The UK’s Most Awarded Mattress, Made in the UK.
Our exceptional product quality has been proven to provide the greatest sleeping experience. With awards, endorsements and recommendations from notable testing agencies such as Which?, The Independent, T3, Good Housekeeping and many more. Our Emma Original is the UK’s most-awarded mattress in 2019, but don’t just take their word for it! Take advantage of our risk-free 200-night trial and try it out yourself.
"Emma has managed to rise above the excellent competition in this area to be crowned best mattress."
"Exceptional. It’s one of the highest-scoring mattresses we’ve tested in years!"
Which? Consumers’ Association, 2019
"This is as good as it gets. "
The Independent, 2019
"The ‘Emma Original’ mattress – best mattress for all-around comfort."
Ideal Home, 2019
"Substantial firm mattress that provides best nights sleep."
Good Housekeeping Institute, 2018
"This design provided a comfortable, non-sweaty night’s rest for both our testers."
"There is no doubt that this is the UK’s leading mattress!"
The Mattress Guide, 2020
Made with you in mind.
Now isn’t the time to worry about having to make a quick decision about whether the Emma products are perfect for you. That’s why for now we have doubled our risk-free trial period from 100 to 200 nights, So, relax, take your time and enjoy.
Free, no-contact delivery
Each Emma product is delivered factory-fresh and brand-new straight to your doorstep. Our no-signature regulation cuts out all unnecessary contact between you and the courier service. And as usual, delivery and returns are entirely free.
Your mattress comes with a 10-year guarantee. That’s how sure of its quality we are. So, in the unlikely event that you have any problems, let us know and we’ll sort it out.
We’ve partnered up with Klarna to give you the freedom to spread the cost of your Emma items
"Fabulous mattress! My husband often complained of back troubles in the past (he’s 33yrs old) so we decided to invest in an Emma mattress after reading the reviews. We are so glad we did! It’s perfect for us and we wouldn’t go back to cheapy/rubbish mattresses ever again."
"I was very doubtful of the reviews and ratings which kept coming up online, but I took a gamble and opted for an Emma mattress. There is absolutely no way I would return or replace it as it is literally the best mattress I’ve ever had. Couldn’t be happier with it."
"Amazingly comfortable mattress and excellent customer service. I bought a King and we slept on it on the floor for some time after buying our new house — even on the floor it was really comfortable! You cannot feel the other person in the bed moving around at all."
"Loved it from the first night! Extremely comfortable and easy for me to move on my own. My last mattress was a traditional one and a nightmare to move, taking 2 people, so the Emma is a delight after that. My sleep has improved too. I really highly recommend it."
Don’t just take our word for it – see for yourself! Find out which Emma is right for you.
How to buy the best mattress
We explain how to find the best mattress without paying thousands of pounds.
Put us to the test
Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You’ll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don’t get stuck with a Don’t Buy.
Do you want a good night’s sleep? Deciding which type of mattress to buy is only part of the story. Whether you prefer a pocket-sprung or a memory-foam mattress, our tests have found big differences between the best and worst of each mattress ‘type’.
Make the wrong choices and you risk being lumbered with a needlessly expensive mattress that’s uncomfortable, unsupportive and unable to stand the test of time without sagging and softening.
Thankfully, we’ve explained everything you need to know below to ensure you get the right mattress.
Video: how to buy the best mattress
Watch our video to help you pick the perfect mattress for your sleeping position, body shape and bedroom.
Types of mattress
Pocket-sprung, latex and memory-foam mattresses have all impressed in our tough tests, so the type of mattress you choose really comes down to personal preference and budget.
If you want a traditional mattress with natural fillings, such as wool, you’ll want a pocket-sprung mattress.
With these, each spring is enclosed in its own fabric ‘pocket’ – each reacts to pressure from your body independently. However, these can be pricey and our tests show they can sag significantly over time.
Memory-foam mattresses can be more durable and mould to your body shape but, in some cases, this can increase your body temperature and restrict your movement.
For more information about mattress types, see our guide to choosing the best type of mattress.
How much does a good mattress cost?
A new mattress can cost anywhere between £100 and several thousand. Factors such as brand, size and the types of material used can all have a significant impact on cost.
But, as the graph below shows, our mattress tests have found you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a mattress that will support your spine and last for years to come. Take a look at our list of the best cheap mattresses.
Number of Best Buy mattresses by price
What are the best mattress brands?
Our April 2018 survey of more than 5,000 mattress owners revealed that three in 10 Which? members bought their current mattress because it’s made by a brand they trust. If you’re not sure what the best mattress brands are, we can help.
Check out our guide to the best and worst mattress brands. This reveals what people think of the brand of mattress they own, including how comfortable their mattress is, and covers major brands such as Casper, Ikea, John Lewis, Sealy and Silentnight.
Soft vs firm mattresses
When it comes to firmness, the most important thing is to buy a mattress that you find comfortable.
Don’t buy a mattress that’s firmer than you’d like on the assumption that it will be more supportive. Time and again, our tests have shown you don’t have to buy a firm mattress to get excellent and long-lasting support.
Equally, don’t assume that a firm mattress in one store will feel the same in other shops. Firmness is subjective and manufacturers describe the firmness of their mattresses in a range of different ways.
That’s why we don’t use terms such as soft and firm in our reviews. Instead, we objectively test mattress firmness on a scale of one to 10, where one is the firmest and 10 the softest, so you can easily compare the firmness of different mattresses.
We also measure how supportive each mattress is for a range of different body sizes and sleeping positions.
Use our mattress reviews to arm yourself with a shortlist of supportive mattresses to try out in store.
Best mattresses: features to look out for
As mattresses serve a single basic function – to help us sleep – they don’t come overloaded with jazzy features. But there are still a few things to look out for.
- One-sidedAs the name suggests, only one side of a one-sided mattress is designed to be slept on. Mattresses can be extremely heavy – the heaviest we’ve seen weighs more than 50kg – so you may be relieved not to feel obliged to flip it. You’ll probably still need to rotate it from head to toe, though, so it’s a good idea to check the ease of use rating in our mattress reviews.
- Natural fillingsMany pocket-sprung mattresses also contain layers of synthetic fillings, such as foam. If you’re keen to avoid these, look out for mattresses specifically claim to be made using only natural materials.
- Memory foamSimilarly, just because a mattress contains memory foam doesn’t make it a memory-foam mattress. We only class a mattress as memory foam if it contains more than just a token layer of the body moulding material. See all our memory foam mattress reviews.
Try before you buy
Buying a mattress online may be cheaper and more convenient but, unless you’re buying a bed-in-a-box mattress (see below), it’s always best to try before you buy.
When we asked Which? members about their experience of buying a mattress, more than a third of them told us they feel intimidated trying out a mattress in the shop. A good mattress shop shouldn’t mind you doing this. See our guide on the best mattress shops.
When trying out a mattress in-store:
- Wear comfortable clothing and remove your outdoor gear.
- Lie on a mattress for at least 10 minutes, in positions that you normally sleep in.
- If the bed is for two, go with your partner.
- Don’t shop for beds when you’re tired, as all the mattresses will feel great.
- Don’t let sales assistants influence you – they can’t decide whether the mattress is comfortable for you.
If you’re buying a memory foam mattress, relax in one position, then move into another. Was it easy or did you struggle to move? If the latter, you might find the memory mattress will restrict your movement too much, especially in cold weather when the memory foam will be harder.
Should you buy a mattress online?
If you’re looking for a bargain mattress, one option is to try a few mattresses out in a shop, before going home to search for the best price online. That’s what 5% of Which? members did when they bought their last mattress, according to our 2018 survey of more than 5,000 mattress owners.
But around 14% bought online without trying their mattress first. That sounds risky – especially when we’ve just recommended you try a mattress before you buy – but it’s not if you buy a bed-in-a-box mattress.
These are mattresses that are bought online, vacuum-packed into a box and delivered direct to your door, and there are three reasons you should consider one:
- By cutting out the retailer and selling direct from manufacturer to consumer, many brands claim you’re getting a higher-quality mattress for less.
- Most online-only mattresses offer a sleep trial of at least 10 weeks. During this time you can try the mattress at home and send it back for a full refund if you don’t like it. In most cases, the manufacturer will collect the unwanted mattress from your house for free before recycling it or donating it to charity.
- We’re yet to test a bad one. More than half of the Best Buy mattresses we’ve uncovered can only be bought in a box.
Make sure your mattress fits your bed base
Manufacturers may encourage you to buy a mattress and bed base together, and this is a good idea if you’ve had your old base for many years.
If you buy the mattress and base separately, or are going to keep your old base, measure carefully to make sure they’re a good fit. Dimensions can vary so don’t rely on a new double mattress being exactly the same size as your old one.
Is your mattress going on to a slatted base? Then make sure that the slats are no more than 6cm wide or more than 4cm apart. This ensures sufficient ventilation, while preventing the mattress sagging through between the slats.
For more information, read our guide: What bed size do you need?
Check the guarantee/warranty on your mattress
Make sure you know what your rights are if there’s a problem with your mattress.
Most guarantees for mattresses will not cover gradual wear and tear, which leads to loss of support. So make sure you use our mattress reviews to pick out a durable mattress that will stand the test of time.
Most online-only mattresses offer a sleep trial of at least 10 weeks.
Before you buy your mattress, check whether there’s anything in particular, such as removing labels or using a base other than a recommended one, that would invalidate the guarantee.
Now you know how to go about buying the best mattress for you, check out ourbest mattressrecommendationsto reveal the mattresses that will support your spine and last for years.
Is The Emma Mattress Still A Best Buy In 2020?
It wasn’t long ago that I was researching mattresses in the UK market when I came across a brand name that popped out at me for some reason. There are plenty of new upstarts appearing and then disappearing all too often, but the reason why this one caught my attention was because I had seen it some time ago and dismissed it for another one of those soon-to-disappear mattress brands. I was obviously wrong because here I was again, this time much more intrigued, flicking through every page of their website and analyzing every layer of their mattress.
As the title of this review would suggest, it was Emma Mattress that caught my eye. A few weeks later, I managed to get my hands on one. I couldn’t let the opportunity pass up on reviewing for myself aWhich? Best Buy (Mattresses June 2017). Read on for all the details or click the button below to check out the latest price.
Table of Contents
Emma Mattress Review
Established since 2015, Emma is a UK based company who work with leading manufacturers to produce the Emma Mattress, and Pillow too. The mattress is assembled in Derby, and so far appears to have one mattress under its belt and no brick and mortar showrooms. This is the new norm in the current mattress industry, and some of the best in the world have done extremely well using the same modus operandi .
What’s Inside An Emma Mattress?
Before we get into the review, let’s take a look inside the Emma and discuss some of the layers and materials which make up the core of this hybrid mattress.
Every Emma no matter the mattress size you choose will be 10″ thick (25 cm). Essentially it is made up with a mixture of 4 different layers. It has3 layers of foamand1 layer of pocket springs. Here’s how they are arranged, starting from the bottom up:
- The base layer iscold foam. This is a durable base that provides the counter-pressure whatever your sleeping position. Notice how there are holes across the base. This allows for effective body heat dissipation which ensures a cool night’s sleep. Also, note how each hole has a slit across the width of the mattress. This allows for pressure-relieving support of your lower back and other body parts by helping the high-density foam to contour easily.
- On top is a layer of traditionalvisco elastic memory foam. This material is good for body contouring and pressure point relief, proving useful for those with bad back issues or other types of joint pain.
- Then comes the layer of up to 2000pocket springs. If you’re wondering why you cannot see any springs it’s because they are within the border of foam. This is the reason that you cannot see the pocket springs from the side, but can when removing the top layer. This type of spring system is much better than the old Bonnell springs found in cheaper mattresses because they offer better motion isolation, thus making it ideal when sharing the bed.
- Finally at the top and nearest the sleeper is a specialAirgocell foamlayer. This is an open-pored and breathable type of foam that is supposed to help keep you cool at night and also be an effective motion isolator – Both subjects upon which I will cover in detail below.
- The grey removable and washable zippered cover is made of 98% Polyester and 2% Elastane and has anti-slip elements at the bottom for added traction when placing on the floor or Divans.
Delivery and Packaging
After a hectic week, I woke up one Friday to an email from UPS regarding my delivery. I was home all day so was patiently waiting for my package to arrive.
Overall, the delivery experience was extremely swift. Within a week the boxed mattress was being pulled off the van and into my hallway by two no-nonsense looking delivery guys. The roll-up and vacuum packed mattress may be boxed and easy to transport compared to a traditional non-rolled type, but boy was this thing heavy (30 kg according to Emma’s mattress spec sheet). UPS didn’t take the package up to my bedroom (I didn’t ask them to, perhaps they would have if asked), but I like to do all my unboxing and some picture taking in the dining room. Luckily my sister-in-law was staying over so we later managed to haul up the rolled mattress (out of the box now) to the bedroom and lay out across my wooden slats. Bear in mind, this is almost certainly a two-person job.
As you can see, somewhat battered and bruised, the box wasn’t exactly perfect. Luckily the strong plastic vacuum wrapping is extremely good at protecting the mattress from a damaged box, any water seepage or other calamities that may occur during transportation.
Setting It Up
It’s pretty much the same process with the Emma as it is with other bed in a box solutions. In their own words, simply remove Emma from the box, roll out the mattress onto a flat surface (in my case a King size Ottoman bed), and use the enclosed cutter (found stuck on the back of the instruction manual) to gently cut and remove the plastic film. Emma needs only a few hours to breathe and is then immediately ready to be slept on.
This is a process that most people should be familiar with if you have purchased a bed in a box mattress, usually a memory foam or hybrid, within the past 5 years or so. If not, it really is that simple. Please note that when removing the packaging it’s important to use the included tool. The vacuum seal is very tight and using a knife or scissors could damage the mattress.
Not all mattresses are compatible with every type of bed. Luckily Emma will suit almost any bed, including your traditional Divan, slatted beds and even on the floor.
There was some off-gassing which was almost expected given the type of mattress and the fact is was sealed up. Off-gassing isn’t generally a problem, although I have read some 1 or 2 sentence customer reviews in the past for other brands where a perfectly good mattress loses marks for days of off-gassing. With the Emma, the odour wasn’t too strong – I left the bedroom window open for a few hours. That night there was a slight smell remaining but by the following early afternoon, it was gone. That’s approximately 24 hours, which is acceptable.
The mattress actually appeared to fully expand within 15 minutes or so. It was 10″ high and seemed level across the entire surface in no time. However, I was still not prepared to use it without waiting for the advised 3 or 4 hour wait. Even until today the mattress hasn’t gained or lost any height that was achieved within the first 15 minutes of expansion.
The Feel and Sleeping Positions
Emma claims their mattress is for everyone. It is supposed to provide maximum adaptability through their topmost Airgocell ® layer. This is an interesting claim because everyone has different needs. However, it is widely accepted that a majority of people will opt for a medium feel as opposed to a plush or firm when given a choice. The Emma Mattress, in my opinion, is amedium firmness. Simply put, it’s not too hard and not too soft, just right. So far, I have experienced no issues with support or spinal alignment, and four weeks into using I have not developed any aches and pains either.
The decision to place the springs in-between two layers of foam has proven quite effective too. The pocket springs offer some bounce and provide some give for the two outer layers of foam. It also eliminates that stuck or sinking sensation which memory foam can often be too much to handle, but yet the contouring and hugging sensation that memory foam is most famous for is still present.
In terms of sleeping position, I am primarily a side sleeper but also quite often sleep on my stomach. For both of these sleeping positions medium works just fine. Those who specifically need a firm mattress or require added support for back issues may find a medium-firm or firm option much more suited.
I thought to include this section because I can’t stress how much I love the look of this mattress. I have seen some awful looking mattresses in my time. Some are way too bright and colourful whilst others are oddly patterned. In my opinion, the Emma is one of the best looking mattresses I have seen for a while. My wardrobe is full of charcoals and blacks, which is probably why I love the look of Emma so much. Obviously, I had seen it online, but in person, you get a better feel of the quality and design, which all play part in overall aesthetics as well as build quality. I love the grey fabric cover contrasting with the white. The fabric handles add a nice touch whilst also making it easy to transport and move around at a later date if required. Even the tiny logo in a pop of blue finishes things off nicely. It oozes a premium feel almost without trying and pictures certainly don’t do it any justice.
Almost every mattress will usually be permanently covered with bedding and the duvet, but that’s not the point. For me, there is an element of satisfaction knowing that my mattress looks as good as it feels.
In my opinion, most modern mattresses typically last anything between 6-8 years. Any mattress being used longer than this period and I would be surprised if it was offering the same level of support and comfort, no matter what the manufacturer claims. This is obviously great news because most of the best mattress brands are offering between 10-20 year warranty on their products.
Emma are no different. They seem confident enough in their product to offer a 10-year warranty on the dimensional stability and durability of the core materials.
Four Weeks On, And The 100 Night Trial
It’s important to use any new mattress thoroughly before deciding on whether to keep it or not. Getting used to your mattress is key, which is why testing one out for a few minutes in a showroom is generally a fruitless exercise. Emma recommends using their mattress for at least 3-4 weeks before sending it back even though they give you the flexibility of trying it risk-free for 100 nights. Well, I have been using it for 4 weeks now, and can safely say that within a few weeks I had decided this was going to be a keeper. Four weeks in and my mind hasn’t changed and I doubt it will by the end of the 3+ month trial period. For those people who may need more than a few weeks to decide, or have decided already, simply call the customer support team if required within 100 nights – they will pick it up, no questions asked, and issue a full refund.
Mattresses are one of those bulky purchases which not only cost a lot, but for some people are also a pain to choose, buy, and then dispose of when it comes to getting rid of the old one too. Although in-home trials are common and lengthy, the whole process of having to return a mattress and then go through it all over again, until you find the perfect mattress for your needs can be quite a hassle for some. That’s why it’s important to get it right the first time. With the Emma Mattress, I would say this is one of those purchases that for the money is a safe choice and still a “best buy“. Being a mid-range product it isn’t the cheapest on the UK market, but it does perform well enough to warrant a trial at least.
The last mattress I was using before Emma came along was a relatively new high-end 7 zone mattress which was perfect for my needs, and I genuinely thought that I would miss it. But I don’t, and that’s because for this category and price range, so far I am hard pushed to find any negativity to raise about the Emma. If you’re convinced and want to buy one or read more click the button below to check the latest price.
The Eve Mattress Review
Updated: March 26, 2020 by Lauren Kendrick
- Motion Isolation
The Eve mattress builds upon a traditional memory-foam design with several new tricks and U.K.-made quality at a great price, backed by the best warranty we’ve ever seen.
- High qualityat great price -just $749(with coupon 100EVEXMAS)
- Best warrantyin the industry
- 100-nightrisk-free trial
- Only one firmness to choose from
- No in-room delivery
Full Eve Mattress Review
In this Eve Mattress Review, we’ll see if it delivers on its promise of an uncompromising sleeping experience.
What Type of Mattress is it?
The Eve mattress employs anall-foam, three-layer design that incorporates a proprietary blend at the very top. Eve is the second outing for a team that previously built the UK’s most popular online mattress brand, and both mattresses and covers areproduced in the heart of the England’s famed textile country.
With a single design stemming from feedback gleaned through selling tens of thousands of mattresses in the past, Eve aims to please the vast majority of sleepers at affordable price points.
Even at a first glance,Eve seems to check all the boxes that today’s shoppers expect.
Let’s look at the most popular questions we get from our readers:
How Firm is the Eve Mattress?
Eve falls on themedium-firmside of the scale, a range that tends to accommodate most.
The founders of the company emphasize that selling more than 75,000 mattresses with their previous venture helped them identify thissweet spot.
They launched Eve also tosimplify the mattress selection processas it’s usually way too complex and the results are anyway far from certain.
By offering one level of firmness only, they are confident that more people will simply be happier. And otherwise, there is a solid100-day satisfaction guarantee(see the details below).
Does the Eve Mattress Offer Good Motion Isolation?
Fairly dense foam throughout allows Eve todampen motion nicely, so a restless sleeper will be less likely to disturb a partner.
That also entails a less-lively feel, compared to some innerspring or latex mattresses, that a few could find unappealing, although Eve’s special upper layer helps mitigate this.
Will It Get Hot while Sleeping?
As with other high-end memory foam mattresses, Eve reflects some serious thinking about how to dissipate heat to keep sleepers cool.
The proprietary upper foam layer shoulders much of this duty, but the middle layer lends a hand, too, with30% improved airflow compared to conventional foam.
Most will find Eve apleasantly coolmattress to sleep on.
How Long Will It Last?
Eve can be expected to provide support and comfort fora decade or more, as its high-quality materials will hold up well under normal usage.
As usual, heavier and larger owners will inflict more wear, but even they can expect many years of comfortable sleep and support.
Is There a “New Mattress” Smell?
Abit of a smellcan be experienced when Eve is first removed from its packaging, but it will dissipate quickly. It has to do with the mattress being enclosed under vacuum for a few days and is definitelynot toxic.
The mattress has been certified by CertiPUR-US, which confirms that no nasty chemicals have been used in the manufacturing process.
How is the Eve Mattress Structured?
Eve uses a fairly conservative and time-tested,three-layer foam design:
- Comfort-Enhancing “New Generation” Upper Layer: The top layer of the mattress is the softest and most conforming of all. A proprietary“New Generation” memory foam blendhelps keep heat from building up and alsocontributes some of the bouncethat fans of latex and coil-spring mattresses sometimes miss.
- Transitional Memory Foam Middle Layer: The middle layer softens things up quite a bit, while also providing some of the cradling comfort memory foam is known for, in addition to 30% greaterairflowthan the norm.
- High Density Base Layer: finally, the bottom layer provides much of itssupport, with the relatively stiff foam compressing just a bit under forces transmitted from above.
Those layers are encased in apremium stretch-fabric cover knitted by handin the UK.
Although the Eve clocks in at a relatively slim10 inches in height, it offers satisfying support and comfort comparable to other mattresses of its type featuring greater heights.
What Are the Available Sizes?
Eve is available in all the usual American-market sizes:
As mentioned above, theheight for all models is 10 inches.
How is it Delivered? How Long Will it Take?
The Eve Mattress isdelivered for freein aconvenient boxthat will let you place the mattress wherever you prefer without worrying about tight passageway and narrow doors.
This also allows for lower packing costs and less waste of materials, contributing to thelow price tag.
Asthe box weighs about 90 lbs.and it will be delivered to your door only, just make sure you get some help in order not to injure your back!
The delivery time for mainland USA is7 working days. Did we sayit’s free?
Is it Easy to Unpack and Install?
It is as easy as opening a box and cuttingcarefullythe plastic wrapping with scissors, as the short video below demonstrates. Again, just be careful not to damage anything.
Once unpacked, the mattress will just takeabout an hourto be fully decompressed from its vacuum wrapping.
Does It Require a Special Foundation?
No. The firmness of the bottom layer allows Eve to match up well with everything from box springs to platforms of all kinds or even a bare floor.
Can I Use a Mattress Pad?
Eve will easily accept just about any mattress pad or topper. However, be aware that adding a mattress padmight modify the final firmness, affecting the ideal comfort the mattress was designed to provide. No harm in trying though.
As you can read below, on the other hand a mattress protector is encouraged to keep the mattress clean and increase its durability.
How Do I Care for the Eve Mattress?
The makers of Eve recommend the cover bespot cleanedwhen necessary, with no attempt to remove it for washing. In fact, a dedicated mattress protector is also recommended because of this.
Ideally,Eve should be rotated lengthwise once per monthfor the first year to ensure that the initial compaction of the lower foam layers is even.
Is Satisfaction Guaranteed?
Eve comes with a100-day trial period, withfree pickup and full refundif it turns out to be unsatisfactory.
There’s even an option totry Eve for 30 days without paying anything at allby signing up for a special offer at checkout on their official website.
What About the Warranty?
The Eve Mattress is backed by a10-year warrantyagainst defects, with full replacement if any problems appear, instead of the prorated coverage that some competitors offer.
Amazingly enough, when we challenged them on the warranty terms, they were very candid and told us thatthey don’t expect the mattress to deteriorate at all, except the usual wear and tear of course.
This means that this warranty has no limitations.It’s the first time we come across such confidence in a mattress’ long-term quality by its manufacturer.
How Much Does the Eve Mattress Cost?
Shipping included, Eve ranges in price from $449 for the Twin size to $749 for both regular and California King models, with the benchmarkQueen coming in at $649.
That puts it right in line with a fair amount of competition that similarly aims at delivering a 2000-dollar night’s sleep for a lot less.
Even in a crowded field, theEve Mattress stands out as an appealing option. The high-quality stretch-fabric cover, breathable middle section, and a top layer that provides a nice taste of coil-spring responsivenesswill impress many.
As this Eve Mattress Review should make clear, those who seek especially firm or soft mattresses will need to look elsewhere, but other shoppers focusing on this price range should findexcellent value and sleep-enhancing comfort.
How to choose a mattress – and 5 of the best mattresses to invest in now
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I t can be hard to find the best mattress for a good night’s sleep. Memory-foam, Egyptian cotton and pocket springs may cloud our judgement, making it difficult to choose the right mattress.
Mattresses have become so technological – some are even based on research from the US space agency NASA – that they now sometimes go by the name ‘sleep systems’.
And at up to £40,000 a go, some even cost as much as a mid-range BMW and command the same sort of social status. But is it really necessary to fork out to get a good night’s sleep?
The consensus is that a cheap mattress is indeed a false economy – spending, say, less than £200 is almost certainly not going to ensure a good night’s sleep unless you are very young, very light and frequently sleeping somewhere else.
Cheap mattresses also need replacing more often, perhaps as frequently as every two years. Spend a bit extra, say, more than £1,000, and you should not need to change the mattresses for 10 years, or, in the most luxurious pocket spring cases, up to 25.
"Spend as much as you can afford," advises Martin Gill 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."
O nce you have fixed the budget, the next priority is looking for the right kind of support.
"People often ask for orthopaedic mattresses, but all that means is a hard one," says Gill. "Very few people actually need a hard mattress unless they have crushed a disc. For most other people, they will simply be uncomfortable, particularly for lighter women, creating shoulder pain and pins and needles sensations."
I ndeed, your body weight will largely dictate the sort of tension you require – the softer ones are better for an eight-stone woman, a firmer mattress will benefit a 16-stone rugby player type. Of course, many suppliers sell combination mattresses with different tensions on either side, catering for couples with greatly varying weights.
Others sell two mattresses zipped together, a technique much improved on the old days, making it now almost impossible to tell that there is a divide. "We say if couples feel the zip, we’ll give them their money back," says Gill.
With spring mattresses, the firmness is largely dictated by the number of springs. High-quality mattresses such as Vi-Spring, such as the superb double model, will often have soft cotton and lamb’s wool to enhance the springs; the very best will have horsehair filling, which breathes well and acts like more tiny springs.
Vi-Spring offer a comfort promise – try the mattress for up to 90 days, and if need be, they will replace it with a softer or harder one. Tempur, a manufacturer of memory foam mattresses using material developed at NASA to relieve g-force pressures during space launches, offers a 60-night free trial.
T he viscoelastic foam is designed to eliminate pressure points by spreading body weight evenly. The foam cell mattresses, that start at around £1,040 for a double, reorganise themselves constantly to mould to the exact contours of a body, and because they do not harbour dust mites in the same way as more traditional mattresses, they are excellent for asthma sufferers.
Although good mattresses are expensive, they are surely worth it for health and happiness, even if it means making savings elsewhere. "People often put up with wakeful nights, constant tiredness and sore backs for a long time before connecting it to the mattress," warns Lucy Benham of John Lewis & Partners.
"A good test is sitting on the edge and seeing whether the whole side of the mattress collapses. If so, the mattress needs urgent replacement.
"Also, when looking at a new one, remember that quilted ones 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.
"But always remember to lie down on a mattress in the showroom and ask for professional advice. Choosing a new mattress is a very important decision indeed."
M ake sure the bed base is suitable for your mattress. A poor base will make even the most expensive mattress uncomfortable. Divan or upholstered ones are best for spring mattresses as the springs in both components complement each other. Memory foam mattresses are better if you have only a wooden slatted base.
To gauge the right tension for you, lie on the mattress in the showroom, and push your hand under the small of your back. If there is a large gap, the mattress is too soft, no gap at all, then it’s too firm. Just being able to pass your hand through suggests that the tension is spot on.
If the mattress is too hard, your body will try to compensate by frequently tossing and turning during the night, up to 60 times. This will impair your and your partner’s sleep. A good mattress will reduce turning to 17 times a night.
A too-hard mattress makes the body do the work, rather than the bed. The shoulder and hips cannot sink into the mattress, so they curve towards each other, resulting in a bent and stressed spine.
A too-soft mattress lets the body sink into a hammock position, causing hips and shoulders to pinch in, the spine to curve and putting pressure on joints and muscles. Numbness and tingling can follow.
The best spring mattresses tend to be pocket-sprung, where each individual spring is kept separate to respond to pressure from your body.