Best Mattress 2018: Top memory foam, hybrid and pocket sprung mattresses for a perfect night’s sleep

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BEST OVERALL MATTRESS

The Simba Hybrid

With a combination of memory foam and pocket springs, the Simba Hybrid offers the best of both worlds. Highly rated for quality, comfort and support.

From £399
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For this guide, we’ve asked the experts on our sister site Ideal Home for their advice and recommendations. They tested seven products, of which we’re bringing you the five best. From these, two stand out. The Simba Hybrid was the best all-round mattress, combining pocket springs with memory foam for the ultimate comfort. For budget buyers, the Silent Night Sleep Soundly Miracoil Comfort offers excellent value, although this sprung mattress may be too firm for some.

Related: Get two free memory foam pillows with a Simba Hybrid

How do we pick the best mattresses?

best value mattress

Silentnight Sleep Soundly Miracoil Comfort Mattress

This is our pick for best value, packing in double the springs of a traditional mattress. The zoned support should help those not wanting to disturb their sleeping partner. It's also a great choice if you like your mattress on the firmer side.

From £149
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Given that most of us sleep for one-third of our lives, it’s no wonder that getting a comfortable mattress is such a high priority. Doing so is harder than it seems, as buying your ideal mattress is largely a matter of personal preference (or finding that compromise where couples are involved). For this reason, any single reviewer will find it hard to give a definitive opinion on any mattress: a model that they really like, may not be for you at all.

As a result, for this round-up, we’ve done things in a slightly different way. First, we asked Ideal Home to try each mattress, including how it’s delivered, the build quality and feel, and our opinions on comfort and quality. To canvas a wider opinion, we’ve also turned to user reviews from trusted sources, including Amazon, John Lewis, TrustPilot and Yotpo. .

Even with our reviews, it’s possible that something a lot of people like just isn’t for you. For example, a common complaint with memory foam mattresses is that they’re too hot. As such, we recommend trying mattresses where possible before you buy, and taking advantage of any returns process that a manufacturer has.

1. Simba Hybrid

Pros:

  • Very comfortable
  • Temperature just right

Cons:

  • No handles

A pure memory foam mattress can be a little hard, and a bit too warm for many people, so the Simba Hybrid could be the perfect alternative. As the name suggests, the Simba Hybrid uses a combination of memory foam and pocket springs to bring the best of both worlds to your mattress.

The mattress has five layers, starting with the hypoallergenic outside cover. Next, is a layer of Simbatex (a latex foam), designed to give comfort and keep you cool. Then comes a layer of conical pocket springs (2,500 on a king size mattress). Next comes the memory foam layer, designed to mould to the shape of your body. Finally, there’s a support base, which gives additional support and gives the mattress its shape and thickness.

Despite using pocket springs in one layer, the Simba Hybrid was still delivered rolled and packed in a box. Excellent instructions and a supplied safety cutter make unpacking the mattress easy without damaging it with scissors, and we found that it was ready to go in a matter of hours. The springs made a real difference, automatically adjusting to fit your body and we found that this made side sleeping more comfortable.

The highest-rated mattress, both by ourselves and third-party reviewers, owners praised the comfort, quality and, for many, that this mattress remained relatively cool.

The main negative was that there are no handles to help manoeuvre the mattress. Some people also found the mattress too warm, which is a common criticism of foam models. On John Lewis, some people had complained that the mattress had sagged within a year of use, although Simba’s customer support was quick to reply and organise replacements. As with other mattresses here, there were also a few complaints about a chemical smell, although most people found that this dissipated after a couple of days.

According to Simba, the Hybrid is a ‘no turn’ mattress, although the company says that rotating it will prolong life. The advice is to rotate the mattress monthly when new, moving to every three-to-six months after that.

The Simba Hybrid can be tried in John Lewis, making it stand out from the main mattress-in-a-box competition, and is also available online direct with free delivery and a 100-night trial and free returns. The Simba Hybrid is available in lots of sizes, covering both UK and EU standards, from small single up to a super king.

Buy Now: Simba Hybrid for £379 from Simba

2. Silent Night Sleep Soundly Miracoil Comfort

Pros:

  • Great price
  • Cool and dry

Cons:

  • Very hard
  • No handles
  • No trial period

In this age of online-only mattresses in a box, it’s good to see the Silent Night Sleep Soundly Miracoil Comfort, which is available in John Lewis stores and available to try.

Using Silent Night’s Miracoil spring system, the mattress has double the number of springs as a traditional mattress. Silent Night says that this, plus the Miracoil’s alignment, gives zoned support that should prevent partner disturbance. Certainly, testing it out, we found that our fidgety sleeper didn’t disturb our lighter sleeper.

The Sleep Sound Miracoil Comfort is rated as firm, and it was the hardest mattress that we tested. For us, this extra level of support was good for our sleeper with a bad back, but this level of firmness won’t be for everyone. Indeed, a common complaint from user reviews is that this mattress is far too hard. Adding a mattress topper could help, but it’s probably better to buy a less firm model to start with.

Owners happy with this mattress praised the mattress’ level of comfort, and were very happy with the comparatively low price. Thanks to the springs and soft-knit fabric, this mattress was cool and dry to sleep on. In fact, no users complained about Sleep Sound Miracoil Comfort being too hot.

The manufacturer recommends that this mattress should be flipped and rotated regularly to even out pressure and prolong life. This job is made a little harder by the lack of handles, although this was the lightest matress that we tested.

The biggest potential downside is that the Sleep Sound Miracoil Comfort can’t be tested and returned if you’re unhappy, so we thoroughly recommend testing in-store before you buy. If you don’t like memory foam mattresses and want a firm sprung model, this one is well priced and comfortable.

Buy Now: Silent Night Sleep Soundly Miracoil Comfort from £149 from John Lewis 

3. Leesa Mattress

Pros:

  • Cooler than other memory foam mattresses
  • Firm and supportive
  • Machine washable cover

Cons:

  • No handles

If you want to buy a mattress with good conscience, the Leesa Mattress may be for you. For every 10 mattresses that are sold, one is donated to charity, and a tree is planted for every mattress sold. Fortunately, as well as making you feel emotionally better, the Leesa Mattress is also very comfortable and well made, so you can get a good night’s sleep while also feeling like you’ve done some social good. It’s easy to unpack, too, with full instructions placed on top of the box.

A pure foam model, the Leesa Mattress has three layers. First, is the 5cm of Cooling Avena Foam, which is designed to allow for airflow. Next comes the 5cm of memory foam, which moulds to your body shape. Finally, there’s 15cm of base foam for strength, stability and support. This is wrapped in a soft outer lining that’s easy to remove for washing.

Out of all the foam mattresses that we tried, we felt that the Leesa was the firmest, which could be good if you’re looking for a model that has a lot of support. And, with such a firm base, we found that our more wriggly sleeper didn’t disturb our lighter sleeper.

Although memory foam mattresses can be warm to sleep on, we managed to keep cool all night. User reviews backed this up, with most people finding the mattress comfortable, and keeping them the right temperature all night.

The people that didn’t like this mattress found it too hot (a common issue with foam mattresses), and that there were some people that complained of uneven sags. In cases of sagging issues, Leesa was quick to respond and offer replacements. Leesa says not to flip the mattress, but that rotating it every three to six months will help prolong life; it’s a shame that there aren’t handles to make rotation easier.

As with all foam mattresses, a new Leesa Mattress will have a chemical smell to it, although most reviewers noted that this disappeared after a few days. As with similar providers, the Leesa Mattress has free delivery, a 100-day sleep test, with free returns if you’re not happy, and is backed by a 10-year guarantee. Most EU and UK sizes are available from single to super king.

Buy Now: Leesa Mattress for £354 from Amazon

4. Eve Mattress

Pros:

  • Firm but comfortable
  • Machine washable cover
  • 100-night trial

Cons:

  • Some complaints about a lingering scent
  • Some complaints about quality

One of the best-known bed-in-box models, the Eve Mattress is also one of the best that we’ve tested. Conveniently packaged, we found the mattress easy enough to manoeuvre after delivery. Instructions for packaging weren’t included in the box, but they are available online. That said, it’s easy enough to work out how to unpack the mattress, although be careful with scissors to prevent knicking the mattress. Once unpacked, the mattress was ready to sleep on within a couple of hours.

It’s a little tricky to move into position, as the Eve Mattress is yet another model that doesn’t have handles. This becomes a further issue when trying to rotate the mattress, which the manufacturer suggests you do twice a year to extend its life.

The mattress is made up of multiple layers. The top cover is moisture-wicking and designed to allow airflow. This layer can be removed and is machine washable. Next, is a memory foam layer to give support and relieve pressure. Then, there’s the evecomfort layer, which is designed to remove that ‘sinking feeling’ and keep you cool. Then, there’s the base layer for stability and support. Finally, there’s an anti-slip base to help keep the mattress stable and in place.

These layers added up to a comfortable and soft sleeping experience for us, with plenty of support. In our opinion, we found that the Eve Mattress was medium-firm. Impressively, movement was contained to one side of the bed, so you shouldn’t disturb a partner, even if you’re a wriggly sleeper.

In user reviews, those that liked the mattress praised its comfort, with some pointing out that it took a while to get used to. Most agreed that the mattress was quite firm, but that it was still comfortable.

For those that rated the Eve Matress poorly, there were the usual complaints about foam mattresses: too hot and a smell that lingered. There were some complaints about build quality, too, with some people saying that their mattress was dirty on arrival, and another explaining how the seam had split. In all cases, Eve responded promptly to criticism and offered to replace mattresses that didn’t live up to expectations.

As with similar matress manufacturers, the Eve Mattress has a 100-night trial, and is backed by a 10-year guarantee. It’s available in a huge range of UK and EU sizes from single to super king and beyond.

Buy Now: Eve Mattress for £335 from Eve Sleep

5. Ikea Hövag

Pros:

  • Excellent price
  • Easy to manoeuvre

Cons:

  • Could feel too soft
  • Strong ‘new mattress’ smell

Long before bed-in-a-box manufacturers were going, Ikea had perfected the art of rolling up sprung mattresses to make them easy to transport. So, the pocket-sprung Hövag comes vacuum-packed and rolled, making it easy to fit in a car, and for us to get up the stairs.

Once unrolled, it can take up to 48 hours for the matress to expand fully, so you may need to be patient. The fairly light matress can be manoeuvred onto the bed with its side handles. There’s no need to flip this mattress, although the handles come in hand, turning twice a year to help even out pressure and prolong life.

As a more budget option, the Hövag’s grey and white cover doesn’t feel as plush nor as luxurious as the other models that we recommend. Described as medium firm, the soft top and pocket-sprung interior felt softer than we were used to. Sleeping on it for a few nights, we found that the mattress was a little more supportive than we first thought, although those that prefer a firmer model would do well to look elsewhere.

Some owners commented that the mattress was too soft for them and didn’t offer the level of support that they needed. Others criticised the build, saying that within a couple of years the mattress had sagged in places and needed to be replaced. As such, the Ikea Hövag may be a better choice for lighter people or occasional use, such as on a spare bed.

Others again complained about the chemical smell, although we noticed that this dissipated after a couple of days. For those owners impressed with the mattress, they liked the softer feel and were very happy with the competitive pricing. There were no complaints about overheating, with the mattress offering a cool sleeping experience.

Ikea offers a 90-day trial for mattresses, and you can swap for an alternative model within that period. There’s also a 25-year guarantee, although the wording points out that for any faults, “IKEA will examine the product and decide, at its sole discretion, if it is covered under this guarantee” and that the guarantee “does not cover normal wear and tear, cuts or scratches, or damage caused by impacts or accidents”.

Testing in-store is recommended. For those on a tight budget that want a pocket-sprung mattress or need a well-priced model for a spare bed, the Ikea Hövag is a good choice. The mattress is available in most UK and EU sizes from single to super king.

Buy now: Ikea Hövag Pocket Sprung mattress for £180 from Ikea

Best mattresses – what to think about

Our expert colleagues on Ideal Home gave us their view on how to ensure you get the right mattress for you. Here’s what they had to say:

  • Know your sizes: a bed, and therefore its mattress, should be 10cm longer than the tallest person who will be sleeping in it. So a king-size is the minimum for someone 6ft or more. If you’re sharing a bed, it should also be wide enough to allow you and your partner to lie side by side, hands behind heads, without your elbows touching.
  • Know the level of support: to check if a mattress is supporting you properly, lie down and slide a hand beneath the small of your back. If your hand fits easily, it’s too hard; not at all, and it’s too soft.
  • Get the right base: the base will affect how the mattress feels. A sprung divan will make a mattress seem softer than a solid divan or slatted base. You might want to consider changing your bed as well as your mattress.
  • Check the mattress filling: sprung and pocket mattresses are padded with fillings including cotton, lambswool and mohair, which can prove problematic for people with allergies. Luxurious options, such as cashmere and silk, will mean the finished product is more expensive, but are also less likely to cause issues.
  • Check whether it needs turning: does the mattress model require turning? Many modern mattresses don’t, which is ideal because they can be incredibly heavy. If it does, you’ll want your mattress to have sturdy handles at the sides.

How often do you need to replace a new mattress?

There’s advice out there about how often you should replace a mattress – the old rule of thumb used to be every 10 years but the industry, anxious for a quicker turnover, now suggest seven, but the truth is that it really depends on the type of mattress.

If you bought a cheap sprung mattress, you may find that it only lasted a couple of years; a more expensive memory foam mattress should last a lot longer. Look out for tell-tale signs that your mattress has seen its best days: dips in the surface, spring starting to push through and the like.

To prolong your mattress’s life, you should follow the care instructions carefully. Some mattresses need to be flipped over (also called turned) regularly. Practically all mattresses benefit from rotation, where you turn them 180 degrees. This exposes all parts of the mattress to equal pressure, prolonging its life.

What type should I buy?

There are three main types of mattress.

  • Open coil is the oldest type, with an interconnected set of springs wound through the entire interior. These tend to give more support and are the lightest type of mattress, but cheaper models can be uncomfortable with the springs felt through thinner materials. And, motion from one sleep can be transported to another.
  • Pocket sprung mattresses contain individual springs mounted inside material pockets. The pocket springs partially mould to your body’s shape, giving a great level of support. And, because you’ve got individual springs, they help with two sleepers, preventing one’s movement from disturbing another’s. The main advantage is that pocket sprung mattresses are generally cooler to sleep on than memory foam models. These mattresses can sometimes be rolled, but some are sold and shipped at full size.
  • Foam mattresses are primarily memory foam models. These are easy to transport, with manufacturers able to squeeze the mattress into a box for delivery. Memory foam moulds itself to your body, giving excellent support and letting you sink into the bed. This can take a while to get used to, particularly if you’re used to a sprung mattress. Memory foam mattresses isolate movement, helping two sleepers keep to themselves. Memory foam mattresses are better for allergen sufferers, harbouring fewer allergens than sprung mattresses. The big downside is that memory foam can be hot; in fact, this was the biggest complaint we noticed.

You can buy combination or hybrid mattresses, which combine two or more elements. It’s common to find pocket sprung mattresses that use a thin memory foam layer on top for added comfort.

What level of mattress firmness should I buy?

Mattresses are rated by how firm they are, and the choice comes down to a couple of factors. First is weight. The heavier you are, the more you’ll need a firmer mattress, as a medium or software model will feel far too soft. If you’ve got a bad back, then a firmer mattress with more support could be good for you, although it’s best to get advice from your doctor first.

Ultimately, mattresses are about personal experience and what you prefer. That’s why we’ve used user reviews to give an overview of each mattress, so you can find the one that suits your needs.