Modern mattresses come in a bewildering array of styles. Construction methods va

Modern mattresses come in a bewildering array of styles. Construction methods vary tremendously, and so do prices. It can be quite an investment and different kinds do give a different feel and a different night’s sleep, so it’s well worth shopping around and doing some research.

The simplest deciding factor is size, ranging from short, single models designed specifically for kids’ beds right through to king size monsters for two adults. For kids, it is worth remembering that a good mattress might last a decade, so while a short one might be a good size now, in a few years it will need upgrading. It’s also more difficult to get sheets and blankets to fit anything but the standard single, double, queen, and king- even king size fitted sheets are less common than the other three sizes.

Construction is the other question. Two types vie for attention in the marketplace- sprung and memory foam. If you have an older mattress already, the chances are it is made of layers of padding interspersed with metal springs. There are various types of these sprung designs, and an easy way of telling just how good they are is to give them a try (the best test for any mattress, really). Poorer, cheaper sprung models will move and deform as a single unit, where better ‘pocket sprung’ ones will deform to fit your shape. The springs in these are independent, offering much better tailored support.

Memory foam has been around for several years now, and some very complex arrangements of different foam layers are available. The key is in the top layers, which will deform with heat and pressure to mould exactly to your body. Comfort is the main selling point, and for anyone with a neck, back, or hip injury a memory foam mattress may be a very good investment, but there are drawbacks. They are not breathable, so a sleeper may feel hotter in warmer months, for example.

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