7 Steps in Choosing the Right Mattress for You

Feb 1, 2023 | Beds & Accessories

Have you bought a new bed in the winter sales and been left disappointed in your purchase?

If you can relate, it’s vital that you understand what type of mattress and bed works best for you, your partner (if you share a bed) and your sleep environment. 

To do this and to avoid disappointment several weeks or months down the line, we’re sharing how to correctly test beds in-store to ensure you get the most out of the experience – and your money’s worth!

Shop together – if the bed’s for two!

You should be able to lie side by side, with your arms behind your head and your elbows out, without touching. Your bed should also be 4-6in (10-15cm) longer than the tallest partner – anyone over 6ft (1.8m) tall should consider a bed longer than standard.

Try different mattress options

Test different levels of firmness to be sure which is best for you. Remember, there’s no industry-wide standard to compare firmness ratings from one manufacturer to the other.

Testing firmness

Lie on your back and slide your hand into the hollow of your back. If it slides in too easily, the bed may be too hard for you (leading to pressure on your hips and shoulders); if you struggle to slide your hand in, the bed is probably too soft. If you can move your hand with just a little resistance, the bed may be just right for you!

Make sure you have the correct support

The correct support depends on your weight, height, build, and even preferred sleeping position. Ideally, the mattress should mould to the shape of your body while remaining supportive. When you lie on your side, your spine should be horizontal. You should be able to turn fairly easily. As a general rule, the heavier you are, the firmer the tension you will need. You do not necessarily need a hard bed if you have a bad back.

Bigger is better

If you’re sharing and your budget and the space allow, a bigger bed means you are less likely to disturb one another – one of the most common sleeping complaints!

Look for the NBF Mark of Approval

NBF Approved MemberThe UK has strict flammability and product safety laws: the mattress AND individual fillings should meet minimum levels of fire resistance. For peace of mind, look for the UK safety label and NBF-Approved tick! All NBF members are audited independently to ensure they follow the procedures that comply with flammability, health and hygiene and trade descriptions regulations.

Read our Bed Buyers’ Guide for more information on shopping for a new bed.


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