Although buying yourself a new mattress may not be the most exciting purchase, it's a means to an end. And that's a soft, firm and cosy end to the day, that is.
However, finding the best mattress for you does mean weighing up a lot of different choices. For example, do you need to opt for pocket strung? Foam? Hybrid? There are a lot of choices out there – as well as a lot of bold marketing claims.
UPDATE:Many of us have tried sleep tracking apps and wearables to keep tabs on our slumber. But let's not rely on sleep tech too much. A report published in The Guardian this week reveals that sleep tracking tech could actually be giving us a worse night's sleep in the long run. This is hardly surprising, but worth remembering next time you fall to sleep with your Fitbit on, or before you take the plunge with a high-tech mattress that comes with smart sleep tracking features built-in.
Whatever your mattress choice, an upgrade is bound to result in a better night’s sleep, plus, if you invest in one with good support, you'll have fewer aches and pains in the morning. Given the rise of box-fresh designs delivered straight to your door, there’s also no excuse not to upgrade because it's a hassle - now it really doesn't have to be.
That said, the market is crowded. You’ll find everything from those made of natural materials (ideal for regulating your temperature as you slumber) to memory foam marvels. Often touted as a recent innovation, memory foam was actually developed in 1966 for NASA, before making its way into mattresses in the 1980s.
Memory foam is supremely squishy and comfy, but as it retains heat well, it may not suit sleepers who like to stay cool, as well as those who may needed a firmer mattress to keep their back ache-free. With that in mind, head to our list below and choose a new bedfellow. Listed prices are for standard doubles.
Already have a favourite? Give it an upvote.
- Now you are sleeping soundly, wake up with the best coffee machines
1. Eve Original
If a restless sleeper turns your mattress into something more like a trampoline, Eve’s Original design could be for you. Its memory foam isolates movement to reduce motion transfer, with three layers of foam to support your body whether you’re a side, front or back sleeper. The top one is probably the most important. Rather than traditional memory foam, it’s a springy foam that helps to keep you cool. A final thoughtful touch is the non-slip coating so your mattress stays firmly on your bed base.
2. The Nectar Memory Foam
While most mattresses offer 100-night trials, Nectar goes one better. Not only do you have a whole year to decide if it’s for you, there’s a ‘forever’ warranty, so any worries about sagging can quite literally be put to bed. Service aside, it’s a well-designed product, with a quilted memory foam cooling cover to whisk away excess body heat, two types of memory foam and a non-slip base. Users describe its support as medium firm, making it best for front or back sleepers rather than side snoozers.
3. Sealy Activ Pocket Memory 2400
Sealy isn't the only manufacturer to associate good sleep with wellness but there’s no mistaking it’s at the heart of the Activsleep range. The Activ Pocket Memory 2400 incorporates everything you’d expect from a mattress designed to help you have a more restful night – memory foam plus pocket springs and mini springs for comfort, ‘smart’ fibres to prevent overheating and an anti-allergy ingredient called Purotex. As it’s hand-tufted, it may not suit those who like the softer things in life, but otherwise it’s a good all-rounder.
4. Bensons iGel Orion Platinum
Gel – not just for hair and nails, but also mattresses. The clever iGel crystals in this medium-firm design work to keep you at the right temperature, absorbing excess heat when you’re too hot, and releasing stored heat to warm you up. And just like memory foam, the iGel helps to ease the pressure points that lead to aches. However, the main support comes from 2500 pocket springs encased in foam, meaning that even if you toss and turn, you’ll find a comfy spot.
5. Loaf Muffin Top
With a name like Muffin Top, how could this handmade pillow-top mattress ever disappoint? Its built-in topper is made from natural latex for squidgy-ness without the sweat, while underneath it’s filled with wool and cotton to help regulate your body temperature. There are also individual pocket springs for plenty of support. One final reason to love it is the 100-night trial. Like so many beds in a box, you can give it a go without the big commitment.
6. Naturalmat Superb
Stuffed with organic lambswool, the Superb is Naturalmat’s most popular mattress. At its heart are hand-nested pocket springs in cotton pockets, tensioned to create soft, medium or firm comfort, surrounded by natural latex. This itself is made from tapped tree sap filled with tiny air bubbles so the mattress remains breathable yet supportive. The finishing touch is a hypoallergenic cotton cover to ward away dust mites, mosquitos and moths – so you can slumber sneeze and scratch-free.
7. Harrison Spinks Somnus Legacy Apsley 14,500
For those who feel that at least a third of their lives should be spent in well-sprung comfort, the Apsley delivers. Not only is it home to 12,000 ‘intelligent’ pocket springs that help to distribute weight when compressed – then ping back to their original height so you need never flip your mattress – it’s made with lots of lovely natural materials. Inside, it’s stuffed with sustainable Wensleydale wool for temperature control, as well as natural latex that moulds like memory foam but stays breathable.
8. Tempur Hybrid Elite
It might feature the same ingredients as other hybrids (memory foam and pocket springs) but the Tempur version does it rather better, feeling distinctly luxurious and slightly more supportive thanks to its micro coils. Where the Elite scores a real win for convenience is in its QuickRefresh cover, which zips off the top, so you can wash it without having to remove the bottom section. If you’re a back pain sufferer looking to be cradled to sleep, we can safely say the search is over.
9. Simba Hybrid
Foam-based mattresses are usually just that – a giant sandwich of foam – but this hybrid design differs. As well as five layers, it features 2,500 conical pocket springs to balance the sinky nature of foam with the support of springs. The springs also help ensure it feels as firm whether you’re lying at the edge or in the middle – great if you sleep next to a wriggler. On top, you’ll find a cooling layer to prevent warmer sleepers from overheating and a zip-off, washable hypoallergenic cover.
10. Casper Essential
Casper describes its products as ‘obsessively engineered’ and given the Essential was deemed "best boxed" by Which? this year, it’s a pretty believable claim. More affordable and slightly firmer than the original, it features the same foam construction but without the memory foam on top. Instead, you’ll find two layers, firm on the bottom, soft on top, all in a washable cover that zips off. It’s better for lightweight sleepers and those who dislike the sinky feeling of memory foam but still want softness.