Ultimate Guide to Buying a Mattress

Ultimate guide to buying a mattress

Given the significant amount of time dedicated to sleep, your mattress serves as more than mere furniture; it holds the key to a restful sleep and is your sanctuary for recharging, seeking comfort, and preparing for the day ahead. However, the process of researching material compositions, sleep preferences and other factors to seek out the ideal mattress can be an overwhelming journey with the myriad of options available.

In this comprehensive guide, we aim to simplify your mattress buying journey, covering different types and materials to equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision promising nights of peaceful sleep and revitalised mornings. Keep reading to uncover all you need to know about purchasing the perfect mattress tailored for your specific needs.

Understanding the firmness scale rating 

Understanding the firmness scale rating

Choosing the right mattress is a crucial decision that directly impacts the quality of your sleep and overall well-being. One of the key factors to consider is the firmness scale rating, which determines how soft or firm a mattress feels. Read on to learn how to match your individual needs to the right level of comfort and support for a restful slumber.


A soft mattress strikes a delicate balance between plush comfort and adequate support, making it an ideal choice for side sleepers dealing with shoulder or hip pain aggravated by firmer beds. The gentle surface conforms to the body’s contours, effectively alleviating pressure points and facilitating a more natural alignment of the spine during rest. This ability to cradle the body provides a comforting embrace, promoting relaxation. This cocoon-like feel fosters an environment conducive to a restful sleep, allowing individuals to unwind and wake up feeling refreshed and revitalised.


The medium-firm mattress is one of  the market’s most sought after choices, appealing to individuals looking for a balance between a softer surface and sufficient support. It meets the needs of various sleeping styles by conforming to the body’s natural curves while maintaining the essential firmness crucial for spinal alignment. This versatility makes it an optimal option for back, side, or combination sleepers, offering both comfort and support. Overall, the medium-firm mattress is a reliable and practical choice in the mattress market, meeting the criteria for comfort and support sought after by a diverse range of sleepers.


Firm mattresses emphasise support while conforming to the body’s contours, a preferred option for sleepers seeking a stable surface, particularly heavier individuals or those who frequently change positions during sleep. By prioritising support without sacrificing contouring, firm mattresses effectively distribute weight and minimise pressure points, contributing to a more restful sleep experience. This balance between support and adaptability makes firm mattresses a practical choice for individuals prioritising stability and alignment in their quest for a comfortable and supportive night’s rest.

Extra firm 

Extra firm mattresses prioritise providing the utmost support by maintaining a consistently firm surface, ensuring minimal sinkage and promoting proper spinal alignment during sleep. Particularly favoured by individuals with specific back concerns or those seeking an unyielding surface, these mattresses offer stability without compromising spinal health. However, while some find comfort in the firmness, those desiring more cushioning may perceive extra firm mattresses as overly rigid and uncomfortable.

Dunlopillo’s XtraFirm Mattresses incorporates an innovative Normablock Spring Technology sourced from Europe. This advanced internal support system is specifically engineered to provide exceptional spinal protection, bolstering surface support, reinforcing lumbar support, and minimising partner disturbance for an enhanced sleep experience. Additionally, these mattresses are equipped with imported Anti-Radiation Knitted Fabric, serving to either block or absorb electromagnetic radiation for added peace of mind during sleep.

Finding the ideal mattress for your sleeping position

Whether you’re a back sleeper, side sleeper, or someone who tosses and turns throughout the night, selecting the right firmness for your mattress can significantly enhance your sleep quality. 

Back sleepers

Image of a woman sleeping on the bed

For those who primarily sleep on their backs, the ideal mattress would be one that offers a balance between support and comfort. Opting for a mattress that falls in the medium-firm to firm range is recommended. This type of mattress provides ample support to maintain the natural curve of the spine while distributing body weight evenly. By preventing excessive sinking into the mattress, it reduces the risk of lower back pain, ensuring a more comfortable and restorative sleep.

Side sleepers

Image of a teenage girl resting

Side sleepers require a mattress that accommodates the curves of their body, particularly around the shoulders and hips. An ideal option for side sleepers is a mattress with a softer to medium firmness, allowing slight sinkage for relieving pressure points in these areas. Look for a mattress that seamlessly conforms to the body’s natural shape, ensuring it provides ample support while allowing for necessary cushioning at these sensitive regions. This design not only enhances comfort but also actively maintains proper alignment and effectively distributes weight.

Combination sleepers 

Combination sleepers, individuals who shift positions during sleep, require a mattress accommodating comfort across various sleeping postures. In this scenario, a versatile medium-firm mattress provides an ideal combination of comfort and support during transitions between positions.

While memory foam mattresses contour well to the body, they may hinder movement for combination sleepers, potentially making it difficult to shift positions comfortably. Opting for alternatives like latex mattresses proves beneficial for those requiring ease of movement. These materials adapt smoothly to movements, enabling a seamless transition between sleeping positions without feeling restricted. 

Stomach sleepers

Healthcare professionals often advise against stomach sleeping due to its potential negative impact on spinal health. This position can exert stress on the spine, potentially resulting in discomfort such as back and neck pain over time. However, if sleeping on your stomach is the only way you find restful sleep, selecting the appropriate mattress becomes crucial.

For stomach sleepers, the ideal mattress should prioritise firm support for the spine. One that is too soft may cause the body to sink in, leading to waking up with stiffness and discomfort. Opting for a firm or foam mattress often proves most effective for this sleeping style. The key lies in choosing a mattress that prevents excessive sinking, supporting the spine adequately throughout the night. This ensures that even if sleeping on the stomach is preferred, the mattress doesn’t exacerbate potential issues associated with this position. 

Choosing the right size for your mattress

Selecting the right mattress isn’t merely about fitting your bed frame; it’s about ensuring a comfortable sleep experience that aligns with your lifestyle and sleeping habits. From super singles to kings, each size serves a distinct purpose, catering to various preferences and needs. Learn more about how choosing the right size for your mattress can significantly impact the quality of your sleep and the overall aesthetics of your bedroom.

Single size mattresses – 91 cm x 190 cm

The single sized mattress, measuring 91 cm wide x 190 cm long, is a practical choice for many. Commonly chosen for kids transitioning from cribs to bigger beds, its size strikes a good balance, offering enough space for a child to sleep comfortably while not taking up too much room in smaller bedrooms. 

Its adaptability extends to solo sleepers as well. The single sized mattress doesn’t overwhelm a room but instead, leaves enough room for other essentials while ensuring a comfortable sleep. Overall, its size and functionality make it a practical option for anyone seeking comfort without compromising room functionality.

Super single mattresses – 107 cm x 190 cm

The super single mattress, measuring 107 cm x 190 cm, strikes a practical balance between being larger than a standard single bed yet not as expansive as a queen or king-sized mattress. For children who crave more sleeping area but aren’t ready for a larger bed, the super single offers a step up from the standard single without overtaking the room. Similarly, for adults seeking a bit more room without committing to a queen or king, the super single serves as a comfortable compromise. It offers additional stretch space without dominating the bedroom layout, making it a versatile option for various sleeping preferences.

Queen sized mattresses – 152 cm x 190 cm

The queen-sized mattress is a popular pick among couples or individuals seeking a more spacious sleeping surface. Its larger width and length compared to smaller sizes offer ample room to move without encroaching a partner’s sleeping area. Whether you prefer stretching out or staying close, the generous space accommodates easy shifts in position throughout the night without causing disruption.

Ultimately, the queen-sized mattress caters to couples seeking a harmony between space for movement and maintaining intimacy during sleep, as well as individuals who appreciate the extra room. Its spacious dimensions provide the comfort required for quality rest while adapting to diverse sleeping preferences, making it a versatile and practical investment for a comfortable night’s sleep.

King sized mattresses – 190 x 183 cm

For couples, the additional space provided by a king sized mattress can make a significant difference. It is particularly beneficial for those who tend to shift positions during sleep, as the larger surface area reduces any sensation of confinement, promoting a more relaxed and uninterrupted rest. Moreover, the king sized mattress creates a cosy and roomy sanctuary, making it also ideal for couples who share the bed with their little ones.

But it’s not just about couples. For those with larger frames, king sized mattresses guarantee a comfortable night’s sleep without feeling boxed in. It’s like having your own personal sleep haven tailored for ultimate comfort, no matter your shape or size. So, whether you’re a couple looking for unrestricted space to sprawl out or an individual seeking that perfect fit, the king sized mattress is a practical choice that offers room for all sleep styles, and anyone craving that expansive yet comfy sleep experience.

Choosing the right type of mattress for your needs

The foundation of a restful night’s sleep often lies in the type of mattress you choose. With a myriad of options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to pinpoint the perfect fit for your needs. Continue reading to understand how the characteristics of different mattress types can support you in making an informed decision tailored to your sleep preferences and health requirements.

Memory foam mattress 

Memory foam mattresses have become a favoured choice among sleepers owing to their remarkable capability to respond to the body’s unique contours. Predominantly consisting of foam, this characteristic enables the mattress to conform precisely to the sleeper’s body, creating a custom-fit support system that embraces every curve and angle. This remarkable ability to mould according to body shape provides exceptional comfort and support, especially benefiting side sleepers and individuals with physical ailments. 

Moreover, the memory foam’s ability for alleviating pressure is especially notable for sensitive body areas such as the shoulders, hips, and lower back. This feature significantly contributes to maintaining proper spinal alignment, a crucial aspect in reducing or preventing back and joint issues.

Another noteworthy benefit of memory foam is its capacity to reduce motion transfer, an advantage for light sleepers susceptible to disturbances caused by a partner’s movements during the night. Hence, even if your sleep companion shifts positions frequently, the foam’s responsive nature absorbs and minimises these movements, ensuring that you remain undisturbed throughout the night.

Latex mattresses 

Image of a mattress

Derived from the sap of rubber trees, natural latex mattresses provide robust support while retaining a buoyant feel, offering a balance between firmness and comfort. Latex’s inherent breathability helps regulate temperature, preventing overheating during sleep – an issue commonly faced with other mattress materials. Additionally, one of the standout features of latex is its resistance to allergens, mould, and dust mites. The material’s natural defences against common allergens contribute to a healthier sleep environment, reducing potential irritants that might disrupt sleep or trigger allergic reactions.

Beyond comfort and health benefits, the appeal of latex mattresses extends to sustainability. Sourced from renewable materials, the production of latex mattresses is often manufactured through eco-friendly processes, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers looking to minimise their environmental impact, without compromising on quality.

Innerspring mattresses 

Renowned for their sturdy support and enduring durability, innerspring mattresses have long been revered for their ability to offer a reliable and resilient surface for sleep. The arrangement of coils within innerspring mattresses creates a surface that strikes a delicate balance between firmness and responsiveness, catering to a diverse spectrum of sleep preferences. This characteristic makes them a versatile option, appealing to those seeking both support and adaptability in their mattress.

Additionally, a notable advantage of innerspring mattresses lies in their proficiency in facilitating airflow. This inherent breathability helps maintain a comfortable sleep environment, reducing the likelihood of overheating and ensuring a more restful slumber. 

Pocket spring mattresses

Sample image of pocket spring mattress

Pocket spring mattresses, also known as pocketed coil mattresses, are built with individual coils enclosed in fabric pockets. This design allows each spring to work independently, responding uniquely to body movements and contours. These mattresses offer personalised support, making them a great choice for couples as they minimise motion transfer, reducing disturbances caused by a partner’s movements during sleep. They also help maintain better spinal alignment by adapting to different pressure points across the body, catering to various sleep positions. 

With their ability to provide targeted support and reduce disruptions, pocket spring mattresses offer a blend of personalised comfort and undisturbed rest, appealing to those seeking a supportive yet adaptable sleep surface. Additionally, their open-spring formation promotes better air movement, improving ventilation compared to foam mattresses, which can enhance overall comfort.

Learn more: Mattress Selection for Couples: Finding the Right Balance of Comfort

Questions you may have

Questions you may have

Investing in a new mattress is a decision that directly impacts your sleep quality and overall well-being. However, picking the right mattress can be a daunting task for many. This section explores the common questions people often have when it comes to purchasing a mattress.

How often should I replace my mattress?

The lifespan of a mattress varies depending on various factors, such as its quality, materials, and usage. Typically, experts recommend replacing a mattress every 7 to 10 years. However, individual factors like body weight, lifestyle, and mattress type can influence this timeline. Signs that it might be time for a replacement include visible sagging, discomfort, disrupted sleep, or waking up with aches and pains. Regularly assessing the condition of your mattress can help you determine when it’s due for a change, ensuring you maintain optimal sleep support.

Are there mattresses for specific health concerns?

Yes there are! Mattresses are designed to cater to various health concerns, offering solutions for specific needs. For instance, individuals with back pain might benefit from a medium-firm mattress that provides adequate spinal support. Those with allergies or respiratory issues might consider hypoallergenic or dust mite-resistant latex mattresses. There are also options tailored for temperature regulation, catering to people who tend to sleep hot or cold. Researching and consulting with professionals can guide you towards a mattress that aligns with your health requirements, ensuring a more restful sleep.

Is a firm mattress always better for back support?

The idea that a firmer mattress is better for back support is a common misconception that many have. The truth is, the right mattress firmness is subjective, varying depending on individual preferences and body types. While some find relief on a firmer mattress, others favour a medium or softer option for comfort. What truly matters is discovering a mattress that ensures proper spinal alignment and delivers the right blend of support and comfort for your unique body. Therefore, the emphasis lies not on an arbitrary firmness level but on the mattress that aligns with your body’s needs, facilitating restorative sleep and optimal back health.

How does body weight impact mattress selection?

Body weight can significantly influence the choice of a mattress, with different mattresses offering varying levels of support based on weight distribution. For instance, heavier individuals often prefer firmer mattresses to avoid sinking too much and maintain proper support. On the other hand, lighter individuals tend to favour softer mattresses for a snug fit and added comfort.

Understanding how body weight interacts with mattress firmness is crucial for making the right choice. It ensures that the chosen mattress provides the necessary support, reducing discomfort and promoting a good night’s rest and overall well-being.

How should I care for and maintain my mattress?

Caring for your mattress not only prolongs its lifespan but also contributes to a hygienic sleeping environment. Start by using a mattress protector to shield it from spills, stains, and dust mites. Regularly rotating or flipping the mattress can prevent uneven wear and maintain its shape, and vacuuming your mattress every few months can help eliminate dust and debris. Additionally, following the manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning and maintenance is crucial to ensure that your mattress remains comfortable and supportive for a longer duration.

Do I need a special mattress for a platform bed?

Platform beds are known for their versatility, adeptly accommodating various mattresses due to their solid or closely spaced slatted surface, ensuring robust support. When in the market for a mattress tailored to a platform bed, prioritise the ideal thickness that guarantees optimal comfort. Equally important is the choice of mattress material, whether memory foam, latex, or innerspring, ensuring it aligns with your preferred sleeping position, body weight, and the specific level of firmness or softness you desire for a restful night’s sleep. By considering these factors, you can ensure a perfect match between your chosen mattress and the platform bed, enhancing both comfort and support for a rejuvenating slumber.


As you embark on the journey to finding your perfect mattress, remember that your mattress isn’t just a purchase; it’s an investment in your well-being and a place where you recharge and  find solace. So take your time, explore your options, and use this guide when securing the mattress that best suits your needs. Soon enough, you’ll embrace nights filled with tranquil sleep and awaken refreshed, prepared to conquer each day with renewed energy.

Looking for mattresses for sale? Dunlopillo offers a range of cutting-edge mattresses to revolutionise your sleep. Get in touch today and embark on a journey to discover your perfect sleep companion!

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