How to Choose a Mattress

Choosing a mattress is a minefield of technical terms and personal preferences. Plus, being in the midst of a pandemic makes it even harder to make an informed decision. To help you make an informed decision that’s right for you, your needs and your body we asked our Sleep Team to lend a hand.

Mousami, Sara and Siria are normally based in store and are genuine experts when it comes to helping our customers find the perfect place to rest their heads. We asked them to apply their years of experience to help you choose the right mattress from the safety of your own home.

Why should I spend more money on a handmade mattress?

Sara & Siria: A hand-crafted mattress should last you longer. The tufts in a tufted mattress help keep all the fillings in place. Most of our mattresses come with long warrantees guaranteeing a quality product.

Mousami: The attention to detail and time taken to create a handmade mattress means a longer-lasting finish. Standard mattresses often use glue to hold the mattress together and over time this causes soft layers to fall apart. Plus, if a multi layered mattress is not tufted the materials inside won’t hold together for long. The tufting technique keeps the materials for shifting and sagging.

Why are natural materials important in a mattress?

S & S: A number of toxic chemicals are often used in the production of a synthetic mattress, making these types of mattresses less environmentally friendly. Wool, for example, has a natural flame-retardant quality so it doesn’t need to be treated with flame retardants and is completely non-toxic.

Materials like cotton are longer-lasting because they are compressed and tufted, compared to synthetic memory foam which breaks down a lot faster because, like a sponge, it retains moisture.

Natural materials are generally more breathable, which means they regulate your body temperature. On the other hand, foam and memory foam are heat-activated and are designed specifically to retain and use your body heat in order to contour to the body’s shape. This causes your baseline body temperature to rise over the course of the night. Because of this, memory foam can make you toss and turn, reducing the quality of your sleep.

Inside the mattress factory

What are the benefits of a mattress with latex?

S & S: Latex is a natural material produced from the sap of the rubber tree (Heves Brasiliensis) and unlike cotton and wool has an in-built recovery memory keeping the mattress plump with a springy feel. It’s hypoallergenic and is naturally resistant to mould and mildew. A latex mattress also helps to minimise the stress on joints.

What is the difference between tension and feel?

S & S: Tension refers to the strength of the spring relative to the gauge of the coil. Feel is how the mattress actually feels when laying on it. For example, a medium tension in our Organic 1500 feels slightly softer than the medium tension in our Organic 3000. Most of the mattresses to tend to feel slightly firmer with a higher spring count.

Some mattresses also feel ‘softer’ – this isn’t to say that the springs are not as supportive, but the fillings create a more sumptuous feeling as if you are sinking into the mattress rather than sleeping flat on top of it and this choice is matter of personal preference.

M: The overall feel of the mattress depends more on the how the materials inside are layered on top of the spring pocket layer. The darker and wirier materials like horsehair and horsetail often sit closest to the springs to provide more spring, support and firmness. The lighter materials like wool and cotton provide a cushioning feel so they are the outer layers. You can have two medium tension spring mattresses but topped with different materials will change the overall feel as this is the layer you’re immediately lying on.

What’s the difference between pocket springs and coil springs?

M: Pocket springs offer more support than coil springs. The individual springs that make up the mattress are housed in their own little pockets and are free to work independently of each other, unlike coil springs that are all linked together and tend to move as one.

On an open coil mattress, movement spreads across the whole mattress, so if your partner moves in the night you will move too. With pocket springs, because the springs are individually housed, movement is isolated to that specific area of the mattress. This makes a pocket-sprung mattress ideal for people with two different body weights because they reduce that roll together movement.

Inside the mattress factory

How many pocket springs should I get in a mattress?

S & S: The more pocket springs you have the more localised support the mattress will provide as the diameter of the coil will have decreased to fit the greater number of springs. As a result, you have more springs working to support and contour around your body. However, I usually tell customers not to focus too heavily on spring count. The reason being is that some retailers will have mattresses with spring counts in the tens of thousands but these would be very tiny tightly packed springs with not much durability to them. We tend to focus on the quality of our springs rather than quantity.

M: Buying a decent quality pocket spring mattress you should make you have a minimum of 1000 pocket springs for a king size mattress. 1500-2000 is high springs count and over 2000 is very premium spring count.

What are micro pocket springs?

M: Micro pocket springs are smaller pocket springs usually used by manufactures to increase the spring count as customers associate the number of springs to the quality of a mattress. A full sized spring will be a lot more supportive than micro pocket springs because it has more suspension so this will even out uneven weights more effectively.

What is ticking?

S & S: Ticking is the fabric that is used to cover mattresses. This can be made from cotton, viscose, wool etc. Again, a natural fibre will help with comfort and hygiene.

M: The composition can affect your quality of sleep, as some ticking is more breathable, like cotton and linen. The composition of the ticking can also make the mattress feel firmer.

What is side stitching?

S & S: Side-stitching helps keep the mattress’ walls firmly in place. The stitches go roughly 15-20 cm into the mattress with the thread going around the pocket springs and fillings to anchor everything into place. Higher-specification mattresses have more rows of side-stitching to help contain all the extra layers of fillings and give the mattress edges increased structure and longevity. The side-stitching on most cheap mattresses is usually there purely for cosmetic reasons and does not have the same structural function.

How often should I clean a luxury mattress?

S & S: Rotate or flip it three or four times a year – every season is ideal. We would also recommend that you do this more often when you first receive it to help the mattress settle – like breaking in a pair of good quality leather shoes.

You can vacuum your mattress to remove any dust, hair and other debris. If there are any stains which have yet to set in, blot the area with a clean damp cloth. However, the best way to keep your mattress clean is with mattress protector – ideally composed of natural.