Mattress Buying Guide

When choosing a mattress our best advice is always to visit one of our stores. All of our mattresses are technical in nature and have been selected on the basis of careful research and the ‘science of sleep’ to identify ‘best in class’. Our team have advanced knowledge and expertise to help you choose what is right for you.

That means understanding the benefits, comparing the products, and collaboratively working with our experts to assess your personal needs, and preferences. But for those of you who want to inform yourself before deciding to come to store, or wish to progress online, here you can find our top tips, theory and pertinent information to assist you.

 

RESTED mattress fundamentals.

 

What should a mattress do for you?

  1. Support your entire bodylength, with equalised and balanced support, providing correct spinal alignment. The position of your exoskeleton is really important when you sleep – you spend every night in that position, and it has a huge impact on long term posture and back care.
  2. Comfortably accommodate your ‘max’ pressure points. When we talk about comfort what that really means is negating the pressure/weight of your body, most acutely felt at your shoulders and hips. If there is too much pressure on those parts (or any part) of your body, then that makes sleep difficult (i.e uncomfortable) either consciously or unconconciously, causing you to have to move position to try and find comfort. Yes we want you to float like a cloud, but with support for your body contour in all the right places.
  3. Contribute and control your sleep temperature. Being too hot or too cold in bed prevents quality sleep. Your mattress has a huge impact on your sleep temperature, and therefore how your mattress performs in a temperature sense is of great importance.
  4. Be a long term productmattresses are large items that are heavily used (daily). It’s not something that one would want to change all that regularly – so what your mattress is made of, the quality of manufacture, and ultimately how long it lasts are key factors. Nobody wants a mattress that starts developing lumps, bumps, or depressions quickly.
  5. Be a hygienic product. We are humans, we shed skin cells, we sweat, and we live in environments that attract dust, microbial, and other natural activity (e.g mites). All of which can and do attempt to penetrate your mattress, and none of which are beneficial for sleep hygiene in the long run. So how your mattress deals (and repels) is a really important factor within the design of your chosen mattress.
  6. Be of high quality, but not ‘cost the earth’. There is huge variance in quality of mattresses and how well a mattress performs in addressing the fundamentals above. Commonly the more effectively a mattress answers the above fundamentals, the more it is likely to have a higher cost due to the R&D/engineering that has gone into its development, the complexity of the product, the type of materials and construction that are used. However, the RESTED perspective is that there is a limit to that equation. Having a mattress produced utilising hundreds of production hours for hand craftsmanship, or using rare materials, often gives rise to extremely expensive mattresses that are marketed as the epitome of great sleep. BUT those elements do not necessarily reflect how well the mattress itself will perform on the fundamentals. Infact in many cases, it is clear that traditional techniques and perceived ‘luxury’ materials that cost a lot of money, actually perform worse than alternatives when it comes to the fundamentals of sleep.
  7. Be good for the environment.  As a 'large' item, mattresses consume large amounts of resource in the making, and large amounts of waste when they reach the end of their life. We are at a societal point where these factors are important. Every year, millions of mattresses are sent to landfill, incapable of recycling. Many that can be recycled can only in reality be ‘downcycled’, in part, and probably only once. Due to the advent of our ‘send it back if you don’t like it’ culture, with particular reference to the mattress industry, this has furthered a huge waste of resource and negative environmental impact with little regard for the consequence. But there are mattress makers who take a different approach with strategies and products designed to ensure that the use of resources is limited and that mattresses can be fully recycled time and time again at their end of life.

 

But beyond all of the above, our single most important fundamental regarding mattresses is that it has to be designed, chosen, and selected for you as an individual. We do not subscribe to the ‘one size fits all’ approach. We are all different heights, weights, and shapes. We all sleep in different positions. We all have distinct preferences as to ‘feel’ and what defines our personal ‘comfort’. Since it is fundamental that a mattress accurately supports and comforts your personal height, weight, shape, position, and preference, there is no way that the same mattress could be appropriate for a 6ft tall 100kg individual, as for a 5ft tall 60kg individual. At best, both could compromise on what is truly right for them to find something that is average or ‘acceptable’ – but this is where RESTED takes its own direction with its mattress line-up to offer products that are way above ‘average’. Hence we talk about ‘optimised sleep’ and ‘optimised product selection’.

 

How should I buy a mattress and find what is the right one for me?

 

  • Come to store and try them – we can’t say it enough, that a mattress is all about the physical interaction with you – and there is no better way to make your assessment than doing so directly.
  • Compare mattresses directly – all the words in the world can not fully describe the difference in sensation and feel between mattresses. What is firm to one person is soft to another – how does one describe the push back and response of Talalay latex as opposed to the pressure relief of memory foam, or micro springs? Comparing one to another takes seconds and removes all the guesswork and ‘talk’ from the process.
  • Lie on them as you would sleep on them – we see a lot of people consider a mattress when pressing it with their hand. That is not the right way to do it.
  • Benefit from your own research, testing, and the advice of experts – mattresses are technical products. And the mattress world is openly confusing, competitive, and filled with conflicting information and marketing. If you buy blind (i.e online) your only source of information is the ‘marketing’ of the webshop, and/or possibly online reviews, but in our view, neither of those are likely to be particularly reliable for obvious reasons. Try, compare, and test and you can reach an infinitely better decision. Couple that with the advice and assessment of an expert and you are even more likely to find the perfect mattress.

 

We often hear people explain to us that it’s difficult to make a judgement based on 5 minutes of lying on a mattress in a store. We agree, it can be difficult, but our process has been carefully created to change that misconception and make it highly worthwhile. In our view it is the best way to buy a mattress and most likely to achieve customer happiness. It should be no surprise that most ‘online’ mattress companies have return rates of 25-40% of their sales. Whereas here at RESTED we have return rates of less than 1%. And that’s because we won’t let you buy a mattress at RESTED unless our experts can see with confidence that it’s going to serve you well. Being a mattress expert means understanding sleep science, and the technical performance of mattresses, but it also means being able to assess and advise what is right for the customer, what most fully fulfils their criteria, and visually witnessing and assessing that the customer is making a good choice. All of those elements come from the combined  ‘experience’ of the expert, in equal collaboration with the feedback and assessment of the customer.  

 

What type of mattress should I buy?

Before answering that its useful to explain some of the key elements of mattress construction that one might come across;

 Sprung mattresses – utilising springs internally to provide support and comfort. Historically manufactured with open coil or ‘continuous’ spring units where every spring was linked to the next. In current times, and more commonly accepted as a performance enhancement, ‘pocket sprung’ mattresses where each spring is independent (and wrapped in a pocket), providing a far more accurate response to your body pressure.

Foam mattresses – typically formed by using HR Foam (HR meaning high resilience, or in laymans terms, foams with a firm supportive and quick ‘push back’ to their original shape under pressure).

Memory Foam mattresses – the opposite of ‘high resilience’ these foams have a slower push back to their original form. They are thus much more malleable to pressure and heat, forming around the pressure to which they are exposed (i.e you).

Latex mattresses – a naturally derived rubber based foam which has unique performance in terms of comfort, support and ventilation.

Natural mattresses (or natural fillings) – typically, cotton, wool, horsehair, horsetail, linen, silk, coconut coir – all of which have unique properties and can be used individually or in combination to create a mattress, either in totality or as the top layer over springs.

Hybrid mattresses – simply refers to where a mattress is utilising two or more of the above materials. Most commonly ‘pocket sprung hybrids’ because necessarily it wouldn’t be that comfortable to sleep on just springs. Common combinations are the springs plus naturals, or springs plus one or more of the foams (HR,Latex,Memory).

A mattress should always provide the dual purpose of underlying support for your bodyweight and bodyshape whilst also providing pressure relief and comfort.

 

The answer to the question as to which you should buy is one we actually advise you not to consider at the outset. All of the above mattress types and materials have a wide range of properties, and just as large amount of misinformation/myths surrounding their relative performance. We don’t believe your mattress choice should be defined by ‘what type’. A customer can come in having done the research and concluded that a high pocket sprung count mattress sounds right for them and is what they are looking for. But given the chance, within seconds of trying and comparing it to others, both customer and expert can instantly see and feel that other options not only feel better, but are likely to perform better – so why start with that prejudice, when in reality it is all about that physical sensation and comparison. Often we find other opening requirements like  ‘I’ve heard this type of mattress filling is the best – it’s the most luxurious’ – but we say, ‘the best for who? And the best for what? 

 

Mythbusters (we hear at least one of these every day!)

  1. More springs is better – we don’t agree with that as an outright statement. Our view is that there is an optimal number of springs relative to the size of the mattress and size/type of spring. So the statement only holds true to the extent that having too few springs to provide sufficient spring coverage for total body support would not be appropriate. But once you go beyond that, there is little purpose to ‘more springs’. A higher spring count can only then be achieved by reducing spring size; and a mattress made of inappropriately small springs would also likely lack proper support. Equally a mattress made of multiple layers of springs vertically stacked can have a huge spring count, but utterly compromise stability – there are all sorts of reasons why simply chasing ‘spring count’ is not a factor that we regard as important. Creating mattresses with ever increasing spring counts has become a marketing tool, and a way to differentiate ranges with increasing price points to reflect higher spring counts. For the record, we are so against this practice that we don’t even publish spring counts for our mattresses, because it has no bearing on the sleep fundamentals (of your mattress) that we seek to optimise.
  2. Spend as much as you can afford on your mattress– afterall you spend a 1/3 of your life asleep and as with all things, you get what you pay for! Well it’s true that you spend a 1/3 of your life asleep, but it’s not true that spending more on a mattress means that you are either getting a better product or are going to sleep better. We agree you should ‘invest’ in a mattress. But the investment we ask is not a monetary one, but a time one. If you want to invest in better sleep then it pays to do the research, try, compare, and take trusted expert advice, just as you would if you were making any form of investment. At RESTED where we rely on the principle that the ‘right’ mattress is highly individualised, it is certainly not the case that the more expensive mattresses in our range (by reason of their materials and construction) are ‘better’ for you. On the contrary, we often find that customers are drawn to expensive models as they perceive them to be the best, but in the end, after comparison and assessment find far greater comfort and sleep performance on cheaper alternatives.
  3. ‘I have a bad back, I need a firm mattress’ + ‘Do you sell orthopaedic mattresses’? Problem No.1, an orthopaedic mattress as far as we can determine is one that is specifically focussed on back care. As per our fundamentals, EVERY mattress should be doing that, so from our perspective there is no such thing in our range as a specifically orthopaedic mattress. Effective back support is a pre-requisite for every mattress we sell, and to be open, achieving effective back support is more than anything related to the tensioning, zoning, and firmness of your mattress – all of which are highly individualised to your bodyweight and shape. It is a myth that to look after your back you need a ‘firm’ mattress. It is certainly true that sleeping on a mattress that is too soft for you and therefore doesn’t provide the necessary support, may well lead to incorrect spinal alignment and ultimately, long term back problems – but the very same can apply if you sleep on a mattress that is too firm for you. So the answer for all things ‘back’ related, is to find the mattress that gives the ‘right’ level of support and the perfect alignment for you as an individual.

Our overall conclusions and best advice is that selecting and buying a mattress should be the following;

  • A physical experience – it’s the best way to do it.
  • A comparison experience across models, firmnesses, and types
  • An education, to understand how the mattress can perform for you, how they differ, and to help you make the right decision.
  • A prioritisation from you the customer as to which of the ‘sleep fundamentals’ are most important to you, and therefore the features of the mattress that are best suited to you.
  • Highly individualised and without compromise. Everyone is different and there is no ‘one size fits all’.
  • A time investment to match your monetary investment. The selection process is really important and if you really want to invest in good sleep and a decent mattress, then it takes some time and focus to achieve that.
  • An open minded experience – with all the information, and misinformation out there it quickly can become overwhelming. So we suggest not limiting your process to a particular type of mattress or brand, but leaving that all open to the point that you have tried, compared, and understood what is on offer, preferably with the advice and guidance of an expert.

 

RESTED as a business was created to guide you through that path.

In many peoples minds buying a mattress is often analogous to buying a car. In the sense that some people view it as a purely functional item; just something to sleep and on anything broadly 'ok' will do. Others view it like their cars whereby 'more is better' and an extremely luxurious expensive brand is the best thing to buy if it can be afforded. At RESTED our analogy is different.

We regard mattresses as analogous to buying running shoes. Technically, you can sleep anywhere or on anything, much as you can run barefoot or in any kind of shoe - but as soon as you appreciate that having the right mattress or right pair of shoes has a benefit to the function i.e sleeping better (or running faster/longer) then technical selection is a lot more important. And much like a shoe a mattress should be fitted and individualised to you in order to be optimised. And in just the same way, running (or sleeping) with a bad item that doesn't support you properly or misaligns you, can have serious long terms consequences. And finally, as a technical product that impacts on your heath, it is always better to seek the advice of a technical expert. We believe in this process so much, we wrote a whole separate blog about it here!  

To make an appointment at one of our stores;

Book Chelsea Store (SW10)
Book Hammersmith Store (NW10)

You can also start your research online by browsing our mattress collection here – you can filter for what is important to you.

Browse The Mattress Range

 

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