Mattress Buying Guide

Choose the right mattress tension for your sleep style

Buying a mattress – the inside scoop

Buying a new mattress has become a seriously complicated process. We say this even as industry experts.

Why has something that was once so simple become so stressful? Because mattress manufacturers want to

blind you with science. Complexity sells better. So the more abbreviated scientific symbols on a mattress tag,

the more money you’ll feel justified to pay.

The most important factor to consider before embarking on any purchase is to not lose sleep over which

mattress to choose. A mattress is simply one part of a good night’s rest. Room temperature, snoring partners,

shifting partners, your bedclothes, even more shockingly your smartphone under your pillow, all impact how well

you sleep at night. Yes, your mattress is very important, but you shouldn’t stress too much over buying one.

Here are some good to know facts to keep in mind when shopping:

If your mattress is older than 7 years, you should be asking yourself these questions:

  • - Are you waking up with aches and pains every morning, or are you refreshed and rested?
  • - Are your hips and back supported?
  • - Are you taking longer to fall asleep each night?
  • - Are you overheating during the night, and it’s not because your heating is on in your home?

Spending more for a mattress does not guarantee a better night’s sleep. In tests conducted by EU Consumer Reports,

a €2,500 mattress performed the same as one that cost €250. The difference in price is usually organic versus

synthetic materials. But industry experts say a well-manufactured mattress should only cost as little as €300.

Don’t be fooled by the pushy salespeople in high street stores. Sitting on a mattress for 5 minutes in a retail store

does not mean you’ve tried it out properly. To be completely sure about a mattress you should sleep

on it for at least 2 weeks. That’s why Mattress Direct Shop’s “30 day Love It” policy comes in handy.

Snuggle, sprawl, sleep, for 30 nights. If you don’t absolutely Love It, then simply return it to us

(see our Returns policy for more details).

Mattress types


First off, the innerspring is made with steel coils. There are a few types of innerspring types

(of course there are!), so we’ve broken them down by type:

Bonnell Coil

These coils are the most common coils around. These are the coils that would probably have been inside

the mattress that you slept on as a kid when you visited your old aunty Edna. In other words, they’ve been

around for donkeys’ years. In fact, they are around since the 19th century. The truth is they are the cheapest

and simplest to produce so you’ll find them in low quality, very cheap mattresses. Lesson to take away?

If you come across a mattress retailer selling a Bonnell coil mattress for anything other than pennies, walk away.

Continuous Coil

The continuous coil is an S-shape coil and its design is based on one piece of steel with rows of interwoven,

twisted coils attached. They are generally made from lighter wire and don’t offer much support.

Much like the Bonnell coil, these are used in entry-level mattresses because they are so cheap to make.

Lesson to take away? There are so many good alternatives that are now very affordable, you should never

need to consider a continuous coil mattress, unless you are buying for your mother-in-law.

Pocketed Sprung

The pocket sprung mattress is becoming increasingly popular due to the support it gives based upon its unique

arrangement of hundreds of individual springs that are covered in fabric pocket. These springs are usually made

in conjunction with memory foam or latex. Lesson to take away? These mattresses are high quality and give great

support but be prepared to pay a much higher price for them.


Mattresses made of latex are premium quality and are at the higher end of the market. Latex material is made from

the sap of the rubber tree. For this reason they feel more durable and very resilient, and provide long-term support.

They conform perfectly to the body’s contour and support you whatever position you sleep in. Their open cell structure

means they are self-ventilating, helping disperse resulting in a fresher mattress. Latex also fights bacteria, fungi and dust mites.

These are fantastic mattresses that provide independent support, meaning if your partner (or you) toss and turn all night,

you won’t wake each other. Lesson to take away? They are heavily overpriced in high street retail outlets so if you can

source one from the factory (just like Mattress Direct Shop) you’ll save heaps of money.

Memory Foam

Memory Foam, or Visco is a polyurethane foam which responds to your body composition and temperature. It moulds to your

body’s shape and gives incredible support for your back and joints. It evenly disperses your body weight across

the mattress providing you with a pressure-free sleep.

In the past people have found that because memory foam absorbed their body temperature it overheated the mattress.

But newer technologies have emerged which have fixed this issue. Manufacturers such as Naturalex have had

breakthroughs in material production, and are now featuring thermoregulating foams such as Gel Fresh®, Aquapur®

or Aero Latex®, so look out for mattresses with these foams and you'll never have to take a cold shower again.

It is also worth noting that memory foam mattresses take a couple of weeks to mould to your body shape. So while

it may feel hard to begin with, after 2-3 weeks it will have conformed to your contour.

Which firmness level should you choose?

Mattress comfort is so subjective, what is considered firm to one person can feel medium to another. Because of this,

all our mattress firmness are rated on a scale of 1-5. 1 being the softest and 5 being the firmest.

Another thing to consider is your weight - a light person may not feel comfortable sleeping on a firm mattress,

while a heavier person might find it perfect.

Whether you choose a soft, medium or firm mattress from our store, it's useful to know that all our mattresses

are equipped with a 7 Zone structure, which means you can choose the tension based on your comfort preference

and still get the support your back and hips need.

Soft - 3/5

Suitable for lighter people, soft mattresses are usually less than 22cm in height and can easily adapt to an electric

bed. With lower density memory foam used, soft mattresses are suitable for children and people that don't need much support.

Medium - 4/5

Medium tension is designed to encourage the pressure points - i.e. the shoulders and hips - to sink into the

mattress’ natural fillings. This allows the mattress to make contact with the waist and backs of knees, giving a cradle-like support.

Firm - 5/5

Firm tension delivers the same responsive support to tired limbs as the medium option, but will provide a more solid feel.

Firm mattresses can also suit the heavier person, for example those of 16 stone and above.