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A great night’s sleep starts with the best mattress. We can’t control the weather, stresses or other environmental factors that make good sleep hard to find, but we can help you mitigate any comfort issues with our guide to the best mattresses around.

We know there’s a lot of choice out there now – something the boom in online mattress companies has maybe made harder – but with it comes options for everyone. So, while we explain the difference between memory foam, pocket sprung, latex and hybrid mattresses, we also delve into which one will be right for you and your personal sleep issues. Hot sleeper? We’ve found the best breathable mattress to keep you cool all night. Suffering with joint pain? Our top picks are cushioning and supportive to help aches and pains. Or maybe you haven’t bought a new mattress for well over the recommended seven year lifespan and just want to see the best of the latest features out there – in which case, we’re here to help guide you through it.

Our mattress tester Ysanne has decades of consumer journalism experience, and has put each mattress through its paces at home, over several weeks, pitting them against the everyday situations we all encounter. Each one has been rated for comfort, support, manoeuvrability and durability.

Given you spend almost 16 years of your life in bed, buying a mattress is not a time for compromise. It’s important that you do your research and make sure that you really are choosing the best mattress for you. Don’t opt for bad quality simply because it’s cheaper – there are some great-value mattresses out there, meaning you don’t have to compromise, even if you are on a budget.

We’ve included mattresses for every budget and helpful tips about what to look out for, too. Scroll down for our comprehensive mattress buying guide, then check out the best duvets to give yourself the most serene sleep ever.

The best mattress 2021 – our reviews

1. Emma Original mattress

Best mattress for all-around comfort

best mattress Emma Original

Sizes available: Single, Small Double, Double, King Size, Super King Size
Airgocell foam, cold foam, memory foam
Comfort level:
Medium firm

Reasons to buy:
• Keeps cool all night
• Support for aching joints
• 200-night trial

Reasons to avoid:
• Light sleepers may find the mattress a tad too firm

Made in the UK, the Emma uses a different kind of chemical foam to most other bed-in-box mattresses, which the makers say is more durable. While we tried it for just a week or so, we’re not able to comment on whether it’s long-lasting or not but customer reviews seem to confirm that claim.

Underneath the soft breathable outer cover is a three layer construction that includes an Airgocell® foam layer for ventilation to keep you cool. A 25mm memory foam layer giving general pressure relief for joints while the thicker foam base targets areas such as the shoulders and lower back to give optimum support.

It’s a combination that provided a super comfortable sleep on whatever our chosen night-time position, even though our testers found it sat on the fairly firm side of medium our side sleeper still experienced a restful night without any tossing and turning.

Unlike some memory foam mattresses, there was little or no odour and it rose quickly to its 25cm depth once released from its packaging. We’re fond of handles on mattresses, even if they don’t require turning as it means making the bed is a tad easier. It has a returns policy of 100 nights and a 10-year warranty.

Ideal Home rating: 5 out of 5 stars

2. Simba Hybrid Pro mattress

Best mattress for App-y sleeping

Simba Hybrid Pro mattress

Sizes available: Single, Double, King, Super King
Memory foam, wool and Aerocoil springs
Comfort level:

Reasons to buy:
• 10-year guarantee
• 200-night trial

Reasons to avoid:
• Could be too soft for those with back/joint issues

There’s no mistaking that hybrids have a bit more heft to them than traditional memory foam only offerings. The Simba Hybrid pro has six layers, all encased in a soft breathable sleep surface.

A number of things make the Simba different from other hybrids. Firstly two layers of patented miQro coils sandwiched between high definition edge support foam and an open-cell foam layer. Secondly, below the soft outer cover sits a natural temperature-regulating British wool layer to help wick away nighttime sweat.

As you’d expect, the box is heavy – definitely a two man job up our testers’ winding stairs. Once in situ though, the instructions in the box are easy to follow. The supplied cutter ensures you’re unlikely to damage the mattress cover releasing it from its plastic wrapping. The handles are a nice addition and it swells up to the appropriate 28cm in three to four hours.

The soft outer cover provided a lot of give but the springs beneath provided a sleep experience that was both cushioning and supportive for the back and shoulders. The Simba sleep app, which you can download to your smartphone is a nice accompaniment. It’s a tracker that helps you discover your sleep style – our testers were Night Owl and Sleep Master since you ask – and offers tips to improve your night, tailored to the way you slumber.

For our restless ‘Night Owl’ sleeper, the Pro felt a little warmer than some other hybrids but our ‘Sleep Master’ was out like a light and stayed that way until morning. You can take up to 200 nights to decide if you like it, there’s a 0% finance option and a 10-year guarantee.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

3. Rem-Fit 400 Hybrid mattress

Best mattress with edge-to-edge support

Rem-Fit 400 Hybrid mattressSizes available: small single, long single, single (UK & EU), small double, double (UK & EU), king-size (UK & EU) and super king
pocket-sprung and memory foam
Comfort level:

Reasons to buy:
• Mega supportive
• Even distribution of weight
• 100-night free trial

Reasons to avoid:
• No handles for moving
• Lingering plastic smell for a couple of days

Designed and made in the UK, the Rem-Fit 400 mattress (which arrives in a box) is a medium/firm mattress which offers a good level of support across the entire mattress surface. This is down to the five incredible layers which include a combination of cool open-cell memory foam and 2000 premium pocket springs. It’s suitable for all sleepers – especially side sleepers – and will comfortably withstand a combined weight of 40 stone, too.

We tried it out for a few months during the summer and found that it not only relieved us from back pains, but we also found that we didn’t get overheated during the night. Being a hybrid mattress we felt that we really had the best of both worlds, especially if you’re a side sleeper as our reviewer is. We also found that it is competitively priced with the only slight downside being the lingering smell of plastic which one has come to expect now from memory foam mattresses, but this soon fades so you’ll be sleeping in comfort in no time.

What do you get for your money? A 100-night sleep trial with no quibbles if you want to return it; 15 year full replacement guarantee and free next day delivery (when you order before 1pm).

Ideal Home rating: 5 out of 5 stars

4. Simba Hybrid Mattress

Best mattress for side sleepers

Simba Hybrid mattress

Sizes available: Single, Small Double, Double, King, Super King, EU Single, EU Double L, EU Queen
Foam, memory foam, pocket springs, latex
Comfort level:

Reasons to buy:
• Huge variety of sizes
• 100-night trial

Reasons to avoid: 
• No removeable cover for washing

If you prefer to be cosseted by a cloud-like mattress but your partner yearns for one that’s on the firm side, then this ‘fits-all’ mattress, might well be the answer. Another bed-in-a-box, it arrives well packaged and with comprehensive instructions for use and care. A nice touch is the safety cutter supplied, allowing you to quickly and easily open the packaging without worrying about accidentally cutting the mattress with scissors as you release it.

Once unleashed from its box, the mattress takes 3-5 hours to fully take shape, ready for a night’s sleep. We found it was slightly softer than some of the other memory foam mattresses but much to our surprise, we didn’t mind that too much. It has five layers including a foam core, responsive memory foam, a unique layer of micro-conical pocket springs and a Simbatex synthetic latex layer all contained in a hypoallergenic outer cover.

It’s the springs that really make this one different, adjusting to your body as you sleep – we found that was particularly the case for side sleepers. As with many of the online purchase mattress options, it comes with free delivery and there’s a 100-night trial and free returns if you’re not 100 per cent happy. It comes in a huge variety of sizes, too, so whatever bed base you’re buying for, there’s bound to be one that fits.

Ideal Home rating: 5 out of 5 stars

5. Brook + Wilde Ultima mattress

Best luxury mattress

Brook + Wilde Ultima mattress

Image credit: Brook + Wilde

Sizes available:UK standard sizes; double, king, super king
Comfort level:
Soft, medium, firm

Reasons to buy:
Extremely comfortable
• Supportive for all sleep positions
Good choice of firmness

Reasons to avoid:
• Expensive
Very heavy

The Brook + Wilde Ultima is a true all-rounder: comfortable, supportive and even cooling, we couldn’t fault it. However, at from £1,799 for a double, it’s a real investment. If you’re willing to pay, though, you’ll get the best night’s sleep of your life. And if you use the code IH45 on your order, you can get a cool 45% off.

So, who will suit the Ultima mattress? Well, pretty much all sleepers! With ten layers, this mattress give plenty of support to back, side and front sleepers alike, and help to relieve aches and pains. It’s also great for people with fidgety partners, and those who get too warm in bed. Our reviewer tried a medium and would say it’s pretty much exactly that, offering the perfect flat surface with a bit of give to support for her back. She often suffers from lower back pain, but the day after sleeping on the Ultima, she woke up with no pain whatsoever. She also noticed next-to-no motion transfer, despite the fact that her partner came to bed later than her.

We tested this mattress through June and part of July, which featured heatwaves. Our reviewer was impressed at how cool the mattress kept her even in 20-degree heat – so impressive, in fact, that she slept all the way through the night. The Ultima features a removable and machine-washable thermic cover aims to reduce body temperature by two degrees. Combined with the mattress’s dynamic airflow design, it’s made to keep you cool as you sleep.

The luxury element comes with the huge 10 layers in this hybrid mattress, consisting of premium memory foam and 6,000 nano and pocket springs – plus that aforementioned thermic cover. It’s important to note that this mattress is heavy – it took two pretty strong people to lug it up the stairs – but once in position, it’s easy to manoeuvre.

If you want to invest in a mattress and don’t mind dropping a cool £1,000 plus, we’d really recommend this mattress. You’ll also get free premium delivery, a 100-night comfort trial and a 10-year guarantee, so you can rest assured you’re covered in case you change your mind.

6. Eve Original Mattress

Best breathable mattress

Eve original mattress

Sizes available: Double
Memory foam
Comfort level:

Reasons to buy:
• Great for sleeping in any position
• 100-night trial

Reasons to avoid:
• Instructions for unboxing are online rather than in the package

This buy online bed-in-a-box is probably the one most of us will have heard of, and offers free delivery, a 100-night sleep trial and free returns if it’s not for you. Conveniently packaged, the box in question is a cinch to get upstairs and in fact, one of us managed it on our own although it’s probably better with two.

Instructions for unboxing are online rather than in the package but it’s simple to work out so we didn’t bother – although watch the scissors as you release it from the plastic as you could easily nick the mattress if you’re not careful. Getting it out of the box and onto the bed, once the plastic packaging was opened, it immediately started to get its shape and was ready to sleep on in just a couple of hours.

There are no carrying handles but as it doesn’t need turning, this isn’t too much of an issue, although it might be handy when removing the outer cover for washing. It’s made up of several layers including a moisture wicking top, a breathable air-flow layer for added circulation, a comfort layer, a supportive foam base and a non-slip outer, which all adds up to the comfort and softness you’d expect from memory foam mattress with a level of support that you might find in a more traditional bed.

We had heard tales of that ‘sinking’ feeling when first trying memory foam but although the top layer was definitely softer than our usual bed it still felt supportive. We noticed a definite reduction in the early morning aches and pains we usually experience with our own firm mattress. If we had to give it a label we’d say it was medium firm.

If you’re a fidgety sleeper then this is a great option as whichever way we lay – side, back, or front – there was no discomfort. It’s also great if you sleep next to that restless sleeper as we found movement didn’t ‘travel’ from one side of the bed to another.

Ideal Home rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 

7. Nectar Memory Foam mattress

Best mattress returns policy

Nectar mattress

Sizes available: Single, Small Double, Double, King, Super King
Memory foam
Comfort level:
Medium firm – firm

Reasons to buy:
• 365-day trial
• Keeps you cool

Reasons to avoid:
• Not ideal for side sleepers

A phenomenal 365-day trial trumpets the fact that Nectar is so sure that once its memory foam mattress is on your bed, it is unlikely to leave. That’s a whole year of sleep with free returns if you’re not happy, plus a forever guarantee. It’s a pretty bold stance for even this highly competitive bed-in-a-box market, so we were interested to see how it matched up to the rest.

It comes in an easy-to-handle box and releasing it from its plastic packaging is simple with the help of the supplied cutting tool, which ensures you don’t accidentally cut into the mattress while you’re opening it. It doesn’t take long to inflate either and was ready in a couple of hours. Four layers of foam are topped with a soft quilted adaptive cooling cover that is designed to keep you cool at night by adapting to your body heat.

It seemed to work well and even the hottest of our two testers wasn’t disturbed in the night by rising temperatures. Plus there’s a ‘smart’ layer that also dissipates moisture, pressure relieving memory foam to provide comfort and support and a 7-zoned layer that adds more support where it’s most needed.

We felt, as it was on the firmer side of medium firm, it was a good option for front and back sleepers but wasn’t so great for a heavy side sleeper.

Ideal Home rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

8. OTTY Pure Hybrid Bamboo and Charcoal mattress

Best mattress for if you find yourself overheating when you sleep

OTTY Pure Bamboo and Charcoal mattress

Image credit: OTTY

Sizes available: Single, double, king, super king, small double, EU double, EU king, emperor
Foam hybrid, 64% spring to 36% foam
Comfort level:

Reasons to buy:
Pressure relie
Even support across the back
Stays cool on hot nights

Reasons to avoid: 
Limited edge support
Cover needs to be dry cleaned

If you struggle to regulate body temperature while sleeping and suffer overheating even in the winter, you’ll probably love the OTTY Pure Bamboo and Charcoal mattress. This mattress stays cool even on sweaty summer nights, so it’s a top pick for hot sleepers. It’s also great if you want a mattress that’s a little on the firmer side, but with a supportive top layer.

At 25cm, the OTTY Pure mattress is about average for this type of mattress. It has a removable cover for an added layer of protection, but note that it is dry clean only. With up to 2,000 encapsulated pocket springs, as well as two memory foam layers, it’s also pretty comfortable. Our reviewer had been experiencing a lot of lower back pain prior to testing – enough to make getting out of bed or sitting at her difficult – but she noticed that the pain lessened when she started sleeping on the OTTY Pure.

As for the keep-cool factor: the OTTY Pure is a very breathable mattress. It had no trouble keeping our reviewer warm through April this year, but it also helped her sleep quite comfortably through the June heatwave. That’s all thanks to the charcoal, which claims to regulate temperature, and the airflow system, which keeps the mattress fresh.

All in all, this is a great mid-range mattress, coming in at £799.99 for a double. We’d highly recommend it for overheating sleepers. And as well as a (hopefully) great night’s sleep, you’ll also get a decent 100-night trial and a 10-year guarantee, so you can rest assured your money’s going into a long-lasting product, too.

9. The Woolroom Herdwick 2500 mattress

Best mattress for traditional luxury

Woolroom Herdwick 2500 best mattress

Sizes available: Single, Small Double, Double, Euro Double, King, Euro King, Super King
Pocket springs, with cashmere, wool, silk and cotton fillings
Comfort level:

Reasons to buy:
• Luxury filling
• Natural materials

Reasons to avoid: 
• It’s heavy and requires turning

A more traditional composition of up to 2500 hand-nested pocket springs paired with all-natural hypoallergenic fillings such as cashmere, wool, cotton and silk the Herdwick from the Woolroom is a classic choice.

It’s delivered by a two-man team, which is just as well as the king size our testers chose is both weighty and solid. No mind, the delivery team seemed well versed in getting large objects up difficult, windy stairs to unpack and place the mattress in the room of choice. They also took away all packaging, which was great.

At first glance you can see the craftsmanship that has gone into this quality piece, with a soft-to-the-touch, chemical free merino wool ticking top secured with tufted ‘buttons’. It almost felt a shame to cover it up with sheets.

We were testing on a slatted base and although the mattress felt quite bouncy at first, it was plenty firm enough for our back sleeper, while it was wonderfully easy on the hips and shoulders for our side snoozer.

The natural materials make it breathable and help to wick away nighttime sweat, ensuring the hottest of our testers had a very comfortable, wriggle-free night. As with all traditional spring mattresses it does require both turning and rotating to keep it at its best and while it’s heavy, the sturdy side handles make it a 5 minute job when changing sheets.

Like its bed-in-a-box counterparts, it has a 100-night free trial so you can return if it’s not suitable and there’s a five-year warranty, too.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

10. Emma Hybrid mattress

Best mattress for a firm base

Emma Hybrid best mattress

Sizes available:  Single, Small Double, Double, King Size, Super King Size
Type: Foam and pocket springs
Comfort level: Firm

Reasons to buy:
• Advanced breathability

Reasons to avoid:
• Not ideal for side sleepers

We tested Emma’s Original last year and gave it top marks so we were expecting great things of its Hybrid sister. At £519 for a single compared to £299 for the Original, it’s more of an investment, for sure, so we were keen to see what it delivers in terms of comfort that the Original doesn’t.

For a start, it feels heavier, although it’s just as easy to release from its packaging and fills up to size pretty quickly. It also has handles, which are extremely useful not just for maneuvering them into place but for lifting when sheet changing. It’s a small detail but really useful nonetheless.

Like all hybrid mattresses it pairs layers of memory foam with pocket springs for a combination that intends to provided the best of both worlds. A top layer of the company’s patented Airgocell open pored, breathable layer sits above a seam of pocket springs that provides body support and allows air to flow, keeping things cool by preventing heat and moisture from becoming trapped.

It’s certainly one of the cooler mattress experiences our testers have tried, aided by a cover that has temperature-regulating fibres, comparing well with the Original for minimising restlessness from overheating. Below the springs is a layer of pressure relieving foam, which in turn lies on a base of cold foam with cut-out technology to provide support where it’s needed most.

Our testers found it quite a firm sleep, but in a supportive rather than rock hard way. It definitely took our side sleeper a few more days to get use to the fact it had less give than their usual mattress, so not the best choice for those that prefer something more cloud-like, while the back sleeper preferred it, declaring afterwards that the old mattress now felt ‘too soft, too giving’. There’s a 200-night trial period, a 10-year guarantee and hassle-free returns promise.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

11. Simba Hybrid Luxe mattress

Best mattress for couples

Simba Hybrid Luxe mattress

Sizes available: Single, Double, King, Super King
Hybrid, foam and Aerocoil springs
Comfort level:

Reasons to buy:
• Very comfortable in every sleep position
• Great edge-to-edge support
• Breathable and easy to clean
• Made with sustainability in mind
• 200-night trial

Reasons to avoid:
• As a premium mattress it might be out of budget for many

It comes at a cost, but our reviewer has slept better than ever since having the Simba Hybrid Luxe. With barely any motion transfer and amazing edge-to-edge support, sharing a bed is never a problem. To add to this, the mattress has several layers that aid cooling among its 10 (yes 10) layers. There is an open cell casing wrapping a moisture wicking bamboo wool layer and a bamboo sleep surface that can be removed for washing. Overheating is less of a problem and only on the hottest nights does our reviewer find herself kicking off the covers. Paired with Simba’s Hybrid duvet temperature regulation is much easier.

It also has three layers of springs in total. Two rows of 25mm Aerocoil springs sit together, then there are larger 40mm carbon steel springs further down the mattress. What this results in is not only supreme support, but really good weight distribution and minimal motion transfer – a must if your bed fellow is a fidget. Finally, we must mention Simba’s efforts towards making the most sustainable mattress they can. Their foam is made from recycled materials and fast-growing bamboo has been used in place of sheep’s wool to make this mattress pretty hot on eco credentials. The only drawback is the cost as starting at over £750 for a single, this may be out of the price range of many. Our verdict? If you can afford it, it is a great investment in amazing sleep.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

12. Eve Premium Hybrid mattress

Best mattress for supreme pressure relief

Eve Premium Hybrid mattress

Image credit: Eve

Sizes available: UK standard sizes; double, king and super king
Type: Hybrid mattress; five layers of next generation foam – never before used in the UK – and full-sized pocket springs
Comfort level: Medium-firm

Reasons to buy:
• Removable zip cover for 40 degree washing
Excellent pressure relief
• Decent bounce, with minimal movement transfer
Good breathability

Reasons to avoid:
• No single size
• Quite firm, which some might not like

If you’re looking for a supportive yet comforting mattress, the Eve Premium Hybrid could be the one for you. This luxury medium-firm mattress cushions in all the right places: the latest in foam technology means the foam is forgiving on pressure points, but not suffocating like some traditional memory foam feels.
The Eve Premium Hybrid will suit anyone looking for firmer support and comfort, who wants the benefits of foam without really knowing it’s foam. It’s also good for warm sleepers, thanks to the temperature controlled design. Our reviewer personally found it extremely comfortable, thanks to the full-size springs that make it feel like a traditional pocket-sprung mattress. It’s firm enough to make you feel supportive, but it also offers a deep level of cushioning foam to take the weight off, which relieves pressure points. This is a deep mattress, officially measuring 28cm (though our reviewer found hers was more like 26cm deep). It also has a great lack of motion transfer, and our reviewer could barely notice her partner getting in and out of bed.
Thes mattress has a washable quilted cover, which is invaluable if you’re at risk of spillages. The antibacterial top panel of the mattress can be unzipped and popped in the wash at 40°C. There are five generous layers of next generation foam in the eve Premium Hybrid, as well as over 1,500 full-sized pocket springs. This is definitely an investment, but in return for your money you also get a 10-year guarantee, plus a 100-night trial period during which Eve will arrange free collection and refund your money ‘in a jiffy – no questions asked’.

13. Dormeo Octaspring 6500 memory foam mattress

Best mattress for keeping cool

Dormeo Octaspring 6500 memory foam mattress

Sizes available: Adjustable Single, adjustable small Single, Double, King, Super King, European King Size
Type: Memory foam with memory foam ‘springs’
Comfort level: Firm

Reasons to buy:
• Keeps you cool
• Ideal for sufferers of joint pain

Reasons to avoid:
• Not the best for front sleepers

The unique layered construction of this mattress is what gives it enviable levels of support and helps to make it one of the coolest mattresses we tried. Delivered by a ‘white glove’ service that places the mattress in the room of your choice, unpacks it for you and, crucially, takes away the packing, it’s also one of the most expensive.

Two layers of Octasprings – open construction memory foam ‘springs’ – are grouped into three zones, which our testers found super supportive in key areas such as shoulders, lowers spine and hips. Despite our tests being undertaken on unseasonably warm winter nights, there was no sign at all of the overheating that can be found with some memory foam mattresses. This, plus the lack of motion transfer those springs afforded resulted in a great night’s sleep, with a distinct lack of muscle pain in the morning.

It worked well for both the side sleeper and the back sleeper, creating individual support where it was most required. It also has carrying handles – useful when rotating the mattress as recommended. It’s definitely a considered purchase but you’ve also got a 60 night trial period to ensure it suits you and there’s a 20 year warranty.

Ideal Home rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

14. Loaf Our Perfect Mattress

Best sprung mattress

Loaf Our Perfect Mattress

Sizes available: Single, Double, King, Superking
Pocket springs with wool and cotton fillings
Comfort level:
Choose from Extra Firm, Firm and Regular

Reasons to buy:
• Different types of firmness
• 5 year guarantee

Reasons to avoid: 
• Delivery takes 4–6 weeks

Loaf has confidently – some might say arrogantly – named this mattress, but not without reason, we’ve found. From the moment it was delivered (by two absolutely lovely delivery men who took it up our awkwardly shaped stairs as if it was lighter than air, which it’s not, then unpacked it and popped it on the bed base) to the moment we had to reluctantly wave goodbye to it (as it exited in the hands of exactly the same delivery guys), we loved pretty much everything about this one.

The great service, to be praised in today’s market where corners are often cut to keep prices down, was a brilliant start. And the firm but cushioning sleep quality the mattress affords didn’t let it down.

Although Loaf has five mattresses on offer, this is their bestseller and we can see why. Pocket sprung, with breathable fillings including cotton and wool to help regulate temperature, it comes in three tensions, Extra Firm, Firm and Regular – we opted for Firm. The damask cover feels decadent and luxurious and the spongy top layer adds cushioning that’s perfect for side sleepers, while the individual pocket springs – 1200 in a double – gently contoured to our bodies for maximum comfort.

As well as some of the best night’s sleep we’ve had in quite some time, probably in no small part due to a construction that provides a high level of breathability, we also felt fewer of the usual morning aches and pains when it was time to get up. It’s also available on a 100-night trial with free returns and, if you do decide to keep it, a 5-year guarantee.

Ideal Home rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

15. Silentnight Studio Gel mattress

Best mattress for breathable nights

Silentnight Studio Gel mattress

Sizes available: Single, Double, King
Gel, pocket springs
Comfort level:

Reasons to buy:
• Free delivery
• 60-day comfort exchange

Reasons to avoid:
• Have to rotate it from time to time

Arriving not in a box (hurrah to saving on waste!) but still rolled tightly, this mattress was easy to negotiate up twisty stairs.

We opted to test the Gel mattress, part of Silentnight’s Studio range, which also includes Eco and Memory options. The Gel features a breathable cover over a Geltex comfort layer that sits on traditional pocket springs. It’s a combination that provides enhanced breathability for cool nights with tailored support and is billed as the mattress for twisters and turners – something that definitely applied to one of our testers, who is a restless sleeper at the best of times.

Released from it’s packaging, it looked a little short for the bed but after the recommended 24 hours, it had ‘inflated’ well. It doesn’t have handles but as it is not as heavy as some, it was super easy to lift to make the bed and also to rotate, which is recommended to do from time to time. While not as deep as some, it nevertheless had plenty of bounce, probably because of the 1,000 micropocket springs, which definitely gave support where it was needed, particularly in the hips and spine, where our restless side sleeper needed it the most.

There’s free delivery to a room of your choice and a 60-night comfort exchange guarantee. 

Ideal Home rating: 4 out of 5 stars

16. Tempur Sensation Elite mattress

Best mattress for a cosy night’s sleep

Tempur Sensation Elite best mattress

Sizes available: Small Single, Single, Single Long, Small Double, Double, King, King Wide, Super King
Memory foam
Comfort level:

Reasons to buy:
• 10-year warranty
• 100-night guarantee

Reasons to avoid:
• A tad pricey for those with no special requirements

Launched in 1991, Tempur’s memory foam mattress was the first on the market. It is created using a pressure-absorbing material originally developed to protect astronauts during space flight by absorbing G-force pressure. Tempur is the forerunner of all other memory foam mattresses.

Delivered to the room of your choice it doesn’t come in a box, which means it’s more difficult to manoeuvre initially but it doesn’t require time to fill out either, meaning you can catch some ZZZ’s straight away should you so wish.  Is it worth the considerable price tag, though? It definitely smacks of quality, with a beautiful finish and luxuriously soft exterior. However, if you’re a standard sleeper with no significant join pain, you could opt for something a little cheaper.

That said, the support and almost complete lack of motion transfer means that if you suffer from back and shoulder pain, or you’re a particularly restless sleeper it could be an investment you won’t regret. The cushioned top layer makes it feel a little on the soft side and we definitely experience a sinking feeling at first, particularly the side sleeper, but it’s less suffocating and more a welcoming embrace. As with others, you’ve 100 nights to see if it’s for you and if you do keep it, there’s a 10-year warranty.

Ideal Home rating: 4 out of 5 stars


How we test our mattresses


Image credit: Ikea

Our tester Ysanne has more than 20 years’ experience as an interiors editor and writer, and has spent many nights asleep on each of tens of mattresses on her way to selecting the best. She’s looked at mattresses made from a variety of materials, including popular memory foam, traditional pocket-sprung mattresses and hybrids of the two.

Ysanne has carefully picked the mattresses to review based on her own research into what’s new, innovative and popular in the marketplace – ensuring she looks across the full spectrum of price points. Editorial integrity is paramount at Ideal Home and Ysanne’s selections won’t be influenced by our sales team or advertisers. When her shortlist is complete, she will reach out to manufacturers directly to request samples under the condition that she will give a full, frank and completely independent review.

On the rare occasion we can’t get hold of a sample, we’ll simply buy it with our own money. Most of the time, however, we find companies are happy to lend to us, regardless of whether the review we then give is good or bad, because they trust in the quality of their products.

When testing, Ysanne has taken in factors like comfort and support, odour and also the manoeuvrability of each mattress – important, given regular turning of a mattress is often recommended. Ysanne also got husband Paul to help out, so both a back sleeper and a side sleeper have put the mattresses through their paces and we can say confidently which is best for who.

What should I consider before buying a mattress?

There are a few key things you need to consider before taking the plunge and buying a new mattress:

  • A bed, and therefore its mattress, should be 10cm longer than the tallest person who will be sleeping in it. So a king-size is the minimum for someone 6ft or more. If you’re sharing a bed, it should also be wide enough to allow you and your partner to lie side by side, hands behind heads, without your elbows touching.
  • To check if a mattress is supporting you properly, lie down and slide a hand beneath the small of your back. If your hand fits easily, it’s too hard; not at all, and it’s too soft.
  • The base will affect how the mattress feels. A sprung divan will make a mattress seem softer than a solid divan or slatted base. You might want to consider changing your bed as well as your mattress.
  • Sprung and pocket mattresses are padded with fillings including cotton, lambswool and mohair, which can prove problematic for people with allergies. Luxurious options, such as cashmere and silk, will mean the finished product is more expensive, but are also less likely to cause issues.
  • Does the mattress model require turning? Many modern mattresses don’t, which is ideal because they can be incredibly heavy. If it does, you’ll want your mattress to have sturdy handles at the sides.

One major problem is that a quick lie down in a showroom isn’t going to tell you whether a mattress still feels right after a long night’s sleep. It’s good to note that some online retailers offer 100-day, quibble-free return policies on their mattresses, so you really can try before you buy! We’ve pointed this option out in our list of the best mattresses below, if it’s available.

Take a look at our pick of the of the best mattresses and banish those sleepless nights forever. We’ve hunted down the top mattresses on the market across a variety of budgets and styles, so there’s a perfect choice for everyone.

Sleep positions on mattress

Choosing mattress firmness: How do you sleep?

When choosing a mattress, comfort and support is key. We spoke to Myriam Ruffo, Head of Bedrooms and Bathrooms at IKEA UK, who gave us the 101 on the best mattresses for the three key sleeping positions; back, front and side. ‘Be sure to test the firmness and take into consideration your sleeping style, to ensure you choose a firmness that offers you the correct back support,’ she says. ‘Your mattress plays a huge part in your health and well-being when you consider you spend around eight hours every night sleeping on it.’

Sleeping on your back – Medium firm
Back sleepers require support for the lower back, otherwise too much pressure can be put on this area which can result in pain. A medium-firm mattress is the best mattress in this scenario as it offers the support of a firm mattress but also has a softer, more comfortable feel.

Sleeping on your front – Firm
This sleeping style requires a mattress that can keep the body afloat, rather than sinking into the mattress, as this can cause lower back pain. A firm mattress is the best mattress here, as it will keep the body in a position where spine alignment is minimal.

Sleeping on your side – Soft
Sleeping on your side allows your spine to relax and therefore takes pressure off of the back. This makes it one of the healthiest ways to sleep. Side sleepers require a softer medium-firm mattress so the spine can rest in its most natural position. This allows the mattress to mould itself to the curves of the body.

Buying a mattress ultimately comes down to personal preference, because no two people have the same needs and requirements. Some retailers now offer a free trial, meaning if you don’t get on with the one you’ve chosen, you can return it free of charge. Check this option is available before purchase.

Mattresses explained: Memory Foam, Sprung, Latex and Hybrid

Pocket-sprung mattresses have been the most popular for many years now. However, there are plenty of challengers in the shape of memory foam and latex. The modern-day mattress can arrive in a box, and some even overnight! There is no obvious best mattress type, what works for you will depend on your needs. Read on to find out the differences between Memory Foam, Sprung, Latex and Hybrid mattresses.

What is an Open-sprung mattress?

An open-sprung mattress contains one long piece of wire coiled into springs. It also has a border rod of wire that gives the mattress a firm edge and helps retain its shape.

Pros: Great value for money. They are lighter than other mattresses, so easier to turn, and can be turned in all directions, which extends the life of the mattress.

Cons: As the springs are all connected, open-sprung mattresses are less responsive to your body and overall, less supportive.

Best for: Occasional use. They’re also ideal for children’s bedrooms, as they’re less expensive, so can be upgraded as your little ones grow.


Image credit: Georgia Burns

What is a pocket-sprung mattress?

Pocket-sprung mattresses are more luxurious, with up to 3,000 individual small springs housed in separate fabric pockets. They tend to have hand-stitched sides for strong, stable edges.

Pros: The springs move independently to support your body. They come in a choice of tensions – soft, medium or firm – meaning good support whatever your weight.

Cons: Because of the density of the fillings, pocket-sprung mattresses can be heavy to turn. They’re usually filled with natural materials, like lambswool, which can exacerbate allergies.

Best for: The separate springs make them ideal for two people of different weights. They’re also available to buy with two sides of a different firmness.

What is a memory-foam mattress?

Memory foam is a mouldable material. The most well known type of memory-foam mattress is Tempur, a material famously developed by NASA. Now here comes the science bit – it’s composed of billions of viscoelastic cells, which respond to your temperature and weight. You can get memory foam pillows too for the ultimate embrace from your bedding.

Pros: It feels the same on any bed base. When warm, it moulds to the body and absorbs weight, essentially relieving pressure from the joints.

Cons: As the foam moulds to the body it can feel too close and claustrophobic. This same sinking feeling means you can become quite warm, although high-quality memory foam mattresses are more breathable these days.

Best for: Supportive, good for allergy sufferers and helpful for people with joint pain or a bad back. It has a unique feel, so you’ll love it or hate it. Either way if you’ve never slept on one before it might take a few nights to get used to.

What is a latex mattress?

Natural latex is white liquid tapped from the trunks of rubber trees. This is blended with synthetic latex and turned into latex foam, using the Talalay process, which produces the finest polymer.

Pros: Latex is breathable, so you won’t overheat. Exceptionally durable, its resilient feel also makes it good for those who prefer a firmer bed.

Cons: Some think these mattresses have a rather solid feel, and they can be heavy and difficult to move. Cheaper versions can develop lumps and body impressions.

Best for: Those with allergies (except latex) and asthma, as latex doesn’t harbour dust mites. It also has natural antimicrobial properties.


Image credit: David Giles

What is a sprung memory-foam mattress?

A sprung memory-foam mattress is a hybrid of a pocket-sprung base and a memory foam top layer.

Pros: A compromise between the responsiveness of a pocket-sprung mattress and the support of memory foam. There’s also no need to turn the mattress.

Cons: The ‘sinking’ sensation can put people off, which also means it isn’t recommended for young children, in case they roll onto their face and breathing is inhibited.

Best for: People who still want the feel of a pocket-sprung mattress, without the natural fillings that may irritate allergies.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our best mattress guide. Remember to check back here if you want details of the latest mattress deals, and sweet dreams!

How to look after your mattress

Mattresses are not a cheap purchase so you want to do everything you can to care for it properly. A lot of the maintenance of a mattress is preventing it getting damaged in the first place. Firstly, choose the right size for your bed, making sure not to oversize the mattress which will lead to crushing of the edges.

Next, you want to prevent dirt and spills. Many mattresses come with removable covers so look at these if you are particularly clumsy with your morning coffee. Alternatively, invest in a high quality mattress protector for an added layer of protection under the sheets. A waterproof mattress cover is best for kids or those who let pets on the bed.

If you want to add comfort or really up the mileage of your mattress, look at adding the best mattress topper to your bed. Many of the key brands have their own that will complement your new mattress perfectly, but you can also find specialist ones for cooling or keeping you warmer on cold nights.

Bedding for your new mattress

With a new mattress, topper and protector in place, the final bits of kit in your arsenal for a great night’s sleep is some top quality bedding. The best pillows are almost as important as a really good mattress – ensuring your head is supported according to your sleeping position. When you buy a new mattress you might find you need a new set of pillows as the mattress might have altered the usual support points, or even led to a change in the way you lie.

There is also the possibility you need a new duvet too. Hot sleepers switching to a more breathable mattress might need to up their tog, or others might need to go down a few levels if they find their new mattress keeps them warmer. Whichever sounds familiar to you, you can find the best duvets in our guide.

Finally, don’t ruin your sleep with sub-par sheets and bedding. Upgrading is made all the more easier by sleep brands who offer bedding bundles with their new mattresses, all designed to work perfectly together. Alternatively, check out what the local department stores have to offer. From high-thread count cotton, to antimicrobial bamboo, luxe sateen to durable linen, you have plenty of choice.

The post Best mattress 2021 – 16 top sprung, hybrid and memory foam choices reviewed and rated appeared first on Ideal Home.

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