Finding the best mattress for you is the number one way of ensuring a great night's sleep. In this mattress guide we'll explain the differences between memory foam, pocket sprung, latex and hybrid mattresses, as well as providing a pick of the very best mattresses to buy. We've included mattresses for every budget and helpful tips about what to look out for, too.
You spend almost 16 years of your life in bed so buying a mattress is no time for compromise – don’t opt for a cheap mattress if you don’t have to. One major problem is that a quick lie down in a showroom isn’t going to tell you whether a mattress still feels right after a long night’s sleep. That means doing your research and choosing correctly is important.
It’s good to note that some online retailers offer 100-day, quibble-free return policies on their mattresses, so you really can try before you buy. We’ve pointed this option out in our list of the best mattresses below, if it’s available.
Scroll down to find the list of the best mattresses, or if you want to know more about where to start your search for a new mattress, read on for a comprehensive mattress buying guide.
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This week’s best mattress deals:
We’ll highlight the best mattress deals here every week, including discounts and money-off codes, where available. These offers change regularly and may not last the full week.
- £75 off EVE Memory Foam: £349 | 100-day trial | Use code “IDEALEVE75” *Valid until midnight 25th June
£100 off The Simba Hybrid Mattress: £399 | 100-day trial | Use code “SCIENCEOFSLEEP” * valid until midnight 22nd june
Choosing mattress firmness: How do you sleep?
When choosing a mattress, comfort and support is key. We spoke to Myriam Ruffo, Head of Bedrooms and Bathrooms at IKEA UK, who gave us the 101 on the best mattresses for the three key sleeping positions; back, front and side. ‘Be sure to test the firmness and take into consideration your sleeping style, to ensure you choose a firmness that offers you the correct back support,’ she says. ‘Your mattress plays a huge part in your health and well-being when you consider you spend around eight hours every night sleeping on it.’
Sleeping on your back – Medium firm
Back sleepers require support for the lower back, otherwise too much pressure can be put on this area which can result in pain. A medium-firm mattress is the best mattress in this scenario as it offers the support of a firm mattress but also has a softer, more comfortable feel.
Sleeping on your front – Firm
This sleeping style requires a mattress that can keep the body afloat, rather than sinking into the mattress, as this can cause lower back pain. A firm mattress is the best mattress here, as it will keep the body in a position where spine alignment is minimal.
Sleeping on your side – Soft
Sleeping on your side allows your spine to relax and therefore takes pressure off of the back. This makes it one of the healthiest ways to sleep. Side sleepers require a softer medium-firm mattress so the spine can rest in its most natural position. This allows the mattress to mould itself to the curves of the body.
Buying a mattress ultimately comes down to personal preference, because no two people have the same needs and requirements. Some retailers now offer a free trial, meaning if you don’t get on with the one you’ve chosen, you can return it free of charge. Check this option is available before purchase.
Mattresses explained: Memory Foam, Sprung, Latex and Hybrid
Pocket-sprung mattresses have been the most popular for many years now. However, there are plenty of challengers in the shape of memory foam and latex. The modern-day mattress can arrive in a box, and some even overnight! There is no obvious best mattress type, what works for you will depend on your needs. Read on to find out the differences between Memory Foam, Sprung, Latex and Hybrid mattresses.
What is an Open-sprung mattress?
An open-sprung mattress contains one long piece of wire coiled into springs. It also has a border rod of wire that gives the mattress a firm edge and helps retain its shape.
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Pros: Great value for money. They are lighter than other mattresses, so easier to turn, and can be turned in all directions, which extends the life of the mattress.
Cons: As the springs are all connected, open-sprung mattresses are less responsive to your body and overall, less supportive.
Best for: Occasional use. They’re also ideal for children’s bedrooms, as they’re less expensive, so can be upgraded as your little ones grow.
What is a Pocket-sprung mattress?
Pocket-sprung mattresses are more luxurious, with up to 3,000 individual small springs housed in separate fabric pockets. They tend to have hand-stitched sides for strong, stable edges.
Pros: The springs move independently to support your body. They come in a choice of tensions – soft, medium or firm – meaning good support whatever your weight.
Cons: Because of the density of the fillings, pocket-sprung mattresses can be heavy to turn. They’re usually filled with natural materials, like lambswool, which can exacerbate allergies.
Best for: The separate springs make them ideal for two people of different weights. They’re also available to buy with two sides of a different firmness.
What is a Memory-foam mattress?
Memory foam is a mouldable material. The most well known type of memory-foam mattress is Tempur, a material famously developed by NASA. Now here comes the science bit – it’s composed of billions of viscoelastic cells, which respond to your temperature and weight.
Pros: It feels the same on any bed base. When warm, it moulds to the body and absorbs weight, essentially relieving pressure from the joints.
Cons: As the foam moulds to the body it can feel too close and claustrophobic. This same sinking feeling means you can become quite warm, although high-quality memory foam mattresses are more breathable these days.
Best for: Supportive, good for allergy sufferers and helpful for people with joint pain or a bad back. It has a unique feel, so you’ll love it or hate it. Either way if you’ve never slept on one before it might take a few nights to get used to.
What is a Latex mattress?
Natural latex is white liquid tapped from the trunks of rubber trees. This is blended with synthetic latex and turned into latex foam, using the Talalay process, which produces the finest polymer.
Pros: Latex is breathable, so you won’t overheat. Exceptionally durable, its resilient feel also makes it good for those who prefer a firmer bed.
Cons: Some think these mattresses have a rather solid feel, and they can be heavy and difficult to move. Cheaper versions can develop lumps and body impressions.
Best for: Those with allergies (except latex) and asthma, as latex doesn’t harbour dust mites. It also has natural antimicrobial properties.
What is a Sprung memory-foam mattress?
A sprung memory-foam mattress is a hybrid of a pocket-sprung base and a memory foam top layer.
Pros: A compromise between the responsiveness of a pocket-sprung mattress and the support of memory foam. There’s also no need to turn the mattress.
Cons: The ‘sinking’ sensation can put people off, which also means it isn’t recommended for young children, in case they roll onto their face and breathing is inhibited.
Best for: People who still want the feel of a pocket-sprung mattress, without the natural fillings that may irritate allergies.
Now you know what you’re looking for, take a look at our pick of the of the best mattresses and banish those sleepless nights forever. We’ve hunted down the top mattresses on the market across a variety of budgets and styles, so there’s a perfect choice for everyone.
Best Mattresses Guide
1. Eve Memory Foam Mattress
Eve is an online only brand that has developed one mattress to fit all, with an ethos of keeping things simple, beautiful and affordable for every budget.
The Eve mattress comprises of three stacked layers: a high density base layer, a breathable cooling layer and a new generation memory foam layer to top it off. What’s different from the standard pure base foam is that Eve use an ultra resilient Reflex base foam that reacts to your movements, making the whole mattress reactive to your needs.
The memory layer is unlike other leading memory-foam mattresses where you get that sinking feeling, quite literally. The high-point elasticity has been developed to provide a responsive, soft cushioning without cocooning the contours of the body.
It’s not easy to say one model fits all, but Eve is confident enough with the results to offer 100-night ‘Happy Home’ trial or your money back. If you’re considering a purchase, this certainly gives you some peace of mind . Suitable for divan and slatted beds, it can be delivered the next day. Eve also offers free delivery as an added bonus.
4.7 out of 5 Stars awarded from 3599 reviews.
Buy Now: £75 off The Memory Foam Mattress: from £349 | Use code “IDEALEVE75” *Valid until midnight 25th June
2. Simba Hybrid Mattress
The Simba Hybrid is one of the new breed of mattresses that pops out of a handy-sized box. It’s the way the world of mattress shopping is going, as it’s convenient and super easy – order it today, get it tomorrow and trial it for 100 nights! Once unleashed from its box, the mattress takes 3-5 hours to fully take shape, ready for a night’s sleep.
Simba Sleep claims its high-tech mattress satisfies the sleep needs of 95% of the population. With odds that high, we asked what makes it so ground breaking? James Cox – CEO and co-founder of Simba Sleep told us, ‘It’s the first dual-spring and memory-foam mattress of its kind in the UK market. Its cutting-edge technology offers the comfort of five layers of memory foam with the support of 2,500 patented conical pocket springs.’
The patented springs make these mattresses unique, moving horizontally and vertically to fit the shape of your body and give you the best sleep. The Simbatex layer provides cool, gentle support, whilst the Visco memory foam moulds expertly to your body shape. It’s like a mattress that’s tailor-made for you.
4.7 out of 5 Stars awarded from 4088 reviews.
Buy Now: The Simba Hybrid, from £399, Simba Sleep
3. Hovag Pocket Sprung Mattress
This is Ikea’s best-selling mattress by a mile! There’s no denying its unbelievable value, ideal for those on a budget. Take note first-time buyers and renters! One of the Ideal Home team was so impressed after testing it that they went and bought it. They describe it as the perfect balance between firm support and comfort.
You get support in all the right places thanks to the individually wrapped pocket springs that work independently and closely to follow the contours of your body. It’s designed to be slept on one side only, therefore it doesn’t require turning – although it’s fairly light. This is the best cheap mattress you can get.
Buy Now: Hovag Pocket Sprung Mattress, from £180, Ikea
4. Loaf: Our Perfect Mattress
As the title would suggest this model is, in Loaf’s opinion, the perfect mattress. It’s also the best-selling mattress from its existing collection. Described as a comfy cloud-machine, this ideal no-turn design features 1200 individual pocket springs (in a double) to ensure a supported night’s sleep.
This design offers the best of both worlds – firm support from the base of pocket springs, with a padded squidgy layer on top for extra comfort.
Each one is handmade in Wiltshire by Louis and his skilled team. The tensions are set on the premise of the mattress living on a sprung slat bed, so it will feel a little firmer on a solid divan base – worth taking into consideration when buying.
As this is a standard mattress, it would be a good buy for most body types. It’s a good price, too – the one shown is for a double. All of Loaf’s mattresses have a five-year guarantee. You can be assured by the free 14-day returns policy – as long as you’ve kept the protective wrapping on, you can simply return if it’s not to your liking.
Buy Now: Our Perfect Mattress, from £445, Loaf
5. Silentnight Comfort Miracoil Mattress
This design is ideal for light sleepers who are easily disturbed by a partner’s movements thanks to its Miracoil spring system. Continuous open-spring technology provides a steady coil shape and a more acute response to pressure; therefore solving the issue of the dreaded partner roll-together.
This divan set combines the comfort of a mattress with the support of a divan base, with a knitted quilt top to add extra comfort and a more luxurious feel. This model is exclusive to John Lewis, and the price shown is for a double mattress.
6. Tempur Cloud 21 Medium Mattress
The original masters of memory foam, the Tempur design model provides a top comfort layer made of a specially developed ‘extra Soft’ material for a feeling of instant relaxation. This unique fabric was designed to regulate temperature and humidity. Aptly named the cloud, the nature of this mouldable mattress material cocoons your body as it reacts to your body heat, making it ideal for relieving pressure points, such as hips and spine.
Working in perfect harmony with the lower support layers, once you settle your body weight is redistributed reducing pressure while you sleep. In addition to the comfort factor, this mattress also features a removable and washable cover, which is ideal if you are an allergy sufferer.
7. Coen 1000 Pocket Mattress
The Coen Coolmax pocket sprung mattress is Habitat’s best-selling model. Offering a medium level of comfort and support, it’s easy to see why it’s a best-seller – ideal for those looking for an inexpensive, but comfy, standard mattress. It features 1000 individual pocket springs, each individually wrapped in fabric. This offers better contouring support and should reduce your awareness of a partner thrashing about in the middle of the night.
The mattress is covered in a generous 6cm layer of resilient memory foam for extra support and to guarantee your comfort. The unique Coolmax cover helps to regulate body temperature, and is removable so it can be professionally dry cleaned. That’s a real bonus as it ensures its hygienic and its properties continue to last.
The price shown is for a double, and the mattress is suitable for both divan and wooden frames.
8. The Leesa Mattress
The Leesa mattress is a cleverly engineered memory-foam mattress that won’t leave you restless, hot and uncomfortable.
This model features no springs at all. Instead the mattress is built entirely from foam, with 3 distinct layers that provide the cooling, contouring and core support every body needs to achieve the perfect night’s sleep.
The base is formed of a 15cm-deep layer of dense foam for core support. The second layer consists of a thinner 5cm-deep memory foam layer that provides the body with contouring and pressure point relief. Then the cherry on top is the 5cm Cooling Avena Foam topper that allows air-flow for a cooler night’s sleep. That last layer is hugely important because a common complaint with memory foam is that makes you feel hot. It also provides enough bounce for freedom of movement – another winning quality, as standard mouldable foam can feel a bit smothering.
For peace of mind, Leesa offer a 100-night risk-free trial period. That’s plenty of time to experience the mattress at home, and make sure it’s the one for you.
4.5 Stars award out of 5 from 9884 reviews
Buy Now: The Leesa Mattress, from £390, Leesa
9. The Drysdale Pocket Sprung Mattress
This is the best-selling model from UK sleep experts Button & Sprung. Founder Adam Black tells us this is popular due to the unique IQ Spring system and six-layers of all-natural filling – with cotton, that’s strong, breathable and temperature-responsive.
The IQ system is something the Button & Sprung team developed exclusively. It provides an advanced level of comfort by offering ‘progressive support’. In other words, the more you push it the more it pushes back so everyone, regardless of their weight, gets exactly the right amount of support.
4.93 out of 5 Stars awarded from 259 shopper reviews
Buy Now: The Drysdale Mattress, from £545, Button & Sprung
We’ll be updating this list of best mattresses regularly and will include special offers when available, so make sure you come back to check before you buy.
What should I consider before buying a mattress?
There are a few key things you need to consider before taking the plunge and buying a new mattress:
- A bed, and therefore its mattress, should be 10cm longer than the tallest person who will be sleeping in it. So a king-size is the minimum for someone 6ft or more. If you’re sharing a bed, it should also be wide enough to allow you and your partner to lie side by side, hands behind heads, without your elbows touching.
- To check if a mattress is supporting you properly, lie down and slide a hand beneath the small of your back. If your hand fits easily, it’s too hard; not at all, and it’s too soft.
- The base will affect how the mattress feels. A sprung divan will make a mattress seem softer than a solid divan or slatted base. You might want to consider changing your bed as well as your mattress.
- Sprung and pocket mattresses are padded with fillings including cotton, lambswool and mohair, which can prove problematic for people with allergies. Luxurious options, such as cashmere and silk, will mean the finished product is more expensive, but are also less likely to cause issues.
- Does the mattress model require turning? Many modern mattresses don’t, which is ideal because they can be incredibly heavy. If it does, you’ll want your mattress to have sturdy handles at the sides.