How to choose a mat­tress

Be­cause what lies be­neath all of those gor­geous linens is ac­tu­ally more im­por­tant

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Sourcebook Bedrooms -

How hard should my mat­tress be? ‘The level of firm­ness de­pends on your height, weight, and how you sleep,’ says Jim Gerety, mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at bed­ding com­pany Vis­pring (vis­pring.com). ‘As a rule, the heav­ier you are the firmer the ten­sion you’ll need, but it’s cru­cial that you go in to a store and test a mat­tress be­fore you buy.’ The aim is for your spine to re­main in a neu­tral po­si­tion as you sleep, and you should feel no pres­sure on any part of your body when you lie down. If you are light, or sleep on your side, you will need a softer bed, while back sleep­ers can choose some­thing firmer. Dis­tri­bu­tion of weight is also key, so tall, slim types may pre­fer a softer bed than some­one with a com­pact frame. Many com­pa­nies can make mat­tresses with a dif­fer­ent firm­ness on ei­ther side of the bed to suit part­ners of dif­fer­ent weights. Bear in mind that the type of bed you choose also has an im­pact: a mat­tress will feel harder on a slat­ted wooden base but softer on a sprung di­van.

What are the dif­fer­ences be­tween cheap and ex­pen­sive mat­tresses?

‘Cheap mat­tresses are mass pro­duced and are made from poorer ma­te­ri­als, so aren’t as durable and won’t pro­vide such good sup­port,’ says Damien Bre­it­ner, man­ager at Hästens flag­ship Fitzrovia store in London (has­tens.com). ‘In con­trast, top-end mat­tresses are hand­crafted and use only the finest nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als.’ These in­clude horse­hair, which is springy and soft, cot­ton, wool and even cash­mere. Nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als reg­u­late temperature much bet­ter and wick away mois­ture from the skin so that you don’t over­heat. ‘Aim for the best mat­tress within your bud­get,’ says Bre­it­ner. ‘That may not nec­es­sar­ily be the most ex­pen­sive. It’s all about what feels right for you.’ What about mem­ory foam? ‘There can be draw­backs to mem­ory foam mat­tresses,’ says Richard Tucker, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of new mat­tress brand Leesa ( leesa.co.uk). ‘They work by re­tain­ing heat and mould­ing around your body, so it can feel hot and move­ment is some­times re­stricted. How­ever, peo­ple with painful joints can ben­e­fit from the ex­tra sup­port. Be sure that you have a good trial pe­riod on any pur­chase to make sure that it suits you. How do I look af­ter my mat­tress? Turn it ev­ery three months to en­sure that there is no sag­ging. A mat­tress top­per will pro­vide an ad­di­tional layer of com­fort, while also fur­ther pro­tect­ing the mat­tress. If you have a slat­ted bed, use a pad un­der­neath your mat­tress to pro­vide a pro­tec­tive layer. How of­ten should I re­place my mat­tress? The Sleep Coun­cil (sleep­coun­cil.org.uk) rec­om­mends you in­vest in a new mat­tress ev­ery seven years.

‘AIM FOR THE BEST MAT­TRESS WITHIN YOUR BUD­GET. THAT MAY NOT BE THE MOST EX­PEN­SIVE ONE’

From left Linen cush­ions, from £6.90 each, VT Wo­nen (vt­wo­nen.nl); ‘Nite’ blue pil­low­case by So­ci­ety Li­monta, £109, Har­rods ( har­rods.com). ‘Gäspa’ sheet, from £15; ‘Hen­rika’ throw, from £15, both Ikea (ikea.com) ➤

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