Subscribe for your chance to win £250!

ufurnish - The Home for Furniture Discovery
Log In / Sign Up

How to Choose a Mattress: 8 Expert Tips

Choosing the right mattress for you is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. With the average person spending one third of their life sleeping and the average mattress lasting 6-8 years, you need to make sure you choose wisely. 

When choosing your perfect mattress there’s a lot to consider. From the firmness to the size, the best type suited to your sleeping position and the internal structure. However, fear not! We’re going to make choosing your perfect mattress simple.

In this blog, we’ll be answering some of the most common questions about how to choose a mattress – and sharing 8 expert tips from the team to make your decision easier.

Mattress types

No longer is choosing a mattress a case of soft or firm – today’s market is full of different materials, support systems, firm ratings and more. And with each mattress type there comes a new set of benefits and things to be aware of. 

Some of the most popular types of mattresses that we will be considering in this blog are memory foam mattresses, pocket spring (innerspring) mattresses, hybrid mattresses, and latex mattresses
Without further ado, let’s dive into tip number one: memory foam or pocket spring?

1. Memory foam or spring?

If there’s one thing that mattress buyers know, it’s that memory foam and pocket spring are among the most popular options. But what are the core differences in terms of comfort and support?

A memory foam mattress is known for the way it contours around the body during sleep, creating a nest which supports and provides pressure relief for the user. 

A pocket spring, or innerspring mattress, combines a coil-based structure with a series of other layers to support the body and optimise comfort. 
To compare directly, a memory foam mattress offers a softer surface that you sink into, while pocket sprung mattresses are firmer and tend to work best for those who need a high level of support.

2. Choosing mattress firmness

This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. While mattress firmness does indeed refer to the feel of the mattress in terms of how hard or soft it feels, it’s more closely related to your individual weight, body type, size, and preference than most buyers think.

Because of this, something which feels firm to one user may feel overly soft to another – depending on their body type and build. To choose the right mattress firmness for you, you first need to recognise that firmness is more about the feel of the bed than the way it supports you.

From there, ascertaining how you sleep is key – with side sleepers best suited to softer mattresses which alleviate pressure points, while firmer mattresses are optimum for back and stomach sleepers.

3. Mattresses for side-sleepers

To follow from the previous point, a side-sleeper is best suited to a softer mattress and so the number one recommendation is a memory foam structure. Providing pressure relief on the shoulders and hips and contouring the body in a supportive but comfortable way, memory foam mattresses allow for a certain amount of sinkage without impacting support. 

If you tend to switch between side sleeping and back or stomach sleeping, you could also explore latex mattresses as an option – with this mattress type popular for its eco-friendly makeup, its durability, and the bouncy support it provides.

4. Mattresses for stomach sleepers

If you tend to sleep on your stomach, your mattress needs to be comfortable enough that your body can sink into the structure but firm enough that the hips are brought in line with the shoulders for optimum alignment. 

There are a few factors at play here, with stomach sleepers best suited to a higher firmness rating – however in terms of mattress type, it is best to opt for either a full pocket or innerspring mattress, or a hybrid pocket memory mattress model which combines a layer of coils with foam.

5. Mattresses for back sleepers

In a similar vein to our advice for stomach sleepers, if you sleep on your back you will need a mattress that holds your body and spine in alignment, and which offers a high level of comfort without allowing the body to sink too deeply into the structure. 

Again, a hybrid mattress or innerspring mattress is recommended here, with a mid-to-high firmness rating.

6. Mattresses for back pain

If you suffer from back pain, be it across your lower back, the middle of your back or up towards your shoulders, have you considered that an unsupportive mattress may be contributing to your discomfort?

Depending on the type of back pain you are suffering from and whether it is short term and sudden or chronic, you will need different levels of support from your mattress. For example, lower back pain can often be caused by an unsupportive mattress letting your body dip in sleep – with a higher firmness needed to keep your spine aligned. 

Meanwhile mid to upper back pain is often caused by poor posture and tension, meaning a pressure-relieving mattress such as a memory foam structure is best.

7. Mattress pricing

If your choice of mattress is dictated at least in part by pricing, then you’re not alone. While memory foam mattresses are often pitched as the most expensive, there are ways of bringing that same support to an alternative mattress type – with memory foam mattress toppers a popular market addition. 

When considering price, it is important to recognise the importance of a mattress to your long term health and physical wellbeing – supporting your quality of sleep, your posture and your overall comfort. 

Investing in a good quality mattress now will provide you with years of good sleep.

8. What makes a good mattress?

In summary, a good mattress is one that has been picked by you according to your individual needs, your body type, your sleeping style, and your overall preferences.

Find your perfect mattress with

We hope our top tips and advice have helped you to choose your perfect mattress. For more style inspiration to create your perfect home and garden, follow us on Instagram and Pinterest, or to search and discover over 110+ furniture retailers across the entire market, simply click here.

Shop more

Stay in the know with

Ideas and advice straight to your inbox