Mattress Buying Guide

Buying a reasonably priced high quality mattress is not an easy decision, in fact its a difficult trick to pull off

The scientists got their fingers into the whole business, and mattresses now come in a huge variety of styles, materials and sizes. Open Coil (spring) Mattresses, Foam Mattresses, Memory Foam Mattresses, Pocket Sprung Mattresses, Children’s mattresses. You don’t need a science degree to figure it all out, but you do need to understand all the terms used to describe the technology, materials and designs, in order to choose the mattress that is perfect for you. After all, you do spend one third of your life in bed!

When you go out and buy a new mattress there should be several important factors that you may want take into consideration. There are many types of mattress you could buy ranging from spring, foam and memory foam combinations to pocket spring and latex mattresses; these are just to mention a few.

If you know it is time to purchase a new mattress but have not yet decided what kind of mattress you want, then you will probably need more information on mattress types, sizes, and materials used in construction. Knowing what you are shopping for is just as important as knowing, how much it will cost when it comes to this essential sleeping aide.

Age or injury can cause problems with sleep, arthritis and generalized stiffness, and a good quality mattress of one of the newer materials can help relieve some of this discomfort and make sleeping much more comfortable. A busy or stressful life can also cause sleep issues and one of the most important factors in not getting to sleep is not being able to get comfortable on the mattress. A good quality mattress with the right construction can make this far less of a factor.

The standard spring mattress with its padded covering has been a staple of mattresses for years. It may not be the most expensive mattress type on the market but it can be well constructed, comfortable, durable, and economical. You might consider this type of mattress if you sleep like a log every night and have no discomfort, aches, or pains that keep you awake.

Foam mattresses range from the highly economical been incredibly durable types to the new memory foam mattresses, which are also both durable and incredibly comfortable. The memory foam mattress is made of space age material, which conforms to match your body and cradle each part of you individually. These mattresses can give a superior sleep experience for the person who sleeps like a log, or those with issues sleeping due to aches or pains.

Mattress Size GuideFeet and InchesCentimetres
Mattress Size GuideFeet and InchesCentimetres
Small Single (Children's)2'6" x 6'3" (30" x 75")75 x 190 cm
Single3' x 6'3' (36" x 75")90 x 190 cm
Small Double4' x 6'3" (48" x 75")120 x 190 cm
Double4'6" x 6'3" (54" x 75")135 x 190 cm
Kingsize5' x 6'6" (60" x 78")150 x 200 cm
Superking6' x 6'6" (72" x 78")180 x 200 cm

Read the following mattress buying guide explaining sizes, technical terms and phrases.

Single mattresses

Single mattresses are more beneficial for children and take up very little room. There are two favourable sizes for the single bed either 2ft 6 or 3ft. The 2ft 6 is more for an adjustable bed and is aptly named a small single. It is also sometimes used with some children’s cabin beds. The 3ft is much more common and is classed as a standard size single. This single mattress is therefore ideal for use as children’s beds.

At Mattress Direct we also understand that children tend to have accidents throughout the night that’s why we stock a number of waterproof single mattresses, so whatever you are looking for you will find it here. Single mattresses are ideal for spare bedrooms or guest rooms and will comfortably sleep one adult. Our prices may be cheap but the quality of our single mattresses is fabulous.

Double mattresses

Double mattresses also known as a 4’6ft in imperial measurements are ideal for people with standard sized bedrooms. This size also makes a great guest bed. They are adequately spacious for an adult couple offering enough space for a comfortable night’s sleep. The double is our best-selling size. Its popularity is due to it offering enough sleeping space for a couple however will fit comfortably into most bedrooms.

This size mattress is available in an array of different varieties, including pocket spring, memory foam, latex, open coil, and many more. The double mattress is the most common and the most popular; here at Mattress Direct we stock 100’s all ready for immediate next working day delivery. With so many different double sized mattresses available it can be difficult on choosing the correct specification. Your satisfaction is important to us and we aim to provide you with excellent customer services.

If you have any questions call us on 0121 350 0564, one of our highly trained sales team will be able to help you make an informed choice so that your purchase will be most suited to your sleeping needs.

King size mattresses

Is it time for a king size mattress? Are you sharing a double bed and find it’s a little too small? We’re not surprised; consider the following information and you’ll understand why. A double bed, the UK’s most popular size only offers approximately 67.5 cm worth of space per person. Studies also show that couples who share a double bed have a far more stressful night sleep as opposed to sharing a mattress of king size proportions. If you have the space we recommend you spoil yourself and invest in a slightly larger king size mattress which will offer you that extra space and comfort.

We offer some of the most luxurious fillings and there is an assortment of memory foam designs available if you suffer with common back complaints. Another benefit of the king size mattress is that its approximately 3 inches longer than a standard double, therefore will suit taller people.

At Mattress Direct we have a large selection of king size mattresses all available at knock down prices to suit all tastes and budgets. We specialize in memory foam but also offer a comprehensive variety of open coil and pocket spring systems all at fantastic prices.

Memory foam mattresses

What exactly is a memory foam mattress? Memory foam is the common name for visco elastic foam; a blend that is valued for its sensitivity to temperature. Many of the memory foam mattresses are made partly of shape conforming reflex foam as well, and the combination feels just heavenly. Memory foam is designed to conform to the unique contours of your body whilst you sleep. It is widely considered to be one of the best types of mattress that money can buy.

Why is memory foam better than other mattress types?

Not only does memory foam breathe better than other mattresses, but also it provides better support for your pressure points while you sleep. Memory foam is hypo-allergenic, making it the perfect choice for anyone who suffers from allergies.

How do I find the right memory foam mattress for me?

Buying a memory foam mattress, whether it be a single, double, king or super king size can be tricky, as there are many different brands, each with their own advantages over the competition. Make no mistake; a memory foam mattress can be more expensive than many of the spring mattresses on the market today, just because its foam doesn’t mean it’s any cheaper than any of the other quality mattresses on the market. In fact memory foam is an extremely expensive material to manufacture.

Look for memory foam mattresses that offer the right level of lumbar support for your body. This may very well mean visiting a few bed and mattress stores to try them out. There is no replacement for feeling the mattress out and testing what kind of support it gives.

There are a few market leaders in the field of memory foam. While they may be a bit pricier, they are well worth splurging on. Tempurpedic is the best known brand, which comes with the heftiest price tag. There are many more that offer slightly more competitive prices with similar (or arguably better) quality.

If the price of a memory foam mattress is a bit steep for you; consider buying a memory foam topper or mattress overlay. This imparts most of the benefits of a memory foam mattress into a soft layer than can be placed over your existing mattress, and is far more cost effective. We always have clearance lines of memory foam mattresses so please check our current special offers, you may be happily surprised!

Enjoying good sleep is vital to getting the most out of life; maybe it’s time you spoilt yourself and your partner to a high quality memory foam mattress that will support you in all the right places, every night.

Memory foam mattresses are the ‘Rolls Royce’ of mattresses in many peoples opinion. This relatively new technology is becoming increasingly popular and may one day replace classical spring mattresses altogether. The material these mattresses are made of has the ability to remember the shape of each sleeper, as it forms itself around his or her body. This characteristic makes the memory foam mattress very comfortable and particularly suitable for people with back problems. Since not all memory foam mattresses are made the same, look for the well-known brands. Of course, the better they are and the higher the density, the more money you will have to spend on them.

Memory foam density refers, as the term suggests, to the density of the material, and consequently, to the mattresses firmness. While low density foam is softer and has more give, it does not last as long as more firm, denser foam mattress. It takes some time to figure out how much density you actually want form your memory foam mattress, since they start firm, and once they warm up and adapt to your body, they soften up to adapt to your contours. You might want to try more than one memory foam mattress to figure out which density you prefer, so do not be shy when you go to showrooms, try them all out. Memory foam mattress construction refers to the combination of materials your memory foam mattress is made of.

NOTE: Almost no memory mattress is made entirely from memory foam. The cost would be astronomical so be on guard if ever a bed salesman tells you its 100% memory foam.

Most often the mattress is a combination of spring coils with a padding of memory foam, or a reflex foam base with memory on top or combination of latex foam and memory foam. The proportion of each material and the way they are combined affects the quality and the firmness of the mattress, as well as the price.

A memory foam mattress is the best purchase you can make to ensure a good night’s rest. According to some sources, over 10 million Britain’s struggle to fall asleep, with worldwide statistics along similarly staggering amounts! Medical science has almost conclusively proven that the quality of your sleep directly influences the overall quality of your life.

Make no mistake; memory foam mattresses are one of the best investments you can ever make. Memory foam has been as hailed as one the best innovations in sleep science; with many thousands of satisfied and well-rested consumers who own their own memory foam mattress. It might seem difficult to believe for anyone who is accustomed to sleeping on an innerspring bed, but a memory foam mattress can be more comfortable than any other type of mattress.

Latex mattresses

Latex Mattresses, what you need to know.

The Latex mattress has one important claim to fame; it is made of a completely natural material. The latex is made of rubber, and a number of manufacturers use rubber that is grown organically. This is particularly important for people prone to allergies. In addition, the latex foam mattresses do not provide good home for dust mites, which are powerful allergens. Latex foam can be made to any different density, just like memory foam, to provide comfort for customers with different needs.

Latex foam mattresses are soft and springy to touch, so if you do prefer a more firm mattress, shop for more firm latex or for a different type of mattress entirely. Latex is very long lasting and does not have to be replaced as often as spring mattresses, making them economical in the long run.

Open coil mattresses

Open coil spring mattresses are usually the cheapest option when buying a cheap mattress. They have been around for a very long time and most of us have used them at some point. They are constructed of a metal rod edge frame, spring coils and some kind of padding. The combination makes for a comfortable and adaptable sleeping surface. The coils can be soft or firm, with different gauge and different count of springs. The padding also comes in a wide variety of materials and thickness’s. If a coil spring mattress is what you want, you will have to decide on your preference for softness. Spring count refers to the number of springs used to make a mattress.

You would assume that more springs means better mattress, but there are other considerations which affect mattress quality, such as how many turns there are in a coil, the material the coils are made of and the way they are connected together. Coil gauge is the measure of the thickness of each spring in the mattress. Coil gauge ranges between 14 and 15 (1.63 and 1.37 mm) for a soft, springy, relatively thin mattress. Springs with 12.5 gauge (1.94 mm) make a firm and thick mattress. Once you know what to look for, you can make an educated decision what to buy and not let salesmen confuse you with a techno-speak.

Pocket spring mattresses

When sharing a bed with a partner of considerable weight difference there is a tendency for you to roll in the direction of that person when they change their sleeping position during the night. In the bedding industry this is known as the roll-on roll-off effect and is commonplace with cheap sprung mattresses. The pocket spring system is unique because each spring works independently of one another. Ultimately each spring acts as an independent shock absorber eliminating the roll-on roll-off effect. Silentnight are pioneers in this field and invented their own famous Miracoil spring system. There are many different types of mattresses with pocket springs on the market, far cheaper than Silentnight, and arguably superior and Mattress Direct stocks them all!

The most common is the pocket spring combination with a layer of memory foam encapsulated within otherwise known as Pocket Memory Mattresses. This type of combination mattress usually contains a 30 mm layer of memory foam with a spring count varying from 1000 to 2000. The more individual pocket springs you have the firmer and heavier the mattress becomes.

The pocket spring mattress responds to your personal shape, size and weight. Each individual spring, each in its own fabric pocket ensures movement in one area of the bed stays in that area of the bed.  The mattress springs compress and adjust directly under your body movements leaving the rest of the mattress unaffected by movement.

The thick wadding (inner linings) and outer ticking (mattress cover) over the springs ensures a comfortable sleep whilst the large number of pockets and springs ensure a quiet and comfortable sleep. Some claim that the pocket sprung mattress is equal or superior in comfort to memory foam mattresses, but of course, this is due to individual preferences.

Rather than take what a shop has in stock when you go shopping for a new mattress, do you homework, shop for discounts and sales on the new mattress then come visit Mattress Direct. Make your pound go further towards a quality mattress, which will last literally for years. Do not skimp on a quality mattress in favour of savings when it is possible to find an unbranded mattress equal in quality to that of a branded mattress. Unbranded mattresses need to stand out from the crowd so they generally come at a lower price and with a higher specification.

Another important factor is the support offered, after all we spend more than a third of our lives in bed. As well as the mattress been hard or soft you may want it with or without tape edges, zip removable covers or tufted. The list goes on and the selection may well be overwhelming and confusing when buying your mattress. As a general rule of thumb the best place to start is with your available budget. Once you have established your spend you may want to think about the firmness or softness and what level of support is required to give you a comfortable night’s sleep.

Many top brands like Sleep, Silentnight and Airsprung offer pocket spring mattresses under the £200 price bracket which will have a life span of approximately 10 to 15 years and will offer a generously good build quality. Like all products you ultimately get what you pay for and the less you spend the less you will get in terms of quality. At Mattress Direct we try and offer a lot more for your money by reducing our prices constantly. This way we can offer you more expensive products at a lower price.

Pocket springs versus open coil springs

The main advantage of a pocket sprung mattress over a conventional open coil spring mattress is that each pocket spring provides individual support. With inferior mattresses there is a tendency for you to roll together especially towards the heavier person. The support from pocket springs ensures each partner is not distributed during sleep when tossing and turning occurs. The principle behind the pocket sprung system is that each spring works individually of one another similar to a shock absorber and therefore eliminates the roll on roll off effect.

We stock a comprehensive range of pocket spring mattresses from all the leading suppliers including Airsprung, Silentnight and Sleepeezee. All these company’s specialise in this field and offer long manufacture guarantees with each model.

Some leading bed manufactures have developed the technique of encapsulating memory foam within a pocket sprung mattress. This ideally suits people who enjoy all of the benefits a conventional pocket sprung mattress but would also like to enjoy the benefits that memory foam offers.

Cheap versus expensive

Cheap Mattresses versus Expensive Mattresses

Many types of mattress have varying inner compositions which will determine the mattress been cheap or expensive. Spring counts and memory foam densities play a significant part in the overall cost of production and will be the deciding factor for the retail price. Through our experience at Mattress Direct we have found that if you can afford to pay a little extra when purchasing your mattress the chances are the life expectancy will be much longer.

The cheaper the bed or the cheaper the mattress the less likely quality products will be used in its manufacturer. We have a large selection of cheap mattress and bed sets available in all sizes starting from under £100. Depending on your personal requirements we can advise what me or may not be the most suitable mattress for your needs. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

So before buying your next mattress think carefully whether buying a cheap one will be more beneficial to you in the long run.

There is a saying; you should always invest in a good pair of shoes and a bed, because if you’re not in one then you’re in the other.

Mattress fillings

Most people believe that the most important aspect of a mattress is its size, and that it is this that dictates the price of the item. This could not be further from the truth. The truth of the matter is that it is the filling of the mattress that calculates the price, and the type of spring or foam technology it uses.

The first step when you buy your mattress is to decide what type of spring you will have. You could choose open coil springs or pocket springs for instance. Once you have made this decision, you could then go on to decide what filling you would like. Cage sprung mattresses are the cheapest and so it will be this that you buy if you decide to purchase at the lower end of the pricing range. The filling will most likely be a form of insulation fibre that uses man-made fibres such as polyester, these fillings tend to flatten quickly and common complaints associated with this mattress type include the user been able to feel the springs in his or her back. Cheap mattress materials will pad the filling towards the surface to make it a little comfier.

Mattresses such as this are ten a penny and are very popular because they are cheap and mass produced. The harsh fact about mattresses such as these is that although they are cheap they do not last very long at all and once the springs have broken they are very uncomfortable to lie on. Given the technology that is available today, it is astounding that people would opt for mattresses that offer so little. When buying a mattress it is important to know what is available and what your options are because it is only then that you can make an informed decision. This involves finding out what kinds of fillings exist and what the price ranges are for each.

Insulator pads are formed from recycled fabric and sits around the springs in the centre of the mattress. This kind of padding is found in most sprung mattresses to protect the springs from snapping and protruding through the surface. Further wadding is then added around the pad to fill the mattress. The quality of this material is usually quite average and is found at the lower end of the spectrum, so are cheaper to buy. For mattresses that provide back support, the filling should provide an adequate amount of support and so the padding will have to be durable and of a greater grading. As a consumer, it is not entirely necessary for you to understand the grading of the material in your mattress but if a mattress does not have a quality filling then you can assume that it has not been manufactured with any consideration to lasting the test of time.

It is quite common for polyester to be used in the filling of a mattress. It is a cheap material that is then reflected in the cost of the product. Other materials like cotton and cashmere are sometimes used to pad the layers near the surface alongside polyester. As they are natural they are more expensive and so are used sparsely rather than throughout the centre of the mattress. If they are used in the wadding then you will find that the mattress will go up in price but it is not likely you will experience a great deal of benefit from these additions. You should aim to find out as much about the wadding as possible if you want to make sure you are getting value for money.

Looking after your mattress

Mattress maintenance, caring for your mattress is surprisingly simple.

No matter what type of mattress you own, you will need to take a few steps to ensure it lasts for many years, and keeps providing you with the blissful night of sleep you have become accustomed to. Nevertheless, even if you only own a cheap mattress, you will need to take a few steps to ensure it lasts as long as possible. This article will provide a few tips and handy hints to help you to get your money’s worth on that mattress of yours!

You’ll be pleased to learn that mattress maintenance is as about as easy as falling off a log. Your two main concerns are making sure that it wears evenly, and keeping it as clean as possible.

1) Turn it: The average spring double mattress needs to be turned once per month for the first few months after you purchase it. As a minimum turn it once every six months. Your double mattress will also need to be rotated to ensure it wears evenly on all sides.

2) Clean it: We’ve all heard about the dangerous dust mites that might be lurking there; and hopefully you already take most of the steps necessary to keep unwanted bed bugs out. The importance of washing your bedding, in a hot wash cycle, cannot be underestimated. You’ll need to go one step further to be sure that your mattress really is clean, and vacuum it every few months as well. Anyone who is allergy prone would benefit from having their mattress steam cleaned every few months as well.

3) Protect it: Luckily, not all the mattress care means hard work. The new generation of bedding does half the work for you! Mite proof bedding is no longer something of sci-fi dreams, it’s a reality. These mite proof linens make use of microfibre technologies to ensure that even if your mattress does pick up a few bugs, they will remain trapped inside the mattress itself. There are a few different varieties of covers and linens that provide protection for your mattress, and they’re available pretty much everywhere. If you want to keep your mattress in the best possible condition, it’s well worth investing in some protection.

You can eliminate even these basic maintenance steps by investing in a maintenance free mattress. They might cost a bit extra, but the time and effort saved rotating and flipping your mattress might be well worth it; especially for anyone who is elderly or unable to turn and flip their own double mattresses.

It is not unheard of for mattress manufacturer’s to offer guarantees of up to 20 years! Although the period of time that your mattress lasts depends on many factors! The most important thing you can do to ensure comfortable sleep is to replace your mattress regularly, in addition to taking the above steps to keep it clean.

You spend so much of your life in your bed and mattress; it’s well worth ensuring that it’s well cared for.

There is a famous saying; you should always invest in a good pair of shoes and a good mattress because if you’re not in one then you’re in the other.

We hope you enjoyed our mattress buying guide.  If you would like to find out further information or simply find out a little more about us please follow this link for further information about Mattress Direct


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