Nicola O'Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan holds the position of PR Manager and Interior Design Writer at Corcoran’s Furniture, where she applies her sharp eye for interior design. She is in the process of earning a diploma from the globally recognised Interior Design Institute, further enhancing her expertise in the field.

Nicola O'Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan holds the position of PR Manager and Interior Design Writer at Corcoran’s Furniture, where she applies her sharp eye for interior design. She is in the process of earning a diploma from the globally recognised Interior Design Institute, further enhancing her expertise in the field.


A Mattress Buying Guide

Sleep, glorious sleep! There is perhaps nothing quite as satisfying as waking up refreshed and rejuvenated after a long and luxurious night’s sleep.

Sleep is essential for maintaining our health and well-being, with the average adult requiring anything from seven to 10 hours per night. Therefore, it is vital to pick a bed that provides you with the utmost comfort and support. And a major part of that is choosing the right mattress.

Along with your general lifestyle habits, one of the most important factors contributing to the quality of your sleep is the mattress that you choose. If you’re feeling uncomfortable as you fall asleep or waking up feeling sore, your mattress could be the culprit. But buying a mattress isn’t a one-size-fits-all process.

Person asleep face down on a bed.

Just as we all sleep differently, each mattress has different properties that are better suited to different sleep styles, and the options can feel overwhelming when you’re staring at a sea of white, quilted, fabric, and foam.

Join us on a deep dive as we discuss the key things to consider when choosing the perfect mattress for your bed to ensure you achieve a comfortable and healthy night’s sleep, every night.

Plus, don’t miss our comprehensive guide to bedroom furniture, where we explore essentials and styling tips to elevate your sleeping sanctuary to new heights of comfort and aesthetic appeal.

The importance of choosing a good mattress

Never underestimate the power of a good mattress. Choosing one that will suit your sleep patterns and comfort preferences is one of the most important investments you can make, not just for your home but for yourself.

Hand on mattress.

This singular bedroom furniture item has a significant impact on the quality of your night’s sleep as well as your overall well-being. However, mattress shopping can be somewhat expensive, as manufacturers have added many improved features over the years. Doing  some research prior to making this big investment is important.

Most of us have slept in an uncomfortable bed at some point in our lives, where you are left lying awake during the night feeling exhausted and frustrated as springs dig into your back or as the bed creaks or sways when you move from left to right.

Or you may have slept on an old mattress that dips in the middle, providing no support or cushioning.

Woman with hand on back sitting on mattress.

Investing in a poor-quality mattress will guarantee you only one thing: an uncomfortable night’s sleep, which will lead to back pain, discomfort, and exhaustion.

On the other hand, a high-grade mattress will improve the quality of your health as it will support your head, neck, shoulders, spine, and legs as you are lying down.

4 Respa mattress with orange throw and cushions.4

This allows your body to be aligned in a safe position during sleeping hours, and you will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the day with no aches or pains.

A good-quality mattress will also have a positive impact on your mood, as it will help to alleviate stress and boost your immunity.

Buying a mattress: key considerations

With so many mattress options to choose from, it may be easy to get a little overwhelmed. However, there are a few key things to consider that will help narrow down your search for the ideal one.

5 Panel mattress on neutral bed base display 5.jpg

When picking your perfect mattress, consider that different mattress weights will suit different body types.

  • A lightweight mattress is suitable for side sleepers and lighter-weight individuals.
  • A medium-weight mattress will suit both heavy and lighter-weight individuals, and it will give adequate support to those who like to sleep on their back, side, and stomach.
  • A hard or firm mattress is suitable for heavier individuals and for both back and side sleeping.

Of course, this is only a guideline, as many people have their own personal preferences when it comes to choosing the ideal mattress to suit their needs and individual levels of comfort.

Let’s start with some important questions to keep in mind when picking the ideal mattress for your bedroom.

What is your budget?

You spend around a third of your life in bed, so buying a mattress certainly isn’t something you should skimp on, but the most expensive one on the market isn’t necessarily the best option for you either.

Mattress on black base with black headboard.

Once you decide how much you can spend, it will help narrow down your search for a new mattress. It also means you stay focused and on track. That way, you can get the best bang for your buck.

There is a huge range of mattresses on the market with a variety of price points to choose from, so you are guaranteed to find one that suits your budget.

How old is your current mattress?

We know that buying a mattress is a big investment, so you would be forgiven for wanting to keep your old one around as long as possible.

However, if you’re tossing and turning through the night, waking up in pain, or feeling otherwise uncomfortable while you sleep, it’s probably time to consider an upgrade.

Most mattresses have a lifespan of eight to 10 years, although some will need replacement after around five, while others will last as many as 12. Look at the overall lifespan as well as visible factors like sagging, lumps, and other wear and tear.

Think about the fact that the average person sleeps eight hours a day, equating to 2,920 hours a year, or a total of 122 days per year. That’s a lot of work for a mattress!

Couple flipping a mattress.

The Best Types of Mattress to Invest in

Dark haired lady touching a mattress.

With so many different types of mattresses to choose from, finding the perfect one may be a bit of a daunting task.

Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular mattress types to help you make your decision:

Innerspring mattresses

Innerspring mattresses, also known as coil mattresses, have a bouncy feel due to the coil springs inside.

Quilted mattress with navy polka dot feature on wooden legs.

They are made up of springs that are connected to each other, forming a single unit. The number and types of coils may vary, and this will determine the comfort and support level.

Innerspring mattresses are one of the most affordable mattresses on the market and are a great option if you are working with a tight budget.

Pocket Spring mattresses

Pocket-spring or pocket-sprung mattresses have springs that are individually wrapped in fabric pockets.

Mattress base with dark trim.

They adapt to the contour of your body and isolate motion, so they don’t move as much as innerspring mattresses.

They are often a popular choice with orthopaedic patients as they offer lots of comfort and support. However, they can be more expensive than other options.

Memory foam mattresses 

Memory foam mattresses contour to your body thanks to their hi-tech construction that softens and moulds to body heat, although some sleepers may find them too warm.

Two hands putting mattress protector on mattress corner.

They relieve pressure on joints and align your spine, therefore helping to maintain posture. For this reason, they are suitable for those who may suffer from a bad back.

structure of the memory foam means that the mattress doesn’t move very much, making it the ideal choice for those who share their bed with restless partners who may twist and turn throughout the night.

Foam mattresses

A foam mattress includes foam, latex, and cooling gel, providing a budget-friendly option.

Many foam mattresses are hypoallergenic, making them the ideal choice for those who have allergies or who suffer from reactions to pollen or dust mites.

Mattress on grey bed base and headboard.

They are also versatile, as they are suitable for those who tend to sleep on their side, back, and front.

Gel mattresses

For those who prefer cooler sleep, the gel design might be the way to go. Gel foam provides support while reducing heat build-up and promoting better air circulation.

Bare quilted mattress.

Latex mattresses

The natural elasticity of latex means that the mattress shapes the body’s contours, providing high-quality support and pressure relief.

Latex gives the feeling of sleeping ‘on’ the mattress as opposed to ‘in’ the mattress, which may be the case with memory foam options.

Woman's hand on mattress.
It’s also incredibly durable and can last up to 20 years! As they are allergen-resistant and breathable, a latex mattress will regulate temperature when sleeping, making it ideal for those who tend to overheat or for those living in warmer climates.

Hybrid mattress

A hybrid mattress gives you the option of combining innerspring with foam or latex. This will give you the back support of coils along with the comfort, pressure relief, and contouring of foam or latex.

Mattress on dusky pink velvet paneled bedframe.

.Hybrid mattresses are highly breathable, and the combination of materials reduces movement.

They are ideal for couples or for those who may occasionally share their bed with young children, who tend to move a lot throughout the night.

Rolled-up mattress

The creation of the rolled-up mattress has altered consumer expectations and transformed the process of purchasing mattresses. These mattresses are not only created to provide exceptional support and comfort but also to bring about unmatched ease, especially when it comes to transport and setup.

They are designed to be diligently rolled and then vacuum-packed. Don’t be fooled by the mattresses’ compact packing, though. Once they’ve been unrolled and given time to expand, they transform into a delightfully pleasant sleeping surface that doesn’t sacrifice support or durability.

Mattresses with adjustable bases

Some mattresses are adjustable and come with built-in compatible bed bases.

Lady resting on curved mattress.

They give you the option to change your sleeping position and may come with the choice of elevating the head or feet. They may also have built-in features such as heat or massage option.

How firm do you want your mattress?

Firmness is one of the major factors that most people consider when they’re buying a mattress and looking to upgrade their sleeping space, and it’s a very personal choice.

Panelled mattress on grey bedframe with silver legs.

Some people want the feeling of resting on a million pillows, while others would prefer to sleep on a wooden board than sink into a mound of fluff.

We think that there’s a happy medium, with a range of firmness to suit your sleep style.

A side-sleeper or someone who moves around a lot in their sleep would most likely benefit from a softer mattress that moves with them and contours to their body shapes.

On the other hand, back and side sleepers will likely want a firmer mattress to provide consistent support across the length of their bodies.

Also, keep in mind that softer doesn’t necessarily mean unsupportive. Good support refers to ability to keep your spine in the correct alignment while you sleep.

What size should your mattress be?

Quilted mattress against paneled headboard.

If you’re buying a mattress to replace what you already have for a bed that’s already in your room, this is an easy question.

But if you’re moving into a new space or dreaming of a new bed as well, there’s more to think about.

Obvious factors to consider are your height and whether you sleep with a partner, but you should also think about the size of your room itself.

You probably don’t want a bed that’s going to fill the entire room or one that will look tiny in a larger space.

Mattress on grey fabric bedframe.

Of course, whether you’re choosing a mattress for a cosy single bed or something larger, you should ensure the mattress perfectly fits your intended bed frame and meets your comfort needs

Bed frames will usually be a little bit bigger than your mattress, while a divan bed base should have the same length and width dimensions.

Finally, make sure there’s room to get your new mattress into your bedroom! You don’t want to end up sleeping in your sitting room because the mattress is too big to carry up the stairs.

Standard mattress sizing is as follows:

A comparison of bed sizes
Bed Type Dimensions
Small Single (2’6”) 190 L x 70 W cm
Single (3′) 190 L x 90 W cm
Small Double (4′) 190 L x 120 W cm
Double (4’6″) 190 L x 135 W cm
King (5′) 200 L x 150 W cm
Super King (6′) 200 L x 180 W cm

How should you test a mattress?

Trying out a mattress while shopping isn’t as easy as trying on a shirt. You can’t just pop into the fitting room, take a quick look, and make your decision.

However, it’s very important that you ensure that what you’re about to purchase feels right to you. And that doesn’t mean just putting your hand on it or even having a quick seat. It means you have to take some time to lounge on it.

Couple lying on mattress.

Ideally, you should lie down for 10 to 15 minutes in your usual sleeping position. We know, it feels a bit weird to be taking a power nap in the middle of a shop, especially if there are other customers milling around, but the results will be worth it.

It’s also a good idea to have a chat with the staff of the department to get advice based on your sleep needs.

Buying a mattress isn’t like buying other furniture, where you might be initially drawn to one based on its looks, as they’re all pretty similar in appearance, but good staff will be able to show you the details of each one and make recommendations to help you get your best sleep.

What about buying online?

Buying a mattress in-store is still by far the most popular choice, with SleePare reporting that 92% of buyers prefer to look in-store before purchasing, but there are plenty of options for online shopping as well!

Yellow and grey bed linen on grey fabric bed frame.

A great way to research mattresses is to read the product descriptions to learn about materials. You can also check out product reviews online.

Check the measurements so you know the mattress will fit, and reach out to in-store staff with any queries.

Completing your sleep space

Once you have selected your new mattress, the next step is to ensure that you protect and enhance it with the right mattress protector and bedding.

Mattress protectors

As you will be sleeping on the same mattress for several years, it’s important to make sure that it stays as clean and hygienic as possible.

Placing mattress protector on mattress.

Both moisture and bacteria can affect the structure of a mattress, potentially leading to health conditions and the possibility of having to reinvest in a new one sooner than planned. So a protector will save you both money and hassle.

This one small addition to your bedding will protect your mattress from wear and tear as well as potential spills, stains, dust mites, and general allergens.

Mattress protectors come in a variety of styles and sizes, such as encasement, where they cover the entire mattress; straps that cover the top; or a fitted-sheet style that covers the top and sides of the mattress.

A mattress protector is a fantastic addition to a home with young children, as kids sometimes go through a phase of bedwetting and are prone to spilling drinks and other items.

Mattress covered in white sheet with grey fabric frame.
They will also prevent spills and stains from penetrating through to the mattress itself, which will save you the costly process of getting it professionally cleaned.

Another benefit of mattress protectors is that they are low-maintenance, and most of them can be washed in the washing machine along with your general sheets and bed linen.

Frequent washing will help to prevent an infestation of bed bugs and dust mites, both of which love to take up residence in between mattress stitching and corners.

An added bonus is that a good-quality mattress protector will also add an additional layer of comfort to your bedding, helping to enhance and promote a great night’s sleep.


Mattress displayed on unmade bed on wooden frame.

If you are looking for a comfortable and luxurious night’s sleep, then investing in quality bed linen is a must.

Go for sheets and pillowcases with a thread count of 300 or above, and you will never look back.

Along with a mattress protector, consider getting a mattress topper. This will add an extra layer of comfort to your bed, and it will also protect your mattress, helping to keep it in great shape.

For even more heightened comfort, upgrade your pillows to hotel-quality luxury. These items can be expensive; however, for the comfort you will gain, this is one investment you won’t regret.

Luxury bed linen with feature wooden wall.

Throws, blankets, and duvet covers come in a variety of styles, patterns, and colours, and you can let your personality shine through the fabrics and textures that you choose.

When picking your dream bed linen, make sure to consider the climate you live in and the season. Heavier fabrics, blankets, duvets, and throws are ideal in the wintertime, while lighter bedding options could be needed in the warmer months.

Either way, consider the material, breathability, and durability when selecting the perfect linen to adorn your bed.

Final thoughts on finding the perfect slumber

Making the best mattress choice is a personal choice influenced by individual desires and preferences.

Every person has a unique idea of what it means to be comfortable, depending on an assortment of factors including body shape, age, and particular requirements.

Although individual preference is important, it should not be the only factor taken into consideration. Take a look at the bigger picture as you explore the world of mattresses.

Woman sitting on a mattress.

Consider your daily activities, your preferred sleeping position (side, back, or stomach), and any orthopaedic or wellness needs you may have.

Perhaps you’re an athlete who needs more support, or perhaps you have back pain and need a mattress designed to relieve it.

Consider other factors also, such as whether you get hot easily at night or whether you prefer a softer feel as opposed to a firm one.

You’ll be better able to sort through the abundant choices available if you evaluate your lifestyle, sleeping patterns, and health requirements holistically.

By taking an all-encompassing approach, you can be sure that you’re not just buying a mattress but also making an investment in your well-being.

Woman sleeping on bed with white sheets.

You’ll be more prepared and knowledgeable as you start your mattress shopping adventure with these factors in mind, ready to find that ideal fit for restful nights and revitalised mornings.

And most importantly, think about establishing a good sleep routine to make the most of your nighttime slumber and wake up feeling happy and refreshed.

Ready to find the perfect mattress to create your own idyllic oasis? Get started with your mattress hunt here.

Nicola O'Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan

Nicola O’Sullivan holds the position of PR Manager and Interior Design Writer at Corcoran’s Furniture, where she applies her sharp eye for interior design. She is in the process of earning a diploma from the globally recognised Interior Design Institute, further enhancing her expertise in the field.

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