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Cyber Heretic
15 Feb 2012
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South Devon
It is time for us to replace our mattress, but I cannot figure out the practicalities. How does a person choose a mattress? Some of them are downright expensive, and there is so much variation that I find it bewildering.....

Add to that that we live in the back-of-beyond and the nearest useful furniture shops are 45 minutes drive away. A proper city like Exeter or Bristol is an hour and a half. Even if we drive all the way to one of these to try out a mattress, can you really tell from a couple of minutes lying down in a shop whether a mattress is really any good?

Are there any tricks and tips that folk have discovered that could help us?

Thanks in advance for any help

Don't even think about buying a memory foam mattress without trying one - we've got one, and I've never slept on anything so bl00dy uncomfortable. We paid a small fortune for memory foam pillows -they were thrown out the following day.
I was constantly getting up with back issues
bought a tempur...crazy money until you divide by 8 yrs 365 days and doesnt sound so bad

best sleep ever, no more back ache and a cosy heat feeling

My success was with John Lewis (a large branch) with plenty of mattresses in store, and staff that actually were helpful. You can try lots out and learn about the different types there.

I bought an John Lewis own brand, it is really good.
Have a look at hypnos. My work means i spend a lot of nights away from home in hotels, and while premier inns are not always the most salubrious of places, the hypnos mattresses are always bang on for me.

There are also a few that allow you to try for 100 nights or so, and they will collect at their expense if you are not satisfied. If you are a ways from stores as you indicate, maybe give these a try. e,g, tempur, emma, eve etc.
I’m a fan of the memory foam mattresses. A chiropractor recommended a company called Sleepform, about £700 but still cheaper than a Tempur. Had mine 6 years, I’m still very happy with it.

Don’t think there’s any hard and fast rule, it’s just personal preference.

I do see a lot of ads on the tube for Eve mattresses, offering 100 nights free trial.
Thanks for the suggestions..... and keep them coming.

I had not realised that many (most) online mattress sellers do trial periods (as long as 365 nights in some cases). That may well help us a lot. In fact, we could free trial mattresses for several years looking at the offerings. I am not sure I would want the hassle involve with organising that, but the devious part of my mind thinks it an amusing idea.

By the looks of it most people are happy with a 'medium' firmness (probably defined as what most people are happy with, so no surprise there).

I mostly agree with the negative comments about memory foam -I want my foam to spring back, not remain compressed. To me 'memory foam' sounds like a defective product with clever marketing (individual stringettes anyone?). Though I do like my 'memory foam' pillow - it is firm, weighs as much as a sack of sand, and best of all is actually amnesiac foam.
OscarG":2xuug0u5 said:
Don’t think there’s any hard and fast rule, it’s just personal preference.
Yes, I agree, and this is part of the problem. How to buy an expensive one-off item to suit personal taste?
+1 for Hypnos.
I used to stay in Premier Inn when working away and occasionally on holidays and me and the Mrs were both very impressed with how comfortable the mattresses were as we both suffer with back trouble, so I bought one. Not cheap, around £600 about a year and a half ago but definately worth it.
I spent a fortune on a memory foam mattress a few years ago and it got relegated to the spare room almost immediately, what a waste of money.
Memory foam deformeds to fit your shape and supports you, for me they are the best mattresses in the market. Since we have had ours I have never had a night where I couldn’t get comfortable.
I hate staying in hotels because I have a uncomfortable nights sleep.

Absolutely go and try mattresses before a purchase. Could be a costly mistake otherwise.

I thought I knew what I wanted before walking in to the shop. A quick test of the display mattresses revealed that I needed, and felt far more comfortable on the exact opposite. You can lie on the test ones for as long as it takes to make up your mind. It's nearly time to renew for us as well.

I've also found that small independent shops are generally cheaper than the big main ones.

Ps, I despised sleeping on memory foam. Retained far too much heat for my liking.
I remember hearing on radio a back expert talking about mattresses, asked what's the best mattress for your back, hard or soft?

His answer was.... "an uncomfortable mattress"!

There is a logic to this daft sounding answer. He explained if it's uncomfortable, you'll move about more and not sleep in one just position. It's the sleeping in one position all night that's bad for your back apparently!
I've never tried a mattress in a shop without thinking how comfortable it is. So I think the extended trial is probably the way to go.
We had a memory foam mattress for about 13 years, just got rid of it this year. It was still fairly comfortable, but had formed itself into two valleys with a big hill between them, as though it was trying to break up my marriage.
I slept on a bed in Whitefish, Montanna last summer in an AirBnB that was supremely comfortable, so I emailed the owner to find out the make. Sadly, she didn't respond.
I love this topic!!!!

A good mattress is going to last you 10 years. If you sleep 7 hours a night, that is 25,000 hours on that mattress over 10 years. So if you spend £2,000 for a mattress, that is around 50p a day. That's not even the price of most newspapers. Lots of people will spend more on a sofa or a fridge than they will for a mattress, but the mattress (whilst not glamorous) is going to impact your life much more.

I paid around £1800 for our mattress. I bought it from a well established independent retailer (who actually knows what they are talking about unlike the youth who works at John Lewis). I would recommend everyone to go the same way.

Memory foam is great, but if you are heavy, it will break down much quicker. We have had foam in the past and it does not last.
DrPhill":v8600rd7 said:
I mostly agree with the negative comments about memory foam -I want my foam to spring back, not remain compressed. To me 'memory foam' sounds like a defective product with clever marketing (individual stringettes anyone?).
Well I'm in agreement with the +ve comments about memory foam. We invested in one about 5 years ago and it was an instant solution to backache which was a result of insufficient support from the old mattress. There seems to be a misconception about what 'Memory' actually is. What it memorises is the form in which it was originally manufactured, so it always returns to its as-new shape. It deforms to any body shape lying on it thus giving constant all over support. The biggest downside is heat dissipation because your lying on a big lump of insulation. It took me a long time to adjust to that. Also my wife finds it a bit to hard, but we have resolved that with a soft topper on her side.
Sweet dreams.
I think you mean "Dog Kennels", sir.... :lol:

We recently got a Futon Company sofabed. Nothing special, just wooden frame with a standard 2-person shikibuton futon on the top. Bloody comfy, I have to say and far better than the fancy mattress the wiff bought!!
21st December we had a new mattress delivered from Bensons and as soon as it came out of the bag SWMBO started to feel a burning and tingling sensation in her mouth. It had to be the chemicals used in it. I believe that she is very sensitive to the fire retardant used. We put up with it for a few days and had to put it back into the bag and I sealed it as well as I could. We slept on it for a week like that! But it was just too dammed uncomfortable and we hit on the idea of using the 4' mattress from the spare bed. A 4' mattress on a 4' 6" bed. Not a very good idea either. After a visit from a FIRA engineer we had a full refund and they collected the offending article. It spent the last few week here in the spare bedroom and yesterday, several weeks after the thing was removed, SWMBO was moving some stuff around and got a slight tingling feeling in her mouth. So it is still there, all be it much less.

After a lot of searching to see if we could find a chemical free jobbie we found a manufacturer down you way Phill. In Woodbury, just outside Exeter. We live near Chippenham, so it was quite a way to look but worth it. We were given the griff on the different mattresses by the boss man himself and he didn't mind how long we took looking, trying and asking questions. He has delved quite deeply into the question of fire retardants and what he told us made our hair stand on end. (good old Monsan-something!). We verified what he had told us by searching about it. Fire retardants are banned in most countries including the USA and Europe. They were banned in the USA when the firemen were found to be getting a lot more cancers than the average. It was proved over there to be a carcinogen and produced a lot more smoke when it burned because it makes things burn at a lower temperature.

These are they I have nothing at all to do with the company apart from being a customer. We are now awaiting our new mattress with anticipation.

As said before, you spend a lot of time on the thing and you aren't only breathing in what it emits but it is also transmitted through the skin too.

sweet dreams folks?
These are they I have nothing at all to do with the company apart from being a customer. We are now awaiting our new mattress with anticipation.

Thanks JonzJob, that is very interesting, and not something we had actively considered. We try to eat organic/homegrown/unprocessed food, use natural cleaning products, and (maybe as a consequence) seem to be more sensitive to chemicals than most other people, so we are possibly going to react similarly.