How to Choose The Best Mattresses For Your Needs

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Written by: Emma Sleep

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Like most human beings, you probably know the joys of falling into bed after a long, grueling day. It's where you can recharge your mind and rest your body for the next day. While the consensus is that people get an average of eight hours of sleep a night, it's not a reality.


Comprehensive research from Withings Health Observatory shows us that over 24% of people in the UK get less than seven hours of sleep a night, and the mean amount of sleeping hours is 7.1 hours. Considering that experts recommend eight hours of sleep a night for the average adult, it's clear to see there are potential health problems from not getting a full quota of sleep.


Numerous factors can lead to insomnia, but the wrong mattress is one of the biggest culprits of the condition - but it's also one of the easiest to fix. In this guide, we'll explore how an uncomfortable bed can impact your health, discuss what you should look for in a mattress, and reveal the best mattresses for your needs.


Whether you need a supportive hybrid mattress to reduce problems associated with back pain, or a comfortable memory foam mattress, the Emma sleep specialists have an assortment of recommendations for you.

Why Your Mattress Might be Stopping you From Getting a Good Night's Sleep




 In an ideal world, we'd get to relax and recover after a bad night's sleep, but that isn't the case. Our jobs and family life put enormous pressures on us and failing to catch those zzz's often leaves people feeling miserable, tired, and unable to function mentally.


Your mattress is essential for falling and staying asleep, but many people don't understand the support they need and fail to find a bed that promotes sleep quality.


Let's take a look at the health implications of sleeping on a bad mattress vs sleeping on a mattress that's been painstakingly designed to offer the best all-around support, comfort, and value - that is, the Emma Original mattress.



Back pain



 Back pain is probably one of the most annoying conditions a person can suffer from. Not only does it stop you from enjoying everyday activities, but it's also tough to treat. While a range of factors can contribute to a bad back, your mattress can have a significant impact if it forces you to sleep in an uncomfortable position.


Different people need varying levels of support, so if a firm mattress is ideal for your unique needs, but you're sleeping on a soft bed, it can impact your back. Sleeping in an awkward position to avoid springs and worn-down mattresses can also cause issues, and long-term back problems can cause changes in your posture.





It's completely normal to feel drowsy after a long day or during the afternoon, but that tired feeling becomes a problem if you can barely keep your head up. A good nights sleep is central to how you perform the next day, and extreme drowsiness makes it challenging to function.





Yes, your sleep quality is central to keeping those pounds off. The first thing most people think of when they're lethargic is to eat something because it's human instinct. Unfortunately, doing this when you continuously suffer from poor sleep quality could result in weight gain.



Respiratory Issues


An old mattress is bound to have dust mites, which can impact your health. If you notice your throat is sore when you wake up or develop eczema, then it's time to make a change for your health.



Sore Joints


If you've ever woken up with a sore neck, then you'll know how painful it can be. Hard mattresses can benefit some people by improving their posture, but a hard mattress is a significant contributor to joint pain for most of us.


The places you're most likely to feel pressure are your neck, shoulders, tailbone and arms - but switching to a softer mattress could alleviate the problem.





There's a reason we sleep every day; it's our brain's chance to re-energize itself and prepare for the next day. It's necessary for all beings, and while most people know water and food are central to our survival, they don't realize just how severe the effects of poor sleep quality can be.


The effects include:


  • Struggling to form memories and recall important information.
  • Poor focus - which leads to mistakes at work or school.
  • Depression from the mental impact of no sleep.
  • Psychosis (hallucinations, delusions, suicidal thoughts).



Premature Aging


Nobody wants to look old before their time, and sleep is essential for your physical appearance. One of the most common side effects of insomnia is black circles under the eyes. The less you sleep, the bigger they get, and it continues like this until your bags become giant suitcases that even your expensive concealer can't battle.


Your mattress could be making you old before your time, so it's essential to evaluate your sleep quality and consider switching to a better product.



Reduced Libido


Men especially will find their libido drops if they're not getting enough shut-eye. The Telegraph published an article proving that males can also struggle with low testosterone levels if they're not well-rested.


While men are most likely to suffer from the physical effects of poor sleep, women will struggle with the emotional impact, which can have severe consequences on their relationships.



Getting Sick More Often


As if the effects we've already discussed weren't harmful enough, a lack of sleep can also weaken your immune system. If you've noticed that you're picking up colds and infections quickly, then it could be because your body and brain aren't getting enough time to recover each night


Whether it's the physical, mental or emotional effects getting to you, it's essential to think about improving your sleep quality. People are willing to invest in expensive sleep apps, aromatherapy diffusers and a host of high-tech accessories that promise to enhance their shut-eye - but very few think about investing in a new mattress.


Not only is buying a mattress the easiest solution, but it will also benefit you for years to come. So, now you know why a good mattress is vital to every aspect of your mental and physical wellbeing, it's time to discuss what you should be looking for when purchasing your bedding.



What to Consider When Looking For the Best Mattresses That Suit Your Needs




What makes a mattress great? How do you cut through all the noise from manufacturers telling you they have the best mattresses and find the one that suits your needs? We live, breathe (and sleep) mattresses, so it's safe to say we've been around the block a few times and know what to look for when it comes to bedding.


There are so many mattresses to choose from, and each claims to be the best. But the fact is there are so many things to consider before making a purchase. Everything from your personal needs, including comfort and sleep quality to practical factors like space and budget, will dictate your final decision.


If you don't know your pocket sprung mattresses from a memory foam mattress, then read on because we're about to reveal everything you should consider when buying your bedding.



The Construction


The construction of your mattress is central to its quality, and before buying your bedding, you should do some research to see the manufacturing process.


By knowing what to look for, you'll be able to choose the best mattresses for your needs.



Manufacturing Process




Some companies make their mattresses in-house, while others might use certified manufacturers to produce them.


Both of these options are good because quality is at the heart of the company's manufacturing process. But you should always avoid mass-produced mattresses because there isn't a comprehensive quality control process.


Cheaper mattresses will generally be of lower quality because the company will strive to save money by using mass production techniques. While they're OK if you're on a strict budget, it's always best to invest in a mattress that you know has gone through rigorous processes to ensure it's of high quality.



Bed in a Box


If you've ever tried to carry a large mattress upstairs, then you'll know it's a horrible task (think classic Friend's and Ross' shouts of 'pivot'). Companies have recently adopted the bed in the box manufacturing model to make moving a mattress a hassle-free process.


You can order a mattress online, and it will arrive within a few days straight to your home in - you guessed it - a box.


Compression technology lets users remove the mattress from the box, let it rest for a few hours, and then be ready to use.





When it comes to mattresses, there are two types of upholstery; synthetic and natural. Synthetic materials include polyester, white fibre and foam, while natural material mattresses consist of cotton, bamboo, horsetail, latex and wool.


While many people might say that a 100%% natural mattress is best because the material is more breathable, companies are using new technologies to create hybrid models that offer the practicality of natural materials, with the comfort and price tag synthetic technology provides.



Support Layers



 All mattresses have a support layer to provide extra comfort, but which is best for you? There are four main types to choose between pocket sprung, open coil, memory foam, and hybrid mattresses.



Pocket Sprung Mattresses


Pocket sprung mattresses rely on a spring system that provides support for each area of your body. Instead of old-fashioned mattress springs that work in unison, pocket springs each have their compartment, which means they can adapt to various areas of your body.


For example, if you sleep on your side, a pocket sprung mattress will provide extra support. These mattresses are also ideal for couples - especially when there's a significant weight difference.



Open Coil Mattresses


This traditional mattress used to be the most common type, and it still exists because of its affordability. A coiled wire joins springs together, which ensures your weight distributes efficiently across the surface. While open coil mattresses offer some benefits, they can cause problems if you're not single.


Two people sharing a traditional mattress will find they can impact each other's sleep quality. Also, if you've ever felt the discomfort of a broken spring on an open coil mattress, then you'll know how frustrating it is.



Memory Foam Mattresses


Memory foam became popular a few years back, and many people now regard it as indispensable for comfort. While there are plenty of memory foam toppers, the complete mattress offers extra levels of comfort and support without the need for springs.


The main advantages of memory foam are that it's beneficial for allergy sufferers and will mould to your unique shape. However, with no springs, it has less bounce.



Hybrid Mattresses


While each form of mattress has its distinct advantages and disadvantages, none will ever be perfect. So clever manufacturers combined memory, pocket sprung, and even traditional coil mattresses to develop solutions that provide comfort and practicality.


While hybrid mattresses can be pretty heavy to move, they're more breathable and will last a long time too.





Not only do you have to consider which mattress type is best for your needs, but you also need to think about whether you need a soft or firm bed. There is a multitude of options to choose between, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution.



Soft Mattresses


Side sleepers especially love soft mattresses, but some might find they lack vital support. These mattresses sink as you lie on them, allowing the material to contour around your body. Side sleepers often suffer from more pressure on the shoulders and hips, and a soft bed offers comfort and gentle support.



Soft-Medium Mattresses


Soft-medium mattresses are ideal if you want some extra support but still prefer your bed to contour around your body. If you're a naturally petite person, then a soft-medium mattress will suit your body type because firm mattresses might be too hard.



Medium Mattresses


Despite the foetal position being the most common way to sleep in the UK, most people prefer medium mattresses. While they're more suited towards back sleepers, medium models have higher levels of support.



Medium-Firm Mattresses


Larger people should always try to find a medium-firm mattress because it still offers some softness but has good levels of support.



Firm Mattresses


While most people prefer the softness of a mattress, firm mattresses are ideal for two purposes. If you're significantly overweight, a firm mattress will provide your body with the proper support. Stomach sleepers will also benefit from one because it keeps the hips and spine in alignment.


It's good to know which mattress is best for your body type and sleeping position, because comfort is key to a good night's sleep. If you prefer firmer mattresses as a side sleeper, you should go with what you feels right.



The Support Layer


There should be an added layer for comfort with every mattress, and manufacturers choose the top layer material based on the benefits they want to focus on.





Latex is similar to memory foam because it contours around your body to provide extra support. Some manufacturers prefer it to memory foam because of how breathable latex is.



Memory Foam


Memory foam is known to provide relief for joint pain, and it's also ideal for people that need extra temperature control.



Cooling Gel


If you live in a hot country, then a cooling gel layer is ideal because it will prevent you from overheating while you sleep. Of course, this cooling layer can make it difficult to sleep during winter.





Now you know how many mattress types are available, you probably have a good idea of which will work for your preferences and body type. But it's always essential to think about the practicality of any product before you make a purchase.





The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money on a mattress, only to find the size isn't right. Whether single or coupled, you should consider which dimensions will suit your needs - especially if you're investing in a high-end mattress.


Here are the standard UK mattress dimensions:





  • Small Single: 75cm x 190cm
  • Standard Single: 90cm x 190cm





  • Small Double: 120cm x 190cm
  • Standard Double: 135cm x 190cm



King Size


  • Standard King: 150cm x 200cm
  • Super-King: 180cm x 200cm





  • Standard Emperor: 200cm x 202cm
  • Large Emperor: 215cm x 217cm


It's easy to think a standard double might be enough, but if two people share a bed and one moves around in their sleep, then it's going to cause issues. Look at various mattress sizes and make a final decision based on which feels right.





Buying a mattress without measuring your bed frame (or room if you're buying a new bed too) is like going into a shop and picking up the first pair of shoes without looking at the size. It's essential that you take measurements to make sure you won't have to return the mattress.





In an ideal world, we'd be able to choose what we want without even thinking of the price. But if you're not part of that minority, you probably have to budget like most people. While high-end mattresses will always cost more, there's no point in putting yourself in significant debt.


Some companies will offer financing plans, where you can spread the cost, but if you can find a mattress that suits all of your needs, and you physically try it out, then you should think about buying it - even if it's a lower price.



The Best Mattresses For Your Needs




Well, we've covered the different varieties of mattresses available and what you should consider before making a purchase. Now it's time to unveil our list of the best mattresses for your needs. Our extensive research process means we have a long list of old classics, supportive beds for your creature comforts, and hybrid models with the latest technology.


At Emma, we recognise that when it comes to mattresses, everyone has their personal preferences. While some enjoy that sinking feeling that lets them drift off to dreamland, others prefer a firmer mattress to give them support and protect their joints.


Each mattress type is designed for a specific purpose, so there's something for everyone here.



Emma Original Mattress - Best For Comfort


  • Size Options: Single, Small Double, Double, King Size, Super-King Size
  • Mattress Type: Cold Foam, Airgocell Foam, Memory Foam
  • Comfort: Medium


Our original mattress was designed with one thing in mind; comfort. We know that the worst thing after a stressful day is lying on a lumpy bed, which is a common issue for many people.


Broken springs, an uneven surface and general discomfort are the reasons we decided to do something different - and the result was the UK's best selling mattress.


Learn more



The Specs


Emma is another bed in a box mattress, but it has a unique design and manufacturing process that stands out. Both cold foam and Airgocell foam provide higher levels of durability, which is why there's a 200-night guarantee.


Three centimetres of Aircocell foam makes the mattress more breathable, while visco-elastic pressure-relieving foam offers strong levels of support. Cold foam forms the mattress base, which acts as a stable base and relieves any extra pressure.


You'll also get a temperature reducing top layer, and the cover is removable., so you can pop it in the washing machine.


We also added handles to our original mattress, so it's easy to move. As a medium-firm model, the mattress offers excellent levels of support - but still provides that cloud-like feeling.



Who Should Choose This Mattress?


If you're a fan of firm mattresses but like a bit of bounce, our original design is perfect for you. People between 50kg and 130kg will be able to enjoy a good nights sleep without losing that vital joint support.


The different foam types work together perfectly, and even side sleepers have commented on how comfortable our mattress is. Couples find the stability is fantastic (especially if one person is a restless sleeper!)


Whether you have joint pain, insomnia or want a long-lasting mattress that offers a lot of comfort, minimal motion transfer and - most importantly - a great nights sleep, our original mattress will perform well.


We consider it our all-in-one product and a go-to mattress that anyone will benefit from.



Emma Premium Mattress - Best for Orthopedic Support


  • Size Options: Single, Small Double, Double, King Size, Super-King Size
  • Mattress Type: Memory Foam and Pocket Springs
  • Comfort: Medium


If you're a fan of our Emma original mattress, then you'll be happy to know that the latest product from our company combines winning features with the newest technology for the premium mattress.


After the success of our original mattress, we decided to use the initial design but add hybrid features that would accommodate all sleepers.



The Specs


With five levels of foam, including open-cell, pressure-relieving and Airgocell so you can rest assured that you'll have a great nights sleep.


Airgocell foam is still a key feature here, and as with our other mattresses, it offers support and temperature regulation. Visco-elastic and cold foam work together to relieve pressure and support your joints, which means you can benefit from a great nights sleep.


The pocket springs in our premium mattress are slightly longer, and they're designed to offer additional comfort while improving air circulation.


Restless sleepers will find the tall pocket springs offer extra support, and with every turn, they'll adapt to your body. We use 12.5cm springs instead of the micro versions you usually see in hybrid mattresses to support your back and stabilise your joints.



Who Should Choose This Mattress?


The premium mattress is ideal for all sleepers, but back sleepers will benefit the most physically from the unique combination of tall springs and layers of memory foam. If you're looking for an effective orthopaedic mattress without the wallet-busting price tag, we're confident that our premium will support your joints - which is great if you play sports or have a physical job.


Overall, the mattress will suit all sleepers, and if you're looking for a long-lasting bed that offers complete support and stabilises your joints, then we'd love for you to take advantage of our 200-night risk-free trial.



The Bottom Line


Well, you've made it this far - but don't leave us just yet, because we're about to summarise our mattresses so you can decide which is right for you.



Best For All Sleepers


We know that our award-winning original mattress is renowned for its comfort, and it's an all in one solution, regardless of your sleeping position and mattress performance.



Best For Support


Our premium mattress offers maximum support for your joints and is particularly useful if you have a bad back. The unique spring design means you can get a great nights sleep and be ready for whatever the morning brings.



Further Things to Consider


When it comes to choosing the best mattress for your needs, you should also consider the practicality of each option. Important factors include affordability, whether the mattress has good reviews and if there's a long trial period.





It's always hard to evaluate affordability because a cheap mattress doesn't necessarily mean it's of high quality. Spending £200 on a mattress that needs replacing after a year isn't a cost-effective option compared to a 10-year mattress that costs £1000.


All of our mattresses are cost-effective solutions to improve your sleep quality and will last for a long time.



Read Reviews


Don't just buy the first mattress you like the look of. You should always read the reviews and see what other users have to say about the product. If it seems like a mattress that would suit your needs, then you can explore it further.



Check the Trial Duration


Most mattress manufacturers offer a free trial, so you can see how it works out for you. The longer the trial, the more likely you are to be able to make a decision. For example, a mattress might suit your needs in the spring but lack cooling functions in the summer.


By taking advantage of the trial period, you can evaluate whether any investment you make will be worthwhile.


All of our mattresses come with a 200-night sleep test, which gives you plenty of opportunities to test it out and make a decision with no financial implications.



Is There a Guarantee?


Any mattress manufacturer will claim their products are the best, but if they're willing to put their money where their mouth is, then you know it's a good mattress.


For example, Emma offers 10-year guarantees on mattresses because we're confident in the innovative design and strict manufacturing process we set in place.



The Bottom Line


Hopefully, our guide will help you to decide on the best mattress for your needs.


If you're looking for an all-around mattress that offers maximum comfort, then the Emma Original Mattress will offer the best solution for your money. As we mentioned previously, joint pain sufferers might be better off with the original hybrid, so we'd advise that you think about your needs and decide which will fit in with your lifestyle, sleeping position, and physical condition.


Last but not least, remember to enhance your sleep by buying suitable bed sheets, pillows, and duvet covers. Every aspect of your bed should promote better sleep quality, and something as small as an uncomfortable pillow could ruin your night.


So, now you know everything there is to know about picking the right mattress, it's time to make your choice and enjoy a comfortable night's sleep.



Take the stress out of it