We all know how imperative getting enough quality sleep is for our overall health. By extension, the mattress we choose is incredibly important in maintaining a healthy sleeping pattern. With so many innovative breakthroughs in the world of mattress craftsmanship, choosing the right mattress could easily seem like an overwhelming task. To help ease and simplify the process, we created a guide on how to choose a mattress that will discuss all the important factors you should keep in mind along the way and the type of mattress you should go for depending on your preferred sleeping position, weight, and preferences.
We also included a section where we discuss some potential sleeping concerns you could face, such as lack of breathability, and offered our best recommendations for a mattress based on your concerns. At the end of the article, you’ll also find a detailed FAQ section.
With that out of the way, let’s delve into all the different types of mattresses out there.
Type of Mattress
When choosing a mattress, the first thing to consider is what kind of mattress you’ll want to invest in. Generally, there are four main types of mattresses: memory foam, innerspring, hybrid, and latex. Each one of these mattresses comes with its own price range, benefits, and certain drawbacks which we will discuss below.
Memory Foam Mattresses
These are among the most popular mattresses in the world. As their name suggests, they’re made of memory foam and don’t contain any springs in their design.
Memory foam mattresses were first developed by NASA engineers in the 1960s, but their design has since come a long way. Nowadays, all kinds of additional layers are added to memory foam mattresses that provide additional support.
One of the best things about memory foam mattresses is that they’re suitable for all kinds of sleepers, so they’re quite versatile and anyone could enjoy their full range of benefits. Not to mention, there are many options on the market that are quite affordable, in addition to more expensive ones, making them suitable for sleepers on any budget.
Unlike memory foam mattresses, innerspring mattresses contain a layer of coils. This layer is always accompanied by a supportive layer that adds comfort. The main selling point of innerspring mattresses is that they’re bouncy and quite affordable, so they’re great for people on a budget. On the other hand, they sometimes lack sufficient support, so those who require pressure relief might not find them as comfortable as memory foam mattresses.
Just like their name suggests, hybrid mattresses contain both a layer of memory foam and a layer of innerspring. This combination allows them to have the best of both worlds – enough bounciness and motion transfer, in addition to pressure relief and support. This is the reason why they’re among the most popular types of mattresses. Another incredible benefit that’s a result of the amalgamation of coils and memory foam is that the mattresses are breathable and have outstanding temperature regulation.
Last but not least, latex mattresses are made of latex rubber and you can find them in natural and synthetic form. The former are made of natural ingredients, while the latter are derived from petrochemicals. Latex mattresses come with many benefits, like being breathable, durable, and low maintenance.
Choose a Firmness Level
After deciding on the type of mattress, it’s time to consider the firmness level you’d want your mattress to have. This largely depends on your sleeping style and your preferred sleeping position. While many of us like to switch positions in bed, we all have a position we favour over the others. The three main sleeping positions are front, back, and side, and since each sleeping style suits a different firmness level, let’s explore what’s considered to be the best depending on your preference.
Side sleepers hit a lot of their pressure points during the night (shoulders, neck, lower back) and they need a mattress that provides pressure relief and full body support. To have the right balance between a mattress that provides support and one that’s too soft, side sleepers should opt for a medium-firm mattress, in most cases. If you have a problem with your posture or you find yourself waking up in pain in your back area, you also might want to consider investing in an orthopaedic mattress.
Based on this criteria, we have the perfect recommendation for a medium-firm mattress designed for side sleepers that will give you all the support and pressure relief you need – the Silentnight Miracoil Cushion Top Mattress. Made by one of the most renowned mattress brands in the UK, this mattress contains eco comfort fibres that not only make it a sustainable option, but also allow for maximum breathability. This feature makes them ideal for hot sleepers who tend to struggle with night sweats during the summer. Additionally, it has a cushion top layer that provides much-needed support and comfort throughout the night. The cushion top combines with the miracoil springs, allowing for spinal alignment and back support. And to top it all off, the mattress is also hypoallergenic and it will contribute to a healthy, allergen-free, and fresh sleeping environment.
Unlike side sleepers, back sleepers should ideally use mattresses that are on the firmer side. If back sleepers sleep on a surface that’s too soft, they risk not getting proper spinal alignment and back support. If, however, you don’t like the extra firm feel, opt for a medium-firm option.
A crucial component of any mattress designed for back sleepers is how much it helps with spinal alignment and how much it provides pressure relief for the hips and lower back. Therefore, it’s a good idea to look for a mattress that combines these two features, like the Relyon Hurley Memory 1500 Pocket Mattress.
Made with 1500 individually wrapped pocket springs, this mattress offers tailor-made support and pressure relief. The pocket springs help with motion transfer, making it a great choice for partners who are prone to tossing and turning throughout the night. They combine with a memory foam layer that hugs your curves and helps prevent aches and pain.
The mattress has a firm feel, but it provides plenty of support for your back. Just like our previous recommendation, it’s perfectly hypoallergenic, making it suitable for anyone who has struggled with allergies at some point. If you’re on the lookout for a firm mattress, you won’t regret investing in this one.
Front sleepers are usually most comfortable on a medium-firm mattress. With that said, some front sleepers are quite sensitive and they do well with soft mattresses that completely hug their pressure points.
One important thing that front sleepers need to note is that they need a mattress that offers spinal alignment to help maintain a healthy posture throughout the night, which is hard to do on a mattress that’s not suitable for this sleeping position. In terms of the kind of mattress they should go for, hybrid mattresses tend to work wonders on front sleepers.
Not sure where to look for one? Our top recommendation for front sleepers is the Simba Hybrid Pro Mattress. Simba is a luxury mattress brand that specializes in high-quality mattresses. This hybrid mattress contains a whopping 5,000 Aerocoil springs that provide a wonderful base to sleep on.
If you’re a hot sleeper or you live in an extremely hot climate, you won’t have to worry about overheating when the nights are humid and warm – the mattress has a wool layer that helps maximize the temperature regulation. Thanks to its multi-zoned foam base, your spine will remain aligned regardless of how much you move during the night. The foam used in this hybrid mattress is CertiPUR, which means that no harmful substances have been used in the design of the mattress. Along with your purchase, you will receive a ten-year guarantee.
What If I’m a Combination Sleeper?
Needless to say, there are many sleepers out there who don’t have a favourite sleeping position but like to switch between multiple positions during the night. If you identify as a combination sleeper, your best and safest bet is to go for a medium-firm mattress that provides a healthy balance. On top of that, another crucial feature you need to look for is that the mattress has amazing motion transfer abilities and bounces really well.
Another thing you’ll want to consider when choosing a mattress is your body type and weight.
Lightweight sleepers often have trouble finding a mattress that completely hugs their body since they have trouble sinking deeply into the mattress. In order to fix this, lighter sleepers should gravitate towards soft to medium-firm mattresses that provide sufficient pressure relief.
Sleepers who are on the heavier side are prone to sinking deeply into the mattress, resulting in a lack of spinal alignment, so they require a mattress that will offer back support and align their spine with their body. Another thing to consider if you’re a heavy sleeper is that you want a mattress that provides pressure relief and follows the movements of your body.
Sleepers who are somewhere between these two categories do extremely well with medium-firm mattresses. Most types of mattresses suit their body shape, but they’d especially benefit from hybrid mattresses that provide a balance between bounciness and pressure relief, as well as latex mattresses.
Do You Have Any Particular Issues?
Apart from having special preferences, some sleepers have concerns that need to be addressed when choosing a mattress. In this section, we’ll look over some of the most common sleepers encounter and offer our best tips to overcome them.
One of the main problems sleepers encounter is insufficient breathability. Those who are prone to night sweats or live in extremely hot climates are especially affected by mattresses that fail to prevent overheating. Luckily, there are plenty of mattresses on the market which are designed with this concern in mind. Mattresses are often infused with gel or beads that help provide extra breathability. Additionally, the cover plays a big role in how breathable a mattress will be – cotton and bamboo covers are the best option if you want a cover that won’t retain heat.
If you’re on the lookout for a mattress that will provide amazing airflow, check out the Ergoflex 5G Mattress. This innovative mattress boasts a Cool Sleep airflow system that maximizes the airflow and maintains a healthy and fresh sleeping environment. The Tencel outer cover also contributes to the breathability of the mattress. Apart from being breathable, this mattress also makes you feel comfortable and supported throughout the night because of the body-shaping visco-elastic memory foam used. It provides pressure relief and it’s a great choice for partners due to the motion isolation properties. What more could we want from a mattress?
Another option that’s great for those who are on a budget is to invest in a mattress topper like the Panda Mattress Topper. Thanks to the temperature regulating bamboo foam and the infusion of the cooling gel, this topper is excellent at preventing overheating and keeps you cool during the night.
Many sleepers also struggle with improper spinal alignment during the night. This issue could easily be exasperated if you struggle with back pain, so we highly recommend investing in a mattress that addresses both issues. The Silentnight Eco Comfort Pocket Mattress is one of the best mattresses on the market that can help you dea with the abovementioned issues. It offers zoned support which has been proven to improve your posture and help with proper spinal alignment. It’s a medium-firm mattress, so it’s going to suit a large variety of sleepers. Silentnight mattresses are also known for their breathability, and this mattress is no exception, making it a wonderful option for hot sleepers.
In case you’re sleeping with a partner who tends to move a lot during the night, you’ll want to invest in a mattress that provides motion isolation and prevents you from being disturbed by your partner’s movements. In this regard, memory foam mattresses are definitely superior, so consider investing in one if this is something you’re struggling with.
Other Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Mattress
We covered the main mattress features you should keep in mind when you’re browsing for a mattress, but here are some other potential things you’ll want to consider.
The general rule of thumb is – the taller the mattress, the more support and cushioning it provides. If you’re struggling with getting sufficient support from your mattress, definitely consider purchasing one that’s on the taller side.
Before choosing a mattress, set yourself a budget. This will allow you to easily disregard the mattresses that don’t fit your price range, making the shopping process that much easier and more time-efficient.
If there’s one particular feature you want in a mattress, consider researching for a brand that specializes in that feature. For instance, if you’re aiming to be as sustainable as possible, pick a brand that’s dedicated to environmentally-friendly practices and materials, such as Silentnight or Panda.
How Do I Know What Firmness of Mattress I Need?
The firmness you need depends on your favourite sleeping positions. Front and side sleepers are recommended to go for medium-firm mattresses, while back sleepers require more support for their backs, so they do well with firm mattresses.
What Mattress Firmness Is Best for Side Sleepers?
Side sleepers require a mattress that will provide pressure relief and a good balance between softness and firmness. For that reason, side sleepers should go for a medium-firm mattress that provides amazing support.
How to Choose a Mattress for Back Pain?
If you suffer from back pain, you’ll want an orthopaedic mattress that provides spinal alignment and hugs the pressure points of your body.
We hope this article on how to choose a mattress helped you decide exactly what kind of mattress you should go for.
There are several important factors to consider when choosing a mattress. The first thing to consider is what type of mattress you want. There are four main mattress types: memory foam mattresses, innerspring mattresses, hybrid mattresses, and latex mattresses, each of which comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
Other important factors to consider are the firmness of the mattress, your weight, and whether you have some sleep-related issues that need to be addressed. For instance, hot sleepers should opt for a mattress that has cooling properties and a technology that ensures that the temperature is optimal. Those who struggle with back pain should find an orthopaedic mattress that provides pressure relief and aligns the spine with the body. And lastly, partners should invest in a mattress that has amazing motion transfer properties that will prevent any movements from disturbing their sleep.