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.

How to choose a mattress

Choosing the right mattress for you is very important – after all, your quality of sleep depends on it. Be sure to consider the type of mattress, mattress firmness and any extra features that you might need. If you need help deciding, visit your local Furniture Village store. Our sales consultants are specially trained to help you find the best mattress for you.

There’s a world of difference between how a pocket spring mattress feels and how a memory foam mattress feels. Take a look at all the different types of mattresses available to choose the best type of mattress for you.

Open coil mattresses

Open coil mattresses have coiled springs that are connected by wires. This means that the springs move together as one unit, so if one person has a restless night, the other might wake up too. An affordable option, open coil mattresses have layers of fillings to fill the gaps between the springs and are generally firmer in feel than pocket spring mattresses.

Pocket spring mattresses

Pocket spring mattresses have coiled springs, usually made of steel, nested in fabric pockets secured together in a honeycomb-like structure. Pocketed springs respond individually to body weight to provide support exactly where you need it. Available in a range of mattress comfort levels, the best pocket sprung mattresses have layers of fillings above the spring unit for surface softness.

Memory foam mattresses

Memory foam is a special type of foam that’s heat sensitive, so it contours to your body shape and weight to relieve pressure. The best foam mattresses feature a variety of memory foam densities and depths and offer different comfort feels. As many people get too warm when they sleep on a memory foam bed, some manufacturers have developed cooler types of memory foam.

Hybrid mattresses

Hybrid or combination mattresses combine a spring unit with one or more layers of foam, memory foam, gel foam or latex for extra softness. The idea is that you’ll enjoy the best of both worlds – superior pocket spring support from the spring unit plus body-cushioning softness. Hybrid mattresses are a good choice if you prefer a supportive mattress with a softer feel.

Latex mattresses

Free of allergens, very environmentally friendly and inherently elastic, latex is a natural material that comes from the sap of rubber trees. It’s also very durable, so you can expect a latex mattress to last for years. In terms of sleeping comfort, latex’s natural springiness means that it provides great pressure-point support and helps distribute weight more evenly across the mattress surface.

Roll up mattresses

Rolled mattress can be pocket sprung, memory foam or combination of both. Rolled up or in a box, they’re easy pick up and transport home – so useful if you need a new mattress in a hurry. Once unrolled, roll up mattresses should be left for about two hours in order to fully expand. Even though these mattresses are called “roll up mattresses” it’s impossible to re-roll them once unrolled.

Mattress firmness refers to how a mattress feels when you lie on it and is also affected by your bed base. On a bed frame with a sprung slatted base, a medium mattress will feel a little softer than on a traditional platform top divan base, for example.

Visit the Furniture Village mattress finder to learn more.

Soft mattresses

A soft mattress might be right for you if you:

Weigh under 70 kg (11 stone)
Sleep on your side
Change sleeping positions during the night

Soft mattresses mould to the sleeper’s body shape and weight. As they have plenty of give, they’re really only suitable for smaller people who won’t sink down too much, as this can cause back problems.

Medium mattresses

A medium mattress might be right for you if you:

Sleep on your back
Weigh between 70 kg (11 stone) and 114 kg (17 stone 13 pounds)
Need extra lower back support

Medium mattresses provide the right level of support for most people of average weight and build, and can be a good compromise for a couple who have different mattress needs.

Firm mattresses

A firm mattress might be right for you if you:

Sleep on your front
Weigh over 114 kg (17 stone 13 pounds)
Suffer from back pain

Firm mattresses can help keep the spine in a stable position and, for some people, may help prevent or reduce lower back pain.

Extra firm mattresses

An extra firm mattress might be right for you if you:

Weigh over 127 kg (20 stone)
Suffer from back pain

Extra firm mattresses are sometimes known as orthopaedic mattresses as they are specifically designed to keep the spine in a stable position.

Different mattresses come with different features. Some features signify a high-end or exceptional quality mattress while others are designed to increase sleeping comfort. Generally speaking, the more extra features a mattress has, the more expensive it is likely to be.

Pillow top

A pillow top is the extra surface padding that some mattresses have. This padding is not built into the mattress but is a pillow-like layer that’s secured to the top of the mattress. Pillow tops can be made of layered fillings, natural fibres, foam or latex. Some pillow tops even incorporate layers of tiny pocket springs.


Tufting is the traditional way of making sure that all the upholstery and fillings in a mattress stay aligned. Tufting pulls all the layers together and secures them top and bottom with a button-like “tuft”. Tufting also ensures that the mattress surface stays even and symmetrical for enhanced comfort.

Natural fillings

The fillings that give a mattress structure and make it more comfortable can be made of a variety of natural fibres including wool, cotton, cashmere, mohair and silk. Different fillings have different advantages such as strength, moisture-wicking or cooling effects. Many manufacturers use sustainable or locally-produced fillings to limit their environmental impact.

Hand side stitching

Hand side stitching was developed to attach the side panel of a mattress to the spring system within. It provides additional edge support to a mattress and can only be done by hand as it’s a highly specialised process. Some mattresses have machine side stitching – this type of mattress stitching is purely decorative.


Mattresses have handles so that you can adjust them on a bed frame if the mattress becomes misaligned. While they also make turning or rotating a mattress easier, they should not be used to carry a mattress as they are not designed to bear significant weight.


Turnable mattresses are designed to be turned over on a regular basis. Having two sides to a mattress means that you can avoid excessive wear and tear in certain spots and so extend its life. Turning a mattress over is different from rotating it. Rotating means spinning the mattress 180 degrees so the head end becomes the foot end.


Some mattresses, especially those constructed from castellated foam, have built in air channels that provide ventilation. This another way of helping to keep you cool and comfortable at night as overheating often results in a disturbed night’s sleep.

Cooling cover

If you tend to overheat at night, look out for a mattress that’s designed to regulate body temperature and help keep you cool. Many mattresses feature sophisticated fabric technology in the form of special cooling covers that really do work.