How to Choose a MattressBed Buyers' Guide
Mattresses may look similar, but the differences within are vast.
This guide gives a brief overview of some of the main options when deciding what is the best type of mattress for you.
Watch our video on signs your mattress needs replacing
From the outside
The first thing you’ll notice about a mattress is its cover – known in the trade as ‘ticking’. Manufacturers spend a lot of time choosing attractive colours and designs so their mattresses will look good – but remember that 99% of the time it will be covered up with bed clothes!
The ticking is not just there for its good looks: it also needs to be tough and tear resistant. Better quality cloths are woven or knitted in high quality viscose or cotton yarns. Cheaper cloths in polyester or polypropylene are often printed. At the budget end of the market are bonded or stitch-bond fabrics and some cheaper knits.
Ticking with special qualities is now also increasingly being used by mattress manufacturers. Some of the options include anti-dust mite/anti allergy, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-static, breathable, water resistant, stain resistant, highly absorbent, naturally fire retardant etc.
But one of the most popular options are tickings that offer effective thermal regulation through moisture wicking and evaporation technology. There are now quite a few companies offering performance fabrics that move perspiration away from the body and through the fabric where it can evaporate quickly allowing you to feel cooler and more comfortable.
Quilting or tufting mattresses
Spring interior mattresses
Spring interior mattresses can be ‘zoned’ – across the middle to give extra support for heavier hips and shoulders; half and half, to provide different tensions on each side of the bed; or round the edge of the mattress to give it extra rigidity.
Different tensions can be achieved within the same mattress. Some units also allow the user to adjust the mattress tension themselves.
Non Sprung Mattresses
Most foam mattresses are made from layers of different densities of foam. By varying their density and depth, it’s possible to achieve different levels of comfort and support. They are particularly suitable for use with slatted bases and adjustable beds.
Other types of mattress
Interior sprung mattresses use a wide variety of fillings to create different properties and comfort options, as well as affecting price. Fillings are chosen for their resilience, durability, flexibility and ability to absorb body moisture. In cheaper mattresses, fillings usually come in compact pads; in better quality models, layers of loose fillings in greater volumes are often preferred.