The Importance of Buying the Best Mattress for Your Needs

Posted by Pam Johnson - Head of Buying on 28th Jun 2023

The Importance of Buying the Best Mattress for Your Needs

A mattress is a mattress, right? Wrong! As anyone who’s ever tossed and turned on a too hard bed or sunk into a too pillowy pillow-top will tell you, it’s important to find just the right mattress for your needs. This is especially true if you have specific aches and pains, allergies or a body type that requires extra support. Your choice of mattress may also be dictated by your sleeping position. Increasingly, customers are led by ethics too, choosing an eco-friendly mattress based on its recyclability or its natural content.

Let’s take a closer look at how to choose the best mattress for you then. We’ll investigate the best mattress for bad back problems, the best mattress for side sleepers, back and front sleepers and the best mattress for kids, those with a heavier body type and bed sharers.

Why a Mattress Matters

Most of us know how important a good mattress is to a great night’s sleep. In fact, research conducted by the Sleep Foundation tells us that 92% of people say a comfortable mattress is vital for a good snoozei. It’s not just a case of finding a mattress that makes you comfy enough to drop off. A good mattress also:

  • Promotes good spinal alignment: good posture isn’t only for standing. A decent mattress keeps your spine properly aligned for improved comfort and less risk of pain
  • Helps reduce pressure on joints: if you’ve ever woken with a niggling lower back, sore hip or stiff knees you’ll know what we mean. Too hard or too soft a mattress can cause pressure point problems
  • Helps reduce aches and pains: back, hip, neck or knee pain – any joint or muscular pain for that matter – can be improved, or exacerbated, by your mattress
  • Reduces the risk of allergic reactions: the wrong mattress can cause allergies to flare up, resulting in skin issues or hay fever-type symptoms. A hypoallergenic bed limits the risk of sniffles and itches
  • Reduces snoring: proper spinal support helps to keep your neck and head correctly aligned, for less snoring. In addition, a hypoallergenic mattress reduces allergens, mould and mites, all of which can cause a stuffy nose and, in turn, oh-so-sweet snuffling
  • Limits late night wake ups: sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress can help you to drop off fast and stay asleep ‘til that alarm trills

The Best Mattress for Back Pain, Allergies and Other Complaints

A woman in pink pyjamas sat on the bed with her hands pressed on her lower back as she stretches

So which mattress do you choose for your specific issues?

Back and neck pain: choose a medium firm mattress for back pain or neck complaints. Hybrid mattresses that contain both springs and memory foam or latex can be a great choice, combining the spinal support of a high spring count with the pressure relief of a softer topping. Though usually firmer than average, a specifically designed orthopaedic mattress for back pain could also aid in counteracting spine issues.

Joint complaints: if pain in knees, hips and other joints is keeping you up at night, look for a mattress that offers good contouring, hugging the heavier parts of your body rather than putting up resistance. The pressure relief offered by a latex mattress or one made using memory foam could help you to wake with less discomfort.

Allergies: those who suffer with allergies may find that their mattress only makes things worse. Fortunately there’s an ever-growing number of mattresses built using hypoallergenic materials and designed to reduce allergens like mildew, dust mites and other nasties. The Slumberland Natural Solutions range is ideal for adult allergy sufferers while kids are well served by the Jay-Be Graffiti Art E-Pocket mattress and the Flip double-sided mattress.

Reduced mobility: if getting into and out of bed is a pain, look for a mattress with good edge support. This additional perimeter firmness provides support and purchase for getting up and down without strain. You may also wish to consider an adjustable bed.

The Best Mattress for Side Sleepers and Other Positions

An older lady asleep on her side in bed and in the background is a green-leafed houseplant

However you sleep at night, choose a mattress that gives you the right support.

Side sleepers: most people feel most comfortable sleeping on their sides. Though better for breathing, digestion and backs, side sleeping can have its downsides, including the lower back issues and shoulder pain that can occur without the right support. Generally, side sleepers get the most comfort from a medium firm mattress. However, some prefer the support of a firmer mattress while some like the embrace of a slightly softer surface. While a pocket sprung mattress offers reliable support, some side sleepers might appreciate the pressure relief of memory foam or latex mattresses.

Back sleepers: nothing is more important than spinal alignment for back sleepers who need to ensure their back and neck is well supported. When it comes to choosing a mattress for a back sleeper, a lot will rely on bodyweight (more on that shortly) but again, a medium firm mattress will often do the trick, with pocket springs providing excellent support for the spine.

Front sleepers: putting stress on the spine, and especially the neck, sleeping on your stomach is far from ideal. But if this is the only way you can get some ZZZs be sure to shop around for the perfect mattress. Balancing body conforming with support, a hybrid mattress is a good compromise for stomach sleepers who prefer a softer feel while latex minimises sinkage, something to be avoided if you sleep face down. You may find that a front-sleeper pillow could help too.

The Best Mattress for Heavy People, Light People and Couples Who Can’t Agree

A family of 5 squished into a double bed: two dads, a young smiling boy, a little girl and a pug. One of the dads is trying to read a book, the other is laughing at the dog along with the little boy.

Much of your mattress choice will come down to your age, body type and who you share with.

Heavier body types: the heavier you are, the more you’ll naturally sink into any mattress. That’s why heavier people will usually be more comfortable on a firmer mattress offering reliable support to every part of the body while lighter folk can better tolerate a softer mattress. Look for reliable springs with individualised support in the areas where you sink into a mattress the most.

Couples with different needs: sleep comfort is a very individual thing so, really, it’s crazy that many of us choose to share our mattress. Compromise can be found though. For example, couples with different body types should opt for a mattress that minimises transfer of movement (for example, choose pocket springs over a continuous coil). mattress with a double layer of springs can also be handy for couples with different needs. A lighter person would get support from the first layer, whereas the second layer can ensure a heavier person still gets the full support of the mattress. And if you boil at night while he shivers under extra blankets? Temperature regulating technology, like that used in iGel mattresses, can help keep you both just right.

Babies and children: children of different ages have very different requirements. So whether you’re seeking the best mattress for cot bed sleepers, for toddlers or for teens be sure to get good advice from the experts. Bear in mind that children change a lot as they grow so will need regular mattress upgrades. Luckily, clever solutions like the Slumberland Flip 2-in-1 mattress and the Jay-Be Dual Support mattresses can ease some of the pain of shopping for kids’ beds.

Mattress Shopping Made Easy at Bensons for Beds

Finding the perfect mattress is simple at Bensons for Beds. Our knowledgeable teams know mattresses inside out and have access to smart tech like our sleeppro ®system, designed to help you find the right mattress firmness for you. So whether it’s a basic open coil mattress, a high tech orthopaedic number or a convenient bed in a box, you can be sure you’re making the right choice. And with our 40 Night Comfort Guarantee you’ve got time to be sure too.

Drop into your nearest showroom or call 0808 144 6160 to find out more.

authors profile
Pam Johnson
Head of Buying
Pam has worked within Bensons for Beds for 16 years and has a great deal of experience in both developing and sourcing new product ranges. As Head of Buying specialising in mattresses, divans and headboards, Pam is dedicated to providing solutions that help customers to get a great night’s sleep.
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