Mattress Buying Guide

All you need to know for stress-free mattress shopping

A good night’s sleep. That’s all we want! A simple, yet indispensable thing. It’s the key to a productive day, a sunny mood and a healthy lifestyle. It gives us more energy than our morning cup of coffee, and more relief than hitting the pub after a long week of work. So why, oh why can those precious 8 hours be so hard to come by? Your mattress might have something to do with it…

A poorly made mattress, or one that hasn’t been changed for years, could actually be minimising the amount of hours you sleep and exacerbating aches and pains. As a place where you spend up to a third of your life, it’s important to know exactly what to look for when it comes to buying a new mattress.

Use our guide below to understand important features to consider in a mattress and help you weigh up your options.

Where To Start?

Before you even start looking for a new mattress, we recommend going through the following points.

If any of the above points ring true, then it sounds like it is time to start investigating another option. The first questions, however, start at home:

  • Do you need a new mattress?
    How can you tell when it’s time to replace your mattress?
  • Who is the mattress for?
    Will it be slept on every night? Is it for a child? Do you need a mattress for a guest bedroom?
  • How much do you want to spend?
    Are you willing to invest in quality? Do you want to find a good mattress without breaking the bank?
  • What size do you need?
    How many people will be sleeping on it? How large is the room?
  • Do you suffer from allergies, aches or pains?
    How firm is your current mattress? Do you often wake up with stiffness as a direct result of sleeping?

Once you’ve narrowed these 5 questions down, the search begins…

How to Choose a New Mattress?

So, you’ve decided to buy a new mattress. Well done, you deserve it!
All you have to do now is to navigate the never ending world of mattress companies.

A mattress isn’t one-size-fits-all, so it’s important to get the right one for you. To save you hours of research, we have broken down the important criteria in a mattress, so you know exactly what to look for. For a more in-depth look of each specific mattress brand, take a look at our Mattress Reviews.

Choose the Right Firmness For You

If you want to buy a mattress, this is often one of the most discussed topics, but also one of the most subjective topics. Mattress firmness is the most obvious place to start. Everyone needs their mattress to offer comfort and a good level of support. 

But how do you know which firmness is right for you?

The choice of a hard or soft mattress is different for everyone and depends on your personal preferences.

In our mattress buying guide we can only advise: it really depends on your body type, weight and sleeping preferences. Most online mattresses only have one firmness level. Recently, however, we have seen more and more manufacturers offering different types of mattresses with different firmness levels.

This makes the choice complicated again. However, for most people it is advisable to consider a medium or medium-hard mattress.

Understand the Mattress Features and What They Mean

What are the top 6 most important features (firmness excluded) when you want to buy a mattress?


A mattress needs to caress the body and not apply too much pressure, in order for your body to fully rest and get the essential sleep it needs.


An 8 hour sleep in an unnatural position for your spine can cause severe back problems, so the mattress needs to hold the neck, shoulders, back and hips in alignment.

Motion Transfer

For proper support, it is important to keep the spine in a straight line. If the mattress offers insufficient support, there is a chance of waking up with back pain, among other things.


A mattress should not retain body heat too much, otherwise it causes a too high temperature, but also does not relinquish too quickly to the environment (cooling).

Edge Support

A mattress with strong edges provides important support both when sitting on the edge and when lying. If the edge sinks a lot or drops completely, you can fall off the bed when you get up or while sleeping.


What is the average lifespan of the mattress? Eight years is a common average when you buy a mattress. Do you want to buy a mattress with a lower lifetime? Then you may have to reconsider the purchase. A good guarantee is important here.

Which Mattress Type Do You Need?

This question asks anyone who wants to buy a new mattress or just likes to talk about mattresses his or her free time – just like us. The type of mattress that you choose plays an important role in a good night’s sleep.

The different materials and constructions that make up mattresses can be confusing. To make it easier, we usually divide mattress types into 3 categories:

Foam mattress

Such as memory foam, HR foam, gel foam or latex mattresses.

Spring mattress

Resilient such as inner and pocket spring mattresses.

Hybrid mattress

A combination of foam and springs, the best of both worlds.

Each type of mattress has its own positive and negative sides. Only you can decide for yourself which type of mattress suits you best (for example the amount of resilience, the amount of air flow through the mattress, etc.). Curious what the difference between foam and springs is? Read our article: To Foam or not to Foam.

In addition, there is also the type of foam and the hardness of the mattress that you want to buy. The most common types of foam are memory foam, latex foam and patented foam. Simply said:

Determine Your Budget

Now that you have a good idea from our mattress buying guide about the type of mattress, the features and materials that are most interesting and maybe even read a few reviews, it’s time to decide how much you want to spend for the mattress.

There is always a suitable mattress for every budget, from customers looking for a luxurious look to a budget mattress. Do you want to buy a mattress online? Then there is enough choice of mattresses.

If you are looking for a mattress online, we recommend starting with a budget between £500 and £1000 (in this mattress buying guide we assume that you are looking for a queensize mattress). With this budget it looks like you get the best offer from most sellers. You can choose from many high-quality mattresses that are suitable for most people, way of sleeping and weight.

If you search far below this price range, you run the risk of buying a mattress of a lower quality that breaks down faster. On the other hand, a more expensive mattress does not mean that you get more for your money. You may only pay for the brand name, although the quality is the same as a mattress around £500 to £900.

Choose Your Size

This seems like a simple question, but there are positive and negative points to every mattress size. Size is important when it comes to a mattress. The dimensions affect your sleep quality and the way you sleep.

There are a number of points that you want the mattress to meet so that you can sleep well at night while the bed also looks good. You want to think about who is sleeping in the bed (don’t forget lodges such as children and pets), the dimensions of the bedroom and how long you want to use the mattress.

Our mattress sizes and dimensions guide shows the different mattress sizes that are available and what you should think about exactly when you want to buy a mattress. You can then easily determine the size that best fits your own sleeping and interior needs.

If you want to know more about mattress dimensions, length or thickness, click on the categories below.

Where To Buy A Mattress?

Before you even start looking for a new mattress, we recommend going through the following points.

In Store

Take the traditional route if you want to choose from a larger selection and test the mattress in the store before you buy it. Most stores collect your old mattress from your home for free. The disadvantage is that the supply in the store can feel overwhelming and that it is more difficult to compare prices.

A big mistake that people often make is to lie down one after the other on different mattresses and choose the mattress that feels best at that moment. If you are going to invest in a mattress, take the time to lie on it for a while (at least 10 minutes) and make sure you don’t feel any pressure or pain. In the store you never have to pay the full price for a mattress. Pay attention to the offers and don’t be afraid to negotiate with the seller.


This new way to buy a mattress offers a great alternative for people who hate shopping because there are fewer options and there are no annoying sellers. Online mattresses are usually delivered to your home within a few days and often include free shipping and a money back guarantee (even if you simply don’t like the mattress!).

So there is in fact little risk. The disadvantages are that you usually have to lay down and adjust the mattress yourself and remove the old mattress yourself.

The price is usually fixed online, but is often cheaper than in a real store.

Start your free home trial

You want to buy a mattress and you know what size you need? Armed with this knowledge you will look for some of the top rated online providers to see what is available on the market. Compare the services and possibilities of all providers and determine whether it meets your needs based on the tips in this mattress buying guide.

Are you not interested in negotiating with a seller or lying on a show model mattress? We have listed some of the best online options for buying a mattress for you.

What's next?

This was the complete overview of our mattress buying guide. Although buying a mattress online may seem like a big task, a little research can make it much easier. Knowledge is power, so arm yourself with all the information you need to make a good choice!

Make use of your most important considerations, such as the materials in the mattress and what effect that has on your sleeping experience. Examine the return, warranty or test sleeping options and determine how and when the mattress will be shipped.

Has this buying guide helped you? Share it with friends and family to help them purchase a new mattress.

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