must sink into the bed to some extent, or your spine will curve unnaturally and this may affect your posture. If you lie on your side, your hips and shoulders need to sink in to make sure you get support around waist level. If you lie on your back, your body must sink in sufficiently to ensure your lower back is well supported.” So even if you have a bad back, you don’t necessarily need to buy a firm mattress.
For couples of different statures and sleeping styles, most good bed companies will make mattresses that feature different tensions on each side. “At Savoir we offer a split-tension mattress option, custom-made to your preferences, so both you and your partner can have totally different support in the same bed.” Vispring offers the same thing. “If it’s just a one step difference – ie. soft and medium, or medium and firm – we can make this so it’s seamless, with no zip down the middle of the mattress.”
Where to buy a mattress
There is a huge range of mattresses out there, varying hugely in price and quality. To help you figure out what mattress is best for you, we’ve browsed, researched and explored the best mattresses from all our favourite furniture shops. Many people might start at a retailer which sells a number of brands. John Lewis and And So To Bed, for example, are stockists of Vispring mattresses, which start at around £1,100. We also like Westend Bed Company, who carry Marshall & Stewart and Hypnos. For a wider range of prices, John Lewis is an ever-reliable standby, stocking affordable mattresses under its own labels, such as Anyday and Classic Collection. Many of these furniture stores offer a range of other bedding necessities such as duvets, pillows and even beds themselves.