Experts* advise that the average adult needs a consistent seven hours sleep a night which translates to spending nearly one third of our lives in bed, so investing in a good quality mattress should be a top priority. Knowing when to update your mattress and identifying the best type for you can be daunting as there are lots of different options available.
This guide aims to clarify the purchasing process by identifying the different choices and providing some useful tips. However, at the end of the day, buying the right mattress is a very personal decision. Once you’ve researched the different options the most important advice is to see whether you can try out the mattress for a few weeks at home, with the option to return or exchange it without penalty, if it’s not suitable. Ask the salesperson to see whether this is possible, as it’s the best way to guarantee you get the right mattress for you, and to ensure you get the restful night’s sleep you deserve.
Available in two options – open and pocket spring – metal spring mattresses have been around for the longest and are therefore the most frequently purchased mattresses. The springs are topped by different fillings ranging from mixtures of coir, sisal, lamb’s wool and/or cotton. While the filling has a bearing on the comfort of the mattress, the spring type is of paramount importance when it comes to this category. The metal springs provide support by pushing up against the body and resisting body weight. They come in a variety of thicknesses or gauges, the thicker the gauge the more supportive the spring.
The cheaper and most common metal spring mattress, border rods or wires give the mattress a firm edge and help it keep its shape. The open coil springs are interlinked so move with you and your partner.
The luxury metal spring mattress, springs are housed individually in fabric ‘pockets’ to ensure they work independently. This is particularly beneficial if there is a significant difference in weight between you and your partner.
Pocket springs are now often made with differing elasticity which means they can be arranged in zones, giving different parts of your body the support they need.
Now all most 30 years old, Memory Foam is softened by body heat so the mattress moulds to the shape of your body. This provides excellent support, is good for posture and eliminates pressure points. It is especially beneficial when sleeping on your side as it helps to align your spine horizontally. The traditional memory foam mattress, cut in slabs, is a dense material so air flow through the mattress is limited so it retains heat. These mattresses also are made of the same density foam throughout, so unlike pocket springs don’t have zones. The foam is hypo-allergenic and has antibacterial properties so has been popular with allergy sufferers.
Latex foam mattresses are resilient, hypo-allergenic and anti-bacterial so, like other foam options, are a good choice for allergy sufferers. Thanks to the natural elasticity of latex, the mattress immediately recovers its shape when weight is removed. Over time cells within the foam open more fully and react more quickly so the mattress can start to feel softer.
Octaspring is the next generation of mattresses. A combination of the best technologies from memory foam and metal spring mattresses the unique honeycomb foam ‘Octasprings’ provide cushioned, well ventilated support.
Like Memory Foam mattresses, the Octaspring accepts body weight rather than resisting it so the mattress cradles your body rather than pushing up against it. However, the unique honeycomb structure of the springs provide an exceptional ventilation system so fresh air passes through the mattress eliminating any excess heat and moisture, and ensuring a quality night’s sleep.
Octaspring mattresses are built with layers, with each Octaspring an individual support pod that can be arranged in different densities to make the first true zoned memory foam mattress. Firmness of springs varies and key zones are created which makes the mattress softer around the shoulders and knees and firmer support needed for your hips and lumbar region.
Great for allergy sufferers, the ventilation offers anti-allergic and anti-bacterial protection.
* Research carried out by University of Warwick and UCL