Mattress Buying Guide

Sizes

Mattresses are available in a variety of sizes, however, the standard sizes are: 

Mattress name Mattress size (imperial) Mattress size (cm)
Small single (bunk*) 2’6” x 6’3” (30" x 75") 75 x 190cm
Single 3 x 6’3” (36" x 75") 90 x 190cm
Small double 4’ x 6’3” (48" x 75") 120 x 190cm
Double 4’6” x 6’3” (54" x 75") 135 x 190cm
King size 5’ x 6’6” (60" x 78") 150 x 198cm
Super king size 6’ x 6’6” (72" x 78") 180 x 198cm

It is important to note that king size and super king mattresses, as well as being wider, are 3 inches longer than standard doubles. Whilst most small single mattresses will fit a bunk bed, it is worth bearing in mind that a thinner mattress is recommended for top bunks (less than 12cm high) to ensure the occupant’s safety. At Mattressman, we also supply a range of special sized mattresses, click here to view our sizes grid.

Build

The characteristics of a mattress are mostly dictated by the build, the main types are:

Cage Sprung
Cage sprung or open coil mattresses are built with a system of connected springs, arranged in rows and connected to each other at the top and bottom by a helical wire. An outer rod is sometimes added to the perimeter of the spring unit to strengthen the sides of the mattress. Cage sprung mattresses come in a large variety of tensions, from extra firm to softer.

Pocket Sprung
In contrast, pocket sprung mattresses contain springs that are housed inside individual fabric pockets, allowing them to work independently of each other. This arrangement tailors support from the centre of the mattress to the very edge, and means that there is significantly less roll-together when two people are on it. The number of individual springs vary. As a rough guide, a mattress with a greater number of pocket springs will be more supportive. Pocket sprung mattresses can be a great investment as they provide exceptional support. For example, the vast majority of orthopaedic mattresses feature pocket springs.

Memory Foam
Famously developed by NASA in the 1960’s, memory foam offers great support as it moulds to the sleeper’s body shape. When new, memory foam mattresses sometimes have a faint odour. This is caused by the fire retardant spray used in their manufacture and normally lasts for only a day or so. Some customers have also found memory foam to be rather warm, so if you struggle with overheating, check out our range of CoolMax covers and Geltex mattresses.

Other Features

Pillow Top
Pillow top mattresses feature an extra layer of pillow-like material on top of the standard mattress construction. These mattresses are one-sided. This means you shouldn’t turn the mattress over, but simply rotate it from end-to-end every so often.

No Turn Mattresses
Mattresses require regular turning to maximise their lifespan, especially pocket sprung mattresses, as it ensures all of the springs receive an even amount of pressure. However, if turning a heavy mattress would prove too difficult, then we would recommend a one-sided mattress, as this only needs to be rotated periodically, and not flipped over.

Finishes

Quilting
The majority of mattresses are finished with either quilting or tufting. A quilted mattress will tend to have a smoother finish, where the quilting material has been attached to the surface fillings.

Tufting
Tufting is where tapes are passed through the mattress at regular intervals and secured at each end, preventing loose fillings from being dislodged. For a fuller explanation of tufting, please see this video.

Fillings

Cotton
Cotton has a soft feel and the ability to absorb moisture. This natural material also has the ability to breathe.

Wool
Warm and natural, wool gives a luxurious feel whilst providing good fire retardancy. Breathable and naturally resilient.

Polyester
This synthetic material has good recovery properties and benefits allergy sufferers.

Mattress Care

How to Turn a Mattress
Every mattress needs to be turned in order to prolong its lifespan. This video explains the easiest and best way to turn your mattress.  

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