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How to buy a mattress

Many people spend a third of their life in bed. This article has tips on how to pick a mattress that meets your prefrences.


Mattresses have several properties:

Density (often called 'softness' or 'the feel')

How much 'sink in' a mattress has. Soft mattresses contour around the body more. Firm has more resistance to body pressure. Many people have a definite preference for a specific soft, medium or firm feel.


Basically how evenly and effectively weight is distributed by the mattress inner layers. Regardless of being soft or firm, a supportive mattress will adapt to body pressure and feel responsive to lie down on.


How deep the supportive layers in a mattress are. Framing and 'fillers' can make mattresses thicker without adding support or softness.


How to pick a good mattress

A good soft mattress should feel luxurious, deep and evenly supportive. If your midriff is bending like a banana, or your spine is dipping like in a hamock, then that mattress doesn't have enough support.

Most people like a medium density mattress. Make sure it's thick enough for the density with enough support at the lower spine. You should be able to wriggle or bounce your hips without feeling a tough, hard spot.

Firm mattresses should still contour. Avoid firm mattresses that feel tough like 'boards on springs'. A good firm mattress will have minimal 'sink in' but should still feel supportive and responsive.


Other Tips

Consider what you like in a mattress. If you've tried other mattresses at a friends house or hotel what did you like about that feel, support and 'comfortableness'?

Comprehensive trial, quality and refund guarantees indicate the manufacturer's faith in their product, as well as being helpful options if the mattress doesn't work out.

We think most people change their mattress about once every ten years. So we recommend that you get a good mattress that will last a long time without sagging or wearing out.


There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all mattress. It all depends on your body and your preferences.