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You already know by now that a good night sleep is one of the best ways to feel healthy and in shape.
Before you get on to buying a new mattress, there are a few things you better know:
- A bed 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, and wide enough to allow both partners to lie side by side, hands behind heads, without 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 soft; not at all, and it’s too firm.
- The base will affect how the mattress feels. A sprung divan will make a mattress seem softer than a solid divan or slatted base.
- Sprung and pocket mattresses are padded with fillings including cotton, lambswool and mohair. Luxurious options, such as cashmere and silk, will mean the finished product is more expensive.
- ‘Orthopaedic’ is a term that describes mattresses with a firmer spring. While some swear by them, it’s more important to choose a mattress that gives proper support as opposed to just being very hard.
After having this in mind, next step is choosing the best mattress for you. Here are the different types you can choose from:
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.
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.
Suitable for: Occasional use, and ideal for children’s bedrooms, as they’re less expensive, so can be upgraded as they grow.
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, which means 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.
Suitable for: The separate springs make them ideal for two people of different weights. Also available with two sides of a different firmness.
Memory foam mattress
The most well-known type of memory foam mattress is Tempur, a material originally developed by NASA. It’s composed of billions of viscoelastic cells, which respond to your temperature and weight.
Pros: When warm, it adapts to your shape and absorbs your weight, taking pressure off your joints.
Cons: As you sink in to the foam, it might become too warm.
Suitable for: Supportive, good for allergy sufferers and helpful for people with joint pain. It has a unique feel, so you’ll love it or hate it.
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.
Suitable for: Those with allergies and asthma, as latex doesn’t harbour dust mites. It also has natural antimicrobial properties.