Choosing the right mattress

Choosing the right mattress Northern ireland


Your mattress is feeling lumpy and uncomfortable, you are waking up with back ache, you have a restless night. All these point to the fact that its time you had a new mattress. We spend up to one third of our lives in bed and if you do not have a good nights sleep then it can affect you the next day.

Sleep is a very important part of a person’s life as it is the time when our body and brain relaxes and revitalises itself. When choosing a mattressĀ you will be confronted with a very wide choice and it can be very difficult in deciding which is the most suitable for you. First of all the type of mattress you choose will depend on the bedroom it is for and who will be using the bed. If it is for a child’s bedroom or a guest /spare bedroom, then the type of mattress chosen could be very different from what you would want for your main bedroom.



Open coil mattresses use one of the most long-standing methods of construction. Most people have slept on an open coil mattress at some point in their lives, and they are still some of the most widely-available mattresses on the market. Their construction means that they provide the support you need, whilst leaving plenty of room for a variety of fillings that help to provide you with comfort as well as support.

How an open coil mattress works

Open coil springs are usually about 5-6 coils high. A standard double bed has 325 of these coils, although some manufacturers may use more and, of course, the coil count increases as the mattress size rises to king and superking. The coils are all assembled into a single construction with helical wire. This is a thinner, spiral wire that joins the coils at top and bottom to form several rows. An outer rod is then fitted around the top and bottom of the finished construction to provide additional strength. Once the basic construction is completed, the mattress can be filled and the ticking applied.


As with most sprung mattresses, the tension, or firmness of the mattress can be altered by changing the thickness of the wire, the number of twists in the coil and the number of coils overall. In addition, an extra row of springs may be added at key points across the mattress to provide additional support. The continuous spring mattress uses the same basic construction principles as the open coil, but is made from a single length of wire that is essentially “knitted” together to form a single, sprung construction. The finished mattress springs are in rows, as with open coil, but are joined vertically. These springs are usually smaller than those used in open coil and use narrower wire, which makes them slightly softer. The fairly simple construction of the open coil mattress means that it is one of the most cost-effective mattresses on the market. If you are looking for a budget mattress, you will find a range of open coil mattresses that are both comfortable and affordable.


A pocket sprung mattress is made up from individual pocket springs. Working independently from each other, each pocket spring is enclosed within its own fabric pocket. This means that each spring reacts only when pressure is applied to that particular area. Each person sleeping on the mattress will have their own personalised support.

Pocket springs don’t move as a whole unit, and is particularly beneficial if:

  • You and your partner are of different sizes & weights
  • You have the tendency to toss and turn throughout the night

There are further benefits to pocket sprung mattresses that could make it the right choice for you.

  • No transfer of movement
  • Consistent firmness
  • Total body support
  • Pressure relief

Since pocket springs work independently from each other, pocket sprung mattresses support your body weight to a greater degree than an open coil spring system (also known as standard sprung). This can help you to feel comfortable and well-supported as you sleep, reducing the risk of pressure point build-up.


Memory foam mattresses work by becoming soft enough to mould around a person or body shape. This happens when the high-density, low-resilience foam reacts to body heat. When the pressure is removed, it returns to its original shape.

What are the benefits of memory foam?

  • Increases blood circulation
  • Reduces the strain on aching joints.
  • Anti-microbial, reducing the number of bugs and mites that can aggravate allergies.

What are the different types of memory foam mattress?

  • Traditional type
  • Air cool
  • Gel varieties

Memory foam doesn’t suit everybody as it retains heat and a number of people find the mattress too warm in the summer, choosing an air cool or gel mattress can help to resolve this issue. Some people can also have difficulty getting out of the bed in the morning as the foam cradles the body during the night.

Some new memory foam mattresses produce a chemical smell (known as off-gassing). This smell usually dissipates if the mattress is aired out for 24 hours after purchase, while some manufacturers use special treatment with eucalyptus to prevent it.