Mattress buying guide

If you’re wondering how to choose a mattress, you’ve come to the right place. The Furniture Village mattress buying guide describes all the types of mattresses available, points you to the best mattress for your sleeping position and even answers top questions when buying a mattress. Read on to learn more about mattresses.

What to consider when buying a mattress

Looking for a new mattress? With so many mattress types, fillings, support levels, comfort offerings and sizes, it can be hard to know where to begin. Start by asking yourself a few key questions.

Thinking carefully about why you need a new mattress can help you focus on the options that are important to you, especially if your current mattress isn’t giving what you need for a good night’s sleep.

A great night’s sleep

If an uncomfortable mattress is keeping you awake at night, it may be time for a new one. Most mattresses have a lifespan of between seven and 10 years - after that, they tend to develop lumps or sag in places. Plus, our sleep needs often change as we get older and become more sensitive to pressure or develop new aches and pains.

A more supportive mattress

A mattress should evenly distribute your weight, providing adequate support at the body’s pressure points. These are the parts of the body which take on more pressure when you lie down, like the shoulders, hips and knees. A mattress with the right level of support will contour to your body’s natural curves, pushing back against these pressure points to relieve pain.

A more comfortable mattress

Comfort is a very individual thing. The mattress that you find perfectly comfortable might be too soft or too firm for the next person. Mattress comfort is measured in terms of mattress tension on a scale that runs from soft to extra firm. It’s best to visit one of our stores and try several different mattresses to see which comfort level is right for you.

A mattress for back pain

Conventional wisdom says that people who suffer from back pain need a firm mattress. That's why some firm or very firm mattresses are also known as orthopaedic mattresses. In reality, finding the best mattress for back pain is less about choosing the firmest mattress and more about finding a mattress that offers your body optimum support.

Knowing what type of sleeper you are makes it easier to find the best mattress to keep your spine in a neutral position that follows its natural curves, and with your head and neck, rib cage and pelvis in alignment.

Side sleepers

If you sleep on your side, you might need a softer mattress that allows your shoulders and hips to sink into the mattress which helps keep your spine aligned. Mattress choice also depends on your weight. A lighter-weight side sleeper might need a more-soft mattress, while a heavier side sleeper would likely do better with a less-soft mattress.

Best mattresses for side sleepers: Latex mattresses, memory foam mattresses.

Front sleepers

If you sleep on your front, you might need a firmer mattress. Firmer mattresses prevent your hips from sinking in too deep, which can create pressure on your lower back. This is generally true regardless of the weight of the sleeper.

Best mattresses for front sleepers: Pocket sprung mattresses.

Back sleepers

If you sleep on your back, you might need a medium mattress. Medium mattresses push into your lower back, eliminating the gaps between your back and the mattress which can cause discomfort. Mattress choice also depends on the weight of the sleeper. A heavier back sleeper might find a medium-firm mattress more comfortable, while a lighter-weight back sleeper might prefer a medium-soft mattress.

Best mattresses for back sleepers: Combination pocket spring and memory foam mattresses, pillow top mattresses.

As well as different sizes, fillings and features, mattresses come in a wide range of price points. Be sure to shop around and explore different brands. That way you’re bound to find the perfect mattress – whatever your budget.

Limited mattress budget

A limited mattress budget doesn't necessarily limit your mattress-buying options – or their quality. Many of our favourite British bed brands consistently create wonderfully comfortable, high-quality mattresses at great-value prices.

Affordable mattress brands: Consider a pocket spring or coil spring mattress from Silentnight, or a hybrid foam and pocket spring mattress from Sleep Story.

Bigger mattress budget

A generous mattress budget opens the door to some of the bed world’s most famous luxury brands. These mattresses often have very high pocket spring counts for more responsive support, or the latest memory foam mattress technologies for cooler and more comfortable sleep.

Luxury mattress brands: Consider a sumptuous pocket sprung mattress from Vispring, Sleepeezee, Harrison Spinks or Hypnos, or an advanced foam mattress from Tempur or Mammoth.

Of course, there’s more to a comfortable bed than a new mattress. Makes yours even more inviting by adding those all-important extras like pillows, a mattress protector and a mattress topper.


Pillows come in different firmness levels and offer a choice of fillings including down, microfibre and memory foam. Deciding on the right pillow often depends on the type of sleeper you are. People who sleep on their front may prefer a softer or flatter pillow, back sleepers should choose a medium thickness pillow and side sleepers usually benefit from a firmer, more supportive pillow.

Mattress protectors

We recommend that you always use a mattress protector, especially on a new mattress. Mattress protectors help keep your mattress clean, fresh and hygienic for longer, and also serve as an effective barrier against dust mites and allergens. Mattress protectors are usually waterproof which means they guard against the damaging effects of spills and stains.

Mattress toppers

If your mattress is too firm, a mattress topper is a good way of adding an extra layer of softness without investing in a whole new mattress. Like mattresses, mattress toppers come in a range of comfort levels and can be made from memory foam, layered with manmade or natural fibres, and even incorporate mini pocket springs for customised comfort.