Do You Know What Mattress You Actually Need?

Posted by Sarah Harris - Head of Design and Development on 9th Jun 2022

Do You Know What Mattress You Actually Need?

With so many different mattresses available, it can be confusing to know which one is right for you. But as we spend a considerable amount of our lives lying on them, isn’t it time we learned a little bit more?

We were interested to find out if people across the UK knew the difference between their pocket sprung from their memory foam, so we conducted a survey of 1000 people to put their knowledge to the test.

Do you know what type of mattress you’re currently sleeping on?

For something we spend hours sleeping on each night, you may think we’d know what type of mattress we are sleeping on. But of the 1000 people we asked, 75% of them said they don’t actually know what kind of mattress they currently have (a).

Of the 25% who said they did know what mattress they had, most of the respondents listed brand names rather than firmness rating, size, or mattress type when asked what sort of mattress it is.

Knowing what type of mattress you currently have can really help when it comes to buying a new one in the future, as you’ll already have an understanding of which sort works best for you.

Do you know how firm your mattress should be?

When you buy a mattress, you may have noticed there are generally four different firmness ratings to choose from; extra firm, firm, medium, and soft.

Although it may sound obvious what each rating is, each one is specifically designed to suit different body types and sleeping positions.

When we asked 1000 people if they knew what mattress was best for them, 68% answered no, they don’t (b).

Although the type of mattress you need will depend on various factors, generally speaking, firm or extra firm can often work best for those who have a larger body frame or experience joint pain as they help support the body at all contact points. Alternatively, softer mattresses can be more suited to those with a lighter body frame (1).

Your sleeping position is also an important indicator of how firm your mattress should be. For example, if you’re like the 65% of people surveyed who said they sleep on their side (c), you may feel more pressure on your spine when sleeping. Therefore, a softer mattress that moulds to your body contours can be well suited to side sleepers as it helps your spine curve more naturally to help reduce pressure (2).

Do you wake up with aches and pains?

Our survey results revealed that most people reported waking up with aches and pains at least once a week (d). And when it came to whether males or females tended to suffer more, we found that only just over 5% of men reported waking up with pain and aches in their neck or back more than four nights per week, compared to 17% of women (e).

If you often find yourself tossing and turning overnight and waking up with aches and pains in your back or neck, it could be a sign your mattress needs replacing or that it’s simply not the right mattress for you.

Some mattresses are designed to offer more support for those who experience general aches and pains overnight. For example, memory foam works by moulding to your body position while you sleep to provide maximum support and comfort all night (1).

For those with more severe aches and joint pain, an orthopaedic mattress could be the best for you. These mattresses are designed to provide maximum support for joints and may also help with spinal alignment (1).

SHOP Orthopaedic Mattresses

Do you know the difference between the most common types of mattresses?

A whopping 82% of the people we surveyed said they didn’t know the difference between the most common mattress types, such as pocket sprung, open coil and memory foam (f).

While some may think mattresses are a ‘one-size-fits-all’ product, the reality is that each type of mattress is specifically designed with different body types, sleeping positions and individual preferences in mind. And the kind of mattress you need can change over time depending on your personal circumstances, injuries or medical conditions.

For example, open coil mattresses are great for spreading weight evenly, reducing the chance of you waking up with aches and pains. Pocket sprung mattresses feature a combination of fabric pockets and springs that respond to pressure and cleverly adapt to your body shape for maximum support.

A temperature-regulating mattress or vegan mattress may work best if you’re a hot sleeper or prefer to have more eco-friendly materials. The breathable fabrics and moisture-wicking technology can help you stay feeling fresh and comfy all night long.

SHOP Clima Control Latex

We know it can feel overwhelming to learn about each type of mattress, which is why we have put together this handy guide to help make it easier.

Use our quick and easy sleeppro® technology to find the right mattress for you

If you think it’ll be too much of a hassle to find out which type of mattress you need, think again. At Bensons for Beds, we offer unique sleeppro® technology to help you learn within minutes which mattress is the best for you.

The sleep pro® looks like a regular mattress, but it’s in-built with BodiTrak technology which measures your pressure points to analyse how you sleep. We also use airbags to help inflate or deflate the pressure to reflect our different firmness ratings, so you can find the level of support you need.

One of our sleep specialists will then use this information to create your own sleep profile, which will guide you as to which size, mattress type and firmness rating would be best for you.

The process takes as little as 5 minutes – all you need to do is pop into your local Bensons for Beds branch.

And you can rest assured that if you’re not completely happy with your new mattress, it’s possible to exchange it for a new one, subject to a small fee and other terms and conditions* thanks to our  40 night guarantee.

*Terms and conditions apply.

Browse our entire range of best-selling mattresses here.Shape

  • 758 of 1000 people surveyed answered ‘no’ when asked ‘Do you know what type of mattress you currently have?’
  • 680 of 1000 people surveyed answered ‘no’ when asked ‘Do you know which type of mattress is best for you?’
  • 654 of 1000 people surveyed answered ‘side sleeper’ when asked ‘What type of sleeper are you, if any?’
  • When asked ‘How often, if at all, do you wake up feeling pain or aches in your neck/back etc?’ of the 1000 people who responded, 1.33 was the mean number of nights per week.
  • 88 of 508 females surveyed answered ‘More than 4 nights per week’ when asked ‘How often, if at all, do you wake up feeling pain or aches in your neck, back, etc?’ 29 of 492 males surveyed answered ‘More than 4 nights per week’ when asked ‘How often, if at all, do you wake up feeling pain or aches in your neck, back, etc?’
  • 822 of 1000 people surveyed answered ‘no’ when asked ‘Do you know the difference between mattresses, i.e. open coil, pocket sprung, orthopaedic, memory foam, etc?’


  1. An In-Depth Guide to Different Types of Mattresses - Bensons for Beds
  1. Sleeping Tips for Side Sleepers - Bensons for Beds
authors profile
Sarah Harris
Head of Design and Development
Sarah has worked at Bensons for Beds for 16 years. As Head of Design & Development, Sarah uses her wealth of experience in design to ensure that Bensons for Beds' products use the latest innovation in technologies to deliver maximum quality products that really help customers' everyday sleep issues.
Read more from Sarah