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Mattress Buying Guide

How To Choose A Mattress

Here at Happy Beds, we aim to make it as easy as possible to choose a mattress that will suit you best and give you a good night's sleep! But it can be hard to figure out what kind of mattress to buy, especially when choosing a mattress online. It's easy to look through all the available mattresses and think 'what mattress should I buy?' or 'which is better, memory foam or springs?'.

That's why we've put together this mattress buying guide full of useful information that will answer all of the essential questions on how to choose the right mattress for you. This guide includes information such as all the mattress types explained, the correlation between weight and mattress firmness, alongside helpful tips on buying a new mattress!

It's essential to consider multiple factors when deciding what kind of mattress will work best for you. Whether you have back or joint pain during the night and the actual space you have available to work with, your sleeping position preference and more. Our mattress size guide can help you figure out what size mattress will fit into your bedroom so you don't accidentally make the wrong purchase!

So whether you choose a single mattress, double mattress or a king size mattress, or whether you opt for a pocket spring mattress or a memory foam mattress, we are confident that we have the mattress of your dreams!

What Is The Best Type Of Mattress?

When choosing a mattress type, there are many factors you should consider before making your decision. This is particularly important when selecting a mattress online, as you need to make sure that you are buying the best mattress for you as you won't have a chance to try it in person. So how do you answer the question, 'what type of mattress is best for me?'.

In this mattress guide, you'll find out why factors such as posture, sleeping position and aches/pains can help you to decide which type of mattress is best for you. Here at Happy Beds, we have all our mattress types explained below.

Orthopaedic

Orthopaedic mattresses are designed to contour your body to minimise pressure points and allow balanced support across your body to prevent aches and pains. Usually much firmer than other mattresses, orthopaedic mattresses are perfect for those needing extra support whilst sleeping.

Pocket Spring

Pocket sprung mattresses are manufactured with a clever movement-isolating system of individually nested pocket springs, which encases each spring in cushioned fabric for consistent support. Pocket sprung mattresses offer superior spinal alignment support, providing a luxurious feel. These springs work independently, which minimises roll together and disturbances when two people share a bed and one is a restless sleeper.

Open Coil Spring

Sometimes called traditional spring or Bonnell spring, open coil spring mattresses are manufactured using a series of connected springs and usually come with a rod edge border for additional structural support. This spring system is then sandwiched between foam and fabric layers creating a comfortable sleep surface.

Memory Foam

Memory foam mattresses are crafted from temperature-sensitive foam that adjusts to the sleeper’s body, which helps relieve pressure points. Memory foam mattresses are usually denser than other foam mattresses and retain heat for extra comfort.

Mattress Firmness Ratings Explained

When looking for your new mattress, you'll probably notice that each mattress is given a firmness rating. Some are listed as 'soft', whereas others are 'firm'. You may be wondering, 'who is a firm mattress best for?' or questions along this line. The firmness of a mattress is how much mattress tension it has, so how much give a mattress has when you rest on it, and this is rated along a mattress firmness scale, from soft to firm.

  • Soft mattresses can often feel like you're sleeping on a cloud and will give way very quickly when you lay on them, making them ideal for lighter sleepers. This means that they will cushion you as you sleep, so it will feel more like you're almost sleeping inside the mattress than on top of it. We recommend these mattresses for those who may have joint problems as the softness will support your body instead of pushing you into a particular position.
  • Soft/medium mattresses combine the plushness of a soft mattress whilst adding a little extra support. These are ideal for those who may not enjoy the feeling of almost sinking into their mattress!
  • Medium mattresses are a great neutral option that can accommodate many people's needs. These may have a layer of soft foam or cushioning on top of a supportive spring structure, making them suitable for many people. This also means that a medium mattress can be the best option for a guest bed, as it will offer the right amount of support and cushioning for temporary visitors.
  • Medium/firm mattresses straddle the divide between our medium and firm mattress ranges. These tend to lean more towards the supportive side of spring structure but will still offer some of the comforts of a foam or pillow top mattress, combining support with pressure relief on your joints.
  • Firm mattresses are the perfect choice for those who want to prioritise high levels of support for their body as they sleep. A firm mattress can be particularly ideal for heavier sleepers as these mattresses will usually have a thin layer of foam or cushioned support that provides comfort throughout the night but don't allow you to sink into the mattress!

Another aspect of why the mattress firmness rating is important is related to a person's weight. A lighter person will probably appreciate a softer mattress as they will find that a firm mattress will not have enough give for them whereas a heavier set person may appreciate the extra support of a firm mattress as they may sink too much into a soft mattress! Our mattress finder can be adjusted with the weight of yourself and a partner to help you find the perfect mattress firmness!

What Kind Of Mattress Is Best For My Sleeping Position?

Front sleepers

Front sleepers require plenty of support to keep their spine in a natural alignment. Medium mattresses are the perfect choice for these types of sleepers as they won't allow your body to sink, which can cause pain due to causing your spine to arch. At the same time, they will provide just enough give that it won't force your back into an unnatural position.

Back sleepers

Back sleepers need to make sure that their mattress will offer a high level of support to help reduce the risk of back pain. As such, we would recommend a firm mattress that will support some of the most critical pressure points for a back sleeper including your hips, spine and shoulders.

Side sleepers

Side sleepers are better suited to soft mattresses and medium mattresses. This is because these mattresses provide plenty of give and will cushion the natural contours of your body as you sleep on your sleep. As such, it will allow your spine to remain aligned and will help to reduce the amount of pressure on your joints!

What Mattress Do You Need If You Suffer From Back Pain?

If you suffer from back pain or other joint issues, how do you choose the right mattress? Whilst we can't provide any specific medical advice, some mattresses have been designed to provide comfort and support to help alleviate problems for those who suffer pain during the night.

Figuring out what to look for in a mattress to help give you a relaxing night of sleep is all about researching what will suit you best. Our orthopaedic mattresses are specifically designed to provide you with all the support you need and alleviate pressure on your joints.

Memory foam mattresses are also perfect for those suffering from back pain as they are designed to contour to your body through the night, providing you with the ideal amount of support as you sleep!

What Thickness Should A Mattress Be?

For most beds, there is no specific thickness that a mattress should be. It's purely down to what type of mattress you buy and your own personal preferences. The only bed with a requirement is a bunk bed, where we suggest that the mattress for the top bunk is no thicker than 16cm.

This is because a top bunk bed has guard rails that add safety, preventing someone from rolling off the top in their sleep. Any mattresses thicker than this can result in the guard rails not being able to do their job efficiently. For more information on this, check out our bunk bed guide!

What To Do When You Get A New Mattress

Depending on the mattress type and delivery process, your new mattress can come rolled, boxed, or ready to use. Before installing your new mattress, you should remove and dispose of your old mattress - you can do this through our recycling tool with ease.

It is advised that the mattress be lifted and installed by two people, taking the weight of each end of the mattress to prevent injury. When unboxing and unrolling your mattress, avoid damaging the mattress whilst removing the packaging.

If your mattress arrives ready to use, simply remove the outer packaging and place it on your bed the correct way, generally with the label positioned at the foot end and facing the ceiling.

How Often Should You Buy A New Mattress?

It can be hard to know when to buy a mattress, but it's recommended that you should change your mattress around every eight years, to ensure you can always get the right levels of support. This isn't always the case though, as it can often depend on how your mattress feels for you! If you take care of your mattress very well, then it can often last longer than this.

For more information on this outside of our mattress guide, check out our blog article on how often you should change your mattress!

Mattress Care Checklist

You can take regular steps to ensure your mattress maintains its quality, including these stages into your cleaning routine to protect further and prolong your mattress' life.

  • Regularly check the quality of your bed frame, as broken or damaged slats can cause your mattress to sag and lose support.
  • Wash your bedding regularly to prevent bacterial build-up for a more hygienic mattress.
  • Invest in some dry cleaning products to treat your mattress, such as anti-bacterial fabric spray.
  • Vacuum your mattress regularly to prevent bacteria build-up and bed bug infestation.
  • Turn and/or rotate your mattress within the recommended time frames for prolonged use.
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