How to choose the perfect mattress for a blissful night’s sleep

How to choose the perfect mattress for a blissful night’s sleep

Would you love to wake up feeling deliciously refreshed? And without any aches?

But how often do you feel like that? 

Perhaps you've had a broken night's sleep. Or your alarm always seem to go off too early. Do you wake feeling achy and out of sorts?

Horrible isn't it?

While a myriad of reasons exist for not sleeping well, one important factor is your mattress. The right mattress can improve your sleep. Immensely.

Finding your perfect mattress may seem like a monumental task. So much choice. So many confusing descriptions. Like searching for a needle in a haystack.

But your dream mattress is out there and, if you follow these tips, you can find it.

Mummy, Daddy or Baby Bear?

Goldilocks knew exactly which mattress was right for her.

Daddy Bear's mattress was too hard. Mummy Bear's was too soft. But Baby Bear's was just right. How about you? Do you like the feeling of sinking into the feathery snugness of a soft mattress? Or do you prefer the support of a firm sprung mattress? Maybe you are like Goldilocks, somewhere in the middle?

What about your weight? As a general rule, softer mattresses are better for lighter people, while firmer mattresses are better for heavier people.

Do you like to sleep on your back or on your side? If you sleep on your back, you may prefer a firmer mattress.

Why you should definitely sleep around

Are you not sure what you like? That's why testing mattresses can be so important. It doesn't have to be in a showroom.

Maybe you've stayed with someone recently. Or perhaps you've been on holidays and had the best sleep ever in a hotel. Find out what mattress is on the bed. Ask or take off the covers and look at the label.

It's what's inside that counts

Mattresses may look the same on the outside but the filling determines the support they give.

Sprung mattresses

  • Pocket spring mattresses contain 100s of springs all wrapped individually in fabric pockets. Each coil takes the weight of your body, supporting it. This can prevent you and your partner rolling together.
  • The coils of open spring or Bonnell spring mattresses are linked together. These mattresses tend to be better priced but may not last as long. You're also more likely to feel your partner's movements.

The more coils and the thicker the wire, the firmer a spring mattress is.

Sprung mattresses have a variety of fillings. Natural fibres such as cotton or wool can keep you cool but may cost more.

Foam mattresses

  • Memory foam mattresses mould to the shape of your body and can relieve pressure on painful joints. They can be heavy to move but do not need to be turned. These mattresses can be warm in winter but you may find them hot in summer.
  • Foam and latex mattresses are great if you're allergic to dust mites. They are extremely durable.
    Many mattresses contain more than one type. The bliss medium memory foam mattress, for example, has a layer of latex to cool it down.

A perfect bed for both you and your partner

John is 6ft 8 and plays rugby. His wife Sarah is a petite 5 ft. They have different needs from their mattress. John feels more comfortable on a firm mattress, while Sarah likes the cushioning of a soft mattress.

The Sleep Council recommend that partners of over 3 stones/ 18kgs difference in weight have different mattresses.

If this is true for you, consider a zip and link mattress. This is a king or super king mattress consisting of two singles joined together with a zip. You and your partner can each pick the perfect firmness.

Whatever your sizes and shape, buy as big a bed as you can fit in your bedroom.  You're less likely to disturb each other in the night.

Why the best mattress for your back isn't what you think

Kate doesn't know why her back is still bad. The salesman assured her that the expensive mattress she was buying had helped his bad back. But after sleeping on it for over 6 months she has noticed no change to her back.

That's because we all have different needs from a mattress.

The salesman Kate spoke to was a fit man in his thirties who had a bad back following a car accident. Kate is much lighter than him and is recovering from a slipped disc. The only way to find the right mattress for your bad back is to try it.

The best mattress for your back is not necessarily a firm mattress. Manufacturers sometimes use the word orthopaedic to describe their extra firm mattresses but this may not be medically proven.

The perfect mattress for your back is supportive and comfortable and allows your spine to remain aligned when you sleep. Get your partner or a friend to look at the curvature of your spine when you test mattresses to ensure your spine is horizontal.

How to successfully test drive your mattress

Now you've an idea what to look for, it's time to visit the showroom.

Don't go when you're tired or short on sleep as every mattress will feel tantalisingly perfect.
Try as many different mattresses as you can. Lie on each mattress for at least 10 minutes. Don't just lie on your back. Lie in your usual sleeping position. Turn a few times and see how easy that is.

Sounds a bit scary? Banish your embarrassment with thoughts of a tranquil night's sleep every night.

Ask the sales associate to give you a little time and don't feel pressured. Sales people in good furniture shops are happy for you to take as much time as you need. They should encourage you to do so.

Always shop for mattresses with your partner if you share a bed. Pay attention to how much the mattress moves when your partner turns. If your usual sleeping position is on the edge while your child sleeps in a star shape in the middle, try that too.

The perfect mattress should mould to your body and support your back enough so your spine is horizontal.

Still not convinced you'll find the perfect mattress in the showroom? How about a home trial?

We offer a 100 night trial with the bliss mattress. If you don't get a restful night's sleep, return it free of charge. We donate returns to a homeless charity, so it won't be wasted. Top mattress brand, Tempur, also offer 60 night trials from time to time.

And so to bed….

Your new mattress has arrived and you're filled with anticipation. But your first night's sleep isn't as good as you hoped. There's also a pungent factory smell.

Oh no! Has this been a waste of money?

Don't worry. It can take a few sleeps for a new mattress to conform to the shape of your body and settle down. You'll soon notice you're sleeping better. It's also normal for a mattress to have a new smell, like a new car. This will go away.

Look after your mattress. Turn it regularly, unless you have bought a non-turn mattress. The Sleep Council recommend turning a new mattress from end to end and side to side once a week for the first three months. Then turn it once every three months.

It's normal for body shape impressions to appear in good mattresses. This shows it's moulding to the shape of your body. Turning it regularly overcomes this.

Have a blissful night's sleep!


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29th July 2016

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